​I watch my thirteen year old daughter watching this election cycle. I see her cringe at the news reports, at the sound bites. I hear her awkwardly laugh at memes that tell more truth than the news (akin to editorial cartoons of our Sunday papers). 

As though there haven’t been enough controversies from both the Democrats and the GOP candidates, new shockers appear daily.  Clinton’s e-mails. Bengahzi. The Clinton Foundation. The liberal agenda. Media bias. Trump’s mocking of the disabled, of PTSD sufferers, of women. Talk of building walls and deporting them all. Blacks and Hispanics live in hell… what have they got to lose in voting? Stop and frisk. Taxes, anyone? And the latest –“grab them by the pussy” hot mic bravado.

Two other folks are on the ballot. Their candidacies are likely to pull votes from donkies and elephants.  It seems like the voters are the jackasses that forgot they’re never supposed to forget.

I wonder how she’ll feel waking up on Nov. 9 when the votes are tallied. Will she be proud of us for voting our conscience, voting for humanity, for decency, for her future? Will she question her neighbors who chanted support for hate and allowed this mockery of democracy to fester? Will she – will any of my kids (or students) see this historical election and vow to change the process before 2020?  

It’s more than just the first woman to claim a national party candidacy. It’s more than a millionaire with no political record running (Ross Perot did that, too, though without a major polital party backing him). This election result could change America. This election could destroy us.

We’re living in a reality TV show that desperately needs network cancellation. Or, at the very least, a better script.

Thank you, Ms. Medina

Our county held a book festival today. It was the first I’ve been to, and I truly hope it isn’t the last. The roster of presenters included Newberry Award winning authors and other amazing writers and illustrators who talked about the process of publishing, generating ideas, and about the power of voice.
Aside from encouraging reading, the event was meant to spark a desire to write.

We didn’t get to stay long, but I totally appreciated watching my kids select their two books from the fair.  They took the task serious.

And Ri found herself smitten with a number of beautifully illustrated books.

We met author Meg Medina and she paused for a few minutes to hug the princess, take a picture, and personalize a copy of her book.

Simply awesome.  She definitely didn’t have to, considering she’d just met with 50 plus people anxiously awaiting her attention and she was minutes away from a second presentation when we finally got to her.  But she made the kids feel special — like there was nothing more important than greeting them.  Such a beautiful spirit!


Long are the days and short is the time to document all the events of our very busy lives. So much has changed in our family dynamic and though silence has been the assumed response, I want to shout in frustration.

I’ve never been much of a private person. Keeping quite on major happenings feels like a decision to breed confusion, speculation,and wrongly determined conclusion. 

And yet, at his wishes, I silenced myself. I didn’t publicly lament the loss of my son when he began to challenge house rules and ran away to escape them.  I didn’t raise my voice to form the words expressing my horror at having to break up a physical fight between hubs and my teenager. (Fighting to hurt, refusing to back down in the name of manliness isn’t what I’m used to seeing in my home. That’s the stuff you see on social media, shake your head at, and pass judgment on with only a snapshot of knowledge about a stranger’s life.) I didn’t poor out my frustration in being told by responding officers that my son who didn’t come home from school wasn’t “in immediate danger” and did not merit an active search – let alone an Amber Alert. 

I didn’t even allow myself to form the sentences criticising the treatment I received when I was reduced to “stepmother” at his school and was refused ability to access his records and facilitate his transition to a new start.  Though I was mom for four years, I’m not on birth or custody paperwork, and that means I don’t exist, or at least that I don’t count when it’s critical.  

Ignore the e-mails with his teachers and counselor, the meetings at Back to School Night, and the concerts and games to watch him perform. Forget about holding your son as he sobs about his disappointment with blood and trying to comfort him when there is no excuse for rejecting or ignoring your child because life kept going.  Pretend that you didn’t research opportunities, didn’t check on grades and homework, didn’t invest in his well-being beyond scholastics. 
When it counts, I have no say. Even in my home, there was no discussion  when I was told he was not returning to us. The decision didn’t include me. I was simply left to explain his absence to a family who adored him. I was told “it’s done.” And I apologized to his grandparents for having to reject their offer of taking him in (knowing it was a better option to keep him safe and to keep siblings together).

How many times did I ask for him to make contact with our son – to stop severing himself from a boy who desperately needed his father but might be equally stubborn about forgiving ‘the past’? I wonder still if my son read the note I tucked in amongst his things as I packed up his life. Did he hear the “goodbye, I love you” I sent?  Does he know I still miss him? 

In the aftermath, his sister feared for her security. Would we toss her out for something, too? Would Mommy simply let her go “while thinking about the others”? 

And though they weren’t part of the situation, every critical family member drew conclusions. They were fine before, so it had to be the wife. It is an easy assumption, especially when he refuses to defend the scapegoat.

It’s no wonder she thinks I am evil. Did it come as any surprise that she’d forbid her son from coming over? Should I have been shocked to read her text?

I not trying to be funny but I swear I hate your situation u see your sons sometimes because neither one of them fuck with your wife . It’s a sad shame that whole situation u was doing well when u had your own house and e everybody was happy!!!

Confirmation that I’m the villan in the village destroying lives. And no denial from the only one in a position to set the record straight. 

I can only take so much. I can only ignore the slights from his family for so long – – and the awkward gatherings that further distance me as an outsider invading and encroaching on their happiness. I’m the one being held responsible for all the changes. I’m the situation destroying his relationships. 

And I think I’m done being  that woman. There’s nothing I can say when I’m not invited into the conversation. It’s yours, mine and ours – and I didn’t sign up for that. 

Waiting too long

I sit on this bench,  looking across at my husband. He’s bound to a fluid IV, pumped up with insulin and morphine. He’s moody – delivering a mixture of frustration, panic and self pity in random sequences.

If he sleeps, the monitor beeps; it flashes its red APNEA warning and the oxygen levels countdown to… I don’t know.  I hold my breathe, just as he has done, and wait for the warning to go away.image

It took forever to get a room, and yet we passed a dozen empty ones en route to his assigned quarter. In the cold little space, he lays covered in blankets, staring at the tiny television  and listening to the foreign sounds of hospital workers.

Tests were ordered, but not completed. An ultrasound for kidneys has yet to happen, but could be a determining factor to his going home. Blood pressure and heart monitors tick away the seconds.


They fill him with medication  (the ones he should have been taking, anyway). We wait for answers and release.


Perhaps if he’d heeded the warnings his body gave him – the lethargy, the irritability, the aches – he’d have sought help sooner. But the drop in clinic said “viral infection,” let it run its course. And the medication he was prescribed for his diabetes makes him feel awful before he feels great again (so he won’t take it). Now, it’s too late to prevent illness. We are here in the hospital… waiting.

The rift

I stand at the shoreline
You sit, discontent in that rickety little boat
It rocks, dangerously, at your shifting weight
Rippling water currents draw you slowly out
Swiftly, you drift further into unknown waters
Receding from my vantage point
There’s no goodbye, no salutations at all
Just a distance increasing
I wade in, willing myself to swim to you
But I cannot
So I stand waste deep in the sludge
Silently willing you to paddle back
Oblivious to my mental pleading, still further the rift grows

Blizzard cometh {Day 2}

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