Thursday, August 28, 2008

Start spreading the news...

I'm leaving today....

New York, New York!!!

See ya'll in a week!


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I'm convinced..

God has a sense of humor. Because any God that didn't would never, ever, put men and women together and expect them to get along.

I am convinced some days He is up there looking down and elbowing St. Peter: "Watch this- he just told her she looks fat in that dress!" or "Oh boy, lookout, Mark just laughed at Bella when she was angry."


They say motherhood is not for wimps. Well at least with motherhood you get instinct. With marraige, there is none of that to go on. Some days I feel like I am living with an alien. A stinky, hairy alien, but thats beside the point. An alien none the less.

Double oy.

Sometimes I think the people in the old days had the right idea- have a huge house, have seperate bedrooms. Have social schedules that allow you to see each other only to eat the occasional meal and sometimes to procreate. Sounds like bliss right now.

But bliss is not what I have. What I do have is a great husband that knows how to push my buttons. I have a husband who backs away and speaks in a verrrrrrrrrrrryyyyyyyy soooooooooooooothing toooooooooooooooone when I get upset. A husband who laughs when I am angry because it's "so cute". A husband who told me tonight to be "more frugal" because I had the audacity to want to buy Lily some fall clothes *gasp* before all the cute ones sold out. He told me cute clothes were "uncessary".

Say it with me, ladies: "Oh no he di'nt!!!"

Anyway, I know I'm complaining about bs stuff here. And I know I have it good. But sometimes, just sometimes, I think that lesbians have the right idea. The toilet seat is always down, house is always clean, cute clothes are a given, and throw pillows are not something to roll the eyes at.

I hear ya laughing, God. And I don't blame ya a bit.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Let the rain come...

Today was hot, steamy and muggy. It was hot. Did I mention it was hot today? Well it was. Damn hot.

I HATE North Carolina in August. Miserable, hot, muggy, buggy, hot.

Lily and I set off for our workout this morning. We arrived at the park, got out of the car, and I nearly decided to just kick off my sneakers, climb back into the A/C and go get ice cream.

But I didn't. I pushed through. Go me.

Anywhooo...I digress.

We finished our workout JUST as giant stormclouds amassed above us. We set off for the park shelter to stretch and do abs, and halfway through, the heavens opened. Lemme tell ya, this was no sprinkle was a deluge. Rain fell, hard and fast, as we all huddled up with strollers and babies. We tried like heck to all get under the shelter, cramming our strollers and kiddos in like sardines.

Then something quite beautiful happened.

One by one, the bigger kiddos dashed off to dance, run, splash and scream in the rain.

And their mommies let them.

To anybody's eye, it was a simple thing- toddlers playing in the rain. Enjoying something somewhat forbidden with mommy's permission. Splashing in puddles, laughing. To mine, it was an expression of something foreign to me- childhood at it's most free.

I sat and watched, smiling. Lily tried to go out, but for the sake of her lil head, I kept her in. Poor thing, still so clumsy.

Then something even more beautiful. Rica and Emily, turning to each other, saying "Do you wanna go run in it?" and taking off at a mad dash, vaulting the picnic table and running into the gullywasher full speed. They danced, laughed, did cartwheels, did a belly bump, high fived, and danced some more.

Oh if I only had a camera. These two women, so down to earth, so lovely, so organized, so well, mom-like, dancing in the rain like kids. It was joyous to watch, and lifted my heart.

They came back soaked and laughing. Let me tell you something- supermodels at their best could not compare to how beautiful these two soaked to the skin mommy's looked after their "rain dance". The best part- they went right back out to dance some more- kids in tow. It was crazy, sweet, heartwarming, touching. It was the beauty of living in the moment, right in front of my eyes.

I started to think more as I was going home. This is what life hands us sometimes- the unexpected, the unwanted. The storm in our peaceful life. The cloud hovering, the threat of heavy weather. The illness of a loved one, the depression after a new baby, the disappointment of a divorce.

We watch the rain come down, and sometimes we damn the rain. Sometimes we simply do our best to get out of it, and shelter under something strong.

But then there are times when the rain is cleansing. When it is a joyous dance of heaven, when it is welcome, not only because it shows us we are alive, but because it washes us clean.

These are the times to dance in the rain. These are the times to lean your head back, laugh at the sky, and enjoy the moment.

Next time the rain comes, I will dance.

Free the West Memphis 3

I've been following the case of the West Memphis 3 since seeing Paradise Lost ( in 1998 while randomly flipping through channels. I remember the feeling of horror, the feeling of sadness, and the feeling of disgust I had while watching these three young men being charged for a murder they obviously didn't commit. This documentary and the case it outlines is staggering in it's magnitude.

Then along came Paradise Lost 2 (, and I literally watched it with a sick twisted feeling in my gut. I didn't think the witch hunt, the injustice, and the corruption could get worse, but it did.

