An August of opportunity

Though I’ve been writing regularly, I haven’t posted much lately. This is mostly for good reason. For example, my friend Elaine came back into town over the weekend, and we had a bit of a staycation at a lovely Airbnb in Midtown Atlanta. I did some normal-people things such as enter a grocery store (masked) for the first time since February. I even got in a swimming pool, enjoyed a comedy show at an amphitheater, and paddle-boarded on a lake. Watch out, world; the Drewdle is loose!

So, what are my days looking like lately? Well, for one, it’s crazy not being confined to a hospital room: something I realize was a luxury in terms of the virus, yet it was also torturous because all I wanted to do was fix a completely irreparable situation. Since most of my time spent at the hospital resulted from my aggressive legal speak (#judgewifelife), I was never able to leave Ramón’s room when I was there due to visitor restrictions. Practically speaking, I was in solitary confinement, handcuffed by the source(s) of my anxiety. I am rediscovering what it’s like to live again.

Yesterday, for example, was a simple, enjoyable day. It wasn’t one I could have predicted, but nothing seems to be that way anymore – an overwhelming, simultaneously electrifying thought. Moments were enjoyable, yes, but incredibly little about the day was simple. At one point, I was drinking coffee while watching my young nephews enthusiastically teach my dogs kindergarten-level information. Although I loved the wholesomeness of the situation, I also found myself longing to be a perpetual child without any responsibility for the rest of my life.

I finally released myself from the jaws of the couch to knock out some freelance work. After working for an embarrassingly short amount of time, I found myself joyously eating queso without a care in the world. The cheese gave me the fuel to get online to order some cremation keepsake items for Ramón’s family. Then I got distracted by the internet and also bought a gift for a friend.

Next, I went totally wild and had a Cherry Coke as I sat outside with the dogs, letting them enjoy some sunshine. As I was sitting there, admiring the beautiful blue sky, I glanced at the house next door to my parents’. At that specific moment, I remembered that their neighbor died Friday after a blood cancer battle that started very soon after Ramón’s in 2019. But, right as that unfortunate thought crossed my mind, I noticed some strikingly beautiful purple flowers on my other side. Everything is enhanced lately. 

When I moseyed back inside, I noticed Ramón’s phone sitting on the counter. I checked it to find a sweet text from a couple he married just a few weeks before we learned his cancer was back in February. Then, I glanced at my phone because I saw I had some emails. One was about a grief support group, and the other was a Google alert notifying me of an article entitled “Criminal Defense Lawyers Mourn Judge Ramón Alvarado.” That triggered one of those oh-that’s-right-he’s-dead epiphanies. And that segued into a thought process where I found myself surprised by how matter of fact it all seems at times.

Soon after, I got a text from Elaine, who headed back to Iowa this morning: “I was just thinking about this weekend and how you are so easy to be around even when you are going through Sh*tville.” Contentment is surprisingly effortless if you’re focused on a moment: the sound of the rain, the texture of a comfortable sweatshirt, or the joy of human connection. So, naturally, after my peaceful reflection on the beauty of life, I found myself on the verge of drop-kicking a scanner because I just wanted to get a damn death certificate in electronic format.

Then, as the Braves game started, I ate some ice cream because, you know, I’m the picture of health. While I watched the game, I also worked on an online jigsaw puzzle because, you know, nerd. Then, in the middle of my fervent puzzle-building, I got a message request on Instagram. So, as I watched the Braves prevail, I wound up counseling a woman on Instagram whose husband suffered a brain injury around the same time Ramón did. 

At certain moments, the entire story still feels very surreal, and I find myself wondering how in the actual hell this plot got so twisted. Most of the time, though, I instead find myself accepting that it did, in fact, unfold this way. No amount of suffering now will rewrite what has happened, and I find a soul-nourishing level of peace in that thought. More than ever before in my life, I wholeheartedly believe in the magic of every moment. 

P.S. Y'all are crushing the card game. The gift game, too. You're making mail fun again!


  1. It's wonderful that you are out enjoying life. Especially writing. Looking forward to hear about your adventures and out course, Noodles ❤️🐾🐾 Be safe and somewhat sane. Although momentary lapse of insane is all good too.

  2. ❤️❤️❤️
    You're an inspiration, Drew!
    Hugs & prayers forever

  3. So glad to hear of your moments of joy, my friend. No one deserves them more. Love you.


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