30 August 2007

What It Means

This picture, to me, is what it means to have a friend.

Someone to stand next to you, close enough to take your hand if you need it.

Someone to walk beside you, sharing the path, and everything that lies along its way.

Someone alongside you to look forward to the road ahead and help you decide which street to take.

Someone to help you navigate the alleys that you mistakenly walked down.

Someone to help you not feel so small when you're looking at a world that seems so big.

This picture, to me, is what it means to have a friend.

Someone to hang out at baseball games with in your very best braids.

Someone to swing with, as high as you can, feet catapulting to the stars, heads tipped back, wind staining your cheeks pink.

Someone to say, "Oh my God! Great Idea"! When you suggest chasing down a mascot and asking him to autograph your shoe.

Someone to lean into and up against, whether you're laughing or crying your hardest.

That's what it means, to me, to have a friend.

And today, I'm thanking God for all of you.

22 August 2007

From My Hands, She Takes Flight

I picked up Big A from gymnastics last night and was talking on the phone while she walked out of the building. I looked at her once, and it actually took a few seconds for it to register, "That's Big A".

My heart lurched and fluttered and then resumed it's usual rhythm, yet one more moment in my life where a sudden recognition of something that has clearly been in front of me all along startles me into today, now, this minute. Because I feel like most of the time, maybe, I'm living in yesteryear.

When I think, "Big A" , the image of her that appears in my mind's eye is one of her at age four or five, grinning, wide eyed, a tooth missing, blue eyes actually laughing. I can hear the laughter, the memory is so distinct. She is obviously not that person now. Instead she stands before me, all limbs and length and her smile is slower, more thoughtful; it isn't a gift that she gives freely and openly, it must be earned and deserved.

She doesn't possess the open and trusting heart that I'd hoped to give her, and I wonder if that fault is mine. I assure myself that no, she was always serious and quiet, and that the memory of that moment with her is actually an anomaly; which is perhaps why it is so dear to me, which is perhaps why I have chosen that memory as the one that sparks her image within me--to assuage my own guilt and worries about what it is that I am passing along to those that matter most to me.

I remember holding her hands as she grew, taking mental pictures of how they looked within my own. I remember each day, kissing her sweet baby rolls, then becoming frightened with the knowledge that so few remained. The first thing I would do in the morning when I awoke was to check the spot where her arm met her hand; it was the last fat that remained. I have countless pictures devoted to that spot, how it bunched up. I recall thinking that if I checked each day, it couldn't disappear, and yet, it did. The last physical remnant of the baby that was, one morning, no longer there. I spent that day crying periodically; akin to when you lose someone you love--when you try to remember their voice, their smell, their touch and then worry that, already, with them, those things are gone; were they ever once even real?

It's not only her that I do this with; in my mind's eye, my eldest nephew remains eight or nine, although he now drives a car, his siblings at least three years behind their actual ages, my thoughts always having to process why my sister is speaking of buying them school clothes and packing lunches because that's not where they have settled in the nooks of my memories.

My grandparents, although grandparents, remain at least a decade younger, my aunt, uncles, friends; all still existing in the planes of youth and pre-stretch marks and mortgages and husbands that don't come home.

But mostly, it's Big A that continues to remind me of time pressing forward and makes me face what simultaneously I dread and dream: that she will soon be soaring on her own, her visions of me perhaps skewed, her thoughts somewhere between a memory and mystery: did she hold me like that, did she kiss me there, did she always throw her head back when she laughed?

I just want to know, to be assured, to rest easy in the knowledge that as she's taking flight she has memorized within her heart the hands that that released her and is always confident that they were as such, and will always remain, exactly what she needs them to be.

20 August 2007


I was told last week that if I force my friends to continue to read updates on my life via my blog, that I would not be allowed to have a blog anymore.

I'm taking my chances here....

Just got the call from my doctor--it was definitely a benign tumor.

They even tested it twice because they were concerned about the rigidity and denseness, but it's 100% benign.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for all of your comments and prayers and emails.

Non-rambling post to follow.

10 August 2007

Things That Go Lump in the Night

I woke up one day this week, and thought, "Hmmm, that feels odd".

And being of cautious (and hypochondriac--it's hereditary) mind, I made an appointment that very day.

Since my family doctor was out of town, I went to a different doctor in his office.

She performed an exam and told me I could put my bra and top back on, and that she'd be back in.

Minutes, maybe ten, passed when that little voice in my head told me maybe I wasn't imagining whispering outside of the door. Maybe it was really happening. And I clenched my hands together.

And about ten minutes after that, I nearly fell off the table when my arm slipped out from under me while I was leaning towards the door. Being paranoid does not make an already clumsy girl somehow graceful, you know.

And about twenty minutes after that, a knock in the door, but the person walking in first was not the doctor who had examined me.

"Hello, Jenn, I am Doctor X, Head of Something", I don't remember because simultaneously I was thinking, "this isn't good" and "why won't my first doctor look me in the eye"?

And so he asked me to remove my bra and top again so he could examine me.

