Friday, June 28, 2013


Sometimes life hands you a lemon.

Sometimes life force-marches you out to the lemon grove and fells a fruit-bearing tree on your head.

This June has been a pretty rough on the Boyce household. I'd like to be able to feel relief that it's almost over, but if I've learned anything this month, it's that life can change drastically from one instant to the next. 48 hours is a lot of time for June to find another way to mess with me, so I'm not celebrating just yet.

Don't let the sunny color lull you into a false sense of security.

One of the Not Great things that happened was the hospitalization of one of my children (Child is ok now; please don't fret.). My day was going along like any other. I was struggling with my Work in Progress and policing petty sibling squabbles. And then, suddenly, I was making phone calls to arrange care for two of the kids and taking the third to the emergency room for immediate medical attention.

It was stunning, how fast it happened. All at once, the bottom fell out from under me. I was forced from my normal daily routines into something new and frightening. Later, sitting in the hospital and holding the hand of a child tucked into an institutional bed, my writer brain kicked in. Feel this, it ordered. Take it all in. Make note. You might need this later.

So I let myself tune in to what was happening. I turned my attention from staring at my child (as though the weight of my constant gaze was the only thing ensuring his continued survival) to myself. I felt the ebbing adrenaline and the headache building in its wake, the bewilderment, the desperate fear, and strangely, the beginnings of betrayal. Life had pulled a nasty one on us. Tears occasionally spilled from my eyes, stopped for a while, then spilled again.

Around me, I watched the harried nurse click through a computer screen listing her various charges. I felt the coarse weave of sheets manufactured to survive bleaching after bleaching. I noted the dust accumulated on top of the various wall-mounted apparatuses. I wondered why our room didn't have a box of tissues. On the television in the upper corner of the room, a Food Network personality made a cookie-crumb pie crust. "What more could you want from life?" she chirped.

I tuned back out.

Now, with the distance of a couple weeks behind me (and a couple more craptastic incidents thrown into the mix), I can't help but recall the adage about taking life's lemons and making lemonade, and I find myself wholly unwilling to do so.

These are my lemons, dammit. I earned them, and I will make or not make with them whatever I choose. When Mr. B and I had to leave the hospital without our child (who is, as a reminder, now totally fine), I didn't have the luxury of enjoying metaphorical lemonade. It was lemon juice, straight up, and a lot of it. I was sick with it churning in my stomach.

Although, for the lobster, the lemon is
just a final splash of indignity.
And I have to think that sometimes it's ok to just let a lemon be a lemon. What happened to our family sucked. I don't have to try to make something more palatable out of it. Life is a messy business. We all go through rough times on occasion, and there's nothing wrong with letting them be. Of course, I have learned from this experience, and I hope I will be able to use the emotions I lived through to add authenticity to my work at some point in the future, but I'm not calling that lemonade. A well-stocked produce bin, maybe, but not lemonade. I'll keep the lemons as they are and use them as needed.

After all, having lemons to hand is a good thing. When life eventually hands me a lobster, I'll enjoy it that much more.


  1. Beautifully written. I can relate, but you put my feelings into into words! I'm glad things are calming down for your family now. Sending healing thoughts your way.

    P.S. I chuckled at the caption under your lobster picture. :D

  2. Lord I am sick of people putting a shinny visage on a rotten tomato! As you very eloquently said -it is what it is -hope things have improved for you and your family