Monday, April 30, 2012

A short Very Wise post

As April winds down, I am thrilled from a blogger's perspective.  I am ready to go back to writing when the notion strikes me and not on a schedule.  I think it's more the designated directions of the A-Z challenge than the timing.  I write every day in general.

I'm sitting in bed with my laptop as I am every Sunday night doing paperwork that is the bane of my existence.  I have this paperwork deadline of 10am every Monday morning.  When do I finish the paperwork?  Late Sunday or early, early Monday.  It is very draining and I don't get clock time to do it. 

A Very Wise person would complete it at the end of the last 'shift' with their client.  I hate it so much that I procrastinate in the worst possible way.  See?  Right this very minute I'm writing something else other than the notes.

I am not a Very Wise person.  I make horrible choices and mistakes and some of them aren't solo acts.  Another person whose choices weren't Very Wise...Amy Winehouse.  She should have gone to rehab for sure.

So, screw this fake post.  I'll leave you with Amy.  I'm back to the dastardly paperwork.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Talks with God and the Universe

I have an enormous amount of emotional baggage.  I'm working very hard to clear it out so that my future looks vastly different from my past.  I've talked about the specialized kind of therapy I'm involved in right now, EMDR.  It's hard to understand the concept, but the results are phenomenal.  Here's the link to my person's website if you want to learn a little bit. 

In my job alone, I am confronted with death regularly.  I am good, or so I'm told, with the families I serve experiencing this.  A nurse I work with thanked me yesterday out of the blue and told me heartwarming thoughts of appreciation.  Those are few and far between, but help make it possible to get through those emotional days. 

In my own life, I seem to know a lot of death, too.  It's not geriatric death, where an 86-year-old woman who's lived life to the fullest passes quietly in her sleep.  I see the deaths of children.  I have long thought, and said aloud that death is not the worst thing that could happen to anyone.  The children whose families I serve, as my Olivia did, suffer.  Sometimes, it's a short course from an accident.  Sometimes, it's years and years of a devastating illness.  Regardless of the whys, the loss is just as intense and painful.  No parent should ever outlive their child.

In my personal life, aside from the life-altering loss of my daughter, I also lost three other pregnancies.  I've come to terms with that over the past six months. 

What has happened the past couple of weeks is that I wonder daily, sometimes hourly, why.  I don't just wonder that about Olivia and my other losses.  I wonder why there is such sickness and hurt in the world.  It's not wars that take so many lives in my world. 

I believe prayer is like a conversation with God.  I pray often because I just talk to God.  I look to the night sky when I get home from work.  I talk to whatever is up there.  I'm such a small piece of all of that.  Surely there is someone or something that will hear me and offer some answers! 

I don't ask why Olivia had to die anymore.  My heart was crushed and pulverized that day of February 10, 2008.  But, for the first time in months, there was peace on her face.  I hold on to that. 

What I ask and wonder is: Why is there so much hurt and sadness and crap that descends upon blameless families?  When will the hurt lessen?  Does Olivia see that I never forget her?  Sometimes, I get my answers in the most unusual ways.

I opened my email today to videos from far away.  A like-minded mother friend in South Dakota sent me videos of her kids doing a balloon release to honor my Olivia.  My heart sang! 

I tell the families I work with or others who've gone through the loss of a child that their child will NOT be forgotten!  It's one of the biggest fears of a bereaved parent as far as I can tell.  My friend Stacy verified that for me. 

If you know a bereaved parent and I bet more of you do than don't, don't be afraid to say the child's name.  Don't be afraid to let them know your thoughts go to that joy of their life that is achingly missing.  Don't be afraid you'll make us cry.  We cry anyway.  It's good when there are tears that are more than just grief. 

My friend Kristen made this just after Olivia died.  I still treasure it. 

Video memorial to Olivia

I'll continue to talk to God.  I'll continue to look up to the sky to commune with the universe.  I need to feel connected to all of this that's so much greater than I am.  It's one of the few peaceful times I can count on.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

P, Q, R, S - People Quickly Respond with Shit

I'm sucking at daily blogging, but for this blasted A-Z Challenge, I am damn sure going to hit all the letters.

