Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Kissing Wayne Gretzky

When I was little, when we went to visit my grandma back in the motherland of Canada, sometimes we'd go to her church. Which sounds all quaint and everything. And it was, in a way. Except that my grandma went to a Hungarian church. So the whole hour long service was in, you guessed it, Hungarian. And guess who doesn't know a word of Hungarian. Nekem. Which is of course Hungarian for me. Thank you google translate.

So in between sitting, kneeling and standing at the appropriate part of the service, which I would cue in on by watching what everyone else did, I found ways of entertaining myself. Specifically, I day dreamed. Or dreamt. Whichever is more grammatically appropriate. That's what I did. Oh, did I mention the priest looked like Balki from the tv show Perfect Strangers. And this was in the Dark Ages when it was still on tv, not bad cable repeats. So, I would create little stories in my head about Balki and Larry, among other weird things, to pass the time. This may actually explain a lot of my personality both then and now.

Because now, I find myself doing the same thing. Especially in belly dance class where they speak both French and Arabic. Which of course I do not. And that is totally fine with me. I just do the same thing I've always done. I watch people to figure out the social cues of when to sit, kneel and stand. Or omi, roll and shimmy, as the case may be. Then I just fill in the blanks I don't know by simply making up the rest. Which is a significant portion mind you. Until yesterday, I didn't realize I did this. Then, I was going through a belly dance cd my teacher burned for me and all of the songs are written on disc in Arabic. So, in order to find the song I want, I need to listen to them. Again, no biggie. But in flipping through the songs, I realized that I had made my own titles to the songs.

So this my friends is the song I refer to as Kissing Wayne Gretzky.

He said Wayne Gretzky. You heard it right? Ok and so I forgot how most of the dance goes. Whatever. That wasn't the point. Nor is it the point that I'm singing along, talking to myself and making ridiculous faces. And I would just like to add, thank god this song wasn't about kissing Balki. Cause that just would have been gross. Did I mention Wayne is also...Canadian.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some day dreaming to attend to.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Guess Who

Guess who was in town yesterday.

Guess who got to see this famous person. And guess which kid threw a fit and wanted to stay home.

Guess who was wearing a really funky outfit complete with a very sweeeeet Peace Corps-ish embroidered vest her mom scored at Good Will for $3. And guess who took it off and wanted her mom to hold it for her. And then guess who came back over an hour later and wanted it back. Any guesses as to whether I gave it back?

Guess who's hair this is. And whether she colors her hair. And about how much that costs.

If you guessed Hillary Clinton, you're right!
And guess if she's about to sneeze. Or pass out. Or wafting a silent but deadly fart.

Guess who wasn't in town. (Hint, the King.) But, guess who was. (Hint, the new Prime Minister.) Guess what they could have talked about. You know, if they got together. I'm guessing she may have whispered something like, "Dude, do you realize you only got the crap powers?" Or maybe it was "So like I noticed there's only one woman in your ministry. What's up with that?" But, again, I'm just guessing.

Guess which kid was so excited he made this cool diagram to send to grandma.

And guess who made this super cool diagram of me and Hillary? Yeah, it was me. And any guesses as to why I didn't realize I could squeeze myself in this bohemian chic Peace Corps-ish vest before now?

And guess who won best dressed at this event?

Yeah, spiderman! Any guesses as to whether spiderman should be capitalized or not?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Extreme Makeover

Last week I cleaned out my closet. How could such a seemingly meanial task leave me a bit emotional? That orange sweat shirt and matching mini shirt that looks way too young for me. Really is too young for me. And too short. It's gotta go. And my ass is never going to fit in that dress again, no matter what a great time I had in it. Ever. And the big one? Those jeans. My favorite pair. You know the ones that are totally ripped up, but so soft and totally conformed to my body. Way too conformed to my body. And way too indecent to keep wearing. They need to go. Even though I confess they haven't actually left my house. Yet.

In going through all the comfort clothes and snapshots of memories in my closet, I realized I actually have a lot of cool stuff in there that I never wear. So that's when I thought I should actually wear some of them for a week by making them into outfits. And that I should also accessorize. And then came the big one. My hair. I should do my hair everyday. And that almost made me forgo this whole thing because I have a really strong hate-hate relationship with my hair.

