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A blank page is a terrifying thing, is it not?

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Writober 10.2.19: Burying the Lede

he endometrial cancer was found during routine fertility tests. “Instead of a baby,” I sometimes say, “I got a tumor!” I usually laugh when I say this because what else is there to do?

When I received the call that Friday morning four years ago, the only question I asked the doctor was, “But what does this mean in terms of trying to have a baby.”

He didn’t answer that; he said the oncologist would be able to answer that for me. He went on to assure me that people with my diagnosis went on to live happy, healthy lives.

Yes, I thought. But childless lives so what’s the point? And no, I don’t mean that for everyone. I’m always quick to add that too, the rare times I express that sentiment because I know perfectly well one can have a full, happy life without children. But that’s not the life I envisioned for myself and yet, there I was.

For the entire month between diagnosis and treatment, I worked, I laughed, I interacted with people. But in the shower I cried. The water would drown out the tears, I thought and I didn’t want the roommates to hear because I was supposed to be happy to be alive. I was supposed to be grateful that they’d caught the cancer in time.

Mostly though I walked around convinced I was dreaming. This is a nightmare, I’d think. I’ll wake up soon. But it was real. The hysterectomy happened. All the cancer was caught and I was alive. Thank goodness, people said, that you were trying to get pregnant! Otherwise who knows what would have happened!

Yes. Thank goodness.

I was 42 that year. Then I was 43. Another year closer to 45 and the cut off age for trying to adopt a baby domestically. Why not internationally, people ask (and asked). Finances, mostly. But fun fact: I’m too fat to adopt a child from China. Yes, China has specific BMI requirements.

Year 44 was spent filling out forms. Oh, you’ll have that application done in no time knowing you!

Yes, that’s what I thought so too. But every form brought with it self reflection, questions, doubts. Can I do this? Do I really want to do this? Am I ready/willing to accept whatever comes? Sometimes that was a quick, decisive yes. Sometimes that was weeks of uncertainty. What I thought would be a three month process took 11 months. And then I waited, and waited and waited. At the 15 month mark I asked myself, “How long do you wait?” I did some math. “If you get a baby now, you’ll be 66 when it’s 20. If you get a baby when you’re 50, you’ll be 70!” At that age, what’s four years but somehow it was a sticking point. I decided I’d give it till 48 and then I’d make a decision.

And then life decided to mix things up.

On Tuesday, July 16th I received an email from a case worker at the adoption agency asking me if I had time to speak the following day. “Is this it?” I wondered. “Shit, this might be it.”

And it was. On Wednesday, July 17th I was told I’d been matched with a baby born in early July. By Monday, July 22nd, I was holding her in my arms.

And now, here we are. She’s been with me for a little over two months it feels as if she’s been with me forever. But that’s probably the sleep deprivation talking. I’m definitely dreaming now, but in the best way possible.

0 comment(s) | Filed under: Adoption | Writing

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Writober 10.11.17: Small Comforts

Maybe if he’d shouted the words at her she could have brushed them off, blamed it on stress or the low level anger that he always felt after his team lost at a home game.

But he said them so matter of factly, like a stranger telling you the time or commenting about the heavy rains.

“You really,” he said, looking past her shoulder, “are an uncaring bitch.”

She looked behind her to make sure there wasn’t someone standing there. And then she sighed. “I’m really not,” she replied. “I just don’t care about you anymore.”


Maybe she should have ignored the question like she had at least a dozen times before but it was time. Pretending wasn’t even worth the effort anymore. For a while she thought that maybe if she cloaked herself in an air of happiness that somehow it would seep through her pores. Instead she went to bed feeling slightly nauseated and awoke hoping he’d be gone.

She still loved him and that was saddest of all. She just couldn’t be the carrier of his dreams anymore.


“There isn’t a point to a list, is there?” she asked as she leaned forward and grazed his cheek with her chapped lips. “I lied. I care about you. Just not in the way you need and I’m tired. I’m going to bed. Tomorrow I’ll pack. Or you’ll pack. I don’t know.”

He stared after her for a while and then he turned the volume back up on the TV. “so that’s it,” he thought. It had actually lasted longer that he’d figured. A small comfort but he was in the mood to be comforted by even that.

0 comment(s) | Filed under: Writing | Fiction

Friday, October 06, 2017

Writober 10.6.17: Love, period.


That’s Wired’s headline about the imminent demise of AIM. I still remember fondly AIM’s ability to search its database of users by age, location, gender, interests, etc.

I’ve always had trouble sleeping and there was a time when I used to scroll through numerous west coast AIM profiles looking for people to chat with in the late hours of the night.

“Which do you like better,” I asked one evening, “ICQ or AIM?” That geeky question started a relationship that would go on to last eight years, cause an epic heartbreak, and have such an impact on my life that even a decade later I still occasionally experience soft, surprising aftershocks.

But that day I was just killing time before heading off to one of my evening classes. We joked about nonsense, talked about roller coasters (I have no idea why) and after I told him I was auditioning him for a potential “pen pal” he asked how he was doing. “Good so far but we’ll see what your application looks like.” When he humored the silliness I knew I’d found a good one.

Catching the time I told him I needed to go. “Thank you for chatting with me!” I typed and signed off.

A long while later, after he’d become my best friend and something more that I was afraid to name, during our first visit, he told me the thank you made him want to keep chatting with me.

