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Aly, Zak, family, faith, musings, photos, scrap, travel, rants

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Getting Back to Writing

It has been a long time since I blogged, or wrote much of anything, and it is time for that to change.  I've relayed stories over Facebook for some time, so I'll be copying them here, with the original release dates over the next few days. If you 'subscribe' to this blog, get ready for a bunch of notifications.
But I am hilarious, so you really shouldn't mind.

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Thursday, May 24, 2018

It's That Time of Year

My mammogram was scheduled today and I was so excited about it, I drove to Deaconess downtown, where they haven’t done mammograms for 18 mo (says the nice elderly gentleman trying not to read my “no pants are the best pants” shirt). 

Speeding along, I get to the Newburgh hospital and look further down on the google result for Evansville breast center - 520 Mary St Evansville. 

Now some words came out of my mouth that I’m not going to type here, but before I tore off to downtown Evansville, I checked the actual appointment in MyChart and I *am* supposed to be in Newburgh. Whew. 

I find a place to park but the car won’t let me leave. Usually this means you are walking away with your keys still in the car. But no. The keys are in my purse, outside the car. Open the door. Close the door. BEEEEP. Oh. I forgot to turn the car off. Stupid fancy push button. 

Anyway I make it in and immediately hear a newborn. Like a right *now* being born baby and the chimes sound and now I’m in the breast center reception area ugly crying. 

Happy Thursday, y’all, and be sure to get yer bewbies smashed on a regular basis. It is an adventure.

Edit to add: post-smashing I can say that it hurts like a 7 on the pain scale, especially when they do it for a second time at a 45° angle. 3 hours later I still have red marks. Seems Susan G Komen could figure out something that didn’t hurt so much along with all that “awareness “ they’re spreading.

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Friday, May 11, 2018

Four Years Ago

Today, I had dinner with my daughter in these very few weeks between her last final as a college sophomore and her summer job in New York City.

Today, my granddaughter Cassie had corrective surgery on her eyes that will help her to see.

Today I got a random blurry snapshot of Zeke from Zak, who finally got his phone fixed and finally texted his mother 😉. 

Today, we gave our dog Kirby the first insulin shot for the rest of his life. 

Four years ago today, I lost my mom, on Mother’s Day. If she were here, she’d have gone to dinner with us. She’d have been hanging outside Cassie’s room. She’d have been visiting Zeke. She’d probably even learn how to give a dog an insulin shot. But she wasn’t here. She didn’t do any of those things. 

Cancer sucks. It doesn’t matter how hard you fight, you make it or you don’t. Sometimes the fight works. Sometimes it gives you false hope. 

How have we raised millions of dollars for awareness with no cure?  I’m pretty sure everyone is aware at this point.  Now what? 

How do we save the next mom, nana, great grandmother, fur mom, sister, daughter, aunt or niece from missing today?

I don’t think we can. But you can make sure you don’t miss YOUR today. Do those little things and cherish every moment.

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Thursday, April 12, 2018

If Things Were Different

If things were different, we'd be celebrating your 21st birthday tonight. Today, you celebrate in Heaven.
If things were different, we wouldn't have known the heart-wrenching pain of losing a child. Today, we have heartfelt compassion for those who have suffered that loss.
If things were different, Zak would have had a best friend no matter where we moved, and we would have had two boys, double trouble, growing up together. Baby Zeke would have an Uncle Zeke to hold him. 
But if things were different, we might not have the amazing, intelligent, and inspiring Aly. Nana wouldn't have had a grandchild already waiting for her at the pearly gates when she tried so hard to stay here for the others. And we wouldn't appreciate the fragile state of life here on earth.
So, happy birthday Isaiah. Thank you for the two weeks we had, and here's to our forever together.

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Sunday, May 29, 2016

To My Daughter on Her Graduation

Alexzandria Kate Edwards ... Summa Cum Laude

And with that, you did it. You graduated.

I keep saying how proud I am of you. But that word does not describe how I feel. From the moment you were born, you were my baby and I knew you would exceed in everything you did.

You are creative and artistic. Your drawings and paintings decorate the house. Your pottery is everywhere. We've framed your photographs. You can play the piano and taught yourself ukulele. You sing when you think no one is listening. Your creative writing is better than Dad's, and he's published two books.

You are smart. We sent you to boarding school because it challenged you. It meant we didn't see you often. We didn't get to hear daily stories of school or weekend fun. We couldn't see how you dressed (ok, it was a uniform) and how you did your hair. We couldn't help you when you were sick or celebrate when you had a great day. We gave up seeing you so you could fly. And you did.

Your teachers ask you to help teach, because the students understand things better when you explain them. Your English teacher is saving an essay to use for class next year. Math and Science might not come easy, but you persevere, and you won the senior class book award for AP Calculus and Environmental Science. You've had three years of Latin and had the top score in your Harry Potter Magic & Morality class. Your GPA is higher than a 4.0 and your standardized test scores are off the chart. But I know you had a good time through it all. There were late nights and early mornings. Trips for midnight snacks and sleeping on the floor. I hope you have fantastic memories of school and fun times with friends.