I am no expert on forensics. I am no expert on murder. But in the case, you don't have to be. Three little boys were brutally slain in the woods that day, but 6 people were victimized. The ultimate horror of this is that whomever took those little boys lives is still out there, free.

I am a firm believer that knowledge is power. The more people who know about this case, the more chance there is of the authorities sitting up and taking notice. There is to be a new hearing on evidence in September. If you aren't familiar with the situation, please take a look around this website:

If you are so inspired, there is a directive here to send a postcard to the governor of AK. The thought is to simply keep the flow of postcards coming, letting this man know the world is watching the outcome of this case.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Time flies...

When you have a one (and a half) year old.

Okay, so I know when you have kiddos, one of the greatest joys is watching them grow up. Everybody told me this. Mothers would look at my sprouting belly and shake their head saying "Enjoy every goes too fast." Or they would approach me as I stood bleary eyed in the diaper aisle with a screaming 6 week old clasped to my chest and say "Isn't it just a beautiful thing? Enjoy it, it goes so fast."

And I would look at these women and think "Are you effing kidding me? I can't wait until she gets older! I'm not sleeping, I'm covered in baby goo, and my breasts have become a filling station for this little parasite!" Instead of saying anything, I would simply nod and smile.

Oh how the tides have turned. Now I am the nimrod approaching every woman with a newborn, spouting off at the mouth about how sweeeet, and enjooooooy it, and how happyyyyy you must be. I'm sure, just like I did, these women are thinking of what a clueless moron I am.

I AM clueless, because in the divine order of things, you forget those first few months. God makes you, or nobody would have more than one.

Let's be honest are a blessing, but Lord allmighty are they hard work. If they aren't bugging you with their noise, they are worrying you with their silence. If they aren't clinging to you and fussing, they are attacking the dog with markers. It's an endless dance of balance, trying to keep your own sanity in tact while keeping these little individuals not only alive, but happy.

I know in my case, I have a really really good little girl. Really good. Sweet, happy, and loving. Affectionate and compassionate. Not to mention smart as a whip, impatient, and hell bent on getting her way. All of my hopes that she would have daddy's laid back personality are looooong gone, my friends, long gone.

The past year and a half has flow with such speed. She has gone rapidly from this lil peanut:

To this beautiful little girl:

How did this happen? It went so fast!

See, there I go again. But it's true, it does goes fast. You blink and you tiny little boo is a toddler, capable of playing on her own, deciding her own agenda, eating by herself, pulling all the toilet paper off the roll in 1.2 seconds, emptying your dresser drawers in total silence, singing the chorus of "Wonder Pets", and asking for juice, milk, food, cuddles, and her music to be played on her CD player.

How does this happen?

Well, I can tell you this much. As much as I want to be the woman who will approach that sad bleary eyed mother in the freezer section at WalMart and tell her things will get better, one day she will actually lose the baby fat and be able to shave more than one calf at a time, etc etc- What I will end up saying is "Enjoy it, it goes so fast."

Because that one sentence encompasses all of this: One day you will look up and your baby will be walking, she will look at you and say "I ludge you", she will take a huge tumble off the couch and scare you to death, she will have a fever of 105 and want ONLY YOU for 3 days, she will laugh from the other room and it will make you cry, she will eat pancakes and eggs and run at top speed through a lawn sprinkler, she will make your proud and make you angry and make you want to pull out your hair.

And all of, all of it....goes too fast.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Somebody somewhere...

Well here goes.

Does anybody ever feel like somebody else really "gets" them?

Like really?

Cause nobody gets me.

I'm not saying this with anger or sadness at all. I'm hard to get.

I have a twisted sense of humor. I am just twisted in general. I am weird. I know this.

But why does my husband look at me like I have 2 heads? I mean, c'mon dude...just cause I am singing the "Wonder Pets" theme song as I fold laundry isn't any reason to ask me if I am smoking crack. So what if Lily isn't even around to hear it?

And now, yup you guessed it, Lily is starting to look at me that way. She is SOOOOO over me. I am no longer as funny as I used to be. Gone are the days when she would crack up over a hand puppet made with a burp rag. I could have a whole gaggle of hand carved Austrian puppets and she'd simply yawn and wave me away like some sad joker trying to entertain a queen.

Oh sure, I have fantastic girlfriends who love me, and I assume, my sense of humor is part of that. But I'm sure there are times when they are thinking- huh?

And that's okay.

I just sometimes wish....oh I dunno, that I had a clone. You know, somebody who was stunningly beautiful like me (ahem, stop laffin) and who could understand me fully.

Knowing my luck, my clone wouldn't like me.

But I'm just twisted enough that that would be....funny.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

One foot in front of the other.

All of this constant drama and angst...oy, I can't stand it.

