Very few things can bring the world together. A large portion of world is joined as they watch athletes compete in the Olympics or World Cup. Another large portion joins together when there is a horrific tragedy, such as tsunami or earthquake. Yet another gathers when a celebrity dies, such as Michael Jackson or Princess Diana.
Today, I joined the largest of all gatherings. I watched the announcement of our new Pope. Of course, Catholics watched. This is the leader of our religion-not simply a pastor, or bishop-but the leader of our religion world-wide. Others watched too. Some watched because it was on every major news outlet, twitter, facebook, etc and there was no escaping it. Many others watched out of curiosity. Very few elections are held in such secrecy. Very few occasions cause people to run from their homes in order to hear a name announced. Whatever the reason, BILLIONS watched from all over the globe.
I am Catholic. I am one of those who have become disillusioned by the politics, the scandal and cries of poverty that come seemingly every week. I still pray and try to be a good person. I consider my relationship with God to be personal, just between Him and me. But still have hope that someday, I can bring myself to enter a Church without cringing with hypocrisy.
As I watched the announcement of our new Pope, I was filled with hope. As I waited, I imagined him in the Room of Tears, crying with the crushing weight of the responsibility placed on his shoulders. I prayed for God to give him the strength to do what is right for us and power to explain his choices to us. I prayed for God to give him guidance as he steps down this new path of his life.
The announcement of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio to the papacy has given me hope. Just by choosing to be called “Pope Francis” he is breaking with tradition. He is the first Jesuit, the first ‘Francis’, the first non-European. I am hoping he will be merciful in his dealings with gay issues, allow more participation by women, and wield a heavy hand on those involved in molestation.
This is a new chapter in Catholicism waiting to be written.
No, not Logan’s fault. It’s all mine. Just as everything else around this house is my fault, this is too. Now I will attempt a partial explanation.
Many times on this blog, I have complained about my memory lapses, and my migraines. Many times I have found myself comforted by the comments that assured me that I was not the only one. Many times, I have been ‘talked off the edge’ by just being able to vent about my frustrations at being blamed for bills being unpaid, paperwork undone, and little tiny ‘favors’ being cast by the wayside.
Years ago, I mentioned these lapses to my doctor. He kinda laughed and said it was normal, that I was going through menopause and hormones may be the cause of the migraines and being 50 was the cause of losing my mind.
My new doctor has given me meds to handle the migraines. I love it. I can head off a migraine before I find myself crippled by the pain. The problem is that the migraines have gone from one or two managable headaches to three or four managed migraines with one big motherfucker that kills me. This doctor isn’t laughing it off. The frequency of the headaches coupled with the memory lapses has given him cause for concern.
This evening I will have my brain scanned.
He didn’t sound panicked. He just wants to rule out anything bad and see if there has possibly been an undetected mini-stroke. Okay, I was cool with that and just planned for my test.
Last Thursday, while talking to mom, she asked what was going on. She heard through the grapevine that I was having this done. So I told her and tried to downplay it so she wouldn’t freak out about it. But mom said, “Oh it’s a good thing you’re getting checked out. Stroke runs strongly in our family.”
“Oh sure. Three of my sisters had strokes and your uncle had a stroke on the operating table while having a brain tumor removed.”
She never mentioned that or I would have called the doctor immediately to add that to my file. (I tend to do that instead of waiting until I go into the office for routine check-ups) “But mom! You said that the aunts had heart attacks!”
“Heart attacks/ strokes, same thing.”
So now I sit here waiting for appointment time and quietly freak out.
Ummm…..oh right, the blog….
I have ideas and I do write them down. I have been annoyed at people, politics, celebrities, and news. It’s just that when it comes time to write a post, I can’t remember where I wanted to go with it. By the time I do remember, it is a non-issue again.
And….I just did it again. Rather than delete that, I have left it there to show you what I can’t seem to explain.
