My phone dings before 8 a.m. I think it must be Gerry or Laurinda—both of whom are currently in Kamloops, separately and for different reasons—but no. It’s Makiya, texting me from her bedroom downstairs. I think I’m sick.
With her under the weather and no need for an early-morning commute to Caronport to drop her off at school, I brew another cup of tea and adjust the loose plans I had for the day. There were no specific plans, other than to spend time in the company of words—reading and writing them—but the butterfly effect of my granddaughter staying home from school affects the day that’s just getting started.
Later, with her resting, I head to the library to return books. It’s a beautiful two-story brick and limestone building, circa 1913. There are meeting rooms upstairs—I’m planning to be there tomorrow night to meet with the Moose Jaw Night Writers for the first time.
“Do you want a bag?” the woman at the desk asks when she’s checking out my books.
“No thanks,” I tell her.
But, it’s raining when I come out, and I rush to pull a reusable bag from my purse for them so they don’t get wet. It’s slippery, and the rain makes it worse. I step gingerly across the street and down the sidewalk toward my car.
I stop at the coffee shop on the way home for a venti caramel macchiato with an extra shot. (It’s not really on the way home. I detour, feeling the need for a boost after too many late-for-me nights this week.
Now I’m home, allowing myself to get lost in a memoir I borrowed this morning: Without a Map by Meredith Hall. It’s hurting my heart to read about the cruelty of self-righteous human beings toward a young woman.
Family. Church. School. Community. There are not many ways you can get kicked out of those memberships. . . Then I got pregnant. I was sixteen [and] each of those memberships that had embraced me as a child turned their backs.
It’s making me think about my birth mom and so many other women and the choices they felt forced to make.
It’s making me think of other ways we effectively shun people. I’ve done it; most of us have. There are a myriad of “reasons” we choose to make a pariah of someone—very few of them are valid.
It’s making me think.
And that’s one of the main reasons it’s important for us to tell our stories.