Monday, October 28, 2013


I was turning the lock on my front door the other day and I had an unbidden image of you come upon me. It was of you in the living room in your momma’s arms being your usual cuddly self. As I opened my door wide into my empty and dark apartment, the image was replaced by pink balloons. Your memorial balloon release on that chilly November morning; Aeva in my arms and the wind tangling the mass of helium filled latex into a nearby tree.  It was almost funny enough to laugh. But it got caught up in my throat instead. Then and once again, now.

My children leave every other weekend, for a few days, to be with their dad. They were not here this weekend, but tonight, they are.

Gone. Then back again. Gone. Then back.

Their rooms are quiet always when they aren’t here. I like it that way. I can almost imagine that they’re just in the other room and their scent, sweet and mine, can be taken in from their rumpled sheets.

They are MESSY children. They leave their imprints everywhere in the house. I trip over shoes and dolls and find panties strung like little banners where a child tried to kick it into a basket. And missed.

But they show proof of existence.

Gone. But back again.

I have held on to hand-me-down clothing given to me for my littlest in a green tub that now stands in the middle of their room, overflowing with articles both girls have dug through. Clothes that, when I first received them, I could not imagine Aeva growing into any time soon.  That was yesterday. Or so it seems.

You feel like yesterday to me. Like Friday evening, home without kids because they are visiting dad. Going down to VA to hang out with friends. Too busy to call home because weekends away are fun.

My Friday evening, before going home, involved a stop at the Postal Office. As I’m sure you know, I have a love hate relationship with the post office. Having to find one, getting in line, finding the right shipping thinga-majig…this all based on if I even REMEMBER to make it to the post office on time. Or at all.

In the post office I picked up a poster mailer. From my bag I pulled out a sketch book I hadn’t touched in a while, full of partial pencil sketches and abandoned ideas. The last few weeks I have been sketching in ink, drafting rough little images of Iris’s sweet smile and Aeva’s dramatic poses. I see these girls almost every day, and yet my sketches show messy lines and blurred features now and again.

In my sketch book theres a drawing of you. Bold and clear lines. I never picked up a pencil, and once I had decided on your image, I never needed a second page. I wanted to draw you smiling, like I could see you in my Yesterday and like I described you a year ago.

I couldn’t.

My mind couldn’t wrap around your little smile that lifted just a little higher on the right. My fingers couldn’t curve it. I drew you as I knew you to be inside: Wise. Looking back at me as though the past two years you’ve been growing up somewhere away from here.

Gone. Not yet back again.

But when those balloons cleared from sight, I struggled to comprehend again that youre gone. Youre not home in Georgia, or away anywhere I can reach you at. How can that be possible? I have a set of your PJs, worn down by Aeva’s insistent use of them. I have the little cast. The pictures.

How does anyone, anything, GO…and not come back?

I drew you with curls. It was one of the last touches I had of your sweet physical form. The crazy waves of curls crashing around your face, hiding all the traces of cancer on your little head. Refusing to be destroyed. I loved their rebellion.

Your momma and daddy just got that package. I didn’t tell them about it. It was my gift to them for your 2nd angelversary.

Every morning I pull my clothes from the same dresser where your memorial is placed. Theres a scent so sweet there I cannot explain but it smells of clean, and home, and love. I must havewalked by it a million times since I moved you there. Last week it made me stop. I sniffed every article of clothing, checking against the fresh laundry out of the dryer…trying to pin-point its origin. Why it seemed so nostalgic. It’s when I looked up at the Jasmine candle I set by you that I realized where it came from. It reminds me to start my day with love towards my children whom soon will grow up so quickly that today will only feel like Yesterday.

I realize now, you’re a messy little girl yourself. You’ve left imprints of your existence everywhere so thick that two years do not begin to diminish the memory of you in my Yesterday. Little banners of life that string up across everyday life, stopping me in my tracks and reminding me that you were here. Proofs of your existence that don’t fade like the strewn laundry and the toys of my daughters.  Proof that is more resistant to time than your scent, which unlike my own twos’, can’t be replenished with a snuggled night. Your life made use of my grief and fashioned it into a compass. To remember. To cherish. To be messy with my existence and love.

The grief that feels like its gone. Yet rolls right back again.

My lost sense of direction.

Gone. Then back again.



Saturday, September 14, 2013

Anything that can go wrong, Ill find it.

Murphy's Law should in all honesty be renamed 'Sherlin's Law'. 

Anything bad, wrong, and utterly absurd that can happen...WILL happen. To me. 

I mean really, WHO else calls 911 and gets put on hold? Twice. For 10 minutes. 
Thank you kindly for the elevator music Emergency Response Team, but Im sure that my pending death will not be delayed due to your 'busy operators'. 

