Okay… don’t pay the ransom, I escaped. I know, I know, I KNOW… my last post here was September of 2017. I would love to say that I was abducted by aliens, sold to the highest bidder, or even entered rehab to cure my addiction to triplets and hyperbole…
But it’s worse than all that.
I am still under the shroud of grief. I’m trying really hard to make light of the rock of mourning that has lodged itself between my heart and my throat and seems for all intents and purposes to make this it’s permanent home.
My Beloved, Cherished, Treasured Marcy – Mylove left this world over a year ago, and I have just now found the courage to even type those words — tho’ I’m typing through the tears that are my new normal.
September 2017… ah yes… a time from ancient history it seems. I just reread that post and I wish I could tell you I remembered writing it. The truth is, I can’t even remember what I had for breakfast — My daily experience consists of reminding myself of the list of tasks for the day and doing them, rarely being able to think more than one full day in advance. I’m serious — If I don’t put it in my calendar, it won’t get done. And this is an odd feeling for someone whose reputation for tactical excellence fed us for thirty years and bought our dream house among other things. I know I’m supposed to be able to think in five steps ahead of myself in three dimensions, in past present and future simultaneously (not my words, my dear friend Brian accused me of this, which sounds like a supreme compliment until the punchline, which was, “but you have absolutely no tolerance for those who don’t share this superpower.”)
It’s not that I don’t care, its that existence doesn’t hold my interest between the waves of grief. And yet, I know I have to keep putting one foot after the other.
The pause in my blogging wasn’t intentional or even conscious… in fact, I spent the time being unconscious – first because, we were steeling ourselves for the latest rounds of chemo — in this case, a clinical trial that promised to be both less invasive for Mylove, and a breakthrough for those who walked the path she was treading. That trial ended on a whimper… it’s efficacy diminishing… and we struggled to keep our “Northstar” namely, hope shining bright. But Christmas brought a cold, which turned to pneumonia which started a slow fade for Mylove… and I was her caregiver — like we had done with all life’s challenges we took it head on, back to back and side by side (hey, we’re yoginis, that ain’t nuthin…) but eventually, (and as I discovered in her journals the other day – months before she enrolled me) Mylove started counting down instead of looking ahead. She was at peace, joyful even ecstatic as she transitioned, leaving this world as she lived in — a brilliant light that shone on everyone with light, laughter & love…
… and I was shattered into a million pieces.
I made arrangements. I produced her celebration of life and I fled our house before Christmas — so frantic was I to be in our home during our beloved Holiday season without her.
When I returned it was time to start “the first year with her” (freakin’ grief and mourning pamphlets keep assaulting the house from well intentioned organizations) and I started my new normal…
It’s not that I’ve been idle in my absence… I started working on my second book, did a TED talk...
.. spoke at several trans awareness workshops (to date I’ve done over a hundred for Kaiser alone)… followed through on a line of cookies that I’d been toying with for years....
… finished my book…
…followed through on a line of CBD edibles, published my book and embarked on a coast to coast tour to promote it. Oh, yeah, I even wrote a pilot for a series about a infamous scandal in the late 70’s. (Ryan Murphy, if you’re reading this, my manager will be calling you soon.)
And I wish I could tell you that it all helped ease the unbearable pain of being torn in half.
But I can’t.
There are times as I step gingerly into “the second year without her” that I wonder if I’m getting “callous” when I miss an hour of crying, like, maybe my heart is hardening, or I’m forgetting her, and what the f could that mean?”
“Is that what it supposed to feel like?” “Is this how it works?” “Is this how you move on? You forget? You stop remembering? You just stop crying, and she just fades from you…??????” WHAT THE F*CK????!!!!!!
And then it hits. Like a set wave that sweeps you up the roiling face of a cresting monster, that, just for fun, spits you out so you can free fall just long enough to feel your stomach rise up into your throat, feel that sense of the earth losing it’s grip on you as vertigo cuts your senses from their tethers before slamming you into the whitewater and crushes you with it’s full weight then bites the scruff of your neck to snap you back and forth, over and under with no rhyme or logic, whipping you into unconsciousness…
When you regain your senses, you feel like you’ve been invaded by body snatchers… forget why you walked into a room, left keys in the front door…
“Oh yeah, I’ve woken up on the kitchen floor pounding my fists on the tile because I broke a jar of mayonnaise… sobbing… slobbering… and then it hits you why — the only reason you even had mayonnaise in the house in the first place was because she loved it.”
I’ve even suddenly “come to” in the shower as I’m being pelted by ice cold water sobbing because I’ve drained the tank simply staring at a bar of her soap. “
People have asking me why my complexion is so good, it’s either the salt from my tears or the salvia from Aria & Bella who take turns wiping my tears with their tongues & kisses…
So… that’s where I’ve been.
But that’s not all of why I’m finally back on line. (and to my readers who were supportive and gracious while I was gone, thank you for your patience, I hope the wait was worth it) It’s time to get back on the horse, so to speak…
STEP 1: Rename my blog — it seems, I wasn’t the only girl raised by wolves — and even tho’ few used that term as I had, still, I feel (as I do in so many other aspects of my life) that I need to step away from the clutter and I’m embracing what I started this past year to lead myself through this shroud of loss into the light that Mylove shone on me and in me for three decades.
So, I’m getting Recklass.
In her name.
And and in her honor.
And because she expects me to do it anyway…
I’m running with knives, I’m playing with fire and I’m going to be absolutely fearless at coming from the heart.
So starting now – Raised By Wolves will now be known as Recklass In The Next Chapter.
In my latest book, Recklass in The Kitchen — a year of light, laughter & love… oh, and food! I wanted to capture how our home – the one built by our light, our laughter our love, expressed itself best when food was involved. I’ll probably keep a little of that going in this blog from time to time. Also, I had no idea when I was writing Recklass, that I was actually chronicling the last year of our marriage. I will probably leave that aspect for the book. (I don’t think I want to condense that for her. If you are interested, Recklass has a far more detailed, and articulate version of the events… without any of the expletivves that have cropped into my recent tellings..)
But the second part of the rebooted title is In The Next Chapter.
I toyed with several “cute” plays on words for a more descriptive overall title… Recklass in the… but nothing actually felt (or sounded right) except what I eventually landed on because truly speaking, like a most areas in my life, I have no idea what’s next. I have no idea where it’s heading and it has no agenda other than to get Recklass. So In the Next Chapter feels accurate, truthful and… right-ish. So we’ll go with that.
Going forward, I’ll be… going forward. I confess, it’s going to get messy — it already has… I’m wondering if ill ever be loved again… let alone get even close to the absolute fusion of hearts that Mylove and experienced. Will I, as a 57 year-old, widow who is also transgender, find love? (SPOILER ALERT: If the dipping of my toe into Bumble is any indicator, it’s not looking good…) but that’s the stuff for future posts…
So, we’re back. If you’ll have me.
Wanna get Recklass with me? Then, hold my hand and let’s jump…
It only stings for a little while.
Scottie Jeanette Madden
Screenwriter, Author, Cook and Lover. Author of "Getting Back To Me, from girl to boy to woman in just fifty years" & "Recklass In The Kitchen" a year of light, laughter & love... oh. and food!