Sunday, March 17, 2013


Some people have the gift of hope.

The gift to take the evidence seen, the allure of bad faith and the seduction of despair, and to staunchly, even perhaps unrealistically, but ever so fervently seek unto hope.

May these people live in your days and bring you grace after grace.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Time Shall Unfold What Plighted Cunning Hides

You know the sentiment that the journey is the worthier part of the experience and the destination is only the result?

Yeah, that's kind of crap.

I think people tend to say that when the journey is a sheltered, clearly marked path through a picturesque forest full of fluffy bunnies and chirping birdsong. It's like saying life won't give you more than you can handle. Of course it will; to say otherwise is a way we buck our selves up in the long, dark teatime of the soul.

The journey is hard and fraught with danger and unpleasant realizations about yourself and the ones you love and, if you're very fortunate and life hasn't given you more than you can handle, then you will justify the means to the end and there will eventually be an end.

But it doesn't make sense to me to romanticize the journey while you're living it and every damn day is a struggle to see to the horizon.

I made an important decision about my journey this week, which is namely that I've got more than I can handle and more than my family and friends can support me with. If I am going to be the person I want to claim, then I have to act in that person's best interest.

I love my family and I love my kids and I want to be better with them, but what I really want is the bit of me back that I want to claim and that I know. I have buried her under this tumult of crisis and emotion and I need her to come back and lead the dance.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

In which Obamacare begins to look like a Hail Mary

What the f---?

So mom was discharged yesterday to go home. She seemed stronger, although by no means perfectly well, so this was good but a step in the process, blah, blah, blah.

Today she is headed back to the hospital. The social worker assigned to follow-up in the home today came in and said, no, she was wrongfully discharged and that this is not a safe environment for her ability level and she needs to go to the hospital this weekend so that on Monday she can go back into rehab and continue with therapy.

I am trying to look at this as part of the journey for my parents to understand that this is necessary (i.e. she really wasn't ready to be home last night) and not trying to focused on how seriously screwed up this is. I am trying to focus on being grateful for the social worker that is pulling the plug at this point, instead of having to be grateful for the orthopedic surgeon that undoubtedly would have been repairing mom's broken bones eventually had we continued on with this.

I have no control.

I think I might go make bread.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Chasing the Rabbit down the rabbithole

So, snow.

With all the snow that we've had lately, and the treacherous conditions of the roads, and the puking children (yes, you read that correctly), I have not been out to see my mom or been out to my dad's house in well over a week.

And, it feels awesome.

Instead, we had dinner with friends last weekend (sweet!) and I got to go see my other friend and listen to her brand new baby be less than happy that momma had company (it was probably because I didn't bring him a hazelnut latte, too) and I just spend lots of time at home with the kids, playing Skyrim, reading books, shoveling snow, and working on the new online catalog for work that we're rolling out in July.

And I absolutely did not miss trying to be in two places at once, physically and mentally.

So, now, there's no snow (or at least there's less snow).

And my mom has been given a go-home date of March 8.

And my dad is starting to freak out be weighed down by the huge responsibility of taking care of mom and the drain that it is going to be emotionally, physically, and financially. And, to be perfectly honest, I think he doesn't want to be dealing with it. On that, we completely agree: neither of us really want to be doing this.

And it's heart rending and it makes me feel such an overwhelming surge of compassion ... and I just have to stop myself right there because down that way, madness lies. And probably some self-medication with red wine.

I have to not make this my thing. This is not my mess. This is the product of 30-40 years of living in a certain way and I could never have changed that then and I certainly can't change that now. Tomorrow we are to go out to see mom and then go to dad's and I am to continue on the somewhat gargantuan task of cleaning their house. It is in that scary, pack-ratty place that so many people get to. The reality is, if my parents want to see my family, they have to be able to have us to their house and without this intervention, that is not going to happen.

But, now that we have this March 8th deadline, I actually feel a bit more realistic about what I will accomplish. Mostly, I am going to have to continue to plug on and I'm going to have to manage it while constantly being questioned about what I'm doing and why. And, perhaps more importantly, I'm going to have resist the urge to respond, "because you people are a mess and you're weird, you are!"

Oh, Zod give me strength.

Friday, February 15, 2013

A Prayer

There is a certain clarity that is occurring right now that is startling.

I am finding that on the days when I interact with my mom and with my dad, those are rough days.

On the days when I just push it away, even if I think about it, I don't have to carry it with me.

