Walking away is not an option... dialogue must prevail.

"A good listener tries to understand what the other person is saying. In the end he may disagree sharply, but because he disagrees, he wants to know exactly what it is he is disagreeing with."
- Kenneth A. Wells

"I do not want the peace that passeth understanding. I want the understanding which bringeth peace."
- Helen Keller

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

free falling

It seems like this happens to me a lot... but I need to step away from the blog. I don't know if I'll be able to post for a while.


Dad is not in good health and I am suspending my job search although we are facing dire straights. I need to know what state Dad is in before I move any further. I took time away from work when Mom was dying and I fear I may be faced with another loss.

Take care of each other.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

when television could make a difference - if only in one person

As I watched "House, M.D." this week, I was confronted with some feelings I thought I had buried deep, close to the earth's molten iron core.

My daughter and I both enjoy watching House. I love the dynamics between the characters of the show. The Chicklet likes the puzzles, and the process involved in solving them. We both appreciate his warped sense of humour.
Gregory House says outloud some of the things I refrain from saying myself. Believe me, I get in enough trouble as it is with being direct and blunt. But, as I was telling Hope this week, I don't pussy-foot around when I think people can do better and should be tough enough to suck it up and know that I bother to push only when I care. Mind you, there are some people I handle extremely gently because I know they have been through enough, and they are fragile - like a butterfly's wing.

So, back to the topic at hand... What shook me up?

ATTENTION - Here comes the spoiler, if you haven't watched and it's on your DVR... stop reading (but then you'll miss out on another very important detail about what makes me tick).


Lawrence Kutner, one of House's team members (for those of you that don't watch) and quite possibly the most entertaining, commits suicide.

Kutner was, to me, a most beloved character. The kid (yeah, 33 is younger than me, so The Kid) was brilliant and goofy and according to House, insane. He handled being House's whipping boy with grace and humour. Some coaches ride their charges hard, so do 1st Sgts... Many people run away or turn into whiny-piny-pissy-pants in that kind of situation. And this? Is a trait I have issues with (note, there is a difference with bitching and letting aggravation show and being a whiny-wuss) But not Kutner. He showed determination, and a certain willingness to go with the flow and ride out the waves.

Or so we all thought...

Sadly, something in his life latched onto his ankle like the Kraken, that dreaded giant squid and dragged him under the surface and didn't let go. Was it memories of his parents' death when he was a child, his experience in foster care, feelings of not fitting in? The internet is now filled with hypotheses. People need to know why. They didn't see it coming.
And I think that for many survivors of suicide, but I'll speak for myself here, not knowing why... wondering what was the monster that rendered a beloved family member, friend, colleague unable to make it back to the surface in time, can haunt us for a lifetime. And there's the guilt... wondering what signs we missed, what we could have done, what we didn't do...

As distraught as I was, or more precisely, can be over an imaginary character's death, it brought back feelings of helplessness and of being abandoned after the suicide of my uncle when I was a teenager.

I saw, in the characters that were left behind, the emotions that members of my family, including me, experienced when my uncle Paul took his own life.

My mother went through the angry phase of grief pretty strongly, and being Catholics, her denial was intense. She never did accept his suicide and denied he had killed himself to her dying day. We just don't damn our souls to purgatory and the eternal fires of hell like that, no siree... not in our family.

But you know what? Apparently, we do. At least, he did.

I don't remember how I learned of his death, much less that it was at his own hand in the same manner that Kutner died. I've completely blocked out the conversation. I don't even know who told me. And I don't want to get that moment back. I gladly surrender it to the black hole we all possess, the one that can take our most painful memories and eat them.

I remember that I felt anger and then, I felt betrayed. I thought he was a coward because he didn't fight. He had left me. It took a long time for me to give up the anger. I cursed him and convinced myself he wasn't worth my tears as I had apparently not been worth his sticking around. This is sometimes easier than letting the grief take over.

Watching the unfolding story, I was once again reminded of how much pain my beloved uncle must have been in that led him to this? Suicide is final. There are no do-overs. And it does affect the world when someone let's go.

His death now serves as a learning experience for me, and reminds me that no matter how bad things get... suicide is not a solution. In a way, he gave me one of the most important survival lessons I have learned.

But I still miss his smile and kind blue eyes. He's the one I talk to when I need help getting up off my rear when I've been thrown to the ground. I'd give anything to have him back.

I hope the powers that be on "House M.D." continue to explore the aftermath. Because the ripples that come from a suicide can travel far and wide... and affect the deceased person's loved ones for a very long time, as it has me.

My daughter watched with me, and was puzzled. She, like so many fans, wondered why? This is an opportunity for me to have one of those discussions that parents dread. The goal not being explaining why, but offering that there is an alternative. To create in her an awareness that there is such a thing as suicide but that there is an alternative. She shouldn't have to learn that lesson the way I did. Maybe someday she'll be able to help someone in trouble... and slay the giant squid.

