Getting Better All the Time

Dears,

I’m starting to feel like my old self. Kinda wish I could feel like my young self, but that’s a pipe dream. I need to get used to getting older and wiser. Perhaps before I get older and start forgetting.

I’m not worried about that at the moment, though. Instead I’m enjoying life again after Beau’s death. He’s really feeling alive in me these days. In fact, I’m sensing some maverick and magical traits this weekend. As if my life is a fairy tale that came true. Not one of those Disney versions, but a complicated story with hardships that teaches us about suffering and thereby makes us stronger.

Let me share my current mermaid tale (tail):

On Wednesday, I was home with my son who had tummy troubles, and I heard on the news about the monsoon flooding in Manila. I pulled together a quick, fast-acting, affordable fundraiser for the victims. The goal was to raise $500. I called it Mermaids for Manila.

On Thursday evening, when I came home from work, there was a small package waiting for me. I saw that it was from Jen Kircher, a wonderful pal from Singapore–one of those people who I may never see again, but will forever remain in my heart. I met a number of those kinds while there, including Priya, Jay, Kansas, Carol, Liesel, Sarah, Pat, Tanya and Liz.

Jen sent me the most gorgeous mermaid necklace. It hangs from a black chain, and it has an incredible patina to it. The mermaid medallion looks old and new at the same time. Worn out, yet all the better for the weather and wind and waves. I love this necklace from Jen very much. I love it in a way that makes me feel peaceful and reassured. The coloring of the medallion is akin the to statue of the Little Mermaid in Denmark (pictured here) which was commissioned in honor of Hans Christian Andersen. My father read me this book when I was young, and I read it to him as he was dying.

On Friday, I was able to send $530 dollars to the Philippines–where Beau and I were both born—on behalf of the Mermaids for Manila fundraiser. For the first time in a long while, I wasn’t feeling sad, or sorry for myself, or even thinking about my book, “Brain in a Jar.” At lunch time, I took a break from work, and wound my way over to the cafeteria at UVM’s Medical School. They have the best salad bar over there. On the way back, I daydreamed. About Singapore. About the Philippines. About puppies, kittens and oceans and cheetahs and sunflower seeds and alligators and books and pies and strawberries and the grandson on the way.

Back at my desk, I clicked on my email. And there it was. There. How the fairy tale ends.

A letter from a publisher in the south who loves the story of “Brain in a Jar.” A man who has endured his own share of suffering. He and I think we can sell this book.

So we shall see. Or should I say, “sea?”

Love,

Ole me

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