This coming Sunday, Logan will be Christened. The entire family is excited to gather for a happy reason. All of the family is bringing something. Hubs is paying for a hall and I managed the guest/food list. (I have lists fucking EVERYWHERE!!!) I was so scared that I was forgetting something but Shenanigans and I went through the list and I did quite well! Even Holly helped with the list and not much is left to do. I have finally relaxed knowing that I haven’t fucked things up by forgetting to invite someone, or not having enough food. *sigh of relief*
So there you have an update on my life. This is the part where you sit back and say, “Wait….What did she just say?” Then go back and read it again and tell me if it made sense. I’ll try to let you know what happens.
You may not know that I spend every Friday with him. I get so excited about Friday’s arrival that sometimes I can’t sleep on Thursday night or else I wake up far too early. Each week I take my coupons along to clip, a crossword or two from the Sunday papers, or my kindle. Quite often I bring them home again, untouched. He is almost rolling over, almost teething. He definitely laughs and talks to me. He anticipates “3” as in “1-2- THREE!” He is a bright sun in my week.
You may know that I just celebrated a birthday.
You may not know that it was my fiftieth. I spent time with friends which is always a great time. I was taken out to dinner with my kids, husband and best friend and her husband. It was better than any of us had anticipated. It has been far too long since we have included the bestie and her hubs in an intimate celebration. I’m glad they were invited!
You may know that I have missed Babygirl since she returned to school.
You may not know just how much I missed her. I didn’t even realize it until I saw her when she came home on Friday. For once, I didn’t break the hug first. I breathed in the smell of her hair and her scalp…something I haven’t done in years. I found myself just watching her when she wasn’t looking. I stopped whatever I was doing if I could hear her voice talking to her dad or brother….not listening to the conversation, just to the sound of her voice, her laughter.
You may know that I haven’t been here.
You may not know that I have thought about writing a post, but I am actually quite happy. I tend to post when I am experience a high or a low. I have been quite content with my life. I have enjoyed spending time with my kids. I enjoyed a few days here and there with my husband. I even enjoyed going to the dentist…after far too long since the last visit!
Yesterday, we spent our first whole day together. I want to remember every detail of it. You see, it was the first time that I actually felt like your mom-mom. We were alone. I was yours and you were mine.
I walked in the door and whispered “Hello” because I didn’t know if you were asleep. I was greeted by your wonderfully loud squeal that sounded so much like “HI!” It was the first of so many smiles you gave me. There you were, in your bassinet, all smiles, waves, and kicks. I can’t remember ever seeing a more joyful baby. Have I told you how beautiful you are?
You sat in your little chair and we played. You talked to your giraffe and the little froggie. You are a happy baby.
We lay on your play blanket and even made a fort. You are too young for a fort, but who cares? You laughed and cooed. I pretended that I couldn’t find you, asking “Where’s Logan?” You responded by kicking your feet and squealing. Were you playing too? Were you calling to me? It felt that way.
I fed you and you looked into my eyes while you ate. You held my fingers as your eyes grew heavy. Slowly you grew ‘bottle drunk’. I burped you held you through your hiccups. You threw up on me and I was okay with that. It made you feel better and the smiles returned. I changed your diaper and you were happy through that too. I found your ticklish spots and you giggled for me. It was a beautiful sound.
Eventually you slept and what a peaceful baby you were. Did you dream of playing with me? Did you dream of chasing your dog, Maggie? Or did you dream of Mommy and Daddy and playing with Jazzy? You smiled often while you dreamed.
You woke up and fussed. I could tell your belly bothered you. I felt sad, and wondered if I were to blame. Did you get too much air? Did you not burp enough? You cried. I ran the faucet and you calmed down. Every five minutes or so you did that for half an hour. But when you calmed down, you cooed and smiled. Finally you farted. My lord, child, you sounded like your dad. Then you pooped.
And farted and pooped some more.
I waited until I was sure you were finished and when I removed your diaper, you took my breath away. Goodness, you make big smellies! And then I noticed that it was up your back too. When I took off your onesie, I smeared it in your hair too and you needed a bath. Good thing mommy came home because suddenly I needed extra hands! But I learned how much you love your bath. You happily kicked and squealed as your mommy cleaned you and washed your hair. And you stayed calm as we dressed you afterwards.
All good things must end and our day was one of those good things. Pop-Pop came to pick me up and as we began to drive away, he told me to “stop it”. What was it that he wanted me to stop doing?
