February 01, 2007

Imagined History 1

(This post is mostly fiction – at least the first sentence is true – and part of my participation this month in the Creative Act project. My theme this week is Imagined History.)

When I was a junior in college, my mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

When my father called to tell me, he sounded more shaken than I could ever remember. At first I misunderstood him and thought that he was talking about my grandmother. Once I figured out that it was my mom who was sick, I hastily informed the dean of students of my situation, and drove home.

Every test led to another test. Chemo followed surgery, which in turn followed radiation. For a while I was doing the 8-hour drive back and forth every weekend, but then something came up on a Tuesday after I'd just gotten back to school, and something inside me gave way.

I stood in the middle of my dorm room and did a slow turn, mentally calculating what I'd be willing to leave behind. I wrote a note to my roommate. And then, with a plastic trash bag full of stuff over my shoulder, I left.

When people ask me where I went to college, I tell them. And then I pray that they're not going to ask me the next question: "Oh, when did you graduate?" Because I didn't.

My mom died a year and a month after her initial diagnosis, while I was back at my parents' house getting her a change of clothes. Three months later I met Jon. My office in the community art center looks out over the pond he dug that first summer. Next week I'm scheduled for my annual OB/Gyn appointment, and even all these years later I struggle with getting up the courage to go.

(Many thanks to the folks at The Creative Act
for their inspiring challenge this month.)

1 comment:

Lasireneserene said...

your writing is inspired and i enjoy reading your blog- it is like visiting a friend on a snowy day and having them offer you a steaming cup of tea ( with cookies, of course !)

Thanks for visiting me , too.

i am adding you to my blogroll -
feel free to do same...