Wednesday, November 28, 2007



Now *I* have it.
This makes time number three that I've been infested with lice.
Twice as a young child .... and once now.


I want to cuss sooooooo bad right now......

Music Minute #2

Damien Rice - The Blowers Daughter
I dance in the dream of someone saying to me...
I can't take my eyes off you

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Cake Topper

Did I mention that My Eldest has head lice?

I don't think today could've gotten any worse.....

A Loss and A Victory

He's passed.....

Last night.

Candle Lighting Ceremony

Happy Birthday Dad....where ever you are. xo

As for my other Dad (Pop), he's making good progress. His short term memory is sticking better and better. He played a couple of hands of Canasta with his oldest daughter. He's ready for some real food. He's able to sit for about five minutes with his brace on before getting dizzy and needing to lay down again. Emotionally, he'll be extremely happy and the next breath, tearful and so sad. Physical therapy occurs regularly. Dr. Pepper is his drink of choice so his doctor gave him some in a sippy cup to try to stimulate the swallowing muscles again. We are hoping that he's able to again recieve the Eucharist starting this week. My Husband visited yesterday with the social worker who indicated there has been no timeframe on when Pop will be released, but Pop has expressed a desire to be released on a day pass for Christmas. He seems more determined to sit up for a longer time and gain strength. He gets daily visitors and I believe that's helping him gain strength emotionally and physically. The silly man has episodes of being inappropriate, of course. Recently he asked one of the CNAs if she was "gonna kiss my ass when I get outta here"? My mouth dropped, and I reminded him to be nice to the people that are helping him heal.

Anyway, I'm lighting vigil candles and birthday candles today.....

Make a wish!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Wandering in a Storm a.k.a. Jackie is Going Crazy Post

November is drawing to an end and that means some pretty heavy lifting for me. Tomorrow is my dad's birthday. His memory tends to weigh heavily on my mind especially so on his birthday. That's all I'll say about that today....

Thanksgiving has just passed. Thanksgiving has historically been one of my favorite holidays. Growing up, it was the only day all four members of my family would eat together at a table (before the Cowboys game, of course) face-to-face in the disposition of having actual familial interaction at the same point in time. As awkward as it was, it meant something to me in the end. Nowadays, I've tried as a mother, to make sure my family eats together at the same table with no interruption. It's been hard at times, but we do make an effort and we do it fairly regularly. These days, it's been especially hard and I've found I really do miss it. I am not a fan of families being tangential.

Sadly, this year, it really didn't feel like Thanksgiving. On the outside it did. All the accoutrements accounted for: turkey and all the fixins, some family about the house, the Cowboy game (duh). We even had a cold snap weather-wise. On the inside, I did indeed feel quite grateful. I refrained from too much reflection for I knew I'd unravel. I acknowledged that which needed to be, and that which I wanted, but the scope of All is overwhelming to be honest. It's also bittersweet. Aside from gratitude, tears would uncontrollably fall for shame, sadness, madness and even J-O-Y. Best to avoid the 'uncontrollable' at a happy occasion. (If I could cry like Demi Moore's character did in Ghost -- all pretty and non-blubbery -- I'd be more willing to get 'uncontrollable'.)

Today, I am adrift in the storm of my own self-discovering. It's dark here, shaky, even tumultuous, but I feel warmth. Light must be somewhere. But is it where I think it's from? Probably not. That's God's work, I suppose. That's where my faith comes in (maybe?). It's a weird feeling to feel alone and loved. I assure you -- trust that I am not lonely. No, I do not feel lonely. If I did, surely I'd be A Lost Soul. I'm thankful because all of you who know me love me and keep me company. (Even if you don't know me 'in person', you know 'of' me on here....and I appreciate that extra [ego?] bolstering.....)

Today, I'm not sure where I fit in anymore but am serving when called. I'm trying to be in the moment but am I'm failing miserably because so often, I'm not enjoying the moment to it's fullest.

Recently, one thing I'm wondering is how do I stand up for my convictions* and not be percieved as selfish or bitchy? I'm not sure that's even possible, is it? I mean, by standing up for what *I* think is right is bound to leave some casualties by it's very nature, right? Of course, what *I* think is right might not be what is truthfully "right" as definied by Oxford or some such literary reference. Is there even a black and white "right"? Or is "right" contextual? Or is being in the "right" contextually merely being "justifiable"?

