Wendy Staley Colbert’s 26-Minute Memoir

Look at me.  Five foot nine-and-a-half inches.  Blonde.  Blue-eyed.  College graduate.  Lived in or near Seattle since age five.  Forty-five years old.  Homeowner.  Wife.  Mother.  Former Microsoft employee.

Listen to me.  My losses have come in twos.  Two babies.  Both my breasts.  Lost my brother twice – when he became mentally ill in 1983 and when he died of a prescription drug overdose in 2007.

Hear me.  I’ve known pain.  Beneath this smile are scars – some etched on my skin, most inscribed in my memory.  Yet I love life.  I keep on.  Little things can still surprise me – a seed, a mite, a heartbeat, a teardrop.  I take utmost care with myself, gentle beyond measure.  I fold deep within, searching for the cavernous reservoir.  Swimming back to my core, I draw one arm through the water, then the other.  It’s quiet there and still.  I float awhile, buoyed up, suspended.  The water laps at my skin, soothing and cooling it with milky kisses.  Will I ever yearn again for the dryness of human touch?  A single peck can crack me open.  So wanting to be born am I.

Can you see me now?

You can read Colbert's essay "Choosing Masectomy" in We Came to Say.

About Theo Pauline Nestor

Author of Writing Is My Drink (Simon & Schuster) and How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed. Learn more about my courses, editing, and coaching at TheoNestor.com.
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9 Responses to Wendy Staley Colbert’s 26-Minute Memoir

  1. Star Roberts says:

    Thanks for sharing your poet’s soul with us.
    I can see you now…

  2. Sue Stanford says:

    A beautiful reflection, the soothing water and the healing words. Please give us more. I too can see you now…..
    Sue Stanford

  3. Lauren McGuire says:

    Thanks for sharing! Great piece.

    — Lauren

  4. Maddy says:

    Wendy – I just read your essay in this book last night and was so deeply moved by your story beyond words. You continue to be an amazing inspiration in so many ways. You are so beautiful – inside and out – and always will be! Thank you for your willingness to share your story with the world.
    ~ Maddy

  5. Carrie says:

    Wendy –
    You continue to surprise and touch me with what you do and how you live your life. You are an inspiration and I am so glad to know you. I am thrilled that you shared this with me.

  6. Amber Wong says:

    Wonderful cadence, moving from the surface to the deep. Your optimism is striking, lots to admire.

  7. Kristie says:

    Wendy, that was wonderful and moving. thank you!

  8. Marylee Hagen says:

    Wendy, your mom told me about your wonderful words being online. She also sent me the book that you wrote a chapter – it was touching. You are both beautiful inside and out – so inspiring to me! Marylee Hagen

  9. Pingback: Wendy Staley Colbert: Participant Spotlight Interview | wild mountain memoir retreat / MARCH 15TH-17TH, 2013 / Washington's Cascade Mountains

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