Saturday, August 27, 2016

She Buys Me Books

Bear with me.

This will be part book review, part reflection, part...people keep asking me if I'm okay, and here's where I can tell you what I am, because it's not really okay, but it's not exactly not okay, either.

I watched the movie Fire Starter when I was far too young (thanks to my daddy, who read me Stephen King stories from birth), and from then on, I really loved Drew Barrymore. Through her "troubled" youth through Fifty First Dates, she's been one of my favorite actresses as long as I can remember.

Fast forward to last Christmas, and I see Wildflower by Drew Barrymore as I unwrap one of a half dozen or so books my mom has chosen for me.  She always buys me books at Christmas.  Life being what it is, it took until just last week, a mere nine months after Christmas, for me to actually read the book, and, as expected, I love it.  It's part Eat, Pray, Love (minus the oddly condescending tone) and part Hollywood memoir.  Drew, as she has been since I was like, four, is utterly relatable. She reflects on her ridiculously strange childhood and writes letters to her daughters.  Of her second daughter, Frankie, she says, "To say I love you is the understatement of the world." Given that I fully understand that feeling of my heart walking around outside of my body, I get it. And as I read, I couldn't help but love it all. She knows that her life is "different," but there are some things that are the same - she acknowledges the power of her fame without gloating about it.  And her love for her daughters...oh, it sings through.   In the end, though, I relate most to Drew as a late bloomer - it took her a long time to figure out who she is and what she wants, and I can't help but feel the same way. I bounced a bit from dream to dream, job to job, while other friends settled right into their lives, and it was refreshing to read about someone who didn't have it all figured out by age 22.

I finished the book. I dug under my bed for the next read, because, when you have two tiny humans, you hide your "good" books the way you hoard the good candy.  I pulled out the next couple of books to choose from, and it hit me.

She buys me books.

My mom is my source for new books. She picks them out, packages them up, and has them waiting under the Christmas tree, or next to our shoes for St. Nick's.

She buys me books.

People keep asking me if I'm okay.

I can't wrestle with big picture, enormity, of my mom having late stage cancer. I pray EVERY SINGLE DAY for a miracle.

But it's the little things.

I started my school year without a small store of supplies from my mom.  She wasn't there to help put the tape up straight like she's done in the past.  I ran across an old Facebook post thanking her for picking up my son because I had Back to School Night. That's not happening this year, because cancer sucks.

She buys me books.

So, I'm okay, and I'm not okay. I miss my mommy, and this horrific disease is still ravaging through her body, the medical treatments pulling her from my life.

She buys me books.

That's how I am.

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