September 6, 2011

spark and echo

Here is the link to my new blog.

Things are weird right now. Many changes are brewing. I think a change like this is really what I need. I can't promise I'll update often, but I want to.

See you there, I hope.

August 22, 2011


This will be my last post on Love Street.

Wait, scratch that. There will be one more post after this one. That will be the last one.

I have no plans to stop blogging, though. I already have a new blog. It may take awhile for me to get it the way I want it. I am a busy girl. (For example, I have been interrupted seven times since I sat down to write this.) But once I do, I will share the link here.

This blogging thing is a strange enterprise. I've already written about why I blog and my feelings are still largely the same as they were two and a half years ago. I am one of those people who has used blogging to supplement journaling. Most of my entries can be described as thinking out loud. I don't make many attempts to be "arty" in my writing; however, I make every attempt to be concise and easily understood. I was always reserving my arty writing for the "real" stuff: you know, poetry, fiction. It has taken me awhile to come around to the fact that blogging can be an art form rather than just a way to transmit information. And thus this blog has become a frustration for me rather than a release. It just isn't what I want it to be. That is my fault - for pigeonholing the genre.

I guess it would be easy enough for me to just change the way I do things around here, but I'd rather just start over entirely, leave my archives here for awhile, and begin anew elsewhere.

My new blog will be an ongoing art project. The differences between this one and that one may be subtle - it's hard to say right now - but the time has come in my life for me to really devote myself to being creative and making art. I have no plans to become a professional blogger, but let's face it, I really enjoy blogging. I love connecting with others, hearing their stories, and letting them hear mine.

I wanted to wait to post this news until the new blog was done but several people have been politely pestering me about neglecting this blog. This is why. I have outgrown Love Street and it's time to move on. And once my new blog is up and running, I hope you'll come with me.

Thanks for the support and love you've shown me over the last four years and 967 posts. You guys are amazing.

(It took me an hour and a half to type out this post. Don't expect that new blog anytime soon. ;)

August 2, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge, Day 2

Day 2: Your Least Favorite Song

Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle


This song makes me want to do that. I think it's been the Father-Daughter dance song at almost every single wedding I've been to. It's just so overused.

Or perhaps I am just jealous because I am not "daddy's little girl". That thought did occur to me.

Still! That is irrelevant. It's just not a good song.

August 1, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge, Day 1

I'm doing this 30 Day Song Challenge on Facebook, but I figured I'd do it over here, too. I enjoy talking about music and the places it's taken me in my life.

Day 1: Your Favorite Song

I don't have an all-time favorite song, but this is my current favorite.

Ghost Town by First Aid Kit

I've been listening to this song quite a bit this summer, including one evening in June when I wrote this poem:

It’s been silence.
Quiet and crickets chirping,
cats meowing,
each blade of grass rustling
in the stale breeze,
the sound of time
wheezing by
in its wheelchair.

It was music you heard
staining your ears with life,
music that made the tears
drop with finality
onto your journal pages,
and your life’s words smeared
and you could no longer read
your own history.

So you turned
off the radio and record player
and instead began to listen to your cat’s hair
quietly hitting the carpet
in your house of sadness.

The music continues beyond
your legacy of isolation,
green lush enveloping
a loud, unapologetic life


July 19, 2011

A Series of Unfortunate Events

I've been writing blog entries in my head but haven't summoned the energy to sit down and write here. Truthfully, I've been in kind of a slump. For now, life is hard and it takes enormous amounts of effort to breathe through each day. A lot of things are piling up, ranging from the very serious (we are broke, the birth center owes us $3000 and refuses to pay so now we have to go to court on August 31, and in the meantime, there are car repairs and checkups for our cats and a sleep study for Roy waiting in the wings) to the moderately serious (I need a root canal and we don't have dental insurance, and also I hurt my back) to the annoyances of the everyday (Simon's slobber managed to kill my phone and my laptop power cord, neither of which are cheap to replace; there are ants in our kitchen; our toilet is leaking; it's fucking hot outside; my kids like to scream loudly all day long; I'm not getting enough sleep; I feel hungry all the time and there is not enough junk food in this house to satisfy me; my toenails look like claws; I have Sesame Street songs playing on repeat in my head every single day).

So. You can understand if I'm a little grouchy. I'm kind of like an old guy growling at people to GET OFF MY LAWN. I'm even hunched over like him because of the aforementioned back injury.

I feel the need to retreat, and so I'm taking a break. I'll see you back here when I'm feeling better.

In the meantime, stay off my lawn.

July 5, 2011

Charlie's Favorite Songs

In no particular order:

Blueberry Pie by Bette Midler

One Day by Matisyahu (feat. Akon)

Howl by Florence and the Machine

Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) by Arcade Fire

If I Had a Boat by Lyle Lovett

The kid's got eclectic taste in music. I wonder where he gets that from?

