Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sixteen Going on Seventeen

I'm happy to report that I've started chemo 16, and I am almost halfway done with this clinical trial. No news is good news from my doctor, so knock wood.

I'm having a weird day today. It's tax day, and I'm having the really weird experience of knowing exactly where I was this afternoon ten years ago.

I was in Pennsylvania. I was coming to the realization that my graduate program was not going to work out the way it had been sold to me. Also, I'd been dumped a couple of months before. I was feeling very tender and bruised, and also lonely. My graduate peers were all developing these fantastic relationships with the faculty with whom they were going to produce ground-breaking dissertations. I, meanwhile, was adrift in a boggy pond of required courses, none of which were going anywhere for me. My friends were all married or in relationships, and not really in the mood to entertain my teary singletonhood. Between my emotional sogginess and my too-big apartment with the abused german shepherd puppy living in the apartment above, I don't think that a day passed when I didn't think of packing up the car and taking off.

That day I came back from another wretched graduate seminar to feed Kuku and irritate him with my weeping. In my mailbox was a notice that I had received a letter from far off exotic land-- a missive from my dumper. The letter was at the post office, but it was short $1.73 of postage. In my feeble emotional state, I made a beeline for the post office. Communication! And I completely forgot that it was April 15. When I got to the post office, the line was around the block. But desperate as I was for news and a friendly gesture, I stood in line for two hours to pay that postage and collect my precious letter.

It's funny looking back, how pitiable that pitiful little person was me. Ten years ago exactly, I was standing alone in line in the rain at a post office in Pennsylvania. Right now it's a gorgeous spring day in Colorado. The sun is shining, and the trees are all budding. Tomorrow or the next day I will prune back our rosebushes, in preparation for them to bloom. My life has changed so much-- the only constant is Kuku, who remains irritable with me. I love my house, I love my husband, I love my kitties. I have a job, and a pretty good dissertation waiting for my further attention. I am currently sick, but when I look back at that girl at the post office, you couldn't pay me to trade places with her.

Oh, and the letter was a "Dear Jane" letter. Just in case the first one hadn't taken.

I'd just like to give my love and gratitude to every person who made each of these past ten years an improvement on the last. I plan to stick around for awhile, and make the next ten years better yet.


Blogger Olga said...

Dude. Next fall, I will have known YOU for ten years. !!! What a lovely post, my friend. Can't wait to see where we are in another ten.

April 15, 2008 9:49 PM  
Blogger la rebelde said...

I second Olga. This is such a lovely post! Over four years ago I was similar to the you of ten years ago. And I'm so fortunate to be able to draw inspiration from the you now and the future you. :)

April 21, 2008 3:52 PM  
Anonymous Amy said...

Be strong, hermanita! Your life is good, and we will celebrate many more good times together. I love you more every day! I'm so glad we keep getting more chances to get to know each other as adults. I can't wait to see you in June, and then you come here to see Margie's baby!

May 13, 2008 5:51 AM  

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