This Is Real Life

I didn’t do last week’s Friday Fictioneers. I will admit, I was too caught up in other projects. Which is a shame; the prompt picture was quite lovely. But life had to take precedence.

Life has changed quite a bit in the last five months. The move was just the tip of the iceberg.


Before we moved, Pixie (the grey and white cat) disappeared. She had been acting extremely odd the day before and I’d made plans to take her to the vet the next day if she was still not seeming right.  The following morning, she was gone. As she was not one to roam and wander, and we searched and searched, it’s most likely that she went and found somewhere quiet to curl up and take her final sleep.

About a month after we moved, I went to bed around 1:30 in the morning (per usual) and Olive was curled at the foot of the bed and purring (per usual).  When Dave got up at 5:30 for work, he went into the kitchen to feed the cats. Alistair appeared. Olive didn’t. We papered the neighborhood, called the local shelters… nothing.

That was June 4.

A week later, Charlotte and I went to a doctor so she could have a full evaluation as a follow up from one we had in 2014. My beautiful, brilliant little girl is somewhere on the Autism Spectrum*, with all the baggage that official diagnosis brings with it.  Of course, it’s not affected her one bit, as she’ll be starting Kindergarten in the fall with the reading comprehension of a third grader, and filling time with Girl Scouts and soccer otherwise.

(I never thought I’d be a soccer mom, but hey.)

I’ve also been taking care of myself, finally; getting back into the therapy and on the medication I need. I was diagnosed Bipolar II when I was 24 and have been off medication since 2011.  I can maintain, for the most part, but it was starting to get pretty hairy there. The pills help.

More importantly, though, I went and saw a doctor for a full non-mental health checkup. Which ended up with me getting a biopsy today. Many years of swimming and tanning (because California, of course) left me with some Questionable Moles. This morning they got snipped clean and sent off to have Science done upon them.

I’m only slightly freaking out. Mostly slightly. A lot.

(The pills help with that, too.)

It’s been a bad year for chosen family. I’ve lost two other-moms, mothers of my friends who I called mom as well, in as many months; the second just this morning.  One to untreated diabetes. One to breast cancer, after fighting for four long years.

And yet.

With all the worry and change and sadness, there is joy.

Charlotte, as mentioned, lets nothing stand in her way, and her desire for knowledge and innate curiosity knows no bounds. She will do great things.  She already does great things.

My best friend is due to have her second baby in September. I am knitting all the things (of course) and the only sadness is that I don’t get to be there to help afterward, as plane tickets from California to Northern Ireland are obscenely expensive and beyond out of my price range.

In the three months since moving, I’ve had more ideas for stories and essays than I’ve had in the three years before. There are many pots on my stove right now, it’ll be interesting to see which one comes to a boil first.

Life just keeps going.

* Before you ask: Yes, she’s fully vaccinated. No, vaccines don’t cause Autism. If you would like to argue with me on either of these points I would like to cordially invite you to go fuck yourself.

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