I'm a girl, and so drama is not foreign to me, but this is beyond even my ability to make the worst out of.

My dad should be settling into his new life in a nursing home right now.

I look at that sentence and I cringe. Because in my mind, I still see that man as he was- strong, able, melting out of the Las Vegas sun after a long day in the heat.

I cannot believe what his life has come to. I mean, everybody gets older. Everybody has times when they cannot care for themselves...but when the strongest person you have ever known falls it makes a mighty sound.

My world is still vibrating.

In the past week I have had countless conversations with nurses, doctors, psychologists. I have spoken with my brothers. I have done what I can from this far away, but damnitt, it's not enough.

The whole things just sucks, hurts, and carries such weight my heart feels weighted down. But the good news is I feel a little better than I have. I feel a little lighter, a little more in control of my emotions. I am not so shut down. I don't feel miserable.

But I miss my father. I miss him, already. And although he was a shitty excuse for a parent, he is a pretty good human being. All of the drinking and addiction cannot take away from me the times he was good to me, the times we went to the park (duck attacks aside), the times he cared for me when I was sick. It can't take away the small moments my heart holds to. And if I piece these together, I can somewhat cover up the other things. I can focus on more than my disappointment and hurt.

So here's where I choose to place my eyes- where I can see the good. Where I can see my father, the man, flawed and frozen, but still human. Human, and thus worthy of my kindness, my forgiveness, my love. Human, and thus God's creation. Just as I am. If I want to be worthy of forgiveness, I must forgive. It is a simple equation in words, but it is complicated in action. Complicated, but entirely worthy deliberate pursuit.

Despite all, I love him. And love is blind, love forgives, love carries, and love goes forward.

So here I am, in my new reality. I am stepping forward and going on. With every step, I am closer to my father, both earthly and in heaven.

If this walk isn't worth completing, what is?

Thanks for walking this path with me, step by step.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Q-tips feel icky, k?

The other night, I watched as my friends rode a mechanical bull after a night of karaoke. My friend Emily turned to all of us and asked "Who are we?"

We laughed.

But I find myself asking that question alot lately- who am I?

Why am I here?

Yes, this may be one of those silly midlife crisises. Or it may be PMS. Who knows.

But who am I really? Does anybody know? If so, and you find me for myself, will you text me or something and tell myself I am looking for me? Thanks.

In all seriousness, I take myself to seriously. I realize this. I am like a poodle- high strung and likely to bark. Ick.

I am catty and nasty sometimes, without even realizing it. Ick ick.

I am impatient and unkind.

I hate using Q-tips, so most likely I am all of these things, AND I have dirty ears.

I don't drink enough water and I eat too much.

Is all of this who I am? If so, I am suprised I have lived with myself this long.

If I could, I would change many things about myself. My nature, my impatience, my tendency to curse like a sailor when I get angry.

If I could, I would change my face, my body, my toes, my hair.

But you know what? I friggin can't. All of this, bad or worse, is me. All of it, part and parcel.

I can dream of a smaller dress size, I can dream of a brand new personality for myself, but it can't happen. Not without giving up all of myself , chocolate addiction included.

So here I am. All of me, my ragged personality, my tattered past, my rounded body, my impatient snappiness. Its all right here.

Love it or leave it alone.

So this post has no point. I can't always have a point you know.

Okay, my point is this: a round peg doesn't fit into a square hole. And I am nothing if not round, damnitt.

Goodnight. :)


I have always been one to hold a grudge.

I remember every slight, every comment, every hurt. I remember, and my memory is long.

Forgiveness requires tremendous energy for me.

I know that there are some people who put on the armor of forgiveness easily. It slips over their skin like water. For myself, it is a struggle. It takes time. It takes effort, and it take a constant renewal. But it is necessary for my life. It's necessary so that bitterness does not creep into the sacred place in my soul.

All this being said, I know the time has come to forgive my father. It is still such a tender wound, it is still raw and painful. In most instances I would give myself much much more time for this.

But the last thing we have right now is time.

My mother died 12 years ago. Three days before she passed I sent her a letter. The words are sacred, and don't bear repeating, but forgiveness laced every single word. I told her to go, to go to God with her heart full of no regret. I told her to open up her arms to Jesus and have no fear he would embrace her. I told her all that had gone before between us was gone. I forgave her. It was the hardest thing I have EVER done, by far.

The letter arrived three hours after she died. Instead of hearing or reading those words, they were tucked in next to her in the coffin. Oh I know she knows I forgave all of her actions, but if I only knew she had read my words, peace with her death would be much more attainable.

I still struggle with forgiveness. I still hurt over the things she did to me, I still force myself to remember grace, everyday. The difference is, she wanted forgiveness. My father has never even admitted his faults, though I have admitted mine, apologized for every slight. He remains defensive. It is hard to forgive this hardness. It's hard to reach past it.