I was smiling, ear to ear. Without even realizing it, I was still smiling. You made me so very happy.
I can barely wait until next week when we do this again.
See that group of people? We go back. Further than high school. Further than grade school. My brothers and sister are in that group. I’ve known them all their lives. The others? They shared cribs and playpens with my siblings. I babysat them. I changed and fed them. We lived next door to each other, around the corner. We knocked on bedroom walls and giggled in the middle of the night.
I remembered my brother’s first kiss with Debbie. We teased that they would marry someday. Instead they ended up going to prom together.
I remember Anthony eating worms and sticking turtles in his pants.
I was jealous of the Barbie’s and accessories that Donna and Diane had. I had a knock-off ‘fashion doll’.
I played wiffleball with all of those boys in the playground behind our houses.
See the guy front and center in the dark hoodie? His name is Joe and he is the baby. He will be 40 on his next birthday…..if he sees his next birthday.
Joe has cancer. His bills have started rolling in and his insurance has just ended. Isn’t that the way things like this happen? We threw a beef and beer to raise money for those bills. Tickets were sold out. Raffles and gift auctions raised even more. There was lots of dancing and drinking and laughter. And food! Good Lord, I’ve never seen so much food! Almost all of it was gone by the end of the night.
More than the money, Joe’s spirits were raised. It’s been forever since all of us were gathered in one room. We hugged each other repeatedly and caught ourselves just staring across the room at each other, smiling with memory.
I remembered our mothers as being taller. Now they are beginning to bend with age. I remembered seeing them coming home after a ‘date night’ with their husbands, slightly flushed and tipsy. Now…..wow, how time flies.
As the holidays come, we will gather with our own families. Maybe one or two will show up at another’s home. We promised to get together more often, but will we? I hate the thought that the next time we will be together, one of us will be missing…..not just somewhere else, but gone.
But damn, it was cool to be little kids again…….if only in our memories.
This past weekend I spent time with a great friend and her husband.
Susan has been my friend since high school. She is Son2’s godmother. We’ve been to functions with each other’s families and friends. She was the one I thought would never get married. She always said that she didn’t want kids of her own, even though she doted on her nieces, nephews and godchildren. She surprised nearly everyone who knows her when, after six months, she married a guy she met in a bar.
We had a chance to meet Tom at Son2’s graduation party in 2004. He was a tall bruiser of a guy who looked even taller beside Susan’s five foot body. He was an ex-Marine who still worked out and wore the “high and tight”. This guy was damn good looking! He was a cop, a very large, imposing cop. Eventually, life got in the way of visits. It was difficult, between work schedules, kids and family obligations to carve out time for simply ‘hanging out’. Phone calls filled the void….calls that lasted hours, even though each of us hated talking on the phone.
Our New Year’s call brought tragic news.
Tom has brain cancer and was given three to six months to live.
We tried all summer to make time. When we had time, they didn’t. When we had time, Tom wasn’t up to it. It was so hard. Finally the stars aligned this weekend. I was a bit nervous when I considered the fact that “three to six” was nearly up. Hubs said that no matter what came up, we were going to the mountains to see them.
Friday night we drove up to the Poconos to their home and it seemed like no time had passed. This was the longest time that Hubs had spent with Tom. They were like two peas in a pod. They had a great time together. I don’t remember ever seeing Hubs so freaking chatty! They talked about politics and sports and work. Susan and I caught up as women always do. We caught up on each other’s families, looking at pictures and non-stop laughter and reminiscing. The difference was Tom. He seemed several inches shorter. He legs stuck out of his shorts as spindly little twigs. His face was bloated by steroids. But his laugh was still robust. His mind sharp as a tack. He was embarrassed by the body that has betrayed him.
Susan has always been the most laid back, no worries type of person. The Susan I spent time with, was anxious, jumpy. She made sure Tom took his meds. She got nervous when Tom nearly tripped over the dog, thinking it was his balance. We had stayed up quite late on Friday night, and Tom napped late Saturday afternoon. Susan checked on him several times. She had been told that when the end was near, Tom would sleep more and more.
