Monday, June 29, 2009

Aberration Nation Interview Part II

Part II of my interview on Aberration Nation is up, for anyone interested:

Sunday, June 28, 2009


~ My friend Robin brought us dinner yesterday. She enjoys cooking (can you imagine??) and is very good at it. Guess what she brought us. A complete turkey dinner, made from scratch, in her own kitchen. The most flavorful, moist turkey I think I've ever had, plus all the trimmings: homemade stuffing (inside the bird), baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, veggies, gravy, and even an apple pie. Made from scratch. I still can't get over it.

~ Last night after the kiddies were all in bed, Michael and I sat outside in our adirondack chairs, he with a beer, and me with a cocktail (he's no longer taking pain meds, although he's still got pain). I think we are both craving some normalcy, and this hit the spot.

~ Annabelle spent this morning throwing up. Hmmm. Can't quite figure it out. No fever. I have to say, she's very sweet and docile when she's not feeling well.

~ Joey insisted on helping Lilah get dressed this morning. Like a little mother hen. Her shirt is on backwards, but at least her clothes match ;)

~ I am going to get my nails done and a pedicure this afternoon. And I am not going to feel guilty. Much.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

And now, a break from our regularly scheduled programming . . .

I'm growing weary of all the relentless media coverage of Michael Jackson's life and death. I know it's a big deal. I understand that he was a hugely talented entertainer, an innovator in many ways. But holy crap, people seem to be elevating him to a god-like status now that he's dead. I don't even watch TV, but having a husband home recuperating from surgery means that the TV is on a lot, and that's what I see almost every time I venture into the bedroom: more coverage of Michael Jackson. The man (boy?) was a freak. Maybe he was a victim early on in his life, but let's not forget that he was accused not once, but twice of child molestation. And even if he was never convicted, I think there was enough smoke that to yell "FIRE!" was warranted. He certainly had an inappropriate fixation on children. It's just hard for me to feel very sad about his passing.

Farrah Fawcett died the same day, earlier in the day. Because she was dying of cancer, of course her death, while expected for a while now, touched me in a much more personal way. What I'm really sad about is that Michael Jackson's death is so completely overshadowing her death.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Sense of Self

I had something of an epiphany today: I seem to have very little sense of self, or at least of self-worth. I tend to see myself mostly through other people's eyes, which gives people the power to raise me to dizzying heights, and to tear me down to excruciating lows. All it takes is a few words to have these intense effects on me. Tell me something nice about me, and I feel good about myself. Tell me something not so great about me, and I feel like shit.

It's not hard to figure out where this comes from, but I don't want to get into that. The point is that I've never been able to move beyond that lack of sense of self, no matter how much therapy, writing, and living I've done. If I had to describe myself, I'm not even sure what I'd say, but I suspect that a lot of what I might say would be views I've gained of myself through other people's lenses.

My ex-husband made up this nickname for me: Rambi. It was a combination of Rambo and Bambi, because, he said, that's what I was - hard and tough on the outside, and soft and fragile on the inside. For all the things he said and did to damage me, this is something I think he was right on target about. However bitchy, strong, tough I may come across, inside I am still that scared, insecure little girl who feels unworthy of love and kindness.

Where is this all coming from right now? I'm just having a really tough time right now. Michael's recovery is slow. I feel alone. I feel overwhelmed and incapable, a lot of the time, of dealing with everything that's been necessarily piled on my shoulders, with nobody really to lean on. And I'm not just talking about the practical and logistical aspects of all of this, so I hope this doesn't result in a barrage of offers of help. It's more emotional than that. I just feel alone, and this is me venting.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Aberration Nation Interview Part I

Part I of my interview with Penelope Przekop of Aberration Nation is posted:

Check it out and don't be shy about leaving comments!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

How things are going so far

I think clearly the best medicine for Michael is being here with his family - especially the kids and his guitars ;) He's kept his sense of humor about everything (better than I have) and is in pretty good spirits. He's restless and wants to do things, but I'm trying not to let him. "What a good wife," he says, as I make him lie down and fetch him things. I do have ulterior motives, however. I want him back in commission so he can help out with these animals we're raising, but I know that if he does too much too soon, it will only set him back.

He lost 10 lbs. while in the hospital, bringing his total weight loss since he began treatment in February to somewhere around 30 lbs. He's starting to look positively svelte.

This past week I have actually briefly toyed with the idea of taking up smoking again. It's been a number of years since I quit, and a very long time since the urge left me. This past week, however, there have been many moments when I thought, "Damn, what I wouldn't do for a cigarette right now." How silly. Like inviting more cancer into our home is a good idea. So instead I walk, and when I walk, I walk with a vengeance.

We're being inundated with food. Friends and neighbors have brought over meals, and word has it that Michael's firm is having several meals delivered to our house later today. It's been such a huge help, and I am so grateful.

Monday, June 22, 2009


There are times, like now, when I feel very separated from people in my life. Life experiences I've had that most people in my life have not had seem to create something of a wall between me and them. Maybe it's a wall I myself create unwittingly. I just know that there are not many - if any - people in my life who can relate to having dropped out of high school and been a teenage runaway . . . having been on the receiving end of physical abuse from a spouse for many years . . . having a spouse die - let alone die of a drug overdose . . . having six children . . . having twins . . . having a baby with Down syndrome . . . having a husband with cancer . . . or all of those things. That's not to say that my friends and acquaintances haven't experienced their own brand of shit, and it's not to say that there aren't people out there who have experienced much more trauma than I have. And really, this isn't about "Oh, woe is me, what a hard life I've had." Not that I would have chosen half of this shit, but it's all made me who I am today, and how can I complain about that? What I'm trying to get at is just that there are times when these things leave me feeling isolated, an outsider, times when I can't help but feel that people who know me see me as something of an oddity. And maybe it even makes them uncomfortable.

And by the same token, there are life experiences that a lot of my friends and acquaintances have that I just can't relate to. When my friends talk about their college days (which seems to be a big topic for reminiscing over), I can't relate. I have no idea what it's like to have a close-knit extended family. When my girlfriends have all had their babies and had mothers who came to stay with them to help out, nope, can't fathom what that's like either. And this fosters separation between us, too.

