Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Why I WON'T Have Another Furby.

Why must you torment me like this facebook?

Why must you dredge up bad memories?

Why will you not allow the dead to just stay dead??

. . .

For the last few weeks now, facebook has decided to constantly bombard me with "Like Furby" suggestions, via the little toolbar on the righthand side.  And the annoying little picture is even accompanied by creepy little (supposed to be cute?) passive aggressive urgings like "Furby is back, and it won't sleep until you like it's page.  No really, it won't."


I find this bizarrely unsettling.

Because I had a bad experience with a furby once.

It was long ago when the FIRST furby line came out.

I was WAY too old to have toys.  But that has never stopped me before.


And I was absolutely thrilled when I got one for Christmas.

Oh what fun!!  What good times we will have!!  Isn't it adorable!!  Listen to it coo!!  And on and on and on. . .

I read the entire little instruction manual that came with it.  I memorized certain phrases in furbish.  I made mental preparations to have this unholy little creature with me for a LONG time.

But then. . . the ugliness. . .

I was driving back to school from my mom's.  It might've been just after Christmas, because I remember that the entire backseat of my car was loaded down with random articles of clothing and miscellaneous crap.  (Come to think of it. . .might NOT have been Christmas.  I did NOT keep a clean car back in those days.)  Whatever.  The furby was sitting on the top of the heap, securely nestled in the backseat.

And I had a migraine.

I don't mean "I had a really bad headache."  I mean "I had a MIGRAINE," and I had to keep stopping the car so that I could dry-heave on the side of the road, then get back into the car and wait until the shaking stopped so that I could manage to drive again.  It was nighttime, otherwise I would've just had to go back to mom's.  There's no WAY I could've driven in daylight like that.  But I was bravely pushing onward, and trying desperately NOT to start crying every time the headlights from an approaching car hit me directly in the brain.

It was rough going.  But I was on country backroads.  There was hardly any traffic, the paved road was practically an afterthought, and street lights were nonexistent.  So I kept telling myself that I could make it.  I could totally DO THIS.

And then. . . it started.

After a particularly deep turn. . . the furby woke UP.

That furry little bastard had been awakened from the sleep of the damned.

And he didn't just "wake up."  He woke up INSANE.

He was freaking out.  He wasn't just talking.  He wasn't cooing.  He was COMPLETELY FREAKING OUT, and yelling every furbish swear word he KNEW at me.

I was almost blinded by this radical and unforeseen onslaught.

I quickly slid over onto the side of the road.  And then I walked about 12 feet away from the car, holding my aching head and waiting for it to end.

But it DIDN'T end.  He was in a blind rage.  He just kept screaming.  And SCREAMING.  AND SCREAMING!!!!

After what seemed like an eternity standing there in the dark on the side of the road, I couldn't take it any more.  I rushed the back seat, and pulled him out, making a desperate bid to calm him.  It was a no go.  I furiously searched for the little Reset switch.  But it was one of those where you have to have a screwdriver or icepick or something to press into it.

I did not HAVE a screwdriver on me.

And if I had had an ICEPICK, I would've already shoved it deep inside my ear.

So I did the only thing I knew to do:

I lifted the unholy little demon-fuzzy high over my head and, by the light of the moon I smashed it's evil little brains into a rather large rock again, and again, and again.

Until the screaming stopped.

Which it did, eventually.

I had just beat my Christmas present to death on a rock.

It is not something I'm proud of.

So stop hassling me, facebook.

I will not "like" the furby page.

I do not want a furby.

This is NOT going to change.

And frankly, I resent you for bringing up bad memories.

And furby?  I hope you're roasting in the deepest fires of Hell.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Love is patient. Love is PATIENT. LOVE IS PATIENT!!!!

Good morning, interwebz  =)

. . .I trust you slept well?

Me?  No. . . I didn't really sleep well, sorry to say.  Because I slept on the couch last night.  (It is wonderfully comfortable, as couches go.  But it makes a less-than-desirable bed.)

