Note: This essay, inspired by a family visit, was written in 2012. Since then my relationship to family has been slowly transformed. It wasn’t something I ever spoke about, but a powerful internal shift had taken place. At the time, I had no idea that circumstances would conspire to put my love to the test or that I would take the plunge to help when needed and still feel as I did when I wrote the piece —that the most important thing in life is showing up for one another.
Many years ago my husband, Hank, bought me a T-shirt that read “I used to be schizophrenic, but we’re just fine now.”
We joke about the crazy woman he married. The unconventional wife who reinvents herself every decade or so and still doesn’t know who she wants to be when she grows up. And, as the shirt suggests, there’s more than one of me in this marriage.
The plan was to meet in Rome and then spend the following three weeks circumnavigating Italy’s hot spots creating lifestyle photography for a travel tour company. I would be the photographer and my beautiful German friend, the model. The client was footing the bill for expenses and a generous day rate. Dream assignment, right? It should have been.