A Decade


Ten years ago tonight, I was not sitting in my living room typing. I was down the hill, at United Hospital, sitting in a room and wondering if my mother would die that night.

For those that knew me then, that was quite the summer. My marriage had shattered, I had serious fibroids that could cause me to lose quarts of blood at a time, my house had been broken in to, and even the cat had been diagnosed with diabetes. But really, all that seemed of no consequence compared to the day in early July when my mother had called me with stomach pain, and had been diagnosed when I took her to the ER with stage IV colon cancer.

That was sort of a lost summer. I don't remember eating, or sleeping much. I remember days at the hospital, and hot summer nights sitting outside drinking with friends and trying to make some sense of what had become my life. I remember specific moments with extreme clarity — my friends Robert and Jan giving me a window fan, visiting Jennifer and Ken as they spent that summer in the NICU with Harry, crying on Tom's porch, Annie taking me to Fringe shows, sitting for hours in various late-night locations with Dan, eating burritos in Carrie and Jason's kitchen, listening to the stack of cds Mark sent, Psycho Suzi's patin (the old location), reading Clinton's biography while sitting in the sticky naugahyde hospital chair. It was before blogs, and Twitter, and Facebook, when the only way to connect was to lie on the floor and talk on the phone for hours (or long, long emails). And for each very specific moment etched into my consciousness is a crazy blur of just-getting-through.

It was a hard, hard summer — the definition of "life-changing." I'm amazed I made it through — and so very grateful that I did, and for the person it made me. It seems like yesterday, and like another lifetime ago (and really it was). And it was ten years ago, and that amazes me.

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