Saturday, 14 October 2017



I miss my granddaughters.  Heart sick but it's getting better.  The scar will heal in time, just as the scar that came with Katie's diagnosis healed. 

I posted something on facebook last weekend I think.  I was feeling overwhelmed by life, by the world, by loss, by lies, by family.  A friend emailed and suggested I try to take better care of myself.  Suggested I try meditation.

I found a book in my bookshelf, a book from long ago when I was struggling with the decision to leave my husband.  It was only half read, as are most of my self help books.  The book is "When Things Fall Apart" by Pema Chodron.

“Most of us do not take these situations as teachings. We automatically hate them. We run like crazy. We use all kinds of ways to escape -- all addictions stem from this moment when we meet our edge and we just can't stand it. We feel we have to soften it, pad it with something, and we become addicted to whatever it is that seems to ease the pain.”   A quote from her book.

And when I read this I realized that I always avoid difficult conversations.  I avoided them with my stepdaughter, afraid she would do exactly what she did which is run away.  I avoided them with my son, afraid he would cut me out of his life, which is what he did.  So my avoiding difficult conversations isn't working obviously and the universe basically spent the last month throwing that in my face.  Thanks for that:)

So it's time for difficult conversations.  Time to face my fears and put myself out there in a gentle, unaggressive way.  Time to put myself in harm's way which scares the hell out of me. 

And the meditation, it helps.  I've managed five days now.  I'll probably fail at some point but that's okay too.  I'll try again.  It's time for me to stop running away as well.

Friday, 6 October 2017


I haven't been writing much for years it seems.  I miss it.  The words spilling out of my head, coming to rest, not on paper but on the screen.  The words are better out of my head.  When they stay inside of my head they spin and flutter and generally cause dis ease. 

I visited my aunt and my cousins which was lovely.  My aunt is waiting for god.  She wants to die but her body is not accommodating her just yet.  She has become dependent for almost everything physical.  She can still feed herself but is unable to even turn herself in bed.  Old age is humbling to say the least and she is fighting it with all that she has.  Mostly though she is suffering.  I pray that pneumonia takes her swiftly.

My son is now living with us again.  A year ago I would never have imagined that this would happen.  He cut me out of his life.  Told me to fuck off.  Told me that the best gift I could ever give him would be to never see him again and now he lays on the bed upstairs.  He is out of jail.  He has no money.  No job.  Nothing.  He has to start over again.  And the hardest thing to see, he has not really changed.  He has very little insight.  He doesn't like looking in the mirror at himself, none of us do.  He is selfish, self centered and vain.  I feel ill equipped to deal with him but I no longer worry about him cutting me out of his life.  I survived that once already.

My step daughter and her partner have decamped from the big guy's house nearby.  They lived in the house for two years without paying rent.  We wanted to help them out.  They had a young baby.  It would be better if she could stay home with the baby.  We said sweat equity, we said pay the taxes.  We should have had an agreement in writing although I doubt that would have changed the outcome.  My step daughter likes to live in denial.  Don't we all.  But sadly that world tends to kick us in the ass when we live there too long.  Long story short, they felt abused by us because they weren't paying rent or caring for our property and we felt resentful because her partner thought it was okay to buy guns but couldn't be bothered to cut the lawn. 

The kicker though, they left in a huff and told us we can never see our granddaughters again.  Because good parents rip people who love their children out of their children's lives.  I have no idea what my step daughter told my granddaughter about why she could no longer see her grandparents but I do know that it will come back to bite her in the ass one day because I've lived awhile now and I know that the past never stays in the past.  We carry it with us.  It intrudes on a daily basis. 

And so life goes on.  I'm sick now, coughing and hacking, sitting at my computer, watching the sunrise out the window.  Things will change, they always do. 

Monday, 2 October 2017


Letter to my granddaughter.

Dear Ana, 

I'm sorry I can't be with you today on your birthday.  You and your sister have been caught up in adult arguments that have nothing to do with you.

Your poppa and I love you very much and will always love you. 

I hope you enjoyed the carrots we planted together this spring.  You did such a good job watering them. 

