The Women Who Came Before Me

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hands

My grandma was 96 years old when time caught up with her.  Her body started breaking down in a variety of ways even while her mind remained alert.  One of my last memories of Grandma was visiting her in the hospital several hours before her death.  She had been hospitalized with complications from congestive heart failure and and diverticulitis.  She looked at me, and she apologized.  She said, “Pami, I’m sorry you have to see me this way.  How did this happen?  I never thought I’d find myself in this situation.” Continue Reading »

Tomorrow Began Yesterday

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Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end

It’s all now you see: tomorrow began yesterday and yesterday won’t be over until tomorrow. – William Faulkner

It’s a quiet morning, and I’m in the house alone sitting in my room, sipping on a steaming cup of coffee, and cuddled under the covers in my robe.  Mornings like this are a rarity, and I am fully enjoying the moment.  Out there beyond my bedroom door are lists of things I need to buy and things I need to do.  Kids and family will begin descending on our house either tonight or tomorrow.  I haven’t really been able to clarify exactly who is being brought along to our house…or when.  For now though, until my feet hit the floor with some kind of purpose, these morning moments belong to me.   Continue Reading »

Defining Me

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diamond studs

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 »

Sometimes People Suck

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Anyone out there who thinks that government employees are overpaid, lazy people who can’t get a job in the private sector, think again.  Most of us have been employed in the private sector at one time or another.  Many of us will return to the private sector again at some point in the future.  That’s where I’ll be once again when I can no longer take the stress of being a government employee.  While I can only speak for myself, I am in this job, because I want to make a difference.  I believe in what I do, and that means something to me.  I’ve been in jobs before where I was nothing but a corporate drone.  Now I’m in the trenches, and most of the time I like that.  Although, all too often the people I am fighting for perceive me as an enemy or “one of the bad guys.” Continue Reading »

Signs

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I’ve looked for small signs, or deeper meaning, all my life.  I suppose much of that can be chalked up to superstition.  When I was a little girl, I looked for the indian on my Tootsie Pop wrapper.  I didn’t know why, but if I found one, I always took that as a sign of good luck.  When I got a bit older, I would twist the stem off of my apples while reciting the alphabet.  Whatever letter I was on when the stem broke free, would be the first initial of my future husband.  I remember having to do some tricky stem-pulling to get that stem to come off on the letter I was hoping for!  These were just silly games that most kids play.  A “lucky” day or a supposed glimpse into the future were games we played as children in order to reassure ourselves that all was well, things were good, things were going to go the way we hoped.  As an adult, I began to look for signs in other ways.  While the methods may have become a bit more sophisticated, there was still a desire for signs that would reassure.  (Although, I do still look for the indian on my Tootsie Pop wrapper!) Continue Reading »