Friday, May 22, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
And too--this is my hope, with this blog entry. I know that someone, somewhere, probably has a lump too--and you're afraid to check it out. You'd rather not know the answer...and believe me when I say, I do understand that fear. I often feel like an old wooden marionette that's been repaired and pinned together with duct tape and rubber bands... And there's always something new....always. But back to you:
Please get your lump checked. If I can, you can too--and I'll bet you "all the mommy in world" that I have worse luck than you do, in the field of medicine!--you're going to be fine. :)
I've known about Ms. Lump (as we'll call her) for a while--I wanted to enjoy and celebrate Maggie's 5th Birthday before I checked it out....and too, lumps change, throughout the month. So tomorrow, I take Ms. Lump & Mrs. Boob in, to a new doc., and we'll see what's what. And I must say--the receptionurse was SO nice...but is she always nice? Or is it just because I said it: lump, when I made the appointment...maybe it was because my voice broke just a little bit, there at the end?
receptionurse: And what do we need to see you for?
me: I have a....lump. A lump in my right breast.
No one ever wants to say "lump" out loud. Never made my list of things to do, that's for darn certain...but, ah! My list of things to do...
I found the lump via. self-examination (aren't I responsible?!) It was late...I found Ms. Lump...I went to bed (Joe was already asleep)--I turned on my reading lamp, opened my excellent book, and laid it over my breasts. Like a shield. It was so late--and Joe had to work so early--and I really, really, tried to let him sleep. But I couldn't. I turned to him and whispered:
I have a lump.
And then...I just laid there. And I thought of everything I haven't done--every memory I haven't made yet. Blessings, reunions, celebrations... I'm sure there's a song out there, somewhere in the world, that will be one of my favorite songs. I haven't heard it yet. I know there's an author I will adore that I haven't found yet--I think there's a pale grey dress, with a silk rose and matching cloche...it's beautiful. I haven't bought it yet, let alone worn it. There's a beach somewhere--and an ocean that curls over it, embraces it...I haven't walked along it yet. I haven't curled my toes into the sand or gathered sea glass and sea shells to give to my girls. And my girls! I'll have to stop there...
Am I over-reacting? Probably. But at least I'm consistent. And honest. Tell me you haven't thought every one of those thoughts--personal to your life--when you found your Ms. Lump. I know that you did. It's just that I'm brave enough to write it down, to say it out loud. Because if there's anything left that I believe in--it's the power of honest words. Especially if they float a little courage your way.
Make the call--
Friday, May 8, 2009
mother: 1. A woman who conceives, gives birth to, or raises and nurtures a child.
"On" being "topic", versus the actual day... It's a lovely Friday morning. One of you is at school--one of you is asleep (of course!--who do you take after, I wonder?). I've thought of some things, over the past few months, that I have wanted to impart to you. Sometimes these thoughts occur when I am incredibly frustrated--sometimes they smack me in the noggin when I stumble across some drivel or another in a novel or a specific quote...
Some too, are when I check on you, just before I finally go to sleep. I always go to sleep last, you know....and I think I just have to check on both of you, bless you, touch your hair and get close enough to feel your warm breath before I can sleep myself. (By the by, I might break my leg at two in the morning since Chloe's on the top bunk now! The checking, blessing, etc. is mighty hard to do when you're 4'11" and terribly un-coordinated.)
Anywho--here's some thoughts from me, your Mom, and a few things I want us all to remember as the years go by.
1--I will make, and have made, mistakes. You will too. When that happens, we can embrace forgiveness or embrace resentment. Please remember, you always have that choice in your life, no matter the person or situation.
2--To Chloe: I will never forget the evening that your pink poodle hooded sweatshirt saved your life. I don't know if there's been a worse moment, grabbing the 1/2" of fabric just in time to jerk you back from heavy traffic. When I suddenly hug you as if I'll never, ever, let go--I'm probably thinking of this moment. It was actually worse than when Magdalen decided to be a robot and covered her head in duct tape (I know that you two compete...so far, you have "the worst moment"....and Mags finally has eyebrows again, for the moment.) I cannot imagine what I would do without my daughter who has "shown me the angels."
