Fortunately, Unfortunately

Slice of LIfe Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers. Head over there for information and links to more Slicing! 

I am upstairs, which is new for me – sitting at my husband’s computer. I have a beautiful mountain view. It’s sunny and rainy, and I’m going to take that as a metaphor for this summer, with its ups and downs.  Most recently, just in the few days, we have had “sun” and “rain.” I have had time with my best friend who lives far away, and then had to say goodbye. My children have spent time loving it up with a litter of orphan kittens that my parents are fostering, and then yesterday they were there to watch one kitten suddenly and horribly die. I’m having a hard time today seeing the rainbow after yesterday’s rain – and trying to work through this post trauma time with my children.

Yesterday reminded me of the “Fortunately/Unfortunately” summarizing poetry we do at school – learned from Sara Holbrook (@saraholbrook) at a wonderful inservice years ago. I’m going to try my hand at this for my slice today. . . With many apologies to Sara Holbrook! I believe you first write using the words Fortunately and Unfortunately… Then you revise taking out extra words. I don’t usually do a writing exercise as a Slice of Life… but it’s an experiment! Here we go! 

A slice of Fortunately, Unfortunately. 

Monday, I wake up with plans to spend time with my old friend, running around after kids at the local park
Fortunately, everybody's bikes are all loaded up in the van
Unfortunately, my friend has to cancel 
Fortunately,  now I don't need to vacuum
Unfortunately, my house is a disaster 

Fortunately, I go work out with my friend at school
Unfortunately, one elliptical workout doesn't cure her cancer
Fortunately, it does give us time to chat, while our heart rates climb
Unfortunately, we haven't been to the weight room for months

Fortunately, we remember how to use the machines
Unfortunately, the phone rings and my husband tells me that the orphan kitten Polly died
Fortunately, I wasn't there to see the horrible death
Unfortunately, my 3 children were, and I'm not home to help them process

Fortunately, my husband is home
Unfortunately, my children are in shock mode 
Fortunately, my friend remembers that Mr. Rogers has a book on this
Unfortunately, I think it's going to take more than a book

Fortunately, there are distractions and cuddles
Unfortunately, I have a busy day away from home
Fortunately, I get time with my amazing-but-far-away best friend
Unfortunately, it will be months until I get to see her again
Fortunately, I eventually get home to calm, cozy children
Unfortunately, the morning starts with more traumatic crying
Fortunately, there are more distractions

Finally, we will start to heal, paying more attention to the sunshine, and less attention to the rain


REVISED --taking out all but the most important words. . . 

Monday 
wake up 
bikes loaded up in van
 friend cancels
no need to vacuum
 my house is a disaster 

I go work out 
with my friend 
 one elliptical doesn't cure her cancer
it does give us time
while our heart rates climb
 haven't been to the weight room for months
we remember how 
 the phone rings 
 the orphan kitten
 Polly died
I wasn't there to see
the horrible death
 my 3 children were
 I'm not home 
my husband is
 my children are in shock 
remember Mr. Rogers' book on this
 I think it's going to take more 
 than a book

There are distractions and cuddles
 I have a busy day away from home
time with amazing far away friend
 it will be months until I see her again
I get home to calm, cozy
 the morning starts with more trauma
 crying
there are more distractions

We will start to heal,
pay more attention to the sunshine
less attention to the rain

We miss you, Polly photo

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10 thoughts on “Fortunately, Unfortunately

  1. So sorry for your loss. There are a number of good books….I always like to use the 10 Good Things About Barney….I know that there are lots of others….RIP, Polly.

    1. I haven’t read that one – I’m going to check it out. The kids have been a little resistant to reading/listening to books about it – but I think now that a little more time has gone by, I’m going to try again. I love the book Harry and Hopper too – it’s sad to read but powerfully healing, I think. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  2. What a wonderful way to practice perspective in our writing – I am definitely going to have to try this soon. I love the way you were able to whittle the first version down to its essence, too. And, I am sorry about Polly…it’s so hard to lose our furry friends.

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