I sure wasn’t ready for that, just as I am sure most people aren’t ready for this kind of thing to happen. Nobody prepares for these things, they just sort of happen. One day life is normal and one day it isn’t.
Well, when gifts were finally being opened this particular Christmas, I came across a huge box under the tree for me. All I could think was maybe my parents bought me the stereo I had been dreaming about!
When I would visit her when she lived in Ottawa, she would take me to parties – parties in restaurants. I felt like a celebrity, because for me it was only celebrities that partied in restaurants. The people at these parties were different too. They had foreign-sounding names and talked with accents – German and British.
They had expanded several sizes, along with the rest of me. I was no longer the young, thin curvaceous chick. It seemed my body was going through yet another drastic change. Having had two children by this time, I realized something had to be done with all the weight I carried in front of me.
Those blankets I can safely say protected me from those nasty, scary things who perched themselves in my imagination and spent nights haunting me.
The technology of today, our medicine, have left us struggling with decisions that years ago we would not even have to think about. Our elderly parents would have died in their sleep in their own beds — no fanfare, no ambulances, no needles, no poking or prodding. Just old-fashioned death at your door, and he would come for you only once.
Perhaps I will grow old gracefully with a paunch and a thick double chin. I suppose what matters is I’m healthy and I should just forget about the size eight dress size? Which I never was but that is beside the point.
We finally arrive at Carleton. We are all tired. Guess what? The rooms are not ready. Some of the children will not be bunking with their friends. Some rooms are a mess. The children are taking it well. Finally we settle in. One final check at midnight and everyone thought that was it for the night! Wrong! Mr. Turner and Mr. Lepage gave the final warning at 4:00am!
“You made it. Who’s the little lady with ya there?” asked someone who I swear looked like Joseph Campbell. I was seriously beginning to think I must be suffering from some kind of heat stroke or something. Across from Joseph was Allen Ginsberg, and there was Jack Kerouac, my teenage hero….
It was interesting and yet somehow somewhat melancholy to realize that Natalie was military and her job was taking her overseas, taking her away from her young children and husband, family and friends. Then it kind of hits you as to what kind of a sacrifice she is making for our country.