And who's brilliant idea was it to leave last years school calendar up on the school website? More over, what luck that LAST years first day of school is the same date as THIS years 2nd day of school. 
Passing by the school: "Huh...look at that Iris theres kids OMG THERES KIDS GOING TO SCHOOL!!!"
The poor kid has probably never had a quicker onset of first-day jitters. 

Then there are days like today. 

You ever gone to Target and gotten stuck there? I don't mean "oh look theres a sale!" stuck. 
I mean "Fuck. The scooter just died." stuck.

As you all know (because I am the sun and the world as well as all universes revolve around me), Im on crutches still. Though it breaks my prideful heart into a zillion pieces all taped back together with clearance price tags...I use a motorized scooter when ever I go shopping. 
So far today I had grabbed brunch at a little spot I've been aching to go to for months, found 2 pairs of shoes for work that I love, and got a super cute haircut from a stylist I have never used before. Naturally I thought I was invincible so I went to Target for "bread" (yeah. Like everyone ever goes there for JUST a necessity).

I hopped into a little motorized cart, shoved my crutches in with me, and got my Tar-jay (thats fancy for Target) on.

ZOOM! through the Mossimo t shirts!
ZOOM! through the Shabby Chic bedding!
ZOOM! through the chocolate aisle!
Oh look, bread.

zzooomm... through the coffee aisle...


And thats when I ran into a mute foreigner that neither understood that my cart was dead and I wasnt purposely going slow enough to read all the nutritional values on every single box of Archer Farms holy-goodness and thus impeding him from continuing his shopping, nor did he have the ability to tell me to fuck off in what ever language he spoke. He did, however, use some sort of sign language. Sorry bud, I only know American Sign Language and Rude Fingers.

By the next aisle, there was no juice what so ever left in my little cart. Faced with a full cart, crutches and the farthest corner of the store with no associate in sight, I did what any other crushed soul in need of help would do:

I called Target. 

From inside Target.

"Ma'am, where are you located?"

"In....the chip aisle...."

So while I waited to hear the replacement cart hurtling towards me at an astounding .02 miles per hour to save me from the crutches of a dead battery, I grabbed a bag of chips. 

You know. To thank them. For their hospitality. And company. 

Alas, the replacement cart finally arrived and I was able to transfer all my 'bread' to the new zippy cart while the security officer stood by stoically and slightly annoyed. Hobbling between the carts I was pretty mortified and simply wanted to get the fuck out of dodge. 

So how does one scurry away in horror? Heres a hint: Dont' back up.


Yea I totally did that under the radar of any deaf person in a 50 mile radius. 

To make matters worse, I could hear the security officer dragging the troublesome cart across the waxed linoleum floors screeching wildly at its demise no doubt in route to Charging Jail. 

As I checked out I had to see it watching me from the other side of the glass doors, chained to the wall plug, blinking red with loss of charge. 

As far as situations go, that was mild. As far as thinking ahead....I bombed. 

If I had a customer service desk in my house it would go a little like this:

"Ma'am, where are you located?"

"In the parking lot...with bags I cant carry upstairs"

Monday, July 29, 2013

Pile of Ashes

Im just going to lay it out there for ya:

Im a chicken.

I am scared of needles, pain, and blood makes me queasy. I ask for valium for a cavity filling, and insects...well if you've been reading me this long you know what the hell insects do to me.
I also suck hard at asking for help. I like to be a 100% certified Do-it-yourselfer. 

3 weeks ago I flew to Pittsburgh for major surgery. Im still incredibly stunned that I made it TO Pittsburgh, let alone the hospital because let me tell you...I was terrified. Although it may have something to do with my sister Rubia and my friend Chris standing there, arms crossed shaking their heads at my feeble attempts of escape.

Arriving at the hospital before sunrise, I was quickly put in those cute and super fashionable hospital gowns with the convenient fully exposed backs. As each nurse, surgeon, and general hospital staff filed through I asked of each the same: "PLEASE knock me out! I DONT WANT TO SEE THE O.R.!!" I had no shame really. I was a snotty crying mess, trembling in my gurney  bed, even spewing the lame excuse of having to go pee real quick in order to prolong my death-stroll to the operating room. One of the anesthesiologists chuckled lightly as he was giving me an intravenous shot saying that I would soon feel like I had had a nice glass of wine. 

"I'd much prefer a bottle!" was probably not what he expected as a reply.
By the second dose of amazingness into my vein-line, I vaguely remember watching the nurse at her desk ask me a question whilst my brain yelled "She's talking to you! Answer her!" but my lips weighed like a pair of bricks.

And then they were shaking me awake.

Cue the frantic post anesthesia face-scratch off. 

First I madly wanted to rip off the plastic over my face. My nose was ablaze in itch and I just wanted to tear it apart a little. Bad choice because while I sounded like Darth Vader, that oxygen mask was supplying a good percentage of my oxygen. No mask and I was Buzz Lightyear the first time his helmet was opened: "Gasp! GAASSSSPPPP!!!" But lets be honest here, what can make you forget about severe oxygen depletion like excruciating bone pain? Let me answer that for you....

