Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I cared

Translation:  "I draw on my face and my mom does not care and it is awesome!  It is awesome!"

Monday, November 26, 2012

Michelle in March

I am losing my husband, and I am losing one of my best friends who lives across the street.

With her though, it's not really about what I am losing, but about what she is losing, and I feeling sorry for myself for it.

Back in March I wrote down some thoughts about her journey with metastatic breast cancer.  One morning, I came home from a particularly rough night at work and met her outside at the end of our driveways to wait for the school bus.

I break down about my morning at shift change.  She is interested and wants to hear.  It’s a change from the usual topic of death.  She says that even as a family member, when her son was 17 and dying in the hospital with cancer, she could see how badly some of the nurses treated one another.  They are catty bitches, I say with enthusiasm.  It’s good to be able to tell another woman this, because my husband can’t fully comprehend what I am talking about when I say those two words together, even though he has been on the receiving end.  Before the words even finish leaving my mouth she is echoing them, grimaces, and says with a tone of feistiness “Do you need me to go down there?”

She is dressed up, wearing some of the layered necklaces that I admire her for, always looking put together despite being a mess inside.  There’s a new wig, the second wig.  I joke that she’s already losing hair from the wig too as I remove a long strand from her white shirt, and she laughs.  I tell her it’s a nice style and looks good on her.  What I don’t say is that I miss her old hair that spoke of vibrant health.  

She sees her youngest son off to school, tells me that every day he says he is dropping out of kindergarten.  There is an oncologist appointment this morning to discuss her pain.  She gets through the day with church people and her close friend Stacy, and at night helps her kids with their homework, but in the very late hours that's when it gets bad.  She has been up the past two nights laying on the floor in the bathroom.  I assume it is from vomiting, but she says it is just that she feels like she has to grit her teeth together from the pain, all alone in there.  She won’t take narcotics, not now, not this early on.

She senses my drunken sleepiness and tells me to go lay down.  As I walk away, instead of feeling calm and contented with the camaraderie we just shared over mean women, I want to scream “Noooooooooooo!  You can’t die.  You are the closest thing to a best friend that I have right now!  The only true Southerner who seems to get my sarcasm and is not offended by it!"

I don’t ever want her to see me cry during these moments.  She would ask what was the matter, and I would have to lie.  Would she forgive me if she knew that I was blurring the honesty line a little past where friends normally go?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

driving the Natchez Trace

I have so long neglected this blog that I don't even understand the new format anymore.

So, fuck it.

I am going to write whatever I want on here.  This is my blog, after all.

I need to vent, and in order to do that I'm going to have to relieve myself of the pretend obligation that I need to be nice, educational, or accommodating to anyone who might be offended by my posts.

Frankly, I've been offending myself for not writing, because I am too caught up in trying to think of a name for a new blog.

I can't do that anymore, because here I sit, at work, in the quiet of the night at 2 a.m., crying.

This seems to be the only place where I break down.  I don't have a typical nursing job. Patients actually sleep, and I often only work with one other person.  There is lots of time to think.  Too much time.

I'm looking forward to finishing my master's degree next year and getting a dayshift job in a busy clinic.  I'll actually have other things to focus on then besides how sucky life can be...at least my life, as I'm sure some of my patients will have sadder stories to tell.

We used to be a family.  The four of us.  That's not something you just throw away.  I feel like that is a precious thing.  There are going to be problems, of course, but family is sacred.

I have never experienced what that means. My parents were divorced when I was 12, and I was shuffled around between them for awhile.  There was nothing sacred there.  My sister and I were the human pawns in their game of who could get out of paying child support.  I represented a dollar sign and an inconvenience of time.

Then I married young, at 18, and that marriage was over within 2 years.

This marriage was my chance to get it right, but I'm obviously not good at this.

My kids will never be made to feel as if they're an inconvenience.  Not from me.  I can't control what their dad does, but I've been hurting for them lately.  It's almost like I am 12 all over again, feeling their pain.  I've promised myself that I won't let them feel what I felt.  Ever.

Tonight, as I've done several other nights, I'm thinking about the outings we had together as a family.  The four of us.  The kids happy in the back of the van with DVD players.  Dad driving as I read a book in the passenger seat.  The kids running around on a hill while I take photos.  Laughing at the silly things we find on the ground, at the irony of life.

I loved every minute of those outings, except for times like when Claire walked into a spider web on a forest hike and it took awhile to console her screaming, or one of us clumsily tripped and scraped a leg, or insects crawled onto our food during a picnic (well, Brandon liked that part).

Now that I think back, I don't believe my husband was enjoying himself much.  He was faking. I was taking the photos, lost in the wonderment of what was around us, and I think he was just watching me do it, not an active participant himself, but simply going through the motions.

He told me once, toward the end, that he thought about taking photos too, but I was offended and told him to get his own hobby.  I was a jerk for that, for being possessive of my interests.  The thing was, I wanted him to have hobbies besides TV and video games, to find his own loves, and to share them with me and teach me something, not copy what I was doing.  Not do another thing that I would have to be the expert at.

