30 April 2007

under construction

Good Monday morning. It's so pretty out today, as was yesterday, that I feel a bit re-energized. (If only I could channel that energy into some exercise I'd be doing great. haha...)

I've got a few small changes in the works this week at penny for my thoughts. I've decided it's time to make things a little more private and therefore I'm going to change my family's names to something a bit less specific. This is hard because I never know what to use, and want to make reading simple not confusing, but I've felt a need to do something for a while now. Hopefully you'll find it very easy to know exactly which kid I'm referring to with my new tags. (And hopefully I'll remember to use them when posting!) Please feel free to give me a bit of feedback. I'll be working on it througout the week, probably, but I wanted to give everyone a heads up that I'm "under construction" in case you should see names come and go and stuff. :)

I hope you all have a lovely week.

24 April 2007

aches and pains

It’s nearly one o’clock, and while I have eaten, I am still adorned in my pj’s and lacking a shower. My body is beginning to feel grimy and now that my little girl is down for her nap, I believe I will soon see how hot I can make the water in my tub and linger for a long soak.

If only a long soak would take away the aches and pains on the inside. I’m not sure why today I feel a smoky-kinda blue, but I do. I could list a thousand reasons that my chest is feeling tight with anxiety, but I really don’t know why since no one thing would do this to me. I feel as though I had an entire pot of fully-caffeinated coffee, but in truth it was roughly 4 cups of 1/3 caffeine, not nearly enough to make my heart beat triple time--I don’t believe coffee can be blamed for this sensation. I can find a hand full of isolated things that begin to add up, and they are things that I cannot shake, cannot hide from, cannot change. Perhaps it is the very fact that they are unchangeable by my own hand that causes me anxiety. True, I can pray, and I have prayed regarding these matters at various times, so that has not been overlooked.

How pathetic of a time to choose pettiness—upon a loved one’s death. What tragedy it is to stir up trouble and meddling opinions at a time of grieving. Yet it happens with alarming frequency in this world. Who really should care what a person’s last will states? Should not their heart be dealing with grief, and caring lovingly for the one(s) left behind? Why does this strike some as a time to subtly create more tension and concerns? Pathetic is a kind word for such actions. I begin to think that if you care so much what a person has (or has not) left you, then you must not have cared deeply enough for the person themselves. It’s not about entitlement.

I find it drastically sad that family or friends, either one, would choose to sever relationships for unfounded reasons. At least, if they believe there is one, surely they could share their thoughts in a desire to repair things; if it’s not worth sharing it certainly must not be worth severing. That alone makes me ache more than almost anything else. I would never want to have offended someone and not be given the chance to correct it.

And making new friends; something stressful for me, though impossible to explain. It’s not a bad thing, just a hard thing. Opening layers of myself is not an easy thing to do.

Add to that the small insignificant cares of the typical day—cleaning, feeding, caring, deadlines, appointments, hormones, and what-have-you—and you find a perfect recipe for anxiety. What a terrible week to not be getting enough rest.
I need to stop. I’m simply making myself more anxious in thinking through them like this. I know my listing could go and my head is so incredibly full of details and situations and names and nonsense that I wish I didn’t need a bath; I’d rather sleep to turn the thoughts off for a while. Perhaps I should, anyway.

20 April 2007

pride goes before the fall

Back in 1998, just before my first wedding anniversary, I took a job as a dental assistant. I’d floundered a bit in some medical/office positions, and was thrilled to be trained into this position. I worked for a great dentist and made life-long friends with another employee. Though I quit work a little more than a year later to help my dad with his small company and ultimately end up a stay-at-home-mom, I still continue to see this same dentist as do my husband and son, and next year so will my daughter. Even my parents go see him.

Well, actually, I’ve never seen him for anything other than what kids know as the knock-knock-anybody-home game . . . and no one has ever been “home” in my pearly whites. Until now.

I have my first cavity.
It’s in my wisdom tooth.
I’ve decided it wasn’t such a smart tooth after all.
A part of me is devastated that my perfect track record is broken. Thirty one years and all I’ve had is cleanings and braces. The other part of me was mentally prepared because I thought I had a cavity in another tooth which no one can find a cause for (close to the cavity, so maybe the pain is misplaced!).

I am now scheduled for a small filling in the beginning of June (hopefully without a shot, because a needle where I cannot see it terrifies me more than the thought of drilling.) I know what goes on which is probably a bit to my benefit—it’s far less scary than the unknown to me. But this must be payback for actually liking my job assisting the man as he dug out rot from a cavity.

19 April 2007

in my corner

Monday was a beautiful, balmy day that defied the bitter cold and flurries (!) of the weekend. I’m so thankful it was a beautiful day, for it was Poppa’s last. Two weeks prior, he had a massive heart attack. The cancer, though still being treated, was no longer the imminent concern. His heart’s output was a paltry 10% versus the 50-55% of a healthy heart, and as a result his kidneys failed at the end of last week. Then it was simply a matter of agonizingly painful days.

I met Poppa about 10 years ago, and from that time on I heard often of his failing heart (though you’d never, ever know it to look at him!) and how incredible it was that he was still alive. Over the years, he had 15 “documented” heart attacks, and there’s a story of one he “muscled through” because he was plain mad about it. Poppa was a cynic, but a loving one. He had a sweet heart that welcomed me into the family with open arms.

There is a long, long history of strife between the two sides of my husband's family. However, since his mother died before he turned three the dominant influence was that of his father and his father’s parents. From before the time of my engagement to him, I heard bitter, ugly tales of the “other” side of the family. Any time seemed a good time to dredge up half-truths of decades ago and embellish them at length. But, if that is all you’ve ever heard from people you’ve trusted your entire life, you accept those stories as truth and never flinch. . .

Until we attended an annual Father's Day family reunion on his mother's side. That day a cousin mentioned a possible job opportunity (using his newly acquired AutoCAD skills) with their aunt’s husband. One thing lead to another, he called for an interview, and he got the job.

Thus began a journey into knowing his mother’s family that went past the obligatory visits and guarded attitudes. It opened connections to this family he barely knew, reasons to see his aunt at the office, ways to get to know them all better, and with time the knowing one another was no longer awkward, but deeper and happier and lacked all the scalding tales of his youth, lacked the gossip-fests he’d heard his entire life. There were times when family “issues” came up, and they were discussed briefly, the laundry aired when fit, truths sometimes clarified, but then everyone moved on to better topics. They found no reason to dwell on history or past mistakes. No one family was completely blameless, but only one family harbored the need to allow old wounds to fester. And sadly it carried through the generations.

To hear the doctors, Poppa should have died many years ago. But I believe God allowed Poppa this last decade to give life to a relationship where once there was a void. And I was delighted to be along for the ride. My mother-in-law was the middle child, and I have often felt I’ve missed something important in not knowing her. Perhaps it is for this reason that to me the last 10 years feel like an extra gift. My husband, too, feels that he’s had an opportunity to know his mother through her parents and siblings. From the first moments, I learned that this family loved from the heart. It was what it was and you could take it or leave it. We chose to embrace it.

This man truly captured my heart. As my mother once said, “He’s in your corner, huh?” He was indeed. I shall miss Poppa greatly.