• Mathura Hawley

valentine

Updated: Aug 2, 2021


I bind myself quickly to two resolves: to accept the change that is happening, and to leave with my integrity intact."

It is Valentine’s Day. I walk with my best friend through the parking garage and hug her goodbye. I cross the street, forgetting to look both ways, and feel the chill of the Portland air. My mind races, and at the same time I am calm, almost dull. I see the lines in the lot are numbered and can’t remember if I ever noticed that I park in the number 9 everyday. Three years ago today, I was gasping for breath in a NY hospital, in advanced heart failure with a blood clot in each lung. That was eleven months after I went from newlywed to divorcée in 17 weeks, and eleven months before someone would try to kill me on the sleeting streets of Brooklyn. I hop up into the front seat of my Jeep and put the key in the ignition. I have done my best work here, and I have used all the experiences of my life to shape, break and build the right things with the right people. The trust I have molded with honesty and spirit is the light that greets me each day and the power that has brought me back through evolution and adversity. I have never been so true to who I am, I have never loved what I have done, and who I’ve done it with, more than I have during these last two years. When that changed, this morning, I decided I would not. Not again, not ever. I bind myself quickly to two resolves: to accept the change that is happening, and to leave with my integrity intact. So, here I am. In my Jeep. Instead of just driving home, I am driving into my unknown. I am strong, I am kind, I am creative and I will figure it out. And this, I realize, is the best Valentine I will ever get from anyone...a genuine one to myself.


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