prelude to April


This time last year I was at the UCSF hospital, preparing to go into surgery the next morning to have a nerve tumor removed from my spinal cord. My mother was in the room with me, and I'm sure I was crying, trying to find a place within myself to calm down and get centered. I was terrified, and uncertain, and was holding a complex mulch of about a thousand other emotions. But sometime around midnight, everything just sort of fell away, and I realized that the only thing I could really do was let whatever was going to happen happen. It was the ultimate acceptance and trust, one which brought me into intimate contact with my faith and my family and friends, and the truth of who I was and who I wanted to be.



I've been thinking about how I want to mark this occasion, both the night I lay in that hospital bed waiting for who-knows-what-to-come, and the next morning, when I got wheeled downstairs and prepped for the operating room, when I fell into a deep sleep for the three hours of my surgery, and when I woke up and knew everything was alright again. I've been thinking about freedom and luck and the joy of moving my body. I've been thinking about the beauty of a single footstep forward.


It's my last night in Pensacola. These couple of days with Marilyn and David have been sweet and easy. Yesterday, Marilyn took me to a famous fish market, and historic downtown, which had a house for sale that I started drooling over. Today was a bookstore run and souvenirs for my niece and nephew, and a long dip into Mixon's antique market. The days have been full of color and light and texture and David's blessings before dinner that get me all weepy inside, and the nightly bowls of ice cream that Marilyn trots out.


And here we are, this final night of March. And tomorrow I'll get on a plane and fly back to San Francisco. Which is maybe the exact right way to celebrate the anniversary of my surgery and my journey into freedom. A flight with a view of the infinite sky, and the touchdown to home.