a couple of weeks ago i had the chance to go up and visit my niece at college, she now goes to the college that i went to. it was the first time i had been back on campus with malena, and it was so fun to get to show her my dorm, where i had my classes, the brick pathways i walked across each day for four years.
that day as we walked around campus, i thought about that 18/19/20/21 year old kid that i was then. i also thought about the things that she never could have known that her 39 year old self could tell her all of these years later.
i would tell her that she would make some of the best friends she would have for the rest of her life in those four years and they would see each other through the sunshine and the rain.
i would tell that she should never delete the messages her grandma jo left on her answering machine. i would let her know that there would be many days after her grandma was gone that she would give anything to hear her voice again.
i would tell her that she won't end up with the career that she thinks that she will. but that it ends up being better than ok, and even on the roughest of days, she loves what she does. those years she spent on the degree were exactly what she needed to end up where she was supposed to be, she just never saw it coming.
i would tell her that she will marry her perfect match, and the broken hearts along the way made her stronger than the she realized at the time.
i would tell her that being a mom will be her greatest accomplishment, and that even on the days when she may feel differently for a million reasons, she is a really good mom.
i would tell her that she should wear sunscreen everytime she is outside, and that no tan would be worth what she would later go through.
i would tell her that she should watch her moles as she gets older, and that if she notices any change, she should go right to the doctor.
i would tell her that on july 16, 2010, her life would forever change, and she will need to dig deeper than she could ever imagine. i would tell her that on february 20, 2013, she would feel the same way.
i would tell her that she will lose her hair, and that four years later it never gets any easier when someone asks why she cut off all of her long blonde curly hair, and that the question itself makes the tears form in her eyes.
i would tell her that there will be days when she doesn't want to get out of bed, but that she always does, and she always keeps going.
i would tell her that she will buy cinnamon bears on a rainy thursday in november 2014 because she is preparing for her next round of scans and she believes that the bears bring her good luck.
i would tell her that there will be a day that she will sit down and look her daughter in the eyes and talk to her about her fight with cancer. that the conversation will be one of the hardest things that she will ever do, and that she will curse the fates that any parent has to have that conversation with their kid.
i would tell her that she will beat herself up mentally on things that no one else will ever understand, but that she also needs to remind herself to give herself a break every now and then. life deals her a shitty hand, and sometimes it is ok to let that get you down. it is absolutely ok, and eventually, she will pick herself back up. she always does.
i would tell her that it is hard to know that no one knows how you feel. but it makes you realize that you also don't know how anyone else really feels, and so you tread lighter and you are more careful with hearts than you may otherwise have ever been.
i would tell her that in the days leading up to scans she will feel so exhausted, but will also be afraid to close her eyes because that is when the nightmares come.
i would tell her that she will love gummy candy her entire life, and that she still hasn't met a swedish fish or a gummy bear or a hot tamale that she hasn't liked. a lot.
i would tell her that although that cold beer on $1 pitcher night tasted good in college, a cold hard cider to help calm her nerves when she is 39 will taste a million times better.
i would tell her that she will miss eating sourdough bread. big time. she will sometimes curse the fates for giving her celiac disease, but in the grand scheme of what she will face, saying goodbye to gluten will be a piece of cake (pun intended).
i would tell her that she will consume more dilly bars than she could imagine when she was pregnant. i would also tell her that each and every one tasted so damn good, and that there would be times when that craving would come back with a vengeance that she would be willing to pay a lot of money for one chocolate dilly bar.
i would tell her that she would write a blog for longer than she expected when she started, and on november 5th, 2014, she would write her 600th post.
i would tell her that writing will bring her a lot of healing that she might not have otherwise had, and it will help her to get some of the demons out.
i would tell her that is after 10pm when we are having this chat and her big brother would be telling her to go to bed and get some sleep.
i would tell her that he is usually pretty smart, and so she should follow his advice. if the demons come, she will make it through their visit.
i would tell her that the demons never win.
she would tell me that she already knows this, and doesn't need a 39 year old telling her that.
i would tell her that she is right about that.
i would tell her that is why i have loved her from the start.