Now it's the cancer thing. I am positive that it's driven a few people away. People who gave so much to us in the aftermath of Finn's birth, and who have shared plenty of good times with us, too. But they are clearly absent from our lives now. People who write breezy updates on their Facebook pages but have not offered a single word of support or well wishes, or even an inquiry as to how Michael is doing, since he was diagnosed in February. People who, if confronted with this fact, I am sure would say something along the lines of "Oh, life has been so busy . . ." or "We didn't want to bother you . . ."

It hurts. I don't think I'm that kind of friend. I'd like to think that no matter how busy I might be, I would find the time to offer some kind of support to someone I called a friend who was going through a crisis. I'd like to think that if any of these people were faced with such a crisis, that they wouldn't be deserted by any of their friends.

Nobody owes us anything, and I hope that's not how this comes across. All the help, support, food, etc. that we have received is deeply appreciated. But I suspect that our life has just gotten too uncomfortable for some people. It has separated us.


Michael is home. It was a long day, waiting for his doctor to write up his discharge order, which didn't come in until after 4:00 this afternoon. I picked him up a little after 6, we got home around 6:30 and the kids were all, of course, very happy to have Daddy home. He was in bed by 7:30, poor guy.

I don't have a whole lot to say. I'm feeling pretty emotional, and I don't even know where my emotions stand exactly. I'm glad he's home, but it's like I don't really have him back, if that makes sense. He's got a long road of recovery ahead of him, and there is a lot to adjust to.

As the saying goes, we'll just take it one day at a time.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day, Part II

I took Daisy and Annabelle to the hospital to see Michael today. He was, of course, thrilled to see them. They were excited about seeing him, too, although a bit standoffish when we got there. We walked the halls with Michael, and the girls didn't want to hold his hand, and I think Michael was a little hurt. I just know that the whole environment was a little intimidating and unsettling for them, not to mention the fact that they couldn't figure out why Daddy was wearing a nightgown!

All in all it was a nice visit.

So he is off the IV now and allowed, and actually eating, a pretty normal diet with just a few restrictions. There is talk that he may be discharged tomorrow (Monday).

It's funny . . . well, not funny . . . but anyway, I was thinking about when Finn had his surgery, and I was so determined to get him out of the hospital and home with me as soon as possible, because I knew in my heart that I could take care of him better than anyone could. I am nervous about Michael coming home. I, of course, miss him like crazy. But I am lacking that confidence about being able to take care of him. Maybe I'm blowing the whole thing up in my mind far bigger than it actually is - in reality, I don't know in what respects he will need, or even want, me to take care of him.

Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself. I know that he is going stir crazy there in the hospital and will probably do much better at home. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Father's Day

We did a little conference call using the speaker phone this morning so the kids could wish Michael a happy Father's Day. Later today I think I'm going to venture to the hospital with the twins. I think they can handle it. Joey will be upset at not going, I'm sure, but I really think that seeing Dad in that environment and in that condition would just end up upsetting him and stressing him out.

I forgot my whole point in mentioning his oncologist's visit yesterday: he had Michael's pathology report from the surgery. The tumor had shrunk to about a quarter of its original size thanks to the pre-operative chemo and radiation, and out of 17 lymph nodes removed, only one was affected by cancer. So very, very good news.

Michael's present condition is a little ambiguous, at least to me. For all intents and purposes, he no longer has cancer; all of the cancer was removed via surgery as far as they could see. And yet, he still has to undergo more treatment for cancer - a lot more. The way Dr. A, the oncologist, explained it was like this: a thousand cells fit on the head of a pin, and without microscopic vision, the surgeon can only remove the cancer he's able to see. There is no way to know which people undergo this surgery and, in fact, are truly cancer-free as a result, and which people might still have a few cancer cells floating around, already multiplying. So the post-operative chemo is like an insurance policy. It may, in fact, be unnecessary, but there's just no way to know, so they do it. Better safe than sorry.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A better day

Some ups and downs today, but for the most part, an overall improvement from yesterday, both in Michael's progress and my outlook/attitude.

I spent a couple of hours with him this afternoon. When I arrived, he was up and ready for a walk around the floor he's on. He said he walked about 10 times already. He is able to get in and out of bed on his own now. His pain level has definitely improved, although he did still use the pump a couple of times today. He's eating and drinking a little bit by mouth, so I think they're going to start gradually weaning him off IV fluids/nourishment. He was awake for a good portion of the time I was there, and actually made sense when he talked.

I do feel that I've let him down, however. Unfortunately, I've not done a very good job at hiding how difficult this all is for me, and now he's worried about me, which leaves me feeling worse than ever. I don't have the right to burden him with my lame emotions with all he is going through . . . and yet, sometimes it's impossible for me to control the tears. I'm afraid that he feels that he can't really count on me when the chips are down.

I don't know what I was thinking . . . I was very scared and anxious about the surgery, but I don't think anything can really prepare you for something like this. I only had an abstract idea of how things would go, and I guess I figured that, while I realized the surgery was going to be a really big deal, as long as he pulled through the actual surgery (I had these terrible fears that some freak thing was going to happen to him on the operating table or immediately after surgery), it would be fairly smooth sailing after that. What a fool. I just wasn't prepared to see him like this, and to not have him to get through this with. He's my person, the one I lean on, the one I share everything with. Suddenly I am completely on my own dealing with this, at least from an emotional standpoint, and it's just been very, very difficult.


One of the many cool things about our new MacBook is that it has a built-in camera and a movie making program. So I had the kids make a little movie for Daddy this morning. They each told him how much they miss him and love him (and Joey said "I'm really sorry you had to get cut open . . . ."), and I took the laptop to the hospital with me so Michael could watch the movie. He really misses the kids, and it was good for him to "see" them. So he made his own movie for them while I was there, which I brought home for them to watch, and they were all very excited.

Oh, yeah, and Michael's oncologist made an appearance today while I was there. I've only met this guy once, way back in February when M was first diagnosed, and I remember then how hopeful he left me feeling about the situation. He's quite a character - thick New York accent, lots of gold jewelry, looks like he's wearing a bad toupe, but Michael thinks it's his own hair. Really down to earth guy. And just like that first time all those months ago, he left me feeling better today, optimistic. "Mike," he said, "You feel like you're in bad shape now, but I have eighty-year-olds I put through this, and they're fine. You're gonna be okay." Phew. I'll take him at his word. He also has a grown son with Down syndrome, which he revealed to Michael a while back, and I went out on a limb today and asked him about his son. He was very open, and very, very positive about that, too. I really like this guy.

