Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Decade In Our Family

The birth of Lola Moon. February 7 2002/ Best Start Birthing Center, San Diego, CA. Late evening, stripped down naked, first on bed, then floor, then bathroom floor, finally in the tub, grunting and moaning, howling, pushing her out into the water, candles flickering all around in the darkness as if I were birthing her into the sky surrounded by stars. Her cry. Her blue eyes, nursing mouth, my daughter. Dakota cut the cord.

Marrying Mr. Curry on the shores of La Jolla Beach. My grandma Elizabeth and Grandpa M.D. both still alive, standing stiffly but joyfully against the cliffs, wind in their hair. Lola, an infant, in my arms, eating the rose petals from my organic bouquet. Ian Oliver and Dakota Wolf, 6 and 8 years old, awkward but thrilled, suited and brothers at last. As it was meant to be. My second mother, Corinne, asking me If I do and responding 'I do! I definitely do! ' Mr. Curry and I, best friends since I was 7 months swollen with Dakota at age 19, together at last. As it was meant to be.

Losing Mr. Curry after one year of marriage. Breakdown, swift descent. Fear, failure, confusion.
The slow understanding. The stubborn, stubborn healing. Love blossoming fiercely in desert conditions. Adapting. Surviving. Thriving. Healing not only the immediate rift, but deeper, unspoken and childhood rifts. Becoming each other's sanctuary. A deeper, more profound and mature understanding of love. Peace.

My first publications, but more importantly to me, the rejection that gave me confidence. Submitted my novel in the most stupid, unprofessional way possible: fiction not even completed,several chapters in, still raw, a mess, but I too eager for some kind of outside response to wait:Submission to the major fiction agent on the West coast, Sandra Dijikstra:Waiting.The slow realization I had been a fool, an idiot, a child, to submit so soon, without completion.Then the mailed rejection- personally written by Sandra. Her assertion that I had talent. That the writing was very good. My disbelief. I email her, asking ' Did you really write this? ' And even more amazing, her email back ' Yes, I took the time... ' and more! I have the letter saved, the email saved, to remind me both of my stupidity and of the hope that I can make it. I ruined my chances with this novel and this agent, but her words gave me confidence when I needed it, after years and years of completely isolated writing with no response. I don't join writer's groups. I read, I write. So this human response from this particular agent-- gold.

My sister Lura, moved away over 7 years ago. I haven't had any contact from her since. I wrote her for a year before realizing she didn't live in the apartment anymore, and hadn't for who knows how long.

Mr. Curry building his own business. The long hours, the hard work, the paperwork, the IRS,the pride, the employees, the money. The laws change: workers compensation goes up fivefold. Mr. Curry loses the business.

Our family vacation to Nashville, Tennessee. Lola is 2. She is an angel the whole trip, dissipating my worst fears about the plane trip, the waiting in airports. Tennessee works it's dark Southern magic and we all fall in love. My Aunt and two cousins welcome us into their home for five days. We visit the Jack Daniels Distillery, the thermometer registers 104degrees . Homes cost less than half of what they cost here in San Diego, WITH land. Mr. Curry wants to move. The last day we spend at the Grand Ole Opry Hotel, with it's no holds barred jungle enclosure inside the hotel, complete with birds. We swim in the hotel pool, eat at the restaurants, shop, order movies. The sound of cicadas follow us home.


I am diagnosed with endometriosis, Stage 4. Two years of chronic pain and health issues are revealed as an autoimmune disease which has taken part of my left ovary. I change my lifestyle. We begin to eat almost all organic. I remove all parabens and chemicals from cleaners, laundry detergents, shampoo, soaps, lotions. Three surgeries follow, eventually with a specialist in San Jose for a final and successful surgery. My ability to get pregnant is unknown.