And as he was there palpitating the lump in my breast, I was staring at the ceiling tile and through teary eyes, I thought, "oh, it kind of looks like stars in the sky". And then I thought, "oh, whymommy has a picture of stars in the sky on her blog". And then I thought, "I can't think anymore".

Doctor One and Two left, and told me to dress. They came back about fifteen minutes later, handing me a card for a needle aspiration biopsy. For today.

And so this morning, after putting on my new bling, I went for my appointment, where it didn't really go like I kept telling myself it would, and now, today, I am going back again. And I'm having surgery next week, as one of the doctors today told me that no matter the results of the biopsies, "the mass" in my breast would need to be removed, regardless.

And so when I'm stunned, I struggle to speak. And when he asked if I had any questions, all I could muster was a shake of my head. I'll ask them to my next doctor in a few minutes.

And I'm going to ask that you who believe, say a quick prayer.

And those that don't, for one minute, please do believe, and send up a quick prayer anyway.

09 August 2007


I'm being haunted.

I've got a ghost walking my halls at night, making the floorboards creak and curtains flutter in his wake.

I've been afraid to say it out loud, in fear of being called crazy or worse.

Finally, I said it to my friend, S, "Can you hear that? Because it's keeping me up at night."

"Yes", she said, "I hear that. But it doesn't mean it's real".

And so I laid there, very still last night, listening to each sound, analyzing each chill he causes in me when I sense his presence.

And then I thought, maybe she was right, thinking you hear something isn't proof of existence.

Maybe I've been visiting the grave of a stranger, leaving flowers for a man that I never even knew.

I'm not sure which is the scarier thought; knowing there's a ghost within my walls or realizing that after all this time, it was really just the wind making the curtains billow in the breeze.

06 August 2007

Emergency Contact

My work week ended with a bang, literally, as the truck behind me hit my car and nudged me into the vehicle in front of me.

I'd seen him coming, and thought, "He's so not stopping". I stepped on my brakes as hard as I could and just waited for the impact.

Damage wise, it's nothing major. A couple of dents, really. It's what happened when I got out of the car that still has me going in little circles in my head, little voices that won't stop whispering, little voices that get louder than my i-pod when I'm running on my treadmill.

"Do you have someone you can call"? The blank look on my face must have made him question whether I spoke English or did indeed have a concussion.

"I'm sorry"? (Always, with the "I'm sorry")

"You know, an emergency contact"?

"Um, no, I, I'm not even hurt. I'm fine. Actually, I really need to get going. I'm late to the sitter".

"You're shaking like a leaf. I don't feel right letting you drive right now."

I looked down, and sure enough, I was trembling from head to foot. I raised my arm to start pulling my hair up and down into imaginary pony-tails (another nervous habit), and could barely get it above my head.

I decided to drop my cunning plan of proving I could physically move by introducing him to my engaging personality. (See, I know you just cringed, and this is why I love you, readers).

"Oh, no, I'm fine, (nervous laugh) what a great end to the work week, and it's not even the end for me, I have to work tomorrow, (nervous laugh) oh, you know, I'm kind of a nervous person, and so it's really just my adrenaline that's making me shake so much and (nervous laugh) so, do you work the day shift or night shift"? (nervous laugh)

The look on his face made me suddenly very frightened that he was about to call a psych consult.

"Don't you have a husband to call"? As he peered in at Little A's car seat.

"Not that I can remember. Kidding, I was kidding. Sorry" (nervous laugh; mind screaming to me: "SHUT THE HELL UP"!)

"Boyfriend? Significant other"?

"Wow. I almost feel like you're my grandmother right now". (hahahahaha, nervous laughter just shooting out of me like fireworks run amok. Speaking of shooting, where is a sniper when you need one? Nothing lethal, just a nice little ricochet off the ass to focus my energies on things other than running my mouth.)

"Do you have a friend that could come and get you"? I ran through my list of friends. All wonderful, all tied to activities and husbands and significant others on Friday nights.

"No. I'm a total loser. Sorry"

"Please, I'm fine to go, just a little shaky, that's all. (nervous laughter) Sorry."

"I'll let you go. You'll need to call me here to let me know you made it, alright?"

I actually managed to nod my head back and forth rather than let one more word escape. "And, really, since you do have kids, you should think about getting some contacts in order, just in case I wouldn't have let you drive. Or if it were worse".

"Sorry. Right. Thanks. I'll get that list done this weekend and put it in my car. Sorry. Thanks".

I suppose if it were a true life and death emergency contact situation, I'd have called any of my good friends. But the dents in my bumpers also made little dents in my subconscious. It seems like lately, I'm missing the person that should be my emergency contact, and I don't think I've even met him yet.

It seems suddenly (ok, over the past few years), I'm almost always the single one in any crowd I wander into. I've enjoyed it, really, for the most part. The not answering to anyone, the reading until three in the morning if I wanted to, the going out with my friends and not having to worry about anyone being jealous or feeling snubbed.