So, one more day of this ordeal behind us.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Turns out, I'm not so strong.

Turns out, under pressure, I tend to cry a lot.

Today has pretty much sucked. I spoke to Michael on the phone for about 45 seconds this morning; that's about all the energy he has. He had something of a setback today, which I won't go into. Nothing life threatening, but discouraging. I was able to spend about 2 hours at the hospital with him this afternoon, and he slept the entire time. I feel like my husband has been stolen from me, and in his place is someone I barely recognize. I'm starting to feel a sense of dread going to the hospital. He woke up briefly and looked at me and said, "Hey, how ya doing?" I started crying, but he was back to sleep before I could even say anything. When I left, I went out to my truck and had a complete breakdown.

I hate this. I hate this. I hate this.

Aberration Nation Interview

Ironically, quite a while before all the recent drama here which resulted in my revealing all kinds of dirt about my past, I was approached by Penelope Przekop, an author and artist. Penelope also blogs. Her blog is called Aberration Nation, and it's all about aberrations, differences, diversity. She heard about me and my crazy life through a friend and asked if I would be willing to be interviewed for her blog for an upcoming segment she's doing on teen aberration stories. I said yes, and proceeded to spill in writing. My interview is going to appear on her site in three parts, beginning next week, so please keep your eyes peeled for it. Here's a plug on her blog for the upcoming interviews:


I'm dying to know who you are. Would you be willing to reveal yourself?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

In the midst of my unburdening . . .

. . . I forgot to mention how grateful I am:

My lovely friend, Megan, sent this delicious fruit bouquet today . . . mmmmmm!

Your mouth is watering, admit it!

My friend, Lisa (not of the blogosphere), provided me and the kids with a home cooked dinner tonight.

Thank you, my friends :)

Michael - Day 2

He seems to be doing a bit better today. He was using the pain med pump a little less often (and so, by this afternoon when I was there for the second time today, he was a little more lucid). He got up (with help) and walked around three times today. He seemed a little more restful - still falling asleep in mid-sentence, but staying asleep for longer periods. He had some clear fluids by mouth today. He did develop a fever which fluctuated throughout the day, and I don't think they determined the cause. They did a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia (always a concern for someone who is mostly bedridden after surgery), which was clear. I think they were going to run some other tests to rule out infection, but the nurse didn't seem too concerned, so I'm trying not to be too concerned either.

It's hard to believe, seeing him in this condition, that it's possible that in a few more days he might actually be improved enough to be released. It's hard to imagine that right now, but I guess the possibility - even the likelihood - is there. At least that's what the nurses tell me.

It makes me think back on Finn's initial surgery the day after he was born, too. A somewhat similar surgery. I see how much pain Michael is in, how difficult this is for him, and it horrifies me to imagine that that's the kind of pain Finn experienced as a newborn baby. Maybe it's different for the very young, maybe they're more resilient, quicker to recover and heal. I don't know. I just know that in some ways this feels like deja vu, like the reliving of a certain nightmare.

I miss Michael so much. I miss his conversation, I miss his laughter, his goofiness, his way with the kids, the feeling of safety I have with him. I feel useless when I go to the hospital. He mostly sleeps. I'd like to think that my just being there is helping him somehow, but I don't know. I come home and there's still all the usual things that have to be taken care of, which in a way is a good distraction, and in a way just leaves me feeling alone. I'm trying to be a "big girl," but it's sometimes overwhelming and sometimes feels like "who the hell left me in charge?" I know this is all temporary, and I keep kicking myself for being so full of self-pity over it all, but damn, this is all just really hard.

The kids miss him too. Throughout the day - especially when they're not getting their way about something - the girls whine over and over "I want Daaaaaddddeeeee." Actually, they do this even when he's not in the hospital - I'm sure it's just typical childhood manipulation and emotional blackmail - but it's just all the more unbearable right now.

Anyway, so, yeah, he did seem a bit improved today. Tomorrow a little more, hopefully. Day by day.


So far this morning:

~ The three girls had a screaming cat fight over new toothbrushes.
~ They followed this up with an apparent contest to see who could slam the playroom door the loudest and the most times.
~ Breakfast was a relentless barage of knock-knock jokes, which my nerves just can't take right now.

This was all before 7 a.m.

Yup, this is me, complaining some more.

Michael called me this morning but is still talking in complete nonsense. Even when he's saying things like, "I left both gates open," and "They gave me the 818 sedative," he sounds so serious that it takes a second to realize he doesn't even know what he's saying. He said he thinks some friends came to visit him last night, but he's not sure (I kind of think not). It's hard to know what to take seriously and what to disregard. And it's hard to see/hear him like this. I just want Michael back.

This, too, shall pass . . . this, too, shall pass.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The first 24 hours

The kids are all in bed, the house is utterly quiet, and I am wiped out.

I went to the hospital to see Michael twice today: this morning I stayed for about an hour and a half, and this afternoon I went back after Finn and Lilah were down for naps and stayed for a couple of hours. All the going back and forth is hard, but really that's the least of it.

So Michael is doing . . . okay, I guess. He is definitely having pain management issues. His pain level was quite a bit higher all day today than they had expected it to be. He's got a self-controlled pump for pain meds, and they even increased the dosage, but he's still in a lot of pain. When I was there this afternoon, the nurse said she was going to talk to the doctor about changing to a different pain med because this one just doesn't seem to be bringing his pain down to a manageable level. It's really, really difficult to see him like this, and I spent a lot of time there fighting to keep my composure (and not doing a very good job).

His coloring is bad - just pale and ashen looking. He's still got a nasal cannula for oxygen because the pain is preventing him from breathing deeply enough to keep his oxygen sat at a high enough level.

He was in and out of consciousness all day. It seemed like he was falling asleep and waking up in 30-second increments. He would fade off in mid sentence and then either startle awake, or fade back in and try to pick up the sentence where he left off, but having lost his train of thought, he would just mumble. At one point he said something about making his own garlic bread, which I took to mean he was talking in his sleep. A lot of this would have been rather amusing if it weren't so awful to see him like this.

Somehow, they got him up and walking a bit twice today (I wasn't there), which blows me away because just trying to shift himself and inch or two in bed was bringing on excruciating pain. So it just makes me cringe to imagine how they got him out of bed and upright.

