Celebrating Life

I wasn’t going to write about this today. This is personal, it’s family…it’s affecting me greatly.

I was going to write about my visit to the gynecologist, and fill it with funny jokes. 

But right now my laughter has gone.

I tried this week to keep it light. I can’t do it any longer.

Sunday night my sister in law passed away from metastatic breast cancer. She was only seven years older than me. We were diagnosed within a couple of months of each other, back in 2010. We were pregnant with our sons, back in 1996, delivering a month to the day apart.

I was diagnosed at age 43, with Stage 1. She was diagnosed at age 50 with Stage 2. I survived. She did not. 

She was brilliant…the smartest of my husband’s siblings–and he is a National Merit Scholar. She was devoted to her only child, she was well read, educated, travelled, kind, polite–all the things I strive to be.

The cancer came back within this last year, found by accident in her lung. It rapidly spread throughout her small body… Until it won. 

Yesterday I volunteered at poor school in the Detroit area, reading to first graders. I donated books to the classroom. Last night I went out with my dear 96 year old friend, and her friend, celebrating her 85th birthday. We danced on the small dance floor–I waved people to join us. 

I was busy celebrating life.

I suggest all of you do so as well. 

Dance, laugh, love…act silly

Before it is too late. 

I promise more funny stuff next week. 

Until then, I’m going to be busy hugging my kids.

Peace people 

The Turkey Trot

Happy post Thanksgiving everybody. I enjoy the holiday as I get to spend time with all my children. It is a lot of work, with all the cooking. We make pretty much everything from scratch, and the kids help out. It’s chaos in the kitchen.

When we finally sit down to eat, I’m exhausted. I have a couple (or three) glasses of wine–hey it’s a holiday, and I generally end up with a mad case of the giggles from fatigue and alcohol.

Afterwards, when the dishes are finally washed up, my daughters and I go shopping. For the record, I believe that businesses should be closed on Thanksgiving. However, my daughters are not home all that often, and this is one way we can spend time together.

It is also a way I get to embarrass them in public.

Anyone that is a parent knows that this is an essential parenting skill, passed down from generation to generation. It’s tradition. It doesn’t matter how old the child is-my oldest is 27, my youngest is 12-we parents must uphold this time honored tradition as a means of keeping our sense of humor, our sanity, and of keeping our children in line.

My parents embarrassed me terribly. One of their favorite things to do was to pick me up in their motor home (good bye to my college money…hello to their travel dreams…) in front of my junior high, which was embarrassment enough. But not for them. To add insult to injury, my father, in a flash of comedic brilliance, installed a musical horn. Those bastard parents of mine would begin playing it–over and over and over–to announce that they were there to pick me up. Judas Priest. I wanted to freaking die. The look of complete insane happiness on their faces when I angrily stormed to the door, yelling at them to stop, for the love of god, stop playing the horn..I swear they had horns growing out of their heads.

It was absolutely brilliant and I am considering getting such a horn now to torture my own children with.

Since I don’t have one I have to do the next best/worse thing. It is well known that I will break into dance ANYWHERE. I must admit that this (blank) Christmas music does cut into my groove. SIGH. However, there are a few holiday songs that have a beat, and hey “Santa Baby” is a bit sexy, and well, after a few drinks, I’ve been known to slink a bit to the song. There are some stores that buck the holiday music thing (Hallelujah!) allowing me to fully get into the music. To say that my children are less than amused would be an understatement. WHICH IS AWESOME.

I will put on silly hats, I will talk to strangers, telling them that yes, that sweater looks either amazing, or sister, no, take that right off and try that one over there. I give unsolicited advice. Shopping on Thanksgiving is one big party, as most of the people in the stores are also buzzed (one lady approached me as I was trying on a sweater, and started asking me questions–she thought I was an employee–she was clearly very drunk, and I was like “DUDE! I don’t work here!” We cracked up and I pointed her in the right direction…)

We were standing in line, around 1am, and I noticed all these small children. Toddlers and babies. I loudly said “Who brings small children to a store at this time of night?” My oldest daughter punched me, and pointed out that directly in front of me was a couple with an infant in a stroller… I started giggling… oops… guess I shouldn’t have said that out loud… but really, who does that???…

Finally, my oldest daughter broke and scolded me. She told me to straighten up and behave. I convulsed into laughter, collected myself, and told her that listen, it was late at night, I was overly tired, I had wine on board, and that we were having fun. I said that she needed relax and learn how to have more fun.

