As 2013 draws to a close, I’m looking back at its beginning.
January 1, 2013 found me alone in my apartment, ringing in the New Year completely engrossed in an old season of a new-to-me TV show.
As in most stories, the truth is stranger than fiction.
I write because it’s what I do, but more than that, because I need to make some meaning of what seems to me a wasted life.
And I share my story because it’s only just beginning — and facing the past and moving forward are things we should never have to do alone.
“Tears are words the heart can’t say.”
I held most of my tears inside until I was 22. Before that, I’d numbed myself to cope with the trauma. I didn’t cry, but I didn’t smile much either.
In just the last few years, I’ve started crying pretty much every day for a million different reasons — sometimes a single tear; sometimes a total breakdown; at home, and in public.
It’s been nearly a month since I moved from below ground to far above it.
The balconies here are odd — almost completely enclosed — and I soon learned why. As the wind sweeps, frigid, off the river, it whips along the sides of this boat-shaped building, as if my new home were meant for gliding smoothly through the water, not staying embedded in the ground.
This photo of my mother with her own mum, my Gram, was taken in August 2011, 4 months before Gram died unexpectedly. Although she was unconscious for around a week before she died, we didn’t get the chance to say a true goodbye.
I’d forgotten this photo completely — the very last of the two of them together — then discovered this wonderful surprise on my camera. I zeroed in on their smiling faces, squinty eyes and all!; then printed and framed a copy for my mother and one for myself.