Sunday, December 11, 2005

Bad and Good

It was a horrible a week. A long cherished dream died and followed quickly by a shock that touched every ethical eon in my being. The second reduced the importance of the first. Maybe I should say it was even a more horrible day because it happened almost at the same time. I would say it was the worse day I can think of in the past 23 years.

Then a phone call came from my agent saying that my German Publisher of Chickpea wants to publish The Card. The contrast was striking.

People talk about bouncing off walls. I live in a studio so bouncing space is limited, but I was bouncing big time. My friend Barbara hearing of the two events rushed over. She sat with a cup of coffee, knitting and listening as I paced. I didn’t cry. I vomited. My usual consolation to disappointments is that it will make great material for my writing. I just realized that I didn’t think of that until just now as I write this blog.

Barbara told me of a correlation study which talked about some chemical in women’s brains that in times of stress make them seek out other women for support. I didn’t need a study to know that I could not have recovered from any of the major problems in my life without the life and support of my women friends, Mardy, Susan, Pat, Marina, Barbara.

Mardy was there for my divorce often boosting me with humor and joking about my husband’s tiny feet when I found rubbers in his clothes going to the dry cleaners and I was on the pill. She changed my tears to giggles in the lady’s room of Middlesex Court they day of my divorce. No matter the time of day or night, she would take my calls, play a game of cards and listen, doing what I needed. She got me through.

Susan got me writing plus sharing thousands of daily problems and one major life-changing one. She got me through.

When my mother died and I was cleaning out her apartment there was a knock at the door. I opened it and Pat stood there, dressed in jeans. “No one should have to do this alone,” she said. When we stopped for lunch she cried for me, because I was still putting the last two decades of that nightmare relationship to rest. She got me through.

For five years Marina and I shared, although during that time there were no real negatives in my life, just annoyances. She got me through.

Barbara with her wisdom helped me cope with my mother’s dying by helping me put it into perspective. “She didn’t ruin your life,” she said to a sulky me, “You are stronger despite or because of her.” Shit. The woman made the point that forced an unwilling me to the next stage of something be it maturity, acceptance, responsibility for my part in my own life. She got me through.

Slowly life will be put back into perspective. I am not living in the cold in Pakistan. I am not being shot at in Iraq. I have my health. Nothing much will change in my daily life. I am not quite ready to count my blessings, but maybe peek at them. I can find new dreams. I can seek my own ethical levels and accept related failures as mine. Strangely in accepting that failure I am also living out my conviction of accepting the choices of those I love, but no one can make me like this dichotomy. (picture child kicking and screaming on the floor, yelling – you can’t make me)

No where is it written that a life as blessed as mine has been can’t have set backs. I’ll get through. And that is the good after the bad.

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