“Really?” I asked. “Why?”

“Nobody is that polite online and I liked the exclamation point.”

I laughed. Manners and punctuation. The key to all great love affairs. Or at least, memorable connections.

0 comment(s) | Filed under: Writing

Friday, September 09, 2016

I Have Always Thought of You

If there has been a day when I haven’t thought of you, I don’t remember it.
I have considered your name
Your laugh
Your smile.
I looked forward to your hugs
And sticky hands making a mess on my clothes.
In my mind, I have decorated your room a dozen times over.

I had a closet full of toys that were meant to be passed down to you.
Three years ago I packed up a box full of them and sent them to someone who would hopefully love them as I dreamed you would.
The box also carried my tears.

How, I wondered, would I teach you two languages?

I always thought, I said today, I’d frame this map and hang it in my child’s room.

I dream of you over and over again,
The happiest moments are those early minutes of my day when you’ve not yet faded away.

People tell me, meaning well, that I shouldn’t give up waiting for you.
I kept a couple of toys for you just in case.
And I still consider names.
I have always thought of you.
And I wait.

2 comment(s) | Filed under: Writing

Monday, May 16, 2016

Thinking is not doing

While driving home yesterday I found myself crafting my trip to the mall. I revised it several times in my head, dismissing bits that I thought were irrelevant, changing the direction of the anecdote. As is usually the case, one little story meandered into many. Cut it back, I thought. That and that and definitely that is another piece.

Do you do this? The constant crafting of your life? For whom, I wonder? The trip to the mall was posted on Facebook where it got some likes. The point of the story was to share that my phone is back in working order after a week of not being able to receive or make calls or text messages. In theory it had a purpose, though the point could have been made in a sentence or two instead of the 20 or 30 it ended up being.

Not having written anything remotely “worthy” in a very long time, I don’t label myself a writer, but I clearly have writerly tendencies, which pleases me. Letting the words live in my head, however, that’s either a waste or an action that is sure to drive me crazy one day. Which is another thing to ponder.

1 comment(s) | Filed under: Writing

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Memo to Self

I saw the above a day or so after I wrote a lengthy post that I ultimately set to Draft status because it felt scattered but also slightly too personal. This is something I’ve always struggled with - trying to find the balance between writing what I’m feeling, what’s going on in my life and wanting to make it somewhat interesting for the few people who stop by to read my blatherings.

The quote is a good reminder that if I’m going to do this well (well being subjective, clearly) then I have to work through those feelings of discomfort and just accept that writing about some things is just going to feel scary.

1 comment(s) | Filed under: Writing

Thursday, February 11, 2016

How does blogging work again?

How is it that it’s been fifteen years since I discovered blogs and decided to start one and I’ve not quite figured out what should go here exactly? I distinctly remember pondering this question fifteen years ago; especially on the days when I was posting multiple times a day. What matters? What is interesting? What will I want to remember? Asking those questions curbed the many many posts about the day to day that is my life. But it also sometimes stalled me.

There’s also the added fact that we don’t always know what’s going to matter, do we? A random phone call or message easily forgotten in the moment can, after a time, take on more meaning. “Oh, if I’d known that was the last conversation I was going to have, I would have done it better-” Or, hell, sometimes angrier is the way to go. In this case I’m thinking specifically about a conversation I had on April 11 of last year. That call deserved some angry words. Not mean words, mind you, but a better, stronger articulation of my disappointment and emotions. But that’s a story for another day.

Enough rambling. (Why, hello, 2001! Didn’t think I’d see you again.) This really was just a poor way of saying, I know this space is here and I know I want to use it better. I’m just trying to figure out what better means. I’m open to suggestions.

2 comment(s) | Filed under: Techy | Writing

Friday, January 22, 2016

Don’t Call It A Comeback

I have been here for years. If by here we mean the world wide web and not this blog or this domain specifically. I moved away from the blog for reasons that I can’t now remember and took to micro-blogging on Facebook and then Google+. And while I certainly have enjoyed the social aspects of those networks, I have missed the ability to really write, to do the brain dumps, the emotional word therapy that got me through much of the 2000s. I have also missed the creative outlet that coding and designing the blog (and sites) allowed. Granted, I don’t by any means harbor any grand delusions that I became a master coder or designer but it was fun to learn new coding tricks or to see something on the web that I had dreamt up and been able to give life to.

So, when Miss Bliss and Jules told me that they were reviving their blogs and asked if I wanted to join in on the fun, well, how could I say no?

It’s taken a little while to really get this back up and running, however. Being without a laptop (since March 2015) was a bit of a challenge and I had to get over the need to start over from scratch. To let go of the idea of bringing this back bigger, faster, stronger because, quite frankly, that sort of perfectionism is just the killer of dreams sometimes. So, I dusted off some old code, some old css (circa 2006, thank you very much) and here we are. I’m going to try and focus on the words for now. Maybe when I am able to get a nice shiny Mac again, I’ll shift some of the energy back to the coding, to tinkering with the behind the scenes stuff but for now this works. I have a box to type in, you have a place to comment if you wish. The rest will get sorted along the way.

So, thanks as always for reading. And let’s see what comes of it, shall we? I have stuff to say. Hopefully you’ll enjoy reading it again.

7 comment(s) | Filed under: Techy | Writing