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“Why be happy when you could be normal?”

I have an appointment for the end of January with an endocrinologist. I don’t even know what that is, and don’t want to know. Went to St. Mike’s this morning for an 11 o’clock parathyroid ultrasound, expecting to spend many inefficient hours waiting – I brought enough food and reading material for a camping trip. However, I was called in at 11 sharp, given an injection and asked to lie down for two imaging cameras, one an inch above my head for 15 motionless minutes, which is more of a test than I’d imagined. My experience with the stillness of meditation helped.

That took only 40 minutes; very nice Tammy asked me to come back at 2. I cycled home – incidentally, up the full length of Sackville Street from Queen to Gerrard for the first time, it’s open now. Had lunch, did errands, and came back; at 2 sharp, I was called in and rephotographed for another 15 minutes. Impressively efficient. She set up another appointment, to meet another camera at 9.15 tomorrow morning, and a doctor in a few weeks. Something is happening with the calcium in my body, which may eventually entail a small operation. Maybe it’s all the cheese, do you think, readers? I pride myself on not costing the taxpayers of this country any health dollars, but that may always not be the case. Briefly.

Reminding me again that health is all that matters. Love and work, all very nice, but health matters most, and so much of it is luck. Wayson, at dinner yesterday, talked about that fateful finger in the sky – one minute he was enjoying the most successful period of his life, writing, teaching, very busy – and the next, he was in an 11 day coma after a heart and asthma attack. You never know when the finger is going to stop and point at you.

I still do not believe that my mother is not in her condo, that all that’s left of her is in a small box in my brother’s house. Many calls going back and forth about her memorial event on Friday. We have to figure out what the lay minister will do – we are a secular family and Mum was agnostic, but it’s nice to have a spiritual dimension, which Mike and I certainly can’t provide.

I’ve just finished Jeanette Winterson’s “Why be happy when you could be normal?” It’s a spectacular memoir; highly recommended, especially for anyone who’s adopted. She writes about her childhood with an adopted mother, whom she refers to as Mrs. Winterson, who’s a titanic lunatic. How she escapes, mentally, physically and even sexually, and eventually looks for her birth mother. It’s written in real time, as she’s figuring things out; the writing is honest, skilful and moving. What’s especially interesting is that she wrote the story first as a novel – “Oranges are not the only fruit” – and now is writing the true story as a memoir. What that means to me is that she has matured enough as a writer to deal with the truth.

Ha! Take that, fictioneers!



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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