I mean, yea they just sawed off the blasted thing no biggie. Its nothing pain medication cant help, right? I just have to motion the nurse over nicely with erratic zombie arm flops and useless attempts to what? Hold my leg because that eases the pain? Yeah. That shit there, it totally DOESNT WORK. And apparently neither does morphine all up in my vein system because although the nurse handed me the 'med boost power button' that can give me extra pain killers every 6 minutes lets face it, Im Sherlin. Sherlin would say, press the button, and her body would be all 'Yea that was a good try kid, but we dont do drugs'. You guessed it, my body didn't respond to the awesome power of the fukital med.

Know what did knock me out however? Crying. Crying hysterically and for a prolonged period of time will for sure make you pass out from sheer exhaustion like a 2 year old who threw a tantrum over a lollipop. Like any good parent that sees a tantrum and documents it, so did my sister take a picture of me with swollen eye balls, tear streaked cheeks, and a pout no less. 

Ahh...good times good times...

Except, heres where my body declares its hatred for me, once Im fully asleep... I stop breathing. Dont worry though, know what happens when you stop breathing in your sleep but your heart doesn't? You jolt awake. Let me remind you im perhaps an hour post-op and my hip and leg were sliced and diced. Yeah. Those jolt too. 
Happens to be that Morphine, that nifty clear liquid doing absolutely nothing useful in my blood system, causes shallow breathing. In my case, too shallow. 

It was a fun 5 hours. 

Like any good patient, the first thing I asked my sister for after surgery was my phone. Its judgement time know whom you matter to by those texts you get while you might already be dead...and yall know who you are. I have text records.
I went under at about 730 am, and was out of surgery around 2 or 3. Thats an unbearable amount of time for a little girl of 9 waiting for her mom to resurface. Her first text asking to Skype was met by Rubia's news that I was already in the O.R. It hurt a little to hear through her typed out words the disappointment she had at being just 30 minutes late. Every hour, 1 or 2 new time stamp inquiries from Iris. Each one a little more impatient. Each one met with Rubia's lovingly patient and G-rated response as to my progress. Its like I had ventured into Space to fight an alien monster and she was awaiting my swift heroic return but taking every lapsed hour as a sign of defeat. 
Finally I fat fingered: Hi Baby...its Mommy.

What it read to the both of us was: I did it. I made it baby. Im still here.

Although what it was starting to feel like to me was: "What have I done? Ive made a mistake..."

I cannot sit up. I cannot wiggle my toes. I cannot piss and I sure as shit cant stomach looking at whats under the sheets. My surgeons on the other hand, have a different idea. 

Let me tell you something about my surgeons. I have 5 of them. They're all 7 foot some and save for one...unbelievably handsome. Like GQ sent their models to Medical School. I've also spent 7 plus hours fully naked in their presence with no recollection. Thats both terrifying and upsetting. 
They also have typical Ortho Surgeon take-no-bullshit personalities that make it infuriating to speak to them when you're in my situation so it all balances out. Some. 
With his nonchalant I-cut-people-and-bones-on-a-daily-basis way, Dr. Bill throws back my covers and I have no time to look away. The gauze and surgical tape starts at my hip and ends past my ankle bone with only a short 6 inch break at my knee. There are two valves extracting blood and I am desperately searching for my puke pan.

And yall thought I was brave. 

When Dr. Rob, standing at the foot of my bed, has had enough of my whimpering and sissy-fit he looks at me sternly and says:

"Hey. You told me you were tough, that first time I met you in the office. Now prove it to me."

Hes right. They all told me this was a no bull-shit surgery. That this crap right here, it would suck and suck HARD. That I was not meant to do this with no spouse or parent to care for me for a month or more. That I needed to think this through and figure out how the hell I was going to make sure that I didn't fuck it up once we were past the point of no return. It was me who told them I would figure it out. That I was sure, and I didn't need time to think because I had been led here to this ONE opportunity to save my leg and that I was TOUGH. 

Well then...lets stir up this pile of ashes. 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Into the FIre

6 Years, 4 months, and 26 days ago I simply didn't die.
I survived.

I wavered between hazy consciousness and drugged sleep, yelling at nurses that the bed was swallowing me. That I couldn't breathe. I had one good arm and that was it. My head, face, right arm and legs were damaged. I had no say in my surgeries and I went in to the OR crying, begging not to go.  I woke up to a leg that would never be the same, run through with a titanium bar. "Skeletal Traction" the surgeon called it, and demanded I stop my whimpering and start forcing my muscles wake up again, to point my toes, bend my knees, flex sore muscles impaled by metal. He told me that this wasn't the end,  nor the beginning of the healing. This was a pause in time, a stolen few years before my body would start to shut down the bone and I would need a replacement. How long? Who knew. "Face it, look at your wounds. Look at your new leg. Look at what you now are"

None of it was a choice.