I do not see good in all people.  I think we are all born good, but some people lose that along the way.  I'm pretty strong in my opinions about Nature vs.  Nurture.  I think biology is strong, but the right (or wrong) environment can change a person forever.

There's a quote by Dennis Leary about people not being born racists.  I think that's true about hate and intolerance in general.  I am being very vocal and visible in my campaign to get people to understand the gristle in Amendment One.  The religious right in NC is so afraid of people loving each other that they are willing to punish millions of families just to add another legal halt to same sex marriages.  I'm not pontificating about this again.  I am going to say that if you haven't already, click on the link to really read the facts.

What I am learning is that I know a lot of people who care more about what looks good or seems popular than what is right.  One example is happening because I am so vocal about my beliefs against this Amendment.  I am seeing my 'friends' numbers drop, literally, for example on Facebook.  Usually prior to their exit, they respond to one of my posts or by text, email or call with their poorly backed claims and insults.

If you have cause and time for legitimate debate, let's go!  If you're just looking to trade out for a newer, more conforming friend, you've definitely come to the wrong place.  As my work pal, Randy, said recently...I don't agree with most of what you say, but we still talk.  It's how real adults handle conflict.  We come to the table and exchange thoughts, feelings, insight.  If my opinion is different from yours, so be it.  At least hear me out if I'm supposed to hear you out instead of sneaking away and hiding like a coward.

So, I'm going to keep on keeping it real.  I'm not going to pretend for anyone about anything.  If you want to jump at me and throw shit like a monkey, do it.  Just expect to have some slung back your way.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Marriage, Names, and Opinions

Don't you like how I wrapped three letters into one post?

 I live in North Carolina. I think we're part of the Bible belt because you can't walk 50 yards without seeing a church and most everyone claims to be a Christian, although a good half or majority sure doesn't act like it. I was raised in an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist Church. Not sure what that means? Think being scared into religion. I once heard a speaker from the pulpit say that women were the downfall of the world. In all fairness, he wasn't the preacher, but he wasn't chastised or corrected either. I respect that people have the right to their opinions and beliefs, but I don't have to be subjected to the ones I vehemently oppose.

That brings me to this post, which is politically charged like the 4th of July. Up for vote on May 8th in my state, which I refuse to call fair at this moment, is Amendment One. Poorly informed individuals also call it the Marriage Amendment. The biggest thing I think people don't realize or acknowledge is that NC already has a law on the books banning gay marriage. Go to this link to read for yourself how Amendment One can harm ALL families in North Carolina.


Some majorly important points that will affect someone you know:
  1. Amendment One would interfere with protections for unmarried couples to visit one another in the hospital and to make emergency medical and financial decisions if one partner is incapacitated. 
  2. A child of an unmarried parent could lose their health care and prescription drug coverage, putting the child's health at risk. 
  3.  Domestic violence protections could only apply to married couples.
  4.  A single or widowed senior couple could be forced to marry to keep their legal protections, which would cause them to lose benefits such as pensions, health care, and social security.

I am not here to argue about morals or religion. Both of those are subjective. If you want truth about the institution of marriage, though, it would behoove you to research. Most people don't even know the history. Such as written by historians, sociologists, or people who just researched for their own self-knowledge, the actual history of marriage in America is this: 

The English Puritans in the 17th century even passed an Act of Parliament asserting "marriage to be no sacrament" and soon thereafter made marriage purely secular. It was no longer to be performed by a minister, but by a justice of the peace. The Restoration abolished this law and reverted to the old system, but the Puritans brought their concept of marriage to America where it survived.

Our country was founded on principles of freedom. "One Nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for ALL". I don't think the penners of our pledge of allegiance really divided out races, adulterers, or homosexuals in that phrase. If so, we need to change the pledge to something along the lines of "a group of people with conservative Christian beliefs, under a Protestant God, with freedoms and rights for like-minded"

We all have opinions and a right to share them. I do not believe it is my right to push my beliefs and opinions on another. It is my right to be free of oppression from others as well.

