Marietta, Ohio

I just want to say that, as I write this, I am at the end of a week’s vacation with my children. Which may sound like fun to the uninitiated…and, believe me, I had fun…but…well, I will let the next blog tell you about the actual road trip. This post is about my stop in Marietta, Ohio.

I stopped there, on my way back north to Michigan. I was trying, desperately to make the trek from Tybee Island, GA, to Michigan in one fell swoop…but traffic and fatigue intervened and I finally caved and pulled into a hotel for the night (Marriott, just for the record). I took my three children into our room, tucked them in, and proceeded to pass out. Well, once the drunk dudes trying to get into our room at midnight left–that was some kind of fun–good thing I had the safety latch on the door–and the ability to swear like a sailor, even while semi awake and in mid stride to the door, to protect my children–anyway, I digress.

This is what I want to talk about. The next morning I took my children down to the breakfast area. I got my son Noah, a biscuit and some juice and helped him to sit down at a table. I noticed a woman looking at me. That’s pretty normal–let’s face it–I have an autistic son that is six foot, one inch tall and two African children…I get looks. I made sure the other two were settled in at the table with Noah and I made for the coffee.

The woman was there, pumping furiously away. I said “Oh god please tell me there is coffee!” Maybe it was the slight hysteria in my voice or the blood shot look to my eyes, but she replied that there was, just not decaf, but by the look of me, I needed stronger than that. I looked at her and said yeah, well, with all of those kids,  I needed some strong stuff..and really, where the hell did all those children come from and why do they keep calling me mom??

She froze for a minute and asked me if I were kidding– I said of course. She asked how many do you have? I said four, and I am not even sure how that happened. She asked well, how did it? I said well, I gave birth to the first two and said that’s enough of that, and then adopted the second set, straight from Africa. She said and how is that going? I said well..it’s a bit interesting,  I can tell you that. And I laughed out loud.  She asked how I dealt with all of this…and I said that I drank heavily and exercised frequently–just not at the same time.

And then this magical conversation happened. She talked to me about her childhood a bit, and I disclosed a bit of mine…It’s interesting to me how survivors seem to have this radar for each other…We laughed for a few minutes, but I could tell that if given more time we would have been weeping…

I hope she finds my blog. I told her about it. I want her to know that meeting her let me feel good about making friends again…the blow I was dealt in the friend department recently was really a sucker punch to my soul…this chance meeting…was just what I needed.

We ended our encounter with her hugging me and giving me a kiss….Thank you so, so much for that kiss…I needed that hug, that kiss..I was afraid to hug back as I felt as though I would shatter into a million pieces….so I just laughed and smiled….

We survivors….as she and I discussed…it doesn’t matter how old we are…the legacy we carry…it is always with us. But, as I told her, what we choose to do with it…this…this is where we draw our power, our strength. I said I use my unique background for writing and comedy…It’s so much better to laugh than to cry.

So, if you read this, and you are the woman I met at the hotel….drop me a line…and…to anybody else…any survivors out there…know you’re not alone…anybody can coast thru life. It takes somebody strong as hell to survive and thrive. Let’s thrive. Starting now.

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