Thursday, March 31, 2011

Welcome to Mayberry!

OK, having recovered from last night's bout of self-loathing (ok, not really, but I'm putting on a braver face today), let's move on to something more upbeat.

My husband's aunt posted this from the local paper  It's the police blotter.

Lagrange and Grafton are the two communities next to mine.  But these could have come from my neighborhood.  Be forewarned...we do not look kindly at people who poke dead squirrels with a stick.

Personally, I'm interested in knowing who lives next to North Park and sits in their front window all day with binoculars.  Because you know that's what's happening...

LaGrange police

Thursday, March 17
7:27 p.m. — 100 block Keywood, unruly juveniles were slamming a man’s grill lid and knocking on the back glass door to his residence.
Friday, March 18
7:40 p.m. — Commerce Park, a couple juveniles were seen playing with an air soft gun in the woods. They were told to leave the property.
Saturday, March 19
1 a.m. — 300 block S. Center St., Convenient Food Mart, the doughnut delivery man reported that the box he leaves doughnuts in had several business cards, receipts and medication. An employee said the items belonged to her and must have fallen out of her pocket into the box.
3:15 p.m. — 190 block Railroad St., a woman called the police because her 10-year-old son was being unruly. According to the woman, all of her children were cleaning the house, but he was not listening to her. The officers were called back to the residence at 4:15 p.m. because the 10-year-old was then arguing with the other children.
10:53 p.m. — South Center Street, Adam McGregor, 20, Grafton, was charged with driving under suspension and illumination of rear registration.
Monday, March 21
5:15 p.m. — Commerce Drive, a purse was found outside. The lady, who resides in Medina County, said it was stolen in November 2010 while she was in Strongsville. The purse was returned to her.
Wednesday, March 23
2:49 a.m. — East Main and Railroad streets, Jason Murphy, 23, North Ridgeville, cited for failure to reinstate and illumination of rear registration.

Grafton police

Tuesday, March 15
10:28 a.m. — 1100 block State St., a woman advised that she could hear her neighbor in a nearby apartment yelling and screaming at her 5-year-old son. She reported that she always hears her yelling at him through her walls. An officer spoke with the mother who said her son would not go to school that day and that he was fine.
5:01 p.m. — 400 block Main St., a woman wanted to speak with an officer in reference to her ex-husband who may show up at her place of employment. She stated that she was in court with him earlier that day. There is no restraining order against him and she was afraid for her safety when she left work.
Wednesday, March 16
7 p.m. — North Park, a resident reportedly saw a juvenile at the park who had a stick and was poking smaller kids on the swings. The officer spoke with the boy, who promised to behave himself.
Friday, March 18
6:12 p.m. — North Park, a resident saw juveniles playing with a dead squirrel on a stick. The juveniles were advised to not play with dead squirrels on a stick.
Saturday, March 19
3:22 p.m. — North Park, a resident advised he saw a juvenile with a pocket knife at the park. The juvenile was advised to keep the pocket knife in his pocket.
9:02 p.m. — 1000 block Wellfleet, a vehicle was egged.
Sunday, March 20
8:30 a.m. — 1000 block Plymouth, vehicles and homes were egged.
Monday, March 21
6:59 p.m. — 700 block Main St., an officer saw people throwing items out the front door. They advised the officer that they were spring cleaning.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My own personal pound book.

My friend Alison forwarded a link on my Google Reader today.  It's about a woman who cannot see the beauty that she is and it's dedicated to all the rest of the women out there who cannot see their own beauty. I look at the picture this woman posted and I see an absolutely lovely woman with beautiful hair, a beautiful smile and a lovely, joyful daughter.  She can't see any of it.  I totally get it.  Her story speaks to me and my fragile self-esteem in a deafening way right now. 

There is a part of me who wants to upload my photo so I can get all these affirmations and ride all this positive wave with the rest of them.  But I won't.  I can't. 

Because right now, when I look in the mirror, I'm not liking what I see.  I see a woman who looks, literally, 10 years older than she did 18 months ago.  I have dark circles that won't go away.  I had a head full of curly, thick hair before Kes died; fully half of it is gone, to the point where I'm wondering if I need to try medication to make it come back.  I have crow's feet on my crow's feet.  I need to lose 40 pounds, and for the first time ever in my life, I have fat around my tummy.  I have enough grays that I actually NEED to color my hair now. People used to comment on my eyes; they have always been my best feature.  Anymore, there is no sparkle there.  I look in that mirror and I see a woman who looks exhausted, weary, haggard. 

And I don't like it.

I am angry at the universe.  I am angry that some insidious DNA mutation not only took the joy from my heart, but that it saw fit to leave the scars of that insult on my face for all to see.  

Maybe in time, things will look different.  Maybe, as my heart heals (IF my heart heals), the sparkle will come back. 

Maybe next week.  Maybe next month.  But not now.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Chapter 9: In which we learn to hold back.