3--To Magdalen: I am so glad we both lived through your birth--I inadvertently received our medical records in the mail when you were about a year old?....I had no idea how "lucky" we were. And yes, even when Dad's been away for 16+ hours, when I'm bone-tired and you're incredibly naughty--and unrepentant--...when you glue things to things, find duct tape, make "soup", steal your sister's stuff (where is her pink ipod, missie?!), when you steal my stuff, steal dad's stuff...when you cut things into absolute ribbons that you should not (like curtains, or your hair--who will forget the "half-a-mullet", spring 2008?!). I'm still glad we made it--for you and me. You keep my body and my heart agile, and alive, in so many ways.
4--Be nice. And courteous. I'm not kidding here...the world would be a different place if we all woke up and thought--"Just for kicks...I think I'll be kind today."
6--The world will not stop spinning... Okay, it probably could, I suppose (though I myself think it will just blow up someday). If the world does stop spinning, you probably won't realize it--or you won't for very long. So, you've no excuse to not heed #5. I have to heed #5 as well.
7--I honestly don't care about your grades in school. Or, rather, there's a lot of things that are a bit of a "higher priority". Mark Twain said: "I have never let schooling interfere with my education." I whole-heartedly embrace this notion of Mark's...I do care that you educate yourself...you'll never, ever, regret learning. But no, you don't have to pay anyone or visit a classroom to learn. However, should I find myself paying for you to visit a specific classroom, you'd darn well better go! (Just ask Papa.)
8--Mark Twain is always right. I don't know why that is? It's almost creepy. Okay--it is creepy. But true. If you can't speak with me or your father directly, please consult Mr. Twain, with one exception--the legal age for drinking always trumps whatever Mr. Twain has to say on that topic. It's physiological, that age. (Yeah, yeah...I know you won't listen. But I had to say it. I'm your Mom.)
9--Learn one thing everyday. Sometimes, your "lesson" will be intentional--something you specifically wished to learn. But you know what the most powerful lessons are? The ones that keep you up at night. Those aren't worries or heartaches or regrets, my sweet girls--those are lessons. And they're usually free.
10--A "mother" in your life isn't always going to be just me, your Mom (and I'll try to choke down my jealousy). Please keep your eyes peeled for other "mothers"...these are your "heart-mothers". I have 2 Aunts (yes, I still have Judy), 1 crazy friend in Ohio, and 1 dear, sweet, friend from years ago, 2 sponsors, 4 teachers--all are excellent mothers, and have mothered me, in addition to own Mom. All have taught me useful "lessons", most have held me while I sobbed (even over the phone), all have rescued me from myself when necessary, and all have celebrated joy and blessing with me...and too, some have held on tight when I refused to rescue myself. That's a mom for you!
11--I really, of course, wish I did not have to even think about #11....but. Mistakes are, most often, like dominoes. At the very least they seem to come in pairs. However, a lot of times, certain mistakes can be avoided. And I'll tell you how to avoid some "biggies". Use a condom. Call for a ride. While, of course, I don't want to imagine you having to take either precaution...well. The world's a different place for you than it ever was for me--and it was still quite a world when I was a teenager. And too--you don't have to call me for a ride...remember you've kept your eyes peeled for those other "mothers"? If Grandpa Chapman can "be cool" when the cops bring someone home--in quite a state and wreaking of booze--if Harold can manage that--can be kind and loving and concerned (and NOT die of a heart attack!), then surely I can too. Please keep in mind, even with the various modes of transportation and precautions, you will still be in serious trouble.
12--Should you ever find yourself at a "place" in your life where it seems you have no personal dignity left, not one shred or pretense--you need to pay attention to that. And act upon it. Sadly, I--nor anyone else--will be able to "tell you" when you've reached that place without dignity.... I mean, sure I could tell you, but you won't give me any merit whatsoever in this "department of dignity". You'll have to figure that one out for yourself. When you do, I am here.
13--Do you remember when we watched Coraline together? You two loved it...and of course, I did too. But I think it's the "scariest" movie I've ever seen. I can only hope that I know about all of the little "doors" in our home and in your lives (and some of them, I do)--I hope, that if you must enter them, you'll at least let me hold your hand and walk through with you? And don't always assume doors have keys. Some "doors" are funny that way, and they might even trick you a bit...you can lock a door behind you, sometimes, and have no idea you've done so. (Chloe, you will understand this especially as we spent about an hour+ on the front porch the other day....waiting for Dad and his keys....good "teaching moment", eh?)
14--I'm always right. Okay, okay...my heart is always right. So that's why you can't do a staggering variety of dangerous things, read the books that I do (Grandma doesn't like me reading them either!), watch whatever you want, browse the web, etc. etc. Yes, I know it stinks. Too bad. Too bad for you and your sweet little girl hearts and brains. i.e., you will not be able to read this blog entry (#11)--but someday you may, if you like.
