This was written by Marie McNamara at age 40 in West Hartford, Connecticut to herself at age 23.
It was just after college when Marie was still trying to figure out what she was doing in life. Those years were very blurry – she had no idea in what direction she was heading. At times she was living with her parents, but staying with friends on weekends and was afraid of making a commitment to anything.
You just received a phone call that one of your college roommates was in a car accident. She’s in a New Haven hospital with a shattered pelvis. Pins had to be put in to hold it together.
Sure, you lost touch with each other this past year. You don’t even know the name of the boy she was with.
What was she doing in the back of that Jeep? And just where is Saint Raphael’s? Not THAT part of the city. What if you get lost?
You call her mother and she doesn’t call you back. You don’t know where to go. Plus, you hate hospitals. And what if you cry? The excuses start building, as always. What you don’t realize is that 17 years later you will have only seen her twice. Boy, you will miss her.
Marie – GO. Call the hospital, ask for directions and get in that little red Honda. You are so much stronger than you think. Just show up. This will become your mantra.
In the years ahead, you will find yourself happily married with young children. You will become the constant contact between your four brothers when you find out that dad has bladder cancer. You will pick up your father from various doctor’s appointments, with three kids under four years old strapped in their seats. You will help your mother deal with his side effects of chemotherapy and keep all of the doctor’s orders straight. You will confidently drive through the “bad” part of the city, seven months pregnant to visit him every day as that cruel disease takes him faster than any of you expected. You will stand up and give part of his eulogy and, eight weeks later, give birth to your fourth child, a beautiful little girl with his big brown eyes.
You are capable of so much more than you think.
Just show up.