Who was important to you?
Jack. Because he was the impetus for so many things, even after—especially after—his death. And because I learned so much about myself through him, much of it in response to losing him. I know that as time goes on his impact on my life will diminish, but I think his importance to me and the woman I have become (and still am becoming) will last forever.
My doctor. Because she listens to me and genuinely tries to help me figure out what’s going on. It took years of complaints to one doctor before anyone (accidentally) discovered my brain tumor. It took years of more complaints to another doctor until someone (perhaps mistakenly) introduced “fibromyalgia” into my vocabulary.
My teenage son. Because we don’t mesh well together, which makes me want to be a better mom. Because when we do get along, I’m delighted at the young man he’s become. Because he’s funny and smart and handsome, even with his Justin Bieber
Uncle Eddie. Because even though we’ve grown apart since I’ve started working, he’s a constant in my life. I love him like he’s my father, and despite so many differences (age, education, background, etc.) we are alike in ways much more meaningful.
My younger son. Because he is the one consistent source of affection in my life. He is the first one to snuggle while reading or want to watch a movie curled up with me and some popcorn. I suspect this won’t last forever, but while it does I’m cherishing every single bit of it.
My sober network. Because even though I still feel disconnected and an outsider at times, they are also a constant. And: they are funny and fearless and energetic about life. I wish I could keep up with them, but most of the time it’s enough that they just exist.
My sponsor. Because she’s a calming and soothing presence in my life. She has been through the same hellish experiences as I have, and she lived to tell me about it. And coax me through the ones that scare me.
My employer. Because it’s the best job I’ve ever had. Because I’m excited to get up and go to work every day (as quickly as my achy body can get me there, that is). Because the people surrounding me are talented and creative and make me happy to be part of the media in Chicago.
Myself. Just because I’m me, and to think myself unimportant would mean none of the previous people would matter, either.