Sunday, May 31, 2009

Morning Person

Morning person, I am not! Everyone who knows me understands that I hate getting out of bed in the morning -almost as much as I hate matching up socks or double dipping (ok, not as much as double dipping but alot.) It's not that I don't get out of bed, I will when I have to -but I don't like it, so I make sure anyone who has the nerve to talk to me before 11AM understands that and learns not to ever, EVER do it again! I can pretty much fall asleep anywhere, anytime -EXCEPT when I am in a bed before 3AM; so when I finally do fall asleep and stay that way, I do not particularly enjoy opening my eyes and leaving my comfortable warm cocoon. My body just does not cooperate with the whole morning concept....

BUT, my 10YO? He can wake up and climb out of bed inside of a minute and both before 7AM -on his own! I know -it's just not right!

So, at 8:30 on Saturday morning after I had been asleep for a a whole three hours, 10YO walks into my room. He was cleaning his hamster's cage and was holding a cardboard toilet paper roll. He walks over to my side of the bed.

10YO: "Mom?" he says and points to the leftover glue marks on the cardboard roll, "can this hurt my hamster if I put it in her cage and she eats it?"

Me: I open one eye, roll over, and then wonder how much effort it would take to launch a pillow at his head "Huh? What? No Alex, it's fine."

Then, he actually approaches my side of the bed!

10YO: "But what if she chews it or licks it or...." he holds the roll in front of my face just in case I have never seen one in real life before...

Me: Irritated, I sit up, grab the toilet paper roll out of his hands, and lick it -from top to bottom- then hand it back to him. "No Alex, see? It's fine!" I lay back down and pull the covers up to my chin.

10YO: As he's walking towards the door, he looks down at the cardboard in his hand with a look of hesitant satisfaction and turns towards me and says, "Um Mom, just to tell you..... I couldn't find an empty toilet paper roll," -then a pause for dramatic effect- "so I had to dig this one out of the trash can....."

Me: "Which trash can?" (as if it really mattered)

Guess which trash can. Either the kitchen trash can with all of the used hamster shavings or the bathroom can with everything else?

Yep, the bathroom trash can..... the one where the booger filled tissues, used Q-Tips, used dental floss, and band-aids stained with dried body fluids end up at the end of the day.....

NY and 10YO had a laugh, they thought it was just hilarious.

NY: "ha ha ha, that's perfect..... you're freaked out by double dipping and you just licked that.... hahaha.."

I let them have their laugh, but what they're not thinking about is how I am the cleaner of the bathroom which also makes me the keeper of the toothbrushes, their toothbrushes..... And let's just say that I have not always been exactly trustworthy when it comes to other peoples brushes.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

My Prayer- Unedited (And I Don't Really Care)

Dear God,

Thank you for Adam, Alex, Luke and Gary. Thank you for my mom, dad, Shane & Ally. Thank you for the many souls who have touched my life and helped me along the way, and for those whose impact I have not yet realized.

Please God, please take all of the grace you may be granting me and bless Jimmy with it. Forget all of the prayers I have offered on my own behalf and put that love towards Jimmy. I’m good, God. I can manage. If you have to, leave me and tend to him. I have lived a lot. I have experienced more. I have married, birthed children, lost unborn children, and found myself along the way. I have lived success in a career, and been lucky enough to have the security to walk away from it and raise my children. I have loved and been loved. I have laughed and felt moments of ‘no worries.’ I have encountered souls that have filled me with more love than I will ever be able to give back. I have been hurt, and hurt others. I have had my heart destroyed by someone I trusted and had faith in and then nursed back to health by someone who had faith in me.

