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Friday, October 28, 2016


Dear Darlings,

I see you. I see each and every one of you. I see you on your phones, not paying attention. But more importantly than me seeing you, Claire sees you as well. She's learning to drive, and she sees you paying more attention to your phone than the road and the multi-thousand pound weapon you are driving.

This morning, I saw first hand what happens when you don't effing pay attention. I saw the accident you caused. I saw the damage to the cars. They're just cars, they're replaceable. But the people in the cars aren't.

I was minding my own business, driving home when it all played out right in front of me. An old gold Tahoe coming toward me jumped the curb, threw gravel all over the road, nearly flipped over and then came to land on all four tires. I pulled over as she stopped her car. Her face was frozen in pure, unadulterated terror. The tears began to streak down her face as she realized she was in one piece. I was across the street from her and I saw the carseat in the back. My hazard lights went on, and I jumped out to go to her.

"Are you okay?" I peaked in the back of the car, "No babies in here?" She was crying in earnest now.

She had just dropped her daughter off at daycare, she said. Her voice was hoarse and the words were stilted as she tried to absorb the shock of nearly flipping over. Thankful. Her daughter wasn't with her. But then she stepped out of the car. The baby bump was visible. She's 23 weeks pregnant with her second little one.

I brought her to the safety and warmth of my car. I sat with her, chatting with her and reassuring her that all was going to be well. She called her husband. He was on the way. She was getting ready to call her OBGYN. There were no visible injuries. Pray that the baby she's carrying is okay. Please.

The other car was a mangled mess. The hood was ripped off and the front end was completely smashed. The driver of the other car wasn't paying attention. She was looking for a meeting place. She wasn't from around here. She didn't see the stop sign. The other car. The mangled one. It t-boned the Tahoe.

She wasn't effing paying attention. Her car and the Tahoe are wrecked. That's insignificant compared to what could have happened. The human toll is what hit me today. Behind the wheel of every car is a person. A living, breathing person. Someone who means the world to their family. Someone who is depending on you to effing pay attention.

Watch for traffic signals. Stop at stop signs. Plan your escape route in every traffic situation. And get off your damn phones so you can fucking pay attention! There I said it. I want each and every one of you to fucking pay attention.

Today, hopefully, was a "lucky" day for all involved. Today, everyone walked away without a cut or bruise on them. Cars are replaceable. People aren't.


Saturday, October 15, 2016

Yesterday's bitter-sweet pang

To my sweet Man-Child,


It seems like just yesterday we were bringing you home from the hospital, teaching you how to ride a bike, watching you play in your last hockey game, walking across the football field on senior night and then watching you walk across the stage to get your high school diploma.


I was walking through the produce department at the grocery store when you called. I thought you were calling to talk about coming home this weekend. I thought maybe your plans had changed, making it so you couldn't come home. I thought wrong.


Your voice didn't give much away. You were calm and steady. And then you told me your news. The internship you worked so hard for is yours! The pride. My unbridled pride flowed through the phone connection. You said it hadn't quite hit you yet. But your excitement grew as we talked about your salary and where in the world this would take you, both figuratively and literally. Figuratively, this is the best starting point for your career. You landed an internship with a killer engineering firm. Literally, though, this opportunity is going to take to a place outside of Virginia. Away from home.


My voice bubbled with enthusiasm and excitement. This is what you worked so hard to achieve. My pride for you knew, and knows, no bounds. You are reaching for the stars, and working toward your dreams.


We said our good-byes and see-you-soons. I told you I couldn't wait to see you, and then we disconnected. I stood staring off into space on the periphery of the bulk food section as I absorbed the tremendous impact our conversation had on me. My tears came unbidden and unwanted, and they couldn't be stopped. I walked aimlessly through the aisles with tears trickling down my cheeks. I don't think I've ever being more thankful for a sun-visor and long sleeves, as I wiped one set of tears, only to find them replaced by another. You'll be going away next summer. You won't be here working for Darren. You'll be somewhere in the Southwest, working for someone else.


