Sunday, May 27, 2012

grief on a sunday night

As many of you know, my friend Susan was murdered this year. There is no gentle way to put it. It happened five, almost six months ago, and I am still wrapping my head around it. I refuse to delete her number from my phone. Because when I go through my contacts and see her name, I remember her.

She passes through my mind daily. Whether it's my own thoughts or someone asking me "Hey Megan, how are those kids doing?" or the gut wrenching feeling I get when I hear someone say "just shoot me". I think of her. But I have not grieved her. Not fully. I probably never will. I've cried, I've screamed, I've talked about it with people who will listen.

But tonight I did more than think about her. I felt her. That hasn't happened since she died. I was driving home from babysitting. I was having this conversation in my mind- these thoughts coming at me like rapid fire

I can't wait for Mo to have her baby. I can't wait for Maggie to have her baby. 

I wonder what I'll do when February comes along. Renew my lease? Maybe by then I'll have myself figured out.

I need to call Alicia.

What if I got in a car accident and lost my memory? (For the record, I watched the Vow last night and am currently reading What Alice Forgot, which has a similar story line).

I'm so proud of Sara for graduating. I need to send her a card.

Kroger is still open? Who goes to Kroger at 11 pm on a Sunday night?

Ugh. Why are people already out for the dream cruise?

My life is so overwhelming and yet totally underwhelming all at the same time. 

It was about here that I turned down the main road to get to my street. And this is when I felt Susan. I saw her smiling face. I heard her tell me "breathe". And right there at the red light on Adams and Lincoln, I started to cry. It was so overwhelming that the second I got into my house I ran to my laptop to write this. Why? I guess because I know a lot of people out there are grieving losses. And I want you to know, you're not alone. Sometimes you'll be sitting at a red light and start to cry because you miss that person. Be patient with yourself. We're all in this together.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

new writing

I have been writing this simple little poems lately. I thought I'd share some. Feel free to let me know what you think.

"One of Those Days"

It’s been one of those bad days
One of those pour me a glass
of whatever you have days
Think I’ll turn off my phone and sit on the porch
watch the little kids with their big dreams ride on by
oh, to be that simple
oh, to be that free
building friendships and forts
climbing monkey bars and trees
and endless possibiltiies
it’s been one of those days
one of those my shoulders ache days
let’s jump rope in the street
run through the yard yelling
tag, you’re it
remember in those days
someone would sing us to sleep
and we’d dream our worries away
well it’s been one of those days
come sing to me, sing me to sleep

"Beautiful Life"

life can be so beautiful
when you’re with the ones you love
we should all spend our time
with the ones we love
life is beautiful but life is fast
if you’re not careful it will go right past
so let go of the little things
that are bringing you down today
do the best with what you’ve got
and say thanks to the ones you love
I know you’ve got big plans
And even bigger fears
but baby don’t worry so much
all that worrying does you no good
just take it all in, take in this
beautiful life


you don’t practice what you preach
and you kind of make me sick
I used to love you with my whole heart
And now I kind of hate everything about you
you’ve got friends and you’ve got followers
do they know the real you
or have you fooled them all
like you once fooled me
my life got so much better
once you walked out the door
and I don’t even miss you at all
So go on keep tellin your lies
Keep on trying to make a good impression
All you’re doing is making me sick
With your despicable speeches and preaches
boy, please.

"please stop talking"

you’re talking an awful lot
an awful lot of awful things
and I’m not listening
Because nothing you’re saying
Makes any sort of sense
So talk that talk all you want
You words can’t hurt me anymore
You just love to cut me down
You just love to tear me apart
Please tell me what have I done wrong today
It doesn’t matter anymore
You just love to have an audience
You didn’t even notice I’ve escaped the crowd
Wasn’t I the target?
You missed.
So talk that talk all you want
Your words can’t hurt me anymore
You just love to cut me down
You just love to tear me apart
Hey you, you should know
I’m pretty happy with the way
I turned out to be
And I don’t really care to hear
You ever speak again