I didn't take any photos of the spider webs, but the memories are there.

We're still going to have those outings that I treasure, but it will only be the three of us now.  We are sacred.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

upside down

So...I am getting divorced, or being divorced from, whichever way you look at it.

This is the 5-year anniversary of this blog and of the date we moved to Tennessee from Illinois.  I once said out loud on facebook "I give it 5 years."  I was so unhappy here initially, but I've slowly grown to tolerate some of it, and love other parts of it.  It's a bittersweet anniversary.

 I didn't and don't want to write the details here though, because this is mostly my "fun" blog, and what part of divorce is fun (unless you are the divorcer, maybe)?  That is why I've been so quiet lately.

Also, some of it might be offensive and depressing to my garden/insect/earthy readers, although I know that no matter what our hobbies are we all have very real and human problems, and sometimes it is our hobbies that keep us grounded and sane despite them.

Therefore, I am going to make a new blog only for the topic of the divorce.  It will be one more way to help me get through.  There will be many personal things on there, and since people I know in real life sometimes read this blog here, I have to "screen" the readers first.  I am not so brave and trusting that I won't be horribly judged.

My solution to this is if you would like to read about this side of my life--if you care enough to try--drop me an email at moonflower317@yahoo.com, and I will send you the link.  (Actually some of it might turn out to be a teensy bit humorous, only because my brain copes with this kind-of stuff by forcing myself to laugh at the sadness.)

To the rest of you, I will try to keep writing funny and/or informative things every 6 months or so like I've been doing ;-)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Taken near Stockland, IL at sunrise

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Why do we stay in places in our lives where we feel, sometimes with every ounce of our being, that we should not be there?

Because we fear the unknown.

As wrong, as lonely, as sad, as infuriating or as unfulfilled as we may be, we are comfortable in the KNOWN.

And even though what lies ahead and is unseen may open doors that we never thought possible, we still can't see that far, and that's scary.

I know that no matter what happens though, I need ME.  I need to be the person that I was born to be; to not waste the talents I was given because I am in a melancholy funk.  I'm still not sure who that is, and I imagine I'll be working it out until I can't remember where to put my fingers on the keyboard anymore.

I need to be a friend, in return for all the friends in my past and present who have given to me when I couldn't give in return.

I need to be a mom to my kids, to fill their world with the joys of life that it took me so long to find on my own.  To give them the tools to be strong and to know that their greatest ally is themselves.

I have a feeling that this walk down a long unknown trail of many turns, through a forest I've never traveled in before, has already begun.  I am surrounded by stands of tall trees, thick shrubs and May apples covering the ground, still believing that I'm in the parking lot, that I can go back home and life will resume with the known.  I have yet to fully recognize the implications of where I am.

If I do finally figure it out--when I do--I expect poison ivy, thorns, ticks and spider webs on my face.  I also know that there will be surprise blackberries, fields of wildflowers, the croaks of a family of bullfrogs, and a soft breeze that cools me in my weak and tired moments.

And it is those moments that I will wait and hope for, because I know they will eventually come.  They always do.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

I've been in stalking mode and have gone for months now without blogging, but after all this time I'd like to write about:

First, let me make the disclaimer (I am dripping with guilt as I sound like an organically-concerned poseur mother) that I don't remember the last time I've been to Mickey D's for anything other than coffee after seeing Food, Inc.  Even so, that was a brave move, since I had once found beard hairs floating in my latte.  But it was one of those running-around days--you know the type.  One of the kids shouted it out along with "meat paste!", I made a justifying statement about why McDonald's might be okay just this one time, and there we were.

No fries with the Happy Meal--Claire asked for apples!  She wanted the caramel dipping sauce though.  What a way to negate the nutritional value, I thought, but hey, those apples are surely coated in every pesticide approved by the EPA, and who knows what they were soaked in to keep from turning brown, so....food values tossed to the side once again.

But wait!  The cashier said they no longer carried the caramel dipping sauce at that location.  We asked why and got a garbled response over the speaker that included "customer" and "lawsuit."  We were intrigued and grilled the guy further when we got to the window.

Turns out our local McDonald's was sued over this harmless condiment!  

The caramel had been on the warming tray, and supposedly exploded when opened in the car of the offendee.  I am thinking that this person did not drive a '99 Buick as I do (or anything remotely similar).  

I probably would have cursed out the package, considered going back for more, ruled that out from hunger, and then proceeded to dip the apples in whatever was gobbed up on a clean part of the seat and chocked it up as another "character stain."  When I got home I might have let my dog hop in the car and lick up what she could since she is so much better at handling messes like that than I am.

I can't imagine taking time out of my life to sue a restaurant because my car got stained by their food.   Eating in the car is not the best idea anyways, especially if you own one that would cause you to bring a lawsuit over a splatter of caramel.

It's like the frothy matcha latte I bought today that was foaming out of the cup and onto my pants as I walked through the grocery store.  I appeared to have an episode of uncontrollable diarrhea, with dark green splotches running down the front that I couldn't hide with the groceries I was carrying.  Hmmm...could that pass for emotional distress???