They say that every seven years comes a pivotal change in a person’s life. While putting together notes for mini memoirs, I realized that there is such a pattern in my life, but that the major changes seemed to come every nine years or so. It’s weird. My great-grandmother died when I was nine, which turned my world upside down—everything in my life changed. At 18 my relationship with my ex-husband began. At 27 my youngest child was born. At 36 I started menopause—with considerable problems. At 45 I was forced out of my job in Delaware and began living in Georgia, and at 54 I moved back north to PA, after a devastating car accident that left me disabled.
I will be discussing many of these pivotal moments (and more that don’t fit into the 9 year pattern) in my life in some detail in this collection of mini memoirs.
I started off calling these pivotal moments Magic Moments, and that would throw us into the whole white magic, dark magic topic. Because all moments, good or evil, happy or sad, light or intense, shape us and lead us in different directions.
Mostly I find that my interpretation of events determines whether they are good or evil.
My great-grandmother Maggie’s death (in my arms, no less) rocked my world at age nine. I lived in a house with her, my parents, my aunt Edith, my grandmother and her husband, and two boarders. By the time I was six I had the vocabulary of a 40 year old, and my best friend, Edith, was in her late sixties when I was born. At nine, Maggie died and all that changed. My parents moved just the three of us into a neighborhood that had kids. I made friends slowly, because kid stuff seemed so…childish to me. I was used to adults around me all the time. I related to my teachers far better than I related to kids my age. Consequently I made friends with a drama queen at age 10, and even then my family drama trumped hers without fail—though I have to give her credit where credit is due, she really did try.
But I digress.
After twenty years of relatively happy marriage a sudden divorce shattered my heart. But it forced me out into the world where I made friends of my own, some of whom had problems bigger than mine, which forced me to put my hardships into perspective and get on with my life.
Even my car accident had some positive results. Don’t get me wrong…if I could do it all over again, I would eliminate the accident and get my life back. Trust me, I’m not a masochist. However, I the time I spent just after the accident I had a shitload of time to pull my novels and stories together, create the columns and publish Owl’s Eye View Magazine for the first time. That might not have happened until years later than it did, if I’d had time to make it happen at all, had I not strived so diligently to get something positive out of such a miserable experience.
I guess that’s what memoirs are about: sharing the pivotal moments with others, particularly my grandchildren, and pointing out that nothing is really new except the moment in which events occur. Everything else has surely happened before what is new is the path we take in reaction to pivotal moments.