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Although I’ve continued to work on fiction, I haven’t posted much here in the last year, other than a few poems. My life has felt different ever since last July when my mother entered the ICU and almost didn’t come out. She was there for 5 weeks; intubated for twice as long as is normally acceptable. I live over 2,000 miles away from my parents, so in the beginning, every day was shadowed and marked with a much-needed update on her condition. There wasn’t room in my brain for a lot more.

My first 10-day visit almost hollowed me out. But by the time I left, she was in an almost-normal hospital room. It felt miraculous, but still tenuous.

My second visit, her first week home, was a different kind of gut-wrench. To see my lively, capable mother so distressed felt equally distressing. (Although I’m sure it wasn’t.)

Then to see how remarkably she’d progressed by Christmastime was a full-out joy.

During this whole time and before, my brother–in-law had been battling cancer. He fought bravely and well for two years, but his last few weeks were devastating. He went Home a day before Valentine’s. His passing has left an enormous hole.

And now it is spring. The day before yesterday we celebrated Easter. I have a first grandchild on the way. I am recounting this now because life is ahead. But I will be forever altered by the last nine months.

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About Judith L. Roth

When I was about ten, it occurred to me that books are written by people and I was a person. I could create my favorite things–I could write books! I got a B.A. in English. My first poem was accepted for publication before I graduated. I had some success with poetry, but my real dream was to write fiction for children. My first fiction piece was accepted about 25 years after the first submission. Things you might want to know about me: I know how to persevere. I’m a third-generation California native, living in Indiana. I have two remarkable sons who are now young men,and a husband who’s supported my writing for over three decades. I love cats and currently have three of them. I love being near water–oceans, lakes, rivers all work for me. Chocolate is probably my biggest downfall. I’m exceptionally curious. (Or nosy, as my family calls it.)

4 responses »

  1. I know exactly what you mean. Six years ago my father passed away very suddenly with a heart attack after having recovered from three brain surgeries. I felt hollowed out as you said. Other family members and family friends died that same year, which made me realize that, “live is short” as many people say and other important realizations. My mother will be turning 81 in June and still lives on her own, which I am thankful for, but it has been difficult to see her slow down and go through her own illnesses. It makes me think, that will be me one day.

    But as you mentioned it is spring and soon it will be green with leaves and flowers. Time of rebirth and joy. My oldest daughter, who went to college for her first year and who I missed very much, will be coming home for the summer. My youngest daughter and I are off this week to visit three colleges. Life goes on. I try to always enjoy it, count my blessings and keep in my heart those who have passed on, but yes I agree I am forever altered.

    Good post, Judith!

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