Feb 24

39 years, 364 days

Looking ahead to 1:27am, the 24th of February 2015 … that monumental age change … that awful thought that someone could put an ad in the paper with a birthday greeting of “Lordy Lordy looks who’s ….”

I can’t even finish that thought.

I never claimed 30. Never coped with that age change. I went from 27 to … something in my 30s, only after claiming 27 long enough that everyone was in on the obvious joke.

I’ve spent all month thinking about this post and what has come before.

This is what 39 and 364 days looks like from here.

I am a half orphan. My Dad up and dying … regardless of knowing his health wasn’t great … that horror of realizing that he ACTUALLY died . . . That empty gut, heart stopped horror oozing through the shock. That feeling that chokes me even now … even though it has been long enough I have to do the math and count the years since that night I stood with my brother and sister in law by a hospital bed that held Daddy. Daddy with the slack jaw and the squishy eyelids I pushed down over his amber brown eyes. All our potential gone into the where ever.

Daddy who left me an enormous mess that still isn’t cleaned up. That mess that I told myself would untangle and I would see some master plan of his underneath a pile of what looked like a well orchestrated punishment for everything I had ever been that was a less than perfect daughter and that the Daddy who loved me must have hated me to leave me this way in this mess. I promised myself that there was a reason and that reason would be found at the end of the mess. At the time I didn’t expect that the reasons were that Dad was mortal and flawed and human and made some massive mistakes. That the mess he left had absolutely nothing to do with me, and that both crushes my heart and frees me at the same time. Parents are fallible.

Becoming a parent. Holding a social security card in my hand, with a name I chose for a little boy to grow into a man with. Being responsible for that that card and the “oh wow” that went with it.

Having a baby. No drugs, feeling that whole experience. The “oh wow” of feeling his fuzzy head for the first time, actually seeing him on my stomach and realizing that yes indeed, that had been a baby growing in there all along.

Being pregnant. I’m grateful for the experience. Once was enough, please and thank you. Glad I have that chapter, don’t want to go back and read it again. Kthxbai.

Looking at the positive pregnancy test. The “oh wow” of “hey, sex really does make babies!”

Wanting a girl all my life, sobbing when the ultrasound showed a boy, begging Scout to never tell how I reacted.

Having the moment of scrapbooking for this little BOY, pasting a picture of his ultrasound feet on a carefully decorated page and being overwhelmed with loving this little BOY. Feeling that every time I see that photo in his album.

Realizing that little BOY is a replica of me. My smarts, my avoidance of sleep, my anxiety, my food pickiness, my complete focus to what I care about and my complete disregard for what I do not. Realizing I am the exact perfect parent for him, and that the only lesson in my life that truly matters is raising him right.

I will burn out on the same job after three years. Year one is a vertical learning curve of something new. Year two is fixing what I didn’t do right on year one. Year three is my spirit dying day by day as I drag myself through a routine. Gifted IQs are a curse at times, yo.

I found a gray hair and let it stay. I also dyed my hair purple red the next week, so there’s that.

I can cut my hair off short, but I will not like it in the back because it looks like Mom’s.

When I look at Mom, she looks more like my grandparents and less like my Mom and it scares me and sometimes I can’t look at her.

Sometimes I let myself try to understand that the empty gut horror oozing through the numbness feeling will hit me again some day. That she will leave me too.

I have planned beautiful weddings. I married the man I wanted and became a wife I hated. My parents had no good examples of how to be married for me to follow. They did set the bar high for co-parenting after divorce. Turns out that was the example I needed. No matter how sad it was to admit I failed the marriage I had wanted for so long, it came with knowing we were better this way … that differences and annoyances would never burn into rage or hate … That marriage date became “Happy Family Day”. We have each other’s backs by choice, not edict or legality. Family does not go away because the bonds of marriage were cut, the knot was just tied back in a different way that left us both free.

If I were to get married again, it would be for the third time. I thought that stuff was only for Zsa Zsa Gabor and Liz Taylor.

