Fallin’

I know, I know. It’s been a while since I last posted. Being retired is a bit like going to preschool–you get to play and pursue your interest and curiosities, take naps and have snacks and mostly, have fun. I no longer have to do anything for money, only what genuinely makes me happy. It’s a bit like going in reverse.

Unless you live on another planet, you probably know that I was invited to walk the cat walk at NYFashion Week and represent Ano Ono + Cancerland + Metavivor with 23 other metastatic breast cancer patients. Words cannot even describe how outside my LL Bean and jeans comfort zone this was. I never would have expected myself, at 61, to don black leather boots, fish nets, a wig, and lingerie and walk in front of a sold out crowd. It was fantastic!!! We had a day of fittings, walking practice, and interviews. The next morning, more catwalk practice, and then make up, hair and lights! I was interviewed several times during this process and then dressed and photographed several times over. Then it was on to show time! The group nervously assembled behind the velvet curtain, giggling and admiring each other while the girl power music blasted. I was struck by how fun this was, mainly because it was done with community and camaraderie, everyone and their loved ones there to cheer us on. We raised $100,000 in one afternoon!

As I have told many people the greatest moment was when my oldest daughter rushed up to me and told me she was never more proud of me. My mother, at 61, would never, ever do something like this, let alone in such a public forum. Even I couldn’t believe it! Then on to the after party where we got to chat and mingle and trade stories with other families and photo bomb away. We all left on a euphoric high. When I got home to Boston I was bombarded by news stations and reporters for a story about my experience, which I gladly shared in order to bring attention to Metavivor and the need for more money for MBC research, now more that ever, as so many of us are dying at a rapid rate and so many friends have had progression.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the good always seems to come the bad. I have been very happily working out weekly with a personal trainer whom I adore. In addition I have been going to Livestrong classes twice a week at the local Y including a weekly yoga class, all to continue to build up my stamina and strength. I continue to struggle with my balance issues. But…..I also tend to get over-confident in myself. Add that to a few glasses of wine and I fell going upstairs to bed on the slippery, uncarpeted stairs. I am special so I fell up not down. I mean FELL. Hence the blog title. I tell you this because I want to share my whole truth not just the fun, exciting parts. This was not fun, at all. I woke up the next morning with a black eye, bruised shin and severe pain on my right rib cage. Off we went for x-rays. Thankfully nothing was broken except my heart. A week spent at home licking my wounds and taking pain meds makes for an unhappy camper. Fortunately, I am okay and our new carpenter started last week working on jobs around the house. It’s a bit like Murphy Brown and Eldin. I’ll be okay.

Tim meanwhile, not so much. As a care taker he has a hard time when I slip up. He watches me like a hawk and frets over my insistence for independence. This incident reinforced that he is alone in this part of our life with me. The forgotten guy hovering and worrying in the background of my life lived at full velocity. I remind him and myself that when you fly too close to the sun, your wings melt.

I used my down time to campaign hard with Carol to get our friend Elizabeth nominated for Educator of the Year by the Easton Lion’s Club. The generosity of her co-workers to scramble quickly and get it done was nothing short of amazing. Who wouldn’t want to celebrate someone so giving and selfless? The world spun brighter when they notified her that she had, in fact, won the award, to be presented at a shindig in April. She cried and cried in disbelieve and felt so undeserving–are you f@#king kidding me? It’s always the most selfless that feel so undeserving and the cheaters who think they deserve everything, like a short cut into an Ivy league college when they did not earn it.

This brings me to the real point of my essay. Generosity of spirit and kindness over all else. Tim and Elizabeth most definitely have it as well as all the people who worked so hard to bring Fashion Week together and raise a lot of money. The Marcus Family raised $100,000 last week for Chron’s Disease and Intestinal Fortitude despite the very recent loss of their mother and grandmother. They have it.

We have been quietly (kinda) putting together a small fundraiser for Metavivor here in Onset, our new community. Tim and I (and the girls) will be celebrity bartenders for a night at a local restaurant that we frequent (Stonebridge Bar and Grill on March 30). I have been recruiting friends and family for things to donate to be raffled or auctioned off. No one has hesitated (I can be relentless, just like the MBC commercial).  Yet the real surprise came from people here in Onset that wanted to donate. Trevor Art Design donated a beautiful Cape painting, a new shop called Echo donated a gorgeous wellness basket, the Onset Bay Association gave me a framed antique map of Onset, a local artist is giving me a shell wreath, and my carpenter’s wife is contributing wall art in the form of a  hand crafted and framed glass mermaid. I am lifted by the generosity and kindness of others. The tender mercies are always out there waiting for us to find them. How we find them is through our own kindness to others. What we put out there is always reflected back by others.

Here’s to more fallin” in love, less fallin” at home.

Love really does show up.

Love, Barbara

 

 

 

 

Written by barbigelow

Wife, mother, school psychologist, cat lover

3 comments

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