Eleven Years. Hmmm. This could be soupy and over-drawn. Long-winded or some other hyphenated blogerary travail.
September 11, 2001 was three days before the birthday I share with my younger sister. Four years apart to the hour. Yeah, we got our sh*t together. We were in our room getting ready for the day when our mom came in and mentioned that before we left the house we might want to turn on the TV.
Mistress of Understatement.
So what happened? A few unspeakably inhuman freaks committed an act of terror against the human race. It turned into some clownish 11-year ordeal which has brought seemingly little closure to many involved in the militant festivities.
What has happened:
Six weeks later, I met my husband, the Incomparable GingerMan. A year later, we were married in a beautiful ceremony in my grandmother’s garden, as would my sister a few years later, both while our grandmother was alive to share it with us.
I gained a family in Ireland, and got to travel to the UK for the first time in 2003 for my sister-in-law’s wedding. It was huge celebration and she was gorgeous and he was charming and handsome and nearly 10 years later, they still are, but also 3 beautiful children richer. I've traveled there 4 times and WOW you should see London at Christmas!
Through the machinations of fate, after a layoff three and a half years ago, I walked into a yarn shop the next day and introduced myself to the people who would become my family, my real community of friends. We are knit together in die-hard support, superficially by pretty string and deeply by Love.
Drawn by wool, I met the sister of my heart, the ineffable Jedi Jasmin, her husband Amazing Andrew and Vavoom Gigi (if you meet her, the Vavoom may be silent but always present). They have added Danger Mouse, my alarmingly precocious niece to the flock and we are a pretty big bunch at Christmas, I will tell you. And Thanksgiving. And Mother’s Day, Easter, Fourth of July...What I’m saying is, we cook, we eat, we’re Family.
Today, on September 11, two of my dearest girlfriends are bringing their second adopted daughter home from the hospital. I will leave the “adopted” here, because possession is nine-tenths of the law, and as one with an “mid-season replacement” mom, I will reliably inform you that Family is 90% mental.
So many new little people, people I’ve met, things GingerMan and I have done and places we’ve gone. Road trips to fiber events and late nights drinking and knitting in hotel rooms. But sometimes I still feel that existential angst. That voice that says pfftt, what have I done with my life, what’s happened?
Every week, I hang with older and younger friends and mention a song or a book and someone says “WHAT are you talking about??” And then I get to show them, play them a new song. Or be shown and be played to.
GM and I took a three week kick-ass holiday to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, London at the end of the Olympics and Belfast for our nephew’s second birthday. When I got home, Danger Mouse was crawling and cruising and looked like a different kid.
So many different things learned and seen every single day. Not having seen or done or tried means you have so many things left to do! Dr. Seuss was totally right.
Yes, cliché. And yes, I lose sight of that even while I’m sharing these things with other people, then I stop and go, quote:
Eleven years and more of Life. That’s what’s happening.
TO MARY URQUHART: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MY DEAR, DEMENTED, BELOVED SISTER. LOVE, YOUR WEIRDO.
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