The Up Side Of Being Down

There is something seriously wrong with me.  Besides the fact that I was sitting in an empty hospital waiting room after hours, still in my nurse scrubs, now with a bracelet slapped on my wrist, suddenly shoved to the other side of the stretcher.  There is something wrong with me in that I couldn’t get the image of a mid-1970’s Neil Sedaka out of my head.  Am I the only one who remembers that thirty seconds in 1975 where Neil’s agent tried to make him into a sex symbol?  Image

                                                               Bad(bad) Blood(blood)

                                                                The bitch is in her smile

                                                                The lie is on her lips

                                                                 Such an evil child

                                                             Bad (bad) Blood(blood)

                                                              Is takin you for a ride

                                                           The only good thing about bad blood is

                                                                     lettin it slide

                                                             Doo-ron, Doo-ron, Di Di, Dit, Do-ron-ron

Before you write me off as a complete loon, which wouldn’t be a total stretch, let me explain. My health status took the “let’s fuck with her again” fork in the road two days ago.  A decades old now blood disorder reared up and sent me to the hospital and to the pharmacy, and blah, blah, blah. Hence, the “Bad Blood” reference, and you are welcome for the ear worm..good luck with that…it’s pretty awful. 

I hate my quirky blood.  It has tried to kill me a couple of times, once when I was just Twenty. It was the 80’s, and I remember waking up on a sidewalk, surrounded by colorful leg rescuers had just come from an aerobics class, and everyone looked like Olivia Newton-John from her “Let’s Get Physical” album. If I hadn’t been spitting up blood, I would have laughed at them- I was laughing on the inside though. So my life- long soap opera of “How The Blood Churns” began. 

Injections and pills. Attempts to make my blood flow like water through it’s torturous pathways has been a challenge. Renowned hematologists at two of the finest hospitals in America, have scratched their heads in puzzlement at me. I can tell you, when you wait months to see a guru and he cocks his head at you like my Lab when I say “Go For?”, it does not instill a lot of hope.

But, wait, kind, good and prayerful people…hold your fruit baskets, flowers and healing lights.  I am fine, always have been, always will be.  This week’s episode has given me a couple of days of R&R. Time to read and write. Time to be home for my boys when they arrive from school, a slow-cooker of stew roasting in the oven. I feel like a slightly debilitated June Cleaver. Their smiles when they come through the door are all I need for positive, healing vibes- right before they disappear into their homework. Yesterday my son proudly constructed a diorama of  Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”  right in front of me.  He worked like the mad genius he is, always independent, like Edward Scissorhands..  the construction paper, tape, legos, and cut-outs of characters perfectly selected and sized from the internet..I watched him in wonderment.  As a working Mom, I have missed so many of these moments in my boy’s lives, but it makes the appreciation acutely sweet when the gift of time together avails itself. Sometimes the bad blood can be a gift..sing it with me..Doo-ron doo-ron, di di, dit,do-ron-ron….





The Dumb Ass And The Angel

Father, forgive me, for I have sinned…(and that’s about all I can remember as to how to begin a confession, despite the 12 years of Catholic School)..I am a hopeless dumb ass.  An ungrateful. greedy, whining, capital D , Dumb Ass.  

Oh, I talk a good talk.  Materialistic folks make me break out in hives.  I am subjected to nearly daily conversations in the operating room of their First World problems.  Should they buy a bigger boat?  A second vacation home?  Biffy and Skippy sure hate having to stay with the little people on their trips to Aspen. Chip Jr. got into the 50 Grand per year Pre- K program  where his opinions will be heavily considered during his weekly meetings with world leaders..blah, blah ..or something like that.  I shake my head silently and hold back the bile when the talk of birthday parties surpass the cost of my wedding reception. I suspect I will completely lose it one day, and with the close proximity of sharp, metal’s not going to end well.

Sounds like I get it, right?  I have my priorities straight, right?  Wrong.

Lately, all I can do is think about the things I don’t have. I am almost 50..when do I get MY vacation home?  MY in-ground pool?  MY trip to Europe?  I have been working full-time forever…where is my dessert with whipped cream on top, damn it all.  I am a good person.  I deserve more. 

So, after a full weekend of picking fights with the people I love the most, I skulked out of the house.  I wasn’t sure where I was going, but someone did. 

Two miles later, I found myself alone in Sister Hannah’s Angel Garden, suddenly alive with color.  Vibrant purples, pinks, yellows and whites surrounded the hundreds of angels, placed by the nuns and visitors.  Each time I visit, I am drawn to a different angel.  This time it was a very stocky, weathered angel, holding a tiny angel, almost bird-like in the palm of his hand.  My thoughts turned to two very early miscarriages , and I envisioned those pregnancies as these tiniest angels…weird. I never think about those clinical brain had accepted and moved I thought.  I thought of the two healthy boys at home who I had just berated, not to mention their father..and I felt terrible..and grateful. Time to get back, make amends, stop my bitching.  Say “cheese” beefed-up angel..I snapped away, said “thanks” and headed towards home.

But, wait..there they were. That father and son I have seen periodically for years.  The once healthy  boy, forever altered from a teenage joy ride, held up in the church pew by his Dad, who would reach over and wipe the drool from his boy’s chin every minute or so. They were walking, slowly together, the boy now a man, being held up by his father, every spastic step along the way.  I saw the Dad, now much grayer than I remember, reach over with his drool towel and wipe his son’s chin. I gave a quick wave, grateful I was across the street so that they couldn’t see the tears.  A depth of love and commitment that has no words to explain it’s power and beauty.

God, I am such a Dumb Ass.Image 

The Giant

My daisy covered Easter Bonnet tilted back

I know I am smiling at you, Dad

I know my chubby hands are clasped in joy

I know your right hand touched my cheek

Gentle mountain

Giant heart












Up early preparing Johnny’s favorite breakfast of fresh eggs from our backyard coop, poached and topped with grilled marinated tomatoes and halloumi cheese!  Homemade scones almost done.. smells delicious! “

Oh, really? Because my son just ate a Lean Cuisine frozen pizza for breakfast..with my blessing. It was the french bread variety…I’m not a total monster..geesh.

FaceBooking at sunrise is a gamble. Roll the dice..good start to day or shitty start?  It has become a primary source of information dissemination, all of it, the good, the bad and the ugly.  (you’re whistling the theme now, aren’t you?  You’re seeing Clint in his poncho, spitting on the ground and saying something terrifyingly cool like..”You see, in this world there’s two kinds of people, my friend: those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig.”)

I think we can all agree on what’s good or bad news..but the ugly..highly subjective, and I’m just gonna leap into the abyss and say that parents who make the rest of us look bad with their endless perfectly prepared meals and daily updates on their child prodigies are the worst.

Photo after photo of eight  year old Anastasia and her visit with President Obama to discuss her award winning Doctoral Thesis on World Peace…*yawn*.  Scrolling on.

I might be jealous.

Doesn’t anyone have a victory I can relate to?  Am I the only parent who has to hide a tear of joy when she sees her 13 year old hang his wet towel up or put his dirty cereal bowl in the sink?  Or, *gasp* brush his teeth AND comb his hair..the very same morning? Am I the last parent who thinks a regular bowl of cheerios with a banana, all prepared by the child himself is a perfectly fine way to start their day?

I think you are out there…mothers just like me.  You’re there..scrolling, sipping your coffee, sheltering in place.  Maybe you’re watching your kid heat a frozen pizza for breakfast..I’m here for you, my Sisters.lean cuisine