I am young, but Jimmy? He has so much to experience. He is being cheated God and YOU KNOW IT! He has felt pain no one should have to bare. He has faced his mortality and wondered what will follow. He has watched from a distance as his friends live moments he knows he may never experience; traveling for spring break, going to college, living on campus, and even taking a job. I mean really God? Most kids his age look forward to dollar a beer night and the start of the Buckeyes football season. Not Jimmy. No God, he looks forward to driving again after the seizures stole his ability to do so. He is excited to resume the courses that he had to put off because he was trapped in his body for months while nobody at the James Center could figure out why he was suddenly loosing his motor skills, then his speech, then his ability to swallow. Most kids his age are self conscience about the beater they have to drive around in order to be able to afford to live on campus or the freshman fifteen that has landed on their backside. No, not Jimmy! He is self conscience of all the scars that cris cross back, forth and around again through his thick dark hair from the half dozen or so times he has had his skull cracked open in the last five years…. He is overly aware of the round shape his face has taken on thanks to all of the cancer meds -that hey -seem to be working real f@&*ing well.

Most kids his age worry over the final the next morning. Jimmy worries whether he will SEE the morning. Twenty-somethings look forward to their future and wonder what it will bring. Jimmy looks forward to his future as well, the end of his pain –OH WAIT…. Would that be his death?

It’s just not right. It’s not fair that he is suffering and has been for so long. It is mean and hateful that You could rob him of experiencing all the treasures this incredible planet has to offer and all of the emotions that come with living. Why does he have to carry the burden of something so horribly painful and frightening when he should be living the best days of his life?

I know I am still young. I know I have a lot I have not yet experienced. But God, I've still lived more than Jimmy has and I feel like he is getting short changed and I just don’t understand. Please God, I have asked for strength. I have asked for help to forgive those who have hurt me and the ability to truly let go. I have begged for guidance to become a better mother, a more attentive partner, a supportive friend, a present sister, and a worthy daughter. TAKE ALL OF IT! Take all of the energy and love you are using up on me and give it to him.

It’s just not fair. I don’t understand. Please, please, please! I mean really, you gave me a miracle when I was undeserving, unappreciative, and incapable; can’t you please give Jimmy his? And if you are saving up another one for me, I don’t want it….I DON”T WANT IT, he needs it, HE DESERVES IT!

I have witnessed others suffer the sudden loss of a child, a family member to a tragic accident, and even a friend loose his 31 year old high school sweet heart to lung cancer. I was incredibly sad and horrified in each case, thinking of the pain their loved ones were going through in dealing with their untimely deaths. But this God? I am feeling this one in different way -a bigger way. I hurt inside for this boy. Not as a family member, friend, or parent would hurt…. Not as someone with a connection to the boy, I can’t put my finger on it –or maybe I just can’t put it into words. It’s a darkness that is constant. A feeling of dread, of total repulsion. But this is wrong, God. It can’t possibly be right, it just can’t be.

Please give it to him, please. I know you can, I have been on the receiving end and I know you can do it if you really want to. I don’t know whether or not I deserved any miracles, but I do know that I am IN NO WAY more deserving than that boy who is lying in a hospital bed on life support right now….. two days after his 22 birthday.

A year ago, after months of the poor kid being a prisoner in his own body, I prayed for his peace. I prayed for you to end his pain and to just take him. And then finally, after keeping the James Cancer Center doctors perplexed for months, they tweak a shunt this way or that and DONE! THAT’S IT, problem solved –P-O-W released??!!! One day before his 21st birthday, you sent him home to relearn instinctive movements and get his hopes all high, that he can begin to look ahead to dreams of driving again, of being able to see without an eye patch???!!!! Why did you even bother? To string him along for another year?
What, were you thinking..... “You were sick, you had cancer, you went through pain, torture, let’s just say ……HELL, but I let them get it, the surgery got it, the chemo killed anything that may have been left of it it, and the shunt manages the damage that was done when they went in after it! Go learn how to walk, talk, and see again. Start to feel better –normal even- and maybe look forward to leaving the house for something other than a doctors appointment one day! But hey! Don't make any plans for this time next year, ok?…….”

I just don’t understand, I JUST- DON'T - GET -IT…. Come on, please? Make him healthy. Let him know the joys I have been lucky enough to know….



That’s all. My eyes burn , the sun is coming up, and I don’t think there is anything else much to say….. AMEN

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Favor on Jimmy's Birthday

I need a favor.