Tomorrow is a choice. Right now I am at the base of a monstrous mountain. I havent even started, Ive merely arrived at its feet. I am looking up to the peak hidden up in the clouds and the climb seems overwhelming. The first step seems to be impossible to force myself to take, my mind screaming inside my head: "This is atrocious! This is barbaric! This is not the easiest path! Run! RUNRUNRUNRUN!"

In the days counting down to my femoral bone graft, I have thought heavily on Jasmine. Jasmine whom didn't have a bone removed and implanted further up her leg, but half her brain removed. Jasmine whom had ports in her heart, head, and belly. Jasmine who had more surgeries that I, with much less odds of survival and recovery than I have been given. Jasmine whom I never in my life saw cry a tear for anything so pitiful as an operation. My smiling Monkey, who never felt the despair and rage that I am encountering now.

Having moved to a one level apartment in preparation of 6 months of crutches, I recently unpacked Jasmine from her travel container and placed our molded hands and her precious ashes on my bureau. I've always wondered why she wouldn't let me hold her hand that day, fighting instead to hold mine in hers. Leading me. From her altar in my room she's often listened to me talk about my roughest moments. Asking for guidance. Asking for help. Asking for her match in grace.

Unfortunately I dont have the strength that child did. I have asked the nurse, no, I've BEGGED the nurse to drug me up before I ever get to the OR. I dont want to smell the antiseptic smell of that stainless steel room. I dont want to see those lights and masked faces. I want this small amnesty from the war against AVN.

Iris asked me if I was scared. I lied and told her only a little bit. I told her I was instead looking forward to being healthy and whole again so that I could chase them in the park. I told her that after all of this was done and over I wouldn't get as tired as I used to. That I wouldn't need to stop because I was in pain. That we could do REAL Yoga, without alteration, and I could sit on the floor cross-legged again.

The truth is that I am sitting outside my hotel room trying to avoid sleep and the coming of dawn. Theres a swing set below my room that I want to sit on because when the new Sun rises I will be surrendering my body to the fire.

I am the Phoenix, and when the sun has begun its decent...I will rise from the Ashes.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

This New Journey

Taking a little bit of a serious tone here, Im pretty fucking bone tired. Literally. My bones, namely my Femur, is done. And Im tired of the pain and complications.

Last Thursday I took a trip up to Pittsburgh to see a SPECIAL Specialist. Hes no ordinary doc. What he specializes in, is a type of bone transplant and it makes me green to even hear the explanation. Gather your puke bag fellas.
Short and sweet, my femoral head (the very top knob of your thigh bone) is dead bone which is as strong as say an egg shell under the right conditions. Im not divulging my weight but the half that sits on that egg shell is on the hefty side. One bad twist, turn, fall, or hopscotch hop and CRACK, im sitting on nothing that will feel ok. Granted, I knew this would come. I knew I would develop Avascular Necrosis in my femoral head and need the bone fixed or replaced before the whole damn thing dies.
I just didnt expect it now. In the middle of this superbly prolonged and disgustingly vile divorce and custody battle.
But I digress...
The good M.D. plans to cut into my lower leg and saw off the middle 11cm of my fibula (the non-weight bearing bone in your lower leg) and cover the surgically jagged ends with muscle and skin and leg-stuff. The part he is sawing off will have an artery sticking out of it which is very much alive and well. Now cutting into my hip, the surgeon plans to drill a hole into the dead head and its neck, just precisely the size of the fibula he cut. Transplanting the fibula into its new home, he will then meticulously attach the fibula artery to the arteries in my femur that were first destroyed in the car accident. This new blood supply system should in turn cause my dead bone to come back to life slowly and rebuild itself much like a broken bone mends.
Or you know, how Frankenstein gained limbs.

Just so you know, yes. Im fucking petrified.
Of not walking.
Of having my leg sawed into.
Of 6 months of no walking without crutches.
Of Pain.
Of life-long pain.
Of a 20% failure rate.
Of never ever again being able to sit down crosslegged on the floor and play with my kids because my hip is broken, hurts like a bitch and I cant even move it that way.
And of closing my eyes and not coming back.

Ive lived in a great amount of fear the past 2 years almost. Fear of being poor, not seeing my kids, and being alone. I wont say Ive done a great job at entirely hiding it from my kids. I think its important that they see that pain does exist in life.

