The Secrets We Carry

secretWow, Kate Spade. Kate took her own life yesterday by hanging herself with a scarf on her doorknob. You have to think that her mind and psyche must have been pretty traumatized to take her own life in such a manner. You wonder – what if she had asked for help? What if she reached out? What would have happened? While she did leave a note, she didn’t leave behind what she was thinking the moment she felt like there was no way out but death.

The truth is that we don’t know what others are thinking. We may glance at Facebook periodically and see our friends, colleagues, and acquaintances post what I refer to as a “slice of life” – a photograph of one moment in time – when life is actually made up of 60 moments per minute. You may see a smiling family on FB. But what happens when the cameras are off? Is that family still smiling? Maybe. Maybe not.

I’m carrying two secrets right now. You won’t see me talk about them on Facebook. But I’ll talk about them here as this is my place to say, frankly, whatever I want to say.

First I am dating someone who is very special to me. You guys know that I have dated a lot. Heck, I wrote a blog about them for years. But this person – who has asked that I refer to him as Mr. T on my blog (you happy now?) – who I have only known for a few short weeks – is clearly a keeper. He’s smart, kind, funny, and the best part? He likes me!

The second secret isn’t so happy. My mom was diagnosed with an ovarian tumor last week. While it hasn’t been confirmed cancerous, she is nearly positive that will be the result based upon her many years in the healthcare profession (namely, hospice and cancer support). Ironically, her job was to support people going through what she is going through. So, in true mom fashion, she’s going through the steps to ensure she gets the best care. What I like is that her head isn’t in the sand. She’s actively taking all the right steps to get the best care possible.

I go through many emotions. Sometimes I just start crying thinking about it, and then other times, I just try not to overreact until we know more. I told my mom that I emailed my therapist about what is going on – because I said, “You’re the person I usually talk to about this stuff, and this time, it’s about you!” Mom said I can always talk to her. But the reality is: she’s going to have a lot of stuff going on and probably doesn’t need to hear about my stuff right now. So, it’s good to have an outlet. Plus, I now have Mr. T. Man, that nickname makes me laugh!

I’m not writing this blog post so that you’ll reach out and tell me you’re sorry about mom. I’m going to be honest – those “sorries” feel incredibly empty right now. I’ve gotten a few “I’m sorry.” or “Let me know what I can do to help.” What do I want to say in response? “Great, can you go back in time and remove the tumor so mom doesn’t have to go through this?” The answer is no, so at this point, there is nothing anyone can do except the doctors at Sloan Kettering. I’m not asking you to ignore the sadness we all feel but empty sorries don’t help either. They feel like lip service. Actions speak louder than words. My mom may need chemo. Her hairdresser said that she’d go wig shopping with her. Now that’s an action! I like her so much already and don’t even know her. (Mr. T, a note to you: this isn’t about you. You’re the best!)

Both my mom and I are action-oriented people. Do stuff. Help out. No empty sorries.

I didn’t know what direction this blog post would go, but it helps for me to write stuff out. You have to understand that we’re all in shock and our lives are forever shaken. So if I write something unsettling, all you have to do is stop reading.

I’ll use this as a place to update on things – Mr T, mom, and the like.

Thank you for reading, contemplating, and perhaps taking an action. But if you don’t, it’s ok. Just knowing you’re reading is enough for me at this point!

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