So on Monday I decided to go big. And by big, I mean my hair. I never wear it down. And with good reason. Craig calls this look my Bon Jovi hair. And you can see why. I wanted to knock it out on Monday, figuring things could only go up from there. The rest of the outfit is comfortable and I'm insanely in love with those boots and the hamsa necklace. Ok and the rest of it too. Although I feel more like I'm going clubbing on a friday night than walking through the medina like I did. Although I must say boots are a much better footwear option in the medina than the flipflops I would normally wear and leave you with a more unhygenic tactile experience.

Embarrassing Moment: Did I mention I have a party to attend tonight? And the only person I know is the host, Karla. AND it's being taped by House Hunters International? And did I tell you how much I hate my hair and the fact that no one else will know that I never wear my hair like that. Nor will they know that I know that it looks ridiculous. And I will forever be known as that girl from that party with the Bon Jovi hair. Maybe I'll get lucky and my hair will not debut on television so I can be that girl in the party seen on House Hunters with the Bon Jovi hair.

Discomfort Level: 9 (Wearing a thong to a party where I didn't know anyone that was being taped for television would have bumped it to a 10.)

Relief. My hair is pulled back. I'm sporting some a little too big for me thrift store jeans, thus the belt. You can't expect to get cute thrift store jeans in pristine condition that actually fit correctly. Come on. Something has to give. That's why they were $5. I love this funky white shirt, but I won't wear by itself because it's got those yellow pit stains. Which I don't think are in fashion right now. So I threw this sweater on over it. My favorite part of this outfit is the jewelry Jade made for me last year which everyone compliments all day. I'm super stoked about the shoes, cause they're cute and seem like they'd be really comfortable. Except by the end of the day they chewed up the back of my heels. But I wore them the whole day anyhow, because I told myself I would, even though I begged myself to allow myself to take them off. But, I didn't because I'm a b-yatch like that to myself.

Embarrassing Moment: Ember says my hair looks messy, which is a repeat of her comment yesterday. And she won't stop asking me where I'm going. I insist it's no where special, but she totally doesn't believe me. She's positive that I'm spending my day at some super awesome party that she wasn't invited to. In fact, I think she thinks I spend all my days that way. Now I'm on the defense to prove that I'm in fact not having fun in her absence. Which I'm embarassed to say, I actually do have a lot of fun in her absence. But not intentionally of course. And I would never tell her so.

Discomfort Level: 6 (It could've been a 3, if it weren't for those damn shoes that b-yatch made me wear all day while she went and had fun.)

Today is gonna be awesome because I'm completely pulling my hair back. Which makes me totally comfortable. How can't this day be awesome? Oh, and I'm wearing my favorite clogs which my torn up heels are totally thanking me for. I love the scoop back on this shirt, but soon discover my back is chilled. But not enough to let my hair down to cover it. I've never worn the cute bracelet before, which is made out of tortoise shell or bull horns. Ok, I'm not exactly sure. But it's sliding on my arm and poking me and slowly driving me insane like Chinese water tortoure. But it's not as uncomfortable as those super cute earrings made out of wood or is it lead? Cause they're stretching my earlobes. But that's cool right now, stretched ear lobes right? And bonus, now I can store small objects in my earlobes. Like a pencil. Or a thimble. Cause everyone needs a good storage spot for a thimble. Or my chapstick. Genius.

Embarrassing Moment: When I explain to my husband at the end of the day how uncomfortable I was all day as I put on my pj's early to escape any further discomfort, he reminds me I'm doing this to myself. I explain that I must do this because I told myself I would. And then he remembers exactly how stubborn and silly I am. And that he actually knew that before we got married. And he married me anyway. Who's embarrassed now?

Discomfort Level: 7 (Bulls horns should not be worn, unless you are in fact a bull.)

Ok, I'm excited today because I have this crocheted vesty thing I got at a thrift store for $3 several years ago. I haven't worn it, cause I didn't know exactly what to do with it. So, I just stuck it under a scoopy shirt I had and I'm kinda excited. Cause I think it's totally funky in a cool way. And I'm wearing my hair half up. But that means that the other half is down. Which is funky in a not so cool way, but I'm running out of options. Especially without a working hairdryer. Not to mention, my complete lack of hair skills. On the upside, these pants are so comfortable and fit perfectly. Why don't I wear them? And the shoes? These are the shoes I always wear on a trip because they're stylish and comfortable. I bought them in Hawaii about 15 years ago, which probably means they actually aren't stylish anymore. But they are still comfortable.

