Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Woman in her Thirties Goes... On

I was all set to write this week's post about how I've been doing workout DVDs in my basement when Anna is asleep. I was going to talk about how a woman in her thirties channels Suzanne Somers and feels the burn. You all were going to have a great laugh.

And then I got a call this morning from my dear friend Fehmeen, telling me that her wonderful husband, ALS Boy, was gone. It was peaceful, she told me. I'm so proud of him, she said. And I cried and cried and cried.

Grief does strange things to a woman in her thirties. I went to L, who was working in his office, and sobbed into his shoulder. 'We're so lucky,' I kept saying, meaning a million different things. He agreed and helped me book a flight home for the funeral, and I got to the business of washing diapers. Because life goes on, even if Jason cannot.

So that is the title of my post. A woman in her thirties goes on. I can get all religious and say God released him from pain; God is good. I can get all philosophical and talk about Jason's fulfilled purpose in this world. But then I think about his daughter growing up without her Dad. I think about how the Today show spent an entire segment this morning on the state of Ashton and Demi's marriage. I think about how this afternoon I took Anna to Little Gym, then went to the grocery store, and just changed into the same sweatpants I wore last night, when Jason was alive.

And I feel nauseous at the unfairness of it all. I feel guilty for all I have, for all the things I take for granted every single day. I feel ashamed for the petty thoughts I allow to consume me. I feel frustrated that I live in a world where we care more about when Kim Kardashian is having a baby than the fact that people like Jason get sick and die.

I watched Anna for a long time after she fell asleep in my arms tonight and thought of Jason. I thought of the first time I went to dinner with him and Fehmeen, and how we made fun of him incessantly for doing detailed lesson plans for every single day he was in the classroom (Teachers, think about this. Detailed lesson plans. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Come on.) I thought of their wedding day, when he sang to her as she walked down the aisle to him, and there wasn't a dry eye in the house. I thought of the emails we'd exchanged over the years as his disease took over his poor body. I stroked my beautiful, healthy daughter's face, and saw Jason smiling, wondering why I was wasting time being sad.

So I decided to go down into the basement and pop in my dorky workout DVD. Go ahead, picture me doing my three-legged Down Dog while peeking at my baby monitor. Laugh at me trying to touch my toes the way Shiva Rea does. I'll be laughing along with you. My laugh will be mixed with tears for a life lost and a grieving family, but it will also be mixed with humility. I am alive. I am healthy. I was blessed to know Jason, and I'm blessed now. My laugh will be mixed with awe at mystery of it all.


  1. My eyes are filled with tears (as I read this and my kids are running around like wild banchees)...both for their family and your loss. And for the way you have of conveying your feelings through your writing. Praying for you and for them.

  2. As a fellow woman in her thirties, I want to thank you so much for your blog. I found it through Jason's blog and I really enjoy reading about you and your family. I am so sad today that I will no longer be eagerly looking forward to the latest adventure of ALS Boy, but I will for sure continue to eagerly await your latest anecdote about your wonderful life. Jason has been an inspiration to me for some time now and I only hope that I can be as strong and good-humored on my journey as he has been in his own journey with ALS.

    And detailed lesson plans every day??????? My principal gets a weekly plan and he better be grateful he got one at all!! LOL

  3. I never met Jason or Fahmeen but feel like I know them, because of his blog and because of how you have spoken of them through the years. I'm so sad for their family, but so glad that it was a peaceful end for him after a fight with such a terrible, terrible illness. :(

  4. This post so perfectly encapsulates a struggle I've often felt as I've grown older and watched life take others I knew far too soon. I wish I could say that I've found a better way to pay tribute to those less fortunate than to be grateful for what I've been given, but I haven't. My heart goes out to Jason's family and friends for what I know is a terrible loss. Sending love to you, too, Mei-Mei.

  5. Holy cow I wish there had been a disclaimer (that's that I get for reading blogs at work). Thank you so much for sharing such a powerful and meaningful perspective. Saying a prayer for Fahmeen and their family.