15--My High School speech coach gave me a little quote book when I graduated? (one of those "other mothers"...) She'd "marked" advice specifically for me...one of the highlighted advisements: Love someone who doesn't deserve it. This kind of goes back to #4...please, just "love". It's not something, "love" that is, that should remotely resemble a little scale with weights and numbers...ever. In example, there's not a number in this world that's big enough to describe how much I love you. See? I am always right.
16--It's funny...when you were babies, I could just about "fix" anything that was wrong...except you couldn't really "tell me", specifically what some of your troubles were.... As you grow older, as you are able to talk--heaven knows!--you're able to "tell Mom all about it"...and I can still fix a few things--quite a few, really. But the older you grow, the less I can fix, yet the more I can understand completely what you need. I don't know why that is...seems unfair. But I will try, I promise you that. And when I'm not nearby to "fix"? Well--I'll try to make sure I've equipped you with the tools you need to remedy what ills of this life that you can.
17--Be nice to your sister. Both of you. You do and will infuriate each other, compete, fight, love, and--finally--NEED each other.
18--This is all for now. You may read it when you're 22 (at least).
Since Chloe was born, I have kept an informal "mother's journal" of sorts...some of these thoughts are new, some are old...
I hope each of you has a loverly Mother's Day, one way or another, and try to let just a few of you "mothers" know how they're cherished...
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
may trump The Unbearable Lightness of Being. For the moment.
I'd no idea, until yesterday, that's it been nearly 8 weeks since I've blogged...so that faint sense of relief you've been experiencing? The reprieve you've had from quirky music and senseless ramblings? That beautiful silence? Over. Again, for the moment...
I've actually spent the last weeks deciding what I might want to do with my life. Like a job or something. This is what I came up with....
- a hospice chaplain
- a hospice nurse
- a nail tech., specifically for hospice patients, nursing homes, etc.
- a teacher
So the chaplain thing...I suppose if no one I know, personally, ends up in hospice I might be able to pull that off (after all, I did work as a medical assistant one summer while pursuing a degree in acting....). A hospice nurse? IVs and 16 hour shifts wouldn't really "work", I'm afraid. ( I HATE all that is intravenous with near phobic intensity...IVs...blood draws. Anything vein-ish. I get grey...sweaty....sometimes I sing...). I did discover that if you drink a LOT of water right before-hand, the blood spurts out a bit quicker (yick-yick-yick!!!!). But then of course, you still have all the sweaty-groaning-grey-singing with an incredible urge to pee...
Needle Lady: Miss Wommack, are you okay?
Meg: (moaning and humming, head lolling on her sweaty neck....) Oh, fine....la-la-la...really fine...are you done yet?
Needle Lady: Almost. (we both know she's a liar. a freaking bad liar, at that.)
Meg: (between singing snatches of Hank William's "I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive")....(croak)...weather...two girls...(watery gasp)...are you almost done?
Why do they ask you questions during a time like this?! Yeah Needle Lady...I want to recount all that is dear and wonderful and beautiful about my life. Because, that's really the sort of thing I like to do before I moan, sweat, turn grey, pee my pants, pass out, and eventually die-die-DIE! We both know this is going to kill me. Why is it going to kill me? Have you seen that movie about the kids-who-don't-get-on-the-plane-that-blows-up and then the rest of the movie they're-all-dying-and-stuff because they've cheated-a-horrible-death? HAVE YOU?! No, I thought not...because, if you had read any of my charts, then you, Miss Needle Lady--or whatever you call yourself nowadays!--if you had read, then you would know, the clock is TICKING. TICKING!!! Ticking for me, personally--and this could darn well be the last TOCK, that's just my freaking luck. My destiny, if you will...
She passed away while getting a blood-draw...yes...very rare....the Needle Lady used a needle that was way too long and it stuck right through Meg's arm and into the electrical socket on the far wall...the Needle Lady was wearing Crocs, of course, so she was not shocked....but Meg in her flowered clogs. Well. No, no...it's okay to say it. She never did wear sensible shoes...the most terrible part--that haunts me to this day--is that the tourniquet inexplicably popped off her arm and blinded her. She died, blind and electrocuted...and you know, her veins did blow up, there at the last--just after they'd been sucked up through the needle and squished back the wrong way. She'd always said that would happen, and I never did give that notion of her's much credence... Ah, poor mite. Would that I had known...
