Monday, February 3, 2014

Skating the Yellow Brick Road

My ex-husband's mother works for Debbie Reynolds. That's right, folks. I'm four degrees from Princess Leia. I'm also only four degrees from Kevin Bacon, but that's another post.

Debbie Reynolds has collected one if the world's largest and important Hollywood costume collections. One time, I was privileged enough to wander through the warehouse-sized, environmentally controlled storage room behind her dance studio. Among the red sequined gown worn by Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and the riding silks worn by Elizabeth Taylor in National Velvet, a pair of ruby slippers sat under a blue cotton dress.

I was explaining to Kidlet about how those sparkly shoes were an amazing thing to see. His response was:

"I've never seen The Wizard of Oz."

I'm failing on my son's movie-cation. He relies on me to lead him through the cinematic world, and all I have done is made him watch Die Hard with me on Christmas. I had to remedy that immediately. So we cuddled on the couch and watched the trek to Oz.

I don't remember the first time I watched Dorothy and Toto put some hurt on some wicked witches, but it will never forget the first time Kidlet watched it. At first, he claimed boredom and said black and white movies were lame. (Further evidence that I am not a good movie-cation.) Eventually, the story grabbed him and pulled him in. And then he became so invested in the story that he was frightened by flying monkeys. 

It made me wistful. 

I want to go to Oz. I wish I could ask the Wizard for a heart, a brain, and some courage.
I want a new brain. One that doesn't send burning signals to my back. One that isn't causing my right eye to try to see through Vaseline. I want healthy, plaque-free grey matter. I want to not have to worry what new sclerosis-caused malady will hit me next. 

I want my new brain to have the ability to quiet itself. It shouldn't be constantly spinning out of my control. I want a round brain, free of the corners where dark things hide. I want to be able to file memories away so they cannot sneak up and bite me. 

I want a new heart. One made of steel that will never be penetrated. A bulletproof heart that cannot break. I want a heart that slowly, steadily warms instead of burning so hotly that it singes me. 
I want a heart that doesn't send a trauma response through my body every time I mourn what could have been. It it real, physical pain. It takes my breath away and drops my stomach to my knees.

But those are just wants.

What I really need is courage. I need the courage to see others get what I wanted. I need to be brave enough to face injustice. I need the strength to move forward and through. The only way out is through. 

My mother fell yesterday. She broke a bone in her shoulder. My father was there--bad knees and all--picking her up and getting her help. I need courage to move forward knowing that, not only will I have to pick myself up when I fall, the person who told me he would be there to help will not be picking me up. 

In three years, I will be sitting in the synagogue watching my son's Bar Mitzvah. Alone. Next to my ex and his Wife 2.0. Because the person who said he would be there with me will be watching another's children grow up. 

There are events in the very near future that are going to be very hard to get through. Not only for me, but for my kid, my niece, and my nephew. I have to model bravery for those incredible kids. I have to fake it, because the person who said he would hold my hand during these events has chosen an easier hand to hold. 

Please Wizard. I need courage.

I have to be brave enough to get kicked in the stomach over and over again. I have to be strong enough to put away the incredible humiliation I feel. I have to try once again to find my happiness.
I had a great first date a few nights ago. He was charming and cute. So incredibly smart, with a British accent as the cherry on top. I really enjoyed our conversation over a great dinner. But I didn't join him by ordering a glass of wine. I needed to take my Avonex later that evening. Drinking before my shot makes the flu-like symptoms worse.

He asked if I was sure I didn't want a drink. And I didn't know what to say. I didn't know if I should tell him about the MS. Should I tell him that I have a progressive, debilitating disease early on, so that he can make the decision to see me again? Should I wait to tell him until we know each other better? What is fair to him? What would I want someone to do if the shoe was on the other foot? I don't know what to do. 

I'm so terribly afraid. I'm so terribly sad and worried. I want to be off to see a wizard. I want to step out of the black and white into the technicolor. Being saddled with this broken heart and broken brain, I can use all the courage I can muster. 

And with that, I am done mourning. I'm finished sitting shiva. The covers are coming off the mirrors and I'm off to find some happiness. Anyone up for some skating? Perhaps down the yellow brick road?

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