twenty six

Twenty weeks ago, I rode my bike around the neighborhood with my father, inhaling the summer air.

"I can't wait to get to LA", I said. "The weather will always be like this."
I spent four weeks at home for the holidays, sandwiched between the mid points of December and January. I found myself rapidly regressing–no fault of place or season, just my own state of mind.

As I woke up to another debilitating hangover from another embarrassing night that made me cringe, I wondered why I did this. I could not be at peace at home, and the reason for that was the same that made me want to stay.

But I cannot fix problems that are unfixable, and I cannot save those who refuse to be saved.

It took me four weeks to book a return ticket and I will admit that a big part of getting back on that plane was pride, proof I hadn't failed at this big adventure I had hyped.

But mostly, I did not want to blame illness as an excuse for staying put, even when I knew I could.
On Martin Luther King Day, a car picked me up at 4 am and I slept as we flew up the New Jersey Turnpike and into Queens.

I disembarked, grabbed my bags and waited for my plane.
Matt said: "I didn't think you'd come back."
Erin said: "I can't believe you came back."
Rachel said: "I was sure you wouldn't come back."

No one thought I was coming back.

But four weeks have flown by. I have settled completely into a new job that is challenging and interesting and allows me to work from home in my 1987 Phil Simms jersey (G-MEN!!) and workout shorts that haven't seen much of a workout lately.

My memories of last week’s hospital visit are already fading. They faded as they happened, my brain fuzzy with Morphine, my body limp with pain.

These things have slowed but not stopped me. My last hospitalization had me in bed for a month but this time I am moving slowly, trying to catch the slow winter light as it tumbles from the back of my building into our front courtyard.

In four weeks, I have gone to my appointments, filled my medicines, slept, drank margaritas, took notes, bought a car, and decorated my new bedroom with empty photo frames.
A few days before I flew back to California, my lovely cousin Liz had a baby boy named William.

When Liz was pregnant, her doctors noticed a mass on the baby's lungs. No one was sure what would happen at birth, so we sighed and cried, wrung our hands, drank our whiskey and whispered silent Hail Marys. I wrote his birthdate on the beach like a prayer, and although he waited until the next day to appear, rendering me incorrect, I think he was readying himself for us, for our love.

And he came out screaming like a champ. Next month he will have a CAT scan and a meeting with a pediatric surgeon. He'll have to be sedated, this blonde gem of a boy, while he undergoes his first tests. He won't remember, or be traumatized.

He will not know another normal.

On Friday, I was asked to be William's godmother. It's possible that three years of having "Whatever Gets Me Godmother" as my religious affiliation on Facebook has finally pulled through, but I think I was asked for a different reason than that.

I think baby William is going to kick ass at this and any other medical test, and I think he will be stronger for it. I think he will impress doctors and knock out ladies with his blonde hair, and I think he will be fine.

He will be fine.

Because that's just how my godson and I roll.
My dad told me recently that I sounded happier out here, happier than I've been in a long time. This is where I am meant to be, as I leave twenty five behind and inch closer to twenty six, fully embracing what my gut has told me.

Go where the light is, it says. Follow that light.

This year, I learned to listen. To get better without getting better. To allow change.

And to find that brightness and to keep it with me, wherever I go. 

(Let's do this, 26.)


  1. Love this post!! I'm so happy for you. xo

  2. Such a great post. I am so happy that you're happy out there Kel. #missyoutopieces #wishingyouallthebest

  3. Just beautiful...so happy for u.

  4. CHEERS!! We shall be the best Godparents that little dude could ever ask for!!

  5. Wow. Your writing is excellent here. Miss you and so proud of you

  6. I'm glad you came back and are settling in. I'm up in San Jose but lived in LA for awhile and loved it. Enjoy your time so that you have no regrets if you decide to move back home eventually (like I did!)! So glad you're feeling better.

  7. Well "lil one" I am so happy to read such a positive blog. I pray for your health and happiness everyday. William will be blessed to have such a wonderful person as his godmother...

  8. "To get better without getting better."

    That's poetic and kickass.