Archive for March, 2010

Saturday was the Visitation for a beautiful 19-year-old woman named Jeannee’ who had taken her own life a few days before.

There’s a link to Jeannee’s obituary on the right there.  —>>>

We stood in line with probably 100 other people walking through a crowded funeral home in an effort to reach her family, standing in a receiving line of sorts near Jeanne’s closed casket.  As the line crept slowly forward, I tried to imagine what I might possibly say to Jeanne’s mother Jodi, a former high school classmate, now co-worker of mine. Beautiful lady.  Lost first child.  Wow. Speechless.  Jeannee’ was 6 months older than my oldest daughter.  I desperately wanted to SAY something, yet there are no words….

When I reached Jodi, I paused and was silent a moment.  What came out was,  “Jodi…I’m not going to say anything. There’s nothing to say.”  (I’ve also emailed her my phone number and standard and very sincere offers of “WHATEVER” you need/whatever I can do to help, please call me.)  She reached to hug me and thanked me for coming and moved on to her next guest. I hugged the rest of the receiving line and turned to leave.  When I reached the exit, I recognized what I believed to be Jeanne’s older sister Kristi, standing with some friends….kids that I know from their acquaintance with my daughter. Stopping to chat with them,  I asked her, “Are you Kristi?” She said she was and that she remembered me…..I was that lady who worked at WalMart and sang to her mom a couple weeks ago. I’d forgotten about that!  Couple weeks ago, I’d taken my girls to a Chinese buffet for lunch one Sunday afternoon, andd Jodi was there with her family. The hostess sat my substantial family next to hers. When I greeted Jodi, one of her kids mentioned that it was her birthday. I said, “Well, surely we should SING, then! C’mon over girls!” My girls came over and we all sang a boisterous round of  “Happy Birthday” to Jodi.  Little did I know this small gesture would give me an opening to speak to one of the kids during an awful time weeks later.  (One of those “you never know where you’re going to be in two weeks” moments, isn’t it?)

So I asked Kristi if I could hug her. She reached. I hugged, well, actually, I just HELD. I told her, “I really wish I could just hold you for like months and somehow protect you, but I guess that’s not possible.”  I talked to her about the importance of talking to the people who love her, and never feel like she’s “bothering” people and the great importance of drinking WATER through this time. Eating’s important, too, yeah….but water is even MORE important, and easily neglected. I charged her fiance with keeping her hydrated.

THEN I left, went home, went to work…..tried to think about other things. Have had little success in the “thinking about other things” department.

This horrible event has re-ignited something in me. I’ve always had a heart for teenagers, but people, we need to talk about suicide. It’s not a nice topic, not an easy topic, but I need to talk with people about suicide. Teens, parents, everyone. Because I’m passionate about it…….because talking is right, and for my own reasons. Because I REMEMBER……

Let’s talk some more tomorrow, shall we?  Let’s make a plan.


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Start with Mind Games?

OK. Apparently, I’m *finally* ready to start sharing random thoughts and stories that will require more than

140 characters.

My STRONG perfectionist tendencies would rather wait until I have a more cutesy website established, but if I give in to those tendencies and wait, I will simply continue to fill my own hard drive with my written drivel, eventually just losing track of stuff. I often wonder if ANYONE out there is as unorganized with this stuff as I am.

Well, c’est la vie; here’s a story for tonight!

The players, Eric, 16, Alex, 9, Valerie, 19……also to be acknowledged, but not seen here, Madelyn, 11, Acacia, 13, and Janet, 8.

This morning, I managaed to get up just after 6am, punched in at WalMart at 7am. Don’t know if it was the warm temperatures today or what, but you would have thought it was a SATURDAY for the madness and the lines……LOTS of folks came to see us. Per usual, I did my best to fly as fast as I could ALL day long at the first grocery register, #5.

Three o’clock rolls around, punch out, time to go home? NO, time to figure out what to feed the children for early Wednesday evening dinner, then go BUY what is necessary for that dinner. Grab a cart and head back in. Shop, self-check, pay, head to the car….it’s raining; it’s a long way to that car. Lovely.

When I get home, Alex helps me bring in bags. Thank you, Alex!

Having a fairly nice dinner planned, I approach the kitchen to find this: 


Now it’s not a HUGE pile of dishes, but enough. All the decent frying pans are dirty, for instance. Who had dishes last night? I check the chore chart…….Eric. Even though I’d really rather be NAPPING right now, I really need to get this dinner underway NOW–it has to bake for 30 minutes or so and really needs to be done by 5-5:15 in order for this Wednesday evening to go smoothly. I need Eric out here to clear this WHILE I start dinner.

I walk to the living room where Eric is playing Wii with the girls surrounding. I mention to him that he had dish duty last night and that they didn’t get DONE last night….I need them done now so that I can get dinner going.

He kept playing.

I explained that I was serious, that I really needed him to do the dishes so that I could make dinner.

“Maybe after I get a 2 hour nap.”

“Aren’t you LEAVING in 2 hours?” was Alex’s reaction, picturing him leaving for Wednesday night church.

“Eric, they need to get done now. Really.”

I walked away. Eventually, Eric walked up to his room and stayed there long enough for me to believe he was not going to heed my request. I decided not to make dinner and stopped by the Verizon website to restrict his phone for the evening. If these kids don’t want to do their chores, I don’t want to cook, either. There’s plenty of peanut butter and jelly available for everyone. By the time I left to pick up Jay, Eric and Alex were making some version of “dinner.”

Now tonight Eric approaches me utterly shocked that his phone is restricted. I tell him that one day he’ll figure out how to live at peace with me.

“How can I? NO ONE ELSE has a mom like you! Restricting their phone 24/7!”

“That’s really too bad, isn’t it?”

Now, he says he’s SURE not doing those dishes. He didn’t, either. Valerie ended up doing them.

Now what? Really. Where DID I put my Creative Mommy Thinking Cap? Will have to sleep on this one.

Mind games with a teenage boy. Fun times.

What would YOU do?

Before you say GROUND him, understand that he WOULD leave anyway, or simply not come home from school. I try to come up with “corrections” that are not easily defied, leaving me looking powerless.

He will be all grown up one day……I’m “fairly” confident.

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