I was just having a hard time relaxing, felt super-wired, and generally couldn't get comfortable.  After a little while of this, I moved to the couch, so at least maybe Michael could sleep.

I actually don't even know why I'm writing this post. . . my head feels far to confuzle to do more than string together simple sentences.  I don't think I can handle a cohesive theme, or anything even approaching a purpose today.

There's LOTS on my mind.


Not the least of which is that at 10:30 this morning I will be meeting with my doctor to discuss the results of yesterday's MRI.  I'm sure there is probably nothing wrong. . .   But it's that kind of nervous that you just can't shake.  I won't feel better until I am getting back in the car after seeing the doc.

So I'll just have to suck it up until then.

What else?

The baby's been sick, and is on antibiotics now.  But I honestly don't know whether he will be feeling well enough to trick-or-treat tomorrow night. . .  I guess it just depends on him, and on how cold it is outside.  (I REALLY would like for him to get to go. . . even though he'll have NO CLUE what is going on.  He'd still enjoy the spectacle of it.  And in our neighborhood---It IS a spectacle!!  And I would LOVE to see him dressed up in his little Yoda costume!!!)

(Yoda Grey)

What else??

To be perfectly frank, I've been feeling very disconnected from my husband lately.  It sucks, and it's a lonely feeling, and I just want to set everything right again.  But it's just one of those things that we're going to have to figure out.  And I only share this because, in the past, lots of our friends have said things like:  "Oh, you guys have a perfect relationship!"  . . .

And we DO have a good relationship---it's true.  I have loved him steadfastly, completely, and unfalteringly, practically since the day I met him.  But it is NOT "perfect."

Because "perfect" doesn't exist.

We are human.  WE aren't perfect.  How can our relationships be?  A relationship is not static.  It is ever-changing, and constantly growing and evolving.  It is never exactly the same from one day to the next.

One of my issues is that I've been getting really aggravated at what I perceive to be his issue with my complete lack of perfection.  (Baby--You are a perfectionist.  You know it's true.  And that is completely daunting and potentially hazardous to an all-over-the-place, erratic-flight coffee-faerie like me.)

 The simple fact of the matter is that I KNOW I am impossibly and hopelessly flawed.  I know because it's been pissing me off for more than 35 years.  And while I can ALWAYS improve, and ALWAYS refine certain behaviors, I just can't get around the fact that MOST of my flaws are things that I have been wrestling with for my entire life.  Which means that they are most likely not going to change.  Which means that, yes--I can improve upon them, but no--they are not going to go away. 

And what it boils down to, basically, is the ability to love and accept the person (me) despite ALL of her screaming inadequacies (and they are legion).  Because that's what love IS

See the good, support the person, forget the rest.

And I really just didn't feel like my precious mate was doing a bang-up job of "forgetting the rest."

. . .I felt like he couldn't WAIT to point out my next mistake.  Couldn't WAIT to jump on my next foible.  Was constantly anticipating my next fuck-up.

He was expecting me to be perfect.  I could never be that.  I could never live up to that!  He was demanding.  He was fault-finding.

He was, he was, HE WAS.

. . . .

Then the proverbial lightning finally struck me.
(Took it bloody long enough.)

What was *I* doing?

I was expecting HIM to be perfect.

(Ouch!  Right in the pride!)

I was expecting HIM to know how to deal with me on all levels, at all times.

I was expecting HIM to handle difficult situations without ever faltering, without ever NOT knowing what do.

*I* was being unfair


Jeez, it really sucks when you realize things like this.

Because once you KNOW, you can't un-know.

*I* have to "be the change I wish to see in the world."  *I* have to practice patience.  *I* have to accept him as he IS, warts and all, and NOT expect him to always know how to handle every situation that arises.

And I have to keep the good, throw out the bad, and accept and appreciate everything in-between.

And I can DO that.

Hell, I'm CRAZY about him.  I have been for YEARS.  =)

So I will remember the Buddhist teaching of "Feel the feelings; throw out the story."

