Long Beach To Poughkeepsie
Contributor
Written by
Jackie Joice
March 2010
Contributor
Written by
Jackie Joice
March 2010

Long Beach To Poughkeepsie ? (A True Tale of Friendship, Creativity, Motherhood, and Loss) By Jackie Joice It all started with a letter and a “Thank You” card in the mail. The card was sealed with a glossy treasure chest sticker that was filled with gold coins. Gold, a precious metal, it symbolizes wealth & prosperity and was indicative of the contents of the card as well. Ironically, I had a small wooden treasure chest ready to be mailed to Tanya for her birthday although I didn’t mail it until April 7, 2008. The treasure box sat on my desk for a couple of weeks with the intention of being mailed on time! I kept purchasing cool items to place in it though. I’m never on time with gifts anymore because I have to prepare them according to the type of crafty & creative mood I’m in. Tanya’s birthday is March 19th. The stress with trying to meet a deadline isn’t healthy for my muse any longer. I filled the birthday treasure chest with a few hearty sea shells, stickers, and other girlie items. Anyhow, I received Tanya’s letter in mid March of 2008 probably on or a few days before her birthday, and it opened with this greeting: “Jackie ! I’m tellin’ ya sistah, that was some magical tea brew ya sent because I’m PREGNANT! I just laughed aloud when I read the opening sentence. I smiled as I continued reading the letter and felt the elation and joy emanate from the card. I smiled for the rest of the week. I met Tanya through postal correspondence in 1997. I mailed a letter to her PO Box all the way to Poughkeepsie, NY. I’d never even heard of Poughkeepsie. To me Poughkeepsie sounded like the name of a fairy or elf in some children’s fantasy movie. Anyhow, I requested a copy of her zine entitled Hagrag. I knew Tanya was special and different and as cool as an ice cold glass of hibiscus tea when she responded because she wrote on the back of the letter I initially mailed her. Tanya had already possessed that “green” consciousness before it became trendy and a buzz word. She definitely taught me a thing or two. The first five or six years of our friendship were totally through hand written letters and mostly special packages. These “special” packages would consist of a variety of things, like a candle or handmade soap, art, cloth sanitary napkins (sewn by Tanya), her zine, hand made jewelry, and pages of a handwritten letter just to name a few. Tanya didn’t have an email address at the time besides we preferred corresponding through postal mail. I remember when Tanya wrote to me in a letter and told me about the guy that would eventually become her husband. Now we’ve come full circle, creative feminine power & birth. Date Friday, July 11, 2008 1:06 pm (email) Jackie : ) heya sistah, how are you, I have been totally thinking about you & wondering what yer up to : )… We are doing well-wew very happy to tell ya my morning sickness adventures have subsided-that was really gross for awhile. I just had towels everywhere & couldn’t even open the fridge or turn the oven on or even boil water coz it would set me off ! Apparently chewing gum is my BFF to not feel woosy~not stupid saltine crackers. Only took me 4 months to figure that out ! As of my prev sonogram the baby’s new ETA is Halloween can you believe it ! Sleeping is getting a lil challenging and woweezowee do have doozies of dreams! Date Wednesday, September 3, 2008 3:34pm (email) Hiya Jackie : ) how was yer adventure ? I’ve been feelin better & I’ve been tatooin lots and sewing like crazy too. My bro and neighbor threw us a huge pirate themed shower this weekend and I brought the shells you sent me to decorate the treasure chest area so it felt like you were nearly there. It’s so crazy how soon the baby is due. I’m totally in awe n like holy crap at the same time! The adventure Tanya referred to, is my summer camp in Yucaipa in the San Bernardino Mountains. The year 2008 was my 9th summer working with the camp. I spent 2 weeks (August 10-22) with young adults and shared a cabin with 13 females. Whew! I was pregnant at the time, unfortunately I miscarried in mid September. Anyhow, Tanya shared how she mailed the rest of the tea to a couple of friends on the East Coast. I never thought to text Tanya until she wrote to me that she had to go to the library to use the computer. I wasn’t sure how far it was to the library, but I know one thing is for sure, it’s freakin cold out there, and I didn’t want my friend waddling back and forth to the library to send me email. So I decided to text her, cause I know sometime we just don’t feel like talking on the phone when we got all this hormonal stuff going on with our bodies. Besides, what better way to document the whole process than by email, text and correspondence. Tanya was in labor for 47 hours !It was September 16th when I started to miscarry. I shared this with Tanya on the 17th between the flood of texts rolling in from her. It was my second time experiencing a miscarriage. It was almost the exact same time as the first one the year before. A healer told me there’s something going on within me on a deeper level. At any event, Tanya immediately called me and apologized for sending me such happy texts about her pregnancy. I was offended by that comment. For me, my having a miscarriage doesn’t alter my happiness for my friend(s). In fact I told Tanya to keep on sending, writing, emailing, because I can’t be physically there with her but I could be with her virtually. Electromagnetically. Anyhow, I explained what had happened over the course of 24 hours with my body. Cramping at 3am. Then the sight of blood during a regular trip to the toilet. During pregnancy going to the toilet was always stressful for me, in fact I shared this fear with another friend of mine just a few days before my miscarriage. And yet it happened again. Tanya gave her condolences and told me she loved me. Tanya’s daughter, Urzuly, was born at 4am on November 19, 2008. 8 pounds 3.9 oz, 21 inches. She sent me a text with a picture of Urzluly 5 hours after she gave birth ! I finally called Tanya after giving her a couple of days to regroup (although giving birth didn’t prevent her from sending beautiful photos of her daughter via text). Tanya explained in detail her birthing process, because the information was too long to include in a text message. And let me tell you, my dear New Yorker friend was a trooper. In mid March of 2009 ( close to Tanya’s Birthday) I discovered that I was pregnant once again, well, at least that’s what the home pregnancy test indicated. However, I had no symptoms and wondered if I were really pregnant? I had no tender breasts, no morning sickness or vomiting like in my second pregnancy. I actually felt great! After I passed my critical stage of pregnancy I decided to travel to the East Coast to Poughkeepsie for the very first time. It was in May 2009 that I decided to pack my bags and head East. Tanya picked me up in her jeep at the empty Poughkeepsie train station. When I saw Tanya, I rushed to hug her. We embraced in the center of the train station. She grabbed my luggage and I kept my pink back pack strapped to my back. Tanya looked the same, except for her long pink and blonde locks pinned up on her head. Her arms were covered with various tattoos, she wore glasses, and spoke softly. We spent an incredible 5 days of cooking, sharing, journaling, and watching movies together. I finally met, Tanya’s husband, Rudy, and her dog Sage. On November 20, 2009, on a day that I expected to have a routine non-stress test and then head to the movies. My daughter, Sunshine was delivered at 9:05pm. Yes, Sunshine’s birthday is one day after Urzuly’s. I think in November 2010, Urzuly should celebrate her birthday with Sunshine in California. The theme, of course, should be friendship, creativity, motherhood and feminine power…can we make this happen? Yes, we can.

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