I learned to love dogs. One is snoring next to me and one is at my feet fouling my air every 5 to 7 minutes like clockwork.

Getting ready for swimsuit season involves stepping on the scale and laughing that I am once again in my all time high weight bracket and then finding a suit in my dresser that covers my boobs and finding a towel and sunglasses to use at the pool. You don’t like my cellulite thighs and “I had a kid seven years ago but will still call it baby weight” gut? Look away then bitchez, because the number of fucks I have in my garden is ZERO.

I have made amazing friends. I am completely blown away by how blessed how I am. A stroll through Facebook shows me people from Kindergarten and before (Jonelle and Rutt), girls I played with and had memorable sleepovers with in elementary school (Beth (and you too Amy :) ), Nicci, Erica, Cherish), Arizona friends (Doug, Aaron, Tybo, Zooey), Minnesota friends (I ain’t listing you, I would miss one and I would feel bad. Ya’ll are from District 196 … most of you say GO EAGLES!), Kentucky Moms who went through those first child first two years OMG what have we DONE days with. Bloggy friends, some who have necks I have never hugged, some who I have slept in their homes, all who I love with a strange camaraderie of knowing other people climb in front their computers looking for kindred spirits and heart friends.

I have cut ties with good people who I thought I would be friends with forever . . . and yeah the Lawd was the Lawd of us … but sometimes a lifetime is indeed too long to live as friends, and it is just better to quietly close the door and then cement that bad boy shut and never look back.

My kid’s first teacher went from that person across the table at parent teacher conferences became my person.

I have this great family of people I share no genetics with, parents and sisters and brothers and a little blond boy – all because I took a shot on some young guy who turned out to be the one I love … the one … I used to say that loving him was like trying to catch my breath after walking into a sudden rain storm. Now we’ve gone through the really high highs and the please shoot me I don’t want to go through this lows … and it is less rain storm and more … I don’t know, words actually fail me, if I tried, I would just fall short and make stuff up. I found the one I am willing to keep trying for. Maybe that is it.

I’ve lived through summers of wine and xanax and wanting to give up and wondering why I was having to learn some lessons again and thinking it was all just crap and pointless.

And sometimes it is, indeed, all just crap and pointless. It is what it is, and what it is – is a steaming pile.

Then there are nights like tonight – where the dogs snore and fart, the cats purr, my little boy is safe and healthy and sleeping in his bed, my mom has been here, and now it is me and M’Love on the couch ending the day together.

And you. You, gentle reader. You. You ease my fears of what 39 years, 365 days will look like.

 

 

 

 

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Feb 03

Talyaa Liera

My teacher Talyaa has lasers in her brain.

Isn’t that a lovely opening line? Attention getting, makes you postulate “what on earth is going on?”

My teacher Talyaa lived in a cocoon named Karen Murphy for decades. When I met her she was a Type A, Montessori doll sewing mom. She had a growing mommy blogger internet presence and wrote for Strollerderby. At the time, that was all the cool kid cred anyone needed.

She has a son with Down Syndrome, I mailed her some information to a PO Box in some East Coast state.

I met her in person once in some cha cha San Francisco area at the end of Guy Kawasaki‘s driveway as we were leaving a party at his house.

Over the next three years, her life evolved into a butterfly, including a cross country move, a name change and finding her soulmate. The details of that are her story at Wild Goddess Life.

She held my hand through my summer of  xanax of wine, when all the pain seemed to catch up with me and I couldn’t claw out. She was my teacher, she gave me tools to get me out. She was that friend who jumped in the hole with me and said, “I’ve been here, I know the way out.”

She showed me the way out.

Just before her 50th birthday she found out the spot on her foot was melanoma that was spreading through her body. This stalled her blog relaunch, her life work and everything she was planning on doing with the next half of her life.

So followed the next revolution of her life, medical treatments, dietary treatment, community building, all that digging deep and figuring out what was going to work for her to extend her life beyond that 4 months the doctors were giving her.

It worked. It is working.

