From My Bubble to Yours: the Anniversary

It’s been a year since it all happened, my friends. Last year, a day after the sadness of 9/11, when we took a breath and gave our loved ones an extra-long hug and carried on, on until the next year, is when our story with my mom began. That phone call. That drive. I finally told David, during a quiet moment last week, that I have flashbacks to that night, that car drive, my calls for help. I’m embarrassed by that admittance–I’m a grown woman, after all, and this happened during my grown-woman years. I asked him if he thinks they’ll ever go away. I want them to go away. I want the moment that divided before and after to be erased. This is what weighs on me: if it had been a stroke instead of a tumor, my decisions could have killed her that night. Do you realize that? Because I chose to try to find her before getting help. Because I chose not to call an ambulance right away to meet me there. Because I made a decision to drive her to the hospital myself even…

When You Think of it That Way

In the evening after the first day of school, Cian made an announcement. “I’m going to be very well-behaved this year.” He stopped and took a look around the table at each of us. A brief look of self-doubt passed over his face. “Well,” he clarified, “at least while I’m in school.” This, my friends, is my third-born. He came home last week all sorts of worked up. We were in the car after I’d picked them up from school, and he said, “I don’t know about this first grade. My teacher wants us to RAISE our HANDS before we talk. That doesn’t make any sense. If she’s close enough, I should just talk. She answered me the first time I did it. But after that? She didn’t pay attention to me!” I didn’t have to say anything because both of his sisters rolled their eyes and jumped in for me. Quinlan just sighed. “Cian.” Saoirse told him, “Cian. You’re in elementary school now. That’s how it is in ALL of the classes. Everybody has to raise his hand.” “But that doesn’t make any…

And We Find Ourselves Back at the Beginning

Hi, everybody. Are you good? Did you have a nice summer? Or have you forgotten summer now that most schools are in session so you’re busy pulling out the sweaters and warm boots because YAY I DON’T HAVE TO SUNSCREEN THE CHILDREN ALL THE TIME NOW? I hear you. I mean, I’m not in a hurry, or anything. But the mornings are now quiet without the singsong of our neighborhood birds. The light is different–almost flatter, if that makes sense–and the air outside seems subdued. The season is changing over, quieting down. And I think I’m happy with that–I love autumn–even if, in my world right now, a quiet season doesn’t always mean a quiet life. I owe you an update on my mom. I’ll post something more detailed soon, but in a nutshell, she’s beaten her prognosis (we’re now almost a year out from her diagnosis), has completed treatment (other than a twice-monthly chemo infusion to keep her brain swelling in check), and is working to get her muscles stronger so she can walk…