Before I got to my writing group (AKA PWC) meeting at the Midtown Tap and Tea in Albany tonight, I was thinking about how hard it has been since Kathryn passed away…how I seem stuck in neutral with my writing, how I don’t know what my problem is, how much I still miss Kathryn. And how silent my blog has been. And how silent I have felt since she left us. I can’t explain why I feel this way, but I do just feel so lost, especially when it comes to my writing.
So on the way in to Albany, I was excited to see my friends and talk writing and teaching, though I also had that same little nervous feeling I've had since September when getting together with my PWC meant it was a meeting without Kathryn.
I almost stayed home tonight because my husband Roger had a headache and I was afraid to leave him with girls, I didn’t want him to get overwhelmed, but he did say to go. So I left.
Then, also on my way, I passed an accident and it looked like someone got hit by a car. I wondered if I should be out driving, with the snow and ice, but I kept driving.
Anyway, I finally arrived and even when I parked I felt less than confident about being at this meeting. Even though Brian and Sean do not make it to every meeting, it is Kathryn I miss. I do miss Brian and Sean but they are gone for good reasons; they are raising babies. Kathryn is gone for No Good Reason and I still can’t completely deal with that.
I was walking towards the back entrance of the Tea Room when I saw an older woman getting out of a car, passenger side, at the rear entrance of a different restaurant. A younger person was sitting in the driver's seat, to drop her off, probably because of the wet snow/rain and icy conditions. As I reached the car, I asked the older woman if she needed a hand. She looked up at me and for No Good Reason, I took her hand before she even said yes. It was a good thing I did because just then she slipped on the ice. I held her up and steadied her. She was so grateful, she smiled at me with this huge powerful smile, held my hand and called me her guardian angel. She even hugged me when we parted.
We walked to her restaurant door hand in hand and she kept blessing me. I don’t know if she knew I needed her warm hand as much as she need mine. Or that her, ‘Bless you and bless your Thanksgiving. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving. You are my guardian angel, you were there at just the right time” helped me feel like I slipped back into my life-notch.
She had no idea that I wanted to turn back and go home so many times tonight, but I didn’t. I kept going, dragging myself forward knowing that once I reached my writing group friends, I would receive some solace. Knowing once I arrived I'd let myself be held in the warmth of our teacher/writer conversations and our future personal and professional plans and, as always, our writing discussions.
I had no idea how meaningful and how important it would be for me to go to my writing group meeting tonight--- for non-writing reasons as well as writing reasons. For that woman in the parking lot. For me. Maybe I needed to come for myself, of course, but maybe I needed to know that I need to write for more than just me.
I miss Kathryn.
But today I felt like it was ok to miss her and still write and still reach out to be a part of my Professional Writing Cohort. Kathryn was the reason I went to that winter meeting up at Nicole’s family cabin last February…she was the reason I was a part of this group. Kathryn always spoke so positively about me, about how I taught and about my writing, she gave me the confidence to share what I write to a small group of passionate educators and they helped me share to a bigger audience. She was my bridge. She brought me from being on the peripheral to being a member of this life-changing group. And when she was gone I wasn’t sure where I fit with my writing anymore.
And then that lady grabbed my hand, told me she was glad I was here and called me her guardian angel. And for No Good Reason I felt like a weight had been lifted. And just maybe I could remember how to use my words again. Kathryn would have wanted me to fill my pages with words and to share it. She would have wanted me to write for teachers, for the silenced, for No Good and for Every Good Reason.