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How I Simplified My Life By Becoming an EP

© 1999, by Michele Marrinan

I am a 29 year-old mother of 2 year-old Veronica. She is the light of my life. My husband, Colum, and I always believed in caring for her ourselves. We hated the thought of day care. When she was born, Colum was finishing school at night and adjusting to a heart arrythmia problem that he developed as a result of two heart surgeries and a combination of serious congenital heart defects.

I returned to work as a magazine editor two months after Veronica was born. Colum watched her during the day and attended class at night and on the weekends. I commuted an hour and 10 minutes each way to Manhattan from Long Island. When Veronica was a year old, I was layed off from my job and Colum finished his degree. He found a job three months later (perfect!). I began freelancing part-time. I would work early in the morning and while Veronica napped. Life was good.

Then a few months later, Colum began having more serious arrythmia problems. His cardiologist scheduled him for surgery to have a pacemaker installed. Colum was so tired from the arrythmia that he stopped working around June. The surgery was performed at the end of July. He did so well, and never complained about the intense pain he felt. Because of his unusual problems, the pacemaker could only be installed by opening his chest and laying the pacemaker lines directly on his heart.

He smiled and joked throughout his hospital stay and recuperation at home. Then, about a month later, he was readmitted to the hopsital with congestive heart failure. Doctors administered different drugs to relieve the fluid around his heart, and sent him home. Two weeks later, just a day before his follow-up office visit was scheduled, Colum passed away peacefully in his sleep. I am grateful that his pain is finally over, but I miss him terribly.

I have had to make so many changes in my life since that time. Instead of returning to a full-time job, I have decided to freelance full-time as a writer and editor. Work has been slow, but I am confident that things will pick up soon. Every time I get discouraged, I imagine working for someone else. Publishing, as I'm sure you know, requires long hours. I think about Veronica getting off a school bus in a few years. Do I want her greeted by a babysitter or me? Clearly, I want to be there.

Although I must bring her to babysitters now (2 year-olds hate when their mommies talk on the phone or work on the computer), I know that we will reap the benefits of my independent, home-based work in a few years. We will be able to have a life together. We may not have fancy cars or a beautiful home (we're still in a 1-bedroom apartment!), but we will have each other. And that is much more important.

Michele Marrinan offers Freelance Writing & Editorial Services, and can be reached by Email: , or by Phone: 516-942-3990.

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