Friday, December 31, 2010


See you later, 2010.
Don't let the door hit ya. Where the Good Lord split ya.

(just kidding. kinda.)

2010. Eh.
Don't get me wrong.
Some good things happened in 2010.
(Pardon these not so great photos ... I just use my iPhone.)

I went to Disney World with my great friend, Kim. It was a work trip for me. We stayed on the VIP floor. I was spoiled by this new development in my travel. This is us on the It's a Small World ride. Kim was quite gracious in my spontaneous crying jags. And? We helped a very small child find his parents in the rain.
I completed the Disney Princess Half Marathon with my dear friend, Carmen. We were at the very end of the walkers. The very end. But we had a good time along the way. She also encouraged me through my crying jags. See how I cried a lot in 2010?

We released a ton of balloons on Michael's angel day. I am always amazed by the amount of people that have been touched by Michael's short life. I really thought that only my family and a few friends would come to our Balloon release in the park. Michael's friends from school came out. Some of my former co-workers and all of my graduate students came out. My family drove many hours to spend the afternoon with us. I am blessed to know so many fabulous people.
Stu bought me tickets to spend a weekend in New York City with some sweet friends. I wanted to go. But was nervous because I don't like to be away from home. He made the decision so easy for me. We had a great time. I love New York and to be able to spend it with some of my favorite people was wonderfully refreshing for this homebody.

My tennis team went to regionals. My partner and I won 2 of our 3 matches. We didn't win the tournament, but it was a good time. Eating, swimming, playing tennis - Fun! And we were so cute in our pink outfits!

Every child received a teddy bear at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta in Michael's sweet name. My heart was bursting at the seams. Another instance of my miscalculations. I thought that we might receive enough for 50 bears. But people spread the news far and wide. A Zumba fundraiser was put together - by sweet people that just did it. Without our asking. Just did it - because they were touched by Michael's story. The playroom also received a ton of toys. Wow.

We lit Michael's candle in our yearly tradition of his Christmas program now. The only one that we will get to see. The cemetery was beautiful.
It snowed on Christmas Day. In Georgia. I like to think that Michael pulled some strings with the Big Man. We spent Christmas with my parents who were so generous, once again. They take care of my heart. My mom makes me food that I love. They fill me with love. They are good. To their very core. But I don't tell my dad that. For he would get a big head.

There were other things to happen: Mr. Bobby received his heart. Ellen is cancer-free. Babies were born. And conceived. Vacations. Holidays. Other things that were great that I can't think of right now. I had a very generous and loving husband by my side. the whole time. Even when I was angry and not such a nice person. I had friends. real loving friends. Who despite my attempts to push them away. Keep coming back. And loving me through my ugliness. I have a family. And they are wonderful and crazy and generous. With the biggest hearts of anyone you could meet.

I worked. On my own time. With a woman that I am truly thankful for. I also worked with fsu for a short time. A real blessing. And I worked. With my dear friend, Kim. She can't know how much that helped me through these past dark months. And it was fun to flex some of my creative muscles and brainstorm fun things with her.

And I want to tell you that that I enjoyed every moment. That I am smiling. And happy.
It would be a lie.
I am wrestling with this grief. And grief is winning. Big time.
I existed. coasted. though this past year.
The first without my precious son. Without his imprint. On the year.
I grinned. And I beared it.
I am facing big questions of futures. and the pasts. and the things in between.
About faith. and love.

So. Bring it, 2011. But please bring it gently.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

a reminder

I saw this on another blog.
It needed to be shared here.

An Erma Bombeck Column:
A young mother writes: "I know you've written before about the empty-nest syndrome -- that lonely period after the children are grown and gone. Right now, I'm up to my eyeballs in laundry and muddy boots. The baby is teething; the boys are fighting. My husband just called and said to eat without him, and I fell off my diet. Lay it on me again, will you?"

One of these days, you'll shout, "Why don't you kids grow up and act your age!"
And they will.

Or, "You guys get outside and find yourselves something to do ... and don't slam the door!"
And they won't.

You'll straighten up the boys' bedroom neat and tidy -- bumper stickers discarded, bedspread tucked and smooth, toys displayed on the shelves. Hangers in the closet. Animals caged. And you'll say out loud, "Now I want it to stay this way."
And it will.