I left the hospital in time to feed the kids dinner (leftover pizza from last night . . . I feel terrible that my kids are eating pretty much nothing but crap right now, but I just don't have the energy to cook - maybe tomorrow), give baths, read stories, and put them all to bed. Before bedtime, they all sat down and made cards for Daddy (Kevin even had Finn scribble on a piece of paper), which I'll take to the hospital tomorrow. I know he misses the kids terribly, and they are really missing him. And I miss him too. Really, there is just this void here.

I am trying to think of all the things to be grateful for: that the surgery is over and he made it through, and that the surgery marks about the halfway point in his overall treatment; that Michael's sister has been such a big help, and that so many friends are sending support and well wishes. But the tears just keep coming and coming. This sucks. It just absolutely sucks. And there is still such a difficult road ahead.

Conversation with Joey this morning

Over breakfast:

Joey [looking disturbed/squeamish/alarmed]: So, Mom, did you get to see Dad's surgery?

Me: Noooooo. But I got to see him after his surgery last night.

Joey: When can I see him?

Me: I don't know, honey. Dad doesn't feel too well right now, so we have to let him rest in the hospital.

Joey: But you get to go see him every day?

Me: Yes, he's my husband!

Joey: Lucky . . . I wish I was you.

Gotta love the mind of a 6-year-old.

Michael called me from his hospital room this morning. He's clearly in a lot of pain, but coherent. He didn't remember having called me from the OR right before his surgery, and he said he barely remembers me being with him in recovery last night. I was just so good to hear him talking.

I'm off to the hospital, but will update later. Thank you so much, to everyone, from the bottom of my heart, for all the well wishes.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


It's almost midnight and I'm having a drink because I know I won't be able to sleep otherwise, my nerves are so frayed. Its been a long fucking day.

The morning is a blur. The kids had breakfast, I walked, Michael packed for the hospital. He gave me his wedding band since he couldn't take valuables/jewelry into surgery, so I put his ring on my right hand where it will stay until he can wear it again. Wanting to create as much normalcy as possible, Michael even grilled burgers for the kids for lunch. His sister came over around noon to stay with the kids, and he and I headed to the hospital at 1:30. He had been instructed to be at the hospital at 2:00, and his surgery was scheduled to begin at 4:30. (Why it is necessary to check in 2 1/2 hours beforehand is beyond me.)

It wasn't until we were in the truck driving to the hospital that I started to lose my cool and the tears started flowing. Suddenly, it was really happening, he was really going to the hospital to have major surgery, and all the unknowns and the mere fact that I knew how much I will be missing him, overcame me.

So we got to the hospital, checked in, and were told to wait in the lobby. We found a seat and sat. And sat. And sat. And sat.

At one point, a Samoan family appeared in the lobby, and suddenly they were all crying. Of course, I can't say for sure what happened, but it seemed pretty clear that someone had died or something very tragic had just happened. I counted, and there were seven people, all clearly related to one another, and every single one of them was sobbing. I felt bad for them, but it did nothing to relieve my anxiety. I kept thinking that they should have a crying room or something - it's just bad for morale to be a person in the waiting area among a bunch of distraught, crying people.

We sat for an hour, and finally Michael went to the admission desk and asked if they would be taking him back to pre-op soon. The woman pulled his records up on the computer and said, "Well, your surgery is scheduled for 5:40 . . ." WTF?? What happened to 4:30? Apparently the surgeon had experienced some delay which had thrown off his surgery schedule. How come nobody apprised us of this? Were they just going to let us sit there for a couple more hours?

So at that point Michael and I decided to take a little walk. The hospital has some nice grounds and we found a little picnic table under some shady trees in front of the old convent associated with the hospital. We just sat, not saying much, just trying to enjoy some last few moments of pre-op normalcy.

We went back to admissions and the Samoan family's number had doubled. They were taking up pretty much every available seat in the waiting area, and the were all crying. It was very unnerving. Finally around 3:30 we were taken back to pre-op, where Michael had to change into a gown, answer a bunch of questions, etc. They wouldn't use his PICC line for the IV fluids, because apparently that requires an order from the doc which had not been given. So the nurse assigned to Michael comes into his little cubicle to get an IV started in his hand. Unfortunately, he's dehydrated because he was instructed not to ingest any fluids whatsoever for several hours before the scheduled surgery time, so his veins are collapsed. She blows the vein in his hand. I'm sitting there next to him, watching him grimace in pain, and I start crying. He keeps telling her, "You know, the PICC line is always an option . . ." I think we're making her nervous. She says she's going to get another nurse to start the IV.

At one point in her list of questions to him, she asks Michael "Do you drink alcohol?" He grins and says "Yeeessss," and I ask, "Um, I can bring him beer in the hospital, right?" Now I know we're making her nervous; she totally doesn't get how to take us.

Finally at 4:30 I had to leave to go home to take care of Finn. I hugged him hard and cried, knowing that the next time I saw him, he would be different. The nurse softened then, and I actually saw tears in her eyes, and she promised to take care of Michael for me.

So I went home and had dinner with the kids, dealt with one of Daisy's epic tantrums, and put Finn to bed. The whole time I was watching the clock, trying to gauge how far into the surgery he was, thinking moment to moment that he was that much closer to having it behind him. Then, about five minutes to 7:00, my cell phone rings. It's Michael, calling from the OR. My mind did a little summersault - was he done with surgery already? And he was in such tiptop shape that he was able to call me on the phone? No, he was calling to tell me that the surgery was delayed yet again and they were just about to put him under. He was actually on the operating table, and he insisted that they let him use the phone to call me. Wow.

This was a setback, at least a mental one. I thought he must be close to being done, and here he was just getting started. And knowing that the doc was doing surgery on my husband after having already put in a 12 hour day didn't make me feel warm and fuzzy.

I headed back to the hospital after I put Finn and the girls to bed, around 9:00, and Sue, my midwife/friend met me there so I wouldn't have to wait alone. When I got there, Michael was still in surgery. I don't even know what time the doctor finally came out to tell me that the surgery had gone well . . . around 10:00?? He was nice, as far as doctors go, but he had a certain air of arrogance that I could have done without. He's telling me about some of the factors that remain unknown at this point, and he was like, "The goal is wellness." Yeah, that's easy for you to say. You're not laying in some bed right now with your gut sliced open, wondering if all your parts are going to work properly. There's something to be said for quality of life too, asshole.