I think if you’re going to drag me out shopping all night long, you kind of deserve a little public embarrassment.

I also want all of my children to learn to have fun. To be silly, to be lighthearted, to laugh maybe a bit too loudly, to spontaneously dance, to sing along with the car radio at full volume.

They don’t know that as I was doing all of this during our shopping expedition, I was thinking about my sister in law, dying of breast cancer. My best friend’s son, who nearly died on Thanksgiving a few years ago. My good friend, also recently diagnosed with breast cancer. My good friend who just lost her brother. My friend who just lost her husband. My friend who’s son is very ill.

They don’t know how fragile life is. They don’t fully understand how quickly it can be taken away.

We need to laugh while we can. We need to love while we can. We need to dance while we can.

And be thankful each day for those we love and the ability to do all of those things with them.

Peace people.

 

 

 

It’s love, baby

You may be aware that my oldest daughter is a teacher and lives in another state (sniff). When she graduated from college, she was all like, peace out girl scout, I’m moving south to the sun.

She recently moved in with a friend to conserve costs, and sent me her new address today (so I could send her a book she needs for grad school…). Anyway, the street she now lives on contains the word “HIDDEN.”

I promptly texted her back and was all OMG are you in a hidden meadow??? HOW WILL I FIND YOU???

Her response (to her loving mother..) You’re fucking retarded.

I pointed out that she wasn’t supposed to swear at me. And I said that she should get her book this Friday although I REMAINED VERY CONCERNED THAT SHE WAS HIDDEN FROM VIEW.

Her response–You’re retarded.

I asked how will I find you if I ever come to visit you? Will I need a tracking dog?? ARE YOU IN THE WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM?????

And then I said this is why I shouldn’t text after drinking. One glass…ok a glass and a half of wine…and it was complete chaos.

She replied that I was dumb.

This is how I know that she loves me. We can have this kind of conversation.

I miss her face, her tattoos, and her (now) dark purple hair.

Our children are always our children, no matter their age. And I suppose I will always tease my kids…and get sarcasm in return. It’s our family language. It’s our love language.

And that’s cool with me.

My two sons

Status update, Starship Green.  It’s Special Olympics time, and my son is at Central Michigan University, competing in several swimming events. My husband takes him and I stay home and hold down the fort with the other two children. Today my son won a bronze in two races and competes again tomorrow.

Last night he was getting a bit tired and wanted to leave the opening ceremonies before the torch was lit. My husband tried to persuade him to stay…and somehow my son’s pants fell to the ground, in front of the crowd. My husband seems to feel this was no accident but instead a brilliant ploy to escape from the noise and return to the dorm room and well, it worked.

Later, a young girl with very short hair began flirting with my son…my son, not known for his tact, as he is, well, autistic…finally looked at her as asked if she was a boy…my husband sighed….and later still…another young lady, with a facial scar of some sort, began talking to my son…he asked her point-blank what was wrong with her face…my husband quickly shuffled my son out of the room and has decided that we will address tact in speech therapy, beginning this week..

Meanwhile, I am at the home with my youngest son and we just went out on a date. He opened the doors for me, and clinked our water glasses at the sushi restaurant. We ordered a ton of spicy sushi…and then he dared himself to put a glob of wasabi on his tongue…the picture, I assure all of you, is priceless…

I think about my two boys…how different they are but how alike as well…My older boy, so big and cuddly…who can be so engrossed in a Batman cartoon and yet hear you talking about someone from another room and ask you an embarrassing question about your conversation…”MOM! WHY DID YOU SAY YOU WOULD NEVER TALK TO HER AGAIN??”  (grrrrrrrrr) My younger son, so macho and yet a deeper thinker…”Mom…why did Bruce Jenner change NOW? He had wives and children…didn’t he know BEFORE that he was transgender??? I am so confused. It doesn’t make any sense to me…” (which, by the way, led to a conversation about transgender acceptance and how we have evolved as a society, a how difficult it would be to disclose this as a professional male athlete, especially 30 years ago…and why it would be easier to finally live your truth now…)

I guess what I’m trying to say is that today I am happy I am the mom of boys.

