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acceptance

May 18, 2017 Comments off

“The mole, I’m not
so worried about,”
said the nurse practitioner,
peering at me over the rims
of her eyeglasses. “It’s
the anxiety that
concerns me.”

“I didn’t say anything
about anxiety,” I
pointed out.

“Oh, honey,
you didn’t
have to.”

“This is half as bad
as it was even a
month ago,”
I replied.

We talked
for fifteen minutes.

At one point,
I said, “the best thing
was accepting, really
accepting, that the world
could be very, very grim
for my children, no matter
what I do or say–“

“We don’t know that
it will be!”
she cautioned.

“Oh, I know. I’ve been
reading Arundhati Roy
and Rebecca Solnit, and,
well, dozens of other authors
just this year. There’s hope in
uncertainty, here.”

She nodded.

“What I mean is:
I was ragged from figuring
out what I could do, and how
I could do it, to show that citizens
must not wait for politicians to do
the right thing environmentally.
What finally freed me
from that churn
was seeing that …
if the outcome does end up
being very, very grim,
it will be all the more important
for me to have left my sons
with tons and tons of love
to sustain them through
hardships I can’t
change.
They’ll need
the memory
of all
that
love
to get by,
you know?
So I’ll keep
reading, and I’ll
keep showing up,
where I think it’ll help,
but I’m not arguing anymore,
or fretting about the right words,
or seeking the magic combination
that’ll suddenly engage
the disengaged,
but mostly,
mostly …
I’ll love
on
my
sons.”

When I left
the room moments later,
she told me, “You’re
a lovely woman.”

“Ha!” I wanted to say.
“You should talk to
some of my now-
former friends.”

Instead,
I accepted her words,
and her hug,
too

Love will win

I read 41 books in 2011.

Of those 41 books, I marked three in bold as “top picks.”

Of those three books, I mentioned that I’d quadruple-bold one if I could.

I bought copies of this book to send to friends. I then looked at my own copy and decided it would do more good in someone else’s hands than on my bookshelf. I sent it off, too.

My review of the book was a single sentence: I run on the verbose side, but about this book I can only say: it is heartbreaking, breathtaking perfection.

My husband, Anthony, and older son went to the movies yesterday. Read more…

making new comfort zones

ten months ago,
i took my older son
to meet his new teacher
at a new school

he was nervous.
i told him i get
nervous, too

impossible thingstoday,
i took him
to a birthday party
at a park, where he
drank lemonade
from teacups,
breathed sugar,
and ran circles
around his
classmates–
his friends

i breathed thanks
that, though he’s known
some hard times, he
still doesn’t know
what it’s like to be
one of the odd ones

to him,
“safety” is
(blessedly)
the norm

i have grown
with my son
this year Read more…

Reason: cause or consequence?

“Only a Sith deals in absolutes.” — Obi-wan Kenobi

I read this quote on a handout about seven years ago.

I immediately raised my hand.

“Yes?” asked the rabbi leading the class.

“Is Obi-Wan Kenobi a Sith?” I asked.

My classmates laughed. “Are you serious?” one asked me.

The rabbi laughed, too, but his laugh was a kindly one.

“He’s not, but I can see why you’d wonder that based on this very absolute-sounding statement.”

Many absolutes absolutely bug the crap out of me.

Some absolutes really are unequivocally, objectively correct:
Read more…

FTIAT: I will not sit idly by…

Chris (From the Bungalow) and I met face to face in March 2012, when I flew to Chicago to join him and his wife in shaving heads for St. Baldrick’s. Before that meeting, Chris and I had been blogging buddies for nearly a year. In light of our frequent thoughtful exchanges, I fully expected my introversion to be subdued even in the face of our first meeting. It was.

If you’ve been here a while, you know Chris inspired me to read the life-changing Donna’s Cancer Story. You know implicitly of his eloquence and ability to persuade; but for that, I would have a much fuller head of hair right now. What you may not know is that he’s also a father, a musician, a music therapist and one hell of a friend. My offline life is better for knowing Chris, and I trust you will understand why when you read his powerful words below.

Recommended post: Blissfully Bald

I will not sit idly by…

“They’ve ruled out everything else. I have ALS.”

As I listened to my mom speak those words, they didn’t make sense. Somehow, it never really registered with me until just now, right after I typed them. There has been an underlying malaise these past few months following the loss of my parents’ house to fire, and shortly thereafter, the sudden loss of my maternal grandmother to cancer. But that diagnosis… those words? Superficial until now. I didn’t want to accept it. I couldn’t.

Me, age 18, with my mom and grandma about two weeks after losing my grandpa to cancer. We lost my grandma this year.
My mom is dying, and I am helpless to stop it.

Lou-fucking-Gehrig’s Disease, terminal in 100% of cases. Terminal? How?! How do we not know a goddamn thing about this? How did this happen?! Forget about that. How is my mom handling her prognosis? How is my dad handling it? My sisters? Me?

What am I supposed to do now? What is my mom supposed to do? I have more questions than answers. That’s an overwhelming place to be. I’m sad and angry. She lost both of her sisters when they were in their 30’s, lost both of her parents to cancer, and now this? An innocent, loving, caring mother and grandmother sentenced to death at some not-so-distant point in the future while her body slowly shuts down? Bullshit. It’s not right. It’s not fair.

And yet, there’s this voice in my head that keeps whispering to me… Read more…

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