My little sister has a friend, a good friend who has struggled many years with cancer, brain cancer to be exact. In and out of the hospital, chemo, surgeries, shunts, ventilators, etc etc.... the kid is only 22 TODAY. He has had some close calls -really close calls. We thought we had lost him around this time last year, but miraculously he 'snapped out of it.' I had my church group praying for him last year and as months passed, the request went from praying for Jimmy to praying for those who love Jimmy and a peaceful passing -that's how close of a call it was. My sister just told me that he is back in the hospital, unconscious and looking very grimm. He had some issues with a shunt and went in on Memorial Day. It looks like lymphoma and he is on life support.

The thing is that this kid is incredible. He is truly a 'nice' kid. Out of all the kids my little sister and brother have introduced me to, he is the only one that really strikes me. I have begged my little sister to just accept the fact that they will one day be wed! He is a nice kid, really -I am not just saying that. He is young and he has already been through so much, more than anyone should have to go through. He has missed out on so many things kids his age experience and it is just not fair! He deserves a long, happy, healthy life and the world deserves Jimmy, we certainly have not had enough of him yet!

He needs prayers. So please, anyone stopping by please say a prayer for Jimmy today, tomorrow, and the next day if you would be so kind!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Have you ever noticed that the natural order of things seem to override any plans we have for ourselves?

The weekend started out questionable. My truck started making a horrible noise and it ended up in the shop...ALL WEEKEND. Usually I absolutely freak when anything happens to my truck, I cry and say "but what am I going to dooooooo!? it's so much money that I don't have....... How am I going to get anywherrrre?" this time was different, this time I was alright. Even though I my dad isn't here to give me a ride into work or to provide an extra car to drive while mine gets repaired.... emotionally I handled it alright.

Despite my trucks betrayal, I was still able to enjoy the beautiful weather and the long weekend. NY and I decided to try out a 'ropes course' that just opened at the local ski area. It is officially defined as "an aerial forest rope course consisting of platforms that have been installed in the trees with ropes and cables connecting them to form "a bridge". The objective is to move from tree platform to tree platform walking over the different secured bridges to complete the course. There are some small scale zip-lines throughout the eight different courses. Each course will have a different degree of difficulty." For me, this definition seemed accurate.... for NY however it should have read "an aerial death trap consisting of tiny platforms (large enough for only half of a leg and maybe an elbow) installed in the trees with ropes and cables that will slice multiple layers of skin off your extremities should you brush against them while plummeting off the wooden plank the size of a stick of butter and suspended 60 feet in the trees. The objective is to lumber from tree to tree, fall off several platforms, and leave severe bruising, bloody scrapes and walk away with a limp and in need of a peroxide bath. There are some small scale zip-lines that you will complete with great tact however it will not provide nearly enough entertainment for your agile, graceful, and sweet girlfriend who loves you very much and does not take pleasure in your pain despite her uncontrollable fits of laughter."

I have to confess, I felt a teeny weeny bit of satisfaction over my ability and in the ease I felt completing the course while NY struggled. I know that my size (5'2) provided my edge but I have to boast because usually I am not the picture of grace -not even close! And NY- well he is -in most cases. I really wish I would have had a camera, I laughed so hard I cried and I have never done that before- I usually just snort. We had a great time and even went out for dinner and a drink -just the two of us.

The rest of the weekend was spent hiking. NY was our drill sergeant. Every time we turned around he was packing for a hike..... I complained because one departure was made during a "sun shower" you know the opposite of a cloud shower? NY made us go anyway because I guess sun showers are not as bad as the cloud kind......

6YO took this picture and made them say "Monkeeeeeey"

This shot proves that men can get lost even when following a marked trail.

10&6YO taking their own picture at the top of Mt Everett.

The rock sculpture at the top of Mt. Everett.

10YO asked NY if he could put a couple of rocks in his backpack to take home for our own rock sculptures. NY agreed before he saw the rocks.....

