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Dear Cancer

Dear Cancer,

Six years ago, I was in a relationship the worst human being on earth. We’ll call him Clint. I am firmly convinced the only reason he doesn’t have a website dedicated to warning the world of his psychopathy is because people are afraid to mention his name after they finally excise him from their life…like Voldemort. He was emotionally abusive and left a shell of me in ruins. He was, by far, one of the worst things to ever happen to me in life.

There are two people that I credit with pulling me from the rubble. One of them is Diana. In the years since I met her, through Clint ironically, she has become a sister to me. She was the one glaring silver lining that I got out of my time with him and for that I am eternally grateful.

I love her so much I escorted all three of her girls (3yrs, 4yrs and 6yrs at the time) to DisneyWorld on my own so she could have a morning to chill out after being trapped with them for a week. That is hardcore devotion.

Today Diana was diagnosed with breast cancer. I am 1,000 miles away and can’t get to one of the people I would kill for without asking any questions. I want to hug her. I want to hug the girls. I want to be able to tell her that everything is going to be ok. I want to reassure her. I want to reassure myself.

I’m trying not to worry. She’s young. I’m sure they caught it early and breast cancer treatment has great success. These are the things I’m trying to focus on. I’m trying not to cry. I’m trying to push the fear from my mind. I’m trying…

So you see, Cancer, you can’t have this one. We’ve never formally met, but I can assure you I am every bit as stubborn as she is and I will help her fight you every step of the way.

Sincerely,

Lesley

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Conversations with Friends

This is a conversation I just had.

Me: I don’t care if he pushes me against a wall and invokes the spirit of Hemingway, himself. I’m not sleeping with him.

Friend: Hemingway? I would think Henry James would be better.

Me: Henry James was gay.

Friend: The Tropic of Cancer guy?

Me: You mean Henry Miller.

Friend: Oh yeah.

This is also one of the many reasons I’m single.

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Big Girls Don’t Cry

When I was 10 I had a boyfriend named Zack. He was my boyfriend for two days.

It was a thrilling proposal. I think my friend Jennifer was more excited that me about the prospect of us “going together” and it was the equivalent of an arranged marriage in my world. Jennifer asked him if he wanted to go out with me, then turned and asked me if I wanted to go with him and…POOF! I had a boyfriend. To celebrate a bunch of us kids went to play in the creek that ran behind our suburban Austin homes. That’s  when I sliced my foot open on a rock. I didn’t cry in spite of the pain, but I also wouldn’t let Zack comfort me.

I begged some of the other kids to go get my mom and eventually she appeared, pulled me from the large stone I had perched on in the middle of the creek and helped me hobble to the car.

I never talked to Zack again and we moved to Nashville two days later. (Zack, if you’re reading this, you should know I’ve moved on and you should, too.)

It occurred to me that I did the same thing today, 23 years later. Only this time, when I need my mom, she’s not really thrilled to find out I’m in a bind. In fact today was the first time I’ve talked to her in the eight days since I totaled my car. I was with a friend when she called me this afternoon and as I hung up the phone I fought back the well of tears struggling to surface in my eyes and shrugged off the comfort offered from someone who was trying to help. I’m in this one alone, but what bothers me more is that there’s nobody around I can even cry to.

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Jumping

The only way you’re ever going to know if you’re any good at something is to do it and do it with everything you have.

I don’t want to devote the same time and energy to writing that I would to making a Mosaic tile table top, a weekend here and there until it’s ready to show off to the world. I’m never going to become a remarkable tile artist, but I know I’m a fantastic writer when something inspires me.

My computer has been down for a week and I’ve been half crazy being kept away from these people I’ve been writing the last few months. However, I have managed to flush out another idea in the meantime, but this isn’t going to be a DIY side project this time. This time, I’m jumping.

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