I DO believe my heterosexual couple friends who live together without marriage deserve the same rights as my husband and I have to insurance and safety. I believe it is wrong to punish senior citizens who love each other, but need their retirement and Medicare benefits. I believe all children should have the same protections of their families regardless of the dynamics of those families. 

Don't go on my word. Read the actual proposal that you'll be voting on. Take time to LEARN for YOURSELF the truth. This vote is not about protecting the sanctity of marriage. Marriage is the name of an institution and is sanctified by those that make the commitment and uphold it.


**written by a 38-yr-old heterosexual married white woman with no living children**

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Letters of All Kinds

I like to write.  I write for lots of reasons.  I write as an outlet.  I write because I can communicate better that way sometimes.  I write because I want to be heard. 

I write letters.  I write letters three or four times a week.  I have written letters to living and dead people.  Most of my letters are private.  I say what I need to say because it helps my process.  There are letters I've written that are public.  One, I wrote to Olivia after she died and it was read at her service.  I didn't read it.  I couldn't.  It still brings tears to my eyes to read the copy framed on my living room wall.  One, I wrote to Bereaved Parents and people who love them, published here.

 My friend Stephanie and I talk often about what a shitty club it is, the group of moms whose babies and children died.  There really isn't a name that fits.  There is a national group called Compassionate Friends and they have monthly or weekly meetings.  But, the real name of what and who we are...that is harsh.  For months and months after Olivia died, I didn't know how to introduce myself.  She was very well known in the community, so I always said "I'm Olivia's mom".  After, I would flounder and say "I'm, uh, my name is, Karen.  I'm, umm, my daughter was Olivia."  I couldn't even identify myself. 

The things people say to people like me range from insensitive to atrocious.  People wonder why I am not close with my family.  Example:  family member after Olivia's service, while the grave is being closed..."this was the best thing that could have happened".  Luckily, I was too crazed with grief to react as I normally would, which is punch him straight in the face.  Really?  the best thing to have happened to my only daughter was death?  I like to believe it was meant in the spirit of her suffering had ended.  I don't know and I'll never know because I distance myself. 

I also write letters for proof.  Phone conversations can be denied.  Sometimes, even words in color, in 3D, words that can be touched are denied.  We are all good at self-preservation.  I am Queen of it.  My heart has been hurt too many times.  I will hold that shit over you if need be, thus the written word.

I love receiving letters, too.  We have a white board on our fridge and my husband writes wonderful letters to me.  I usually snap photos of them before they can be erased.  I don't want to forget or for him to forget he felt that way on that particular day. 

I have a box of cards and letters from the days preceding Olivia's death.  My friend Chris brought it, I believe.  It was stationed by the front door and people who came by could write a note or drop something in there they'd made ahead of time.  I pull it out sometimes and weep at the words and thoughts conveyed. 

I know you are all busy.  Think of my blogs as letters to you.  I am writing because I want to express thoughts and feelings that might otherwise stay hidden.  If you have thoughts and a moment, write me back in the comments or by email.  I love to hear if something I penned, or typed, impacted you. 

Here is one of my love letters from the white board.  Maybe because he is a creative being is the reason I get them.  I just know I'm lucky I do.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

K Is for Karen and Keeping It Real

I'm slow going on the A-Z thing.  K is a toughie, too.  I have no desire to write about kangaroos or koalas.  So, you get a small bio on who you're reading. 

Name: Karen L.H. Sanders
DoB: 1-26
You don't get a year.  Hell, I'm 38.  I don't care who knows that.  

I haven't been the quiet type in about 30 years.  I once had a cousin call me the Queen of Confrontation.  That was before my illusions of happily-ever-after became delusions.   I try to be discrete when necessary.  Sometimes, it's neither necessary nor desired. 