But I have to. I cannot watch another coffin being lowered into the ground and KNOW there were things left unsaid.

I have no idea where to begin. I have no idea how to push past my anger. I have no idea, none. But I must. I am stuck because anger is like quicksand. It will destroy me and pull me under.

So I have to do this. I have to find a way. For him, for me, for God.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Dearest Beavis, (AKA Mark)

This morning you looked over at me as I sipped my coffee and said "Are you okay? I read your blog."

Well, baby, you are the only reason I AM okay. You and our girl.

Always and forever I will love you. You hold me up. You make me strong. You stand in the breech.

You also give me chocolate. This may not seem as important as those other things, but it is. :)

You are my forever. When I look ahead into my life, I feel so blessed that you will be by my side.

You comfort me, you make me crazy, you give me a headache, and you love me the best you can.

You saved me from myself, and you helped me realize God loves me.

You are my love. You are my heart. You are my soul.

You complete me, Dr. Evil style.


I will be

Dearest Lily girl,

You are the reason I go on. You are the reason I exist, as I am. You make me whole, you heal me. I need you now, your joy, your spirit, your presence. I need you to need me, and you do. Thank you, my sweet sweet angel.

You make me laugh when I want to cry. You make me cry with your smiles. I could never ever tell you with words how very much I love you. The love I have with you is the only pure love I will ever know- the only one that can never come undone or be unraveled. We are each other's, always.

In my heart there is a space that only God dwells. It is a place for peace, for my soul to rest. It is a place I keep open and tender, just for Him. But since you have come into my life, my sweet baby girl, that space has grown to include you. You wander the halls of the deepest places in my soul, you grace me with your presence there.

You are a blessing in a time of great sadness. You are happiness and joy in the sorrow. You are the song in the silence, the heartbeat between the thunder and lightning. You are more than I could have ever imagined, more than I could believe I deserved.

From the moment I touched your face, looked into your eyes, you have become my greatest love. My devotion will never falter, never fade. I promise you that while I exist on this earth, you will never be lonely.

I will stand behind you when you need support. I will stand behind you when you turn your back to me. I will hold you when you need comfort, and be a silent companion when you need space. I will be...whatever the need is, I will be.

You will never have to question my love for you. It will be here until I last draw breath and beyond. I will not leave you, and will be your voice when you cannot speak for yourself.

Anything you need, I will be.

Love, love, and more love,


Saturday, August 16, 2008


I wish I could say something different here. Something joyful, something profound. But I can't.

I've been writing alot the past few hours. It is always hard, but tonight it has been like an exorcism. Memories flood me. Hurt presses in from all sides. I need more than what I have. I need to be lifted up.

God is not listening. He is silent.

The past few nights I have dreamed of my mother. She arrives in a black dress, she stands by my bed. She says nothing, but the look on her face says it all. She is worried.

If you can worry the dead you know you are in deep shit.

God, I don't know what to do. I don't know what to say. I keep going through the motions of my life, but I am stuck on neutral here. I am stuck. I don't even know what I need, or what will make me feel better.

Right now I would settle for just feeling different.

Black black black. Black words that I type, black words in my heart. Black thoughts, black sky outside my windows.

My life is good. I have a great husband, daughter. I have enough money. I have a roof over my head. I have clothes, a car, jewelry. I have love.

But my family is totally messed up. And this colors everything.

I watch my daughter play while I think of my father.

I listen to my husband while an endless loop of the last words I spoke to my father play out in my mind.

I write blackness, spew it from a part of myself I cannot believe exists.

I cry, laugh, and cry some more.

I live in my body and also in my head. I cannot escape my thoughts.

I am drowning here, and nobody hears me screaming.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Head above water...

I'm treading here.

Today has been a busy day. I've been here, I've been there, I've been keeping my mind off things. But right now I am alone, the house is quiet, Lily is asleep and I am alone with my thoughts.

Ugly things are rising unbidden in my mind. Thoughts of my worth as a daughter, ideas about my role, ideas of how badly I have betrayed my father.

Did I sell him down the river? Did I give the doctors and the psychiatrist the ammo needed to declare him incompetent? Did I get the ball rolling on placement in a nursing home that he will never come out of? Have I sentenced him to misery- to die alone?

I never thought it would come to this- making decisions for my fathers life. Making the decision to ultimately do something to my father he does not want, has made clear he doesn't want. The man wants to go home. I can't say that I blame him, but I also cannot let him.

This is unbelievably hard. I want to run and hide. But I can't. I have to be an adult. I have to make the hard choices.

Lily is the only thing keeping me from hiding under the covers and not coming out. Thank God for her, or I would be an absolute mess. I can't give in to tears and depression here- I have to go on about life. She needs and deserves a mother who is up to the task of parenting.

