Today my stepfather's symptoms got worse and so I am staying up in Maine. He has Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. Hint: if you can avoid this happening in your life, it will be better for you.
There is not much to say other than it's not looking good right now. There are miracles, all kinds of things could happen, but when the doctor says things like: initially when he came in, I thought the glass was half full, about now I think it's half empty, then you know things are not going well.
I am very sad because of all this and wish there was a lot more I could do. In lieu of that I clean things and forget other things. I sit outside and look at the stars, listen to the bullfrogs and have moments of peace in the aptly named Healing Garden in the back of the hospital. I was seeing the big yellow butterflies, the bees pollinating the purple flowers, hearing the many birds and looking at the small woodland and feeling: it's all OK. Not in a denial way but in an immanent kind of way...
I am being there as much as I can for my mother and others and also taking care of myself, because if I don't do that the whole thing falls apart. Everyone involved keeps reminding each other to do so. Some days are better than others for all of us. That's to be expected.
My mother and I brought Tom his Ganesh carved out of stone for him in Nepal and photos of him when he was healthy and with family. This is lovely and helps the staff remember he's a person. I thank my friend Katie for this suggestion...among many she has made.
I want to thank all my friends for sending prayers and notes of love and support, and Team Ugo for taking care of my cat. And of course Julie for being Julie...if I write more than that, I'll just start crying.
Please send prayers to Tom at Midcoast Medical Center if you would for whatever journey he is on, that it may be peaceful and full of love. If there is a heaven and there's no place for Tom, then it's empty. Seriously. I wish everyone reading this could meet him and if you already have, you know what I'm saying.
Be well and much love.
Welcome to my blog..
"We struggle with dream figures and our blows fall on living faces." Maurice Merleau-Ponty
When I started this blog in 2011, I was in a time of transition in my life between many identities - that of Artistic Director of a company (Apocryphal Theatre) to independent writer/director/artist/teacher and also between family identity, as I discover a new family that my grandfather's name change at the request of his boss in WWII hid from view - a huge Hungarian-Slovak contingent I met in 2011. Please note in light of this the irony of the name of my recently-disbanded theatre company. This particular transition probably began in the one month period (Dec. 9, 2009-Jan. 7, 2010) in which I received a PhD, my 20 year old cat died on my father's birthday and then my father, who I barely knew, died too. I was with him when he died and nothing has been the same since. This blog is tracing the more conscious elements of this journey and attempt to fill in the blanks. I'm also writing a book about my grandmothers that features too. I'd be delighted if you joined me. (Please note if you are joining mid-route, that I assume knowledge of earlier posts in later posts, so it may be better to start at the beginning for the all singing, all dancing fun-fair ride.) In October 2011, I moved back NYC after living in London for 8 years and separated from my now ex-husband, which means unless you want your life upended entirely don't start a blog called Somewhere in Transition. In November 2011, I adopted a rescue cat named Ugo. He is lovely. As of January 2012, I began teaching an acting class at Hunter College, which is where one of my grandmothers received a scholarship to study acting, but her parents would not let her go. All things come round…I began to think it may be time to stop thinking of my life in transition when in June 2012 my stepfather Tom suddenly died. Now back in the U.S. for a bit, I notice, too, my writing is more overtly political, no longer concerned about being an expat opining about a country not my own. I moved to my own apartment in August 2012 and am a very happy resident of Inwood on the top tip of Manhattan where the skunks and the egrets roam in the last old growth forest on the island.
I am now transitioning into being married again with a new surname (Barclay-Morton). John is transitioning from Canada to NYC and as of June 2014 has a green card. So transition continues, but now from sad to happy, from loss to love...from a sense of alienation to a sense of being at home in the world.
As of September 2013 I started teaching writing (composition and rhetoric) as an adjunct professor at Fordham University, which I have discovered I love with an almost irrational passion. While felt blessed for the opportunity, after four years of this, the lack of pay combined with heavy work load stopped working, so have transferred this teaching passion to private workshops in my own apartment and working with writers one on one, which I adore. I will die a happy person if I never have to grade an assignment ever again.
I worked full time on the book thanks to a successful crowd-funding campaign in May 2014 and completed it at two residencies at Vermont Studio Center and Wisdom House in summer 2015. I have done some revisions and am shopping it around to agents and publishers now, along with a new book recently completed.
I am now working full-time as a freelance writer, writing workshop leader, coach, and editor. Contact me if you are interested in any of these services.
Not sure when transition ends, if it ever does. As the saying goes, the only difference between a sad ending and a happy ending is where you stop rolling the film.
For professional information, publications, etc., go to my linked in profile and website for Barclay Morton Editorial & Design. My Twitter account is @wilhelminapitfa. You can find me on Facebook under my full name Julia Lee Barclay-Morton. More about my grandmothers' book: The Amazing True Imaginary Autobiography of Dick & Jani
Recently, I started a website Our Grandmothers, Our Selves, which has stories about many people's grandmothers. Please check it out. I will be blogging there, too, now. You can also contact me through that site.