I will say, to the whiny-piny-pissy-pants babies that complained about the news media having ruined their television viewing experience by not sitting on this story and publishing the plot line before they got a chance to watch it on Hulu (could you hear the whiny tone?): get over it! This is bigger than you.

If you or a loved one needs help:

If their life is in immediate danger, call 911.

If you need to talk, either because you are contemplating suicide or have survived the loss of someone to suicide, there is help.

For information,  someone to listen, the Center for Suicide Prevention (in Canada) , the National Alliance on Mental Illness or Suicide.org are doorways to assistance.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

throwing things together

I've been scouring the net for jobs to apply to and wasn't able to gather much for a post... but I do want to remind you that if you love dancing, my bro Travis is THE Lord of The Dancing With The Stars Reviewers *giggle*... so click on the nice kitty and go visit.
*Edited... the kitty won't link so you can visit Travis ICI

I saw this through a link posted by Katherine over at Jeff's blog and I must tip my hat to her. A most excellent torment indeed! *grin* Chicklet loved watching this and played it over and over again.

It's dancing!!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

a soldier

I posted this song another lifetime ago, on my old blog. From it, a friendship with a soldier from Great Britain began.

I post it again today, in honour of my friend Julie and her quest to honour her father.
I post it for LeeAnn, my sis and for her Matt, a proud Marine.

I post it for Airman Mom... because families should never be forgotten.

I post it for Mike, my friend from across the pond and his lovely family in thanks that he has returned home from Bahrain.
I post it for Sarge Charlie, who served valiantly.

I post it for a dragon slaying Marine, I now proudly call a friend. (Yeah, I mean you, Burke!)

I post it for Hope,  my sister in mamadom... because she's a beloved friend and ever so devoted in all she does for Milsupport.

I post it for my daughter who is proud of her grandfather and prays for peace.

And I post it for my dad... and all the veterans he lives with at the Veterans Hospital.

Lest we forget...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

slaying dragons is girlie business

I hate fairytales. Not because they propagate those moronic "must find your Prince" (although, man have I kissed a bunch of frogs to get mah Honey who is quite dashing and manly and could slay a dragon in a heartbeat - he fights fires! it's doubtless he could douse a dragon's fiery fury), but because they set us girls up for the most monumental of disappointments. 

If you open your bedroom window and sing a catchy tune, sadly, woodland animals will not heed your call and come clean your house, fix your hair (complete with fresh flowers) and make you lovely gowns.

Thankfully, despite Disney's best efforts, my Chicklet is not inclined to be a princess (anymore).

This week, as part of my mommy duties (again, no woodland animals came to assist... not even a wise owl), I had to help the girl with her homework. The assignment? Imagine yourself in the year 2060 and the dictionary will now include an entry about you. What would it be for?
There are no limits to their imagination. They can choose anything.
My daughter? Without hesitation is going to be a researcher, a Nobel Prize winning researcher, no less. Her accomplishment (aside for the awesomeness that is winning a Nobel Prize)? Finding a cure for breast cancer, after she's done doing that she'll move on to new forms of energy or maybe improved hurricane detection and alert technology... she has a lot of goals.
The best part about this assignment and watching the sparkle in her eyes was that she really has the fire and conviction that she indeed will, someday, accomplish great things.

No sitting around waiting for fairytale endings for my Chicklet. She's gonna slay those dragons herself.

But if you ARE going to listen to a Fairytale... this would be the way to do it:

Friday, April 3, 2009

life explained in pictures

They do say that a picture is worth a thousand words, don't they?

The topic is: Sex and advertising (aka using a woman's boobs to sell something...)

Are we really surprised and outraged? There's a simple reason why a woman's cleavage is naturally associated with promoting a beverage:

Of course, I? Prefer clever ads...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

"Mom, can we go?"

Chicklet and I are in the car on the way to school, listening to the classic rock station (she's picky about her music and that's just another reason why she's so awesome) and we hear about this:

at The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.  One can sit at a white piano and play "Imagine", peek at as of yet unpublished pictures, in all 140 items graciously brought forth to Montreal by Yoko Ono, write peace wishes to be tied to Yoko's Peace tree... all this to commemorate a truly beautiful moment in time, the 1969 Peace Bed-in. In the spirit of Peace, admission will be free! Yay!

My Chicklet wants to go. And that? Makes my heart swell.

I understand that some people bear bad feelings for Yoko Ono and blame her for the breakup of The Beatles. But I see a woman who loved and was loved passionately, a woman that still carries that love in her heart. And shares her own Honey with us, and carries forth the message they believed in.



Where are my Birkenstocks, flowing skirt and flower crown (I'm still totally gonna shave, though...)... I have to prepare.