And I will once again keep this teaching fixed firmly in my mind:

And I will appreciate the man I love for what HE is:  a human.

Imperfect, maybe.

But still a damn good one.

And he can keep right on judging me until the day I die.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

How Dead Squirrels Helped Me Secure An Associates Degree

This entry is for the sake of posterity, in case I don't live to see my son reach adulthood.  There are certain things that I would like him to know about me.  I guess his father could just tell him. . . but he might forget something.  And what if I've decided to haunt his father, and he happens to be mad at me that day?  (Many people can grow resentful of being haunted.  Even if it IS done out of love.  Which mine WOULD be.)  He *might* not be inclined to paint me in the most flattering light.  So I am recording the bigger tidbits here.

Some things are major, and really important.  Like the fact that I might be one of the best Non-Competitive Interpretive Dancers in the state.  (I maintain my amateur status.  Just to keep my options open.  It's a surprisingly brutal profession.)  It's hard to describe my "style" in concrete terms. . . I just know that when I feel the music take me, my body simply reacts.  And what follows is nothing short of Art.  As I do not currently possess any footage of said art, here is a scene from Moonrise Kingdom.  My husband and I both agree that the young gentleman on the right has completely captured the spirit, and grace, with which I interpret the rhythm:

As I said:  "Art."

There are far too many personality quirks and eccentricities to even begin to name here. . .   And, I think, a strong sense of the absurd, and a fairly healthy portion of pure madness.  =)  Plus, when it comes to the more glaring and obnoxious quirks. . . I'm probably not even aware of most of them.  (Go ask your Dad about this one.  He could probably write you a book.)  But I can name at least a few:  I'm an unrepentant caffeine junkie.  I over-think EVERYTHING.  I always sing in the bathtub.  I have this awful habit of trying to "straighten up clutter", and when I do. . . I end up shoving very useful and important household items behind picture frames, in junk drawers, and God only KNOWS wherever else.  (It really sucks.  I've always done this. . . it's like I go into a fugue state or something.  Then 30 minutes later I'm walking around all:  Where is the damn camera??!)

And, while I was never "Goth" (membership dues were insane, and I've never been one for uniforms), I HAVE had a lifelong fascination with all things spookish:  I LOVE the cartoons and artwork of Charles Addams, I would rather have a skull on my t-shirt than just about anything else, and I was inspired by, and in LOVE with TVs The Addams Family as a child (I wanted to LIVE with them---they were WONDERFUL!!  Also--they had LOTS of books).   I habitually stock up on witchy plastic cups and bat and spider socks, etc. at Halloween time every year (my FAVORITE holiday!!), and the first time I saw a Tim Burton movie. . .  Well.  It just felt like home.

Also, I secured my Associates Degree with the help of several garbage bags full of dead squirrels.

. . .This one MIGHT be something that the family could eventually bring up, but I'm really afraid that intention could get muddled in the telling.  So what happened is this:

It was that beautiful time known as The 90's.  Cell phones were objects that came in a bag the size of a Trapper Keeper.  The internet was still a hazy concept.  The Smashing Pumpkins were very much a part of my daily life, and I was finishing up my stint at the community college where I was lucky enough to have received a scholarship.  Only one thing stood in my way:  Zoology.

I sucked at it.

Big time.

I actually wanted to BE a marine biologist. . . until I took Zoology.  It was wonderful, and fascinating, and JUST so damn cool!  And I was utter crap at it.  So I got my head around the idea that Me and Marine Biologist was just one dream that was not meant to be. 

Because I had already flunked the course once.

So I took other courses, hoping that something else would be offered next semester that would help me fill that last science requirement.

Nothing was.

So I had no choice.  I HAD to take zoology again.  (You'd think it would be easier the second time, right?  But no.)

I was terrified.  And seriously convinced that THIS was the course that was going to keep me from getting my diploma.

Anyway, I studied.  I never missed a class.  I did all the reading.

And still---it just wasn't sticking.

