Thursday, February 25, 2016

Bad Guys 101

Here we go, my first post in a year and a half or so. What prompted me to write after all this time was our recent foray into the not-so-nice side of human nature in the airport.

Last weekend, Anna and I were flying home from visiting my mom. It was late in the evening, we'd had two flights already, and we still had a two-hour car ride home to look forward to.  It was a long day for sure.  We waited at the baggage carousel. Anna insisted on getting her own suitcase and wandered to the other side. Eventually we both got our bags and took all of our stuff over to some chairs to wait for Mama Heidi to pick us up.

And then panic struck. "Mom, my bag is gone!" Anna exclaimed.  "What do you mean, gone? It was right here....wasn't it?"  I couldn't remember.  My mind was fuzzy and I was tired. I figured it had to be around the area somewhere.  So we started searching and turned up empty-handed.  As we talked, Anna realized she may have left her backpack on the floor. She thinks she put it down when she went to grab her suitcase from the carousel.  Sure enough, we had two suitcases but only one backpack.

I struggled to remember what was in it.  Thankfully, there was no money. There were no electronics.  But unfortunately, what Anna lost was something far more precious to her - some of her snuggly friends. There was Felix the Fox, who had been going to school in Anna's backpack since we got him on vacation last summer.  There was Todd the Otter, a special friend from grandma from when we visited real river otters at the living museum.  There was Chester Cheetah, Pugsly and Chip (puppies she'd just gotten for Valentine's Day), Prickles the Hedgehog and Shelly the Turtle, from Anna's baby days.  The one silver lining is that Anna's all-time favorite best stuffed friend, Beary, was still with us. Whew. I can't imagine what would've happened if he'd been in the bag.

Beary, Anna's best buddy

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Black Hole

I am underwater.  Or maybe in a tunnel.  I know there is light above, somewhere, and I want to reach for it, to embrace it, but something holds me back.  I'm groggy.  I feel heavy.  Pulling myself up seems like a Herculean task.

I hear well-meaning voices at the surface.  They call to me with the pull of everyday life - there is grocery shopping to be done.  Laundry to be washed.  Motions to write.  Clients to call.  A child to bathe.  A family to spend time with.  And yet.....they are so far away.  I can't quite reach.

And yet, I cannot fail to do these things. Can I?

And yet.

Friday, July 25, 2014


Ironically, my last post was about Anna’s taking many pictures of me due to her fear that I would die and that she wouldn’t be able to cope with it.  As I wrote that post, I could not have even imagined that, just over a month later, I would be the one losing a parent.

Two weeks after that post appeared, I got the terrible news that my father, seemingly out of the blue, had been diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer, Stage IV, which had metastasized to his liver and lungs.  I felt a palpable shift in my universe. I just couldn’t believe it.  He was only 65.  He was fit and healthy and wasn't a smoker and enjoyed exercising and had lots of energy. How could this be??

Things got worse over the next few days as we learned how extensive the illness was and as I researched the nightmare that is pancreatic cancer.  Of course, all cancer is terrible, but at least there are treatment options with many types of cancer.  Sometimes, treatment works and puts people into remission.  Sometimes it just buys time.  But either way, there is often something that people can hold onto that provides even just a little hope.

With pancreatic cancer…not so much.  It’s usually a silent killer – typically, by the time you know you have it, you’ve run out of time for any effective treatment. 

Sadly, that was the case with my dad.

Dad and me, June 8, 2014

He died on June 24, 2014.  Less than a month after his diagnosis.

My world came to a grinding halt.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Unexpected Child Moment #564

Just remember I love you, and it will be all right,
Just remember I love you more than I can say.
--"Just Remember I Love You," Firefall

It was bedtime, on a night like any other night. Which means that, as usual, there was major stalling going on.  This evening's particular stalling involved Anna taking numerous pictures of me with my cell phone.  Then we took funny pictures together.  And then it was really bedtime.

As we lay snuggling, she turns to me and says, "Do you know why I took all those pictures of you?"

"No, why?" I say, waiting for something hilarious.

"Because I want lots of pictures of you for when you're gone."


I thought we were just having fun....

Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Fun: Kids and the Pets Who Tolerate Them

Happy Friday!

This week, I'd like readers who feel so inclined to share their comical photos of their kids and their pets.  I think it's really important for kids to have pets because they learn responsibility and how to take care of living things.  They also get the unconditional love and snuggles family pets so willingly provide.

Best buds!

But, sometimes those poor pets don't quite know what to make of the exuberance of the little people in their households.  At times it can surely be frightening, and at times just plain weird. Still, most pets (thankfully, like ours) are incredibly loving and understanding toward these overly active, loud, enthusiastic beings.

Anna with Kelsey's cat, Artemis