After hiking we went into town for a late lunch and made a pit stop at the toy store!

And finally .....LUNCH - because it would make too much sense to take a picnic lunch on our hike....

So despite my truck issue, I came out of the weekend feeling relaxed and very content. I got a lot of stuff done around the house, enjoyed the fresh air, watched 10YO play a kick ass baseball game, spent some quality time with NY, But...... you know that balance thing? Well I should have known things were going too well. Emails from my ex were waiting for me this morning....

I hate emails from my EX -almost as much as I hate matching socks..... maybe even more!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Only Child

Well for one night anyway!

10YO spent the night at a friends' so it was just me and the 6YO. After we finished his reptile diorama (photos coming soon!) this is what we did.....

He almost looks happy doesn't he?

**This childhood memory made possible by the giant oak(?) tree and good old fashioned country environment**

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Boyfriend, socks, and ammo

Okay, here’s the thing. I have a boyfriend. And I hate calling him that because it sounds so juvenile and doesn’t really convey – at all – the strong heartfelt connection that I have with him. But anyway, that's not my point. I have a boyfriend that has been my best friend for almost four years now.

I only recently gave him the link to this blog. I think I hesitated because I never really intended anyone to read this; it was more of an outlet to vent really. Okay, that was not my only intention. I really intended to only blog about my experience with domestic violence and the process of healing that has followed. Somehow it has morphed into lots of other things…. My day to day, things the kids say, and incredibly embarrassing situations I find myself in, upon other things. Well, lots of other things except my boyfriend, parents and siblings. Let’s focus on the boyfriend – the squeaky wheel of the bunch- we will call him NY.

I had just blogged “now is greater than the whole of the past” and decided it was time to send NY the link. People were actually reading and commenting on my entries and it just didn’t feel right to keep NY in the dark when virtual strangers were befriending me. So the morning after I wrote the above entry, I sent him the link. Later that afternoon, the phone rang and it was NY. “Uh-oh….. it must be good if he is calling before the sun has set.” (we tend to avoid conversation during weekday daylight hours) Here is the conversation that followed-

Me- Hey
NY- I have questions.
Me- Uh okay?
NY- There’s nothing about me.

Now, my first instinct was to point out that his statement was not actually a question, but I held back- can’t kick a dog when he’s down right?

So this exclusion has led to a running joke between NY and I. *Side note* that’s what we do, NY and me- we joke and laugh and say things that real grown ups just don’t say. But anyway, he said things like:
“Everyone got a post. Your co-worker, Kenver dude, SBG (snow board god,) even your EX got a post!......”

Now he has ammo and a good point! You see, anytime we are at odds over whose turn it is to get out of bed for coffee, run out and pick up dinner, or clean up the tiling tools he pulls it out. Instead of Paper, Scissors, Spock it’s “Don’t worry, I’ll do it, maybe then you’ll blog about me.” And for some reason, it usually works and I give in to the undesirable task we both wish to avoid.

So, I started thinking. Why have I barely mentioned him? He is right up there with my kids, parents/siblings, and air. What’s the deal? So I set out weeks ago to blog about him. But – you guessed it- I got nothin. Nothing was coming to me. I started entries at least a dozen times and I end up starring at my laptop only to find myself distracted and clicking on the entertainment tabs on my home page…”Facts of Life cast, where are they now?”

Tonight, while matching up hundreds of socks – do you know I hate matching socks more than anything in this world?

Do you know that I have gone out and bought socks for the last two months instead of matching them?