Then the professor gave us the opportunity to earn bonus points. . .
All you had to do was bring in a dead animal.  It could be ANY dead animal, as long as it was a good specimen.  (He was trying to build up his collection for the Biology department.  Creepy, I know.  . . .GOD!  I REALLY liked him.  Plus, he looked a LOT like Dean Koontz. . . back when Dean Koontz didn't have hair.)  And then you just had to attach a 3 x 5" card stating the genus, species, where it was found, and all the other relevant information. 

And I had just gotten my Get Out of College Free card.

Not that *I* was good at locating dead animals, oh no.  I actually tried really hard to find some.  And even though we lived *literally* in the woods, on the banks of the Warrior River . . . they were nowhere to be found.  Which I remember seemed really suspicious to me at the time. . .  We lived in the woods.  And there were no dead animals ANYWHERE.  Were they. . . were they burying their dead??  I have long suspected that animals are a lot sneakier than we give them credit for being. . .

But that's a different rant for a different day.

The point is:  I couldn't find a dead animal to save my college education.  Not even so much as an expired roly poly.

But my Uncle. . .  =)

He lived next door to us.  And he had just gotten this awesome new gun of some sort for Christmas.  (He was partial to weaponry.)

And did I mention that he had a personal vendetta against the squirrels that lived in the woods around our houses?

They were notorious for finding ways into his attic.  Where they would then burrow, reproduce, and just generally make a mess.  Also. . . they liked to chew through the wires in his house, usually resulting in some sort of havoc like making the alarm go off in the middle of the day.

It was just bad blood all around.

So I went straight home that day and asked my Uncle if I could have all the squirrels he killed.  (The presentable ones, anyway.)  And he was more than happy to oblige.

The next week I presented my professor with five dead squirrels, all with neatly printed index cards describing their family background and personal situation.  (I made up fantastic and honorable back-stories for each one.  Probably should've been my sign right then to ditch the scientist dreams and take a creative writing class.) 

The funny thing is. . . my professor never asked how I acquired the squirrels.  And I never volunteered the information.

(This makes me happy.  It's as it should be.  =)

So we went on that way for many weeks:  My Uncle sitting on his roof with his rifle, killing woodland creatures.  Me transporting bags of dead squirrels to school.  My professor beginning to sneak strange looks at me as I continued to unflinchingly bring in bag after bag.

When the results from the final were posted, I wouldn't even look at mine.  I was THAT convinced that I had failed.  I was SO done with school.  I'd just dust off my Uncle Mort's apron and wait tables for the rest of my life. . .

Then a few weeks later. . . no one was more shocked than me when my diploma showed up in the mail.

So I guess I passed the course after all.  =)


I just wanted you to know the REAL story behind the Dead Education Squirrels that died for a noble cause.  Because these kinds of things tend to get distorted over time.  I don't want the tale made out to be weird, or "dark" or anything.

It was a very simple case of a homeowner with an assault rifle and a score to settle, and a young woman trying to find an acceptable manner to boost her grade.  So she transported, tagged, and hauled around several dead animals per week. 

Let's not make more of it than we should.

. . .Actually. . .

Now that I really think about it. . . maybe I was closer to this than I ever knew. . .

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cotton Candy Distractions and Noodles of Determination

I'm just going to come right out and say it, and if you know me, then this will come as no great surprise:

I can't stand whiners.

There are simply too many people out there with LEGITIMATE concerns, and whiners are not only a drain on the system, and resources, but on everyone's patience as well.

No one ever said that this life was going to be easy.  (Good Lord, I'm resulting to parenting cliches. . .  A thousand apologies.  I really MUST try harder.)

But seriously:  Watch the news.  At ANY point during ANY day.  Then turn it off REALLY quickly, before all that horror seeps into your pores.  Then immediately do something to counteract having seen The News. . . like. . . like eating cotton candy in the sunshine.  Yes, that should do it.  Twenty minutes of cotton-candy-sunlight and you'll probably suffer almost NO lasting effects from having seen The News.