Now, smash the Current State of Jackie against the madness of The Holidays and see what mess is left from the fallout. I'm seriously worried that I won't be able to cope with the stress of it all, yet through the aforementioned faith, I know I'll survive.

Is life is just about surviving? My Chrisitianity teaches me that there is no entitlement to happiness here on Earth. My *true* happiness lies in the Afterlife. Living this Earthly life is the suffering part. I am reminded suddenly of one of my beliefs: without pain, there is no growth. The concept of that belief is being stretched and a new facet is being discovered. Admittedly, I wonder if there is something for me in the Afterlife and is it going to be the greatness it's promised to be? Ultimately, I believe it so, and I was not brainwashed into my belief. I arrived on my own to it, and wear it proudly. Doesn't mean I can't change my mind, right? If I arrived on my own, certainly I possess the vehicle in which to depart it. But not today. I'm not leaving just yet. I am however, learning. Analyzing. Surviving.

I got to thinking over the weekend (did you feel the Earth move?) about the concept and practice of heightened self-awareness. Also thought about what it means to understand. Both are double-edged swords, really. Wouldn't you agree? I mean, the more you know yourself....and the more you understand yourself in the context of life in general or certain are more full and fulfilled, yet more accountable and more searching and more guessing. The more you understand, the more questions without answers there are, and thus, the constant PUSH to know more -- to understand MORE. More! More! MORE! A vicious cycle really. One from which I'll never graduate. If I'm lucky and humble, I'll see the rewards along the way. Ignorance is bliss. Is it? Or is it just.....Ignorance is..... less effort? hahahaha

I'm not ready for Cold December to come. Even though I know Advent reminds me of the birth of My Savior and all the promise He holds, I still am human, dealing with the societal trappings of The Holidays which means I will be - at least in some of my thoughts - nasty, rude, ungrateful, bitchy, whiny, mean, and inflexible (among other not-so-nice things). I stay embedded in the Warmth of The Promise, but sometimes knowing My God loves me and that I am perfect in His eyes, isn't validating enough. Sometimes I need validation in more tangible places, from everyday people. I do not like that vulnerability about me, yet am trying to embrace it. It hurts to hold it. It hurts to say: I'm vulnerable.

Timing is everything.

*Convictions: I went on a hunt on myspace recently. I was hunting Panthers. Panthers with whom I attended high school. I found a guy that I dated very briefly. The story of he and me is quite special and I've always treasured it...treasured him. One thing I remember most about him is that he wrote poetry. He wrote poetry to me. How incredibly romantic is that?! It wasn't the cheezy kind, either. It was filled with imagery and words that conveyed grown-up romance, human feelings. I'd say he was a man ahead of his time. I've often thought I should apologize to him for mistreating his feelings, mishandling them -- hurting him. How does that adage go? I wish I knew then what I know now. In any case, The Poet and I are myspace friends, and I'm very flattered that he's messaged me a time or two. Maybe now I'll get a chance to offer that apology.

I bring this up because The Poet has two blogs posted on his page. One specifically lept out at me. It's entitled "Beliefs". It's quite a delicious itemization of that which he believes in...his convictions....his opinions. I loved it and was inspired by it. Funny thing is, I haven't done mine yet because I'm afraid to! Hahaha!! I am afraid because if I say: Women should grow hair under their armpits, and then I go and shave mine because I've had a change of heart (1) I'd have to make a new list {and I'm not a listmaker anyway; plus that's a lot of extra effort and maintenance to relist my redefinition -- didjya follow that? God help you if you did....}, and (2) the aforementioned notion of casualties. As I type this, though, I'm wondering (more Earth shaking?): Do I choose not to make a list because that means I'd be something limited instead of something dynamic. I sort of think that... how can I describe it....?.... the dynamic of my relationship with any given person...sort of...breathes. It inhales and exhales, expanding and contracting, keeping life intact. Of course, if I had these rigid beliefs then people might understand me better and say, 'oh, that's just how Jackie is'. And then I'd be defined and know myself and not make apologies and all that jazz.