And yet:

They didnt see me with blood-shot eyes and spit-stained shirts checking to make sure they were breathing as infants and sitting to cry because my entire body felt slashed open by birth and nursing.
They didnt see me hugging an empty car seat on a ride home from the airport, on Iris's first flight to her father for a few months the first time we separated...wondering if I even deserve to have her back.
They didnt see me come into their rooms, late at night in that house he left us in, to stare at their sleeping faces because I couldnt sleep alone. Or at all. And needed to see them in order to know why this couldnt be my end.
They dont see me crying when Ive had to be stern; be Mom and Dad and Judge and Warden when theyre not angels and I fear I have been too hard and not understanding enough.
They dont see me wincing when I kneel for one, or carry the other, because no matter their age, weight or my injuries...they will always be my tiny babies.
They dont see me rushing to make appointments and school events that he forgets about, no matter how much work I have or how little cash is left, never telling them he wouldnt answer the pleading emails.
They couldnt see me driving home with what felt like a death-sentence from pittsburgh, surgery paperwork in hand, driving too fast but not faster than my thoughts.
They wont see how bruised my arms are from the crutches I have to use now, how much harder getting around is, and how tiring it is to cook anymore....
I wont have them see me fight to recover. They will see me come home the way I left. No matter how much pain this doctor says I will be in. No matter how long he says I will have to work to get better. They will not see me any worse than today. Only better.

Because they will NEVER see me give up the ability to be a full-range mother because of fear of any surgery, pain, or injury.

For the chance to be better and give them more...I signed the papers. I agreed to surgery. I have started a year long journey.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Because its all just funny now

It has come to my attention, once again, that my life's events are a source of amusement for my fellow friends and audience.

Im glad my continued series of unfortunate events is a cause of laughter for all you lucky fuckers.

At any rate, it helps me to look back at bad moments and see the humor in it all because quite frankly if I dont see it that way ill end up crying into my beer mug while I pop anti-psychotics.

Let me just say that I suck at dating. Maybe it was the near 10 years of married life that ruined the fun and lightness of dating...but I think I need training wheels. First off, I am coming to the realization that I dont know dating from DATING. 99.99% of Maryland and its surrounding states participate in what I fondly consider 'Serial Dating'. Its like speed dating but good gods much more a waste of time and make up. Seems to me that men around here like to just have a new piece to take around every other day and even at the ripe age of 33 (yes fuckers thats RIPE), they still think that running around Fells Point drunk off their asses and without a single plan to settle down is 'living it up'...cuz you know...they're young. And free. Like the 21 year old in the alley puking their brains out.
No thanks. Ill pass.
But that doesn't keep me from having sat at home alone the entire weekend for lack of a worthwhile level-headed date. It just made me feel all the more doomed in this wretched state.

Forgive me for thinking dating should have an end purpose at my age?

So lonely pathetic weekend aside, I was excited to start my new work week because tuesday was Opening Day for us at the office and I was on the planning party for the past month.

Mention Opening Day and everyone gives you a glossy eyed look. Call it 'Hot Dog Day' and suddenly everyone is tracking.

Being that location wise Im closer to Camden Fields than what ever the name of the other baseball team 's field in Washington is...I purchased an Orioles t-shirt thing. And Chucks. If you know me you know that personally I only every wear chucks or flip flops. And Im a huge Chuck Taylors fan. It only took me 18 months to finally purchase the right pair this time! In essence I was stoked to go in on tuesday even though I knew id be there from 8 am till 11 pm serving up hot dogs and trimmings to nearly a thousand employees.
Being Monday night facing a 14-15 hour shift, a girl needs her sleep right?

Yea you know whats coming.

I thought at first that it was my crappy AC's condenser protesting loudly. I open the door to the utility closet and behold: The water heater is pissing on my closet wall. By the looks of it, it had to go something fierce.
Gets better.
Just last month maintenance carved a huge hole RIGHT on the wall the water heater was relieving itself on. Which opened up into my kitchen. Which connects to my livingroom. Which is carpeted.

I honestly considered just closing the door and going to bed and hoping that when I woke up in the morning, the water heater had cleaned up its mess and left an apology letter.

Thats when it started to hiss.

Needless to say I didn't know how to turn the water main off, maintenance wasn't answering, and I huddled in my kids' rooms sure that the big hunk of pressurized metal would blow up, tear a hole in the floor beneath me and kill us all.

Maintenance man only took 4 hours to drain the thing, letting me wearily climb in to bed by 1am. To wake at 530.

Funny enough, 'Hot Dog Day' was smooth as ever. Every one ate and was happy, volunteers were a plenty, I got off at 10 instead of 11 and the girls only got to stay with me at work till 830 when their father came by and picked them up for me. Even though maintenance had to break my lock (they lost my master key) in order to replace my heater, I somehow still got someone to get me new keys fairly easy and pain-free at 11pm when I got home.

You're looking for that other shoe to drop huh?? Boy was it ever a drop.

Heres the other thing I learned this week. Happy Thoughts BITE.