"gone for good"

and just like that you’re gone again
I turn around and you’re out the door
I thought you were gonna be mine again
But it seems you’ve got better things on your mind
I wonder how far you’ll make it this time
Before you turn around and start saying “sorry”
I’m not gonna open the door this time
I’m gonna let you sit out in the rain this time
Because if I let you back in
Then you’re let yourself out
Just tell me what’s the point?
Let’s not waste our time
If you’re on your way back you better stop right there
Turn yourself around, and don’t you dare
I think we both know this is best for us
Enjoy your little game of run away run
I’ll be right here where I’ve always been
But if you try to come back you’re not coming in

"leave me alone"

I’m staying up far too late
Thinking ugly thoughts of you
You know just who you are
You know you have no business
Coming and going through my mind
Put me at ease, leave my heart please
I’ve had just about enough of your games and lies
Didn’t you get the hint last time?
Haven’t I escorted you to the door before?
What’s your problem, what’s my cure?
I’d like to be free from your chains
I’d like to get some sleep tonight
Let’s get this clear- you’re uninvited
Leave, just leave. Leave me alone.
Leave, please leave. Leave me alone.
Let me be. I do just fine on my own.
Leave me alone.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Locked Out

You know how I know god has a great sense of humor? He locked me out of my house tonight to teach me a lesson.

 I hopped down my steps with nothing in my hands but my iPod. After all, I was not going to be gone long, right? Wrong. I got down my street and realized I should grab my water. So I jogged back, went to open the door-boom. Locked. I dont know how it got locked, I certainly had not locked it and Susie was already gone. (For the record, Susie doesn't know either. She said when she did get back home it was the deadbolt that was locked. I have NO IDEA how that could happen).

 You know those first five minutes of total panic when you run through your list of options?

These were my Options:

 Bust down the door with my killer strength, duh.

 Pop a window to the basement and go tumbling in.

Sit on my front porch rocking myself back and forth in the fetal position in hopes that Susie was returning and it wouldn't rain or get too cold.

Hope that my ipod would suddenly turn into a magic key that unlocked my door and cooked my dinner for me.

 But no. I had to think logically. Walk to the Carter's. So I did just that. Walked to the Carter's, then called good ole mom and dad. I was hungry and figured if Susie wasn't coming home tonight, at least I could sleep at my parents. (Didn't think Martha wanted a seventh child tonight). So my pops came to get me , bought me subway, and let me crash on their couch for a few hours until Susie got back.

Were these my plans for the evening? Heck no. I was going to make a turkey burger and sweet potato, drink a glass of wine, and watch dumb reality tv. And probably work on some essays I had to do. But God said... girl please. The essays can wait. Sometimes you're gonna get some twists and turns in life. Sometimes things do not go quite as planned. Sometimes, you get locked out. And instead of having a nervous breakdown you figure out what to do and you just do it. I mean had I not gotten locked out, would I have gotten to hug the Carter kids and see Caroline do a somersault? Probably not. Seen my parents? No. I haven't seen them since mothers day! And probably won't again until this weekend Plus I got to see my doggy. And check some of my mom's papers.

 God knows how much I tend to freak out over things like this. So He gave me a mini crisis and said "Here. Work it out". And I did- with the help of the Carters, my parents, and good ole Susie who drove back home   to let me in (I owe her ice cream!).

When life locks you out, find a different way in. That was my lesson for the evening.

Have a good week everyone. And take your keys with you when you leave the house.

Friday, May 18, 2012

american idol season 11

American Idol Season 11: Top 20 Performances

Here are my 20 favorite performances from this year's Idol. There's a whole lotta Elise and it's Joshua's world!

20. Elise, Whole Lotta Love. Most people adored this performance from Elise. It was rockin and fun, but I have many other favorite Elise performances. There's no denying that this was fantastic, though. I hope she does it on tour, I'd love to see it live.

19. Erika Van Pelt, New York State of Mind. I could not comprehend her elimination. She had killer vocals. I just watched this 5 times in a row and got mad AGAIN that she was eliminated too soon.

18. Phillip, Beggin I am one of the few who was not on the Phillip train. This was my favorite from him, though. It was fun.

17. Jessica, I Will Always Love You. K. As beautiful of a voice as Jessica has, she got on my nerves for some reason. But we can't deny how perfect this was.

16.. Elise, Let's Stay Together. I pretty much liked every Elise performance. ::shrugs::

15. Hollie, Bleeding Love. The simplicity yet strength of this performance was just goregous!

14.  Joshua Ledet, I Wish. This was the first time I realized just how good he was.

13. Skylar, Gunpowder and Lead. I've always said Skylar is like Miranda Lambert and Kelly Clarkson's lovechild. This song was perfect for her.

