When it seemed like I might actually be doing this - writing a memoir - I started searching for what to call the thing. By then I was hundreds of pages in but couldn’t find the few words for the perfect title. There was a hefty pile of well-placed title rejects.
One morning, Jon and I laid in bed in the early space between sleeping and waking. The girls, now 14, weren’t yet awake either. So, I nestled my head on Jon’s shoulder as he wrapped me up and rested in the steady rise and fall of his breathing. After a few moments of listening to the quiet of our home, Jon said quietly, “I dreamt the title of your book last night.”
I grinned into him, “Oh yea?”
“Yep. You told me it was ‘The Throbbing Moon and the Three Season Tango.’”
I opened my eyes. “What?” I laughed. “Any chance I told you what that means?” Jon shook his head with a grin and fell back asleep.
Over the next few days I could not stop thinking about the title. The more the moon, the seasons and tango rolled around in me, the more I realized how perfectly they fit. It was as if Jon had absorbed the core of my story, his subconscious able to process what all my intentional effort could not. It was the emotional story of my cancering, one best told in a foreign world.
Jon was upstairs reading the first chapter in that world. I feigned tidying up the house as an excuse to pace while he read my latest chapter. He must have read it at least twice because I got a lot of tidying done.
When he finally came downstairs, he found me sweeping the kitchen, and I summoned all my self-control not to accost him with questions for affirmation.
He sat down slowly at our kitchen table, looking confused and cautious. Then he looked up at me with those wrinkles between his eyes that tell me he’s fulling considering something and asked, “Who are you?”
I let the broom fall and rushed to hug him hard, pulling away to hold his shoulders and exclaim, “Exactly honey! Exactly!”
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