the next few years are a blur. there was lots of driving, up and down, up and down, with cat in tow, dog in tow, driving together, driving separate, lots of driving. arguing in the car, a hot box of stress and emotion with no way out. lots of living apart, working nonstop to try to make ends meet, trying to stay close through alienated phone conversations, trying to manage two living quarters so far apart and in dire need of attention. there was the throwing of art shows, every month for a couple of years, making postcards, paying for printing and postage, hand addressing, hanging the art, making the food, and selling little, if anything, maybe enough to cover the cost of wine. it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. it was one crazy ride in a foggy haze. how much longer can we continue on this way? i would say to myself. this isn't sustainable. yet i was still reluctant to cut ties with portland, my city, the home of my beloved family and my long sought after art career. james thought i would never move. eventually we would tire of the charade.
and then the levee broke. one evening i got the call. i was in edison. it was my mom.
"the cancer is back."
i guess there had to be a reason why i couldn't leave, all along.