Life Today

I didn’t post

Two years ago a dear friend died from breast cancer.

I didn’t post anything when she passed.

I was so sad and nothing seemed to be in a good place.

I didn’t post that after my friends’ second night in the ICU, her four daughters and I spent the night at the Marriott Courtyard by the hospital. We sang to ‘All About the Base’, swam in our boxer shorts, ate a bag of chocolate covered pretzels and ordered the Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity with extra bacon from IHOP.

We were a Motley Crew crammed into my Malibu Max. A Mama who had lost her Littles and four Littles who could loose their Mama.

We drove back to the hospital and ‘All about the Base’ came on again.

We danced in that Malibu Maxx like we didn’t have to go back to the hospital.

I looked back at these four girls with a very sick mama and wanted nothing more than for them to be okay, to know that they were loved, to trust that no matter what lies ahead when they walked through the doors of the hospital, that a whole community stood behind them and that they could always, ALWAYS order an extra side of bacon.

I don’t know if I ever fully expressed that to them.

We lost one of these precious girls this week. It was shocking and tragic and I honestly do think my heart has a slow bleed right now.

I will miss her.

The world will miss all of the potential that was in this lovely, amazing young woman.

Sometimes the Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity just isn’t enough.

Life Today


This week has continued the poop-tastic theme of 2017.

I really do wish I were posting anything other than attending another funeral but I am not. And while there are really great things going on, this is taking all of my brain space and it must be expelled.

Please remind me after this post that I did promise to write about the great things. The great things must be written about.

Enough of this grief crap.

I wrote on Facebook this week that the worst thing about fighting for this disease is knowing what everyone is going through; loss, fear, anger, grief over a disease that tends to take everything. It is isolating and heartbreaking.

Robert Devine was born one week before Samantha with a mitochondrial disease. He and Samantha were in the same Anchor Center class. He fought so hard for his ten years and his parents were relentless in his fight.

I sat in a pew today between Maria and Jacob’s nurse, Gemma as we said goodbye to Robert. We held hands and cried as the bagpiper played Amazing Grace.

I do not feel Amazing.

I did not feel Graceful.

I did feel a bit like a Wretch.

But I also did not feel alone.

We all stood together as we have so many times when confronted with these awful circumstances.

We all speak the same language- the language of grief.

It is not anything you ever want to be fluent in; or even well-versed for that matter. It is a heartbreaking language to learn and it will change the way you view the world forever. Those fluent become extraordinarily honest and find they are no longer versed in the opposite language- the language of bullshit. Small talk can also be difficult once fluent in Grief.

It can be hard to find others who speak Grief. But once found, there is an instant connection; a sad but relieved connection. “Thank God I am not alone.”

I left today sad, exhausted but full of love and amazing respect for these families. I also found that after a morning of speaking Grief, I had no more room for any other language; other conversations were hard and my brain was distracted. Everything else in the world seemed trite.

It breaks my heart that this group of those who speak Grief has grown….this pisses my off. As Anger and Grief sometimes share the same vocabulary, I guess this is expected.

Ironically, I have also found that tolerance and acceptance can also be synonymous with this language. I guess it depends on what thesaurus you use…..or the time of day.

I find the time of day to be more predictable.

Most important, finding others is imperative to navigating this painful, foreign tongue. Unlike my high school Spanish, the language of Grief doesn’t go away if you don’t use it.

Stupid Grief.

Grateful for those who speak my language …..which is poop-tastic that you speak it too but know I am grateful you will hold my snotty Kleenex hand and refuse to talk small.

Life Today

The Current Underneath

I have always liked to swim.

I was one of those kids you couldn’t get out of the water. The one who dove too deep only to emerge gasping and coughing, to dive again.

I have never been fast or talented or graceful. But I love the water.

When I am on my ‘A’ game, I get up at 5:00 in the morning three times a week and go swim with Loveland Masters. It’s dark and cold on the way to the pool. It’s early and I’m sleepy; missing my down comforter and puppy dog pajamas.

But pool is bright and smells of chorine.

My toes touch the edge and I look into the water.

Once I jump, I’m committed…..I’m wet, fully in the water. There is no halfway to getting into the pool.

Sometimes I procrastinate. Sometimes I jump right in- submerged. Fluid fills my ears, tickles my toes, forces me to calculate my breath.

I am no longer earth.

I am water

I was told once that truth lies at the bottom of the pool.

I exhale, inhale, watch my arm glide through the water. That arm doesn’t seem to belong to me.

For the next hour, I focus on my breath and moving through the water.

I am no longer earth.

I am water.

I think about our Mito kids when I swim; being weightless, no longer supporting a body. Samantha loved the water; she would sigh, kick and stretch, no longer committed to muscles and a body that didn’t quite work.

On Jacob’s birthday, I jumped in the water and told him I would swim for him that day. That was a good practice.

I have not been on my A game lately and missed a couple weeks practice but tomorrow I will swim for Robert who we lost to Mito on Friday.

 I will also think of his parents, Kevin and Lorene as I hold my breath and jump. 

Grief moves around us like water. It is complex and porous… can seep into the tiniest of places; crack rocks, move houses and create islands.

And in time, it can carve a new path… time.

Tomorrow is not the time. Tomorrow is just a day to hold my breath, jump in the pool, think of Robert and breathe.