All By Myself in the Sunshine

All By Myself in the Sunshine
  I sat on a blanket, alone, in a field spotted with blue and yellow flowers. Our rural community celebrates the end of the school year with an annual Renaissance Faire, a day when kids dress in medieval-era clothes, play old-fashioned games and shoot sacks of flour from an actual trebuchet. If, like me, you need a refresher on what a trebuchet is, think life-size tortuous-looking sling-shot used to catapult ammunition. Kindergarteners, middle-schoolers, teachers, and parents line up for the chance to fling rotten fruit and sacks of grain at a castle made from hay bales, cheers erupting every time someone strikes a direct hit. Our school has about 80 students ranging from kindergarten through eighth grade, and at the festival, each one takes a role in a Shakespeare play. By the time they graduate, these kids have an impressive command of the Bard’s work and parents get bragging rights. It’s a day I look forward to every year, especially when my daughter had the honor of playing Juliet and a boy in her class named Benjamin, one of her best friends, was coerced into playing Romeo. After the performances and a gourmet barbecue lunch, I laid a blanket in the sun, sat down, and looked at people. Most were gathered in small groups in the shade, and even though they were only a hundred yards away, it seemed like a long way to walk. Plus, it was too cold for me in the shade. My doctor had told me that temperature fluctuations might be hard, and she was right. I felt the change of just a few degrees one way or another, so I chose to sit in the sun. But it was lonely. I know my friends didn’t realize that I felt excluded, that cancer had put me alone in an isolation chamber that started early in the New Year and stretched through an entire sch
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