Friday, April 05, 2013


This isn't a post about Roger Ebert, may his memory be a blessing.

One of Ada's Montessori classmates--the younger sister of one of her best friends--has leukemia. She was diagnosed a month ago and the chemo is already working. It's not my daughter, but it hit so close to home. To know she's virtually guaranteed to recover--something we learned yesterday--I can finally exhale.

Mostly. Because one of the risks of getting older is that mortality sneaks up around every corner. I've had 3 friends experience stillbirth. Another one's baby died of SIDS. Brain cancer claimed a colleague. And a heart attack took my dad at 55. And while Aria is going to kick cancer's butt, I have another friend whose child's brain cancer may prove incurable. It's awful and terrifying and heartbreaking, and all I know how to do is send food and the occasional awkward message of support.

Ada, Grandpa and his beloved cat
And then there's my father-in-law. He's been diagnosed with  posterior cortical atrophy, a variant of Alzheimer's disease. He's only 70, but suddenly seems much older. We visited with him--and over a dozen other relatives--last week for spring break.

Josh with John, 23
And while it was sad and  frustrating to see such an accomplished physician requiring sticky notes to remember the day of the week and his favorite TV channels, life marches onward and upward. The cousins I cradled as babies are enrolled in college. One's graduating next month!

Playing "rich people" in a creek
Josh's cousin, whose bar mitzvah I attended a decade ago, is working in finance and living with roommates and seems like such a nice, well-adjusted grown up. My mother is semi-retired. And perhaps most importantly, my children are potty trained book readers who can buckle their own seat belts, carry their own suitcases and disappear for whole hours in a land of make-believe.

Does this mean I'm a grown-up too? And if so, why do I still feel like an impostor half the time?