Embarrassing Moment: Sky sees what I'm wearing this morning before he goes to school. And asks, "Are you wearing that all day?" "Yup." I reply. "Are you embarrassed that I'm coming to your presentation at school today dressed like this?" He says, "Yup." So of course I did. And when it's all over. He's embarrassed I didn't take a picture of him doing his presentation. What? I would have been the only parent taking photos. And in doing so, I would have drawn a lot of attention to myself and my embarrassing outfit by standing up to take a picture. Clearly, I can not win this battle. Whatever I do or don't do is bound to be embarrassing simply because I'm his mother.

Discomfort level: 6 (It would have been a 4 if it wasn't for the half down hair. So I split the difference in half and came up with 6. You can check my math.)

TGIF. Speaking of which. Rabat has a TGIFridays restaurant, but it doesn't have a bar. Isn't that the whole purpose of Fridays? To get a drink at the bar? Or is it all the flair? Anyway, back to the issue at hand. Today I'm working the loose side bun which I would argue is not the same as the tight bun in the back I wore on Wednesday. I'm wearing the Jenny sweater dress I bought at the mall from the Jenny on the Block post. It's warm and it's comfortable. The jeans are comfortable. The earrings are fun and not heavy. Just like Fridays are supposed to be. Cool. Casual. But with a little flair. But, those beaded thongs? Not comfortable. And yes, the ones on my feet. Dispite this, this is undoubtably my favorite outfit of the week.

Embarrassing Moment: Ok, in all honestly the day isn't over yet. I'm still in this outfit as I type. But I imagine the embarrassing moment to be me chasing down the House Hunters taping crew to steal the tape so that any footage of my hair is destroyed. I would also berate them (again) for having them shoot scenes of Karla riding a horse on the beach. Because clearly they should shoot footage of her riding a camel on the beach. Duh. This is Morocco. Really, get it together House Hunters. But that's probably after I take off my thong that is digging into my foot and show up in Sky's class waving it to get his attention and shout "I just came because I forgot to tell you how much I love you before you left for school this morning honey! Oh, let me get a picture of you with your friends while I'm here!" And, I still have time to do this before school lets out...

And if you're just dying to know how I normally dress you can check out the before post here.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


She leaves in two days on an overnight trip with the school. There've been some sleepless nights and some nerves. But none of those are hers. She's been packed for the last week. She would be on the bus out of town today if she could. And that's why I'm so nervous.

As a mother I have a lot of jobs.



Problem Solver.




French speaker.

But, I don't do any of those jobs. Jade does. Not that I've asked her to do any of them. It's just her nature. She is our earth element after all.

She is the only child in this house that gets along with the other three kids. Think about the potential combinations of air, water and fire. The fire is fueled by the the air. And the water would love nothing more than to extinguish the flames. But, the earth simply accepts all the other elements as they are. As does Jade.

So my greatest fear when Jade leaves? The chaos that will ensue when she's gone. And that maybe it will be so peaceful out there she won't want to come back.

You see we've all become so jaded.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Elemental Lessons

We've been here in Morocco two weeks shy of two years. We had no idea what we were in store for. Or how we'd be changed. Or the valuable life lessons the kids would learn.

Like how to bargain for a pocket knife in the medina made in China by little slave children.

Or that that pocket knife would break the same day. So 20 Dirhams probably wasn't such a good deal after all.

That eating with your hands won't get you yelled at in some places. Well, only if you use your right hand. Because your left hand is Berber toilet paper.

Speaking of which, parasites are just nature's colonic.

They know that 90% of Arabic songs will contain the phrase yellah habibi (come here sweetheart). Which makes knowing the lyrics for car sing-a-longs on long road trips really easy.

The girls have mastered the squat potty without getting a drop on their pants. And, yes I'm extremely proud of that. They can also go pee efficiently in public on the side of the road without drippage. But now I'm just bragging...

However, I'm usure the boys will ever learn to flush the toilet after they've made a deposit.

They can convert currency to know if they have enough allowance to buy something and the patience to wait weeks to get it. But, they also know to have low expectations that they will ever receive it because it will either be lost in the mail or the mail room will refuse it because it contains a lithium battery.

Not to be close to a French school at noon on a Wednesday or a Mosque near noon on a Friday.

Fish eye balls are edible. As are goat's balls.

Staring isn't impolite everywhere in the world.

And why the hell would you bless anyone after they sneeze?

French French and Moroccan French are indeed NOT the same language. And if they have a French teacher who is from France, that it is impossible for them to get an "A".

