Saturday, September 18, 2010

Run Rosie, RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today Rose ran in a 5K Race to raise funds for some Atlanta school programs (and to get extra credit in her required Health class). She came in first in her division and was the third woman to cross the finish line!!!! How cool is that? I'm proud of her for going to such an event on her own and putting in such a great showing. We had had the goal of running in local events like that one, together this summer but I had to have all my shenanigans so that didn't work out. I am very glad she took the initiative to participate today and I'm certain that this is just the beginning! Way to go, Rosie!!

For my part, I am pleased to report that I ran one of my better 3 miles just now with Brent and Z. For fun, I did keep up with my miles (not counting my biking, elliptical, and dog walking!) and put in 37 in July, 38 in August and have run 15 so far this month. It is kind of lame when I compare it to what I've run in the past and to the 30-35 miles (or more) that Rosie, Hailey, and Diana (2 NP's I work with) do every week! But, I am proud of it anyway. (I AM twice their age and have had a few hiccoughs!! HA!)'s to my girls!!!! Keep on RUNNING!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Looking forward...

...for someone who always loved planning the trip and looking forward to the wonders the upcoming phase of life might hold, almost as much as the trip is odd to find that looking forward has become uncomfortable.

As I try to explain, I must start with looking back. And I find comfort in the fact that I am truly able to say, 'I have no regrets.' That doesn't mean that I have done everything that I wanted to do. Nor have I done all things perfectly, but I am assured that whatever I have committed myself to, I gave it my all, with energy, enthusiasm, and hard work. Of this I am glad. I am proud that a little girl from Alabama with big dreams has been able to see so much of the world, attained a masters in nursing, took care of children in a way that she always wanted to, and created a family of her own. I am so grateful to whatever force that drove me, the professors at UAB who aided me, and my family who supported me through my last 2 semesters rolled into one that allowed me to finish my PNP degree at a time when I was not at all sure what would happen next. My ability to do my work has been a great joy for me and hopefully some small help to the children and families who allow me to be a part of their lives. I am beyond grateful for Brent and Fred and Rose. How I was so lucky to share my life with such wonderful, funny, kind, brilliant, and caring people I will never know. I am not ready to leave, but when I must, I am forever grateful that I got to see Rosie hitting her stride at Georgia Tech, having no doubts that the world will be forever changed in the best possible way by her busy, creative spirit. I have seen Fred, my little chubby, spitty, dumpling of a baby grow into a wonderful man. A person to whom others look for help, for fun, for a steady caring hand. I am certain he will find his place and lead others with his innate gentleness, humor, and grace. I am blessed to have been witness to the creation of two incredible adults.

I am content to have made it this far. So many, do not "come within sight of the castle of their dreams." I know. I beat the odds to have made it this far, and to have had such a beautiful ride along the way is a fortune beyond measure. Yet, I am greedy still. I would like to see graduations, and small joys, and even be there when disappointments they always will. But, I don't know what will happen. And while that is true for all of us, I guess I do feel there is more room to question here. A few years ago, I would think about the kids being gone, and how much I was bound to miss them, but how neat it would be to have time with Brent and all the things we would be able to do together. But now that it is here...I have a hard time allowing myself to dream, to plan the trip. It is hard to buy a pair of pants...who do I know who could use a size 4 tall?! I can't stand the thought of wasting them!!! It is hard to arrange to have your teeth cleaned. I mean, that could be a waste of time and money, if you end up dealing with other things....and you spend so much time at doctor's offices anyway. On the other hand, getting things done for others seems very pressing. I want to be sure that certain things are accomplished, acquired, set case I am not able to do it later. I guess this sounds rather strange. But it is my world these days.

Yet, Brent perseveres despite my protestations, as he has always done. Though we had known each other for over 4 years, we did not go on our first date until June 14. (Shockingly enough, we went running together! I wonder how many miles we have run together since!) Shortly after, he invited me to go to the Pediatric Intensive Care conference that was being held in October in San Fransisco with him. I politely declined, thinking that there was NO WAY I was flying across the country with this weird little man in couple of months!!!! We were married on August 26, that same summer. Toward the end of September, he brought me an envelope. Within were 2 tickets to San Francisco. Incredulously, I asked when he had acquired them. "When I asked you," he replied. (Not really sure, even today, how I feel about being a foregone conclusion!!! Crazy man!!!) I obviously went and had a glorious time. Now, 22 years later, he's done it again. We are going to the Pediatric Conference in San Francisco in October. (This time I agreed to go from the start.) Each day is a little bitter sweet. And I am trying. I have told my kids their entire lives..."Live each day as though there will be no other, and you will have no regrets." I am not entirely pleased with my every move on every day...but that has been my guiding mantra. And so it will have to be, even more so now. I did get the pants...for San Francisco. I'll call the dentist tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


When I was in my late teens, early twenties, I railed that there was no true difference between the sexes. Distinctions between the sexes were more about societal expectations and demands. Then - I had a boy - and a girl - and I discovered...I was wrong! There really is a "buden-buden" gene and a " I love pink and sparkly" gene!!! One is no better than the other. This isn't about male bashing. My son is one of the most wonderful humans I have ever met and many of my dearest friends in my life have been male. But there is a special quality that is distinctly feminine. I have been thinking about this for some time (obviously!!) and wanted to share what I have seen and experienced first hand.

Having grown up in a family of 3 girls, trained as a nurse (3 times!), and worked in that field for 27 years...I have spent plenty of time in almost exclusively female domains. Women are not all sweetness and light. Plenty will stab you in the back...and the front. Just as many as will give you a helping hand will give you a shove down the stairs as you fall. Yet, there is a bond and gift, to all they touch, that only women can give.

I have been fortunate to explore museums in Athens, London, Paris and across the United States. I have seen amazing art and artifacts. But the pieces to which I am most drawn are the small things from the lives of women who went before me. Just as Agatha Christy, whose second husband was an archaeologist noted, "There are her needles, the remnants of her earrings, her cooking utensils, her pots for rouge." I realize looking at these things how alike we are. How, centuries before me, she lived as I do now. Taking care of her family, trying to look pretty.

I once read an essay written by a woman whose name I don't recall, in which she noted that when you put two women together who are both parenting a 6 year old, all else will drop status, educational level, race, ethnicity, politics, religion. The commonality of rearing that child will bring them together, equalize their lives, in a way that nothing else can.

I watch the women in the hair salon. I have written several novels in my mind. I watch the hair dressers and the patrons...some are shy and uncertain, others loud, some prissy, some for whom this care and primping are just a routine part of their feminine world. It is comforting and entertaining to watch and listen as they let their hair down as I do mine...we are the same, we are here, we are sisters.

Then, there are the women who have and currently share my work life. These sisters have shaped my world and taught me all I know about being a nurse and taking care of children. They have supported me when I am down and rallied around others ANYTIME they are needed. They are there: with humor, with hugs, with tears, with casseroles. They will diaper your baby, they will diaper you. If you but ask, and even when you don't. It is a blessing. It is real. It is a gift beyond measure. I wish only to live up to the gentleness, the strength, the kindness, the joyousness that these women...strangers and intimates sisters...have shown me.