Do I sound bitter? I just don't generally feel much of an affinity for doctors. And I hate hospitals. And maybe all the buildup to this point just did a number on me.

They let me go back into recovery to see Michael, and all I can say is that it was very, very difficult. He was hooked up to all kinds of tubes, wires, and monitors, he had an oxygen mask on his face, he was very out of it, and in his brief moments of lucidity, he was very clearly in a great amount of pain. I've never seen him with anything worse than the flu, so it was very painful to see him so . . . weak, in pain, reduced somehow. The nurse was putting pain meds in his IV line every ten minutes. I stood next to him, stroking his face and kissing him and crying and hoping he could hear me talking to him. His eyes fluttered a few times and he wiggled his fingers at me and at one point whispered, "What's up?"

I stayed with him there for a while but finally had to come home, and here I sit. I should feel relieved and happy that this part is over . . . but I feel strangely deflated and helpless. I'm glad the surgery is over and that it went as well as it was expected to go, but this whole thing just stinks. I hate what he has to go through.

Monday, June 15, 2009

And so, it's come to this

Michael goes into surgery tomorrow afternoon. When he was first diagnosed with cancer back in February, the surgery seemed like an eternity away, but here it is, right on top of us. And with all the anxiety and tension and fear over these last few weeks and especially the last few days, there has come a point of surrender. I have to believe that he's going to be okay, I just have to believe that.

Today was a busy day. I got up this morning and suddenly it seemed like there were a thousand things I had to get done today (I'm sure I created this giant to-do list in order to not lose my mind today). Michael spent a good chunk of the day at the hospital pre-registering and having all his pre-op bloodwork and labs done. He bought a stuffed animal for each of our kids, and with great seriousness sat each of them down and gave them their stuffed animal, telling them that he needs them to take care of them while he's in the hospital. Kevin, of course, understands the gravity of the situation better than the other kids, although he doesn't at all seem worried or upset. I guess I should be happy about that. Joey, who has been having a tough time with all of this for a while, seems okay now with knowing that Dad is going into the hospital for an operation. The twins know he's going, but I really don't think they have a grasp of it, which is probably better for them. And Lilah and Finn . . . eh. Too young to get it at all.

Audrey, my sister-in-law is coming to stay with the kids tomorrow. One of the biggest things I've been stressing out about is what to do with Finn. He's still nursing and won't take a bottle and hasn't figured out a cup yet, so I really can't be away from him for more than a few hours, and I've been very torn over whether to take him with us to the hospital or leave him at home. It seems like the best thing to do will be to leave him at home (especially since he seems to be coming down with a cold), so the plan is that I will stay with Michael until they take him back for surgery. His surgery is expected to take 2 - 3 hours, so I will come home during that time, get dinner for the kids, put Finn to bed, and go back to the hospital in the evening. Not ideal, but seems like the best I can do. I know Michael wants me to stay at the hospital while he's in surgery, but he also understands that we have a nursing baby. I feel bad about this, but I'm not so sure that taking Finn with me and having him cooped up in a stroller or the Ergo for several hours would be a better way to go.

Anyway, I'm rambling. Thank you to everyone who has called and emailed today. Knowing that you're all pulling for Michael and keeping a good thought for us means the world to me and to us. I will post updates here when I can.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Coming Clean

Sonia commented on one of my posts:

But, what I really want to know is this, do you keep your table that neat and tidy daily, or was it just for the photo op? Because if you do, I'm so embarrassed, my table never EVER looks like that, and I only have 3 kiddos!

I get this a lot. Yeah, my table is usually that neat and clean. I'm a neat freak. It's part of my neurosis.

Before I had kids, I prided myself on the motto "A place for everything, and everything in its place." A few friends would get their kicks by moving a single knickknack on a shelf in my living room when I wasn't looking and then waiting to see if I would notice (I would). When Michael and I worked together, he thought it was funny to screw with things on my very organized desk.

Obviously, I've been forced to relax my standards a little more with each baby I've had (and a husband who isn't a neat freak by any stretch of the imagination). The kids trash the house, scattering toys, books, games, and clothes from one end of the house to the other every day. There is an area of the kitchen counter that has become the clutter pile. The cedar chest at the foot of our bed almost always holds a pile of Michael's un-put-away clothes. So I let them make their messes (although it does set my teeth on edge), although I demand that most everything be cleaned up at the end of the day. There's nothing worse than waking up in the morning to yesterday's mess.

The beds get made every morning. The dishes get done after every meal. The floor gets swept several times a day, because the kids are constantly dropping crumbs and whatnot wherever they tread. I do a few loads of laundry nearly every day, although I've started slacking a bit on folding it and putting it away right away.

It's sort of therapy to me. It's like, if I can keep some order in the midst of disorder, I feel a little less out of control. So under normal circumstances, I'm a bit anal retentive, but man, if I get really stressed out or upset, watch out! You'll likely find me cleaning out closets, reorganizing the kitchen cupboards, steam cleaning the carpet, and scrubbing things I don't usually scrub.

You can imagine how neat and tidy my house is lately.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

June Gloom

Summer break has officially begun, although you'd hardly know it's summer here in Southern California. We're dealing with June Gloom, which seems more gloomy this year than usual. Overcast all day, a slight breeze and chill in the air. Which is fine, really; the scorching heat and relentless sunshine will be here before we know it, so this is but a brief respite before true summer. All this gloom kinda matches my mood of late, anyway. Gloomy, subdued, anxious. Three days now until Michael's surgery, and there are moments throughout the day when I feel like my nerves are digging their way up through my skin. It's gotten to the point where he is reassuring me that everything is going to be okay, and I feel bad because it really should be the other way around.

I've been reading manically to distract myself, and that helps. I'm also determined to make walking a regular part of my routine this summer. It's good for the body and the soul. We live in a pretty hilly neighborhood, and I walk a couple of miles at a brisk pace - it's a decent workout. Gets the blood pumping, the endorphins and sweat flowing . . . and I get to be alone with my thoughts and try and work through the crap in my head.

This is a house I pass, a couple blocks from our humble abode, on my walks:

I covet this house! Doesn't it just have "Family With Six Kids" written all over it?

Anyway, it feels like Michael is trying to cram as much doing into these last few days as possible: in addition to working all week, Sideshow Jefe (the band he's in) played a show the other night, last night his coworkers took him out for a drink after work as a farewell (yesterday was his last day of work; he'll be on leave for several weeks now), today he took Kevin and Joey to Disneyland as an early birthday gift to Joey since he'll likely still be pretty out of commission on Joey's actual birthday coming up.

