Thursday, February 16, 2012


I’m surprised how often Wellfleet has crept into the conversation over the past month. As most of you know, I am not on Cape Cod right now. I’m attending Grub Street, in Boston. During one of my first writing classes, a fellow student exclaimed, “You live in Wellfleet? Awesome! We spend a week every summer camping in Truro.”

I had come to the city to take courses, but last week the trajectory of my stay suddenly bifurcated and I ended up spending four days at Mass General after my elder daughter had a serious emergency procedure. Then, once home, she developed a small blood clot. Back we went to the ER. Her sister was with us, and we were discussing the future. Nat said, “You know, we will probably all be walking Wellfleet’s beaches, like Grandma, way into our 90s.” That was my second ER visit in one week and her third. The comment may not have eased my stress, but it did provide a good laugh, indispensable at such times.

A few days earlier, after the procedure, we talked death. (It had been on our minds, so why not discuss it?) Nat mentioned the pear tree under which we had buried my parents’ ashes, the pear tree, planted in Wellfleet.

At least the view was incredible. Her room sat at the top of the tallest MGH building, and Boston stretched out at our feet. It was possible to see from the Citgo sign all the way to Logan airport. Hills loomed to the west. Newton Highlands? Wellesley? Beacon Hill was chock-a-block with what reminded me of miniature Monopoly houses, one cuter and more expensive than the next. Grass grew on the roof of some of the buildings. To the east, I could watch the interminable ballet of jets landing or taking off. And, to the south? A string of lights on the highway, leading home to Wellfleet.

Now she is on blood thinners, counter-intuitive since she has a bleeding disorder, but necessary to dissolve the clot.

I don’t like to discuss family on this blog. That’s not it's focus. Still, I do believe in the power of prayer and wanted readers to know why my posts may be a bit off for a while.

This has been a lesson on what matters in life. Family matters. Cherish yours.