There is a cynicism and a paranoia that is overlaid with a bizarre forced, brittle optimism that they both live. I don't know how to relate to it, and my mind struggles away from it. Because there's no forgiveness in it.

It's no big secret that I believe in God. I'm the wife of a Presbyterian Minister who has always thought that all of his congregations should be a little more militant (read: less onward Christian Soldiers, and more Socialist Jesus). I was not raised Presbyterian, but thanks be to the Creator that John Calvin came into the Reformation, because I don't know how I would get religion if it wasn't for utter depravity, predestination, and Grace.

Grace is the sweetest, most remarkable gift that God ever gave to Creation. The ability to be utterly broken and questionably worthy but to still find wholeness.

I am a judgmental, self-indulgent, vindictive, harsh, unforgiving, waspish elitist. But then I am extended Grace and the knowledge that I was made for more and I am so overcome with that love that I want to give and to share it.

When I talk to my parents, I do not see that Grace extended to others. It's not that they aren't gracious and kind to those who are likewise to them, but they are so hesitant to extend Grace when other people are human.

It's the season of Lent, and I've been casting about for a discipline. I've already been on a diet since January 1 (5 pounds, woo-hoo!), so I pretty much already gave up a lot of stuff. But I realized that what I needed to focus on doing this Lent was to find and extend Grace, even when I'm weary, even when I can't think straight, even when I am full of anger because that is the only way I know how to stand on the edge of the pit to get someone else out. Otherwise, I'm just jumping down in there, too.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Wrestling with the idea tonight that there cannot be enough that I will ever do.

 No matter what I do and offer, there will always be more that could be done, so there will never be enough.

There will only ever be what I am capable of doing and I have to remember to dwell in that place.

Monday, February 11, 2013


So yesterday I was all, "oh, me so angry, me so mad, grrrrrr, me need to go cry now"? Yeah, that was a lot about the fact that I was asking for presence from God and grace to put one foot in front of the other and wasn't feeling the love.

Then, last night when I couldn't sleep, I realized it was right in front of me all along and it was banging on my door in the form of someone who wanted to listen to me and help me carry this.

Bamm! Right there, between the eyes.

So, just living the moment of grace for as long as it lasts.

Sunday, February 10, 2013


I am having a hard time finding my center.

For years I have labored under the understanding that I am a particular kind of person. That hasn't been a static person, and I have evolved what it means, but I have been able to define it, hone it, and encompass it.

I feel as lost now as I did when I was 20-something. I do not want all of this. I have this. But I do not want this.

My father-in-law has this rather brilliant theory (it might not be his, it might be someone else's, but he says it a lot) that parents and children establish patterns of behavior and being that they settle into when the child is an adolescent. They create scripts that they play out and repeat time and time again into adulthood.

Now I am stuck in a script that I cannot seem to re-write. I have spent a great deal of my adult life defining who I am by generally refusing to participate in the script. It is how I have exerted control for so long because I could and can see no other way to do it.

I do not want all of this.
I have this. But I do not want this.

I have struggled with respecting my mother for years as an emotional being. She is duplicitous with herself and I do not understand how the person I came out of can be that way. And I fear that it is inherent or that I may learn it, as I have learned other things from her that I have had to figure out how to unlearn.

I do not want all of this.
I have this. But I do not want this.

I want to run. I want to wake up tomorrow and not remember any of this. I want this to just be a hole in my memory, a fugue. Because the irony is, if I walk away I am not who I think I am, but when I stay and get involved, it changes me just as fundamentally into who I don't want to be.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Square One

So, maybe you heard my mom went into the hospital a few weeks ago. Maybe you didn't. If you didn't, you probably missed my implosion into Swear like a Sailor mode on Facebook, which, let's face it, may be for the best.

But . . . I have moved into a new level of navel-gazing the last few weeks, and Facebook's required brevity (I know, right, "brevity"? Oh, you have no idea how long I can go on) isn't quite right for me right now. My level of snark has gotten, well, darker and weepier.

I have hit that place of life that most children go though: the part where you have to start trying to help care for your parents.

So this feels like a new level of the journey, a new misadventure for all of us, if you will, because today my kids got to watch me cry while I drove a car to see Grandma and then do it again when I drove home from Grandpa's.

I have a new, great job, and I do not want to fuck it up. But my head is such a mess with all of this family stuff that I tried to separate myself from a very long time ago. So, I need a place to put it, and, tag, you're it.

If you read this and you know me, please don't try to talk to me about this and don't try to email me about this and try to Facebook me about this. If you must, comment on here, but I just need it to be here, to live here, so I don't have to let it live other places.