So, his surgery is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. He'll be in the hospital for up to a week, and then recuperating for several more weeks after that, and he'll start back up with chemo every other week (eight cycles) three to four weeks after surgery. We still have a long road ahead.

Friday, June 12, 2009

A confession

I wasn't going to blog about this because, well, I feel just a tad guilty.  But this is a really big thing in my life, and I just don't think I'll be able to keep it a secret, so I've decided to just come out with it:  I have a new boyfriend.   

It's a very new relationship, but I already feel completely sure that this is going to be long term.  Things have been stagnating at home for a while, and we've taken all the usual measures to try to fix what's wrong, but nothing has made much of a difference.  It's been on my mind . . . what to do, what to do?  I mean, you only live once, you know?  Why waste time on something that's just not working out anymore?

The really great thing?  I have Michael's utter blessing on this. He's so understanding and supportive.  In fact, he sort of introduced me and my new boyfriend.  We saw each other from across a room, and I think we both (all three?) knew it was meant to be.  I'm not one to fall for all that destiny, soul-mate crapola, but lemme tell you, this comes close.

So let me tell you about him.  He's slim.  He's efficient and quick (very important traits for an anal-retentive chick like me).  He's attractive.  He knows how to make me happy . . . how to satisfy. Most of all, he's FUN.

We're still getting to know each other, but so far, so good.  I think this was a very good move to make.

Oh, so anyway, his name is Mac.  Isn't he gorgeous?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

School's out for summer . . .

As of this afternoon, we are officially on summer break.  The boys both finished up school today (and yes, there were tears and hugs when I picked Joey up, as he has had the most wonderful teacher this year).  Joey brought home a near-perfect final report card (and honestly, I'm usually more interested in the teacher's comments than the grades!).  We haven't received Kevin's final report card yet, but he did receive two awards at assembly a couple days ago: one for being an outstanding Community Leader by completing more than double the required community service hours, and the other for making the Honor Roll for the second semester running.  I'm very proud of both of them.

So now summer.  I'm looking forward to a little less structure to our days, to not having to get up at 5:20 a.m., and to long days and walks through the nature trail at twilight.  We have no big plans this summer, except to get through Michael's surgery next week. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I wasn't going to do it, but I did.

Cry, that is. Today was the girls' last day of preschool (last week they had their little graduation ceremony). When I arrived to pick them up, I was fine. But then one of the teachers started telling me, all choked up and with tears in her eyes, how much she was going to miss Daisy and Annabelle, and what terrific girls they were, and of course my own waterworks started then.

They've really come a long way this year. Daisy overcame a couple of her phobias and made great strides in speech therapy (when she started, she had trouble with several sounds, making her speech generally difficult to understand; now the only hurdle she has left to overcome is the "R" sound). Both girls know their alphabet and recognize all the sounds - and both of them are trying to sound out words. Daisy can write the name of every member of our family. They can both count to 40. On their final evaluations, the teacher wrote that she expects that they will both do well in kindergarten later this year (phew! we were really torn about sending them vs. waiting another year). On both girls evaluations, she checked the box "cooperates and follows directions," which is especially noteworthy for Annabelle. I'm telling you, that girl is a little hellion! But apparently at school, she is a different child entirely, for which I am everlastingly grateful.

So there were tears and hugs all around today. These passages always break my heart a little.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Book Lust

Check out the new blog I created: BOOK LUST

If you would like to participate by sharing book reviews and swapping books, email me (link in sidebar) with your email address so I can add you as an author.


Books, books, books

I have this idea:

What about starting a new blog to share books? People can sign up to be "team members" meaning they would have access to the blog to post their own reviews and books up for grabs. Kind of like, but more intimate, so that we're sharing books among friends. Books that have been passed along and read can be placed back up for grabs. Any interest?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Book Review: Without a Map

Without a Map by Meredith Hall: This memoir is so beautifully written and so haunting. It recounts the author's experience of becoming pregnant at 16 in the 1960's and thereafter being exhiled by everyone she loved and counted on. She gives her baby up for adoption, never laying eyes on him until he finds her when he is a young adult. Through all those years following her baby's birth and adoption, she wanders through life, longing for the child she has given up, as well as for her parents who turned their backs on her and now insistently pretend that the pregnancy and shunning of their daughter never happened. There is a certain healing when she is reunited with her lost son, but also a new kind of pain when she learns that the couple who adopted and raised him lived in poverty and abused him. This is a story about longing, finding one's self, and finding forgiveness. Although it often had me in tears, I couldn't put it down.

It's up for grabs. Email me if you want it; first come, first served.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Beach At Night

Last night Alycia came over to stay with the kids so Michael and I could have what will probably be our last "date" for a while. The countdown to his surgery is now quietly permeating everything. We're anxious, scared, but also eager to have this hurdle behind us.

So we made dinner reservations at a little place down by the beach, a place where we once had dinner many years ago when we were still dating in the non-married sense. We had some time to kill when we got down to the beach, so we took a stroll on our old stomping grounds, the beach where we spent so much time long ago, and where we got married almost 8 years ago.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Perfect Evening

Dinner, drinks, and girl talk with a lovely view . . . what more could I ask for?

Thanks for a great evening, girls!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Preschool Grads

The twins are just a little bit more grown up today - they graduated from preschool. These milestones are always bittersweet for me. I'm proud and happy to see them growing and progressing in their little lives, but it's another chapter closed forever, another sign that their babyhood is gone. In late summer, they'll both start kindergarten, and that will make four of my six big kids in school.

Annabelle with her diploma

Daisy with her diploma

The girls with their preschool teachers

Thursday, June 4, 2009


All the caring and supportive comments have meant a lot to me; thank you.

The truth is, the whole thing kind of sent me into a bit of a tailspin the last couple of days. I feel violated, like my mother has once again crossed a line with me. I feel sad that, like Megan said, I got sucked back into her bullshit. I feel sad and dirty and ashamed that that is what I come from.

I don't want anybody to feel sorry for me - please don't. I guess on some level, I feel sorry for that girl that I was, but that's not me anymore. Obviously, it's shaped me as a person to a great extent, and there are wounds that will probably never heal, but I have worked so hard to leave that past behind me. I talk about it sometimes, but I don't dwell there. I am responsible for my own life and my own happiness now, and I've worked hard to build a good life for myself and to claim happiness.

