So, After I Was Born


After I was born, I grew. Tallest girl in my entire elementary school in 5th grade but terrible at sports. Acne, glasses, and braces on my teeth helped to add to my appeal. I walked around the hallways in between class with my shoulders slumped, my head hanging down, clutching my notebooks to my chest and avoiding eye contact with everyone, and then wondered why I was so unpopular. Go figure.

Now that I’m in my early fifties it’s easy to look back and laugh. Back then, I contemplated suicide. But, luckily, I inherited a strong stubborn streak – and I’m a Libra. Ta dam.

All of us have a gift. Each and every one of us has that something special. Ya got let it out.

I’m lettin’ it out.

Wanna come along?

I’m going to start with the now, and move backwards. Otherwise, I’ll just meander and make no sense. And, for me, last year time stopped and has ever since then been not quite right. Time keeps slipping away from me while at the same time looming ahead with dark unknowns, and I don’t have enough time to plan for time. I suppose this is what they mean by mid-life crisis? Oy.

By the way, I guess I should introduce myself before I bore you with the little details of my life like shoppers do in long lines at big box stores. Before I take my upper denture out and get comfortable on you, here: I’m Lis, short for Elisabeth, and I am your faithful and truthful narrator from here on out. As an aside, however, my sister Jeanne tells me that most of my memories are rather incorrect as she remembers them, so you can be damn sure she’ll edit as she sees fit.

I trust her. She’s older than me.

She’s looking up our family tree, and has traced us back to the Dutch coming to New York. I’m impressed both with her detailed investigative reporting and with the fact that we are DAR’s by at least five different branches from our maternal grandmother’s side. I feel like I should buy a ball gown with a hoop skirt and bustle.

Jeanne says I’m our family’s Dorothy Parker. I say that Jeanne is the heart of our family. We both make each other blush, but more with pride than embarrassment.

All of my sisters have skills and talents and tremendous stubborness. I like that. It sort of makes up for our father’s lack of having had a son. Boy, did he want one. He tried…and tried…and tried…and…

Actually, seriously, he loved each and every one of us daughters, and was proud of all of us. I know this. This, I know.

But, getting back to the present, I’ll start with Rob. Oh, ouch. This is gonna hurt. But, also be wonderful. Really. Trust me. This, I also know.

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