Seat belts are only for people who think they have control over their own destiny.

And it's perfectly normal for a Moroccan traffic accident to be solved in a slap and spit fight.

Or that it isn't morally reprehensible to buy bootleg dvds unless the guy who sold you these illegal products lied and told you they were in English.

That life's big question may really be why do they sell tissues at every intersection when you can simply snot rocket? Who buys them?

Or is it why do Moroccans eat couscous on Fridays?

(With contributions from Craig Loerzel)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

St. Valentine's Day Massacre

It was left at a friend's doorstep with a note. It was too heavy and cumbersome for one person to move it, requiring it to be opened where it lay. A chill caught the air as its contents were revealed. A blood bath of liquescent ice surrounded the intact but mortally wounded victim. Boar. The other other white meat.

Meat that would need to be refrigerated. But first would have to be hacked into pieces that could fit into a refrigerator. So they took it to the only place in town they could think of well equipped to handle the job. A place where it not being halal was not a problem. The pork lady. Though she had the tool, apparently there are health codes that restrict her from cutting up a wild boar of unknown origins. But yet there aren't health codes that prevent one from selling and eating a fly ridden goat head that hangs outside all day in the August heat.

It's been on ice for two days. Something must be done. And fast. But who? Who would have the tools to do such a job? The gardener. I didn't ask how it was done. Although I imagine a hoe was involved. But I dare not ask. All I know is I wasn't an accessory in the killing. Or the hacking. But, I got my piece.

I took the ribs out of the lightly scented lavender-vanilla garbage bag that I smuggled it in. And froze it in. And thawed it in. I'm sure its subtle infusion will add a complex bouquet to the palette. But first, I have to fit the ribs in the two huge pots of boiling water. Except, I couldn't bring myself to fissure the ribs apart. It was too brutal. I had to wait for the big fella to come home to finish the job.

Then we were cooking with gas. Until we weren't. The propane had run dry and the oven and stove weren't working. It was already late and the stores were closed. The whole gang was coming over the next day. And they had expectations. I didn't want to disappoint. I wasn't sure what the consequences would be. I needed the oven to make the pulled pork, because all the grills would be taken with the ribs, potatoes and caramelized onions. The guys said they'd come the next morning with the canisters. I've been in this racket far too long to assume they would arrive on time and that I wouldn't need bribe money.

But I was wrong on both accounts. I must be jaded from doing two years hard time in Morocco.

The propane guys hooked us up and were on the straight and narrow. The next day went off without a hitch. The Greens, our partners in crime, came over with more meat of unknown origins ready for the grill. The outfit was clean and streamlined. We cooked and brutally pulled the pork. We thought of everything. Like we had chicken for the faint of heart who may be disgusted by eating free boar meat left at someone's doorstep, mercilessly hacked up with a garden hoe and stored in a vanilla-lavender garbage bag.

With everything going according to plan, all that was left to do was disgrace the chicken by inserting beer cans up it's cavity. But first, someone must drink the beer. It was a bitter English beer. If you don't like the beer, mister, you don't have to pay for it.

And someone must do the dirty work and desecrate the chicken with butter, paprika, garlic salt and their own two hands.

Before throwing it on the flames.

And then it was time to finish off the ribs.

The haunting legacy of that body bag size cooler we won't soon forget. Even though all that's left of the carnage is the skeletal remains, it's deliciousness lives on in infamy.

You can read about the first time we pigged out on boar here

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Going Tribal

Photo from Google Images

This is the world's best tribal belly dancer. I hadn't heard of her until a few months ago when I was googling male belly dancers after my friend Agnes said she had a male instuctor when she lived in Tunisia. Come on, you know you want to google it too. I'll wait. Although I consider myself very open minded and equal rights and that stuff, I decided (after watching some video) that this does not apply to men belly dancing. Turns out I'm completely sexist and I do not, DO NOT want to see a man belly dance ever again. But, in my search the name Rachel Brice popped up.

I clicked one of her videos. She's not what you would expect. Tiny and pale with washboard abs that she gracefully distorts and undulates simultaneously. And that was the moment that I knew I wanted to go tribal and stalk her.

I wikipediaed her. I read interviews. I found out where her studio is. And was disappointed when it wasn't in Colorado, but in Oregon. Damn Oregon. Oh, I'm sure it's lovely there. When it's not raining. And yeah, that was a backhanded compliment. I hope it stung too.