Wednesday morning started off amazing. Should of been my first hint but I brushed it off as just good Karma for a difficult week and a great Opening Day. I should of DEFINITELY seen it coming when I got near prime parking at work where we somehow fit 600 cars in a lot meant for 100. And thats after the clown-car maneuver.

There I was in beautiful weather coming in later in the morning, coffee in hand, suitcase slung over a shoulder smiling up into sunshine. Looking up at the company building I was momentarily filled with joy of the job I have, the opportunities it gives me and the great business we run. I was smiling a little dopily reflecting at how no matter how crappy everything else in my life may be I still LOVED my coworkers and jo----


Concrete meet Sherlin's toe, knee, and BACK OF HER HAND.
Sherlin, hope your meeting made an impact. On your dignity.

And newly exposed dermis.

That other shoe to drop was actually my lead foot catching on the uneven concrete mere feet from my office door. My coffee flew straight out of my hand, showering the sidewalk before me in a perfect arch. My right knee forcefully kissing the concrete to avoid falling on my bad left hip. I think my left hand was all "hell if you think IM gonna break your fall!" and turned inward allowing the back of my wrist and hand to do a marvelous slide across the rough pavement as though it was completing a homerun. To add insult to injury, my laptop bag then slipped across my back and hit me on the side.

There I lay, crumpled on the ground, ass in the air. And customers filing past me.

Not gonna lie. I got up and scrambled through the office doors like Igor, dragging the leg I was sure had just lost its knee cap.

Open the door and theres the VP sitting at my desk, and a full audience behind him. Im pretty sure my shirt had hiked up well past my midline and theres no way my injured shuffle was attractive. Sitting facing away from the crowd, I think I made my colleague nauseous by the way he pointedly looked away and instead dumped the contents of a first aid kit beside me.

To make matters worse, after cleaning up the seeming unending streak of blood running down my hand and leg, and making sure the toe turning purple wasn't properly broken,  I got told to drive myself to Concentra Urgent Care. Well, so much for prime parking. And concern?

Theres just nothing worse to make you feel like a total idiot than to have to explain to your bosses, coworkers, nurses, and anyone else who sees your zombie-ish wounds that you did indeed acquire such injuries like most young kids do. Walking. And tripping. On a sidewalk.

"Hey remember that time you were walking and then ate pavement?"

Saturday, March 9, 2013

You were Mine

I know, I know, its been a long time. But things have been rough the last month? Few months? Year? 20 some years?! Man its been a long streak of ugly luck and negative events and yet they're so close together and so frequent its hard to accept that its really been a long long time.

The past month has been exceptionally devastating. It seems that it has been full of loss and heart ache. 
For me, in this, the loss and heartache are inseparable. In just one month I have lost people in my life. Not just ANY people, but cornerstone you-were-my-rock-in-the-stream people. 

Im not at all new to loss. My first sharp loss was my Ta-Ta, when I was 3 or 4. He was my great grandfather. Not a great man, but none-the-less he was mine and he was funny. He used to offer me his pee pan when I would come see him in his room where he was living out his last few years. I loved him something fierce for my short years and his loss left me with imprints of my parents in funeral clothes, the news, and my reoccurring dreams of him trying to speak to me from the other side of life. 

I overheard the news of my Tia's imminent passing from a corner of the kitchen where no one noticed a 7 or 8 year old me. She was a plump and loving woman. Although she always gave me panties for Christmas, she too was mine and loved me. I ran from the sight of her in her casket, and saw her face on my funeral clothes so sharply I never wore them again.  

A lot of the people who's honest Love I was born in to left my life early on. As soon as I was able to, I moved far away from 'home' and 'family' and began collecting friends to create my chosen family. A group of misfit people whom didnt love me for the sake of sharing DNA but by virtue of choice. 

When I was dragged from the wreck of my PT cruiser back in '07, it wasnt at all family that came to see me. It was friends. Clients from work. People I lived by. I came to realize that these were the people who mattered. That those who out of their own deep concerned helped me when I was broken and not myself were the ones to keep close and love back just as strong. 

I dragged myself out of a miserable wreck of a failed marriage a little over a year ago. I looked around a saw a few great friends with faces full of concern and hands outstretched. I got up, and I fell. Again and again, I fell and I failed to walk well away from the disaster. Each time I collapsed and I looked up, there were less and less faces. Im broken, yet I am trying. Thought that hasnt been enough for others. 

I thought for a while that it was me. Blamed myself for the dissolving ties. But what is true love towards someone if it is not unconditional? Loving someone but stepping away in their darkest, most broken moments because their recovery and their trauma does not fit your schedule and needs... what is that? 

A lot of negativity has been attributed to me because I am an easy target. A woman put through the wringer and easily identified by the marred and scarred look of her. Isnt that the kind of person to easily blame for wrong doings? 

