watch Apollo 13, “take care” of myself,
and go to bed by 10.
lots of people, expending lots of up, outgoing energy, and I wanted to counter it with
some quietude. Before coming home for the evening, I was in a coffee shop,
finishing up some extra work, and addressing cards for some friends.
and told her that I must have 10 of her envelopes at home with her address on
it; in fact, I had one of hers on my mantle.
told her I’d send her a photo of it when I got home.
decorated envelope with stickers and curly-cues and kind words, like all of
hers. Next to it on my mantle (well, the top of a bookshelf, really) were a
card from the director and one from the assistant director of the play I was in
in April, with deliciously glowing, appreciative, complimentary, and supportive
words. Such kindness and such a reflection of my being “seen” by them, in one
of my aspiring avocations. The last one up there was a thank you card from my
best friend on Long Island’s wedding, thanking me for being there and what a
treat it was to have me there, literally in her bed, the night before the
wedding, and helping/watching her get ready the next day; that it wouldn’t have
been the same without me.
cleaning. And I wanted to send more photos of my friend’s envelopes to
her, since I knew she was in a space to need her own (literal) sparkle reflected back to her.
cards, envelopes so I can remember return addresses (yes, I know there’s a
better way), and art inspiration bits, like postcards from galleries or pages
torn from magazines.
were to croak, it would be hell for the person cleaning it out, and I know
they’d just trash the lot, since, who keeps someone else’s old greeting cards.
too, are all the cards I received when I was initially diagnosed with Leukemia
in late September 2012, and also a host of them came in around the
Hanukkah/Christmas season that year.
can you discard those messages?
hospital room. I taped every single one up around me, to remind me of the
network of support and love that I had. Each card, a message of love, faith,
healing, fortitude, just for me. You couldn’t come into my hospital room
without immediately knowing that I was loved. And how f’ing important was that.
room of a woman told she had a 40% chance of living through the next 5 years, even with treatment.
This was not the room, either, of a woman who looked like a patient, despite
the baldness, weightloss, and IV stuck into my arm and chest. I wore jeans and a
sweater, like everyone else. I was a human, not a patient. I was a woman loved,
not a pity case.
remember every single day.
it was time to reacclimate to living in my apartment full-time, what to do with
interesting rocks I find on a mountain or beach. I wouldn’t say I’m a hoarder,
but I do have a bag of gently used tissue paper in my closet … but it’s folded
neatly and in color blocks, so it’s okay, right?!
booklets of plays I’ve been to; movie stubs; plane tickets; the brochure for a
place I went camping or an attraction I toured.
carry this bag of non-chronologically ordered “crap” with me from home to home.
But, that’s okay. One day, like the cards, I’ll go through them.
the rubber band from around the batch of 2012 holiday cards. I knew this was
going to take a while and probably bring things up.
kept them until now.
enclosed a gift card to Trader Joes.
the bloggish updates I was posting then to my lotsahelpinghands website.
was thinking of me and wanted me to stay warm. This, I remember, accompanied a
package of 6 “chemo caps” ranging from thin to thick, the one I wore most, a
fuzzy leopard print that kept me feeling fun and warm. I still don’t know who
sent those, as there was no name. Thank you, whoever you are.
took a photo of the card, and sent it as a text with a note of thanks to them.
Each text, a reminder to us both of what friendship means, even for people who
barely made a dent into the drawer. But was able to cull a few things out,
deciding that with some, having a photo of them now is enough.
gratitude. So many people surrounded me
with love. With funny cards and sentiments, with crazy wacked-out envelopes, with heartfelt messages of hope and healing. And only a handful of these folks
were people I keep in regular touch with. So many people came out of the
woodwork to support me.
idea how many people were rooting for me. I agreed. I knew I had no idea, and I
knew that was astounding and one of the greatest showings of human generosity
that I’ve witnessed.
me. My mom’s hairdresser and my Aunt’s student. I had a class of
kindergarteners praying for me.
could send thank you cards to everyone who’d contacted me, but I could only
handle a few.
to their sender with my note of thanks, I hope I am closing that loop of love,
and letting you all know:
Your prayers worked, and I love you back.