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Browsing Tag: brain cancer

Field Trip

SO. Let’s catch up, shall we? Quinlan, our second kiddo, is in 4th grade, which is The Project Year in her school, aka The Year That Just Might Do In The Parents Yet. One of the fall projects she was assigned involved visiting a place in Pennsylvania as a tourist, and her teacher sent out a list of options that ranged widely in distance and cost. But you know how life goes: by the time I got to the online sign-up sheet (The world of online sign-up sheets is cutthroat, man. Other parents make me nervous), all the cheap/local options were taken, so I started eyeballing two other places that have been on our family’s “wanna see” lists for a while now: Fallingwater and Longwood Gardens. When I broached the ideas to Quinn, who really just wanted to go to Hersheypark and call it a day (ALL READY TAKEN, QUINN), she asked which choice would be one at which her Grammy could join us. Fact: Fallingwater is stairs upon stairs in a wooded forestland. Problem: my mom is in a wheelchair. Conclusion: Longwood Gardens, here we come. We chose Columbus Day…

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…

Knowing the Way

A few weeks ago I dreamt my mom and I were sitting down to dinner in a lovely, cavernous restaurant. Our table was a two-top beside a far wall. The room was decorated in a mustard-beige hue, and there seemed to be an auditorium stage on the opposite side from us. The wall I faced, across the expanse of the restaurant, was not a wall at all, but made up of huge, large-paned glass windows that gave us a view of the dark world outside. I can’t tell you what was behind me, the space that my mom faced: in my memory, it was just gray, blank–a vacuum. I do remember rising from my seat to wave at a family I knew from school as they entered the room and sat down. They didn’t see me, though. The diners, including my mom and me, were very quiet, subdued. We were in a room full of people but it felt like we were wearing noise-cancelling headphones. Mom that night looked like the Suzie most of you know: blonde bob, bright blue eyes, wearing blue jeans with blue shoes and a top bursting…