I become pregnant with our much wanted baby. June, 2009.We lost the baby

I get and keep a preschool job that is the best working environment of my life. My boss is an Orthodox Jewish woman born in South Africa who is in her late fifties and more energetic than I, in my thirties. She is brisk and intelligent, conservative and politically my opposite, but I love and appreciate her integrity, compassion, honesty, work ethic, devotion to her staff. My work is close enough so that when I crash and total our car, I can walk to work in fifteen minutes. I am allowed to bring my children to the school whenever I like. Lola attended Pre-K there while I worked, before moving to kindergarten. The girls I work with are fantastic. I have insurance through my work. I love my job.

9-11. I am pregnant with Lola, walking down the stairs, when I see my Grandfather with his hands on his drawn, drooping cheeks, watching the news, my Grandmother with tears rolling down her face. A building is collapsing on the screen, over and over. The camera cuts to the male reporter, who stands with the microphone at an awkward angle, running his fingers through his hair over and over. ' What? I- I- it appears... ' he cannot get himself together. I know something enormous, something horrible, is happening. The single most lasting impressions of that day remain the total confusion on the faces streaming through the streets of New York amidst clouds of toxic dust and fire, and the small, black specks falling through the air- I soon after saw, in a magazine, a close up of one of these images, revealing the very blurry details of a black woman, her skirt, her build. I will never forget her.

We buy our first family dog: Bodie. His family is military and moving to Hawaii and cannot bring him. We surprise Dakota with his dog. They immediately fall in love. Bodie becomes completely and totally and neurotically devoted to Dakota. Dakota is 8. Now Dakota is 15 and Bodie still sleeps on top of him at night, follows him around the house ( with Wolfgang, our next dog ) and mopes at the door while he is gone.

We enter a new and terrifying phase: life with teenagers. Letting go becomes a convoluted and blurry idea.

I stop Myspacing and begin blogging. I never look back. :)

Thank you all for blogging, for being there to read and for reading. I love this world we create together.

Happy New Year!!!!
Elizabeth said...

Happy New Year to you, dear, amazing and creative Maggie May!

michelle said...

It is a wonderful world in blogland.

Such milestones. Such parallels. Such understanding.

Happy New Year, Maggie May

SJ said...

Agreed, Maggie May. Glad to find you this 2009!

Miss Malorie said...

This was my first time reading one of your entries, though I'd already subscribed thanks to a suggestion from Julochka aka Julie in blogland...

I can sum up my experience by saying, "I love the way you write." People frequently say this without meaning it, I think to assuage the very sensitive feelings resulting from the connection between writer and their word, but I mean it.

You paint a picture with your words. You have certainly discovered your written voice. Hats off to you :)

--Malorie
wellbehaveddontmakehistory.blogspot.com

Elisabeth said...

Such an amazing synthesis of memories and events here, Maggie May, some joyful, some heart wrenching.

It seems to me that blogging is a wonderful way to communicate our struggles to live, work and write.

You do it all so beautifully.

Allegra Smith said...

Happy New Year to you and the rest of the family (and that goes for the dogs as well) and may your wonderful well never run dry.

Vic said...

Wow.

Thank you for that. For all of it.

Hungry for more in the new year, Happy 2010 madam!

Captain Dumbass said...

Happy New Year, Maggie May.

jarsika said...

Absolutely amazing post. I can smell the blood sweat and tears and such atmospheric language. Thank you for this post :)

xo

Blue

Vashti said...

Happy New Year my firend.
Loved reading this.
I pray that your year is blessed and full of joy.
xx

beck said...

Great to read all these snapshots from your life, wow! You sound like an amazing woman and a very giving and loving mum. I wish for you all good things, new adventures, peace & happiness and inspiration in 2010 xo

Caroline of Salsa Pie said...

Enjoyed reading this....what a journey.

Happy New Year! Wishing you and yours all the best in 2010.

Ocean Girl said...

Raw Maggie May. Dakota cut the cord.

Wow. Thank you. No comment can match it.

krista said...

and i am so glad this decade brought me to blogging. and, therefore, to you.

Katy said...

Happy New Year lovely Maggie! I'm so looking forward to reading more of you this year x

Angie Muresan said...

Happy and blessed 2010 Maggie! I wish you a lifetime of good health and happiness.

Lydia said...