With that being said, I'll draft a list of convictions/beliefs/Jackie-isms and maybe, just maybe, someday I'll make them public. Two have been made very public (I think one in this very post): pain is growth and the other isn't as few words. The other is... People are put in my life for a reason. They are either pebbles of sand on the beach washed away and replaced, or they are solid boulders. Both are important because it's a divine crossing of teach or be taught (might even be both!).

Now for some levity: Duran Duran is promoting their new album, Red Carpet Massacre, and they are coming in concert to Dallas!! I'll have to find a way to get there.....

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Drowning Tonight

My family has been in slumber for about 3 hours now.

I have been alone.

In a quiet house.

Feeling....well...let's say just *feeling*.....

A rarity for me.

One which I am enjoying....a whole bottle of "good for my soul tonight", otherwise known as:

There is but one pour left to fill my crystal tonight. I think I'll not feel regretful about it....about drinking a whole bottle of wine alone tonight.

I've earned it, after all.


Thursday, November 15, 2007



Life is very heavy right now.

These days, there is a lot to do . The hours in the day are not enough. I know that there will come a day that the days will stretch their weary arms and slow down, sip soup then sleep; but those days are not today.

Today is rushed.

My mind works fast. I can multi-task with the best of 'em. I can keep up with lots of stimulation.

In midst of prepping children for their day, being breadwinner, commuting, shuffling papers, meals, juggling schedules and the daily hustle and bustle, sweet gifts are delivered to me. In unlikely, unexpected times, I am reminded of how very lucky I am. When these particular moments come, I put on the brakes and breathe.





Keep breathing.....

Thank you to all of you who give me life, bestow gifts and remind me to slow down.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I've blogged about this accident that my in-laws were in. I thought I'd give you a couple of sobering images to view....

In-laws hunkametal

Offending hunkametal

Nice, huh?

POP UPDATE: Pop got his trachea tube removed and is flirting with nurses.


