Reclaiming Valentine's Day

I have no idea when it started. Or how. Or why. I just know that somewhere along the way, Valentine’s Day became my nemesis. At some point and time, it became characteristic of a bully – relentlessly pursuing me with its cheesy hallmark cards, rows of teddy bears, dark red roses, balloons and chocolate. And my response has been to label this day as my sworn enemy. My response has been to shout from the rooftops that this day does NOT belong to Eros! It is named after a saint, […]

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Companion

What would it mean to be a companion to myself instead of an adversary? These were the words that came out of the speaker’s mouth at the Women’s Retreat I attended this weekend. To be honest, I chose to only go to one speaker session, spending the rest of the weekend on more of a silent retreat. Clearly, I went to the session I was meant to attend. For, it was the very phrase at the top that I meditated on the entire weekend. What would it look like if […]

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Cheer

The game is starting – the referee just blew the whistle. Where are they? I am embarrassed, sitting here on the bench behind the basketball team all by myself, wearing my green and white cheerleading uniform. I cannot even look at my mom, because if I look at her face, I am going to just start crying. We just had practice after school yesterday. Everyone seemed so excited to perform our routine at half-time. What happened? Why am I the only one here on a Saturday morning? My mom leans […]

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Winter Has Its Song to Sing

Winter has a song to sing. It’s timbre is melancholic. It is guttural. It is a song that needs to be sung. And when it is sung, for many ears to hear, it allows for teary eyes of weary souls to lock and say to one another, “you, too?” There is beauty to Winter’s Song. Because in its very nature of bleakness, colorlessness, and cold, its opposites appear all the more radiant and noticeable. And in their declaration amidst the wintery backdrop, we are AWARE of their gift to us, […]

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The Mask.

Masks. I own many of them. I have one that I wear called “The Performer”. This mask is a favorite. I wear it often because it gives me an identity. It is one that is safe, that is well-respected by those with whom I come into contact. It is one that I have worked on for many, many years. It has become like a second skin. I have another mask I refer to as “The Wall”. This mask is impenetrable. Once this mask is on, NO ONE can remove it […]

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I Arise Today.

When our daughter Bella was born with Congenital Nephrotic Syndrome (Finnish Strain), I wholeheartedly believed that not only does God give us more than we can handle, but that her disease and subsequent issues surrounding that disease, would be our one and only burden to bear for our lifetime. I mean, honestly. God would not give us even more than what we already could not handle, right?!? This past summer, our Bella as you know, had surgery on both her ankles for something totally unrelated to her disease. It was an intense summer. You can see past blog posts about that. Then, this past week, we received our third recommendation for Bella to get further testing into some abnormal curvature in her back. And here is where my raw honesty will be set before you. I’ve had enough.   And clearly – my body and soul have as well. I have been sick for five weeks straight. A sinus infection, another virus, and then the migraines. Good God, the migraines. I have reached that point of sheer exhaustion. Being the mother of a chronically ill kid takes a toll in all the ways one would expect – I have done a crappy job of taking care of myself as all of my time and energy has been poured not only into Bella, but also making sure I never neglect Abeni. But there are other more subtle and just as intense […]

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Snarkaholic

I am a recovering snarkaholic. It started in college. To a certain degree, it was a defense mechanism, but it also was quite fun as I was really good at it and I found a great Snark Posse to which I belonged. My snarkaholism has ebbed and flowed over the years. There have been times in my life where it dictated the ” timbre” of most of my relationships, and other times I tried to put it in sleep mode. I am not going to lie – being a snark […]

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The Dolphin Glass

Let me introduce you to the dolphin glass. This glass is the most coveted item in our kitchen. It is the source of insurmountable elation and contention in my household. You see – one of my children decided this was her favorite glass, and in giving it such high value and by holding it in such high esteem, the other child could not resist the urge to put the same level of value on it as well. And in doing so, the dolphin glass (from Ikea and cost under a […]

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Church.

Church and I have a very complicated relationship. Does that sentence resonate with you? I could list all the reasons for which that statement holds true. And in doing so, I am sure your response would be something like:: “I can totally see why you would want to stop going to church!” or “Wow, that is messed up!” or “That is EXACTLY the kind of thing that keeps me from wanting to attend church.” And let me say – all of those responses would be absolutely warranted. Church, like life, […]

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Scars

Yesterday, on Facebook, a pastor wrote the following:: Don’t hide your scars. They are a testament to God’s grace and your fortitude. Our scars can even serve as encouragement and wisdom to many.   When Bella had her broviac catheter inserted into her vena cava, one of my first questions to the surgeon was :: “Will there be a scar there? Do you think it would be visible when she is wearing a prom dress?” Admittedly, a strange question. And the surgeon was very gracious in receiving such a question and in answering in such a way to bring a mother comfort. Why is it that scars – whether they be external or internal – are such a source of shame? The reality is, EVERYONE has them. Not one person is immune to it. Not one. And yet – we can become almost manic in our desire to hide them. Bella had a doctor’s appointment today. Molds were taken of both her feet, which in two weeks time, will become inserts she will need to wear in her shoes. And she will need these basically for the rest of her life. And we will start physical therapy as well in order to help Bella learn how to walk correctly – for the first time – without pain or unnecessary strain. We were reminded today that although the surgery will allow for some correction, for her not to be in pain […]

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