March 12, 2011

There is a little girl, around eight years old, sitting on her mother’s lap across from me at the Philadelphia gate at Reagan Airport.  She has shoulder-length brown hair.  She is wearing leggings with Hello Kitty on them, along with a belt that belongs on a child five years her senior.  She’s at that age where her body is starting to get away from her, and her arms and legs hang off her mother’s lap at awkward angles.  She doesn’t notice. She is comfortable. Her mother patiently arranges the girl’s limbs against her own, not wanting to move her, because she knows that the day when her daughter won’t want to share her lap is imminent.

The girl is playing a Nintendo DS.  Cookin’ Mama, which was one of Kiersten’s favorite games.  The sound of the game is tearing my heart out.  I keep hearing the music and the ridiculous Japanese approximation of English as she finishes each step in the recipe.  I close my eyes and I can almost feel Kiersten playing, snuggled in the next chair, her head resting on my shoulder. 

She sat like that the day she died, as we waited for Steve’s car to be finished at the Ford dealership.  She was curled up in the chair next to mine, her body resting easily against me.  I kissed the top of her head several times, inhaling the smell of her.  I can recall the smell of her hair now.  I couldn’t do that in the first several months.  I can also recall the exact feeling of the warmth of her body on my right shoulder as she leaned against me.  That memory isn’t as painful as it used to be.  It doesn’t make me want to scream and cry.  But it still hurts like hell, and my shoulder suddenly feels cold for the lack of her warmth.

Looking across at the little girl with the DS, I find I want to say something to her.  I want to tell her how much Kiersten loved her DS and how much she loved that game.  I want to tell her mother not to take for granted the casual ease of her daughter’s body against her own.  I want to tell her to give her daughter extra hugs and kisses every night.  To never let her forget for a single day to let her baby know how much she’s loved. 

I can’t do that, of course.  People become nervous when you approach them in airports and discuss their children.  It’s an instinctive mother reaction to shy away, to put your children behind you.  And starting the conversation means I have to finish it, which means I have to tell them a story about how all that casual ease can be taken away in a heartbeat.  It isn’t fair to the recipient.  But there’s a part of me that wants to tell the story anyway.  There’s a part of me that still, even now, wants to walk up to every parent I see and look them in their eyes and tell them that my baby, my heart and soul, is dead.  There's a part of me wants each of them to hurt for my loss. 

It’s selfish.  I know that. 

I know that, which is why I remain quiet and pull my jacket over my shoulder and listen and remember. 

Tuesday, March 08, 2011


Charlie Sheen, Age 47, is all over the news because he's a lesbian rock-star warlock from Mars celebrity drug addict. 
Andrew Wilfahrt, age 31, Brian Tabada  age 21, Rudolph Hizon age 22, Chauncy Mays age 25, Christopher Stark age 22, David Fahey Jr age 23, Kristopher Gould age 25, and Nicholas Alden age 25 are members of our armed services who gave their lives this week with little or no media mention outside of their home towns. 
May they rest in peace.
For each of their deaths, there are 10 more service members who lay wounded in military hospitals and who may never regain their quality of life.
 May we give them the support and attention they deserve.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

The Sin of Rationality

"Seriously; the rest of us don't know what to do with the rest of them."

My friend, Christy, is a centrist Republican.  She was referring to the far right political  fringe element, which she openly and unapologetically calls "tea-baggers". 

Christy believes the free market will generally take care of most of our economic issues; she believes there is nothing wrong with prayer in schools; she believes that abortion should be safe and legal but not necessarily free and easy.  She also believes the social safety net is not a bad thing, so long as it doesn't become a crutch, but that much of the work of that safety net can be accomplished by strong communities that take care of their own, not by the Federal Government with lots of intermediaries.   She thinks unions have their place in protecting the rights and wages of those who would otherwise be unfairly treated by their employers, but believes that there is a lot of corruption and waste at the highest levels of some of them.

In short, she thinks like about 70-80% of everyone in this country.

So why is it that the 20-30% minority of this nation, who represent the far right and far left fringes of our social and political beliefs, seem to be setting the agenda for the rest of us? 

A friend of mine, who makes his living promoting a lot of capitalist ideals, cautioned me to back-pedal the other day when I called him out for being a "lefty".  "I'm a closet lefty.  Closet.  Christ, you keep talking like that and they'll think I'm a goddamn bleeding heart like you."

"Yeah, C; the clue bus?  Leaving the station.  Dude, you have four advanced degrees, you serve on a board that takes care of under-privileged kids, and your mom is a lesbian.  Ain't no 'closet' about it."

Despite the fact that we were on a private phone call, he shushed me.  "How do I maintain my credibility with my co-workers if they know my politics?"

So what gives here?  We have Republicans who clearly feel a lack of comfort with the direction of their party.  We have fiscal conservatives who are afraid to reveal they are social liberals, because a small and extremely vocal minority tell them they must be "in for a penny, in for a pound."

What he heck ever happened to rationality?  Why is it sinful to be in the middle, to accept some of the wisdom of both sides and to reflect the needs, wants and aspirations of the vast majority among us? 

Have we lost our minds?