Now, tomorrow is prom day for my daughter. Let’s see what kind of blog that inspires…..

Torn between two hatreds (feeling kinda blue…)

It’s April 22..and I looked out my kitchen window this morning and saw snow. I freaking really, really hate snow. And I freaking really, really hate that white fluffy stuff at the end of April. April is the month that flowers are beginning to bloom, leaves are beginning to bud (well sort of–again, I live in the Mitten State). I am not a winter girl. I do not enjoy frigid weather from the end of October until the end of April. I am grumpy kitty to your winter wonderland. Screw you and your snowflakes.

However. I hate arachnids more.

And, I realize that were I ever to move to a more temperate clime…that the creepy, eight legged freaks get ever bigger, with each state line crossed. The sight of a large spider can make my legs weak, cause me to run and search for the nearest flame thrower, atomic bomb-anything to destroy it before it scurries in my direction.  I am well aware that spiders, unlike other creatures, are attracted to movement. FREAKS. So, instead of running away from me, they will run toward me, sink their fangs into me, and then spin a web around my body, hiding me from sight.

Ok, that last bit might be a gross exaggeration, helped by those damn giant spider movies we watched as kids–you remember them–filmed in black and white, giant mutant spiders, eating people??? Scarred me for freaking life.

So I live in Michigan, where we do have our fair share of arachnids. But nothing that will kill you. Or that is as big as your hand. Or face. Or has a tail with a pointy bit on the end of it, like a scorpion, which is terrifying to me. But it gets bloody cold here.

You can see my dilemma. Warmth, palm trees, and the beach…and giant killer bugs…or snow, sleet, freezing rain for half the year…but no spiders big enough to ride.

Yet. Factoring in global warming…(let me do the math….insert science noise here…)

I’m screwed.

Guess I better get busy buying that flame thrower.

Sigh.

I wish my teacher knew…

Dear gentle readers. I’m in a poignant mood tonight. Earlier this week I saw a news piece about a Denver teacher that asked her third grade students to write an answer to the question: I wish my teacher knew. The answers were..profound. This got me to thinking.

What would you tell somebody, if you could? I suppose at different times in my life, I might have disclosed different things. In the the third grade…I would have disclosed something about my family..something about the circus that made up my daily life..perhaps..if I had known it was a circus..

But now…what would you write in answer to this question? What do you wish somebody knew? What are your secrets…I know mine…that sometimes I cry in the shower..and sometimes I scream in there, when nobody is home…if it has been a bad week…like the one I had in February, when I thought for a few days that my cancer had returned. I wish that somebody knew that I always get tearful when I hear the song “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac. I wish that somebody knew that I worry that I’m not a good mother–that the imprint of my own childhood is too deep on my own soul..

What do you wish somebody knew?

You might be an asshole if…

IMG_1182This blog is under construction. Just so you gentle readers know. I’m trying to get the visual aspect of it under control..trying to make it look professional. So bear with me.

I went to the gym this morning for a kickboxing class…and when I walked out to my Mighty Explorer..this is what I found. You know, you might be an asshole when you park like this. Please note that I am centered in my spot. Mr/Ms Asshole not so much. A gentleman drove by in his car, rolled down the window and shouted out that he didn’t think that even I could fit in that space between the two vehicles. Well, I’m glad I was able to make somebody laugh today.

I managed to squeeze sideways and jump in. I used my superior (cough cough..)driving skills to back out and not scrape the Asshole vehicle.

And I pondered the idea of citizen Asshole tickets. Kind of like a citizen’s arrest…but for being an asshole. For example..a ticket for douche bags that park like this, or talk loudly after midnight in hotel hallways or pull into the parking spot you were clearly waiting for, as you had your turn signal on for twenty minutes, waiting for the person to pull out…wouldn’t it be nice to give them some sort of Hey! You are an incredible ASSHOLE! ticket?

Sigh.

And now I have that asshole song from “Frozen” running through my brain (Let it go, let it go…) Fine. I’m letting it go.

But I’m still saying there is a great possibility that the driver of that car parked so poorly is an asshole driver. At the very least a jerk.

Mutter mutter.