So I'm treading water instead of going under. But I am getting weary and I am far from shore.

As I lay my head down tonight, I will pray as I always do- Lord, be it as YOU will. I will give it all to Him, because it is all I can do.

I will also be thinking of my earthly father, so many miles away, alone in his hospital bed surrounded by strangers. I will be thinking of the way his hand felt in mine when I was little, the way he gave me sips of his coffee in the morning. I will be thinking of all the times I went to get in the car, and he had already warmed it up and scraped the ice off the windshield.

Tonight I will try to think of the good things, and I will pray.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Loss is just a heartbeat away.

I've gotten two calls today, one from my fathers doctor, one from the psychiatrist for the hospital. They both agree my father cannot make decisions on his own anymore, so it is just a matter of signing some paperwork and getting him into a long term care facility. This is what I had hoped for and prayed for. This is a relief, but it is also the final step before death. It's so, so sad.

I talked to my brothers today, and it broke my heart. They both sound unlike themselves- the worry and sadness in their voices is something I have never heard. The grim reaper of grief is already coloring their world, just like it is mine. This made me feel both less alone, and more lost than I had been. If these two men, who have always been so strong can be feeling this way, how will I ever make it out of this?

My father was an ironworker the whole of his life. He worked his ass off, broke his back twice, injured himself more time than I can count. He was an army man, and a paratrooper. He was strong, stronger than anyone I have ever known. Now...he is a shell.

The doctors and nurses say he refuses meds, refuses food. He is uncooperative when it comes to exams. This is the same man that just 3 years ago came to my wedding and danced with me under the stars. He was sober, strong, funny, and kind. He charmed everyone, from Mark's friends, to my in-laws, to the catering staff. I was never more proud of him.

But here we are, just 3 short years later. I am in awe of how quickly sickness and addiction can take a human life. It is staggering.

The last time I saw my father was in April. I remember so clearly walking out of his room at the nursing home, looking back at him. He was lying on the bed, scrunched down near the end because he didnt have the strength to sit up. His pants were undone, his bedrails were up. A walker sat within easy reach, the curtains were drawn. I thought he had fallen asleep so I was trying to tiptoe out, but when I looked back he had turned his head to look at me. He raised his hand, put it down, and turned his face away. I should have gone back and hugged him, but I didn't. I left and cried the whole way home.
I don't know where this road will end, and I don't know how many steps my father and I have left together. I do know there is no hope of healing now, and no hope of recovery. It is simply a waiting game.
Let's hope, for his sake, the wait is a short one.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Here's what I have pulled from myself in the last few hours, with the help of my always wise best friend, April.

I'm already grieving the loss of my father. Not of him exactly, but the loss of the IDEA of him. Because even if he is alive and we have a less than stellar realtionship, at least he is alive and the possibility exists that we would one day have the relationship that I NEED.

Turth be told, I will never have that. Never have, and never will. It won't happen for me. Acceptance of this is something I need to create. I need to let go of that need. It is hard as hell, and agonizing. It is also necessary for me to move on.

Sure, I should have given up years ago. But I didn't, because I had hope. This is a small childish need, the need for a parent, for love, and for acceptance. But we all carry it, and it is hardwired into our psyche to feel this way. I kept hoping- for him to put down the bottle, for him to starighten up, for him to call and say "I am sorry." I thought when he saw my daughter's face...well, that it would light up something in him mine never did.

I wanted the fairytale dad, the tv dad, the dad all of my friends seem to have. I wanted the idea of what a father is. Mine will never fufill that role.

I love the idea of him, but not the person he truly is. I love the idea of a "daddy", but it isn't my reality. My reality is that I was born to two very selfish people who could not provide for any of my needs- emotional, physical, spiritual. The reality is my father never really tried to parent me.

I have to accept that he is near death. Any chance I had is gone. Oh, there may be a tearful goodbye, but there will never be honesty between us. Not real honesty.

Obviously he has given up on life. You don't have a wound like he does and care if you live or die. He's done. It's just a matter of his body letting him go now. The realization of this is what has obliterated me. My time for having a chance at a relationship with him is gone.

So, I have to enter this new reality. I have to accept that he doesn't want to know my true face, hear the truth from my point of view. He wants to die in denial. This is his choice, and I know that he has the right to choose it.

But my heart will carry this until I die. It is up to me how I use it, how I turn it to either help or hinder me. But truthfully, I can't even think about that now.

Because right now, I just have to hurt. I have to feel this way until I can figure it all out, put the pieces together into a picture I can recognize.

What will my life look like when I am an orphan? What will my christmas look like without my father in the pictures? What will the rest of Lily's life look like, without her grandfather at her birthdays, her soccer games, her graduation?

