The daughter of one of my oldest/bestest friends reached out to me last week. She had an assignment to write a paper on a rare disease and chose ALD. Her thoughtful questions had me sharing details about Jack’s life. Questions about his diagnosis, experiences through transplant, returning to school and about what Jack’s life looks like now.
I always try to be honest when answering such questions. The idea that a high school student is spending the time to educate herself, and in turn, educated her teacher and her classmates, is valuable and I want to make sure the information I provide is accurate. And, after eleven years, I’ve shared the details enough that I’m usually able to write the words without focusing too much on the meaning behind them.
This week has been different. As I was writing, the words keep hitting me — but not in the way you might expect. As I was describing what Jack’s life looks like now, I kept thinking, I wanna be like Jack.
Let me explain.
I’m feeling rather overwhelmed. Putting our house on the market this month seemed like excellent timing. Our three story home is filled with rooms that we don’t use and Jack’s life would be far easier with fewer steps. Anna seemed excited about returning home from second semester to a new house, and I kept thinking it would be a wonderful distraction from my blues about Anna being away at school.
So we hired our dear friend/hotshot realtor, cleaned up our house and put it on the market. Within a week of listing, we were under contract (we were fortunate to have a lot of interest and ultimately sold to a beautiful young family from Brooklyn). So easy, but I guess I wasn’t really prepared for Part One of our moving project to be completed so quickly. I hadn’t thought too much about all the next steps – the inspections and lawyers and finding our next home.
The other day, I took a break from digging up old paperwork and searching house listings to answer some questions about Jack’s life for my friend’s daughter. I looked over at Jack who was sitting on his favorite couch, his legs up on the ottoman and his dog by his side. He had a grin ear to ear. He doesn’t worry about home inspections or details like where we are moving in May. He just lives in the moment and knows that his team has everything covered.
I could have felt sad as I wrote the long list of things that Jack can’t do, but all I could think about was how relaxed and happy he looked. Sometimes I wish I had a team that I could trust would take care of everything.
Sometimes, I just wanna be like Jack.
Before you pick up the phone to send me a text trying to cheer me up — I’M OKAY — just a little stressed. I know that within the next few weeks, we will figure out our next move. It’s time to pass along our beautiful house to another family that will fill it with love and memories. And, it’s time for our family to start a new chapter. It’s going to be amazing — and easy and flat.