Where has Suzanne Strazza gone? She vanished. I need to be hearing about her f-ed up life so I can feel better about my own.
Well, glad you asked. Because I’ve been asking myself that very same question for nigh on two years now.
What. The F@#$. Happened?
Short version: my world imploded, I fell off the deep end, another shitstorm rolled through (like hurricane season in the Bahamas), I cried a lot, spent a ton of time wandering the canyons, and finally, finally, crawled my way back out of the abyss and here I am, so excited to share with you the gory details of yet another one of my epics.
That’s right, Suzy Epic is back.
So, to catch y’all up, and for your reading pleasure, I have comprised a list of a few things that have happened in the last two years:
One day, I got a horrendous concussion.
After spending most of the next day in the CT Scan, my partner of seven years decided to no longer be my partner.
He decided to be someone else’s partner… one of my close friends.
I got giardia. Between that and the divorce diet, I lost 17 pounds.
We had to find a new place to live. I told my three (almost adult) boys that if I got a place big enough for all of us, they had to stay with me. Or, they had to move out now. Empty nest.
Went from living with four almost adult boys (including the now ex partner) to living alone.
Gave up 14 chickens, 10 pigs, 2 horses, a dog.
Lost a bunch of friends.
Gained a bunch of friends.
Three weeks into the breakup, my son got shitfaced and ran his truck, wherein three of his friends were riding, into a cottonwood tree.
Turns out that cottonwood trees are immovable.
He faced 15 years in prison; the other kids faced permanent disabilities.
I learned more than I ever wanted to know about the court system.
And, just in case I missed something, their father tried to take me back to court (10th time) to get out of paying child support. I just let him have it. I couldn’t bear standing in front of my son’s judge airing our dirty laundry, possibly influencing the judge’s decisions in my son’s case.
In hindsight, the judge probably would have looked on my son with deep pity after seeing his parents in action.
“Poor kid – I’d drink, too.”
I found a house in Mancos. My boys found a house in Durango.
Moving day saw me lying in a sobbing heap on the kitchen floor while my friends stepped over me packing up my life.
Work at the time mostly saw me lying in a sobbing heap on that kitchen floor while my co-workers stepped over me doing my job.
Blind Mom got lung cancer, which landed her in the Florida hospital for 10 days, which, in turn, landed me in said hospital for 10 days sleeping in her bedside chair adjusting pillows at 3 a.m.
Then Dad got sick – heart and lung – and was in and out of the same Florida hospital for the next year and a half, landing me right back in the vinyl-pillow-fluffing chair. Spent enough time there that I developed a lasting friendship with the persnickety, gay, Cuban, male nurse who gave me skin care advice. I read self-help books.
I wrote affirmations on my mirror. : “You will get through this,” and “You are strong. You are beautiful,” and, “Don’t pick at that zit on your nose.”
I read Buddhist Books.
I bought Tibetan Prayer Beads.
I picked the zit on my nose.
Since I was going to Florida every six weeks, I seriously considered escaping to Florida permanently, but not while my child was still in line for the State Pen.
I grew seven new gray hairs.
I then cut off my hair because my father, on his deathbed, begged me to.
I know, a little weird.
Who knows, maybe I’ll too be worried about my hair when I am on my deathbed.
Who am I kidding – I don’t even own a hairbrush.
I met a man.
I fell in love.
I had sex again. Finally.
I’d worn out my vibrator. It served me well.
My best cat ever died. I kept him in my freezer for a while undecided about what to do with his body.
I learned that a dead cat’s body floats.
I went on the river with my amazing new boyfriend, and put a hole in his boat mere hours before my wretched little dog bit his sweet little boy right in the ass.
We are still together.
The guy’s either a saint or a fool.
Then, one day, an internal body part showed up externally. My Ladybits were now coming unhinged.
Because me coming unhinged wasn’t enough.
I was told that I had to have major surgery.
Called my mom the next morning to tell her and caught her just as she was finding my father dead on the kitchen floor.
No, I am NOT exaggerating.
Can’t make this shit up.
Went to Florida and immediately broke out in a rash. Down there. After visiting my frozen father in the funeral home, I went over to Urgent Care to find out that not only was I having a reaction to my own Ladybits, I was also having a reaction to my father’s death and I had…
Wait for it…
“Maybe it’s stress-related.”
Went to the surgeon and heard words like, “WOW,” and “Severe,” and “No one should ever see their own cervix.”
No one should ever hear those words.
I gave up work to get off my feet. Got to call my freshly widowed mom to ask for money.
Reached an all-time low.
Then I gave up my brand new sex life.
Work I can live without. But this? This was just unfair. Plain and simple.
My other cat vanished. Not a trace. I haven’t gone looking for her because I’ve been afraid to actually find her sweet fat body.
I had surgery. It was f—ing rough. Recovery has been f—ing rough. I have now spent three months on the couch.
I lost all muscle but gained a pooch.
But, the good news is that I have recently been cleared: Cleared to go back to work. Cleared to start exercising. Cleared to have sex.
The same day I was cleared, my sons and I drove to Idaho for 36 hours to meet my family and scatter Dad’s ashes, putting closure on that chapter of our lives.
And with that, I am hoping that I have now put closure on the entire two-year debacle.
Track record doesn’t have Suzy Epic holding out much hope, but…
Suzanne Strazza is an award-winning writer living in Mancos, Colo.