Wednesday, October 2, 2013

I Know You're Wondering...

Is she dead? Destroyed by that fluffy monster who eats the brains of those who look him in the eye? Comatose from indulging in too many almond flour muffins?


No, not really. Writing has been hard for me lately. I don't quite know why. Because Benjy is doing things we never, ever imagined he would. He has grown tall and rangy and toned and as handsome as he ever was. He is learning how to live in this world and not want to die in it. He is just plain LEARNING. Yep, you heard it here first.

I get weepy with gratitude and joy when it strikes me that I now have hope.

A treasured clinician said to me once, when I told her I had no hope left, "But I have hope. And I will hold it here for you (pressing hand to heart) until you are ready to receive it."

Readers, that was one of the most beautiful gestures anyone has ever made to me. (Mindy, if you are out there: <3)

So, my silence is not conceived of my own child's struggle. It might be the fibromyalgic fog that envelops me these days -- a brain not quite so sharp as it used to be.

But there is something else: I am tired.

It's really that simple. I need rest.

Recently, I have had to go back into Mombot mode, rally all my depleted resources, tune up my adrenal glands and rush to the aid of a very deeply loved and very deeply suffering relative.  A beautiful and smart and unbearably sad young woman. I had to do it but I was glad to. For her, anything.

I wish I had been more attuned to her suffering when she was just a bitty little girl. (Although, it can be so hard to know, even when you share a house with someone. I suffered as a girl, and I think, for those who loved me, it was hard to tell just how deep my pain was.) And when she was growing up not so nearby, and then when she went to college practically down the road from where I live. And all those times things went awry but I was focused on my own child -- and later, finally, on myself.

But I had this moment of gorgeous clarity the other day, when I was planning with doctors and talking to family and making arrangements for her, the best I could.

This is what I thought: Let's move forward. Let's look to the future and not the past. No one can erase all those years of suffering. But we can help now. It's never too late, you know? Like when you adopt a dog or a cat -- or a child!!! -- who was neglected or abused by the people previously responsible for her. (And no, I do not mean to suggest that this person was neglected or abused. Just struggling mightily.) The scars may remain and they may not, but you can offer respite and repair. You can make things better going forward.

I've missed you, my Bloggy friends. I've missed writing you these letters (they ARE letters of sorts, adapted to this post-digital universe we inhabit together). I miss my child, and exult in the presence of my other child, who is an unbelievable joy. I miss my old energy and drive.

But I must say, things are not so bad. Today I gave myself permission to buy pizza for dinner, even though there will be others at our table tonight. And I think I can see my way to finish an essay I started a while back.
The essay is about the paradox of a daughter and granddaughter of Holocaust victims falling in love with her Worst Nightmare: a German, a child of Nazis. And let's not forget the sartorial nightmares, of which I have written right here at The Striped Nickel, and which may even be worse than the concentration camp nightmares.

(Lars, you are the WORST DRESSER I have ever met -- except on the rare occasions you heed my advice and TAKE YOUR SOCKS OFF BEFORE DONNING THE BIRKENSTOCKS. Oh, and Lars? I love you.)

I guess this is where I end the letter. And what is it I'm supposed to say?

Sincerely Yours?


S.W.A.K.? (Remember that, fellow children of the 60s-70s?)

All my best?

Kuss und Gruess? (Only if I am writing in German. And I only talk in German, so this one is out.)

OK, I'll go with this:

C Ya L8tr, Dawgs.

p.s. it has been so long since I've blogged, and since my brain has worked to full capacity, that I cannot for the life of me remember how to spell-check on Blogger. Apologies for any typos. :)


  1. Hey I have a quick question about your blog, could you email me when you have a chance? Thanks! -Cam

    1. Hi Cam,

      I don't know how to find you. Are you the author of the Mesothelioma blog? (If so, I am happy things seem to be going well for you and your family!!) Would you email me via my writing website or the email address associated with this blog? Both can be found under my profile on the right. Cheers, Deb