The BEST FEELING in the World

Dear SUN (magazine):
Is it your warmth on my skin that is the best feeling? Or that you bring light after darkness, always there for me, and the world?

HOW can I name ONE BEST feeling? I need to count the ways down to it.
First thought: I’m 16, climbing the cellar stairs when I think to my self; I am an individual in my own right, not a part of another spirit or being. I try to express my warm-all-over feeling to my loving father as I reach the kitchen, with a mind of explosion.

Next: I’m 10, when a heart-felt knowing pushed into my chest like cupid’s arrow. I know the religious dogma that I must accept jesus as my savior in order to go to heaven and not to hell is not true! Still, it was not until I let go at age 38, in 1984 (how Orwellian) that I was feeling the best freedom ever.

I’m 22: walking down the aisle, with my hand intertwining daddy’s arm. I’m that beautiful virgin-bride seen by a large church-community, as my husband’s luscious tenor voice sings “Ich Liebe Dich,” to me.

I’m 24: holding my firstborn, Erin in my arms, seeing her large great toes, soft as every other perfect part.

I’m 27: experiencing natural childbirth of my second daughter Megan, (assisted by Dr.Harry Roach – yes, that’s his real name), who readily nurses as we lay on the delivery table. I proudly walk out of the delivery room with Megan in my arms AMA, (against medical advice) along with her daddy. I am an RN who likes quiet: the bright light of my daughter’s eyes, her dainty perfect fingers holding my breast, nursing in our bed together. At home.
I’m 28: my husband comes out as gay and leaves me to experience another man, like me, a virgin who is free to experience other lovers, unconsciously hoped for.

I’m 29: dancing the hustle, finally letting go of “thou shalt not dance” from my mother’s condemnation of worldly pursuits. Suits me just fine!
I’m 36: in sandals, and white dress bought by daddy a couple months before he died suddenly from a heart attack at age 60. It could be worn to a garden party, like at NY Treman State Park, where I walked on grass to the music of a waterfall, being wedded to my second husband, Reid, an astronomer like my daddy.

I’m 39: I’ve run 36 marathons in 36 months, a national women’s record, because I needed to clearly see my own goodness. As an average runner, I felt crazy to be ‘hitting the wall’ at mile 20, why wasn’t I listening to my body?
And, I hear myself saying to the audience, “I thank my daddy for his lovingness, and belief in me,” as I receive my Master’s degree as a Marriage and Family Therapist.
I’m 40: at my birthday lakeside campfire, a single parent, hearing from another, “It helps to know children can learn different ways to be in the world by having two loving homes with different rules.”

I’m 49: while running, 3 titles come to me: TEARS ARE TRUTH…waiting to be spoken, TEARS ARE TRUST…waiting to be felt, TEARS ARE TRUE LOVE…waiting to be known. I’m surprised to EVOLve into a writer, after receiving 65 in English from Cornell University.
I’m 50: feeling increasingly hopeful at the Primal Center, while crying deeply for a year, creating a new-found openness and trust in my heart, after marrying my soulmate, my fourth husband, Gregory.

I’m 52: Denali, my first granddaughter calls me in NY from California, (she called her mom in Baltimore to get my number) asking me to tell grandma Ruth to let her cry, not send her to her room until she can stop crying, which makes me feel estatic.
I’m 53: TEARS ARE TRUTH…waiting to be spoken is self-published…saying, “I’m afraid to stand up here and speak,” in Barnes &Noble at my first book signing.

I’m 55: I see the word LOVE mirrored in the word EVOLution, truly jumping for joy!
I’m 56: at daughter Megan’s wedding, she being 5 month’s pregnant, both of us without shame! She in a white dress. Later, holding one leg as her husband Ben holds the other, Megan pushing Riley Shea into the world, hearing her best first breath, and mine of connected-ness. After a lifetime, my mother finally tells me “I love you,” February 15th, 2002, a few months before she dies at age 80, those same words on her last breath.
I’m 57: I see mirrored in the word EVOLution: kNOw-IT-U-LOVE: I scream outloud!
I’m 59: Denali is 12, staying overnight with me. I find the note she wrote me at 10pm that night a few days later: “I know I’m supposed to be asleep but I needed to write this to tell you how greatful I am to have you as my grandma. Thank you so much for everything you do to help me. Lots of love, Denali.” Appreciated is an understatement.

I’m 60: crying at orgasm, his eyes holding and completely accepting me.

I’m 61: TEARS ARE TRUST….waiting to be known is published and receives the USA Best Books Award as a finalist in the mental health category.

I’m 63: Emily’s jumping into my arms when I come to visit, her first words, “How is your leg, Didi?” (My grandma name) She’s my third granddaughter, age 5.

I’m 65: It’s my birthday, and my first look out my kitchen window surprises me with a hummingbird floating from a Petunia blossom to look straight into my face before flying off. It is two hours later, and I’m looking out the dining room window as a hummingbird backs out of a wild Touch-Me-Not and rises to look at me straight in the eyes! It felt like both of my parents were there to hold me in their love, as it is rare to see a hummingbird, let alone have one come and look at me straight away!

That was August 30th 2011, then on September 24th, while reading The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, it is surprising to read, on page 111: “Paul ate them (wild strawberries) by fistfuls, juice running down his wrists. Two hawks circled lazily in the deep blue sky. Didi, Paul said, lifting a chubby arm to point.” I couldn’t believe my eyes at first. Didi is the name given to me first by my best friend Tanya’s son Lukie when he was very little. I had never heard this name before, nor seen it written, so is this the best feeling of connected-closeness-oneness of LOVE?