Remember to be kind to the dog.  He needs love and attention, he doesn't get much of either.  And the cat, he's old.  Please be gentle with him.  His body hurts and probably makes him grumpy sometimes.

I hope you have a wonderful birthday party and remember that your poppa and I carry you in our hearts always.

Love, Nana

Saturday, 23 September 2017


Off to visit my aunt today.  It's so hard seeing people you love get old and frail.  Fran wants to die but her body or her spirit is not cooperating.  She always was a stubborn woman.  I come by my stubbornness honestly.

I'll get to visit with my cousins as well which will be a nice bonus and I'm thankful I can give this small gift of time to my mother's sister.




Wednesday, 20 September 2017


My Mother's Hands

Things I'm thankful for today.

It's my birthday today.  I'm fifty-five.  Many of my patients never get to see fifty-five.  I am thankful.

I have a home.  There are so many in the world who have had to flee their homes.  I am thankful.

I have a husband who loves me, just as I am.  I am thankful.

I have a job which allowed me to support myself and my son when I was young and we were alone.  I am thankful.

I have friends whom I love and who love me.  I am thankful.

My children are healthy.  I am thankful.

I am healthy.  I am thankful.

I am flying to England on Saturday to visit my dying aunt.  My mother's last sister.  I will remember my mother.  I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Saturday, 16 September 2017


Lessons I Never Learned

I didn't have Mrs. Nelson in fourth grade to teach me.  Fourth grade was the year I learned about bullies.  I learned that I was different.  That I didn't fit in.  I learned that a friend could laugh at your public humiliation.  I learned that life is not fair.  I learned that school could become a living hell.

I never learned to stand up for myself.  Never thought I was worth standing up for.  I didn't understand the unwritten rules of childhood.  Didn't know that people lie.

I never learned how to trust love.  It always came with caveats.  Do this, don't do that.  Never unconditional, always conditional on my behavior.

I never learned how to be honest.  I only learned how to please others, even at my own expense.  Never learned to speak up and be heard over the shouting of others. 

I never learned to be kind to myself.  Never learned how to love myself. 

I never learned how to let go and enjoy the moment or how to stop being afraid.

I never learned to be.



Thank you to Elizabeth for introducing me to the poet Brad Aaron Modlin. 

Sunday, 10 September 2017



I've had the week from hell.  Family problems which I prefer not to write about here right now.  But I righted my own boat which I'm proud of.

I saw the doctor on Thursday for a variety of strange symptoms.  Her diagnosis, stress.  I told her about my son and she said that he's a grown man, I need to let go.  And of course she's right.  So on the way back to work I stopped at a book store and a book jumped off the shelf at me.  "Maybe It's You" by Lauren Zander.  It's basically cognitive behavior therapy which has helped me in the past.  So I bought the book and I'm doing the work.  And I'm hopeful.  Even in the face of overwhelming grief, I'm hopeful.  That's something.

My son gets out of jail in two weeks, the same day I land in England.  He will be staying with the big guy for a week while I visit my sick aunt.  We talk on the phone quite a bit these days.  He's still using talking to obfuscate but I call him on it now.  I told him that he can stay with us for a few months but he needs to stop the lying and the drinking.  When I asked him why he drank he said because he was bored.  I called bullshit on that.  I told him that he drinks to avoid dealing with things, and he said yeah.  He's not really keen on looking at himself in the mirror to see how he is making his life worse.  It's so much easier to look outwards and blame others.  But all the shit in his life, he has been there for all of it.  He is responsible for it, not "others". 

I left my son's father when my son was ten months old.  I was his father for four years.  He was a chronic liar and an alcoholic, although at the time I didn't realize he was an alcoholic.  We were young.  We all drank too much.  I was angry a lot of the time and blamed him for all of my problems until I realized that if I wanted to make my life better, I could.  I left because I didn't want my son being lied to his whole life.  I thought I could protect my son from his father and his lies.  What I didn't count on was genetics. 

I need to confront my son's lies instead of avoiding them.  It's not okay to lie to me.  I don't care if he fucks up, we all fuck up.  That's part of life.  Come clean about it.  Apologize.  Do things differently next time.  Move forward.