butterfly go ahead, and fly

Dani_and_PapPap

So this is another big event in my Dani’s life… she will be away from her mommy for 4 days/3 nights… the longest time apart for us.

She seems to be handling it well though, better than mommy, although mommy isn’t doing too bad herself.

Grammy and Pap Pap took her 8 hours away to the beach with my sister and her two boys. Not only does Dani love the beach, anything water related really, but she has not had any ‘episodes’ of ‘i miss mommy’ or such.

Which is good… really it is. 🙂

Yes, I am sad being away from her… I miss her terribly.

But one of the most valuable lessons I plan to teach her is independence. I won’t be around forever, and there are few people you can really trust in this world so I want her to be able to take care of herself and to be a capable and productive member of society (in some way or another).

She is such an intelligent person and so beautiful.

She has so much to offer the world and I cannot wait to see what paths she chooses for herself.

She will be amazing!

Momma loves you to the moon and back Dani!

gravedigger, when you dig my grave, can you make it shallow, so that I can feel the rain

Image

Today is not a day of happiness but a day of respect and remembrance for all those who lost in battle for our (as Americans) freedom.

Freedom is a wonderful thing – this means that we, as Americans, can worship how we want, say what we want, write what we want, vote for who we want, raise our children (mostly) how we want… and, although lately there have been those who have fought against it, we can protect our family how we want and we can love whom we want.

All of these are freedoms I as an American enjoy. I have not always been proud of the choices some of the leaders of my country have made but I am so proud of America. And I am so honored to enjoy all these benefits that others have fought and suffered and died for.

With that, I leave you on this day to honor and remember as you wish, with a poem from a young girl who lost her father to war…

never forget…

 

In loving memory of 1st Lt. Bert W. Justus, Jr.
from his daughter, Mary

 
World War II called out to him
And that was all it took
But he was there when I was born
I saw my baby book.

When I was six he left again
He looked into my eyes
“I’ll be back with hula skirts”
And then he said good-bye.

His uniform was crisp and green
He held me in his arms
I knew he wasn’t coming back
No Dad, no skirts, no charms.

And though I was a little girl
I cried upon his shoulder
I knew deep down this was good bye
He wasn’t getting older.

I felt so old, so wise that day
I still can feel the shame.
The family gathered round and played
I thought they were insane.

Twas Christmas day and he was gone
Korea was the name
Two months later MIA
No words can share the pain.

Fifty years have come and gone
Since we received the letter
He never came back home to us
It never does get better.

I need to tell the story
Because old men forget.
It’s not just soldiers that we lose
their families are bereft

They hold a family update
To pacify our hurt
And then they send more babies
Out to die on foreign dirt.

It’s not that I’m a pacifist
I’m not against all war
But I’m for talk and talk and talk
And then you talk some more.

The wars may be inevitable
And we will be prepared
But war should be the last resort
So little girls are spared.

could i have been anyone other than me?

Angelina Jolie has always been someone I admired greatly.

I am not going to sit here and list the reasons why, I am sure you either feel the same way or you don’t, we all have the right to an opinion. But, either way, you have to admit she is a strong woman. She birthed twins!

Angelina has played the heroine in movies for years but now she once again proved herself worthy of heroine status when she came out about her decision to have both of her breasts removed because she was at an extremely high risk for developing breast cancer. She lost both her mother and grandmother to cancer and because of this she doesn’t want her children to go through that.

I can’t blame her.

I worry constantly about what would become of Dani if something happened to me. It is the whole motive behind my losing weight, to get my heart healthy again so that I can be around for a long time to enjoy my daughter’s life.

She also wanted to let women know that their breasts don’t define their femininity. That just because you lose your breasts, whether to cancer or being pro-active about preventing it or to some other terrible reason, you are still a woman… you are still feminine… and you are still beautiful!

I met someone through social media who has breast cancer and recently had a double mastectomy… let’s call her Sugar Magnolia 😉

She is also one of my heroines. Through her on-line posts she shared her story with me and others and I can truly say I am lucky to have made her acquaintance.

