Becoming Author-ized

Posted: July 15, 2013 in Blog

Becoming Author-ized

I turn 48 today.

I thought the highlight of this year might be getting a contract for Urban Tidepool, but as it turns out, as important as that feels, it has been upstaged. Twice.

Normally, I don’t react to birthdays. It’s a nice day when people wish me well and my fabulous spouse makes a German chocolate cake for me that we share with our friends. It’s just a day. The increasing number is just a number. All my friends know I’m “this many”. (Hold your hand in front of your face with your fingers splayed. That many.) This feels a bit different.

Maybe it’s the impact of having written Urban Tidepool these last two years and explored the events that surrounded the mother’s death. Maybe it’s the impact of holding our newborn grandson just a few hours after his birth, a little peanut of a mancub I immediately dubbed Goober. Maybe it’s both of those things. Or neither of those things. But the fact remains, this feels different.

I am now officially older than the mother was when she died. I’ve lived longer. I’m still here. The what ifs are mind-blowing. She’s been gone forty years. And the saddest thing—I still feel young. I’m still “this many” when I’m with my friends. I’ve written a book. I have a grandchild and I am assured by our daughter that he’s not a “bonus kid”, he’s the real deal. What a curious mix of feelings, this sadness at how young she was when she crossed over coupled with the awe of new life and new adventures surrounding me.

I turn 48 today. And I begin to live years she never had, that I never saw her experience, and I fight off the questions about how frightened she must have been, dying at 47, and how immense her grief at leaving a 7 year old behind must have been.  It’ll be a nice day when people wish me well, but I’m not fooled today. It’s not just a number this time.

Comments
  1. Jude says:

    It is so sad that she lived a short life, and the last several years being in pain. I’m sure she was scared to death leaving you, a little 7 year old ‘this many’ to fend for yourself. Those were awful thoughts that she didn’t have after she left the earth. And you have grown into something and someone strong and wonderful. She is so happy to know that.

  2. Maria Ocasio says:

    Wow! Beautifully said. Congratulations! Young Grandma. Sad too. Can’t believe you lost your mom when you were so young. You know she is proud of you. Don’t you?

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