I'm married, not for the first time.  First time was pretty normal.  Met, dated, lived together, married...had my daughter three years into that.  Her name was Olivia.  She died when she was 8.  She was the most beautiful, wonderful, amazing girl in the world.  You can read more about her here.  Her dad and I split up when she was 3.  He felt his life needed more than caring for a child with special needs.  That made me feel like my life was perfect with only her.  He's a much better ex-husband.

My hubby is Kelly.  We met when he was 12 and I was 15.   You can read more about our wedding and happiness here.  We are oil and water some days and oxygen to flame others.  We are far from perfect, but I think we are perfect for each other.  We face our own struggles daily.  We're growing by leaps and bounds as a couple and individuals.  Sometimes, I wish the universe wouldn't give me anymore challenges to grow.  I'd be happy to be stunted.

I work three jobs.  I work my prime at a Children's Hospital with parents who have critically ill children.  Second, I work one-on-one with a girl who has Autism two afternoons a week.  Then, I pull a couple of shifts at J.Jill in the mall.  It pays shit, but no one dies there.

My dream is to be a published writer.  I'd be happy to be an editor, too.  It's a pipe dream, but I'll continue to dream it.

My blog is a stream of consciousness from my thoughts.  I know I'm random sometimes.  I know I'm highly opinionated.  I know I swear a lot.  If you don't like it, don't read it.  Don't judge.  Walk my walk a day or a week, and then go back to your life.  See if you picture me the same.  

The faces of Karen...

This was a random shot on our wedding day.  Pretty accurate portrayal of daily life :-)

I laugh a lot.

Eric or Bill?  I'd take both.

The real face of me, happy

Monday, April 16, 2012

Jumping (My J installment)

I am almost wholeheartedly opposed to exercise.  I used to work out religiously.  When I got pregnant with Olivia, I was doing a class three times a week and strength training.  That was 13 years ago, pre-asthma.  I'm older and my lungs suck.

I jump up and down occasionally.  Back in the early days of Kelly showing up at the house, I'd jump up on him in a whole body hug.  When we decided to get married, I kind of jumped around and did a happy dance.  There's a really tall dad that I met at the hospital.  He's 6'11''.  I do running jumps to try to high five him.  That's about the extent of it.

My husband likes to say I jump to conclusions a lot.  I will acquiesce to that.  However, that does not imply that they are wrong conclusions predominantly. 

I find frequently that people assume a lot in general.  We are not a generation of fact finders.  In the age of social media, we rely on Facebook or Twitter to find out important information about people or things that are important to us.  I share a lot, but you're not going to find out my most intimate details on those sites.  If you do, then it's because we weren't close enough for you to find out first hand.

I wish people would do more direct contact.   It could be a text or email if talking to someone actually makes you want to hurl.  I  highly recommend it before Jumping to conclusions that may hurt or interfere with your relationships beyond repair. 

As seen on is the superhero I try NOT to be:

Friday, April 13, 2012

Island paradise...A-Z carries on

If you've read any of my previous posts, you've probably figured out I have a particular fondness for sand and water.  I'm not talking about the preschool table either.  Just last week, I posted about how in my deepest despair, the dreams of beaches kept me from going completely crazy.

I don't know how my pale, French/English descent self is so drawn to the Islands.  Even when you throw in the 1/8 Cherokee, that still takes me to the mountains or plains.  Not true, though.  This woman thinks of, wishes for, gets lost in dreams about an Island paradise at least once a day.

I  have two favorites so far.  First, as mentioned in the previous post, would be the Florida Keys.  Next and probably by far the winner for the view as the plane descends, is Hawaii.  It is absolutely breathtaking.  However, I had an aisle seat, so no photos of that.  When I was walking from the plane into the terminal, I was impeding the foot traffic flow, because all I wanted was to do was absorb the air, the breeze, the idea that I was in Hawaii.

When I went there, it wasn't a purely pleasure trip.  There was serious business I had to do.  But, there was fun and a week with my best friend and her family.  I was completely surprised as I went to baggage claim and my very own Army soldier stood there in fatigues with leis to welcome me.  I was overwhelmed anyway and that just threw me over the edge.  I'd left at 5:30am for a 10-hr non-stop flight.  I'd lost five hours in-flight.  All the emotion, the lack of sleep, the beauty and that welcome just opened my flood gates.  It was not the happy, laughing scenes from Magnum, P.I.  It was goofy me.

