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Today was a Good Day-

*Dear Reader- this post is about a good day!

But it is also contains sensitive content around birth and death…..proceed with caution.

Today was a really fun day. Our hockey team won the Cup! You can’t win a cup and not have a parade. So today half a million of my closest Avs fans converged in downtown Denver for yes, a parade.

I was fortunate enough to be ‘behind the scenes’, drive a firetruck (kidding) and hang out with my Avalanche besties who really are young enough to be my children but that’s okay.

And they only know me as a crazy mom-aged stalker….but that’s okay too.

Today was a good day.

I do not take the joy I feel, my laughter and easy smile today for granted.

17 years ago at this exact time, I questioned everything in my life. I questioned my body. I questioned the cruel circumstances of life and death, pregnancy, parenthood, marriage, motherhood, fatherhood. My whole world and everything I knew about it had been tilted on an axis.

17 years ago the beautiful full term baby boy I carried in my belly died.

Before I would have been hesitant to tell you this- perhaps frightened that it would be too much. But since ya’ll are talking about my baby-maker on every corner…..talking about what you might know without ever having gone through what a lot of women are going through…..

I’ll lay my cards out……..

A little bit of me died 17 years ago.

But I was still alive.

Have you ever seen the Walking Dead? I was Zombie angry. I howled at the moon. I despised healthy pregnant women who gave birth to beautiful babies. I was foreign to everyone else who didn’t loose their babies. I was unpredictable, postpartum bleeding, hormonal and amazingly sad.

But today, June 30, 2022 was a good day.

And I honor today’s good day

I honor it in the fact that the long, extensive, heart breaking road was incredibly personal and difficult. But we made it.

I challenged all of my friendships, and somehow they all survived. I challenged my marriage and we survived.

Jack, in his own silent way, paved the road for other unfairness in our lives. I thank him for this and will always be grateful for the lessons this silent, beautiful boy gave us.

Our story is not different because we wanted our boy. Every story about intimacy, relationships, life, birth and death is told behind closed doors. Government has no place here.

I invite you into my story, without my invitation, you have no seat.

I had more rights as a woman 17 years ago. Even at that time, I was asked by doctors what happened…..did I fall? What did I eat? They copied my file in fear of being sued. They were respectfully distant.

I weep for what my Sisters must endure today- for the ugliness and beauty of birth. For where we are as a country and for where I hope we can meet across the table. For my sisters who must make horrible, private decisions. And for those who have to make much more difficult, public decisions.

For the day that I died a bit…..but for new branches that grow.

And for today….this day…..this fun day. I honor it all.

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I See You Vid a Voo

Last week I caught the Vid…the Rona….the big ol’ assy virus I have been trying to avoid for 2 1/2 years.

I have to admit, I became a bit judgy in those 2.5 years.

Friends would fall to the Vid and I would politely remind them that Vegas is a super spreader city, or that we shouldn’t be asking……thanks for masking!

Me and my four shots made me as cocky as MC Hammer….

Can’t Touch This.

But ya did.

And Vid crawled up in my nose like the creatures from Alien. Seriously, I snotted this little asshat the other day. Not on my watch booger alien. Not here

Its a strange thing when that test strip strikes positive.

Am I the only one of the ladies that feels like I’m taking the 15 minute pregnancy tests?

Who did I breathe with? Crap, I exchanged air with so many.

In my 51 year old dottage, I marched my positive test down to my husband and said, “What did you do to me????”

Seeeee? Just like a pregnancy test.

And he held up his own positive test and said what did you do to meeeeeeee

Crap! In this new universe, men can carry snot aliens too!!!!

And then I thought about my surgery…..my carefully planned surgery. The Rusty replacement, only a week out.

I looked at Hubs, “should I call the surgery center?”

Because I gotta tell you, I didn’t want to call the surgery center. I didn’t want to tell them I was carrying an alien booger baby in my nose. Maybe we can just forget the alien baby?

And Hubs sat back, “Well…….it’s a big surgery. And its a pandemic, and it was a top cause of death for 2021….but you do you.”

Fine. Fine. Fine.

So I called my surgery center. And I did feel a bit dirty.

Heeeeyyyyyy yeah, guess what? I have Covid. Wahhhhhhhaaaat? Its a thing? A rescheduling thing? No. Really? F&ck Fine

I didn’t really say F&ck.

