"There is a time in life when you expect the world to be always full of new things. And then comes a day when you realise that is not how it will be at all. You see that life will become a thing made of holes. Absences. Losses. Things that were there and are no longer. And you realise, too, that you have to grow around and between the gaps, though you can put your hand out to where things were and feel that tense, shining dullness of the space where the memories are."
I/we put in an offer on a house yesterday. Around 6:30, after pages and pages of signing off words that don't make a whole lot of sense to me. We sat in a windowless conference room using really shitty Berkshire Hathaway pens. My signature looked a lot shittier than I wanted it to.
There was a dog in the office. A husky with really pretty blue eyes. I had trouble focusing because I just wanted to pet him/her. I had the thought that soon I will have a dog. Because I might just have a house.
We stumbled outside onto 20th street, shaking a bit, still thrown off that it was so light out. The remnats of a late March snow in contrast with evening sun. G didn't say anything. His experience of excitement is odd. When it gets real, he gets very still. It amps up my already nervous energy.
Our realtor, Maggie, offers a ride back home. Home. All the meanings of that word..
I stare at her and mumble an indecision and G says, "We'll walk. Thanks for everything". He turns to me and says, "Let's go through the park". There's a wedding party being photographed in Rittehouse park. I say, "I would never want to be photographed here". He says, "It's a nice park". I think how much has changed since I moved here in June of 2004 not knowing even an ounce of the city. Or myself, really. Still don't most of the time.
I have been so unwell. A slew of specialist appointments, so many medical bills, another procedure coming up in two weeks. Waves of anxiety. Constant discomfort as something in my body screams and my abdomen distends to such a point that my pants don't fit.
I took a picture of it the other day. I was going to send it to my mom, but she would have thought I was three months pregnant. The picture made me really sad. And really frightened.
This autoimmune disorder spikes and flares, taunting and tricky. Adding on another layer with which I have no familiarity and presenting so nebulously that doctors don't know what to say and nobody eases the discomfort.
Even now, at this huge moment, I am reminded of the reality of being unwell. Never fully allowing me to be in a moment. It steals a lot from me.
The answer to, "How am I going to get through this" is: You allow yourself to sob. To heave, To feel as if your heart has a boulder crashing through it. You sit. You listen to sorrow. Your own or the one who is causing it. You get help from your friends. And you notice That at the end of every day You are still alive. And you notice When you don't shut yourself down, Leave your body, You actually feel more alive. That feeling anything, Even grief, Is differnt from what you thought it would be. That when you don't leave yourself, A different life is lived. One that includes vulnerability, And tenderness- And fragility- And changes the landscape of life as you know it.
I’ll never know, and neither will you, of the life you don’t choose. We’ll only know that whatever that sister life was, it was important and beautiful and not ours. It was the ghost ship that didn’t carry us. There’s nothing to do but salute it from the shore.