12. Joshua, No More Drama. Who else wanted to stomp around their living room with him?

11. Deandre, Master Blaster Can't help it, I loved this. Like in a I wanted to bum rush the stage kinda way. Work them hips!

10. Joshua Ledet, Runaway Baby. Joshua Ledet + Bruno Mars? Nuff. Freaking. Said. This would probably actually be higher on the list but I need to be fair to other contestants. :)

9. Skylar, Didn't You Know How Much I loved You. Although there aren't a lot of Skylar performances on here, I really wanted her to win. She wasn't my favorite but I loved her spunk and thought she was the most consistent. I get her version of this song in my head all the time!

8.  Hollie, Save Me. She made me believe her...I wanted to save little tinkerbell!

7. Deandre, Georgia on My Mind. Deandre was one of my favorites early on. Not everyone enjoys his sound, but this performance was special.

6. Hollie, Rolling In The Deep. I always liked Hollie, but I started rooting for her when I heard this. I stopped what I was doing when she started singing.

5. Elise Testone, One and Only When she cried, I cried. I felt this one.

4. Joshua, When A Man Loves A Woman This was the first time Joshua caused me to jump up and down on my couch and clap and scream and cry get the point.

3. Erika Van Pelt, Edge of Glory. Erika was my favorite gal this season, and if she had more time on the show I can almost promise this list would have been filled with Erika goodness. I thought she proved herself with this one.

2. Elise Testone- Vienna. This is one of the few performances I have downloaded to my Ipod. That last run kills me every single time. Waaaiiiittsss fooor youuuu. So. Good.

1. Joshua Ledet- It's A Man's  Man's Man's World. I don't mean to sound like Jenevdy (jennifer/steven/randy) here, but this is easily my favorite Idol performance OF ALL TIME, DAWG. ALL TIME!

What were your favorite performances this season?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

top thrill dragster

"Keep your arms in, head back, and hold on tight!"

These are the instructions given to those who dare to ride the Top Thrill Dragster, the world's tallest and fastest roller coaster. This is also the phrase my medical director and I have decided is our life motto. Why, exactly?

Well, everyone says life is like a roller coaster. Ups and downs, twists and turns. But the Top Thrill Dragster is special. It goes from 0-120 mph in 3.8 seconds. It drops 420 feet. The ride is over in 13 seconds, but in those 13 seconds you feel terrified yet uniquely fulfilled all at the same time. That is so parallel to my life. I am taken on these crazy journeys where I'm thinking "why am I doing this?". It's scary, my heart beats fast. Pretty soon it's over, and I'm saying "let's do that again". And those instructions they give riders? Those are instructions for life. Keep your head back and held high. Hold on tight, because life is about to take you for a spin.

Lately when people ask me how I'm doing or how work is, I have one answer "crazy". Because it is. Life is crazy. I haven't had a slow week since I started. And then I have my outside commitments. But you know what? Life is good. Because amidst the bad news, the stress, the unknown, the fast pace craziness, I can still find reasons to smile. I can still enjoy it.

So life, I'm ready for whatever you want to throw at me. I know I can handle it. I'm strapped in, I'm holding tight. Leggo.

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

like my mother does

This morning I was trying really hard to find the right words to put out to the world on this mother's day. Of course I want to  honor my own mom, but there are so many women out there who inspire me, who have mentored me, who have shown me what it means to be a good mom. Lucky for me, I didn't really have to find the right words. Anita Renfroe summed it up perfectly

Happy Mother's Day to all moms present and future, those who miss their mom or child, those who have chosen to step into the role of mother to someone else's child, and to all those who mother so many so well even without the title. To "mother" means to love fiercely.

That? is what I was trying to say.