In this past year and some, above all my other trials, I have suffered much loss. Weddings, and concerts, and pitiful other excuses have taken precedence over me. I didnt expect my family to come see me in this new lonely state. But I expected others to. I expected others to love me enough to come hold me at my most frail moment. 

This past year has also changed me much. Yes, Ive learned to value the little things and accept mistakes and forgive others. Ive also learned to put up walls. Ive lost strength and positivity and valor. Ive lost shine. Ive lost little jagged pieces from the corners of my smile and the softness of my heart. Ive lost my 'muchness' that once held the love of some. That attraction and commitment another might feel for me. 

But I expected to be loved, unconditionally and irreplaceably. I expected the world to come apart and burst in to flames before some people in my life could feel that I wasnt enough. Or that my darkness was too heavy for them. Or that there was nothing left. 

This month has left me doubting myself and my worth as well as the dedication and love of anyone close enough to me to know me in truth. It has taken from me faith. 

It has left behind in its wake so many flash memories of the best times I had with them, torn to shreds knowing that each one was false. Empty. Nothing that will be remembered outside my mind, and not a tie they minded cutting. I loved them. They were mine.

Loss is not a new thing to me, in the form of death. Death took away the person but not the love. 

Its another thing all together when the love is gone...but the person still exists. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

6 years.

Dont worry, this wont be long.

As a matter of fact I cant even figure out how to start this.

I get told often: To be happy, to move forward, you must forgive those that have wronged you and also forgive yourself.

I am not entirely sure that I can forgive you.
Forgiving myself isnt easy either. After all, the sins that I must be paying off with this life-sentence arent easily ignored.

"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; its you who gets burned."

Theres no getting rid of these coals I never meant to touch. None the less they burn through my youth and my health and my ability to move forward.

All the while, you, who crashed that car and nearly took my take your life for granted.
I was wheeled into that trauma room yelling for my life, for a call to my small daughter because I was sure to die in those wrecked pieces I was lying in. You, on the other hand, yelled for the nurse to 'please please dont cut the boots off!'. Fickle. Shallow.

And never a day of regret.
For you any how.

I will lose that joint one day fucker. Or that leg even. Until that day, I live a slow and terribly painful life that I am ensured will only hurt more with each moment.

6 years tomorrow. 6 mother fucking years. And today, the pain spiked making me reach a new level: Ive decided to ask for the medicine I swore Id never give in to.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Baby B

First post of the new year! Yay, yay, hurray!

May my prize be paid in gold and chocolate! Or maybe just in free (But trustworthy and reputable!) babysitting because Gods know I have yet to take an uninterrupted piss, an unshared bite of something too sinfully good for anyone, or a moment where the ear piercing "MOMMY!!" doesn't throw me into some shade of panic. Take, for example, the sack of bones thud followed by the 'im in pain and its actually real' cry I heard today from downstairs. What with the crummy weather outside and my worsening hip injury, I ended up hobbling and hopping to the stairs on one leg and doggy crawling up to the second floor where I find one child pale and standing at attention in the hall while the other is buggery with tears and snot on the floor all red faced. Something about swinging small kid around and big kid dropping her on her head I just dont know. I need a fucking break. My breaks without kids usually involve errands. I DONT WANT TO BE AN ADULT!!!

Lets face it though, I was never quite a kid. Ive had nearly a 23 year run as an adult in 27 years of life. But those were really situations out of my hands. I was a kid playing at being an adult in an attempt to stay sane and alive. I left that life when I was merely 15 and thought I was, in some doggy-paddle sort of way, coming up for air.

I was 17 when a 1am 'feeling' landed me in the bathroom staring at two pink lines.

I will tell you now that I thought my world had finally crashed around me. I was fucked (ha!, ironic huh?) and it just cant get worse for a 17 year old emancipated kid.

I was maybe 5 or 6 weeks along the first time I stretched out in an obstetrician's torture table to take a peek at the baby that was causing me some concerning pain.
Any time a radiology tech says 'oh', its not good. I dont care what you have to say about it.


Oh theres two heart beats here Ms. Jimenez....

Two? could there be two...

My life seems to be toggle-controlled because this was one of the first times my life changed at the flip of a switch. Two tiny little heart beats, slightly overlapping and not at all in step with each other, came through faintly across a watery world. I watched dazed as the tech recorded each little life sound wave and catalogued them Baby A and Baby B. She measured each kidney shaped body and pointed out Baby B nuzzled close to the placenta wall facing away from Baby A. Ha, sibling disagreements already.

It cant get any worse I had said. So it did. But now I have twins on the way and its go big or go home right? Cant get any worse for a pregnant 17 year old alone in the world but for her unemployed boyfriend and her dead in the water Air Force Academy candidacy, right?