But I wanted to. Turns out Covid can cause blood clots during surgery.

Blood clots are bad.

And then I thought about my life.

And the times that schedules were switched for my girl.

About how we planned, thought, rescheduled, planned again, cursed, and at the end it was okay. .

It was okay- sometimes even better.

Perspective is an amazing gift.

And in four weeks (universe willing) I will be VID free with a brand new knee and none the less worse for the wear.

But it took a while to get here!

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My Arvada Dad!

I have taken on a super fun side gig! I am writing for Neighbors of Northwest Arvada. June brought Father’s Day and a chance to interview my Pops and fellow (new!) Arvada resident.

Content isn’t available online but you can read the text of my interview below.

Happy June!

Happy Father’s Day Neighbors of Northwest Arvada! Did you know that Father’s Day did not become a nationally recognized holiday until 1972? We see you Dads out there; on the bike trails or tossing a ball around.

Good Dads are the best. In honor of the holiday, I took some time to chat with my own Dad and fellow Arvada resident about Fatherhood.

Hi Dad.

Hello Daughter.

You’ve been doing this dad thing for over 50 years, and we think your pretty good at it. As a dad of adult kids, watching your kids have kids, what advice would you give to someone whose brand new to this?  

Enjoy the time- it goes by so quickly. Play with your kids, be the goofy dad. Jump in the pool and be the shark. Wear the tiara for the tea party. When your kids are young, the days can be long, but you blink, and they are off to college. Enjoy the time when they think you’re still pretty cool.

I still think you’re pretty cool. What has been your proudest moment as a father?

Seeing my children grow up to become decent, respectful, talented world contributing people makes my buttons pop.

Well, that’s a pretty nice thing to say about your kiddos. Thanks! We are going to fire up the grill for Father’s Day, what’s the key to grilling a really great ribeye?

Start with a good quality bone-in ribeye. Season only with salt and pepper and have a good grill that allows searing the meat and then finish at a lower temp. Insist on chewing on the bone, it is Father’s Day after all.

Fine, you can gnaw on the bone, because it is your day. Speaking of your day, what is the appropriate gift? No gushy answers like world peace, go big.

A tie.

Really?

No, this is a little gushy, but I really have reached a time in my life where being with my kids and grandkids is always at the top of my wish list. And as my kids have gotten older, they now give us really thoughtful gifts!

That’s it, you’re getting a tie. Dads are known for bad jokes, what’s your best one?

In honor of my grandsons and because we were just talking about grilling, here you go…..Why didn’t Han Solo like his steak? It was Chewie.

That’s terrible. And kind of funny. So, you just moved to Arvada to be closer to family. What’s the best thing about living here?

Well, aside from being closer to all of you, we love that we are so close to the mountains. We can be out hiking and biking in minutes. I have also found a couple pretty good brew pubs and I might just try out goat yoga.

You’re crazy. But I’m glad you’re my dad.

To all our Neighbors of Northwest Arvada dads, granddads and really amazing uncles, we hope you have a fantastic day with family, friends and of course those little munchkins that made you dads. Go play and enjoy the day!

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How Should I Feel????

I found myself at Orange Theory yesterday evening.

My best workouts are somewhat anger enriched.

And last night I needed to sweat out some demons out in my head.

I pounced on the bike and started riding to the music. Orange Theory plays really great, sometimes a tad ragey music.

Blue Monday by Orgy started to play…… it’s an angry song- not a super angry song but it fit my mood…..

And I still find it so hard,

To say what I need to say,

But I’m quite sure that you’ll tell me, just how I should feel today.

Orange Theory has these sayings on the wall, “Sweat Today, Smile Tomorrow.” “You’re only competing against yourself,” “If it does not challenge you, it does not change you.”

And I’m thinking, where is the rage wall? Where is the “I’m working out my inner demons? It’s not sweat, it’s anger juice“, or my favorite saying to work out to when I feel a touch ragey…… “%uck this $hit

Please note, the above is my internal cadence- I don’t run around Orange Theory saying %uck this $hit. But say next time you’re on a run and feeling a little angsty, try it, it really does work.

The song continued to play…

How should I feel?

How do I feel?

The song echoed what I have been feeling all day…..How should I feel.….my heart rate hit a high of 176….I was stinky and dripping anger juice. I think I got a little of this worked out.

