If only I could take them with me.
When I lie in bed every weekend morning, it's not laziness. It's living.
My life, the real one, is impotent. It involves lots of discomfort, pain, sitting, and reading or online shopping—don't tell my husband about that last part, although he's mostly aware of the capacity of it.
There are interesting parts, sure. Like the moments of being dog-piled by my three beautiful daughters who love every minute of smothering me with their knees, elbows, and affections. Then when they leave, I secretly dash off into my bedroom, curl up in a ball and scream into the pillow in agony.
It's worth it, though. I want them to remember those bits of fun, not that Mommy couldn't go outside or couldn't play or couldn't…
They'll remember that period of amusement, just like I remember them with my own mother.
Even if it is killing me, it's worth it. It's worth it for all of us, I think.
Although I'm the one who physically suffers, I know what it's like to love someone so deeply, yet they're never going to be back the way they were when they were healthy. It's almost as agonizing as the actual pain.
To love someone and not be able to help them do anything to relieve or lighten their misery. To watch them writhe and scream out and lose hope in everything as the promise of a full recovery becomes bleak.
But the dreams replenish that hope. I go on exotic vacations and have adventurous yet lovely sex with my husband in my dreams.
None of it hurts me.
I'm outside in the sun, lounging on a beach—not sure where, just a beach with white sands and rolling waves—accompanied by my love. It's probably St. Pete Beach, where I grew up. Back when I could still go outside and only get a bad sunburn—before the sun felt like millions of needles on my flesh, before it blisters and breaks.
I'm in the pool playing water volleyball with my momentarily teenaged daughters. We're laughing and playing, and it's all neatly delivered to me in old-fashioned clips from a longer, less interesting version. One that hasn't happened yet, but it's possible now.
It's possible in my head.
I'm living. I'm living well with my family.
And that's something worth fighting for.
What do I want to do with this?
Hmm… Good question.
It had just started to rain and the dog was whining at the back sliding glass door.
I don't want to get my hopes too high, but it's something to look forward to.
"What do you want it to be?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, you act like I haven't done anything over the last three years. Three years..."
So much stuff. What's the goddamned point?
Time seems to slip away faster now.
If only I could take them with me.
'How's your business going?'
'Fine.' I hate it.
If only he knew her, then he'd understand.
'I wouldn't do it again, if that's what you mean,' I said, pulling my MacBook Pro closer to me atop the long work table in the mall.
What was she thinking?
They always end up letting you down.
I like being flawed. It gives me something to write about.
I let my kids examine my naked body yesterday.
There's no winning with blame.
Every time I think I'm getting better at this whole life thing, I do something wrong and set it back.
It was cold that day. Odd for Florida.
I gave twenty dollars to a woman on the side of the road today.
I like getting older.
There's something about with age and experience comes wisdom that's exhilarating.
The bad thing about family is you can never escape the past.
They remember everything.
I'll see this one through, I tell myself. I'll finish it.
After this, I'll put it to bed. After this, I'll move forward.
I'm the one who makes the show happen.
I was supposed to be an artist.
She asked me.
On her deathbed, she told me.
Something I learned as a visual artist and writer is that some of the best healing comes from expression.
There's something surreal about standing in front of a crowd of strangers—writers who all want the same thing.
At the end of the Writers In Paradise sessions, everyone got a chance to present a refined version of their submitted work, or a new story they were working on.
I was the only teenager at Writers in Paradise with Dennis Lehane, Sterling Watson and other well-known authors back in 2006.
I wake up to an alarm on the iPhone 7 I make payments on because all my older iPhones stop working properly whenever a new one comes out.
(I bought in, didn't I?)
I tried, but it just wasn't for me.
I love how my oldest daughter's friends come to the door to invite her out to play.