Okay, so far? The stem cell transplant process involves a lot of sitting around, frequently interrupted by sundry wonderful people: nurses, nutritionists, housekeeping staff, physical therapists, doctors, and doctors-in-training. More than once today, I’ve said, “That person was, like, 12.” (I am, like, solidly 40-something, and I’m astounded by how young medical professionals are these days.)
Today, my dad began his stem cell transplant process.
Okay, I know a bunch of you are all, like, “Wait. What?”
It was January 25, 1992. I was barely 21 years old, seven months away from receiving my bachelor’s degree, and, on that night, I was wearing an impossibly puffy, disastrously sparkly, stupidly expensive gown. I begged my bridesmaids to tell me jokes as they fussed with my gigantic hair and smoothed my over-indulgent train. “I’m going to throw up. I really, really am.”
Although this story begins with a margarita and includes a scene in which I’m shaking uncontrollably on the floor of my parents’ powder room, it’s not actually about drinking too much. It’s important you know that right up front.
I had a rather large glass of wine last night while I was watching the election results roll in, and I fell asleep before the finale. I was awakened at 2:16 am by a text from my eldest daughter: “I don’t know if you’re up and saw the results of the election. Be careful going on social media tomorrow.” My youngest also texted me: “Why is he allowed to be the president, mom? I’m so scared.”
“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Sometimes, quiet is violent.” – twenty one pilots
So, here’s the thing: A few weeks ago, a Black friend of mine called me an ally. I’ve come to understand that’s an earned title, and I intend to keep it—which means I need to say some things. As shaky as my hands are… as nervous as my belly is… as swirly as my head is… I need to say some things.
A few Sundays ago, my parents’ pastor offered me her pulpit. I hadn’t preached for more than a year, and because she said I could teach about “anything,” I leapt at the opportunity.
As many of you are (painfully) aware, I’ve recently become an Empty Nester. Along with the expected emotional upheaval (I miss my kids a whole, whole lot), I’m working through some other garbage. Namely, I’ve reached the rather painful conclusion that my life is half over, and (aside from rearing two dynamite young people) I haven’t done a damn thing with it.
All right, here’s the deal: I drive an Audi TT convertible.
Given that I’m sort of a loudmouth about poverty and privilege and materialism and minimalism, that may seem a little hypocritical. So before you go all TMZ on me and hire someone with a drone to scope out my (non-existent) multi-million-dollar ranch, I want you to know something about my mid-life-crisis-mobile: Jack talked me into it.