Driving from Honolulu toward the North Shore was an event.  It's a little like Atlanta traffic with fantastic views.  Look to your left and there is Pearl Harbor.  There are a lot of little moments like that which I remember.

Wandering on a near-empty part of Waikiki while waiting for a Luau; walking down the busier part to get to a submarine tour launch; driving by the pineapple fields...getting asked firmly to leave the Dole plantation by their security guards.  It was closed, but not by long.  I just wanted to see!

The most beautiful, majestic truly paradise-like experience happened the pineapple night.  We drove up to the North Shore.  It was nearing sundown.  There are mountains on the left and pineapple fields on both sides of the road.  The North Shore is famous for surfers.  This was mid-February and there was only one guy out there.  There was a small mountain jutting out to my left.  There was a cove up to my right.  The light misty fog, was visual poetry.

the desolate Waikiki beach
The North Shore at sunset

I am so, so glad I had that opportunity.  I wish it had been purely pleasure.  I wish it had been 85 degrees and beach days every day.  I wish I'd seen the volcanoes.  It doesn't matter though.  I went to one of the most idyllic island paradises on the planet.  I'm a lucky girl.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hello, I Love You

Another chapter in the A-Z blogging challenge...

I bet if you ask the person standing next to you in the elevator or on the sidewalk if they love someone, the answer will be a resounding 'YES'.  It may not be romantic love.  It may not be reciprocated love.  It may not be healthy love, but there will be love.  Isn't that a Maroon 5 song?  It's not my favorite, but on all that is holy, I declare that there is something special and unique about Adam Levine.  

He is a beautiful specimen and his voice is raw sexuality blended with an angelic quality. Ahem, sidetracked by my form of love for him.  It's just the insomnia, Kelly.

I think there are loves we see and question.   Why do we do that?  What business is it of ours if people love one another?  That part isn't.  What if there's an element of someone's advantage being taken?  Is that subjective?  What about the Hugh Hefners and his 20-year-olds?  What about the Anna Nicoles (God rest her soul) and her near centurion?  
Mary Kay Letourneau and her underage student boyfriend?  I was always with older men until my current husband.  He's nearly four years younger and I was actually called a cougar last week.  Really?  REALLY??  I can show you a cougar, little boy.  Sorry, that just pissed me off.  

What about love at first sight or first interaction?  I think first sight is more about lust and attraction.  Those things exist as surely as our hormones do and our human race exists in part due to them, I imagine.  I think the love at first interaction is a little different.  I think it's about personalities and souls.  I think those initial connections let us know if there is potential for long-term connection or not.  

What is really not fantastic  is when you feel something and you're pretty sure it's reciprocated.  Then, the other person pulls away.  "Hello, I love you!"  Maybe it's the age thing.  Maybe it's a socioeconomic thing.  Maybe it's location.  Maybe it's body size.  All of those things are shitty reasons to back away.  I've heard them all between myself and my friends.  They are all bullshit.  

Friends love each other unconditionally.  Real, forever friends do.  They weather storms of epic proportions.  They don't care about trivial drama.  They don't care about the bad days or awkward situations.  They love you and stick by you.  A partner does the same.  A forever one does.  They don't get to waltz in and out of your life like the tides of the oceans.  It is like the water taking your breath and pulling you under.  You swim against with all you have, but your instinct tells you to swim toward your home, not parallel just to get out of the tide.  Sometimes, you're sucked in and hurt.

If the word love is scary, think of another, but don't not tell the people you love that you do.  Life is short.  Really bad shit happens.  So, my people, if you don't know it, I cheese sandwich you.  