Once I dug past the anger, I recognized what was at the core; grief.

I grieve. And perhaps because grief is a companion, I know when it’s here. This morning it sits next to me, sipping coffee and helping me write this all down. This morning it is silent and respectful.

Hello Grief.

I grieve for the families in Texas, for the immense, unfathomable loss. For how these parents now have to navigate life.

I grieve for you and I. For a society and decisions we no longer understand- for government and laws we are willing to accept knowing that the consequences are deadly.

The consequences are deadly.

I grieve for a society that on the darkness nights cannot accept anything less than shame, denial and blame.

I grieve that it all seems completely out of my control. I grieve that for many of us, it’s easier just to say silent.

I have never been good at being silent.

We need to acknowledge the broken- not the shame or the blame but the deeply, broken before it is absolutely unfixable. I don’t care who broke the window. Can we just say that the window is broken?

Let’s start there.

Cause I don’t know where else to start.

In the meantime, I’m going to try and work this shit out in my own head. Apologies in advance to whoever is next to me at sweaty Orange Theory.

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Trauma, Anger, Sadness, and Oh! Happy Mother’s Day!

Ah…..Happy Mother’s Day dear tribe. If you have followed me through the years, you know that Mother’s Day is somewhat problematic for me.

In fact I kinda hate it.

But I am happy to report that (so far) this Mother’s Day has been with love, laughter and sans tears.

For me.

But I think my whole tribe of Mama’s might be somewhat distraught by the goings-on of this last week. Roe v. Wade is a tinder box of emotions and the implications of what could happen in the next month are far reaching and catastrophic for women.

I do not say that lightly.

I have buried two very wanted, very loved babies. I gave birth to a full term stillborn son. I understand that life is really, truly is a miracle; a lovely, messy complex miracle.

After Samantha’s second Flight for Life trip to Children’s, I got an IUD. The thought of having another baby was absolutely terrifying to me.

“But you would be a great mom,” friends and family said.

Heeeeeellllll yeah! I would rock Motherhood. But if you carry an asshole genetic condition like we do, the chances of having another Little like Jack and Samantha is 25%.

1 in 4.

“Those are good odds in Vegas.”

Seriously, someone said that to me. 1 and 4…..after losing two kids, you should go for another because 1 and 4 odds are good in Vegas. I asked said person if they would get on a plane that had a 1 and 4 chance of crashing.

“Maybe not.”

But it wasn’t just the odds of having another medically complex child. It was me. I was a mess. I was traumatized, I was sad, I was angry, and I knew, I knew, I was not in a good place to have another child, or adopt, or foster, or focus on anything else other than healing my traumatized brain.

Trauma makes us do crazy things.

A couple weeks ago, the world watched Will Smith smack Chris Rock. We analyzed, we cancel cultured, we talked, we saidWill has anger issues.”

I made a note of this when I marched into my therapists office a couple weeks ago. “Was that Anger, or was that Violence? I get angry about things in my life but I don’t hit people.”

My lovely therapist pulled out the Anger doll from the movie Inside Out:

“Look at him!” I said, “Nothing about him says healthy Anger! Anger is a red, enflamed man in a tie. THIS is why we hit people, because a movie about all of our emotions says Anger is really bad, out of control, Anger is chaos.

This clearly is not a healthy representation of Anger.

For fun, she pulled out the Sadness Doll from the movie…..

Hmmmmm……I see gender stereotypes here. Poor Sadness, a young woman in her wooly sweater, round glasses and bob haircut. It is easier to console Sadness than confront Anger.

No wonder we fear getting ANGRY about what is going on. No wonder we choose to be quiet and frowny. A recent movie about our emotions says this is what we should be.

I may have given my therapist a complex about the Inside Out Dolls.

What is my point? Lordy, I am all over the place here. My point (and I do have one), is that it is easier to shame, to quick fix (you lost a baby, get another one), to try and solve, to vilify Anger and to succumb to Sadness.

And Trauma? That crazy outlier, just ignore it until it jumps up on stage and smacks you, shame it and then call it Anger.

We can be Angry my friends. We can tell our daughters, our nieces, our friends, our Granddaughters, that Anger is appropriate, healthy and necessary at this time.

Anger is not a man in tie.

Anger is Woman being told how she will live her life.

Oh and yeah, Happy Mother’s Day. I love you tribe. I love you fiercely.