She got better, but as cancer does, it found ways around what she was doing and wound its way back into her brain.

Which leads us back to why she has lasers in her brain as I write this. Today is brain surgery day for my friend, my teacher.

So if you would, please, send your light, your healing, your love to Talyaa Liera and the doctors and the lasers working to heal her today.

 

 

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Feb 02

Susan Niebur

Life is given to each of us.  We each get one shot at this sucker, and we are never really told that it will be fair. ~Susan Niebur

Once upon a time, there was a blogger named Sam who was diagnosed with cancer. It was just as I came into blogging and I wasn’t sure what was up with all the “Team Whymommy” buttons on all these blogs.

Sam’s name was actually Susan, but she used Sam to keep her life a little more private.

She wrote this excellent piece about how the computer became all these windows to all these lives – which at the time, I was trapped under baby and breast pump most hours of the day and, to me, she found the words that were exactly how I felt.

I met Susan a few times, she was someone I would have liked to sit in the back of the smart kid classes with in high school, and I would have liked to have seen her smile from across a lunch table. She is the reason I realized that a stay at home mom needed to get herself some life insurance – by the time she realized she should have some, no one would insure her. That was one of the things I learned from her. The other is that sometimes life just isn’t fair.

It will be three years this week since her husband posted Goodbye. 868 people posted comments that day.

Susan was 38 years old. This month I turn 40 – It hurts that, among many things that Susan will never do, that turning 40 is one of them. And while I want to cringe from that age, I can’t, because some of us don’t have the chance to decide whether or not to pull the gray hair …

Susan, we miss you. We are better for you being here.

 

 

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Feb 01

NaBloPoMo #Fail

I was all about GoBloMeMoFo 2014. Even if I had to post a couple at a time to make up for it, I was liking being in the groove of writing – even if I was hating the process of blogging on an iPad.

I bought an old laptop so I could at least have an easier way to work, and then I broke.

Ferguson happened and the internet blew up and no one would shut up and I shut down. Everyone had too much to say and I quit saying anything at all.

I got to Thanksgiving and ended up spending Thursday night to Saturday night without talking to anyone. I nested with the dog and the cats and I was alone with my knitting and Reign on Netflix.

Anyway.

This is my birthday month and it is a big one – so for that, for this month, I am back, borrowing Mrs. Flinger’s {W}rite of Passage tag for this month – because that is what this month is all about for me.

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Nov 19

NaBloPoMo 16 Nov 14

I’ve never been a hunter, my family didn’t get into it until later in life, so I didn’t grow up with it so much. Fish and frog legs, but not so much deer and turkey.

I never like seeing all the dead deer photos, the glassy dead eyes just get to me.

This was opening weekend for rifles in Missouri. I didn’t go, but I was awake to my foot being tickled 40 minutes before morning twilight. I was standing watching a deer’s insides removed a couple hours later.

Ten hours after that, I was standing by the next deer.

I patted her … Still warm and soft … Laying in the truck bed. I said Thank you for feeding me this winter. Which I meant. Yeah, it helped me cope, but still. Circle of life and all, and thanks for feeding me.

Up the hill we went. I had a hatchet and a knife and teachers.

and vinyl gloves. Uh yeah. Those are necessary.

I tried to close her eye (which reminded me of closing Dads eyes after he died … Which I am still not okay with) but the damn deer eye wouldn’t stay closed. Sigh.

Daddy issues and dead deer? Sure. Why not.

There in the scant snow falling, by the head lights of the truck, I gutted my first deer.

Hours later I had trouble sleeping. I am still not sure why.

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Nov 19

NaBloPoMo 15 Nov 14

I have stared at my walls for about four years. There are weird angles in this house. Like someone was allergic to right angles or something. The worst corner has been in the living room where the fireplace is.

I painted the white fireplace the same cream that has been on the wall, and I painted over it with a beautiful blue (Sherwin Williams Bosphorus). I arranged the dustables toward the main wall to try to drag the eye across.