In honor of spreading the love, here is my celebrity crush, singing  his heart out, I'd like to think to me:

 Maroon 5 (That's Adam Levine pretending he's holding me) singing Misery

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A-Z continued, G is for Government Bullshit

I have become quite the little activist thanks to Twitter. I have voted since I became eligible a thousand years ago, but I never campaigned for anyone and rarely made a huge deal about it. The biggest I'd say would have been in 1992 when Bill Clinton was elected. That was kind of huge considering I was on the campus of Furman. It's not the kind of place you find a lot of democrats. There's a whole lot of money. It's mostly why I felt so alienated and like a failure. My grades and SAT scores gained the admission. My origins on a tobacco farm in Surry County, NC were like I'd aligned myself with the Japanese on Pear Harbor Day. It may not have been so drastic in reality, but it felt like it. There was one girl, Frances Chang, who seemed to get it. I have no idea whatever happened to her. I tried to look her up when I went to Hilton Head on vacation a couple of years ago. That was the address on a letter I received from her right after I left campus. I'd like to know where she is now. I made two good friends there, one I've seen in the ensuing years since. The other, we've kept in touch through letters initially, then the internet. My point is, the only person I recall being a Clinton supporter like myself was my Spanish professor, el Senor Bost.

I do recall that our country was founded by people seeking religious freedom. Those people then took away freedom from the indigenous people already inhabiting the land. I find it bitterly ironic that we are in such a place in 2012 that the men who have been battling for a position in which to run for the title of leader of the U.S. are focusing on issues that revolve largely around religion. It's just been a few hundred years since all of the frontier shit happened. If you read an article about a teacher who lost her job because she was pregnant before she married being fired from a private, religious-based school you might easily think someone has mistyped her name and it should be Hester Prynne. I am eager to hear the high court's decision on this one. 

Where the hell did the platforms of education, the health of our citizens and the welfare of our sick and disabled go? Where are the long ago candidates like FDR and JFK who spoke with eloquence, if not charisma, yet made things happen that MADE our country a better place to live on this giant blue marble we call Earth? Every single President who has inhabited the Oval Office can be found guilty of some indiscretion or even a breakage of law at some point would be my unequivocal guess. The only one who, in my book, horribly dishonored the office was Nixon. However, as it stands today, the race of 2012 is not shaping up to offer any of the real belief of goodness in the future of my homeland. The race I see brewing is one of school yard bullying and name calling. It will be about who comes from the better side of town, who prays or tithes to the better church, or the color of skin. I see the political factions regressing about 60 years. The "issues" are turning out to be things white men with money don't like. 

Don't get me wrong. I like white men. I love them. I married a couple or three of them. My point is that the make-up of the Republican field, which was narrowed to a main character today, seems like you could have pulled it from a magazine in 1966. In 1973, women gained the legal right to have control over their bodies and that is being chipped away like the Titanic took down a mountain of icebergs. I don't see fair challenge happening over things that matter like the people who work 60 hours a week just to scrape out enough change for Hamburger Helper or outrageous unemployment numbers. I don't see anyone jumping up and down to reinstate music and art education monies, both of which are scientifically shown to increase success in school (secondary and post-secondary), lower use of drugs (shocking isn't it!), significantly higher levels of math proficiency (I am an anomaly), and on and on. Statistical references

Regardless of whether you like our current administrator or not, he is not the antichrist. He is not out to get any one or attack a group of people. He isn't out to limit the rights of anyone. If the taxes I pay are going to be outrageous and my health care premiums are going to take the rest of my paycheck, I sure as hell better not have anyone telling me what to do with the rest of it or the body that earned it. That's why I am the squeaky wheel against the as-is GOP. It doesn't mean I am FOR anyone or anything else.


And that… is what… I… think… of the letter G.

Monday, April 9, 2012

A-Z, F...Flailing

I've been struggling to write my F challenge.  I have started it three times.  Yes, I am flailing.

I have started on freedoms...personal freedoms.  The way it feels when we finally, truly unburden ourselves of something that is like the weight of an extra person we're carrying.

I have started on fakes...forgeries, fallacies, foolery.  Things that look pretty and authentic on the outside, but if the layers are peeled back, the original underneath is everything from unattractive to ugly and putrid.

