Throwback Thursday: Thoughts on My Daughter's Miscarriage

Throwback Thursday: Thoughts on My Daughter's Miscarriage

This #TBT piece—originally published October 18, 2015 on Purple Clover—underscores the appreciable blessing of my daughter's recent pregnancy announcement. Thank you for reading.

My daughter lost her baby last week. A miscarriage in the first trimester.

Coming from an abundantly fertile family, it's hard to wrap my head around that. My mom had seven children. Three of my sisters had several children, and a number of those kids had kids. I had three children myself, and my middle child had three children, too.

All of us had no problem. Yet it's a problem for my oldest child, Brianna.

Read More

GRAND Social No. 291 link party for grandparents

GRAND Social No. 291 link party for grandparents

I typically begin each GRAND Social link party with a little blurb on something or another. I started that with this post — expressing thoughts on the horrible shooting at the Florida high school — but that blurb grew into a full-blow blog post in its own right. So I made it just that and share it here. I do hope you'll click over to read it: A plumber's daughter on shootings, guns, and mental illness.

On a much lighter note, thank you for participating in this week's GRAND Social link party — the longest running linky for grandparent bloggers and readers.

Read More

A plumber's daughter on shootings, guns, and mental illness

A plumber's daughter on shootings, guns, and mental illness

In the aftermath of the appalling loss of life in Florida on Valentine's Day, social media is once again abuzz with anger, outrage, sadness, stingers, zingers, and some seemingly common-sensical solutions (others very nonsensical and hate-filled) related to gun control, mental illness, and myriad other factors related to yet another WTF situation. 

Once again because nothing changed after the last mass shooting. Or the one before. Or the one before. Or the one before and before and before.

Most of the rhetoric and (justified) rantings seem...

Read More

5 right moves I made (more often but not always) in 2017

5 right moves I made (more often but not always) in 2017

Like many people, in the waning days of 2017 and the first fresh few of 2018, I pondered the past twelve months in consideration of what I could do to improve the next twelve.

And, like most people, the negative events and actions that I personally experienced or had a hand in marking upon my days stood out most. My failures, foibles, moments of weakness, madness, self-interest, and paralyzing procrastination. Positive considerations were quickly, nearly completely, canceled out by the negative.

Now, being a Negative Nancy isn't my overall nature, yet it is human nature to recall...

Read More

An open letter to new long-distance grandmas

An open letter to new long-distance grandmas

Dear heartbroken long-distance grandma,

First, let me say congratulations on your grandma status! Whether you just learned you'd soon have a grandchild, a newborn grand recently arrived, or one or more grandkiddos have long been part of your heart, you are a grandmother and that's worth celebrating... again and again.

Today, though, I offer my condolences that your grandmother status carries, or soon will, the long-distance modifier. I know how hard that is on you. I know because I am you — a long-distance grandma.

I've been a long-distance grandma a while, with hundreds of miles separating me from my sweet ones ever since the initial "You're going to be a grandma!" announcement nearly ten years ago. Considering the survival strategies I've learned the hard way...

Read More

National Bullying Prevention Month: Resources for grandparents

National Bullying Prevention Month: Resources for grandparents

In recognition of October being National Bullying Prevention Month, my fellow GRANDparent Network members Leslie and Kay at Grandparents Link interviewed a couple kids on bullying. 

Take a look at their exclusive Frankly Kids: Bullying video (which they gave me permission to share):

Read More

Still praying! Plus, GRAND Social No. 271 link party for grandparents

Still praying!

Hurricane Irma

As I write this, Hurricane Irma is still having her way with Florida and spots north that are in her destructive path. When she winds down — even if it turns out she wasn't as wild and strong as expected or forecast — there will certainly be a tremendous...

Read More

As the season slips away: 6 summery somethings I still want to do

summer sunset

Kids are back in school. Pumpkin-flavored coffees pour forth from the coffee shops. Halloween candy and costumes line the shelves at the stores.

It seems fall has arrived full force despite the calendar still showing summer on the schedule.

As September 21 — the official final day of summer despite what the retailers profess — creeps closer, I'm mulling over the summer sorts of stuff I meant to do and didn't. A few stand out that I still want to do, still hope to do, before I can no longer...

Read More

Camping on the Arkansas River: The truth about our 35th anniversary adventure

Arkansas River

My husband and I celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary over Father's Day weekend. Because 35 years together seemed quite a milestone, especially considering I was a week shy of 18 when we wed and he was just 21 — plus marital, financial, and medical BS throughout the entire year of 2016 that threatened us surviving to the milestone — we wanted to mark the occasion in some extra special way.