Let's start with my own mom. I have had to share her. Not just with my brother and sister. With hundreds of kids who have been in her classroom. Sure, she wasn't their mom, she was their teacher, but many times, over and over again she has put her students before herself. Caring for them, mentoring them, watching them grow up. Scolding them, shaping them, and cheering them on. She was a 2nd mother to so many of them. I am positive that when they think back on influential women in their life, she is at the top of their list. Because that's just the kind of woman she is. She has overcome obstacles, crushed challenges. Each day is a fight for her but she makes it out on top. Despite my mom and I going through our typical silly mother daughter arguments, she really is my best friend. I can talk to her about anything. I can laugh with her. She picks me up when I fall apart and encourages me to be the best woman I can be. She has taught me countless lessons over the years, but most importantly she has taught me how to treat people- with kindness. She's taught me that life is not centered on ourselves but on serving others. To each and every single person who has had the honor and pleasure of having my mom as a teacher: lucky you, and your welcome for sharing her.

Now. I have a list of other "Supermoms"

Backup Mamas- Mama Gem, Mama Melinda, Mama Maria, and Mama Cathy.  I have known these women for five years now. They have seen me at my worst and helped me to become my best. Each of them have influenced me in a different way, each have unique qualities that make them special, wonderful people. Gem is literally my 2nd mother. I can tell her everything. She bends over backwards to make me happy and to try to help me through my challenges. I love each of these ladies so much, and all the other backups I didn't mention (some of you are more like SISTERS).

St. Hugo Mamas- Martha, Kathy, Meghan, Debbie, Linda...and, of course, Susan. Even though Susan is no longer with us, she is someone I model my life after. She was the sweetest person I'd ever known and she gave her heart and soul to her kids.I miss her every single day but I am blessed to say I can still feel her here, and still witness the impact she has made on the world. I have been lucky enough to spend time in Kathy and Meghan's homes, taking care of their children. They are both beautiful women who work hard and love harder. Debbie and Linda are friends of my moms, and through that friendship I have been able to see how special they are. They are strong, courageous, sensitive souls who put their families first. And then there's Martha. Sometimes when I think about how much Martha has done for my heart I start to cry a little. She is literally a supermom. I see her cape even if she can't always see it. Martha is raising six beautiful children, and doing a hell of a job.  She is instilling such important values into them- how to treat people, how to love and listen to God, how to live freely, to laugh often. I am lucky to call her a friend. <3 you mama martha!

GLC Mamas. Sue, Carol, Jill. I've learned how important it is to have people looking out for you at work. Jill makes me laugh and feeds me almonds during our long meetings. Carol is the sweetest nurse and person ever, always finding the sunshine in the worst situations and leading us forward. I'll never forget the day she left a card and box of chocolates on my desk because she thought I was having a hard day. And then there's Sue. I am lucky that I get to spend time with Sue 2-3 days a week. Sue and I have this very real understanding of each other. I could talk to her for hours. She has a genuine interest of peoples lives- and not to take it for granted, but just because she wants to know. She has literally saved me more times than I can count. Plus, one thing that I immediately knew about Sue was how much she loved her family.

Sisters of Mercy Mamas. Sister Mary Jo, Sister Rochelle, and Sister Karen. Sister Karen is my mentor as I am on my journey to become an associate. We're a lot alike. We have the same sense of humor, which people might find odd. But she's hilarious, sarcastic, and real. She's been a terrific mentor and I have loved getting to know her better. Sister Rochelle is my spiritual director. She has helped me to see things about myself I never have before. She teaches me a valuable lesson in every single conversation I have with her. Sister Mary Jo is my heart. She was there for me during my year of MVC more than anyone else. The little dearheart is suffering from cancer, but she doesn't let that get in her way from caring for others. She is one of my favorite people and greatest teachers.

And, last, but not least, my two favorite mommies to be. Maggie and Maureen. Maggie will be having her first baby this fall and I am so excited for her. She and I have become close at work, so close that I just found out a bunch of people thought we were friends prior to work. Nope. We just understand each other, we trust each other, we're a lot alike. I cannot wait to see her become a mom. As another coworker said, "we need more Maggie's in this world". YES. We do. She's a great person to be around- bright, friendly, caring. I'm here for you Maggie!

And Mo Mo, you are going to be the best mommy in the world. I am beyond excited for you and Dave and I cannot wait to follow your pregnancy and be there for my new little niece or nephew. Thank you for everything you have taught me about patience, understanding, peace, and caring for each other. You will teach those same things to your baby, through your words and actions. I love you so much!

Today, celebrate the women who have inspired you to be YOU.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

strive to be happy.

