Monday, August 8, 2011

An "Anniversary" Memory

Sometimes a truly vivid memory bubbles up out of the blue. Has this ever happened to you on the anniversary of a momentous experience? It certainly happens to me.
Perhaps this occurred today because find myself in another hotel bed, transitioning between one place to another.
Fourteen years ago today I was technically homeless: our worldly belongings were packed in a moving van, I was in a hotel room, this time with my husband, 3 daughters, a rabbit, and 2 Siamese cats. We were about to leave Topeka KS, the place I had lived my entire life, and move to San Antonio TX. Along with us were around 50 employees and their families, all taking a gigantic leap of faith with us (thank you!).
I received a telephone call on that morning that my mother went into the hospital in acute congestive heart failure. Warren Meyer, a cardiologist friend of mine, was caring for her. I distinctly remember sitting at her bedside feeling like I was in an impossible place: how could I leave my mother, yet how could I not go with my children and husband? Warren asked me how quickly I could get back. At the time, the answer was in under 4 hours. He said, "Leslie, you need to go. You need to be with your children". Of course he was right, and really there was no question about it, yet at the time it felt like an impossible place to find myself.
My mother survived that round, we made it to San Antonio, and carved out a new life. Those first 6 years were challenging as I spent so much time shuttling between TX and KS while my mother's health declined.
Why am I writing this? I write because a blog is a memory-keeper, of sorts. It seems important to say that, throughout it all, my family and friends supported me in ways I could never have imagined. It was a difficult (& delightful!), bittersweet period of my life: I lost my only sister, then my mother, during those years. Some of you were with me all along, and some of you I was lucky enough to find along the way.
I just want to say thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I honestly can't imagine how I would have gotten through those years without you.


  1. What a lovely post, Leslie. Like you I find these memories making their way to my blog - today, in fact. They seem to resonate as we read your story, our own stories connect. I remember driving away from my parents, making the big move from Idaho to Oregon and the sadness on my mother's face, though she tried to hide it, haunted me, but my life was with my husband and children. Our stories connect us all...

  2. Thank you for sharing this. I spent many years with young children shuttling back to New York to be with my family during the tough times. You brought back those bittersweet memories. We used to say we were in the sandwich years of our lives.

  3. Memories are important and make a loss bearable. It's good to be there for each other. The internet makes it possible.

  4. It is SO true: we have common experiences that connect us. My husband was completely amazing through those above-described years. My women friends were/are my lifeline. These big life changes are bittersweet but they certainly help to keep things in perspective. Thank you so much for your comments. They mean a lot to me

  5. Lesley, thanks for sharing this beautiful memory. You are an inspiration. xx

  6. Hi Leslie: What a heartfelt and heartwarming post. We are shaped so much by our challenges and experiences, they become part of the foundation of our lives....our bones. You are generous to share and it's an honor to read.

    Website looks terrific, btw.


  7. Thank you so much for all your kind words. I'm getting happy with the website!


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