Anyway, back to NY…. While I was matching dreadful socks tonight, it came to me. How do you sit down to write about your best friend? Sure, I can tell you about him, he's hot, funny, and very trust worthy...... but how can I possibly put my heart into words? I don’t think if I wrote it, I could do him justice. Anything I say will fall short; anything I say will only trivialize what’s in my heart. It would be like trying to explain to someone how you make your heart pump blood. The thought of not having him in my life takes my breath away and fills my chest with a dreadful heaviness. I once had to seriously consider not having him in my life. I had to choose to leap or not. You know the story…. Leap and risk everything –your heart, your home town, your faith in someone -or don’t and walk away. I almost walked away. I drove 900 miles with two kids and a U-Haul to New England then back to Ohio two days later. When I got back to Ohio, and faced the reality of my decision, I felt like a part of me had died. For real, I did. I could not imagine what the next day would be without him as my best friend and partner. That’s when I re -loaded and drove back to New England again that night….. (That also turned into a joke…. I guess for awhile I went from being known as “Ohio” to “u-haul” among his colleagues….. and every once in a while one of them will act surprised when my name comes up and will say something like "oh she's still here?")

But anyway, how do you put into words, your feelings about someone who you think the world of? Someone who allows you to be yourself with absolutely no fear of betrayal. Someone who has gently held you up when you thought nothing could. Someone who walked you through the most dark time of your life while opening your eyes to see that it really was a blessing? Someone who you can laugh with, cry with, and act ridicules and totally inappropriate with. Someone with flaws and quirks that only make you love him more? Someone who loves you even though you drop a 2X4 on his head and are an hour late picking him up from the train station…… How do you adequately express feelings for someone that has become a part of you in a way you did not know possible? Someone you love ‘because of’ not ‘ despite of’ How do you explain your feelings towards someone who makes you feel real, someone who makes it ok to like yourself? How do you express your feelings for someone you don’t want to change, someone who you love every detail of?

You don’t. You don’t and you can't- explain it at all, you can only hope that everyone can be so lucky to experience it for themselves - so that they just “know” what it is you are trying to explain.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Which is more disturbing???

We made a trip into town to gather supplies for 6YO's diorama. This led us to the toy store and below is what 6YO went right to.

Take a closer look....


my question is....

which is more disturbing?

the packaging,

or the fact that my 6YO saved his allowance for three weeks to buy it.....?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Yin and Yang

I have one kid who can say the Lord's Prayer and a Hail Mary as easily as he can breathe....

He boasts several religious achievements: three completed sacraments, experience as a Sunday school student assistant, and a straight 'A' Catholic school student....
and he says things like "Mom, when are we going to go back to church?"

And the other kid????

Ehhhh....... not so much

This one says things like.....

"Mom, you know that guy up in heaven...."

"what's his name again?"

For real - he said that- just tonight, I swear. I couldn't make this stuff up!

Monday, May 4, 2009

"Girls Go First!"

I like that 10YO still uses the word “handsome” I like that he still says “girls go first.” I remember when he could barely talk. He was a toddler really, this tiny little person that would pour his own juice at preschool snack time and looked so little next to the pitcher he held. “Girls go first!” I hammered that into his head, anytime there was a woman anywhere around, “girls go first.” Like it was yesterday, I remember when he was only three and we were parking at the grocery, next to a car whose owner pulled in right after us. It was an older lady, with white hair in a big blue winter coat. Alex waited until she got out of her car before getting out himself and then said “girls go first!” letting her walk in front of him between the two cars. She looked at him and thanked him, calling him a gentleman , then she looked at me and smiled and said “Good job Mom, not many people raise boys the way we did in my day. What a man you will be!”

He still says that to this day, those exact words "girls go first," and now, 6YO repeats it.

Sometimes, I look at him and think to myself that maybe, just maybe he’s going to be alright. Even after all the mistakes I’ve made, despite all he witnessed when I was too afraid to leave his father, and all the demons he lives with everyday because of it…..
Sometimes I look at them and feel relief- not guilt- that they are children of divorce, because I know the effects of the alternative would have been far worse. Lately, I've noticed that these moments of relief are beginning to outweigh and overshadow my moments of guilt or doubt.
Sometimes I think to myself that maybe- just maybe, good really is stronger than evil.

Friday, May 1, 2009

I'm in trouble....

Conversation while watching Gremlins tonight.....

6YO- I like Stripe, he's cool.

Me- But he's evil.

6YO- Yeah. [pause] But he's cool.