- 3 Fresca cans
- 2 cordless phones from other rooms
- Half-eaten chicken salad sandwich
- Broken flash light
- New Yorker cartoon calendar
- Empty box of Kleenex
- Pile of bills
- Bag of organic dogs treats
- Cinnamon Orbit gum
- 7 balls of this marvelous merino yarn I bought from some Dutch chick on eBay
- 2 half-used packs of Sudafed
- Tax-related papers ready for the accountant
- D battery
- 2 Valentines from my boyfriend
- Tape, stapler, paperclips, binderclips, pencil cups
- Broken Bluetooth ear piece
- Green clock, green lamp, green yarn
- 3 remote controls
- 9 whiteboard pens and 1 eraser
- 2 external hard drives
- 2 speakers
- John Krakauer's "Under the Banner of Heaven" (great book about Mormon history)
- 8 antibiotic pills
- 1 beat-up Blackberry
- 1 sleepy black cat
My life. As usual. Too much crap, too little time. Organization required. A desperate need to get my life in order. Now.I pull out a notepad. Ticking off the things that need to be done. Write it down. Write that down, too. When is it due? I don't know... what is today's date? I write it down: 3-12-09.
March 12th, 2009. Oh, my. Today is my mother's birthday.
Or it should be.
If my mother had lived rather than died 32 years ago, she would today be 70. It is impossible to think of her being elderly. The only joy in dying young is that you will always be youthful to those who live on. I never saw my mother's hair fade to gray nor her crow's feet deepen and spread. Being 50, I watch those changes in myself, aware yet again that I am living years and years my mother never had.
She was only 36 when the doctor told her she needed a hysterectomy; her annual pap test showed "precancerous cells." Best get it out now before it gets any worse.
Before the surgery, her doctor ordered a routine chest xray. No big deal, just standard procedure. The doctor never expected that the enigmatic, brackish image would be anything but a large, uneventful negative. He was wrong. A huge, voracious parasite of a tumor laid claim to her left lung. What he found in her that day forever changed her life - and the lives of everyone around her.
She was diagnosed with lung cancer at 36. With spinal cancer at 37. With brain cancer at 38. And then with death.
Today, my mother should be 70 . For me, she will always be 38. Young, vibrant, creative, talented, and beautiful. And yes, sometimes crazy, sometimes evil - and always human.
My mother is not here today to celebrate her seventh decade - at least not in person. But she is indeed here. She lives on as always - always in my heart.