the last time I stood here…

One of the things that I often find myself doing is, as I move through the city I have called home for nearly 20 years now (eek!) is to think about all the other moments I stood in that precise spot, where I was, what I was doing, and how I felt…

It is always fascinating to me to look at a sidewalk square and think about other moments when I crossed exactly the same spot, how I felt and where I was going and who I was in that place, in that time….

Every single time I ride the Orange Line, I am filled by a very visceral memory of the day I rode a train into the Mass Ave Station, at the age of 17, to audition for the New England Conservatory of Music. Walking up those steps in the black skirt and white shirt I had worn to sing in every choir concert in High School, walking slowly so as not to get winded and breathe in too much of the icy air before i had to sing. The feeling of fear and hope is incredibly real to me even now as I think of that 17 year old girl who knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that anything less than perfection would not be enough to get her out of her home, a place of sorrow, anger, and loss, and into a new life…

Every single time I cross over Commonwealth Ave just after the Fenway T stop, I think about the day I walked there with a tiny bundle in my arms, carrying my first foster baby, a 4 pound newborn, on my way to a meeting…

Every time I drive past the Emergency Room at Boston Medical Center, I remember the day that my then boyfriend (now husband) swung his SUV into a spot marked “Emergency Vehicles Only” and we rushed into the lobby, only to be directed into a tiny side room where we were, after a long hour, told that our beloved foster child had died of SIDS at the babysitter’s house.

Every time I pass the Dunkin Donuts on Route Nine, near the Chestnut Hill Mall, I recall the visceral fear that gripped me when our Reproductive Endocrinologist called to tell us that the IVF egg retrieval we had done would be our last try… And that he doubted it would work…

Every time I go to the Trader Joes in Brookline, I remember being there on New Years Eve, December 31, 2008, and literally floating through the crowds on the news that the miracle baby I carried inside me was a boy… A healthy baby boy.

It is fascinating to me that, each time I cross my own path, I am a different person, in the same place, at a different time.

Sometimes the last time I stood here was sadder, and sometimes happier…

However, with each retreading of steps, I know that I have survived to stand again in this same place. Older, and hopefully wiser, than the me who stood here before. And with no idea what will happen before I stand there again…

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