But the POINT is this:  It's bad EVERYWHERE.  Things are going to hell all over the globe!  So take heart!  It isn't just YOU that life might be hard on. . . it's EVERYONE.

HooRAY!!!  Don't you feel comforted?


I'm really NOT trying to be a Debbie Downer (get me talking about The News, and this is what you get!!), I'm just trying to say that we were never promised a primrose fairy tale, suffering exists, and when I see people whine and complain about REALLY inconsequential things, well. . . it SERIOUSLY just pisses me right off.

And just so you know, I more or less practice what I preach on this one.  We don't have all the amenities in the world, or the fanciest, most envy-inspiring new this or that. . . but we DO have first class meals (thanks to my husband), a roof over our heads, health insurance over our bodies, and we don't have to worry that the power is going to be cut off tomorrow.  Aside from that. . . we don't ask for much.  We don't spend money frivolously, and our entertainment is basically our time together.  Oh, and we have enough books, and joy, sarcasm, tickle fights, and unconditional love, to keep us going as a family for roughly the next thousand years.  =)

The way I was raised, and though Mama and Daddy lived in different households, THIS was something they 100% agreed upon:  To complain about what you DON'T have is to completely negate what you DO have.  And if you want to be happy?  Then go BE happy.  (You're in charge of that one.) 

. . .Aside, of course, from the times when Daddy would give me and Heath $5, and let us walk down to the gas station that was just 2 or 3 houses down from his house.  (We were, of course, instructed VERY strongly to "stay off the road!")  We were going on childhood snack-runs.  It was how I first learned about consumer math. . . and sales tax.  (Which seemed more than a LITTLE unfair that someone I couldn't even see got that money, when I was going to use it to purchase the Blow Pop right in FRONT of me.)  But snack-runs. . . those were times when Daddy was COMPLETELY in control of our happiness.  And could kill it as easily as:  "No, you can't go right now."  But, I guess when your happiness is found at the bottom of a box of Lemonheads, it can be reborn just as easily as it can be killed.  Childhood happiness is like a phoenix, that way.  Ultimately undestroyable and completely amazing.

But Good LORD, how I digress!!  (Fingers never know when to shut up.  It's a curse, really.  So if you've never met me in real life, it would probably amaze you to find that this gift for gab doesn't extend to my tongue.  I have to know you VERY well before I can do anything more that prattle on nervously in your presence.)

. . . where was I???


And how I hate them.

And how I'm really going to need you not to judge me, because I am about to do some MAJOR whining. . .

So let's just get the Great Whiny Ugliness out in front of us:
I have had a headache.

Every day.

For about two months.

(I know.  As atrocities go, this one is rather minor.  But having meager whine-issues is just my cross to bear.  And we would appreciate your understanding during this difficult time.)

Seriously, I KNOW this doesn't sound like a big deal.  Probably doesn't sound like anything more than a gnat flying in the face of your life.

But I can promise you---It sucks.

That's a promise from me to you.

About the suckage.

You can take it to the bank.

(Fine, I'll STOP.)

I think if I could just have a complete spinal transplant, then the issue would just right itself.  Because I don't WAKE UP every day with a headache.  No, at some magical point during my slumber each night, my fingertips begin to glimmer. my spine begins to glow with fairy light, and I am restored!  Healed!!

. . .until about 9 or 10 a.m. the next morning, when it all starts over again.  When I can feel it---starting in my neck and shoulders, travelling up the back of my head, and settling. . . like an awful little dragon that no amount of Tylenol can truly kill.

(Artist's rendering of my headache.  She looks all innocent, right?  Deceitful bitch.)

Sometimes they're merely "headaches."  They hurt, and it sucks, but it's really not that big of a deal.  And sometimes. . . WHINE ALERT!! . . . they are honestly excruciating. 

And nothing helps them.


So for the last two days, I've just really felt like I was losing it.  I'm doing everything I know to do:  I'm exercising every day, I'm trying to eat healthy.  I'm keeping myself busy all day.  I'm even trying to quit smoking.

