Archive for the ‘fathers’ Category

Baby V

March 19, 2009

(12 week sonogram found on youtube- NOT OUR BABY!)

I cannot even begin to describe what an experience it was to see the baby on the sonogram. I stood next to my son-in-law, my daughter of course on the examining table, holding her husband’s hand, as we watched in awe. That was no flat, lifeless screen as shown in the photo on my previous post. It was like an in utero video. At twelve weeks  he was moving around, very active, and even sucking his thumb! There we were, three adults, dumbstruck.  “Oh wow!” was pretty much the extent of the conversation from all three of us while the tech did her thing. My daughter’s “oh how cute!!!!!” periodically punctuated the conversation. She, as we all did, really melted when we saw the thumb sucking. That and our repeated question “is it a boy or a girl????”   The tech kept demurring that she couldn’t be certain at twelve weeks, but finally, having found the penis, she announced “Its a boy!”

We all exclaimed in joy! My daughter was no longer carrying an “it” but a male baby. From the moment I heard it, I no longer felt merely the excitement of the pregnancy. Now he had an identity.  I felt love for him . For that tiny little guy so active inside his mom. For  Baby V, already named before his mom even got pregnant.

At twelve weeks, this baby was no future unknown. This baby was now.

And I feel so very honored that they invited me to participate in this intimate, joyous stage of their journey.  I love all three of them with all my heart.

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To My Everlasting Shame

February 6, 2009

I did not stay at my father’s bedside, to be with  him until he passed. There he was, right upstairs in the bedroom, while I hid like a coward downstairs and out of sight. We knew it would be that night. The doctors had called the family in and said so. 

All his brothers and sisters, the aunts and uncles I grew up with,  had been pretty much staying at my parents’ house for those last weeks.  The pasta pots were always boiling. They brought Italian bread and provolone cheese and sweet salami with big green olives. Most importantly,  they brought the black humor which is our family trademark , especially during our darkest hours.  It sustained us and carried us.

And yet, there was an age regression that took place for me. At age 32, they were still the grown ups and I was like a child again. That’s just how the dynamics morphed. When it was soon to be time, my favorite aunt had a talk with me and asked me if I really wanted to watch my father die. She explained to me, 32 going on 8, that dying was not like in the movies. It was quite a frightening thing to see.  She encouraged me to have my quiet time alone with him, now in a coma, and say my good-bye. I did so. Then I walked out of the room and all his siblings and my mother went in and the door was firmly closed.

And so he died with his wife, brothers and sisters all around and me nowhere in sight. They later said it was an awful thing. Blood and God knows what everywhere. Even his brothers were shaken by it. It was not something I should have had to see, they told me. As if they had protected me from something.

But not long after, I realized it was my own father’s awful thing. I should have been there. I allowed myself to be shielded by my beloved and well meaning aunt with childlike trust.  I should have been there. I was not a child. I was not, in truth, protected or shielded. I was written out of the last line of the last page of his life.  No, we wrote me out. 

And I am so ashamed, sorry, and regretful… What if my father knew or sensed I wasn’t there, right through the invisible walls of his coma? My shame is this: that I, his oldest and most responsible child, should have  accompanied him on the final stage of his journey. I should have been there. 

No tidy ending to this post. I should have been there.  

(This post was inspired by a poem by Cordie entitled:  If I had it to do all again)

The Measure of Grief

February 5, 2009

 

 

THE MEASURE OF GRIEF

 

Twenty-five years ago today my father died.  

Even in my dreamless sleep I knew it.

 

I stumble out of bed  

where is my husband?

 

I want to hug him    

hug him so tightly

but he is gone

gone to work  

to work his ass off.

 

Gone.

 

I worry about his heart.

 

I want to hug my father  

(who worked his ass off).

I want to hug him  

hug him so tightly

 

but he is gone  

 

gone to rest    

to rest in peace.

 

I’d rather he were here, God forgive  me.

Yes.  I would rip him right out of paradise  if I could

to have him back here with the whole family

loving    living   YES , even suffering

but right alongside us where   think he belongs.

 

A quarter of a century.

One-fourth of a whole.

A quarter coin is so small really.  

 

A hole the size of a quarter 

is still in my heart  

big enough to kill me.

 

by Psychscribe ©2009

Loss: Feeling the Pain

January 28, 2009

I wrote in my  previous post, Final Words, about needing to feel the pain of loss in order to move on….well today I am feeling a loss I can’t identify…related to the present…. I know I feel it because I feel so sad, and I can feel the sadness in my chest….heavy….solid…I notice I’ve been feeling kind of angry at my body lately, how it has failed me by turning on itself and using our autoimmune system to attack it, and me. I look in the mirror and want to yell at it….WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO ME????? The research talks all about genetic markers, but I know that psychologically we can unconsciously do bad things to our bodies. I ask myself, what am I punishing myself for? Then I think maybe its not punishment, but fear causing all this in me. Fear of things I still haven’t worked through.  I also realize that at this time 25 years ago my father was dying. He died on February 5, 1984. I always get depressed at this time of year. Maybe this is all connected…I don’t know….

