My friend Annie is going to have surgery tomorrow to remove several tumors from her abdomen and pelvic area. This is great and scary news. Please, if you have a moment tomorrow, send a good thought, prayer, whatever - her way. Another update is posted here.
My friend Annie, who was diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma almost a year ago, and has been battling like the fierce Warrior Goddess that she is, has gotten some great news on her latest scan. I was so thrilled to get the email with the link to this update.
It was a rough afternoon here. Joe-Henry is becoming addicted to the Wii. I'm ready to chuck the whole thing. He was cranky and obstreperous and a real pain in the ass. I stayed calm for as long as I could, then I yelled back. Even though I'm the grown up. Even though I know how to spell obstreperous.
He didn't eat much dinner because his throat was sore from yelling. So I made him take a bath. He slammed the door, and took one by himself, which is some kind of first.
But after the bath, I heard music in his room, and I walked in to find him dancing with his shadow on the wall. I don't know if the sound will play - it won't on my computer. The song is "Upside Down" from the Curious George soundtrack, which we have both fallen in love with again. We had a great snuggle after that. Listened only to the music. No talking, just listening.
The place I live in is very, very wet much of the year. There are some fearful, ignorant people here. There isn't a roaring nightlife.
But there is this: When the sun comes out, you walk out blinking your eyes, amazed at the beauty. Spring here comes just in the nick of time. Winters aren't Minnesota cold, but they are stuckinthebasementdarkcolddamp. Grey. Wet.
And they seem to go. on. for. ever.
So it's like Mother Nature throws you a lifeline when you see first the heather, then the crocus, then the tulip. By the time the dogwood blooms and the lilacs, people are out of their minds digging in the dirt filled with hope for summer tomatoes, and the promise of roses.
On my way to the recycling center, a place I'd never been, I found myself driving an old road, driving past industry, hitting some farmland, then when I pulled into the drive that would take me to my destination, I saw a deer - grown, but still spotted, dancing across a field. I saw a heron bigger than a pelican flying low over the wetland, and when I came racing back to my house to grab the boy so we could go out on that road together, a bald eagle flew over my house.
So I packed us up and away we went. We drove out to a local lake and discovered more beauty, and fantastic views of Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams, and Mt. Hood. It was breathtaking. There were all kinds of people there - it was like Sunday Afternoon on the Island of Grand Jatte.
There was a crew regatta, and kids playing, and couples, and friends, and families. There was laughing and squabbling and yelling (some of it by my son who insisted on playing Indiana Jones as he runs from the natives screaming "START THE PLANE!"), and it was so nice to be a part of it, and to have my camera.
You can check out some of the photos on Flickr, but here are just a couple:
I love Facebook and Twitter and social networking and playing word games and catching the top headlines at the New York Times.
What has taken some getting used to, is how freely some people use the anonymity of the internet to spread ignorance and bitterness and hatred. And also bad spelling. (Not so much bad grammar - as you can see, I'm pretty good at that myself). If you want a scary dose of it, check out the comments section on any Yahoo obituary. You will always find a few assholes who gleefully stink up the world with their hate-filled, hurtful comments about someone who is no longer around to protest.
I'm sure it would be really freeing to anonymously comment - to say the evil things that occasionally pop into my head at times. Wicked things like "Oh YEAH?!" and "well, that's just stupid" and "your MAMA!" But then I remember my Lutheran background, and I realize that even though I don't really believe it any more, I MIGHT just burn in hell for all eternity. Or I ponder Karma, and can just imagine spending an entire afternoon with toilet paper on my shoe while my co-workers giggle behind my back.
Or maybe I'd just wake up one day and look in the mirror and see myself for what I was: a cowardly, small-minded person with no other way to feel good about myself than to think up clever snark and shit all over someone else's life.
So, please feel free to say what you need to say about this post. I understand that everyone has an opinion. But unless you are willing to sign your name, it's not an opinion that carries any weight. At least on my blog.