So, now, I simply flail.  I'm flailing emotionally after a weekend of family emotional and physical drama.  My brother-in-law took a serious fall.  He's lucky in that there is no head injury or internal bleeding.  However, he has multiple broken bones and now has pneumonia.  It was very frightening for him, his wife, and children.  It has shaken all of us.  This is the same family whose oldest boy broke his neck just seven months ago.

I'm flailing emotionally as I'm inundated with feelings I'd rather ignore.  Too much is going on in my little world!  I don't want to deal with creepers.  My subconscious needs to get back to work at burying things.

I'm flailing as a wife.  Maybe, that should be failing.  I have so much of the other going on, I feel like I'm simply a drifting vessel who slides in and out of the door between shifts at work.

I'm flailing as a friend.  Some of the women I love most on this earth are becoming strangers to me.  I have holes in my heart shaped in Ms, Ss, Ls, and so on.  I am stretched too thin, which is no one's fault but my own.  So these stumpy arms are reaching and waving to get the attention as my friends go by, but it's not quick enough.  They are having their lives without me.  I am flailing on the sidelines.

Then, there is work.  Some days, I feel like I am at the top of my game.  Others, all of this gets to me and I feel like I flail there, too.

I am searching for balance.  It is tough!  Does anyone get it right consistently?  Does anyone feel like their arms are in socket solidly? 

I don't want to be this guy....

Friday, April 6, 2012

A-Z Challenge, Evolution

Hold on!  This is a not a Darwin vs. Bible post.

I just logged onto Twitter. On my daily "Who to Follow" suggestions, top of the list is Mitt Romney.  What the FUCK.  Whoever in Twitter world comes up with that seriously does not read MY tweets. 

I am, in fact, a Christian.  I know you may find that hard to believe based on my frequent dropping of the F-bomb.  I'm gonna lay it down like this: I think when all of those people witnessed Lazarus rise up, if the word Fuck was known, it would probably have been uttered by more than a couple of them.  You know, like "Fuck yeah!"  Seriously, there are a lot of beautiful, eloquent words in the thousands of languages of the world.  Fuck is in nearly all of them.  I can say it in three.  Oh, wow, I so got sidetracked.

Anyway, when I saw that pic of Mitt, the first thing that came into my head was "he looks a little Neanderthal".  It's something about the forehead.  It just doesn't look right.  It reminds me of

Arnold Schwarzenegger
 Mitt Romney   

Am I wrong with this resemblance here???

Neither of them look so handsome and 21st century.  Maybe I expect more from evolution.  I mean, the rest of humans... We are walking all tall and upright.  I should be proud of that.  But, next time, Twitter, suggest Charles Manson or Gloria Allred.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Dreams, continuing the A-Z challenge

Daydreams are where I want to live; night dreams are where I fear to visit...

That was my mantra for years and years and years.  I have always had vivid dreams.  I'm not just saying that so I can claim yet another special talent either.  I have scientific proof!  My sleep study from 2010 documented some such evidence.  The problem is, after some intense stuff, I learned they weren't just dreams, either.

As I've talked openly about before, I was diagnosed with PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, about 18 months after Olivia died.  Everyone experiences events in their own ways.  Everyone grieves in their own ways.  Not everyone whose child dies will be diagnosed with PTSD.  There is a long list of criteria.  I think looking back now, what is shocking is that it took so long to get the diagnosis.  I'd had symptoms for a long time.

One of the key symptoms is what most people recognize as flashbacks.  It's a visual reliving of a traumatic event.  I think the term lends itself to being perceived as an event that happens when one is awake as well.  If you've ever watched a television show or movie about a war vet, you've probably seen it portrayed that way.  That's all I knew about it.

In my life, that's not really how it presented itself.  Every time I closed my eyes, the scenes played like a horror movie that was my life.  The Dreams weren't dreams.  They were events I lived.  They were scenes in which I was the main character.  When my eyes opened, frequently, my heart was racing to the beat of a race car's engine.  I'd need a trash can or toilet because my stomach was still on that race track.  My hair, face, and downward were soaked from perspiration, and on and on.