And still.  Every morning.  By 11 a.m., at the latest, I am in anywhere from Mild to Blinding pain.

And I don't even want the TV on in the background.  And every time the baby screeches, it's like daggers being driven into my temple.  (And he's not doing anything wrong---he's just being a baby!)

So I don't know why, but yesterday everything came to a head, figuratively speaking, in my brain.

Michael was instructing me, step by step, on how to create his signature meal:  Super #1 Happy Fun-Time Noodles.  With pork tenderloin.

It is my FAVORITE!!!  (This meal is probably the ONLY meal that EVER renders me weak enough to go back for seconds.)

Anyway.  I was cooking.  Michael was instructing.  Baby was playing.

The whole family was in the kitchen, and it was, for all intents and purposes, a sweet family moment of togetherness.

Or it WOULD'VE been. . .

Except I kept having to walk out on the back step to cry.

NOT because I was sad, but simply because I was in a LOT of pain.  A good bit of it.  (Moderate amounts of pain don't affect me this way---just ask the nurses that were there when my baby was delivered.)  And honestly I was just incredibly fucking frustrated.  Because my family is AMAZING.  My life is great, and I LOVE it!  And I am HAPPY!!

Except for every single day, when I am in blinding pain.

(Taking a break from cooking to just sit down, and Took came for snuggles.  =)  I'm trying to smile. . . but it's coming out as more of a wince.)

So it hit me like a ton of bricks last night, as incredibly basic and elementary concepts often do:  I should NOT be having headaches every day.

That is NOT normal.

I have been treating this as though it were an anxiety issue. .  a psychological problem.

. . .But what if it's not?

Regardless, it has been TOO LONG.  I have been TOO QUIET, just struggling with it on my own, somehow feeling like this was some sort of karmic debt-payment plan, and that I must just deserve it.

Now I realize how foolish this was.

I am happy.  I am (relatively) young.  I haven't lost my joy---nope.  It's still there.  Right next to that really big freckle.  Hmm. . . that IS a big freckle.  Maybe I should have that checked out too. . .

So why would I sit idly by, afraid to complain, or be thought of as "whiny", while this issue slowly steals my happiness from me?  Steals one family dinner after another?  Steals time cuddling with Michael on the couch?  Steals days in the backyard with the baby and his Cozy Coupe?

Why would I let that happen??


And I'm done with being patient.

We're fixing this.

So I don't know what's going to come of this decision.  I just know that I'm going to my doctor, and I'm going to scream long enough and loud enough until I KNOW I am heard.

And perhaps the end result will be something as simple as a broad-chested man named Sven coming to live in the room above the garage and give me massages every 4 - 6 hours.

Sometimes life is JUST that nice.  =)

But come what may (*insert best Action Hero Voice*):


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My Many, Many Thank Yous =)

I try to stay on top of things. 

Particularly things like Thank You notes.

What actually happens, though, is that I do NOT stay on top of things.  Oh, not at all.  (I am RATHER distractable.)  Said 'things' pile up in corners, take up space on desks, and are found, like mysterious piles of treasure, years later in dresser drawers.  Then they are removed, marveled at, turned this way and that so that they catch the light, and are then replaced in the drawer.  You COULD remove them, I suppose. . . but treasure is almost ALWAYS cursed.  And I'm just not that big of a risk-taker.  (The bungee jump in Panama City?  Never tried it.  Just don't think that brain-juice is meant to be shaken like that.  And so I never will try it.  . . .I think I made my point.)  Only this week, I actually FOUND a box of Christmas cards.  Addressed, sealed, ready-to-go-in-the-mail Christmas cards.  Just waiting to go out and spread Christmas joy.  God only knows what Christmas they're actually FROM. . .  And THIS is my problem:  I have a dark, and overactive imagination.  You see, I don't want to move the cards. . . because I'm afraid that sitting in the dresser drawer, for countless years on end, with nothing to keep the cards company but old spools of ribbon, waiting and waiting and WAITING to spread their message of good cheer. . . I'm afraid that it's probably driven them insane.  