When I finish this post I will go to prepare for my bible study Friday night. I know that the Lord will comfort me as I read. So I have hope.

Constructive Criticism

January 22, 2009

peanuts-higher-criticismYou know you’ve been hit when you feel  stung, shot right between the eyes, express hurt, and the shooter retorts: “What’s the matter? I was just giving you a little constructive criticism!” This is their defense posture because now they’re feeling criticized by your reaction to their criticism.  It’s supposed to mean they were  “only trying to help you”.  

In the first place, if you’d wanted their opinion you would have asked for it. These people have never learned the old saying, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”  Worse yet, these are often the very same people who once taught us this very thing, but they think that because they’re our parents they somehow have an exemption.

Criticism is the expression of disapproval of someone based on perceived faults in them or their behavior. So constructive criticism is an oxymoron.

Destructive Criticism :

That haircut makes your face look chubby, dear.

Didn’t anyone ever teach you not to make disgusting noises when you eat, sweetheart?

Have you noticed that your gut is beginning to hang over your belt?

Honey, no offense but you sing like a baboon.

When are you going to learn that not everyone is interested in your long, boring stories? 

You really over indulge that child.

You’d better stop feeding her so much or she’s going to turn into a whale.

When I raised my son he got his underwear ironed.

Why are you wearing so much makeup? Did they have a sale down at Macy’s?

Most of us have been victims of such remarks at one time or another.  But you don’t have to stay a victim. You can have an a ready response in your arsenal should a shooter appear disguised as a friend or loved one.

The obvious one that I started with was “If I wanted your opinion I would have asked for it.”   But that doesn’t fit everyone’s personality style. Others might include:

“Thank you for your kind, gentle, and  sincere help.”

“You can withdraw your fangs now, I get the message.”

“I have a headache tonight. And I’ll have one tomorrow night too.”

“You’re beginning to sound just like my mother.”

You get the idea. Disclaimer: I’m not talking healthy communication responses here.  I’m talking good old fashioned getting even. Because once in a while, lets be honest here, it just feels good to take a shot at the shooter.

Writer’s Block? Why?

December 28, 2008

concrete_block1I’ve been laying on my bed with my laptop for the last 20 minutes, which have felt like an hour..I want to write a post today, but my mind keeps going blank..I tried to write yesterday but the same thing happened. Part of it, I guess, is I keep wanting to doze…a lupus flare, of course, after the holiday fun/chaos at our house this year…everything I think of writing about seems too much…too heavy…or I keep editing it before anything ever gets written..so i’m just going to do stream of consciousness and see what happens…

My mother… 78 years old…for once I enjoyed her, felt the bond, it was as it should be all the time, wish it could be so, too much bad history, too much inner conflict for me…the kids, with their whole lives ahead of them, most of mine behind me, one newly married, the other newly engaged, the next generation getting ready to take center stage in our family life…well good, I hope somebody gets a bigger house because ours was too small to hold everyone comfortably this year, i remember when my parents did it all, way back when…and all of us young adults went to their house for the most wonderful Christmas Eve…my dad cooking the linguini with clams, and then the lobster tails, the traditional Italian Christmas Eve dinner…afterwards the extravagant exchange of presents,  each of us opening one at a time, my father reserving the right to open all of his last, then he died of cancer at age 52, diagnosed and told on his last Christmas Eve, a tragedy i cannot write about even 25 years later, but i do, i must, because how can i not wonder how different our lives would all be now, my mother over the years became a recluse, my son would have been in business with him, making lots of money,  rather than struggling to keep his head above water now…oh my, the head is falling forward again, the need to doze so apparent to me now for what it is, a block to painful feelings still locked away, to things i don’t want to think about…

And so I’ll stop writing now, because I don’t want to think about my dad anymore,  because it hurts, and I miss him so…

Is this what all writer’s block is about? A block to exactly what  needs to be thought about, felt, written about? 

We are all writers here. What do you think?

Baby Laughing at Wii

November 7, 2008

Ok, this may be a sign of my obsession with wanting a grandchild, but I ask you….can you watch this and NOT laugh just hearing him? I hope this brings a smile, or a laugh, to you today.

 

Charlie Bit My Finger – Again!

November 1, 2008

Having a bad day? Try watching this 🙂

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Great Parenting DVD

October 29, 2008

A couple I’m working with blew me away with a DVD they have of a pediatrician who teaches mirroring to young parents. Mirroring is literally just that, imitating the communication of the child so that he or she feels you’re speaking their language. The toddler then  feels understood, and cooperative.  He is Dr. Harvey Karp – the DVD is The Happiest Toddler on the Block.

Among other things he teaches mirroring of facial expressions, body language and sounds. His basic tenet is don’t talk to toddlers like they’re little adults because they’re not; their language skills are far more primal.  You have to literally  get down to their level. He also has another one, The Happiest Baby on the Block which I have not yet reviewed.

The results looked startlingly effective to ward off and/or stop tantrums.  His website is www.thehappiestbaby.com. I can tell you one thing for sure. When my kids present me with grandchildren, this will be one of the first gifts I give them.

Here he is in action: