Maybe my indecision was caused by my desperation to hold onto life– to keep it close, cherish and nurture it, to never let go. A new baby, a new life– would that somehow help me with my grief over Lucia? Would she be reborn into this baby? Has my train of life been derailed so that I must be forced to follow a new path… like Lucia did? She was thrown off track when she discovered the lump. Chemo, a mastectomy, multiple surgeries and a rampant malignancy that literally ate her from the inside out were not in her plan.
Lucia passed over three weeks ago and things seem to be getting worse, not better. Last weekend, while Lucia’s kids and mine happily wrecked the playroom (as usual) and Dan and Jamey watched the game in the living room, I was busy in the kitchen, preparing dinner– just me and my glass of wine.
“You don’t sauté the fish like that… Here, let me show you,” I heard Lucia say and I saw her over my stove, busily stirring pots and taking small sips of wine in between, as if it were part of the art of cooking. Flip the fish, shake the pan, stir the rice, check the veggies, sip the wine. The salt of my tears mixed with the Pinot Grigio.
“Why aren’t you here?!” I wanted to scream. It’s not fair. Not fair! NOT FAIR! You didn’t deserve this. I stirred the rice and took another sip of salted wine.
“Now your ruining a perfectly good glass of wine,” Lucia said, “Cut that out!” So I did. I grabbed a tissue and carried on.
And carry on now is what I must do. I’ve neglected my children, my husband, my parents and sister, I’ve gained weight, I drink too much, my roots are showing, I need a bikini wax life nobody’s business and my graphic design career is in the toilet. It’s time to get back to my own life. That’s what Lucia would want.
So, yesterday I started taking those first small steps of getting my life back on track, or at least finding a path, wherever that shall lead me. I made and appointment to get my hair done and a bikini wax; scheduled the car for a long-overdue service; decided to retire my design career so that I can concentrate more on my writing; scheduled dentist appointments for the girls; went for a run and promised myself that I’d only have one glass of wine instead of one bottle that night.
As I checked off those boxes on my personal “to do” list I felt a pang in my abdomen, a soreness- that damn umbilical hernia again. It’s time to get this taken care of too, I thought. Why have I waited this long? Who am I kidding? There’s no way I’m having any more babies. Poopie diapers? Sleepless nights? No thanks. I did my time. I’m done.
Now, don’t you worry- all you pregnant ladies. I’m still going to blog about pregnancy and want to hear all about how your little buns are progressing. I’m still addicted to pregnancy– just not mine.
So, it looks like I’m really doing it. I’m taking some steps to move on after this horrible summer. I’m still very involved with Lucia’s family and am becoming even more involved with breast cancer fundraising, including a new foundation we started– Lucia’s Angels. More on that later…
This morning I took even more steps as my running shoes slap, slap, slapped the pavement. I rounded the corner onto my favorite tree-lined street and filled my lungs with the crisp, clean air– scented with just a hint of fall. I love the smell of Halloween– pumpkins, falling leaves, candy and apple cider. I wondered what the girls were going to be this year? Princess again? I felt a smile spread over my face and suddenly felt… guilty. Lucia will miss Halloween this year. She won’t get to see her kids’ creative costumes.
“Oh, shut the hell up!” Lucia said.
So, I did.
P.S. I waited until 7:30 last night to pop the cork but still polished off the whole bottle. Oh well. I’m only human. Right?