Holy crap, winter is so hard for me. I need sun and warmth and LIGHT. I need to be outside. I need to be wearing flip flops. I need the beach. Winter has been more and more difficult for me to manage as I’ve aged but I’m working on it. I’ve been trying new routines, working out more, embracing winter with a much more positive mindset, and this year I made it all the way to March before I began to let it get to me.
And then, Luke Perry died.
So the groundhog predicted an early spring. I was so excited. I know, it’s a groundhog. But it’s something. Despite this prediction, we woke up to enough snow to shovel on March 2nd. March is a spring month and spring was supposed to arrive early. What the HELL. The kids were excited to finally have some snow to play in (Southern CT has seen very little snow this year) so I embraced the “snow day” with my new positive mindset, took some pictures, and enjoyed the day.
And then on Monday, we had more snow to shovel. This snow was enough to hurt my back. I took no pictures of my kids playing in the snow.
And then, on the same day, news broke that Luke Perry had died.
Winter can now, officially, go to hell.
Sunday afternoon of this same snowy weekend, my family celebrated the official end to my father’s cancer treatment. He powered through almost 8 months of chemo and we are so very hopeful that the cancer is gone. He did it. He’s feeling good and ready to embrace what’s next. We went to a fancy restaurant and feasted. We bought him some gifts, the kids made him some gifts, and we all, finally, breathed a sigh of relief. Well, all but me. I’m just not ready yet to be relieved. Maybe it’s my ever present low level of anxiety or maybe it’s residual trauma from facing my father’s mortality in the first place. Maybe it’s winter.
This weekend I also received results from an MRI scan of my oldest’s brain. She has Neurofibramotsis Type I (NF1) and a seizure disorder. NF1 is a chronic neurological condition that causes benign tumors (neuromas) to develop in her body. It also causes other abnormalities all which have very technical sounding names. Overall my daughter is thriving and all of her various medical conditions are being effectively managed. MRIs always make me anxious, however, and reading the technical report from the doctor does not help as it mentions all of the NF “markers” on her brain. Yes, the office called and told me there are no changes and everything is stable and there is nothing to be concerned about at this time. Most of the time we live our lives with her NF1 diagnosis in a metaphorical drawer…almost like a passport…and we pull it out when we need it. When I read MRI reports, however, I’m forced to remember that it is indeed there, worry over it, be sad because of it. I’m not sure why I tortured myself and read that technical report yesterday. Maybe it’s because she’s getting older and I need to have more answers to her questions or maybe it’s because she continues to have seizures despite being told she would “grow out of them” and I’m desperate for an answer as to why. Maybe it’s winter.
Luke Perry suffered a massive stroke and died this weekend. He was 52. Since I was a teenager in the 90s, Luke Perry, or his alter ego Dylan McKay, was the imaginary boyfriend of my dreams. He was everything I could ever want in a boy–sexy, angsty, sweet, and he had a smile that made you forget your own name. He was a little bad and my mother would probably hate him if I brought him home. He was perfect. Beverly Hills, 90210 ran from 1990-2000. Since I attended high school from 1991-1994 the kids of 90210 were us. Their high school was the high school we all wished we attended. Their fashion was our fashion (or at least we tried). Their drama was our drama. When they all moved on to college, we all moved on to college. When they struggled to become adults, we were struggling to become adults. I watched the final season of 90210 while I was in graduate school and about to be married. I grew up with them. And now one of them is gone and I am devastated. Maybe it’s because I spent so much time dreaming about him or maybe it’s because his death is reminding me of my own age and mortality. Maybe it’s winter.
So. I’m kind of a mess right now. I’m tired and emotionally wrung out and desperately in need of some spring. I tried, winter, I really did. I was plugging along. I actually said, out loud to someone, how this winter “hasn’t been so bad”. But enough is enough. I need you to go. The loss of Luke Perry was just too much. I’m holding on by my fingernails, winter. By my fingernails. Move along. Spring needs to bloom and the world needs to be rejuvenated and refreshed. As do I.