Monday, April 7, 2014

Not Always a Page Turner, But Always Ours

If it was our story, would you cheer for us?

From the trenches of our day to day, without the wisdom of perspective, I think that I would. Our story works for us, entertains us and keeps us busy, but would it make you turn the page, miss your stop, and wish that the doctor was running just a bit late?

Rosie's did.

Our story starts at work, where I was certain that the guy in the next office was a true dullard who would never once sneak out for ice cream on a warm summer day. I was right, but as he now points out I don't like ice cream, really never have. Rather we rolled many Friday afternoons into happy hour, and then dinner, and then occasionally dancing, all of which does tell much better than sneaking out for ice cream.

Several chapters later, after we had grocery shopped, introduced friends and stayed home to watch a movie, I asked him to meet my grandmother. He was busy. And when he finally realized how much it mattered, how very important she was to me, he agreed to dinner. She died the following weekend and I still ache that the person most responsible for who I am never knew the person with whom I now share my life. She would have liked him, his eating dinner with her in the dining room of the senior citizen home would have been one hilarious chapter, but it's part of the story never written. 

We went to Italy, we got engaged, we introduced our parents. We realized that we were coming at this from two incredibly different vantage points: very different childhoods, different families, different backgrounds. Our story could have hinged on this, a soul searching conversation leaving one of us alone at the end of the chapter, sitting on a step as the other walks away, back to their apartment, just for a break. It didn't; we knew that what mattered most was in front of us, what was to be our life together.

Big page turner, we got married. 

We moved, made new friends, traveled, fell down, got back up, and learned how this story was now about two moving forward, no longer one and maybe. And then my dad got sick, very sick. In a story that was going along so well, this came at us in a voice mail left at my office, "your dad had a stroke", and the chapter ended.

The story shifts, away from me, from my dad, and to my husband, who did everything right. In a time and place where I was left to make decisions and be strong and make my dad believe that he could get better, our story was the person who held my hand, made me tea and believed in me. But he died, my dad died, and no one person doing everything possible could make that right. We were stronger together, he held me up, and somehow our story, on the other side of horrible, got better.

There have now been children, job changes, new friends, aging parents, dead pets, and long wonderful summers. Our story is not boring, it's not perfect, but it is all ours. Would you root for us, when I forget to pick up the dry cleaning, he works too late, and dinner is a last minute call for Thai food in the middle of math homework that I don't understand? Would you turn the page?

This post was inspired by the novel The Opposite of Maybe by Maddie Dawson. It’s the story of Rosie, who at 44 is faced with some major life changing stuff. It's a story about a life taking some wild swings, and discovering that maybe what you never wanted was just what you needed. It's the story of a family, creating that the best way you can. You'll cheer for Rosie, I did.

Join From Left to Write on April 8 we discuss The Opposite of Maybe. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.


Maddie Dawson said...

Wow, I love this post! And I would definitely turn the pages to read this story. It gave me the shivers. I love ordinary life, and the way the plot thickens and turns, things change, and we adapt and move on. I think it's the most interesting thing there is. I hope you keep writing, and I'd love to hear how it's going. Thank you for your kind words about Rosie.

northsidefour said...

Maddie, thank you so much! I loved Rosie, her completely non perfect and discovering self. Getting to know her was wonderful, she is just a great character. Thank you for your kind words, and I agree, the best stories for me are the ones you can actually live. I do continue to write, to what end I have no idea, but I enjoy it too much to stop. Many thanks!

Casey said...

This is a great post and a great story. Life is never perfect but that's what makes it life.

Alicia said...

What a fabulous post! I would root for you, I would love to read your story, all the great details! I love how everyone gets a different inspiration from reading the same book. Bravo!

Nellie said...

I love this post! Yes, I'll cheer for Rosie! I'll cheer for anyone who is doing the best they can to make their way in life! Excellently done!


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