Wednesday, August 23, 2006 - 9:47 pm

[My new nemesis - marital status questions]

City Paper Story is available. Natalie did a very nice job. I can't really read it, in fact:


Went to UDel today for new faculty orientation. It was 8 hours of lectures on health insurance options, life insurance options, retirement plans and flexible spending accounts. It was refreshing to be in a space where no one knows my story. There were about 20 new faculty members there, and we shared laughs and mocking expressions at the banality of some of the information covered. It was a treat to make wise cracks that made folks around me laugh and break up the monotony of the day.

But, at the same time, there was the constant reminder of what is going on in my personal life: The summaries of the health insurance options discussing coverage of inpatient surgical care, the places where you need to write in the name of your spouse or beneficiary, the box where you need to check your marital status:

o Single
o Married
o Divorced
o Widowed

How fucked up is it that I'm a “W?”

As Tresa said, I'm “in the closet.” The widow's closet. I want people to get to know me as me and not be all weird about my baggage. If I get to know new people on campus, sure they'll find out eventually, but not now. No reason for it.

As I told Cheryl, who stopped by with a beautiful bouquet of gerbera daisies tonight, the worst part of today was knowing how excited Mike would be to hear about all the stupid details of my first real day on campus. He reveled in my successes and was my biggest cheerleader.

But, as I started to lose my shit into the boiling spaghetti, I stopped. “It sucks. It just sucks. No need to explore the various aspects of suckiness. I need to just..hover… and stop spinning around.” [see yesterday's post about “hovering”].


Info about Parking at World Café Live:

There is FREE PARKING after 5:30 P.M. on Walnut Street in Penn lot #1, just past the Left Bank building (before 33rd Street). In addition, there is also FREE PARKING after 5:30 in the lot under the Walnut Street bridge: just take a right onto 31st Street from Chestnut, drive to the end of the block, and park in the lot to your right.


Jalena said...

The article is great. One that I'm sure Baxter will cherish as he gets older. Most of all, she got it. So often, reporters dont, not really. I realized all along that this blog was special, I too wondered what Mike would think but knew once he realized what value it had, it would be ok. (Thats the Mike we who didnt know him were learning, the Mike who cared for others.) And it has more value than I think even you may realize. Its the love of a family, a family under the most extreme of stress situations and how that family remained intact till the end. Its the love of friends. Not just any friends. Friends who went way beyond what friendship requires. And it was the love of theater and comedy and fun interwoven, a way of showing that even in the worst of experiences there can be humor and hope. And now its a blog of mourning and healing and not everyone knows how to do that and come out whole in the end. But you are doing your best to find the path, asking for help when you need it from professionals and from friends for details of daily life. It shows an openess (sp?) that so few possess and it comes through exactly as it should, Mike's life well lived and your life with him. Its a beautiful testiment of love. I am watching the healing begin for you and Baxter. Most of all, I thank you for allowing us to be on the journey with you.

Anonymous said...

Holy Smokes. This article really captures the truth, the sadness, the sincerity of what you have been going through for SO many months. You have helped so many by your honesty and heartfelt daily expressions of a most disturbing life situation.
Now, take to heart that you have done more than any human being could ever possibly do in this horrible hospital situation. Hug Baxter, remember all the great times you had with Mike. Your going ahead with this new venture in the Fall will open new doors and new possibilities for both your future and Baxter's. But, for now, know that grieving takes time. There is no timeline for it. One can grieve in all different ways. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. I know that your love for your husband is so strongly within you and that love will give you hope and determination for the future. It was, after all, a wonderful and giving love on both your parts. For now, I wish you peace, happiness in your home and job, and new, wonderful adventures for your future and Baxter's.

With love and sweet dreams.
PS: Jalena's note is excellent!

Dritsas said...

That Nataliel, she is one good writer. And she took a great photograph of Danna and the Baxman, too.

Anonymous said...


The article was beautiful. What you have done and shared with us all has allowed me to know Mike in a way I would never have otherwise. Although I can't be at the show this weekend, Ed, Mason and I will be thinking of you. The picture of Baxter and you was fabulous! He's gotten so big.



Georgia AKA Dr. Georgia said...


I will be at this Sunday's tribute with bells on. I'm thinking of you often, and hope we can soon meet up.

Udel has no idea what hit it.

It will be great to see you...and my Michael will also be there.

Georgia AKA Dr. Georgia

Peter said...

That's one great B&W photo of the two of you!