The resultimage

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Nov 18

NaBloPoMo 14 Nov 14

Heather Spohr and I have the same chair. Which is something I have loved. Sadly, my cats have also loved it as their favorite scratching place.

Today I bought a super lame throw cover thing and did my best to staple the edges (till the staples ran out. Of course.)

The animals still adore it.

image

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Nov 17

NaBloPoMo 13 Nov 14

Looking at my house, you would never think that I need things to be perfect.

But I do.

I struggle to sit here and write because it is not on MY computer. Even if I had MY computer I would struggle if I didn’t get to sit on my couch and was forced to sit in the kitchen.

I am looking at one wall in my living room that I have finished. A perfect blue and cream combo, project completed, knick knacks back in place.

Cannot work on the next wall because I don’t have the level and can’t put up the tape to paint the perfect horizontal line so I’m stuck until I have the tools.

So it’s hard to start and then I have trouble with project completion so, um yeah, Imma just watch some more Private Practice.

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Nov 13

NaBloPoMo 12 Nov 14

You know what makes me furious.

 

Blogging on an iPad. It is cruel. I spend so much time screaming that I can’t even write. I cant backspace or link or much of anything.

i used to hack around in code. I used to Do this. I used to be good and now I scream at an iPad and threaten to punch it, and all I want to do is this, to write.

and you know what really also sucks? It’s really hard to look for a computer without a computer to search the Internet for a computer.

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Nov 13

NaBloPoMo 11 Nov 14

A couple of lifetimes ago, I rode in a limo with Shelly Kramer and and Brene’ Brown.

I heard Brene’ speak, I had her sign my books.

It has been years and I still remember that “at least” isn’t helpful and empathy and sympathy are not the same things.

I came across this brilliant video of her talk this week. Watch it, it will help.

Maybe this link.

 

http://www.fastcodesign.com/3023417/the-power-of-empathy-animated

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Nov 11

NaBloPoMo 10 Nov 14

I looked at my living room this morning with dread.

image Then I took a breath, set the stopwatch and had it clean in 21 minutes, 29 seconds.

Lesson here is just freaking do it.

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Nov 10

NaBloPoMo 9 Nov 14

My sister in law got me into essential oils over the summer, and I have found some great benefits from them.

Then came the Ebola virus in the US (never mind that I heard about Ebola for the first time in 1994, now that it affects white peeps on US soil, apparently now we all care.)

Then came people making claims that specific blends of essential oils could … Cure Ebola.

Which, come on. No one has any proof of that, no one has any tests. Hey, if a nurse had taken some to Liberia and used it and found that survival rates were improved when the oils were used, sure. This wasn’t that, these were cute Pinterest graphics with misty background photos. Come on.

Next came someone who filed a complaint with the FDA, because, yeah, you have people making wild claims. Unfortunately it led to three companies basically getting cease and desist letters from the FDA to shut it down, shut down people making claims about what their products did, no matter what.

Which has pros and cons, the biggest con is that it restricts the use of Evidence Based Practice, which has become a very important part of science based communities sharing experiences without conducting large scale studies and writing awkward papers that no one can decipher anyway.

The jerk in me finally came out, and I have searched and I can not find an answer I am looking for… Does the FDA approve water for treatment of dehydration? Seriously, we all know it works, but has the FDA said it works?

(now I wrote this because I really am curious, but on the off chance you want to check out essential oils you can go to http://www.youngliving.com and my number is 1906175 (and I would link that but this franking iPad is the least blogger friendly contraption ever invented and I can’t, like physically can not make it link and I am tired of cursing at it.)

 

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Nov 08

NaBloPoMo 8 Nov 14

The one where I did a ton of Christmas shopping.

I really do like to be able to support the small business, and I like products that are not full of garbage.

Enter the Argyle Cosmetics pre sale.

I spent about a hundred dollars, it will ship by December 1st, They are amazing products, and I got to support a small business woman I know that hundred dollars is more appreciated here than by the big box store, and I can feel good that I am giving high quality gifts this year.

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