This is what my friend’s life has become. It was NORMAL to nap when we had stayed up. It was NORMAL to trip over a huge German shepherd. Instead each event has become a ‘symptom.’
We celebrated Saturday. It was Tom’s “death day”. It was the official day that the doctor’s claimed he would never see. We celebrated by bar hopping and watching the Phillies game. Susan gave him a gift….a banjo. He has said frequently that he wanted to learn how to play. She found a guy at their local VFW who will teach Tom to play. The joy on his face was beautiful to behold.
Saying goodbye was so hard. Will we be able to see him again before things get bad? I truly hope to. All I know is that when the end comes, we will drop everything to hold Susan up when she needs us.
You weathered many obstacles and no doubt will continue to do so. Rain my have caused your beach wedding to move indoors, but you were in the shelter of the love of family and friends. Nature cannot stop love. “What God has joined together, let no one put asunder”
This weekend my Hubs and I drove to North Carolina to witness the union of Blondeblogger and her sweetheart Boobtubious.
First of all, I made sure I had a new dress to wear on the beach. Because it was a beach wedding, I made sure to take my flats and flipflops for dancing in afterwards. I was prepared. New shoes, dress, jeans for pre-wedding dinner night, and a new hoodie (with no stains!) I have never been so excited about wearing a dress.
The ride down was not as unbearable as I had expected. Hubs and I saw a few cool things, like the origin of the Chesapeake Bay and the tunnel bridges that were incredible. Midway across the bridge I realized that I was totally surrounded by water. Kinda scary!
After a beautiful day of driving in the bright sunshine and hot sun, we got to the wedding house just in time for the wind to kick up. I’m not talking about a nice, cool sea breeze, I am talking about blow-the-chairs-across-the-deck and brace-yourself wind. Clouds and rain came along with it and like a bout of the flu, the rain hung around……for the entire weekend. So much for the wedding on the beach. and so….the wedding moved indoors.
Talk about a beautiful wedding! I can’t remember ever seeing a more happy union of two families. The kids all love each other. They love their new parents. And they loved meeting mom and dad’s blogger friends. It was like we had known them all forever. Before the wedding, I watched as Boobtubious helped N. check her blood sugars and give her an insulin shot. The gentleness of this man with the little girl who was to be his stepdaughter was so touching. I watched as Blondeblogger laughed and joked with her new stepkids. K genuinely likes to spend time laughing and dancing with her new stepmom. J said that he had never seen his dad so happy and was glad that his dad chose a woman that everyone loved.
I was honored that my ‘sister’ wanted me there on this special day. I was honored that I witnessed the love that she shares with this man. I was blown away to see the unabashed loved that is shared by all eight of this unique family.
***It was so cold that I ended up wearing jeans to the wedding. Yes, jeans. Someone get married in the summer so I can wear my new damn dress!!!
***Boobtubious told his daughter that they were planning a surprise of 150 trained dolphins that were to jump out of the ocean into a heart shaped arch upon the completion of the vows. She believed him. It was a funny joke and she took the teasing like a champ. But I’d still kinda like to see something like that. If anyone figures out how to do that, let me know.
***Lastly….Thank you Blondeblogger, for keeping your cool. You were the center of attention with grace and beauty. Thank you. No one needed to see my boobies hit my knees.
Saturday was Shenanigan’s baby shower. Lemme say from the getgo that this was an incredible event thrown by her sister. Because Shenanigans never had a baby shower for Jazzy, this was the opportunity for Jamie to go all out. She did the food, the decorations and had several games planned for the guests…..around 50 of us….in a small house and back yard….in the heat. Despite the weather and crowd, it was awesome and everyone had a very good time.
Shenanigan was surprised….truly surprised. This is no small feat because she is the type of person who needs to every single little detail of things and never likes for plans to go awry. Everyone did a great job of hiding things from her and even son was quiet. She went to lunch with a friend, during which she received a call from Jazzy who told her that she was at grandmom’s with a bloody nose. They jumped into the car and raced there to SURPRISE!