I realized that last summer may have been the last summer you'll ever live at home. You've done this to me before...when I realized after the fact that the last season of hockey you played was your last season. You didn't give me a head's up or a "hey, Mom, I'm thinking of quitting hockey." You just finished your last game, hung up your skates and moved on to the next thing. You didn't give me time to "grieve" the thought of you leaving the ice rink. You just moved on. And yesterday, you did the same. You didn't give me the time last summer to lament the thought of you leaving your room empty. You just worked for your dream. And I couldn't be more proud.


I looked back on your childhood, teenage years and your young adulthood with a bitter-sweet pang. I love the child you were, and I couldn't be more proud of the man you've become. My sweet Man-Child, the memories of your yesterdays are precious and all of the tomorrows before you are full of promise.


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Cosmically Courageous

Dear Darlings,

On of the things I love most about myself, is that I have the craziest dreams. And I do mean crazy. Vivid and detailed, they tell stories I could never imagine in my waking hours. My family indulges me in the mornings when they come downstairs for breakfast and I say, "I had a weird dream last night."

"Say it isn't so!"
"That's so weird. That never happens to you."

Those are their responses, and then they listen quietly as I go on to tell them every, minute detail about the dream that woke me from my sleep...actually, I'm pretty sure they just pretend to listen, but sometimes they catch on to a word or two and nod enthusiastically to make me feel like they're paying attention.

So, here's how any given morning progresses ~
"I had a weird dream last night..."
"WHAT! No WAY! That's crazy!"
"I know! So, last night I was in Philadelphia, and you two were with me," I say pointing to Lucas and Claire. "Dad was there too, but Zach wasn't. We were walking through the streets. It was chaos and pandemonium. People were running everywhere, trying to get away. There were cars splashing through muddy potholes. We turned this corner, onto this wide street, and just down a little bit were Daryl Dixon and Rick Grimes," I say, nearly swooning (they know Rick is my "boyfriend" and they all (including Stan) go along with my little fantasy). "They both have their guns drawn, but not at us...just in general. They're standing next to this old, silver lincoln town car, when all of the sudden these little pink ufo's descend from the sky and start dropping bubble guns down to the people on the street. It's all fun and games until the bubble guns start popping on people's faces and their skin starts to blister. It's then we realize the bubble guns are loaded with the outbreak virus. All of us start yelling at everyone to drop their bubble guns and stop shooting, but it's too late..."

They probably didn't hear the whole thing, but they heard enough to know it was a very. strange. dream.

Sometimes, though, my dreams really speak to me. Words, made up words and phrases, pop in my head. Last night was one of those nights, and my dream was a true gift. I got to hold on to a new idea, a new phrase. I'm going to take it and run with it.

I recently wrote a blog called Rambling thoughts on how I just need to be a little brave. Last night showed me, that in some instances I need to hold fast to cosmic courage. As soon as I woke up this morning, I went to the dictionary. I needed to feel those two words and grasp the deeper meaning behind them.



of or relating to the cosmos : 
cosmic laws.
characteristic of the cosmos or its phenomena:
cosmic events.
immeasurably extended in time and space; vast.
forming a part of the material universe, especially outside of the earth.

The third one. That's the one. Immeasurably extended in time and space; vast.


[kur-ij, kuhr-] 

the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty,danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.
Obsolete. the heart as the source of emotion.

Yes! The quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.

This! This is what I want. I want to be vastly brave. The thing is I don't have to be vastly brave every day. I just need to be a little brave every day. But sometimes when it comes to writing and sharing my stories with you, I need to be cosmically courageous. I started this blog almost six years ago, and have published one book (with more sitting in the pipeline). After all of these years, a dream finally made it clear to me that telling stories is sometimes the scariest thing I'll ever do.

So, for the love of my children...every now and again I'm going to be cosmically courageous. I only have to be vastly brave one day at a time. Tomorrow, if I want, I can go back to being just a little brave.