I think I was 4 or 5 months along desperately searching the black and white screen for Baby B. Wheres Baby B?!
"Sometimes this happens...its called the disappearing twin syndrome..."
Where does a whole baby DISAPPEAR TO?!?
"...The child was likely not viable enough to progress and your body did away with it to allow for better nutrient supplies for the more viable twin..."
Where did Baby B go...

Paddle swimming gets old.
I named Baby A Iris Elizabeth. Iris for the Goddess that brought messages down to earth from Heaven on a rainbow, the sign of peace after all the rain.

Ive never quite admitted this but I named Baby B Gregory. Gregory William.
I dreamt of him a few times. Unruly brown curls and chocolate eyes that would have melted me each time. In one dream he looked at me knowingly as his sister jumped into my arms and he then just disappeared. I think of him more than I should, when I look at Iris and think: Fuck Im crazy for thinking this way.
But what if he had stayed? Would I have lost both babies? Would I have had to see one leave me after knowing their little face?

Iris was born miraculously.

I had asked my stepmom what REAL contractions felt like. She said they felt like you needed to poop but couldn't.
I woke up at 3 am with a nagging pain in my tummy. I tried ignoring it and going to sleep but couldn't  Finally I got up and went to the bathroom. Man was my stepmom right about how they felt.

Strapped into the labor bed, I was told I wasn't a single bit dilated but had doctors concerned that my contractions were so strong and close together. In all the commotion I watched my child, who had made my belly bottom heavy, suddenly swim up and seemingly try to crawl into my rib cage. The nurses rushed in and gave me orange juice.

"Her heartbeat is irregular and slow. You need to take sugar and see if we can get her to liven up... you're going to have to have a C Section tonight"
I hadn't even finished the juice before nurses were unhooking my bed and the anesthesiologist was prepping me for an emergency C Section.

"Were losing her heartbeat"

I was the most chicken shit mother to ever have a Cesarean. Ill admit it. I cried and I yelled for fear.
The surgeon, Dr. Pepper (I kid you not!), was very quick. It wasn't very long into the procedure when I heard him say: "Well, she's blonde!"
Noon on the dot, January 21st, Iris was born.
But I didn't hear her cry... I asked everyone why I couldn't hear her. They chuckled and commented on her just being quiet as the delivery nurse briskly walked away with a little bundle to her work station. No sounds. No cries. The nurse rubbed her and wiped away the gunk, that much I could see. Then she stepped aside as Daddy came to see Iris and I glanced this little lily white baby, lazily lifting an arm and letting it fall down. Downy head of the finest blonde fuzz...

The nurse swiped Iris's eyes and pulled a pink and blue cap over the peach fuzz, then wrapped her up in a striped hospital blanket, leaving nothing but a sleeping peaceful face.

"Say hi Momma.."

"Hello my little Iris flower..." A kiss on the button nose and they rushed her away. A kiss and that was all.

It took 24 hours to see her again. I was sure I had imagined the little angel having touched her soft nose to my chapped lips. She was ill. The doctors couldn't tell why her T-cell count was so high and had her installed in the Newborn ICU. I wasn't allowed to touch her, for with my fever I could very well make her worse. I was done waiting by the 24th hour and to hell with wheel chairs that never came. I got up and walked the long corridor to the NICU, trailing little dots of blood from my emergency incision, damned if I wasn't to see my own child.

Iris spent 14 days in a little clear box, her little arms taking turns being strapped to a board that enabled 2-3 IV ports each. I spent hours each day just holding her to my heart, blessing the sound of her breathing and her little fist grasping me close.

To say that Iris is the gentlest of souls puts it mildly. She may not always follow directions properly, nor abide the rules as she should...but she is a kind and mindful girl. She has a moral compass I envy from time to time, and an innocence that seems otherworldly in its wiseness. Sometimes she seems like too much soul for one body, when she looks up at me and smiles like she knows what Im thinking. Or when she brings me a tissue to wipe away tears I swore no one knew about nor could hear. This is the baby girl whom when I fell sick with the flu and she was barely 2, brought me a blanket and herself a box of cheerios settling in quietly on the couch for 4 hours and guarding her mother. When I look at her playing quietly I wonder if I would have the sight had Gregory held on. I wonder also what it would of been like to see two little heads bent over some game, same age, same height, same birth. None the less, each year, on the 21st of January I celebrate her arrival in my world and I thank life that she at least made it.

I wont say this keeps me from losing my mind over her having taken her little sister and swinging her about the room till she collided with the floor. Nor that sometimes they both drive me to drink....Im not a saint.

This year we celebrated with Japanese food, cupcakes at school, and her very own recurve bow. My little fighter wants to follow in Momma's footsteps. Except I hope she has much better aim.

I look at her, all 9 years now, and sometimes feel like that 'too much soul for one body' is what happens when two children sharing a womb end up as just one. Is it crazy to think I didnt much lose him entirely?

Happy Birthday Doll-face. Thank you little sound-wave Baby B; Gregory.