July 3, 2011

A Second Chance for Robert

Friday morning, as Charlie stood on a chair at the kitchen sink and “washed dishes” and Simon rode on my back in the Ergo, I read the latest Dear Sugar column.

Saturday I went to the post office and mailed out an extremely late Father’s Day gift to my dad.

The two events are not unrelated.

It’s not uncommon for Sugar’s column to make tears roll down my cheeks, but her most recent advice offering to a father who’d lost his only son broke me wide open. I stood in the kitchen with my grief burning in my body and I sobbed right there for both of my kids to witness.

I’ve done my fair share of bitching about illness and fever and teething lately but the month of June was so much more than those things that have led me here, to this place where I am once again a grieving woman. Father’s Day, for example. I think it may be the most bittersweet day of the year for me. On that day, I smiled and laughed and I meant it because my boys have a wonderful father who loves them and they will never have to question that. I have loved watching Roy grow into his role of daddy and I am so proud of him. All of that is tempered by my relationship with my own father. It’s practically non-existent and it feels like it lives only in my mind. It doesn’t feel real. Only the grief does.

And so while everyone posted on Facebook about how much they love their dads, I had nothing to say aside from a shout-out to Roy. I posted a video about forgiving our fathers but there was no response. Either no one saw it or no one knew what to say or no one wanted to talk about the places that hurt on a day that’s supposed to be celebratory. I’m okay with that. I do love my dad. He’s half of the reason why I’m here today. But we don’t have a relationship. And that I am not okay with.

I will never be okay with it. It’s the grief that keeps on grieving.

Simon’s middle name is Robert, which is my dad’s name. We knew, as soon as we found out I was pregnant again last year, that if we had another boy, his middle name would be Robert as a way to honor my dad. I wonder sometimes what it means to saddle a baby with the weight of a relative’s name. Will he develop a brain tumor like my dad did? Will he live in a way that my dad couldn’t? Will history repeat itself or will he write his own story? I asked Roy these questions today. I needed answers that were once clear but had become muddled.

“It’s a second chance for Robert,” my dear sweet amazing wonderful husband replied.

And it slapped me across the face like it does every once in awhile, the realization that I will never have a dad like the one in Father of the Bride, that my kids will never have a grandpa to play with, that there is a person sitting in a crappy nursing home in Waco, Texas, who is half of the reason why I’m here today and yet he is lost to me. Forever fucking lost to me.

I don’t know what to do with that. It’s been almost 30 years since his essence was taken, leaving this shell behind, and I still have no idea what to do with this howling emptiness inside me. I try to silence it, by sending out Father’s Day gifts and writing cheerful cards that say things like, “Charlie is 2 now! He’s such a smart and sweet boy. Simon is 7 months old and is crawling and pulling to a stand. We wish you were here. We love you.” It’s all bullshit. What I want to say is “Charlie is 2 now. Why didn’t you call? And what about my birthday? Why didn't you call? Do you even realize that you have a 32 year old daughter and two adorable grandsons? If I tell you I love you, will you say it back? I hope you’re not suffering. Are you suffering? I don’t think I can bear it if you are.”

(I know he is suffering.)

My dad will never have a second chance. I sometimes have to sit with this and let the enormity of it pass over me. I don’t know what to do except breathe and feel the screaming space inside me.

My dad will never have a second chance. So we gave his name to our second son because it’s the best we can do to give him the impossible.

My dad will never have a second chance. He will remain in the nursing home with the big picture of John Wayne over his bed and in his fragile and damaged mind he will drift away to happier times. This is perhaps the only thing that makes his suffering okay, the fact that he can escape it.

My dad will never have a second chance. And someday he will die, just as someday we will all die. Of course, we don’t know when. He’s defied our expectations by hanging in there for much longer than I think any of us expected. It’s been a year and a half since I’ve seen him. Charlie was six months old. It was Christmastime. In less than three months, I would be pregnant again with a little baby boy who would be given his name, a little boy he has yet to meet.

My dad will never have a second chance. I understand this, and that is the place from which my sorrow speaks. There is wisdom in that sorrow, and understanding, and compassion. And yet, like Sugar said in her column, I would give it all up to hear him tell me he’s proud of me and that he loves me.

And this is why I find myself here this morning, reaching for healing, despite the fact - no, because of the fact that my dad will never have a second chance. After all this writing and this spilling of my sad, sloppy guts, I still don’t know what to do with all this reality.

And so I will sit awhile. And breathe.

(All pictures in this post were taken by my dad in his college days, pre-illness.)

(If you don't already read Dear Sugar, you should start. Her column is one of my favorite things about the internet.)