I’m not a numbers person—math is not my thing. But possibly numbers could have a creative side—I’ve seen it done in art. Would it work in writing? And could it be like a mini-history of my life?
ONE: my book, A Mother’s Time Capsule, the first of many which I hope to publish.
ONE: my closest and dearest friend who understands me totally and helps me every day, always bringing sunshine into shadow—my husband John
ONE: the woman for whom I am named, whose unconditional love supported my choices and who knew that reading and music are as normal as breathing—Elizabeth, my grandmother
TWO: the reason, in many ways, I am who I am, because of their intense love and support, their encouragement and belief in my life-choices–my amazing mother and my father who died too soon; my two incredible brothers, John and Bill
THREE: the people in my life who I think of every day, who I fall asleep blessing, who lift me up and make me realize that “I done good”—my three children, Caroline, Christine and Andrew; my three grandchildren and my children’s supportive and amazing partners
FOUR: the places where I dutifully sat at my desk, listened and watched, read and learned, some more exhilarating and informing than others, my schools—St. Barnabas, Longwood, Mundelein/Loyola Chicago, Prairie State College
FIVE: my childhood friends, who were with me almost every day, pretending our bikes were horses, playing endless games of tag on warm summer days or having snowball fights in winter; now scattered to their own lives; Are they still living? Do they think of me? Jeannie, Greg, Lee, Tigh, Mary Jane
SIX: in addition to my mother, the women who provided me with amazing role models, showed me the importance of being skilled in: writing, piano, cooking, gardening, being an independent traveler, caring for others and most importantly believing in the independence and equality of women, the importance of their contribution on all levels of society—my six aunts, Margaret, Lucia, Helen, Imelda, Dorothy and Cecile
SEVEN: the homes that have sheltered me, held me and demanded cleaning and caring from me; though I have left all but one behind, they still come into my dreams to say hello, remind me of sunlight in their spaces, fruitful gardens and an occasional flood–always memories
EIGHT: the four years of high school and four of college, when I fell deeper in love with my future husband; years of studying, writing, reading and deciding that I would be a writer and a high school English teacher, though my college biology teacher wanted me to go into medicine; funny, I followed her advice in my forties
NINE: the lives of my one pet, my cat; she comforted me when I was lonely and made me crazy when she got lost in cupboards—but all I had to do was open the drawer for the can opener and she’d come running, thinking tuna fish!
TEN: my jobs, careers, from first to last: Chicago: Graver Park Day Camp, 21 seven-year-old boys to watch; Homer Gwinn & Co. and Health & Welfare: filing, typing and the old-fashioned switchboard, ugh; Work Study Program at Mundelein College; Bloom Township High School teacher of English, a real job; McDougal-Littell Publishing, part time test writing; Mercy Hospital Chicago and St. James Hospital, labor and delivery RN; Coram Healthcare, RN; Des Moines, Iowa: Meredith Books proofreader; Polk County Health Dept. educator
TEN: my in-law family, my husband’s ten brothers and sisters who have married and brought more wonderful people into our lives
MORE THAN TEN!! the number of friends in my life; so important are the friends we make in the places we live, in the jobs we have, during our travels; now online people come into my life everyday with ideas and friendship, help and advice; they support me and other writers; they share and make me think.
Readers: I took a simple way to approach this project. How would you have done it? You could review your life counting by tens or hundreds. Think of all the elements in your life you could number: vacations, deaths of loved ones, trips to the hospital, awards your won, miles you ran, books you read, movies you saw, ways you helped others, inventions you created, articles you published–ah and for writers, rejections you’ve had. Numbers are in our lives every day: the time, the weather, the calories we eat, the miles we walk etc etc.
The most important number is the people we can count on as friends, the people we are always grateful for. That’s you. Thanks for reading my blog. As I have summarized it today, the history of my life in numbers is something I am totally grateful for.
Thanks to Google Images