Still, I can appreciate the finer points of insanity as well as the next gal, and I just MIGHT send them anyway. . .except for the fact that I generally try to include a hand-written note inside each one, and for all I know said note could be referencing a baby that is now in her early teens, a COMPLETE disappointment to her parents, and something of a "sore topic."  Or even worse!---Maybe my note says "Say hi to Maurice for me!". . . with Maurice being a grandparent that is no longer with us. 

Now I LOVE Tim Burton, worship him!!!  . . . But I don't really feel that Christmas is the time to break out the macabre sense of humor.  ESPECIALLY with people that wouldn't even think it was funny.  Mental note:  Throw those cards away.  TODAY.

My point is that I am NOT very on top of things.  But I try.  I try valiantly.

(. . .and even as I wrote that last sentence, there is just enough Powerful Dork Side coursing through my veins that I couldn't HELP but hear Master Yoda in my head, saying:  "Do or do not.  There is no try."  Wow.  It's like a religion around this place.)

But no Jedi Masters just right now!  I have a thought in my head, and if I don't chase it down, wrestle it to the floor, and shackle it to something sturdy. . . it will get away before I summon the presence of mind to write about it.  I KNOW. . . it's happened more times than I can count.

So. . . here we are, halfway down a screen filled with print. . . and I've still not even come close to getting to the POINT of why I'm writing today.  So I guess I'll just spill it:

Today I'm writing a Thank You note.

I've been going through a rough patch of late, and, aside from the skin-crawling tension that never seems to abate (thanks, Brain!  You suck!), I am actually starting to feel better.  Like myself again. 

And, since I AM feeling better. . . I feel as though I need to say Thank You to everyone that has helped me.

But alas. . . that would be a daunting task, as it appears that the entire village has had a hand in helping me find my way back to Me.

So these won't be anywhere near as long, or as elegant, or as beautiful as all these people actually DESERVE.  But I'm going to do it anyway.  Because I MUST.

My husband. . . he loved me enough to fight to get me back.  When it wasn't easy, and when he was all alone, and when he had to do it ALL by himself. . . he STILL fought.  He STILL did whatever he had to do.  Because he wanted ME.  . . .For the longest time in our relationship, I just thought he was too perfect and beautiful and wonderful to ever stay with me.  . . .And admittedly, I don't have much faith in people.  But HE. . . he would ACTUALLY fight for me.  And that knowledge has honestly changed my heart.

My parents. . . there's nothing I can say.  In a GOOD way.  =)  You gave birth to a mad-child like me, and at times, I know, you didn't know what to do with me.  But know this:  To this day, I feel like you would rock me in your arms if you knew that I was afraid.  That is a beauty I don't deserve, and I love you all SO MUCH.

To my friends. . . ?  Where to start?  You keep me going.  You lift me up.  You let me know that I am NOT alone.  You sympathize; you commiserate.  You make me laugh.  You make me better.

And finally, though many will not understand, and even more may think it silly (I've been called SO much worse than silly!). . . my last thank you note. . .

Dear Music,

I have never written you a letter before, and I guess that means that I am LONG overdue.  . . .Ha!  I remember being 8 years old when I first realized that I NEEDED YOU in my life.

And you've been there ever since.

I just wanted to let you know:  I'd be dead without you. 

You are THAT important to me.

When I wake up every day---you're there.  To get me started, to make me happy.

When I exercise---you're there.  To push me over one more hill.  To help me GO, when I'd rather just stop.

In my darkest hours. . . still you are there.  You wrap me up and hold me close, and you make me better.  And because of you, I know that I am not alone.  And because of you, I know that there is something bigger than I'll ever understand.

And while I know nothing about the face of God, because I know You, I am forced to conclude that it is beautiful.

I love you, Music.

In MY life----you have made a difference.


You have made ALL the difference.

Thank you.