Now We Are Six

Lynn on December 5, 2014

This is a photo of me, taken the morning of December 5, 2014 in the bedroom of our temporary house. It's the last in a series of self-portraits I took every morning to document my life since a fire took our home three weeks before, and it's the last photo I have of my first 53 years.

Later that day, as I was sitting down to dinner in the temp house with my family, I suffered a massive stroke. I've talked about it here in the past, and so I will briefly recount the basics: how I came within sheer hours of dying; how our brother-from-another-mother Austin found the CLEAR-III study that saved my life; and how I spent the next two years regaining some semblance of personhood.

I am now working to find compassion for the cardiologists who literally killed me in 2006 and very nearly again in 2014--and for myself. It's so hard to do, isn't it, to forgive oneself. As I've said, I have lost my writer half, possibly for good; I closed her website a couple of weeks ago, in fact, after twelve years, and it hurt, a lot.

And yet I think I am a better person than I was in the photo. My husband John thinks so, too. In general, I am happier. Times like this, when I allow myself to feel the anger that threatens to eat me, I am more as I was, and I despair. Then I breathe, air flows in and out through my body, and I regain serenity. "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." That's the only prayer that makes any sense now.

I am deeply grateful to have been with John, Josie and Louisa these last six years, and hope to spend many more years with them to come. And I am deeply grateful to include you among my friends. Thank you.