Ok, so I can't go to one of her classes. But, she has a dvd. She actually has a few instructional dvds. So I Amazon.comed it. Which overseas, means I had another 2 months to obsess over Rachel before that dvd arrived via the Nina. The Pinta? Or was it the Santa Maria? Whatever.

So in the meantime, I did what any good stalker would do. I liked her facebook page. I watched videos of her dancing. I tried to determine who was paler, her or me. Although I'm pretty sure it's me. And then, I told my friend Sara about her.

Because this is what sick people do. They draw others into their addictions and obsessions so that they feel less freakish. And more normal. And it worked. Sara was sucked into the Rachel obsession. (Although, I think I'm probably still her #1 stalker. I'm just saying. Oh yeah, and Rachel "liked" a comment I left on her fb page. To which I gushed to Sara like I was a 13 year old girl. Ok, an 11 year old girl.)

After waiting for more than two months for my dvd, I called Amazon to report it lost. The fate of many a package sent here. So they shipped another one. Which would mean more waiting. Damn it.

In the meantime, I ordered a Rachel Brice t-shirt that will inevitably get lost in the mail on the way here. You know to fill my time. (FYI, it still hasn't arrived yet.)

But the dvd finally did! And Sara and I made a date for her to come over so we could do it together. The dvd. The dvd people. And it was like we were two 13 year old girls. Ok, 11 year old girls.

She's gorgeous.
How does she DO that?
I even love her voice, it's so husky and haunting.
Did you see her tattoo? Stunning!
She kinda looks like Keira Knightly sometimes, but not in an anorexic way or anything. Just in her face, but with a minature tanless Dara Torres body.
And many choruses of: Oh my god, how DOES she do that?

Then one day, I put in disk 2. Where she teaches you choreography. And one of the songs is Whisper Hungarian in my Ear. Did I ever mention I'm half Hungarian? And half Canadian, of course. And I think I'm a quarter French. Ok, so that math doesn't add up. But I assure you, I'm 100% smartass.

So, I put on lots of eye make-up and lipstick that I last wore in 1994 to my friend Kiersten's wedding, which smells a little funny. Does lipstick go bad? Since I'm not going to dance like her, I'll just try to look like her. Or tribalish.

Do us both a favor, if you wear contacts or glasses take them off now. And the Rachel Brice-ish-ness will be uncanny depending on how bad your vision is of course. It's an inverse relationship.

I'm pretty sure Rachel doesn't trip on her skirt or make that smartass face at the end of her performance.

But, that's ok. Some day I'll be able to do this...

Photo from Google images

And by this, I mean pull off that great shade of lipstick she's wearing that I'm sure doesn't smell weird cause it hasn't actually gone bad. Yet.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Games We Play

When we have a long weekend, it means we're going somewhere. We only have 5 months left and the clock is ticking. In this case, it's Marrekech with our good friends and travel companions, the Green family. Now we've been to 'Kech a few times before. I feel we can get all familiar and nickname-y now. It's touristy, it's funky, but mostly it's fun when you're hangin' with friends and the whole trip becomes a big game.

It starts before we even leave the house. What can I make with the carrots, onions, tomatoes and feta cheese left in the fridge? (The answer: curry carrot soup with tomato and feta quesadillas.) The kids thought that game was a little too spicy.

On the road, the game is all about whether you have enough change for the tolls and the squat potty attendants. We do.

But when you get to your posh hotel using the toilet is all about guessing whether what you're about to do will require the little flush button. Or the big one. Either way, is win-win because there's a seat and you don't have to scrounge for change for the attendant.

Then you go to lunch and some kid complains his spaghetti is inedible. To which you're like whhhaaatttt? How can pasta be that bad. Then, we all need to taste test it to see. And yes, it was indeed disgusting. We have found the worst spaghetti in Morocco. Maybe even the world.

Now, you would think before we travel we'd check the weather. But, no. It's more fun to just guess what the weather is going to be like, only to realize I should have packed short sleeve shirts and sunscreen. Marie 0, Weather 1.

My most favorite adrenaline rush of a game in Marrekech is guessing which kid is going to be run over by one of the hundreds of mopeds that speed through the narrow medina streets. Miraculously, there were no injuries. But that's because almost doesn't count.

Then there's trying to find a toilet anywhere in public in Morocco when you need one here. Usually, the result is you go in public behind a bush. Because that's less scary and more accessable than any Moroccan public toilet. And there's no attendant to pay.