I went on a young adult retreat this past weekend, and this poem was handed to me. I now read it aloud every night, along with doing the St Ignatious Examen. I cannot tell you how helpful they have been for my peace of mind.

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,

and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.

But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

-Max Ehrmann, "Desiderata"

I hope this poem maybe helps some of you the way it has helped me. I've had a crazy week, driving over 200 miles and that's staying within two counties. I am so looking forward to NEXT weekend, the 19th-20th. So far, nothing is on my calender for those two days. Let's keep it that way. My sweet friend Martha says I have two speeds- on or off. She's so right. I need to learn how to tap the brakes. Or switch lanes. Or some other driving metaphor for life.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Zip To It

I don't even know if "zip to it" is an actual phrase people use. But I'm going to start.

Yesterday I had a bad day. Not at work. Work was actually good. I was finally recognized for something I accomplished and felt like things are getting somewhat in order. But emotionally, yesterday was rough. These past few weeks have been, actually. All because of the realization: my anxiety is still a part of my every day life. I knew a long time ago it'd always be there, but these past few weeks, I've seen an increase in anxiety. And it's not good. It causes me to feel inferior, and then have low self esteem, and then things just get worse. I've been at my worst before, I can't go there again.

So what did I do? I called my mom. And cried. And she told me I need to do one thing at a time to get better, to get back on track. I can do one thing today, another next week. Baby steps. For a very long time I thought I was coasting right through, doing just fine, but it's very clear that I'm not. And for me to admit that to myself and to you readers is a hard thing. But hey, this is my blog, these are my thoughts.

So I'm going to zip to it. I've created my "task list" and e-mailed it to my mom. She is supposed to check in with me to see if I did it. It is one very small thing at a time.

Thank you all for reading my a-z posts. I wish this one was a happier one for ya.

All I ask from my friends and family is that you be patient and know that each and every single day is a struggle, but I am going to do what I need to do to get better. And I'm going on a retreat this weekend geared toward young adults who are "lost" in what to do with their lives. Hi, that's me. This retreat could not come at a better time.

I think I'm going to take some time away from blogging while I figure myself out. I'm going to be journaling every single day. I'll be back soon.

I love you all very much and I appreciate your support. Anxiety, you can zip to it too. Right to the curb.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012



This little acronym has been showing up all over the place thanks to Drake. I love it. The meaning? You only live once.

I believe that to be true. And now that I have a career where I see death every single day, I come face to face with it on a daily basis. So if you only live once, are you doing what you want to be doing? Honestly, most of us might say no. We aren't. We're doing what we have to do to survive, to get by. That's how I feel at least. But I also feel like I'm young, I still have time to make mistakes, make changes, do crazy things, do amazing things.

One thing that I teach people in volunteer training is that many of our patients are just looking to find some kind of meaning in their life. No one wants to die thinking they haven't done anything or that their life was worthless. So do something. Make an impact. Do what makes you happy. Have a story to tell. Volunteer. Write. DO SOMETHING.

Have you ever seen someone completely throw their life away? It's a tragic thing. We were put on this earth for a reason. No need to throw it away with silly mistakes. There's still a chance for you, no matter how many times you have messed up. You can always, always move forward.

Do something with your life that MATTERS, kids. We all have a dream. It's up to you to make that dream come true.

And for us adults, we can still hang tight to this motto. Just because you have a busy life doesn't mean you can't carve out even just FIVE minutes to do something for YOU. So if you're living, but not REALLY living, please start now. You only live once, you only have this once chance. Take it.

Yes, you only live once, but if really LIVE, once is just enough!

I'm closing with my very favorite poem in the world.

This week...
mend a quarrel.
Seek out a forgotten friend.
Dismiss suspicion, and replace it with trust.
Write a love letter.
 Share some treasure.
Give a soft answer.
Encourage youth.
 Manifest your loyalty in word and deed.
 Keep a promise.
Find the time.
 Forgo a grudge.
Forgive an enemy.
Listen. Apologize if you were wrong. Try to understand.
Flout envy. Examine your demands on others.
Think first of someone else.
. Be kind; be gentle.
 Laugh a little. Laugh a little more.
 Deserve confidence.
 Take up arms against malice.
 Decry complacency.
Express your gratitude.
Go to church.
Welcome a stranger.
Gladden the heart of a child.
Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth.
Speak your love. Speak it again. Speak it still once again.