Not much will change, I suppose. I will be a little more burdened, a little more wise. I will have the task of mourning both of my parents before I am out of my early 30's. I will lose the tenuous connection I have to my brothers and sister.

But it will go on, as it always has. Because what choice do I have?

Monday, August 11, 2008

The ocean...

Today I feel utterly alone. I am hurting, I am sad, and I am beyond my ability to make sense of my world. I am in the ocean, with no boat, no raft, no landmarks and no hope.

My father is in the hospital. Again. This time, he has a severely maggot infested wound on his leg, a possible stroke, and he is in the throes of DT's from alcohol. Infection surely riddles his body. He is in ICU...again.

How does this happen? How does a man go from where he was just a few years, to this sad sad human being? How?

I think at this point, he is trying to die. Waiting to die. Inviting death. Welcoming it like an old friend.

Just back in december, he went through a surgery that brought nearly 20 doctors together to help save him. He had a sizeable (benign) tumor growing on the inside of his heart. It was removed nearly completely, and he went home to recover. I had hope that he would see that he was saved for a reason, and try to live the rest of his life in health.

This didn't happen. Instead he went home and began to drink heavily. He got pneumonia, returned to the hospital. He went home, continued to drink and smoke. He fell/passed out and was on his floor for THREE DAYS before my sister found him. He returned to the hospital, spent nearly 2 months in a nursing home, and went home. He continued to drink, again.

And now here we are. God has made herculean efforts on my father's part, has healed him from things that SHOULD have killed him 3 times since January. These healings are absolute miracles, no question. But my father turns his head away, and again and again deserts his Savior.

I don't know why. I don't. I don't have any answers. I am lost here. My father is going to die, soon, and I don't know why.

He is going to die. Worse yet, he is forcing his children to watch him slowly kill himself. He is resigning us to this trauma. He is resigning us ALL to "what if's", to "Maybe I should have..." to "If only". He is burdening us with doubt, with pain, with anger.

And I don't know why. All I have ever done is love him, and he won't love me back enough to stay with not leave me alone with no parents on this earth.

My heart is beyond heavy, my eyes have spilled oceans.

All the time I have spent on my knees for my father was not in vain. God healed him, brought him back to is my father who defeated God's plan. God does not want him to die, this is obvious. But my father is hurtling toward death at his own pace, regardless of anything anyone has tried to do for him.

I will be left behind, again. I will be lost, again. I will not be enough to keep my father here. My face, my spirit, my love, my being is not enough to convince him to stay. My tears have no effect, my pain is nothing to him. It is my mother, all over again.

My child will never know either of her grandparents.

When people ask me where my parents live, I will have to say "They are both dead."

My in-laws will look at me with pity.

My husband will never understand.

I will carry this for the rest of my life. In the end, I simply wasn't enough to make either of my parents want to LIVE. I wasn't enough to make them give up the bottle. I wasn't enough to keep them here.

I know God sees my hurt. I know he is holding me. This is the only thing keeping me on this side of sanity.

If you are reading this, please pray for me.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

To call or not to call...


I hate that word and everything it implies, especially when it comes to family.

The last time I talked to my father was July4th, and it was an ugly ugly conversation. I finally told him of all of my disappointment over the years, all of the times he left me alone and lonely, all of the times he chose drinking over me.

He basically spent the entire conversation in either serious denial, or serious defense. He admitted nothing, took responsibility for nothing. He even went so far as to blame my mother for everything- my bi-polar, extremely mentally ill mother. He had all his frickin faculties, but it was HER fault, naturally. What a bunch of bullshit.

That phone call left me angry and reeling. It is the first time I have had the courage to come out with some of the things I have felt over the years, and he denied it all. All the years I spent alone, in foster homes. All the times I spent looking out the window waiting for him to come pick me up and he never showed. All the times he did and then took me to the bar.

I needed saving. He saw this. He never reached out a hand.

I expected him to at least acknowledge the pain he caused me. That he was a less than stellar father. That he was responsible for some of the trauma I went thru. He denied it all.

To say I am angry with him is a vast understatement.

So here I am, a month later. I feel obligated to call and check on him. I HATE that I feel this way- I HATE it. This man didn't give a rat's ass for anyone or anything but his whiskey the whole of my life- but I still feel obligated to see if he's okay. WHY?

Mark says it's because I am a good person. Another explanation I hate. He also says it's because despite it all, I still love my father. I guess this is true. I love the man who broke my heart more times than I can count. Who left me alone, who defeated any ideals that I had about what a parent should be.

I do still love him, and I hate myself for that love, and that need.

At this point, if I do not call and he dies, I think I can say that I am okay with how I have treated him. I am also okay with our last conversation, because I know I said what I have needed to say for years. It is inconvenient timing since he is so ill, but at the same time, it needed to be said.