Then there's the is-this-really-bacon game we played at breakfast. We lost. It wasn't. It was more like beef jerky.

But, we did have fun playing name-that-tune to the piano muzak piped in at breakfast. Except, we were completely stumped by one song. I'm such a loser.

Are our friends awake and ready for breakfast? We don't want to call and wake then so, why don't we just slip a note under the hotel room door?

Is watching Sponge Bob Squarepants in the hotel room in Italian educational or not? Of course it is. We win.

There's the gender bender game. Where locals try to guess whether River is a boy or a girl. And will that make him want to cut his hair? Um, no.

The will-we-get-kicked-out-of-the-roof-top-pool-if-I-bring-a-bottle-of-wine game? I covertly won that one. Well, that was a four way actually.

The what-herb-or-spice-is-in-the-jar at the apothecary game? It's scratch and sniff. Ok, it's just sniff, unless you have exema or fungus or an std.

Then there's the can-you-find-the-two-fairies in this picture? Which is very similar to Where's Waldo, but without the stripes.

Can I walk 3 miles to a garden that only has ugly loud sucking fish swimming in a murky pond and not step on millions of miniature caterpillars game? I'm pretty sure at least a handful of caterpillars were brutally murdered in this game.

The confusing game of which super cool funky painting should we buy? (The answer is 4.)

Then the final game, where you give the kids 10 Dirham (about $1.25) to see who can buy the coolest thing at the medina game. And it's totally not cool when one kid couldn't find anything to buy. Unfortunately, Ember got this super bright magic lipstick that she puts outside the boundries of her lip lines that makes her look like a drag queen with a hand tremor. I wish she were the kid who forfeited.

And then we're home. And the kids are fighting again. And there's school tomorrow.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Good Grief

Good grief. Who came up with that term? There is nothing good about grief. And no one tells you that the older you get, the more of it you have. While there are great things about getting older like being wiser and more confident. It comes at a price. And that price is grief.

The 40's are good years. You've had the fun that the 20's brings, the career of your 30's, maybe you've added kids, maybe not. But by the time you're here, you have a pretty good idea what you want out of life. Although you probably can't afford it yet. Whatever it is. By the time you get to your 40's, if you're lucky, you can finally purchase that dream vacation you've always wanted to take or that midlife crisis car.

But, you're also doing the great balancing act between your career, home, kids and everything else you have to juggle. And you're desperately trying to keep all the plates spinning on the end of the stick without dropping one. These are productive years. But these are also some of the most stressful in your life. And no one tells you that. So, now you have the conundrum of being able to afford what you want, but now the question is. Should you? Or should you quit your career and become a glassblower that you always wanted to be? Or maybe you should squirrel it away and put it in your retirement account. Or in the kids college fund. And as you sit down succumbing to the vertigo you got from all these decisions you look around.

Then you realize.

Your best friend is barely making ends meet after getting a divorce. Her divorce happened a year after her brother committed suicide. Another friend lost his job, this was right after he discovered his son had a heroin addiction. Another friend is slowly losing a parent to Alzheimer's, memory by memory. Then a friend tells you about another friend who's son was killed in a drunk driving accident. Grief is all around you. And there is no sign of it stopping.

The phone call came two weeks ago. Bad news always starts with a phone call. A good friend's dad is sick. Just three weeks before, she'd got another phone call informing her a good friend had died from cancer. The doctors are running tests on her dad, but it doesn't look good and everyone fears it's the c-word. And that it's already spread.

My phone call came 12 years ago. My mom was sick with cancer. I wanted and I needed to go home to take care of her. It was the hardest 2 months of my life, but I wouldn't change it for anything. I was 30. Next week will mark the day she passed. My griefaversary of sorts. They say time heals all wounds. But, that's bullshit. It doesn't.

Grief is a solitary lonely place. You can't bypass it or control it. Long after the casseroles, cards and friends excuses to pull you out into the world of the living stop, you remain with your grief.

But the thing about being in your 40's? While I'm old enough to know that there will always be wounds that won't heal. I also realize that while I was only given 30 years with my mom, I was given a lifetime of her love. Not only that, I've given myself something too. I've surrounded myself with people that I would gladly shoulder their grief for. Not that I can do that, but I can give them excuses to pull them out into the world of the living. And I know that they would do the same for me. Because they have.

So maybe there is something good about grief after all.


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