You'll prepare a perfect dinner with a salad that hasn't been picked to death and a cake with no finger traces in the icing, and you'll say, "Now, there's a meal for company."
And you'll eat it alone.

You'll say: "I want complete privacy on the phone. No dancing around. No demolition crews. Silence! Do you hear?" And you'll have it.

No more plastic tablecloths stained with spaghetti.
No more bedspreads to protect the sofa from damp bottoms.
No more gates to stumble over at the top of the basement steps.
No more clothespins under the sofa.
No more playpens to arrange a room around.

No more anxious nights under a vaporizer tent.
No more sand on the sheets or Popeye movies in the bathrooms.
No more iron-on patches, wet, knotted shoestrings, tight boots, or rubber bands for ponytails.

Imagine. A lipstick with a point on it. No baby sitter for New Year's Eve. Washing only once a week. Seeing a steak that isn't ground. Having your teeth cleaned without a baby on your lap.

No PTA meetings.
No car pools.
No blaring radios.
No one washing her hair at 11 o'clock at night.
Having your own roll of Scotch tape.

Think about it. No more Christmas presents out of toothpicks and library paste.
No more sloppy oatmeal kisses.
No more tooth fairy.
No giggles in the dark.
No knees to heal, no responsibility.

Only a voice crying, "Why don't you grow up?"
and the silence echoing, "I did."

Saturday, December 18, 2010

a message

I went to Michael's today.
The store.
For crafty items to tackify my sweater for the 1st annual Dooley Tacky Christmas Sweater competition.

I was perusing the floral aisle.
When a woman looked at me and waved and said hello.
From two silk and plastic flower aisles away.
I didn't recognize her. I don't think that I knew her.
But I am polite. So I waved back and said Hi.
And went back to looking at the silver sparkled poinsettias.

She came over.
And told me that the Lord had a message for me. Did I want to hear it.
Ok. I said. For I wasn't quite certain what else to say.

Perhaps she approached because I was wearing all black.
And hadn't slept the night before so the bags under my eyes were more pronounced.

She told me that I was suffering. And had been for a while.
But that the Lord wanted me to know that I would experience joy once again.

I started to cry. I told her thank you. I probably needed to hear that.
She said that she knew. That the Lord had told her.
Then she walked away.
Leaving me standing there with my basket full of rhinestones and feather boas.
And my message from the Lord.

I tried to find her. This Lord message deliverer.
To see if she was sharing this message with many others.
But she was gone. Disappeared.

It is not lost on me that this message delivery happened.
In Michael's.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Team Michael update!

Oh Friends. My heart is full from this past weekend.
This weekend. We put all of your generosity to use!

Stu and I left Tally very early on Sunday morning. My sweet friends gave us the latest in Elf fashions with our Team Michael hats. Loved those!

We met up with my mom and dad; my Aunt; and my two cousins.

AND IT SNOWED! This picture doesn't show the snow very well. But it was beautiful. And magical. And the perfect backdrop for our shopping adventures.
Target was on the schedule. We had four or five carts FULL of toys and crafts for the playroom. Several other Target shoppers commented on the fun we were having! And fun we had. Board Games and push toys and cars and DVDs and crayons and markers and googly eyes and batteries and legos and .... the list goes on and on.

Next Stop: Build-A-Bear. Such nice people - the store was so busy when we got there. The employees made time to talk to us about the bears. They were just as excited to be a part of Team Michael's bear delivery as we were! We had boxes and boxes of bears. Every child at the Egleston campus of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta will receive a bear. WOW!

A fun day was had by all of us. I am continually overwhelmed by the love of family and friends. And complete strangers. When I am at my lowest, I think of all of you. And I am buoyed.

We delivered the hundreds of bear and bags upon bags of toys to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta this afternoon. We knew that we would not be able to deliver directly to the patients - that is against hospital policy. Our contact person at the hospital was so nice. And so amazed by how many things we put into her office! I'm not sure she was expecting that many items.

She doesn't know all of you.

Thank you to everyone who donated. Everyone who sent notes of support and encouragement. Thank you! Consider yourself hugged!