Cabbages and Tigers and Bears – Oh-My!

Who: Carol Joseph
Age: Early 50s
Profession: stay-at-home, mom
City: New York, NY

We’re both waiting for our respective yoga classes. I’m early for mine, Carol’s late for her’s, yet she doesn’t seem bothered by this. And, anyway, her class hasn’t started yet, she tells me. Lately life for Carol seems more valuable, slow, and hopeful, but in a chilled kind of way. No motivational cd’s or books needed here. Why? “I got a cabbage-sized tumor in my stomach.” I show my surprise. She nods her head, “It’s benign. But I gotta get it out.” She’s lanky for her age. It doesn’t seem like something that big could fit in her belly, not at all.

“Yeah, five years in the making,” she whispers to me – we’re getting looked at by the other front desk yogis. “So why haven’t you?” I whisper back. “No money for rainy days. Five years of putting it off and now it’s a 5 x 6 inch love affair.” I react. “Come on, when you have kids, and living in New York, you know?” I get it. She takes a sip of her yogi tea. We should probably quit topping off our miniature cups – maybe that’s why they’re still giving us the evil eye. So not yogic. We laugh at the realization.

Carol is a stay at home mom to three almost grown children, but only for the past few years. She was laid off from her coordinator position at a company that focuses on alternative education for kids. Sounds like a cool company. After being laid off, she decided to just stay home. She’s proud her kids have grown up with more morals and principles than most, but “It comes with a sacrifice.” “Your stomach?” I ask. She laughs softly.

After a moment, “Should I dare to give it another year until after my youngest is out of high school?” I look at her blankly.

“Carol, you with us?” A yoga teacher motions from one of the studio doors. “Oops,” Carol says and rushes into the room.

Yeah. Right. Oops.

Author: pizzaslices

Liza is an actor and co-creator of Subway Token Films, a film production company that captures Street Level Miracles through films. That is, moments in our lives when the story as we know it stops, the lens is pulled back and something more expansive is revealed to us. Liza has won awards and audiences alike for her portrayals of the immigrant story on stage and film. She lives in New York City and Los Angeles with her partner, actor Felix Solis.