Sugar Magnolia has definitely handled her battle with breast cancer with dignity, maturity, strength, courage, and grace. I can’t imagine what she has gone through and can only hope that I would handle something like this with the same.

And so I hope to be more like Angie and Sugar and I fight for equality for all and I proudly call myself a feminist.

I want to leave my daughter with a world where her worth is not questioned because she is the wrong gender or sexual orientation.

I want her to be able to make all decisions concerning her body and to have access to the medical treatment that she decides.

And I want to teach her to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves… like Angelina and Sugar have done.

So I ask you again…

Could I have been anyone other than me???

~^~^~^~^~

Read Angelina’s story

NPR Follow up

Breast Cancer Risk in American Women

we’re going to ride the blue all the way to the end of the world

So my second Mother’s day has come to pass and as I sit here in bed listening to my daughter’s soft breathing while she sleeps in bed next to me, I realize that it doesn’t get much better than this.

And of course, this is also the anniversary of the night I went into labor.

I still remember that night vividly.

It was sometime late evening when I curled up in bed, exhausted. More exhausted than I could ever remember being before. The next thing I remember is waking up around 1 am not feeling very well. I couldn’t pin point exactly what was wrong, but something wasn’t right.

About an hour later I realized I was in labor.

Truthfully, if I had really thought about it, I could have told anyone that my daughter would come on Friday the 13th… good stuff always happens to me on Friday the 13ths.

Anyway mom was working that night so after I called her so that she could meet us there, my dad drove me to the hospital. It’s funny really that she was working that night because technically it was her first night of the vacation she had scheduled to help me prepare for my daughter’s birth. She had only gone in last minute when they had called needing help.

Well it was a bit confusing at first and my dad and I weren’t sure exactly where I was supposed to go in and being that it was almost 3 am there were not many people around to ask. A nice young man greeted me with a friendly smile at the nurses station and promptly whisked me off to labor and delivery in my carriage (a wheelchair of course).

I was scared but excited to finally meet the little person who had been incubating in my body for the last 9 months.

Because I was scheduled for a c-section the following Friday the doctor decided to go ahead and perform the c-section that night. And since Dani had never turned and had her butt firmly planted over my cervix, a c-section baby she was determined to be. My mom remarked later that she was her first grandchild born with a round head. 🙂

My water broke almost instantaneously with the anesthesiologist’s injection of the spinal block. I still owe the man a new pair of shoes. So who wears brand new shoes to the birth of a baby anyway?

But really, he was my best friend through the surgery, right by my head, constantly asking if I was okay. And as soon as I wasn’t, he did what he needed to do to fix it.

A curtain was hung about midway down my abdomen, so I couldn’t really see what was going on, but my mother, who I chose as my coach, was captivated with the birth of her newest granddaughter. Through out the surgery she was leaning over the curtain to watch.

I remember how quiet it was after she was born. She wouldn’t cry. Everything was fine but my princess has never been a crier, even now. Of course if she is tired or hungry she can be, but overall, she was born a very laid back and happy child.

My daughter’s nurse brought her around to my face to meet me momentarily but then she was whisked away again so that I could be sewn up and toted off to recovery where she would join me shortly.

For hours it felt like my knees were still bent and my feet planted on the bed when in fact my legs were laid out straight on the bed. I was told by one of my recovery nurse’s that it was called muscle memory.

When they placed my baby daughter in my arms for the first time I was awakened. It was like everything in my life that had come before this very moment was a blur. Nothing mattered anymore other than this little angel. She was my savior and she most certainly rescued me from a previous life that was only being tolerated and not lived.

The hole that had been in my heart for the last five years had started to close as I realized I had never truly loved anyone before my daughter. She is the one and only true love of my life.

And with that, I wish all the mother’s reading this blog today the happiest of mother’s days and many more days loving and enjoying your children. And a very happy 2nd birthday to my little girl.

I love you to the moon and back baby girl!
Dani