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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Amelia

Mother's Day was Sunday and the first anniversary of my becoming a mother is near, thus mothers and women are on my brain. When I was a little girl I was a tomboy. I had no interest in playing house or mommy and for a very long time I thought I would never have children,or at least not biological ones. Now I do and it has been the most extraordinary journey for me. The banal miracle of reproduction!
I am also now in the fifth decade of my life which is hard for me to believe.The last two to three years have brought fundamental changes ot my life. My father-in-law passed suddenly, my son was born and I turned 40. And now I am different. In many ways better and others I am not.
Disease and death looms closer now. Not just my husband, but many friends have lost a parent recently. Other people (young and old) have become sick. Many of my friends now have multiple children.
None of us know what is in store.
I was surprised to read Angelina Jolie Op-Ed piece in the New York Times today about her preventative double mastectomy.
Pleasantly surprised. Think what you will of Angelina Jolie, but that was very good of her to share. Cancer affects so many of us and in very different ways.
For some it can be a bump in the road, for others it is devastating. And while of course the person affected has the most to loose, cancer makes families and friends suffer as well. I think it is important to hear all stories.
Deeply connected to the topic of cancer is of course the debate over health care reform. Having been raised in Europe I am horrified about the current health care situation in the US. I am privileged enough to have had always access to outstanding care. And outstanding care is actually easy to find in the US - if you have good health insurance or are wealthy. But many people do not have access to preventative or quality care.
People are resourceful out of necessity.
Friends of 28 year old Amelia Coffaro have organized a fundraiser to help Amelia cope with the costs of her fighting Stage 3 inflammatory Breast Cancer.
While not a real solution, these sort of efforts can at least help select individuals. If you can please donate to this fundraiser at: https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/q2x1/projectamelia
I do not know Amelia personally. I came across her story via a photography acquaintance.
But as I keep saying, the kindness of strangers fills me with hope. So I gave a $50 - it's not a lot but if many of us give that amount or even less it will help. Please consider contributing.

Another Planet

Meeting New People © Nina Buesing Corvallo
Ever since the arrival of our son, my perception of time has forever shifted. For one it seems that I have less time. But that's ok. However I do wish I had more time to write. Not only has my perception of time been altered but that of my world in general -- or maybe I am just visiting another planet.
For the past 20 or so years I have lived in New York. The city is always changing and rarely boring, but with a kid, the city is so different,. Unexpectedly it is a friendlier place.
Every pregnant woman I see makes me smile. Everyone smiles at my son and I. My cranky neighbor is now soft and inviting. Strangers chat and share with me all the time. A woman on the subway will tell me in three stops about her three births and how many stitches she received after each deliver. The cashier at the market will tell me about her daughter and her recent miscarriage. Neighbors, people I know from community board meetings and friends of friends I never met, pass down clothing and toys. People always offer me a seat on the subway if I am with my son. I joined a whole new community. Or maybe I rejoined it, because I remember it from when I was a child. The kindness of strangers always touches me. It gives me hope.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

I love you, Mama! © Nina Buesing Corvallo