Don't get me wrong, there are times that I feel like I am ready for the point in time when I am not the single one among my friends.

Ready, probably, until he offers to be my emergency contact. And there in-lies another post.

04 August 2007


If you could take a photograph of what a promise looks like, I think this would be it.

When someone says to me, "You promise"? I smile and see sunlight streaming through a stained-glass window, bright with all that the potential that it holds.

Thirty five years ago, my parents said their vows and joined hands as husband and wife.

Through so much; through good times and bad, through sickness and health and births of children and deaths of loved ones and schedules that left mere minutes to see one another, still, they remained true.

Having failed in love, multiple times, I like to think that they are an exception, that their relationship didn't have to withstand the seas that mine did, but in reality, I'm sure it did. I'm sure it withstood far more than I could dream.

I'm sure there were days my mom just wanted to run free and not have five children in tow; wanted to have some part of herself that wasn't bound to so much, have some part of her life that was just hers.

I'm sure there were nights my dad wanted to play sports instead of work to provide for us or stay out after the rare golf game and follow where the moon led, recapture his youth, but they always came home instead, the promise they made more important than the whims of the moment.

In order to stay together, they stayed together:

Such a simple concept, when you write it.
Such an amazing concept, when you live it.

Mom and Dad, I love you.

Happy Anniversary.

02 August 2007

Gonna Become A Habit, Till the NSA Catches Me

12 results for: why

Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus - Cite This Source
Main Entry: conundrum
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: puzzle
Synonyms: brain-teaser, closed book*, enigma, mystery, mystification, poser*, problem, puzzlement, riddle, why*


47 results for: obvious

Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus - Cite This Source
Main Entry: obvious
Part of Speech: adjective
Definition: apparent
Synonyms: accessible, barefaced, bright, clear, conclusive, conspicuous, discernible, distinct, distinguishable, evident, explicit, exposed, glaring, in evidence, indisputable, lucid, manifest, noticeable, observable, open, outstanding, overt, palpable, patent, perceivable, perceptible, plain, precise, prominent, pronounced, public, recognizable, self-evident, self-explanatory, straightforward, transparent, unconcealed, undeniable, understandable, undisguised, unmistakable, unsubtle, visible


CNN Obvious Rove tells Bush to tell Rove not to testify


2 results for: slap in the face

Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus - Cite This Source
Main Entry: add insult to injury
Part of Speech: verb
Definition: make worse
Synonyms: add fuel to the fire, aggravate, exacerbate, heighten, provoke, rub salt in the wound, slap in the face, twist the knife, worsen


47 results for: deception

Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus - Cite This Source
Main Entry: deception
Part of Speech: noun 1
Definition: misleading
Synonyms: bamboozlement, beguilement, betrayal, blarney*, boondoggle*, cheat, circumvention, cozenage, craftiness, cunning, deceit, deceitfulness, deceptiveness, defraudation, dirt, disinformation, dissimulation, double-dealing, duplicity, equivocation, falsehood, flimflam*, fraud, fraudulence, guile, gyp, hokum*, hypocrisy, imposition, insincerity, juggling, legerdemain, lying, mendacity, pretense, prevarication, snow job*, sophism, treachery, treason, trickery, trickiness, trumpery, untruth


Yahoo Dumbass Rumsfeld says Pat Tillman's family deserved to know the truth about how he died. Just not the real truth, and certainly not right away


19 results for: wake up

Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus - Cite This Source
Main Entry: arise
Part of Speech: verb 2
Definition: stand
Synonyms: ascend, climb, go up, jump, mount, move upward, pile out*, rise, roll out*, soar, stand, tower, turn out, wake up
Antonyms: lie down, recline, sit


17 results for: soon

Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus - Cite This Source
Main Entry: soon
Part of Speech: adverb
Definition: near future
Synonyms: anon, before long, betimes, directly, early, ere long, expeditiously, fast, fleetly, forthwith, hastily, in time, instantly, lickety-split*, on time, posthaste, presently, promptly, pronto, quick, quickly, rapidly, short short, shortly, speedily


AFP Obvious White House urges Congress to quickly pass its new spying law, claiming that time can't be wasted with silly things like "review" and "oversight"


16 results for: livid

Main Entry: livid
Part of Speech: adjective 2
Definition: angry
Synonyms: beside oneself, black*, boiling, enraged, exasperated, flaming, fuming, furious, hot*, incensed, indignant, infuriated, mad, offended, outraged
Antonyms: happy


1 result for: horrified

Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus - Cite This Source
Main Entry: afraid
Part of Speech: adjective 1
Definition: fearful
Synonyms: abashed, aghast, alarmed, anxious, apprehensive, aroused, blanched, cowardly, cowed, daunted, discouraged, disheartened, dismayed, distressed, disturbed, faint-hearted, frightened, frozen, horrified, in awe, intimidated, nervous, panic-stricken, perplexed, perturbed, petrified, rattled, run scared*, scared, scared stiff*, shocked, spooked, startled, stunned, suspicious, terrified, terror-stricken, timid, timorous, trembling, upset, worried



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