The Fem Spot

Letter to a sick friend

Posted in Personal Essays by femspotter on September 29, 2011

September 29, 2011

Dear A*****,

I’m checking in. My brother tells me you have not been swimming lately. Tsk.  

Well, to be honest…I haven’t been swimming much either. I’ve discovered yoga. Apart from the feeling of strength I derive from my practice, I also find a calm, courageous mindset that renders me patient. And living in New Jersey, patience is a virtue. Nobody here seems to know what a “YEILD” sign means. And people are always cutting in line. So I just breathe and listen, pressing my tongue against the roof of my mouth.

No doubt, you’ve been kept abreast of my comings and goings. B** is always quick to mention you too, and I know that he, like me before him, enjoys talking with you. What a treat – when in a menial, low-pay, low-respect job – to have a learned, articulate person, such as yourself, speak to you as an equal! I always looked forward to our chats. The rest of the day was filled with chlorine testing and chasing after lifeguards and smiling through clenched teeth at my boss…but mornings with A***** by the pool made for intellectual stimulation. Remember that I told you your celebrity lookalike, in appearance AND demeanor, is Sidney Poitier? Keep that in mind!

Well, of course, the biggest change in my life is not New Jersey, or even yoga…she’s Ellie. I had a daughter about 14 months ago. This entire experience has changed me from my core out. First, there was the awakening to boldly wanting the pain of childbirth to mark my transition to motherhood. And I had to fight with my doctors for the right to give birth naturally, on my terms. Then, there was a tiny person in my arms, needing me for everything…until, gradually, she’s needed me less and less. And now, there’s the opportunity to get to know this wonderful, magical creature a little more each day. What a thrill to meet someone who is every bit as intense as I am, but not nearly as insecure! I am learning, and learning is a lifelong endeavor.

Perhaps Ellie’s wisdom will be useful to you. I’ve boiled it down to her tenets of everyday happiness:

  1. Assume everyone thinks you’re cute (because, even if they don’t, they probably won’t tell you anyway)
  2. Always enter a room with a smile (because everyone thinks you’re cute, remember?)
  3. Make the best of a tough situation (even if you’ve pooped in your pants)
  4. Dogs have soft, warm tongues (that feel good on fingers and cheeks)
  5. Leafy green vegetables taste best when mashed in sweet potatoes (because you’ll hardly notice they’re there)
  6. Love is elastic and can stretch a little more every day

I’m sure there are many other pearls to harvest, but those are the happy thoughts I carry with me even when I’m not carrying her. I love her, A*****. I’ve really chiseled a wonderful life out of a granite point-of-view.

So, here’s hoping you get back in the pool soon! I’ll try to get there too. Let it replenish our hearts, minds and souls. In the meantime, let us go there in meditation and hold a piece of that breath in everything we do.

With great affection…

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