So for months we considered this and that, here and there, seeking sites and such we'd never experienced before. Then reality set in. Limited finances and limited paid time off for Jim — who started a new job not long ago — limited our options. Being residents of Colorado, though, a state folks come from around the world to see, there were plenty of touristy things nearby to choose from.

None felt right, none felt celebratory and special enough.

We soon found ourselves on deadline for making a decision and reservations. For some crazy reason, I suggested camping. In the wild. In a tent. Like we used to when our daughters were young. We hadn't gone in and we had never camped just the two of us, sans kids.

The idea of setting up camp for two, spending evenings under the stars, making s'mores for us — and sharing a marshmallow or two with Mickey (our dog) who we'd bring along, too — immediately felt right. Felt fun.

It was settled. I sought a site, made reservations. We pulled camping gear from the garage rafters, all stored since camping adventures with our kids. We added to the pile to pack in the car assorted leisurely pursuits. Games to play, the telescope for stargazing, binoculars for Big Horn Sheep searching, Jim's guitar for him to play, a couple books for me to read. We were stoked!

So my husband and I marked our milestone wedding anniversary by camping. And we hated it. Worst. Time. Ever...

Read More

Matchy matchy! Plus GRAND Social No. 261 link party for grandparents

Matchy matchy

Jim and I went on a bike ride yesterday afternoon. This is how it started off:

bike ride 

Despite the matchy matchy apparel, we were delighted to get on our bikes and ride — and use our new bike rack (for the car) for the first time. The bike rack we bought for our anniversary last year. The bike rack which sat unopened for an entire year because Jim was hospitalized mere days after that anniversary, and we hadn't hopped on bikes since.

Yesterday the bike rack was finally opened and put to use. It worked perfectly for...

Read More

My MS anniversary, plus GRAND Social No. 253 link party for grandparents

My MS anniversary!

Twenty-five years ago today, on April 24, 1992, my daughters' elementary school held its annual school carnival. While the girls — Brianna in fourth grade, Megan second, and Andrea first — visited booths with their friends, Jim and I manned the cake walk.

It was a good night.

As we walked to the car to head home, my feet felt like they were asleep. Numb yet prickly feeling at the same time. I figured I'd just been standing too long. The numbness hadn't subsided by bedtime, so I slept with both feet propped on a pillow, thinking that might wake them up.

By morning, they were still numb. The numbness had moved up to my calves, in fact, and a weird and slightly painful sensation of walking on marbles accompanied each step I took.

The day after that, the numbness had reached my knees, the marbles were still underfoot. I called my doctor, who told me it's likely just stress and to relax and everything will be better.

It didn't get better. Each day it got worse. Each day I left messages for the doctor... whose nurse sympathetically relayed that the doctor didn't think there was cause to come in.

By the end of the week, the numbness reached my thighs. Jim called the poison control center, convinced I'd been poisoned by taking too much Sudafed during my recent cold. They convinced him otherwise. Still, my doctor didn't believe he needed to see me, had his nurse tell me to relax and use a heating pad to soothe back and/or stress issues that would surely go away.

By Sunday, May 10 — Mother's Day — I couldn't walk. I had to crawl up or down the steps of our then tri-level home. Instead of celebrating Mother's Day, Jim took me to the emergency room, literally carrying me through the door.

Thank God a better doctor than my regular physician was on call. He immediately ordered an MRI. By Wednesday, May 13, the MRI was read and the several lesions on it confirmed multiple sclerosis ("sclerosis" = lesion).

mri for msMy most recent MRI (2015)

At that time, one doctor told me I'd never walk again. Soon after, as my vision was failing, another...

Read More

7 benefits of being a long-distance grandparent

I am a long-distance grandma. Have been from the beginning of my grandma gig.

The first few years I moaned and groaned ceaselessly about the miles separating me and my sweeties.

I'm now nearly nine years into grandmahood. In that time I've thankfully learned there is indeed — unbelievable as I first thought it might be — a bright side to my grandbabies living so far from me.

Following are a few such perks on which fellow long-distance grandparents just might agree.

long-distance grandparent 

 

ONE
Bathroom breaks at my house are a breeze.
I never need straddle a step stool when using the toilet. Nor do I have to question who left the seat up as only two...

Read More