Sunday, May 22, 2011

Are You There Jen Lancaster? It's Me, Cathleen.

Yes, I know the device has been done. It works. So I'm using it.

Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea was a best-seller for comedian Chelsea Handler (big fan, BTW). Colossal success. I turned to vodka (even bigger fan of it) to get me through my current crisis. Colossal failure. (Although Chelsea still gets me through the insomnia. Thanks ... girl.)

Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret? was every adolescent girl's dog-eared coming-of-age primer. In it, and her other bestselling young-adult-all-human-no-vampire-or-wizards (no offense, Twihards and Muggles — I just didn't grow up in the days of sparkly skin and quidditch) fiction, Judy Blume taught me what I needed to know. I wasn't afraid to get my period or a bra — and I knew it was normal to be confused when talking to God.

Even though I never knew why He did or didn't let something happen — I knew enough to know I wasn't supposed to know — I never stopped talking to Him. I didn't stop while Mr. J was sick. I didn't stop when Mr. J was healing. I didn't stop when Mr. J was well. And I sure as hell didn't stop when Mr. J was dying.

And I still haven't stopped. But I still know enough to know I'm not going to get any answers from God. I get strength. I get patience. I get comfort. Every now and then, I get a little peace.

But I don't get answers. No one tells you what to do when you're only 42 and your husband's cancer returns and he's dead within two weeks. Two days after your 11th wedding anniversary, which he remembered even in a haze of Dilaudid. One week before his 48th birthday — and on his father's birthday. November 1st. All Saints Day.

Judy Blume didn't have a book about that. Chelsea Handler (thankfully) never talks about it on the Round Table. And it's not in the bottom of a bottle (or two) of vodka. Or pills, for that matter.

I started writing this blog while Mr. J was going through an excruciating cancer battle. But I never doubted he'd make it through. I was scared, but I always believed that he was strong enough to survive. Because he believed it — and because he survived anything God threw at him.

Until this.

So. Now what? God can't tell me what to do next. Judy Blume can't. Chelsea Handler can't, even though I'd love some vodka right now. So you're probably wondering how Jen Lancaster is going to help me.

Glad you asked. She's not. But she reminded me how to help myself.

Last week in Phoenix, my sweet CVZ attended a book signing for Jen Lancaster's If You Were Here. Unbeknownst to me, CVZ was getting a copy signed for me. So Jen asks, "So who's this Cathleen," and probably thinks "and why isn't she here?"

CVZ replied that I was in South Carolina, the tour wasn't. She went on to tell Jen that I was the one to turn her on to her blog and her books, adding: "In fact, you follow her blog on Twitter."

Jen: "Really? Which blog?"

CVZ: "my half-glassed life."

Jen: "She hasn't written in a while."

I don't know if she meant I hadn't written her in a while (I doubt she'd remember the one and only fan e-mail I ever sent). I don't know if she meant I hadn't tweeted her in a while (unlikely my name stands out among her thousands of followers)I don't know if she's actually ever read my words.

What I do know is — she's right. I haven't. What I also know is that the only way I'll ever find the answer as to how to get through this is to write about it. Writing has gotten me through every crisis of my life — and it will get me through this one.

My story is far from over. And I'm not afraid anymore to tell it.

"Really? Which blog?"
Hah! PROOF! It's on its way from Phoenix, but won't arrive in time for my flight to Chicago.
So. Guess I'll have to buy a copy to read on the plane and add to its climb up the bestseller list.
What's that? My flight to Chicago, you ask? My trip that coincides with the Governor of Jennsylvania's
return to the Windy City? Uh, yeah. Coincidence?
Um, yes. Totally.

But ... if by any chance ... you're actually reading this, um, Jen, please do know I am well aware
of how weird it would be to hunt you down try to run into you. Besides you're all up in the 'burbs now and
I'll be down in Bridgeport with family, so not likely it's gonna happen. I'll also be at Lincoln Park,
the Shedd, the Art Institute and across the water at Indiana Dunes.
Just sayin' ... 

1 comment:

I do a little happy dance every time I get a comment. Please, won't you contribute to that geeky deliciousness?

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