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Friday, March 16, 2012

Tears of a Clown...

I cried while taking my son to school today.  Yes, I am the clown.  That or a mom who's just really proud.

I think it was the combination of the gloomy rainy skies outside coupled with the music...well mostly it was just the music.

I have become rather addicted to "Coffeehouse" on Sirius radio.  I don't know what happened to the punk rock girl I used to be...oh yeah, age.  Ok and let's face it, I was always more of a "New Waver/KROQ/Grunge" girl to be completely honest.  Punk rock just seems to sound cooler, right?  And I am all about the cool.

Anyway, "These Are Days" by the 10,000 Maniacs came on and that just happens to be the same song that was playing nearly 13 years ago, when my first born child came into the world.

I had created a play list of very specific music and put songs on a CD, very avant-garde in 1999, burning CD's from music shared on Napster.  What can I say, always on the cutting edge, that's me. 


Are they still suing people, by the way?  If so, it was my own CD and I am using the term "Napster" to once again, generate the cool factor by sharing my Gen X terminology...

So that particular song was blaring through the speakers in the O.R. while the doctors were busy chattering away and cutting me open from the outside in.  It didn't hurt, in fact the flurry of sensations I felt, both mentally and physically diminished any sense of pain or worry, that and a helluva good combination of drugs.  I knew that in mere minutes, my son would enter the world.

And so I sang, loud. And anyone that knows me, knows that I can't carry a tune, but it didn't matter.  I belted out the chorus and as I heard my son take his first breath and begin howling from the bright lights that suddenly penetrated his dark blue eyes, tears streamed down my cheeks and I knew that my life had changed forever.  It was a perfect harmony that I will never forget.

I was a mother.

But back to the future...Today, hearing those lyrics again just made me marvel in the joy and happiness that my son brings me.  True, I often joke about the trials and tribulations of parenting a tween/teen (which are all completely true) but the reality is that he is just about the most amazing kid in the world. 

I realized that I get so caught up in making sure that he grows into a proper citizen, a good man, that I sometimes forget to acknowledge and cherish the wonderful kid he is today. 

So this morning, I turned to look at him with tears streaming once again as the lyrics played in the background, and in a very garbled voice I told him I loved him so much...Poor thing, probably thought it was time to check me into Bellevue.

We set the bar high for the boy, no doubt.  But it's because we know he can handle it.  He has these qualities, that I know we taught him, but he's embraced them and they stuck.  That's all him, inside and out.  He has compassion and love and respect for everyone and I am ecstatic that it's pretty evident in the way he approaches the world and the people in it.

Here we are on the actual brink of his 13th birthday and Chris and I could not be more proud.  What lucky people we are to have had this tiny little person enter our world and turn everything we knew upside down.

He made us better people.  He made us grow up.  He gave us a future that we had no idea could be so challenging and rewarding at the same time.  He paved the way for a sister that idolizes and adores him.  He made our parents grandparents.  The gifts he's given us so far have been never-ending.

Gavin, you make me the happiest mom in the world and I love you more than you will ever know.  Thank you for choosing us, God did we ever get lucky.

I dedicate this blog to my son, the boy with no limits and a future as bright as the sun...


Gavin Davies Alsop

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

F*CK Cancer

I am struggling to find the words.  My usual rather upbeat posts and blogs have been replaced today with one that is filled with feelings of anger, sadness and sorrow. 

I have lost another person I love to cancer.

Cancer, the relentless beast that is unforgiving, brutally ugly and vicious. 

No one is immune and no one can really be blamed.  Sure, the life we lead might put us at a higher "risk" for getting it, but then how can we explain when an innocent child is stricken with a brain tumor or leukemia?  What did they do to deserve that kind of pain and suffering?

Cancer opens the floodgates to questions that seem to have no answers.  There is no rhyme or reason, so we have to learn to accept what truly IS (in terms of reality) regardless of the outcome. It doesn't mean we can't be pissed off about it, or feel tremendous sadness, it just means that we must get through it...any way we can.  I have been blessed enough to have family and friends who step up and offer the kind of love and support that brings comfort and peace in times like these.

I would like to believe that we have some control over our chances but the facts and theories are shrouded in mystery.  Some claim to have healed themselves through diet, exercise, green drinks, gurus, meditation and prayer.  Others invest all their chips by gambling on Western medicine alone, hoping that the chemicals penetrating their bodies will kill off the bad stuff and give rise to new healthy cells, cells that do their intended jobs.  Some are fortunate and beat the odds, others are not so lucky. 

The bottom line is that no one can hide from cancer.  You can live your life clean, eat all organic food and exercise until you have 3% body fat...and still get it, think: Lance Armstrong.

That being said, what can we do?  Do we get caught up in all the negative stuff and say screw it, I'm gonna do what I want because I can't stop the train if it has no brakes?

Or do we obsess about every minute detail in our food sources, exercise until we are blue in the face or research what the EPA says is the safest place to live?  I don't think that's the answer either...

I can say this-without any expertise whatsoever-You have to LIVE your life, the way you see fit.  There are thousands of books and people out there touting how we can "cure" ourselves and the ways in which we can prevent disease from invading our bodies, which certainly have validity. 

But the reality is you can spend all your time worrying about dying and suddenly your life has passed you by. 

We MUST cease the moments of every day, be present in our lives and create relationships that nurture both our souls and spirit.  We must learn to let go of anger and hatred and embrace light, love and laughter.  It's work, no doubt, but the time we waste, the energy we waste, on grudges and hate, it's of no use to anyone, most certainly not ourselves.

I know this much is true, I don't want to live my life with senseless regrets. And although I have lost people I love, I know that the time I had with them was quality.  No stone was left unturned and though I feel sadness and grief at times because I deeply miss them, I don't feel guilt or anger for things I didn't say or do. 

As I watch my husband mourn the loss of his father, I am hopeful that his heart will heal quickly and he will be left with only the memories of laughter and joy that he shared with his dad.  Chris was there, completely present at the toughest time of both his father's and his own life.  He didn't walk away, he didn't hide.  He was THERE... through it all. 
And I believe he is a better man because of it.

Finding the strength to be there, to watch someone you love, leave this world and move on to the next...well let's just say it's not easy.  But there is tremendous comfort in knowing that one of the people you love most, one of the people who gave you life, didn't leave this world alone.
He knew he was truly loved.

I dedicate this blog to Larry James Alsop, a great father, grandfather, brother, husband and friend. 
You will be missed Pop...