Happy New Year, Maggie. I'm so glad we're blogily (how's that for a combo word: bloggers/family..., or fammers?)

just making my way said...

Happy, Happy New Year to you! So pleased to have found you this past year and look forward to the time ahead!

Beth said...

Life – yours, mine, anyone’s – is full of contradictions...good/bad, glorious/tragic, funny/sad...makes it fascinating and quite a challenge.

And thank you for sharing your life through the world of blogging...

starrlife said...

Such a generous person! Happy New Year to you and Yours!

rachel... said...

Happy New Year, Maggie. I look forward to finding out what the next decade has in store for you!

Lisa McGhee said...

Maggie, Keep doing what you do best! Your writing is filled with raw emotion, yet graceful and innocent. My dear, I am SURE that we will all be attending your book signing in the very near future! It is so refreshing out here in blog land to come across someone so "real" who makes no apologies for the need to soul search. Are you sure you aren't related to Ms. Moon?? LOL....Don't forget to stop in Michigan when you go on your book tour!!!

Jason, as himself said...

An amazing, trying, productive, painful, beautiful decade.

As always--beautifully said.

Chris Tea said...

I am so tired. Please let your spirit give me strength. thank-you. Happy New.

Ellen said...

From your daughters birth to teen years....I can relate....your descriptive words touch me...more, more, more....I can't wait to see what 2010 brings on!

Jeanne said...

That agent -- she was right.

Radish King said...

Have an amazing new year, Maggie May.
Rebecca

modaspia said...

ah maggie, happy new year to you too! i'm so glad to be able to read you let alone have you take the time to look at my silly blog. i wrote a bit about you under "best reads of 2009"!
nashville sounds awesome are you kidding? the only reason we were able to buy a house is because we live in the boonies of calif. we're both self-employed paying health ins. outta pocket ($$$). horrible combination. know it's not my biz but i can totally see you in an old nashville mansion writing...and the livin is easy.

Annje said...

Happy New Year Maggie May. I am so glad I found your blog this year.

I-never having published anything-once sent a poem to Atlantic Monthly. It wasn't published of course, but it is always good to dream big--those rejections are maneagable ;-) I have no doubt that I will be reading a book of yours some day soon.

Nancy C said...

This is wonderful. I want you to know I read--and appreciate--your work so much.

Thank you.

Ms. Moon said...

You and your words are a blessing. I am so grateful to receive that blessing. Peace and everything joyful to you and yours this year.

clearness said...

Nice Post. . Happy New Year!

mosey along said...

So grateful to be reading your words for this past year and into the future. Happy New Year to you...

Still Life With Coffee said...

Wow... beautiful blog post.

Hermione said...

How beautiful, how frightful and beautiful is thing thing which we call life. I was moved to tears. How amazing to find understanding in the world through the web and blogging. For a great 2010!

Elisabelle said...

So moving....
Thanks for sharing.

la fille vanille said...

Happy New Years to you too - I and may 2010 be the best year ever for you and your yours :-)

Shana said...

Happy New Year to you and yours. And wishes for much joy for both our families, especially our boys, in 2010.

anymommy said...

Incredible. Thank you for blogging. Thank you for sharing with us in 2009.

yolanda said...

thank YOU, maggie, for sharing your blog with us!

i must never ever look back. this only brings me bad, sick thoughts...

dearling, i am angst-ridden. i have to endure this navidad. i read you and feel better. i find peace in you. am i too selfish? lol.

love, great amounts of love and tranquilidad de espíritu!!
yolanda lola colores dolores

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Happy New Year, Maggie!

Babe in Babeland said...

OH MY GOODNESS...that was so mesmerizingly beautiful. Thank you for the re-cap. You write in a way that is so impacting. I can't wait to read more.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Magpie said...

Happy new year! Happy to have met you.

Phoenix said...

Wow! What a decade, Maggie May..what ten years can do in life and love and business and marriage and birth and death.

My god, what a cycle. And ten years from now you'll write another one of these, maybe here, maybe in your head...and I hope beyond all hope that you will not even be able to list all your blessings.

So much love.

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