Runaway

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My daughter, who recently turned 20, ran away from home when she was 14 years old.  I don’t remember if I have ever written about this horrible time from the past.  It was a horrible incident, and probably one of the worst experiences I ever had as a parent.  That is saying a lot, considering we have lost two children and our oldest son had a terrible accident (brain injury, multiple broken bones, and was in a coma for three weeks) when he was 12.  What made the runaway incident worse by far was the fact that she chose to leave.  She chose to hurt us.  My babies didn’t choose to die, choose to leave me.  My son didn’t choose to be injured.  She chose not to care.  She chose to hurt the ones who loved her. Continue Reading »

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Sylvia’s Mother

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I’ve been a little obsessed with the song, Sylvia’s Mother performed by Dr. Hook for the past few days.  I have a long history with Sylvia and her mother.  The song was a track on one of the first albums I ever owned.  Yes, I had it on vinyl.  It was on my first album, K-tel’s Believe in Music – 22 Original Hits.  I had a little portable record player, and I listened to that album over and over.  Sylvia’s Mother was one of my favorite songs on the album.  I could practically feel the singer’s pain as he begged Sylvia’s mom to allow him to speak to her daughter.  I wished with all my heart that Mrs. Avery would put Sylvia on the phone.  I could imagine the caller plugging dimes into the payphone, which I was sure had to be located in a rainy, bustling place while he implored her for the chance to say goodbye.  He just wanted to say goodbye, but Mrs. Avery and the nagging operator didn’t care.  As a little girl, I felt so bad for him.  Gosh, he must have really loved Sylvia.  I wondered if I would ever break a man’s heart by marrying a fella down Galveston way.  I hoped so! Continue Reading »

Can This Be Optimism?

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The trip to Vegas did me wonders.  I’m still feeling upbeat since my return.  There was one moment on my trip, sitting in the sun talking with two friends, when I felt a warm tingle.  During this particular moment, I felt life’s blessings surrounding me.  I was warm.  The sun was shining, and I was with friends.  I felt humbled to know that they actually like me, chose to spend time with me, and that they cared for me.  I knew it was one of those moments in life that would become a treasured memory, and I felt honored to know it as it was happening.  I sat there thinking in disbelief, “These are good people, and they are my friends.”  I had grown to believe that I did not deserve such things.  I still smile at the thought of such a blessing in my life, a simple moment that made me happy to be alive and on this earth. Continue Reading »

Brownies and Memories

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I dipped my finger into the warm, chocolaty batter and brought it to my mouth.  The scent was heavenly as flavor expanded across my tongue.  Tears filled my eyes.  I stood motionless for a moment, my finger still in my mouth, as the flavor released its memories.  I closed my eyes, and I could once again see three little blonde children chatting happily at the kitchen table as they made cakes out of Play-Dough while a baby girl banged her fist in a highchair.  I imagined a different kitchen with a maple-topped center island and tall ceilings.  I could hear the sounds of my children and feel a warm breeze blowing through open windows.  When I opened my eyes, the only thing that was left were the tears and a lingering taste of chocolate. Continue Reading »

The Old Piano

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My grandparents gave me a piano over 40 years ago. I was about 5 years old.  I had shown an interest in playing any and every keyboard that was near me.  If I was in a church, I found eventually found my way to the piano.  I loved to play on my aunt’s old pump organ.  The neighbor girls were teaching me how to play on the piano in their dining room.  I’ll never forget the day Grandma and Grandpa followed the truck carrying my piano to our house.  Through eight houses or apartments, that old piano has been a part of my life.  I have pictures of me, my grandma, and my great-grandma sitting together on the bench.  There is another picture of my sweet dog, Susie, sitting next to 8-year-old me while I practiced my lesson.  My parents and I posed on the bench one year for our Christmas card photo. My long gone pets,  Abe, Hank, Pete, Puffy, and Violet all sat by my side as I played.  Boo and Pepper sit on the same bench now. Continue Reading »

Three Months Out

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I’ve been thinking about this blog a lot lately.  I have intended to write an update for weeks.  The truth is, I have been too busy, too overwhelmed, and often too tired.  So much has happened during these past months.  I don’t know where to begin.  I’ll start with the basics.

I have moved, and I’m beginning to feel somewhat settled.  I’ve begun to feel a sense of “new normal” beginning to emerge over the past few weeks.  I am renting a nice house in a lovely neighborhood.  The girls live with me and are adjusting nicely.  T is still living in our home two hours away.  Both our home and my parents’ home remain on the market.   We have had three different offers on the homes fall through.  An offer is pending now on my parents’ home, but I’m taking wagers on when this most recent offer will hit the proverbial brick wall.  T visits us on the weekends.  He has a potential job offer in the works, but I’m trying not to think too much about anything that isn’t final.  I’ve begun to learn that until the T’s are crossed and the I’s are dotted, ANYTHING can happen.  (I’ve had to learn that lesson the hard way!) Continue Reading »

Defining Me

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Late on Christmas day, while our house was still full of people, my oldest daughter and I retired to the living room.  T had made mochas with his new milk frother (awesome!) and Emily and I snuck away to a quiet spot to spend few moments together.  When we sat down, my daughter told me that she had been prepared to give me a “talking to” that day.  Sadly, I wasn’t shocked.  My poor daughter has been my watchdog and my rock, but on Christmas day, she was proudly smiling at me.  She went on to tell me that she had been prepared for me to be upset that Andrew hadn’t been able to be home with us and that my parents were gone.  She had been prepared for me to wallow in what was NOT instead of being grateful for what WAS.  I smiled.  She was right to have been prepared with that talk, and I was ridiculously proud that she didn’t have to say those words to me.  Yes, I have changed.  The changes have been subtle, and they have been a long time coming, but here they are.  I made the most of the moment right in front of me.  Best of all, I made my daughter happy and proud. Continue Reading »