Anyway, hopefully a good night's sleep will get my head back to a better place and I'll have more pleasant things to write about tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My Mother . . . or, Welcome to Another Edition of The Jerry Springer Show

For anyone who doesn't understand where this is stemming from, check out the comment section to this post.

Let me just start by saying that I offered my mother an opportunity to engage in discussion privately. She has apparently decided that she likes the spotlight more than she likes dignity. Yes, yes, I know that I blog, and therefore make my life public, but I certainly don't blog to engage in verbal wrestling exhibition matches. This is my life, and I write about it. My mother is free to say anything she wants to say about me - elsewhere. I don't care what she says about me - she can write about it in her own blog, she can shout it from the rooftops, she can go on national television for all I care - but to try and get her voice heard here, on my turf, is just unacceptable. Don't forget, Mother, that I have the power to delete your comments.

Now, let me tell you all about my mother, and about myself. I have nothing to hide, I really don't. I have decided to disclose everything in order to dispel any misconceptions or confusion.

My parents sucked at being parents (and spouses, for that matter). They had a shotgun wedding when my mother was 19 and my father 18, my mother already knocked up. They ended up having three kids by the time my mother was 23 and my dad 22. My dad was a drinker. He beat my mother up and cheated on her a lot, from what I understand (my mother liked to make me privy to all the juicy and sordid details of her adult life). So they really were too young, too immature, and too fucked up to be good parents. Truly, one of my earliest memories is of "getting the belt" from my father. I can still picture the scene. It was before they split up, so I know I was very young. I have another picture in my memory bank of my mother hitting me with a hairbrush because I had put dirty socks in the laundry inside out. Again, this happened when we still lived in that first apartment before my parents split up, so I was very young. They were divorced by the time I was 5, my older brother 6, and my younger brother 3. It wasn't long before my mother moved us in with her boyfriend, who also liked to beat us kids. She let him. She may claim now that she didn't know (which I wouldn't buy), but she certainly should have known. She shouldn't have so casually and impulsively exposed her children to a new man in her life. Eventually they split up too, and then it was back to just me, my younger brother, and my mother (my older brother she had sent to live with our father since he, at 6 or 7 years old, "couldn't get along with" my mother's boyfriend). My mother had to work full time to support us. At one point she hired a babysitter to look after me and my younger brother - a teenage girl - who would masturbate in front of us and make us watch. My younger brother was sick a lot as a little kid. When he had to miss school, I was charged with staying home with him and looking after him.

When I was 8 years old, Mom and Dad decided to get back together. Over the next few years, there were many beatings, many episodes of my mother falling apart, many nights I would lay awake and listen to my father stagger in drunkenly in the middle of the night and then terrible, violent fights between him and my mother would ensue. My mother leaned heavily on me. She cried to me and wanted me - a child! - to reassure her that everything was going to be okay. Then in an instant she would turn on me and expect me to take on the role of child, and she would punish me, quite often violently, for transgressions I committed as a child. Back and forth, back and forth, I swung like a fucking pendulum. Am I the adult today or the child? I never knew.

When I was 12, Mom and Dad split up again. Dad had been having an affair behind Mom's back, and Mom found out - and of course made me privy to the whole thing. Mom really fell apart then. She would come home from work and lock herself in her bedroom for hours - literally hours - chain smoking and crying on the phone to whomever would listen to her. I can still see the fog of smoke so thick in her room that you could hardly see to the opposite side. Was she taking care of her kids then? No. Maybe she wasn't capable, I don't know.

A couple years later, my father married the woman with whom he had been cheating on my mother. My mother, shortly thereafter, and I have no doubt in retaliation, married a man whom she had met only three months prior. A man whom she allowed to move into her house with her children a week after she went on her first date with him (and she always made us kids responsible for that: "You guys wanted him to move in," she would say over and over, as if seh had no control over the situation). The scene replayed: there she was again, exposing her children to a man she barely knew, and one who also turned out to be an asshole.

Their marriage was a joke from the beginning. And through it all, my mother continued to make me privy to things she had no business burdening me with: like how disgusted she was over the fact that my step-father either wasn't circumcised, or if he was, it was botched. And the long-term affair she had while she was married to him with a guy she worked with (remember Max, Mother? I do.)

She and my step-father were abusive. My step-father was more into verbal abuse (he called me "Mouth"), but there was also an incident where he was dragging me across the living room by my hair. My mother continued her abuse as well. I have a friend whom I have known since I was 12, and she still remembers mornings when I would show up for school a wreck, my hair wet and disheveled because my mother had shoved my head under the faucet for some transgression, and then made me go to school like that.

Here is a list of the crimes I committed as a kid:

~ I whined and talked back.
~ I swore at my mother.
~ Sometimes I lied.
~ I stole cigarettes and small change from my mother.
~ I began smoking cigarettes, drinking, and smoking pot when I was 13.
~ When I was 14, I got caught shoplifting a bathing suit from Mervyn's.
~ I wore makeup to school behind my mother's back when she had forbidden me to wear makeup.
~ I snuck out of my bedroom window with my step-sister and went to parties.
~ I hosted one party at my mother's house one summer when she was at work. There were drinking, smoking, and pot at the party, as well as groping between boys and girls.
~ I began having sex when I was 16. My mother knew about this, as I was responsible enough that I went to her and asked for birth control (you know, so I wouldn't end up knocked up like she had done). She thereafter ranted about what a slut I was (let it be said for the record that I have had sex with exactly TWO men in my life, and I married both of them. Some slut).
~ I left home when I was 15 and moved in with an aunt for several moths because the home life provided me by my mother was intolerable (if you can even consider this a crime).
~ I ran away from home when I was 17, dropping out of high school in my senior year, and leaving the state. Nearly nobody knew where I was for a year.

So, those are the things I did to "contribute to the chaos in the home."

It is clear to me that my mother has not changed. She is still the same self-absorbed, self-interested person she always was. She is asking for forgiveness (and she is now putting up a cohort to back her up) and demanding that I accept some accountability for the absolute craziness that went on when I was a mere child. I won't do it. I will not accept blame or responsibility, or share in the accountability, for being a kid. Was I a perfect kid? No. I'm sure I was a pain the ass at times. What kid isn't? But I was not a terrible kid. I engaged in a lot of mischief that kids the world over engage in (and mischief that even my mother herself engaged in when she was a kid - gee, I wonder if she's ever called up her mother and accepted responsibility for the crimes she committed as a kid?). I also acted out in large part in response to the madness I lived with. I did not have a single positive role model growing up - not a one. And my mother seems to still be dumbfounded that I did some of the things I did.