So I am stuck, not knowing what to do. Do I be true to my own soul and not call, and not allow this person who has injured me so greatly another foothold in my psyche? Or do I call and follow that small niggling voice that is telling me I am a bad daughter for not calling? Sould I be the "better person"? Should I call and see if he feels ready to REALLY talk?

Today I have no answers for many of my own questions.

Friday, August 8, 2008


Today I was driving, and I popped an old CD into my player. The first song is the one you are hearing now. It is the song that I associate most deeply with 9-11, one that was played again and again that day and the weeks following. Everytime I hear it, I am taken back to that day as if it is happening all over again.

I remember clearly that morning. I had a small day care in my home, caring for 4 one year olds and my niece. I was sitting down with my cup of coffee and one of the babies when I turned on the tv and saw the first tower had just been hit.

I called my father and the first thing he said was "That's Bin Laden."

I didn't have a clue who Bin Laden was, but my father was sure.

Like all of you probably did, I watched for the rest of the day in horror at what transpired.

It was such a tragic day for this country, and it shook me to my core. I put myself in the place of those people who had died, and I realized something that changed my life.

Had I been in one of those towers, I would have died miserable, with an unfufilled life.

I was in a marraige that was horrifically abusive.

I had very little connection to God, and I was removed from my family by distance and estrangement.

I was depressed and rarely left the house.

I remember passing by the bathroom mirror that afternoon, glancing at myself, and not recognizing the person I had become. My face was bloated with too much food and too many tears. I was bruised from hairline to the small of my back. My shoulders were bowed from slouching to not be seen. I was a shadow of the person I had ever been.

I was sick to death of my life, and determined to change it.

My life turned on a dime that day. It took me a few months to gather the money and the courage, but on January 15th, I packed a U-Haul truck and left Texas with nothing but a few pieces of furniture, my clothes, and my dog. (sounds like a bad country song, but it's the truth)

I moved into a house next to my father's and spent almost a year and a half repairing my soul.

In that time, I learned that lonliness is difficult, but at times, greatly healing.

I decided to never fall in love again.

I learned that love comes when you are least expecting it.

I learned who I was with no distractions.

I will never be glad that 9-11 happened. I will never see the day as anything but a human tragedy. But I will always be grateful for the sliver of insight I was given in those moments. If I hadn't listened to the still small voice at that time, it's doubtful I would be here today.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

East from West

A dear friend of mine was having a hard day yesterday. She was upset, and began crying, saying- "I am a mess!". I sat next to her, put my arm around her, and listened, but you know what? She didn't even have to speak. We've all been there, haven't we? When we just can't do it anymore- or we can do it, but not without tears? My heart broke for her, and the tidal wave of emotion she must have been feeling.

This is a woman that I look at everyday, whom I see as a role model. She is strong, kind, a diligent mother, and a calming presence. But she has doubts about herself, like we all do. I think alot of times we don't think about that- that other people, people we see as having it all together, have their moments when they come undone. Everyone is only human, after all. But when we see somebody else's "human-ness", it is shocking. I can bear my own pain, but seeing somebody I love hurting with her own pain just kills me. I want to take it from her, bear it up, and carry it as my own. I hurt for her hurt.

I've had my own breakdowns, been through my own valleys. I have borne them, most times, in silence and alone. I have felt as if I would unravel and float away, as if I was not tethered and could no longer see myself. I had no definition, because all of my roles were, in my eyes, a failure. My hurt was doubled, because I felt as if I was not only failing myself, but also my loved ones.

But you know what? It simply wasn't true. I was defining myself incorrectly. I had let the negativity step cleanly in between myself and others, and let myself get carried away on a river of doubt. My thoughts were false idols, and here I was, worshiping at their very feet. The person I truly am is as far from the person I made myself to be as east is from west.

I find it is when I am at my most despairing that I learn the most about who I can be, and who I want to be. It is also a time I have to define myself by what others say and think, and not trust my own judgement so much. It is a time when I must define myself by what God sees when He looks at me. And what he sees is his child, imperfect, flawed, but treasured and loved beyond ability to comprehend.

I think God sometimes allows us a breakdown before he rebuilds us. He allows the negativity to creep in, the hurtful thoughts to swiftly replace the positive ones, and the world to seem against us. He allows us to see the bad in our life- he allows us to cry. Because without the bitter, would we even taste the sweet? Would we know what contentment truly is, without the angst of discontent? Tears are cleansing, sorrow a great teacher.

So when I have a breakdown, when I feel my world crashing down, when I am beyond myself, I rejoice. Sounds crazy- right? But I know that after the sadness comes great growth. I know that after I feel I am utterly beyond my own means, there is a great source of strength to tap into, and He knows just what I need.

Thank you, God, for the moments I feel I am not getting it right, for when I feel I am lost, for when I feel I am alone...because in the end it makes me stronger and better. And thank you also, for defining me, even when I cannot define myself accurately. ~

1 John 3:1“See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are.”


Monday, August 4, 2008

How did this happen?