These episodes were random for a while and then so regular that I avoided sleep in fear of them.  It was at that point when the daytime ones started.  Something  that reminded me of an event would trigger it.  That is when I started losing what little bit of life I'd started rebuilding.

My solace had become my daydreams.  I sat in bed and pretended.  I pretended I was on a far away beach.  That is like my safety word.  It's certainly my safe place.  After Olivia died, I spent way too much money and went to the Florida Keys.

 I'd always wanted to go and at that point, my mindset was "fuck it".  I didn't care if I'd need the money later.  I didn't care about anything except feeling the warm, soft sand between my toes that had been in bed with her tiny body for months.  I longed for beautiful, peaceful visions for my eyes that had seen nothing but death and ugliness for so long.  I craved the whispers of the breeze through palm trees instead of I.V. pumps, O2 sensors, and my own wailing.  I wanted to be completely selfish and try to find something that could take away the inner anguish of my mind and my soul.

I think I was foolish to think that was possible.  Except that it happened for brief moments during those seven days.  I took about seven books.  I took my little iPod shuffle.  I took not enough sunscreen.  And, other than some oopsies, it was my daydreams come true.  The physical beauty healed my raw eyes.  They natural audio was salve to my hurt ears that could only hear my daughter's pain over and over.  The beautiful, warm sand sloughed off the calloused skin and metaphorically set me on a new path.

And so it was for those days in April, 2008, until I returned home.  When I came home to the same environment that caused all of the pain, it was so very hard to withstand the gravitational pull of the damned dreams of the days and nights.

Fast forward to April 2012...My daydreams and night dreams mesh more often now, in a happy place.  There isn't as much fear and darkness.  I am on that beach with the coconut rolling off the tree.  The only difference is that I don't fall asleep on my side.  I don't want that wicked side-lobster burn in my happy dream.  And, there is almost always a conch fritter with a chocolate covered frozen key lime pie for dessert.

my view every day...just us old folks

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A-Z Challenge... late

I've been working so many hours the past few days, I'm late on this one.

Several bloggers are doing the A-Z challenge.  I learned about it through Good Youngman Brown.  We are writing 26 blogs in April, you guessed it, titled by letters of the alphabet.  It was technically only a day late when I started, but it's now past midnight, so I'm onto C.  I'm going to fast forward to C, that is.  I feel a little like a poor excuse for Sue Grafton.

A is for apathy.  

Too many people have it.

B is for biscuits. 

I make really good ones.  I made smack yo' mama good ones tonight.

C is for coffee. 

I love coffee.  I love coffee every day, all year long.  100 degrees outside?  No worries for me.  I'll still take a steamy cup first thing.  Now, if I 'm sitting out in that sauna, I'll take a frozen cafe, Juan.

  I'm pretty sure he's older than this now.  He was picking those Columbian beans when I was a kid.

I never had fancy coffee until I went to Furman.  I remember having some kind of raspberry coffee from a specialty store.  I hate raspberry!  I'm not even sure why I bought it except that it was new and exciting.  The best coffee I have ever tasted is Kona coffee fresh in Hawaii.  That volcanic soil does something to those beans to make the richest, most deliciously aromatic liquid cocaine on the planet.  It should be for around $50/lb. 

A year ago for Christmas, I received the Cadillac of all  coffee makers.  Well, it's the middle child of its family, but it makes my days so much more streamlined.

                                              Ah, there's my baby.  The Keurig Elite....

Oh, my.  It makes coffee so wonderful.  I get excited when I wake up at 4am instead of 8 for my 12 hour day.  With Keurig, I feel like I am at Starbucks every day.  I get whatever I want and in lightning quick speed.  I even keep a plastic container at my desk.  I have 5 or 6 varieties of K-Cups and not all are coffee.  The thing that makes this fancy dude so awesome is the speed and ease with which my favorite beverage appears.

So there you have it.  Big C, little c....all Cs are good for these hands to hold in a steamy mug.

Keep Calm
Get a Keurig.