Let us move on to the adult years. I believe it was the night of my wedding to my first husband that my mother and father reunited in what was to be a long, drawn-out affair. My father was still married to his second wife, so it was pretty ironic that he was now cheating on her with my mother. His alcoholism was out of control. He would spend days on end at my mother's house and lie to his wife, telling her that he was at my house. So she would call my house looking for her husband, and I had to cover up for him. My mother, during this time, was desperate for my father to leave his wife and return to her for good. I was still her sounding board during this time, her confidante. "Do you think he'll ever come back?" she would cry to me over and over. "He loves me, doesn't he?" she would ask me. She would also share with me how my dad couldn't get it up when he was drinking. She knew no boundaries.

Eventually my father moved away with his wife, ending his affair with my mother. She would call me on the phone and threaten suicide. I finally told her to just do it if she was going to do it, because I couldn't handle the pressure anymore of trying to save her.

My relationship with my mother fell apart over and over. I would have enough of her shenanigans and walk away, only to be sucked back in eventually.

My marriage to my first husband lasted for 12 years and came to a very ugly end. He was abusive, he was an alcoholic, and a drug addict. One night he disappeared with our two-year old son. He was on a binge (he was a cocaine addict). He was gone with our son all night, and to this day I have no idea where he took him or what happened. I was frantic all night. He came back in the morning with Kevin, and I went to see a divorce attorney that day, who drafted divorce papers. I also applied for a restraining order against him, because I feared for my own safety and that of my son.

At the court hearing for the restraining order, my estranged husband showed up not with an attorney, but with my mother. She and I (and my husband, for that matter) had already been estranged for some time by then, but I assume in desperation, he recruited her, knowing he could count on her to take a stand against me. And she didn't disappoint. She showed up in court with him and tried to tell the court that I was an unfit mother and wife. The court wasn't interested in anything she had to say - she wasn't a party to the action.

She hadn't been a part of our lives for some time, so she had no idea whatsoever about what kind of mother or wife I was. She also didn't know about the abuse I suffered at the hands of my husband, or about his drinking and drug problems - how would she know? I never shared that with her. But what kind of mother turns on her own daughter like that, especially without knowing any facts? She never once asked me if I was okay. It was merely a perfect opportunity for her to hurt me, to pay me back for hurting her by washing my hands of my relationship with her.

Less than two weeks later, my estranged husband was found dead of a cocaine overdose in a stranger's front yard. Although I had filed for divorce, this was a person I had spent 15 years of my life with - somebody I had a child with. I was devastated. My mother called me on the phone and told me "You must be glad that he's dead." I banned her from the funeral at that point and told her that she was not welcome in my life anymore. A few days after the funeral, she showed up unannounced at my front door, arms open as if to embrace me, with a smile on her face. I chased her across the front lawn and out to her car, screaming obscenities at her.

I have not spoken to her or lain eyes on her since that day. That was 10 years ago.

Has she ever acknowledged that terrible act she committed? No, she has not.

This is not about forgiveness for me. It's about protecting myself and my family. I will not - WILL NOT - subject myself or my children to that woman, especially when it is so clear that she has not changed. She's the same selfish person who is unwilling and/or incapable of taking fucking responsibility - full responsibility - for her behavior and for her choices. No, this is not about forgiveness, it's about making healthy, positive choices. Putting an end to my relationship with her for good was one of the healthiest choices I have ever made.

My life speaks for itself. I have made a good life for myself and I am happy. I am married to a wonderful man who loves me and respects me and is devoted to his family. I have six terrific kids. I am an honest, upstanding citizen who has high morals. My life is imperfectly perfect.

Now that I have several years of mothering under my belt, I can certainly see and sympathize with some of the challenges my mother faced as a parent - challenges that all parents face. And yes, she faced some challenges that not everyone faces. But I face challenges every day that she never had to face. And I don't care what challenges she faced, she was responsible for my happiness and my physical and emotional well-being when I was a child. She was the adult, the parent, no matter how young and ill-prepared she was to be a parent. When she decided at 17 years old to start having unprotected sex, she accepted the risk of becoming a young, ill-prepared parent. Likewise, I am responsible for my children's happiness and well-being. I fail sometimes. I take responsibility for that, without excuses. To say that she did the best she could is her same old excuse. Poor Lori, such a victim of it all. That was a choice, too, to live as a victim.

I am not fool enough to think that my kids won't engage in mischief. I hope to goodness that they don't do some of the things I did . . . but I know they will. I will try to see it for what it is - some of it is normal growing pains, and the other stuff? Well, I'll have to sit down and examine myself in the mirror of parenthood.

I have been aware for some time that despite the fact that my mother and I have no contact that she reads my blogs. I am fine with that. I'm glad that she's got a little window into my life. Why she is suddenly trying to intrude into my life is what I can't understand - nor am I interested. We are strangers, she and I. The fact that she sees even a remote possibility that I would turn to her in my time of need is almost laughable, and pitiful as well.

So, folks, there's the drama of my life in a nutshell. Maybe I've gone overboard, crossed some line of propriety in disclosing all this stuff. I don't much care. Like I said, I have nothing to hide. This is me, take it or leave it.

Kid Tricks

Here's one of Joey's quirky talents on display:

It was more impressive when he was doing this at age 3, but it's still pretty amazing in my book - I don't think I could do it!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

One Smart Cookie

There is a link to my email address in the sidebar over on the right side of this blog. If you wish to have any kind of discussion with me, please contact me through there. I have no desire to engage in a verbal - or written - pissing match with you publicly here.

Book Review: The Midwife

The Midwife by Jennifer Worth: I can hardly find the words to say how much I loved this memoir. The author writes about her experiences as a nurse/midwife in the slums of 1950's London. By turns heartbreaking and joyful, full of history, as well as amazing and harrowing stories of birth, this is one of those books that I didn't want to end. I would love to see her follow this up with more of her experiences. She's an amazing writer, and puts to paper very visual stories - I felt like I was there, watching it all happen. This book is one that will stay with me for a long time.