I was born in the Bronx, NY on July 28, 1969. When I was 7 my family relocated to the "burbs" of Rockland County. My parents were just youngins when they married and started out their life together. I have a younger brother who came along 4 years after me. It was a tumultuous childhood growing up with my dad being an alcoholic. But we all survived somehow including my dad.
I met my first husband in high school when I was 15 years old and so shy I was pretty much mute! We went on a blind date and I wondered how I could have meet such a handsome guy who happened to be on the football team (and me, so far from a cheerleader type its not even funny! Cause we all know that the football players go for the cheerleaders!) My bad relationship with my hair was full on by that point! It was 1985 and I was experimenting with the "big hair" thing. It wasn't going well! My budding relationship with Paul(the football star) was going a little better though despite my struggling hair. We became friends, were on again, off again with the dating thing but he somehow became a huge support for me. He was the first person I ever told about my family stuff.
When I graduated in '87 and was off to college in good 'ol PA Paul and I were on the outs. Somehow though by my sophomore year away at school we reconnected and were inseparable! The long distance love had begun. My relationship with my hair however was still no better! Grow it long, perm it, chop it all off became my roller coaster ride! I was shocked from time to time at Paul's ability to see to the inside of me past all the stuff I was so self conscious about my hair and my lack of boobs! (if I only knew then... I would have loved them more)
Over Christmas break during junior year Paul got down on one knee in front of the tree in Rockefeller Center and made me the happiest girl in the world. I felt like someone should pinch me. I couldn't believe I found someone to spend my life with. I graduated in '91 with a BS in Occupational Therapy beginning my career working with patients recovering from Brain Injuries at a local rehab hospital. A far cry from the writer I always longed to be but it was a way for me to help others which is always what I wanted to do. I secretly wrote along the way, keep a journal as it was a way for me to deal with the difficult things that came along (which were many it seemed!). I never had the confidence to think I could actually publish anything I wrote.
Paul and I were married on Halloween of '92 (the dates just didn't work out during the planning of the wedding...I was always anti Halloween, never one of my fav holidays). I tried not to take the rain that day as an omen. Just a little superstitious eh?! One of the happiest days of my life. I wondered where that pinch would be coming from - must have been hiding somewhere! I often thought I heard the other shoe drop as well.
On September 5, 1994 the other shoe did drop. That day Paul and his younger brother were killed in a head on collision not far from our home. That became the day my life stopped. It would be along time before I picked myself up off the floor and tried to get my life back.
After a few years of feeling sorry for myself I got up, brushed myself off and ventured out in to the world. I continued my work as an OT and even began dating. I continued with my journaling as well and began to write poetry. I took a class in photography and found a new hobby in that. I continued to fight with my hair and graduated into the 90's with coloring, leaving behind the perms of the 80's. I wondered when I would ever learn!
Fast forward to 2001 as I was finally starting to feel like I had a life of my own. More importantly I was finally starting to like my hair! (Cause sometimes isn't it all about the hair?!) As that roller coaster ride was slowing down another one continued to build speed. .that was the dating scene. I was meeting guys on the internet and wondered if I would ever meet anyone worthy. Slim pickins as they say! As I moved from one bad relationship to the next I would curse Paul in my head telling him it was his fault that I was out kissing all these frogs (a kinder term for what I really would like to say but can't)
Just when I thought the worst in my life was over I was diagnosed with breast cancer in May of that year at 31 years old. My life certainly had to be a joke, I thought to myself. I gave up making sense of anything at that point. But what I was sure of was that I was a survivor. I made it through a year of surgery to remove my boob, 6 months of chemo, lost my hair and was kicking myself for ever hating it! For some crazy reason I continued to date through it all and just as I finished my last treatment I met Lou, another wonderful man, who I have been married to for 4 years now!
I began writing "Breastless in the City" in May of 2005 and it was a difficult but healing experience for me. I was finally able to put my writing to work to help others. I still work as an OT but now I feel my true work has begun. To be able to help inspire and support other young people is a gift.
I still live in NY and my family with Lou has expanded. We have a 3 year old boy. A pug who has me pretty much wrapped around his little paw! I continue to write and still love photography. Who do you think is my prime subject? Yes, you guessed it. .that cute little pug...Bosco... he is quite photogenic! I am not just saying that because he is my boy. Who am I kidding . .of course I am!