He's back.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Pop Update

We call him Pop.
My Eldest named him. She is the first grandchild on my husband's side, so she got the privilege of naming the grandparents. When she was born, my husband said we all got promoted. Me from Jackie to Mommy, him to Daddy, my mom to Nan, my brother to Uncle, his sisters to get the idea, right?
So...Pop it is. My father in law is affectionately referred to as Pop by just about every family member, including non-grandkids. My Eldest and Pop have a special connection. Their bond runs very deep. I treasure their relationship. Watching them makes me long for a grandparent relationship of my own sometimes. My mom's parents died before I was born. My dad's parents were divorced. I saw my grandma more often that my grandpa, but being in the military, visits with them were always abbreviated and whirlwind. I digress...
This is my Pop Update.
I'm happy to report he's still alive (nothing short of a miracle). He's endured over two weeks in the ICU. He has been transferred to a long-term rehabilitiation hospital where he remains in their ICU because of a blood infection. He wears a trachea tube, and still has a feeding tube. He's off the ventillator. He is ready to talk, but the trachea tube prohibits it. He's been sitting up on the side of his bed with the help of physical therapists. No walking or anything like that. He's atrophied signficantly. Speech therapy is supposed to evaluate his ability to swallow soon so that he can have the feeding tube removed and hopefully he can start receiving the Eucharist along with Thanksgiving Dinner!!
He lays in a bed, restrained often, in a brace around his chest and abdomen. His broken sternum, broken ribs and spinal fractures will take weeks to heal. He has all kinds of machines around his bed, and it's a little overwhelming for the non-medical person. Thank God my husband is an R.N. He's been a beacon in the night to so many people who have that deer-in-the-headlights look about his dad.
For the first time since the accident, my husband and I took Our Girls over to see their Pop. We talked to Our Eldest a lot about him, what he'll look like, etc. I tried to soften the shock by saying Pop might resemble a robot, and My Eldest got a good giggle out of that. I wasn't sure how My Little One would react. She's pretty young, but oh-so-intuitive. That baby intuition is a phenomenon unlike any other. Thankfully since my husband and I both have some medical background, and we talk a lot about medical procedures, medicines, and various other facets of medicine, Our Eldest is amazingly well-equipped to handle seeing Pop in this state of non-Pop-ness.
When we enter his room, my husband walks to the far side of the bed, and I'm carrying My Little One. My Eldest is off to my side and slightly behind me. I could feel her hesitation. I turn and check with her, "you sure you want to do this?" She bites her lips with a coy smile and those big brown eyes and nods, "yes".
Pop raises his hands as high as he can when walk in. He opens his writhered fingers and motions for us to sit next to him on the bed. Immediately I take his hand in mine and love on him. I find a way to work My Little One's hand in between our hands and he squeezes hard. Then My Eldest peeks 'round to his view.
I wish you could've seen it. It was a frozen moment in time. As soon as his eyes found her, she locked her eyes on him and smiled so big! His face contorted and twisted and he cried. He cried so hard and reached out to hold her. He kept signing the I Love You sign and inviting her closer. Tears welled up in her eyes, but not a one spilled onto her cheek. The smile she wore was gleaming and joyous. She still didn't walk closer to touch him. She studied him through that smile. It was a very mixed-signal moment. Her body language was saying "I'm scared. He looks different. Should I really go over there?" yet her verbal language was "I'm so happy! I'm so happy to see my Pop!"
The visit was GREAT! He was very aware, alert, active. He signed "OK" when appropriate. He is beginning to realize the magnitude of the situation. My husband has visited him daily and filled in details of what happened. Now, he's sad. So sad. He's mouthed, "I'm dying" and wrote almost illegibly on a dry-erase board, "my days are numbered". Naturally, we all encourage him and remind him what a gift he is.
I had a blessed moment alone with him that night.
He mouthed, "I'm sad." I cried and curled his forearm into my embrace. I moved closely into him and said very matter-of-factly, "I know you are. We all are. It's hard, isn't it?" He nods in agreement. I continue, "Pop. We have to trust that this is happening for a reason. God chose you because he loves you. You believe that, right?" He again nods in agreement....through tears. I go on, "Good. Now, we have to trust Him. Because this is perfect. God is working through you, me, all of us to teach and mold us. It's his love for us. You believe that, too, don't you?" His face is deep with wrinkles, a twisted mouth, eyes shut fighting tears. A desperate nod 'yes' tells me he understands and does trust.
I'm so thankful I had that moment with him. I pray that it's sinking in to him. I pray that he knows it all the time. Because I can only imagine what laying in a hospital bed thinking during the waking hours -- one can really get inside their own head and that's when all kinds of irrational thoughts can manifest in weird ways. I've been humbled watching this family flock together and do what needs to get done. They have their differences in opinions and they talk openly, respectfully and fruitfully together. I love watching the process. Of course, I've had my own struggles with it -- had my share of breakdowns and feelings of selfishness. Overall, it's right. It's good. It's what needs to be done.
Thanks to you who have prayed, hoped, wished, wondered. Thanks to you who may or may not know me or my family directly -- for all you do. We wouldn't be who we are without that Great Wonder Out There.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I Noticed I Have A Lot of Short or One-Word Titles, So I'm Making This One Extra Long and Action-Packed

LOOK! Er -- LISTEN! know what I mean.....

I added music to my blog! ~~~~>

Jewel's "Break Me". An appropriate song for my current stage o'life....

Waiting to be Broken

Monday, November 05, 2007


Lately, I've felt my berrings pretty loose.
Sure, there's a justification, but, still....
I am feeling rather inadquate as a mother. I'm frustrated because Me Eldest gets so much less time from me than My Little One. It's not fair. I wonder how My Eldest feels? What does she think about the disproportionate amount of time I spend with the two of them? Does she even notice?
Yes. Of course she notices!
But even the little time My Eldest and I *do* share -- I'm not interested in what she wants to talk about. I get yet more frustrated because I ask a question and she doesn't answer it. She instead causes me to have shiny rock syndrome and quickly diverts my attention to another random subject (Hannah Montana, Radio Disney, or Webkinz). I want to share with her subjects that include her Brownies, school, our current life situation. She gets the glossy-eye stare.
Not a friggin' thing in common right now.
I suppose every parent-child relationship shares this experience. I'm certain that I'm not describing anything that any of us hasn't gone through either as a parent or a kid. I reckon it's okay....and normal....but, still.....
I feel inadequate.
I miss her.