Today marks 8 months since we lost Maggie. Still it feels like moment ago.
We've done a lot in 8 months. planned and took a trip to London and Ireland, spent four days in Boston, went to San Diego for a graduation, sold the van, cleaned out most of Maggie's things, cleaned out and sold my father in law's house (OK that was mostly Steve and his siblings, not me) went to work, gave talks, worked on a paper about services for the disabled, planned and attended my high school reunion, raised money for the hospital, spent time with friends and family, got up every morning, survived, and so much more. In short, I've kept myself busy.
Being busy helps; but a lot of it feels very artificial.
I need to figure out what's next. Not in the busy bee fashion I have been doing things, but in a thoughtful, considered plan for the future. I do have some thing to offer - mad skills - I'm just not sure where or how to market them.
My husband wants me to feel fulfilled and happy and encourages me to go back to practicing law full time, I told him that's not for me, but never really articulated why -- mostly because I didn't know why. He assumes I don't think I can get back in to the swing but that's not it. I admit that going to work in a law firm at my age is not very enticing, but it's not because I don't think I can do it, I know I can, The question is what good does that do anyone?
We are approaching this from completely different angles. He thinks I'm selling myself short by not considering that, but I told him today that I think I am selling myself and Maggie short if I do consider that.
I am only now figuring some of this out, and I'm still having trouble articulating it. But I know this: I can't go back to the way things were before Maggie was in our lives. I am not the same person. More importantly, though, the skills that set me apart are not as a lawyer, they are the things I learned and did in the past 20 years as a "lady in waiting" in Maggie's world.
I know how the system works, or doesn't work, in California, I know where the weak spots are and who is manipulating those. I know there are people out there busting their tails trying to improve things for the disabled in California and there are others who impede those efforts in both overt and covert, conscious and unconscious ways. I know more awareness of all of this will help at every level, but I don't want to be a shrill voice that is lost in the wind. I want to be part of something that can make a change.
I know things can be better and I want to help make them so. I want to do that for Maggie and I want to do that for me and I want to do that for the disabled people of California, because they are my peeps.
I want the last 20 years to count.
So this lady in waiting is waiting for an opportunity.