There was a running theme in my relationship with Scott. I don’t recall how it began, or who’s idea it was or even how it became reduced to one word. If I had to venture a guess, I would say it was around the time I was a very busy woman, raising a four and a half-year old who asked nonstop questions and experimented by putting sand into just filled ice-cube trays, to see if it would freeze. (it didn’t) Combine that with a fifteen room house that was too big for a woman to clean by herself, a breastfeeding five month old and a four-day a week job teaching as a visiting artist in a private school, and that is probably the point where I wanted to escape my life, sometimes. Funny, how when you ask the universe for everything in your heart and it comes to fruition, how we don’t recall asking for those things!
I was 38 years old and very tired with a second child and a husband who had an exciting job and traveled all over the place, doing what he loved. He was also doing what I loved… and that would be the point of contention in my heart, for some time. Women had grown up being told to “Go for It!”, you can have it all. I was feeling mediocre at everything, for I surely couldn’t stay up past 7:40 pm and my idea of going for it was taking my son out for a special date night on Tuesdays at five pm, at Friendly’s! His date with me consisted of a clown sundae, with mint chip ice cream and the cone inverted to look like a clown hat.
Meanwhile, back in Manhattan, Scott was getting ready to fly to Europe. He was doing a series of jobs for Citibank, and the Director decided he wanted to shoot in London and Paris. Please understand, most of this was shot on a Greenscreen, meaning it could have been filmed in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. It didn’t matter where. Scott did a good job at hiding his excitement for leaving. I would be a liar if I didn’t admit I was not so secretly feeling resentful and put upon. I know there is no logic with this, just emotions. I also know I would never try to tell any woman to work or not work while having children. It’s a journey not set in stone, and there is no one correct way. I’d welcome your feedback, after reading this. Many roads lead to Rome, and we are all just making it up as we go along.
Paris! That’s it! The word that meant to escape your life for a while. It later became our code for: The Future. If pain became too great for him, we would talk about Paris. The Eiffel Tower. The Salons.We spoke of meeting in Paris in 1905, in the future. If you are a believer of past, present and future all happening at the same time, this is a comforting idea when you are losing someone from this earth. The escapism from the reality of suffering, as well as dreams lost and trips not taken. We thought we had all the time in the world to do these things. We were mistaken. Nobody knows what the future will bring. A huge lesson learned. No Regrets. Live your life, now.
Postscript: Seven weeks after Scott died, I fell down my stairs from a sheer lack of sleep, dropping my laptop. After a week in the hospital, I was back home, but moving very slowly. I had an idea to start writing about my experiences, but now lacked a computer. There was a doorbell, and the UPS guy left a package. It was from my Aunt Teresa, from Florida. I opened the package and it was a laptop! Eternally grateful, I turned it on, and the first image that came up was a vintage photograph of The Eiffel Tower. Underneath it, were the words, “Paris, 1905”. It still makes me cry, tears of gratitude. Life is good, isn’t it?