I often think about the pivotal moments that changed the course of my life forever. This bench represents one.
When I lived in Columbus, Ohio, I spent many hours writing, reading, pondering and dreaming on this bench. One afternoon, a woman sat next to me and confided that the bench was dedicated to her daughter, a mother of two young children, who died in a tragic accident at 35.
Fast forward a couple of years, and I was ready to leave Columbus for a promising nonprofit job in my (then) favorite state of Maine. Between Christmas and Near Year’s Eve, the decision to move sat uncomfortably in my gut.
Sitting on my bench that last week off the year, I noticed that Mary Alice Hanover-vonLunen died on January 17th. My movers were booked for January 17th; it was a sign.
Now, I don’t believe in signs, but the fact that I was searching--desperately--for a sign suggested I didn’t want to move. I called off the movers, bailed on my new apartment lease and rescinded my acceptance of that job.
These days, I wonder what my life might have been in Maine. Would I still be working in the nonprofit sector? Would I have returned to writing sooner? Would I have a different spouse and (gulp) different children?
I think of Mary Alice often. I think of her children, who are now adults. I hope they are well and happy. I am well and happy, thanks to her.
[Other stops in Columbus this week included Buckeye Donuts, Cap City Diner and Graeter’s. Yes, I was hungry. Yes, there is a slice of Seriously Big Chocolate Cake in my cooler.]
I blog rarely, because I'm writing books. When I do blog, I focus on writing, friendship, family, and books. Because my family's best nicknames are private, I use their birth years for shorthand: