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Saturday, February 25, 2012

The List

A few weeks ago, I underwent a fairly serious and complicated operation on my back.  While I was waiting in pre-op, I compiled the following list. I thought that today, I'd share that list--of things I wished I'd said, things I wish I'd done, people I wish were in a different role in my life.  The list is kind of scattered--you know, I was on those pre-op sedatives--but at the time, scattered was okay.  Today it'll have to be just enough.

The List

To my mother--I wish the last thing I ever said to you had been based in love, not anger. 

To the teacher who taught me the most about English and writing--I wish you could have seen where I've ended up, and I wish you would have known that the knowledge and enthusiasm you shared with me is now filtering down to hundreds of authors across the planet.

To the University of Tennessee athletic department--You still suck, and all of this is the result of the bad karma you stacked up when you booted out a legend in favor of an asshole.  Just sayin'...

I wish I'd figured out a way to get to Egypt before this.  I need to figure it out in the next couple of years. Maybe it's better to have waited; doing Egypt with a screwed up back would have sucked.

To the naysayers and trolls who've been sneaking around my coat tails--piss off.

To my aunt Lucienne: I can't even begin to tell you how much I miss you.

To my Musa co-directors: Look at us! SQUEEEEE~!

I really wish this story bouncing around in my head would hurry up and get onto paper and leave me alone.  What part of *not for a month* do you NOT understand? 

To the three stories bouncing around New York right now--reel 'em in, wouldcha? I am not a patient person.

Oh, Penumbra--your cover SO kicks ass for March!  Totally. Awesome. Cover.

Hey Doc--please don't screw up my back. Kthxbai.

Regardless of what happens, I will be strong and deal with whatever fortune bounces my way. 

Hey Dad!  I love you, and for the first time in my life I feel like I'm able to address you as an equal instead of the big, silent disapproving *Don't be stupid, Celina* angel on my right shoulder. 

There's a reason I have a *Jackasses* folder in my inbox. Unfortunately, it's a lot more full than I thought it would be.

What do I have to do to get a damn ice chip in this place anyway?

Okay, the will and the literary estate are set up, as are the living will and the donor registry form and the power of attorney.  Hopefully the big THIS IS FOR AUDREY written across the back of the Dali woodcut prints will not be contested by anyone. Hopefully.

Wait a second--wow. I am seriously (hopefully) at the midpoint of my life. I'm not a kid or a young adult anymore.  Now I have to be...responsible?  Or at the very least, determined.  Good thing determination is a quality I have always had.

I think that at the end of my life, the best possible realization I should have as I draw my last breath is -- I never gave up. I never gave in. Now I can rest.

I wonder--if I did die today, where would I haunt?

Not this house.  Not my last house.  Not my Dad's house. The house I grew up in?  Maybe.  But actually--probably the theater building at APSU.  The Trahern needs a new ghost, and I'm smartass enough alive or dead to really leave my 'mark' on shows they do there.

To my brother: when we were little, I really tried hard with you.  But you aren't the 'trying' kind of guy, I guess. At the very least, we should be able to get along for Dad's sake--but I won't compete with drugs for your attention just to make our father happy. Clean it up.

Once upon a time, there was a couple who taught Latin in a middle-sized Tennessee town.  They influenced hundreds of really smart kids, kids who are now doctors, professors, lawyers, teachers and even one writer/editor/publisher. This couple is so amazing, so wonderfully ageless and incredible, that they are still turning out those kinds of kids thirty years later.  God bless the Warrens, and the Junior Classical League in Clarksville, Tennessee.  I'm sketching out my experiences with them as the basis of a story.  When I'm recovered from this, I need to sound out some of my other JCL compadres for their memories too.  

There should be more stories where teacher are heroes. 

There should be more heroes for the teachers.

To my husband: we can overcome anything as long as we continue to work, live and love as a unit.

To my granddaughters:  as you three get older, be sure to listen to the stories of your heritage on all sides.  You'll learn wonderful things about your family--all about Indians and entrepreneurs and artists and writers, about births and marriages and death, about how every single person had to decide who/what they were going to be, and how some succeeded and others failed. All these lessons happened for a reason--so that you could listen to those stories and learn from them, one way or another.

Is there anything sweeter or happier than an infant or a young child?  I don't think so.

Unless it's kittens.

Pain has a purpose.  Somewhere. I guess. Funny, though--the cure for pain is apparently MORE pain.  That's a life lesson everyone should learn at some time.

This damn idiot just blew ANOTHER vein in my arm. I'm going to look like the world's only fat heroin addict by the time I get out of here.

I wish my family could have all been together, all happy, all supportive of each other. I don't remember a single day of my life where that was the case.

To my daughters--live, love, learn. Don't be so rooted in the past that you fail to move toward your future. The past will just hold you back; the future will lure you in. 

The next month is going to suck.  Good thing I'm going to miss the next few hours of it--

* Just so you guys know, the surgery went very well.  Now I'm back at home, and doing much better.  Still laid up with pain--who wouldn't be?--but starting to move around better and catching up on my reading for fun.  In other words, everything's going well.*