My baby is a year and a half old. A year and a half? How is this possible?

I have never known such joy, such worry, such sadness, and such pride in my life as I have these past few months with Lily. She is growing so fast, but at every moment, she is still that tiny helpless newborn I brought into the world. It is heartbreakingly beautiful.

Other mothers tried to tell me when I was expecting, everywhere from the line for the bathroom, to the OBGYN waiting room, down to the delivery room nurses. They kept telling me of this rush of love, this feeling of animal primal instinct, this crazy tidal wave of emotion. I would nod, but I never really got it.

Now I do. In spades.

I would gladly lay down my life for my child. I would die to protect her, put her needs before my own. I cannot listen to her cry without wanting to cry myself, cannot bear to see her hurt, and react with non too little irrationality at the thought of anything happening to her.

It is blinding, overwhelming, and terrifying how much I love her. I cannot even put into words my need for her.

I thank God everyday that I have these moments, that I get to raise my child, be home with her, be the one to kiss her boo-boos, make her lunch, and see her giggles.

What a gift I have been given in my sweet Lily. May I never forget, even when I want to send her to Timbuktu, how I feel in this moment.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


I have been breastfeeding Lily for 18 months now. For the whole span of her life, she has received nourishment, comfort, sustenance, and cuddles from my body. We have nursed at home, in the mall, in restaurants, on airplanes, in museums, in our bed, in hotels...anywhere you can think of.

I say we, because it's an act that involves both of us- the give and take, the push and pull. It is not just me giving to her, it is her giving to me as well. Every moment she spends at my breast she is giving me her love. Everytime she falls asleep while taking in my milk she is giving me her trust. I never expected to love nursing so much. I need it as much as she does. I need to have her close, to breathe her scent, to feel her soft skin. I need her gazing up at me, touching my face, pulling me down for a hug.
My milk has taken her from a premature 5 lb newborn, to an 18mth old, 22 lb dynamo. It has sustained her through colds, RSV, teething, and reflux. It has supported her health and her weight from birth. I am constantly amazed at my body's ability to create nourishment for my child. It is a miracle I experience everyday.

It seems our breastfeeding time is coming to a close, however. She is more content with her sippy cups, and is too busy playing to want it much anymore. Even when she does nurse now, it's more for comfort than milk. I know that this is only one of the small seperations we will have over the course of her life, but it is, so far, the biggest. And frankly, it hurts a bit.

When she was a newborn, I was her entire world. My breast was her entire source of sustenance and life. Now, she can sustain herself, not only by eating table food, but also emotionally. I am not her sole source of happiness anymore. I find myself chasing her around the house now, desperately making the "milk" sign to her, trying to get her to just slow down and give me a cuddle. She simply laughs and runs away faster. The whole scenario is quite laughable, but sad as well. I miss her.

These days life around our house is full of so much more than it used to be- there is laughter and giggles, babbling and singing, running, jumping and joy. There is whining and crying and napping. There is an abundance of gratitude. For all of this I am grateful....but I wish, just for one day, to have my sweet helpless newborn back- the one who would smile her milky smile around my breast, the one who would drift off with a cascade of sweet milk flowing down her chin. The one who would nurse contentedly for an hour while I simply looked at her.

Now we will have a new relationship, one that is based on more than just a mutual need. We will play and laugh and love and grow together. But we will both always remember the hours spent in the rocking chair, hours spent looking at each other, hours memeorizing each other's face and hands...the hours we spent forming our lifetime bond.
Thank you, Lord, for the ability to trust my body, to give life to my child, and to nourish her in such a loving and beautiful way.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

A few observations.

I hate men.

Okay, that's too harsh- I hate my husband.

Okay, that's not true either. I hate his ability to lose weight. For the past 4 days- yeah, you friggin heard me right- FOUR- he has been "dieting" in an effort to lower his cholesterol. He has also been taking the drug alli. Yeah, I hear ya'll. It couldn't possible be working already, right?

Yup, it is. His face is already slimmer and he is losing his gut.

What a crock of hooey this is. You know how long I have been trying to lose weight? FOUR years! I have to sweat and run my ass off to budge last night's salad of bean sprouts and carrots and this yahoo comes in with his little pills and his little diet and starts to lose weight just like that?

SOMEBODY JUS FRIGGIN SHOOT ME ALREADY! (but make sure you tell me at least half an hour beforehand so I can gorge myself on chocolate and lasagna, k? thanks.)

That's it....I'm gonna go eat ice cream straight outta the carton- in bed, while watching bad tv. He can keep his little pills and his diet. I give up.

His skinny ass can also sleep on the guest bed, since my ever widening one is taking up more of the bed than it ever has.

Rocky road anyone?