You chose carefully where you applied to college and made a tough decision. You'll be one credit shy of a sophomore thanks to AP credits, which means you'll probably double major. I know you'll have a fantastic time. You already know how to deal with a dorm full of girls and getting to class on time. You are a whiz at cards and board games. And now you can wear hoodies and gym shorts! You can schedule classes for late morning and sleep in! I'm so excited for your college career to start, but I also want this summer to last. We'll be spending a week in Italy to celebrate, and I know you'll want to photograph and sketch and learn all you can while we are there.

You love unconditionally. Dogs are your best friends. You miss your pets when you aren't home. Even your Senior Survival Trip on the Appalachian Trail included you petting a fluffy dog you met along the way. You love the mountains and the beach. You were excited to turn 15 so you could sit in the exit row of a plane. You want to go to San Diego just so you can eat tacos at the tiny taco stand we've visited twice. You sleep in the car on every road trip, including our two week trip down the west coast.

You are loyal to friends and buy McDonald's for whomever forgot their cash. You buy thoughtful birthday and Christmas presents that people cherish. You still let me call you Booger and walk arm in arm with me at the mall. You're witty and punny and make jokes when we're together. People love you and love to just be around you.

Congratulations, Alexzandria. I know you're holding off on official adulthood until your 18th birthday in a couple of months, but, don't you see, you're already there, and you're doing a job that makes us all proud.

We love you!


  

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Sunday, July 19, 2015

I Keep Forgetting

Aly is home for the summer, and she's learning to drive. I can't believe my baby is so grown up! Mike took her out several times to the Middle School parking lot, but then he asked me to help since he is attending rehearsals for Shakespeare in the Park (hey, y'all go buy a ticket or something). Anyway, I've taken her out a couple of times and she is pretty good. A little fast on the turns, but Mario Kart doesn't require the use of brakes, so she's adapting.

We've ventured outside of the parking lot into neighborhoods with parked cars on the street and moving cars at stop signs. We've gone south of town in the country so she can work up some speed. Not Mario Kart, but getting there.

Yesterday, we were on the south side of town, and I guided her to the cemetery where I knew there'd be some sharp turns. "We can go visit Isaiah's rock," I said, thinking it might need some weeds pulled. There was a truck going the same way, so I carefully guided her off the one lane road so others could pass. Then I remembered....

Isaiah wasn't the only 'rock' to visit in the cemetery. In the row behind him and Grandma was Mom.
PHILLIPS engraved in the stone. Judy Kaye, August 16, 1950 - May 11, 2004.
I froze. "I forgot," I said to her. "I forgot Nana was here too." She didn't get out. I tried not to cry.

Yeah, I don't know what the big message is for this blog post is.

I just miss my mom.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Confederate Flag Hysteria

I don't get it. For hundreds of years, the Confederate flag has flown over state houses and hung in the back of pickup truck windows. Suddenly, a mentally ill person posts photos of himself with the flag and public people and companies are shunning it. Why did it take a tragedy? Well, you know, beyond the whole slavery thing. 


I'm not saying the flag is good or bad. Is it appropriate as a state symbol? I'm going to say no. Can Civil War re-enactments display it? Sure. Should it be used as a drape for a coffin? (Yes, it happened. I couldn't make that up.) NO. 

People are now saying roads should be renamed. Statues of historical figures removed. Where does it end? We can't erase that part of America's history. It was a different time, and one we shouldn't forget. Maybe even one we should learn more about. You might start here: http://www.history.com/news/5-things-you-may-not-know-about-lincoln-slavery-and-emancipation. People can change their beliefs more than once in their lifetimes. Maybe a lot of people still need to. 

But here's the thing, I think the people who are going to cry out about Walmart removing the flag from its stores won't be the Civil War enthusiasts; it will be the rednecks who see it as an anti-African American or "Southern" symbol. The good ol' boys who claim Uncle Sam will pry their shotguns from their cold, dead hands. The people that have beliefs, ingrained for generations, that won't change whether they can buy a flag at Walmart or not. The people who prefer to think of themselves as better than others. The people who hate. 

The recent news stories of Caitlyn Jenner spurred a flurry of comments and memes on social media. Sadly, many of them did not show acceptance or love for a fellow human. "God doesn't make mistakes!" one poster insisted. I think the mothers of stillborn babies would like to have a word with you about how life works. Science is far from understanding how the human body works, much less the brain. How do we know things aren't working for Caitlyn exactly as planned? 

At my work, I meet people from all over the world. As part of my introduction, I explain I live in a town named Boonville. It gets a laugh. Really, Boonville. But one day, a Asian man stopped me to chat and said he had been to Boonville. My Boonville. I was speechless. It was in his college days, and he worked for a book company. The company dumped a pair of students in a town, and they went door-to-door selling books. The man smiled as he recalled the number of shotguns he encountered that day. Even more the number of ignorant people making racist remarks to his companion about him because they assumed he didn't speak English. I was mortified. He, unbelievably -and sadly- was unfazed. 

No, those people aren't going to change, and I'm certain this isn't the only small town with this problem. When will we learn that all of us are created equal? When will humans see each other as brothers? Do we really think destroying Confederate symbols will make the U.S. a better place? 

I think that isn't even a step toward where we need to be. I can only hope that the children raised in these small towns have exposure to more open thinking - that they see blacks, Asians, Muslims, Jews, gays, and transgender people as humans. Just like them. Just. Like. Them. Because that's the only thing that's going to fix the problem of hate. 

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