After the food, she started to open her gifts, and Son1 arrived to watch. He stood in the back of the crowd and just looked at her, smiling. A few minutes later he came over to me and put his arm around me. I looked at him to see tears in his eyes. I asked what was up.
“Just look at her, mom. She is so happy. I’m just a little overwhelmed with all of this. Look! We got everything we wanted and then some. All of these people are here because they love us! This is just filling up my heart.”
To hear these words from my son made me emotional too. I always knew he was a sensitive guy, but never realized the depth of his heart. Later he drove me home and it was just the two of us. I asked if fatherhood seemed more real to him now that he had tangible items to prove it.
“Oh yeah. It scares the shit out of me. I mean, you saw how I was at the shower. How will I handle watching Shenanigans in so much pain, knowing that I can’t do anything for her? I hate when she gets upset, so how will I deal with her hurting?”
“You will hold her hand, and rub her back, and listen to her scream. You will tell her that you love her, and that she is beautiful. That is about all that you can do. Afterwards, that is what she will remember.”
My son looked at me and said,”Thanks mom. So…are you going to the Union party later?”
And with that, the subject was changed.
I keep replaying this conversation over and over in my head. I have done a good job with this kid. He is responsible. He is solid. He is a man who is now ready to be a father, not just a dad. He has shown his true colors. Compassionate, sympathetic, gentle, and most of all, loving. Not only does he feel love for others, but he can see the love that he receives from others.
He didn’t only receive gifts for his child, he received the gift of actually seeing the love that flowed from his family, his friends, his extended family.
Most of all, I received the gift of seeing his love for this young woman who will give him the greatest gift of his life…..a son.
The dinner party was okay. I looked good, didn’t fart or swear, and only had one glass of wine. That’s all I’ma say ’bout that.
Now, onto NoVa Con.
A group of bloggers gathered in Chantilly, VA this weekend. I rode down with Bubblewench, Bellaventa, and Libragirl. As soon as we pulled up to get Bella and Libra, the shenanigans began and they didn’t end until some time on Sunday. I laughed so much that I hope I managed to burn more than a couple of calories!
We got there, checked into our room and headed off to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. We saw lots of airplanes and such and I was more impressed with the trip than I thought I was going to be. We went to a store for alcohol and to eat lunch and then back to the hotel for cocktails, showers and naps.
The naps never happened.
After showers, Ren called and said “Hey, let’s hang out!” And with that, NoVa Con was on. CissaFireheart also wanted to hang out and so they both came to our room and we got our drink on. We took pictures, shared lots of laugh and then there was a knock on the door. BlondeBlogger and her man Matt were there! Yay! I have waited for what seemed to be a lifetime to hug my ‘soul sister’ and at last the moment was here. We hugged and in the middle of such a group of folks, I would find myself just looking at her, drinking up the sight of her and storing away mental pictures and memories of her beautiful laughter. A pint of tequila, some rum and cherry vodka later……..
Dinner time came so fast, but that only meant MORE bloggers! We met with Poppy and Dawg (and Mrs Poppy’s Mom, and a few of Cissa’s friends) We went to one of those Japanese restaurants where they cook at your table. It was incredible. Mr. Shiny joined us and I have to say, he gives great hug. Whall was there via Skype on Ren’s ipad and we passed him around to say hello. As the ipad got to the end of the table, a shout went up….
Whall was with us! He had been in DC since Thursday and Ren had managed to keep it under wraps. No one-and I mean no one-had a clue that he was actually in town. It was the best prank ever.
After closing the restaurant, everyone went back to our suite. We all hung out on the fold out bed laughing, talking and causing mayhem. The group of young kids in the suite next door was bothered by OUR noise. We were told “Think of the children” when their chaperones scolded us! We called SybilLaw and left a great voice mail. And we took pictures……lots and lots of pictures…..
Things finally broke up and we promised to meet the next day for breakfast and shopping.
Unfortunately, NoVaCon had to come to an end. Some went on to a kite fest, others (us) went shopping and GeoCaching and still others got a jump on the traffic and began their way home. It was the best time ever, full of great friends, great times and great food and drink. It went so well that we are planning on making this an annual celebration. Keep this time of year clear on your calendar so that you can join us in 2012!