Last night, JH mentioned our argument of the night before, and snuggled into my arms and said very matter of fact, "no matter how mad we get, Mom, I always love you." It was music to my ears. Because how many times have I said that to him? It's nice to know it's not just something that goes in one ear and out the other. Love that boy with all my heart.
Oh, and when I dropped him at the bus stop yesterday, I very seriously told him I loved him with everything I have in me, and he said with a mischievous grin "this message brought to you by the letter 'D' for 'Drama'! I love you, too Mom! Have a great day!" Damn. What a kid.
I haven't written in a while and here's why: things are rough here. I feel uncertain and stressed and like crying if not most of the time at least at the drop of a hat. I feel like I'm being a terrible mom, a bad wife and the only place I feel competent is at my job and that's because it's so stressful and demanding I have to be present and in the moment or all hell breaks loose. It's when I come home that I feel like I don't know what to do. Not all the time. In fact most of the time, I'm okay, but then something will happen, or something gets said, and I'm undone. I feel like my bones are made of jello and my heart races and I'm weepy and irrational. Yes, it could be hormones, they certainly don't help. But it's more than that. The earth is shifting way down deep.
I had a horrible parenting moment last night, one I'm too sad to even talk about. It didn't involve anything physical, but I said something to Joe-Henry to make a point, not realizing how cruel it was. Charley was really angry with me, rightly so. And this morning I just feel like crying.
I feel small and sad and my confidence in myself is shot. I don't put this out there because I need a pep talk. It's just to tell you the way it is.
Hello, Friends! We're back from the best spring break ever. It was LOADED with fun, and I was seriously wondered if I could handle it. But handle it I did, in addition to a big surprise, and to top it all off, we came home to SPRING! It was warm and beautiful and we all got to go for a bike ride yesterday with our little town showing off it's beauty and giving us a lovely "Welcome Home".
I got to have dinner with two of my dearest girlfriends on Monday - there was wine, and good food and lots and lots of laughs. AND JH got to spend that evening all alone getting "spoiled rotten" by Grandma and Grandpa. These are his words, not mine. Although I heartily agree.
There was crazy California sunshine, hanging out in their little beach town, biding our time until Charley came down so we could all head to Disneyland. We drove down early Thursday morning Charley's Aunt Sandy in the back seat of the van with JH, and the grandparents came down later in the day. Charley's sister Jackie and her two grown kids joined us on Friday. We spent most of our time at Tomorrowland, where Joe-Henry went on Autopia a million times and the Rocket Ride a half million. I hung out, taking pictures, being the point person between the fast people (Joe-Henry & Charley) and the slow people (everyone else).
We drove back Friday night, getting from Anaheim to the Central Coast in exactly two hours on a Friday night, which if you know LA is some kind of seriously amazing time, and then packed everything up (no easy task when there are all kinds of new goodies from Disneyland and grandparents) to head to the Santa Barbara airport at the buttcrack of dawn to catch a 7:00 flight. We had a layover in Sacramento, where Charley got to jam a bit with some musicians (he had his travel mandolin with him), and on boarding the plane for the final leg were so pleasantly surprised to find two of our favorite neighbor kids sitting directly behind us. The boy is in JH's class, and we let them sit together and they played flick bowling on the iPhone the entire flight home.
The kitties were VERY happy to see us, and Bosco has been cuddling me so fiercely at night, making biscuits on my cheeks, my neck, my body, purring so loudly he sounds like a freight train. It's good to be home, not exactly rested, but re-booted for sure.
Oh, and I have neglected the lovely surprise my husband pulled off. I had written a while back that I was wanting an adventure of my own. I had something fall into my lap a couple weeks ago through a friend; standby tickets anywhere Alaska/Horizon flies. I was getting ready to make my choice when my husband was forced to tip his hand. As soon as I wrote my blog post, he started scheming, getting in touch with women he doesn't even know (hell, I've never met them either, but have been longing to for over a year), and planned a quick getaway for me for my Mother's Day/Anniversary gift. So in about a month, I'll be off again, this time flying solo to Dallas, to meet the Posse, and have a whole weekend where I am not in charge of anyone but myself.
Now I ask you: Do I have the best husband or what?