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  • Emily Echols

This Time is an Important Time in Your Life


My backyard

Last week at summer session PWOC at the park I was sitting at a picnic table with four other women. I’d just returned from keeping Little Brother from running into the street. Someone at the table said, “Emily, do you know all of our names?”


I think they assumed, of course, I knew all their names. I didn’t. I didn’t know any of them. Not one. I recognized all of them. None of them were new. One of them had been on the board with me but I couldn’t remember anyone’s name.


I was really embarrassed that I didn’t know anyone’s name and apologized profusely. Everyone told me their names and we continued with our discussion.


I told myself that the reason I didn’t know anyone’s name was because I’m always chasing after Little Brother trying to keep him alive. I’m only half anywhere. But that wasn’t entirely true. I don’t invest in people here because I don’t like living here. I’m too busy being miserable to learn anyone’s name. I could go into all the reasons I don’t like it but that’s not the point. I don’t even try. Or maybe I sort of tried twice and it didn’t go well so I gave up.

I feel like I’m living in a holding pattern. Waiting for my husband to come home. Waiting for school to start. Waiting for the next move. Waiting for my children to be older.


It’s hard to be Here when you hate here and you’re always looking for the Next Thing.


Last week at church an older woman came forward for a birthday blessing. Part of the priest’s blessing was:

This time is an important time in your life.


It felt like a gut punch. This time is an important time in your life. Even if you hate living here. Even if your husband is gone. Even if your kids are crazy. Even if you’re moving soon. This time is an important time in your life.


I’m trying to learn names. I’m throwing myself a birthday party. I’m trying to be Here, even if it’s hard.

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