Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Last Writes

The last day of summer. The last day of school. The last child you'll ever have.

The last day of being the most recent Golden Heart finalists and winners.

When my husband and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary, we had six children, the oldest nine and the youngest a two-year old toddler. Exhaustion was our watchcry and irritation a byword. We didn't buy gifts, we didn't go to dinner, and we didn't celebrate that May 21. We were too tired to contemplate the enormity of getting a sitter, getting dressed up, getting out the door.

I flopped into bed around 7:30, right after the baby hit the sack.

I tossed, turned, and twisted. Shards of guilt hacked away at my peace. A decade, that ought to be good for something. I jumped up, penned a quick poem -- very hackneyed and highly reminiscent of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. I taped it to the shower wall where I knew my husband would find it in the morning.

"I could not love you more if it were ten times ten that we two as one had been ... " You get the idea. What can I say? I was young and got high on internal rhyme in those days.

The point is that it was not the last day of our marriage, our love, or our passion; rather, it was a benchmark on the road to a mutually satisfying union. I didn't need to create an immutable artifact for that day.

Today is the last day of our reign as Golden Heart finalists and I feel that same sense of urgent commemoration. Where are the drums? The cymbals? The apocalyptic heralding of . . . something.

I want a farewell party. A de-initiation. A disembarkation from the mother ship. An assurance and a guide to the perilous and often treacherous sojourn into the world of published writing.

To celebrate, I sit here in my writing space sending bangles and bubbles and baubles your way, fellow Six Packers. I'm thrilled to be part of such an elite group. One that never will -- and never can -- pass this way again. But one that, like a strong relationship forged in fire, can be stronger than ever. Love you, guys.

jo, the sentimental fool


Joan said...

sob> Sniff....

That was beautiful Jo!

I promise not to be unfaithful! (sniff)IF I get a call tomorrow, I will be a lurker on any new GH loop. (sniff)

You always remember your first. (sniff)


Anna Campbell said...

Jo, that was really lovely. I got so misty eyed. And your poem was more John Donne than Elizabeth BB to me (and I LOVE JD - sigh). What a lucky husband you have!

Do you know the significance of this day had almost passed me by. But you're right. We're last year's finalists in a very little while. Your post made me pause and look back and think of all that this last year has brought, good and bad. And it also made me realise that I'm sitting here writing my third story for Avon and that last year at this stage, I never, EVER thought I'd see my name on a book. Sort of put my attack of self-pity into perspective. I wish all the Packers good luck and great writing and may all your dreams come true!!!


Christine Wells said...

Now, that's a writer! Jo, you captured exactly how I feel and I didn't even realize that's how I felt until I read your post.
Isn't that funny? I wrote a poem for our paper anniversary and I thought I'd thrown it out in a house move, but recently I found it in the place dh keeps passports, birth certificates and things. Goodness knows if he ever re-reads it, but it's nice to know he thought it was precious enough to keep.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Jo, That was great! :> And Christine, I love that your hubby kept the poem. I was thinking today about the fact that this time last year I was floating because I was a FINALIST! :> Still floating because, after all, I'm a PACKER! Heehee.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

That's great Jo! You're so right! And Christine, loved that your hubby kept the note. So loving and secretive and fun. :> This time last year, I was floating because I was a FINALIST! Now I'm floating because I'm a PACKER! Woo-hoo!
The Duchess

Aunty Cindy said...

"I want a farewell party. A de-initiation. A disembarkation from the mother ship. An assurance and a guide to the perilous and often treacherous sojourn into the world of published writing."

I want that too! Not a farewell, so much as a bon voyage. And I'm sooo happy to have my Packer Buddies here with me on this perilous and treacherous journey! This has been such a special year, something totally unexpected and I can't say how very GRATEFUL I am to have shared it with all of you.

ONWARD into 07 and the next steps in our writing careers!

Aunty C
breaking out the cyber-bubbly

Suzanne Welsh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Suzanne Welsh said...

What a great last day as current GH's, but a nice beginning to the Packers as an entitiy unto ourselves. I'm not sure if another group of GH'ers has bonded as we have and decided to move forward as a group since the Wet Noodle Posse. I've been thrilled to be counted among the Packer's numbers and look forward for more fun times!