(casual laughter) No, no, no...I don't really think all that. (she said, abashed and slightly emberassed at her deepest fears being displayed for all to see...).* ** (some college)
I watched a nail tech. appointment. It was mind-numbing, and apparently you have to be nice allllll day long. In person. Face to face. Creepy chemicals. There's hand contact. And I can't maintain, nor do I desire to maintain, "pretty" nails for any amount of time--in fact, I do believe it's been a solid sixteen+ years since my unfortunate first--and last--attempt at "nails". And I just don't think that would make a very good impression on my potential victims? It smacks of un-trustworthiness. Like if I owned a restaurant and never ate there? Or a swimming instructor who can't [swim]. Then too, I kind of avoid make-up that's colored. (Yes, I know how that sounds...). You see an appropriate, subtle, shade of eyeshadow. I see a Crayola Box of 64--can't help it.
And the teaching thing...again, with the nice-ness. Ah, well... The only idea I've had which I've actually considered is a Master Gardener certification. Which is all volunteer work, which sort of defeats the purpose of the whole job quest.... Although, I must say, it would be completely expected for me to spend a lot of time doing something that adds no income whatsoever to my household (oh baby, don't say that!).
So a week or so ago? I decided to just go ahead and be an artist. Which leads to all sorts of questions...what to make, etc., blah-blah-blah.... Does a girl just ignore the economy and proceed? In truth, I really do miss dollies...but the dollie-dreams in my noggin have grown wicked time-consuming and complex. The figurative is at that place--I know you know what I mean--where you grow, learn, get better, or scrap it altogether out of respect for the medium. If I'm "stuck" because I don't want to grow, that's one thing...but if it's simply because no one has money to buy art, that's not a good enough reason. In my book. (Book of Meg, Chapter 2)
I actually polled the living room last night--and I so wish I could remember what Chloe had to say about "what mom should make"! It was her wonderfully "usual" follow your heart speech. But hilarious, too. Ah, that girl... She wants me to make "felt mascots" from the Japanese craft book she got for her birthday. (I suspect her advice is not completely altruistic.)
So. I'm as excited as you are to see what the heck I come up with....and just for kicks, there's a poll. Because I've never had one on my blog...unless it's not there. Because every time I threaten a poll, I can't get it to "show up".
What I am sure of, what I am certain I have learned--the artist's non-creating cycle can be just as vital as the art itself. Though that sounds a bit nonsensical and psycho-babbley, it's true... I know I gather everything--every moment, every image, every face, every song or poem or book...even a word--artists of any sort gather all of these trinkets of inspiration, every day, and store them away. Sometimes I feel I'm a peddler doll--but nothing's for sale, aside from the results of my dream-hoarding. (okay...I'm certain I've lost Sherry at this point...."Nutmeg...it's wonderful...but how do you come up with this stuff?!..." And that's a comment pertaining to my work, and the drugs. Or lack thereof-- not Sherry.)
I'm seeing girls in masks with little wool caps...flowing hair...small hands that are still large enough to hold fast to what's important--elaborate costumes, aged and worn...unexpected patterns and forgotten colors...they might have pet ravens or cats or little poppets of their own? I think all of them are on some sort of journey...and they may "meet", intersect, as travelers will do.... There will be that tentative moment of inspection, the hopes of a million little-girl's-journey-hearts will hang in the balance of an unsettling universe; a world that is cold, palest grey, and fraught with existential angst...and then the cats will eat the birds? Stay tuned, if only for the blood-shed.
*Joe might beg to differ a bit with this particular disclaimer...after plasmapheresis, multiple sclerosis, chemotherapy, two delieveries (ah, that was easy!--I got a prize at the end!)...one nasty cat bite, and--though I did not require medical attention--an incident involving a discarded croc which bounced the bathroom door into my head...it smacked my noggin so hard that there was a noise (so take your sensible shoes and sell stupid elsewhere). Well, after all that--he might have his own opinions. But he's not the most verbose fella (yes, that quality was attractive to me, for various reasons.)
**The Needle Lady will definately disagree with this passage--like I'm scared. Are you going to listen to the girl in the really cool shoes or The Lady With All of Those Needles in the Garfield scrubs? Yeah. That's what I thought. Oh, snap.
P.S....It occurs to me that some of my frequent-flier doctor's offices' actually read this blog. No...it's not you, I promise. The scrubs are a coincidence...an unfortunate, regrettable, coincidence...