My life really has some fine points to it. I do like the work that I do. I have marvelous friends. A terrific son, who understands life in ways that few ever attain. I have loved and even though I clearly also lost, I don’t regret loving nor do I regret one thing that I did for love. My only regrets are what I failed to do and what I failed to understand.
I don’t have cancer and even the cancer surgery that i had in 1982 turned out, years later, to have been unnecessary as I eventually learned that the path reports showed only pre-cancerous cells. When I was a baby, no one thought I would walk. When I was 18, our family doctor told my parents that I’d be bedridden by 25 — in front of me but as though I could not hear. At 31, I started having aphasic spells that doctors could not diagnose, but I never crashed the car and only once blacked out in court.
I’ve never been particularly financially successful but the kindness of others has helped me through difficult times. 17.5 years ago, a pulmonologist and a neurologist together decided that I had six months to live. I declined for a year or so before Joe Brewer, an ID doc at St. Luke’s, came back into my life and set them straight. A few years later, the pesky virus that reactivates now and then really played havoc on my systems, but it turns out the specialist at Stanford who studies my virus belongs to my health insurance network.
I lose cases now and then, but i often win, and I’m fairly good at negotiating settlements which shocks no one more than me since I’m a fairly strident, intense person who champions causes with relentless abandon. One judge called me the Settlement Queen of Jackson County a few years back; I’m okay with that title. Not fancy but gets the job done.
Ups and downs trade places in my life quite a bit but the ups keep coming and I’ve got food on the table, a sweet bungalow in which to sleep at night, and an extraordinary set of friends. I even have a fairy granddaughter.
Brenda said to me today, You’ll keep on, because that’s what you do. Just take life a day at a time. You’ll be fine.
I wanted to be angry about that, but she’s right. I’ll keep on. It’s what I do. And on balance, I’ve had more than my share of wonderfulness and the terrible bits were not nearly as bad as a whole lot of folks endure every day. Maybe i’m not as resilient as I should be. Maybe I’m just tired. Maybe I bought the Cinderella story and my pumpkin has burst. But i’m doing okay. I’ll survive. I might even do some more good along the way.