Great expectations

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I never expected
When I turned
the key

That I’d be
So philosophical
All about the
speed bumps

All lined up
Neatly in a row

Now in a clump
From skittering
To and fro

Wasn’t what I thought
Or where I’d go
But here I am
And wouldn’t ya know

It’s not so bad
Even though
It’s not the same
As fantasy’s
Sweet refrain


Best intentions

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When nothings left
But ashes
Made from bone

Words burnt
Into gravestones
Cold granite

In such beautiful

Perfect in theory
Yet unfulfilled
In action

Left wrapped
In dreams
Empty kisses
And wishes

A kiss 

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A gentle brush
Of lips
Tips of pink
Tongue flicks

And the kiss
Chain reaction
Electric ripples
To tip
Of baby toes

Lifts corners
Of mind
Blood rushes
Presses rewind

Hands grasp
To hold tight
Fill space
Left empty
since the last

Fingers grasp
Little breathless
Pull near
Despite fear
Of never again

Letting go

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Rain softly mists
Covers the window
Where I sit

Engine cooling
Looking to bright panes
Where life is vibrant
Laughter echoes

Brothers squabble
Kittens racing
To where she sits
at her laptop

And she’s breathing
And she’s living
And she’s healing

Yet I sit here,
Tears tumbling
Like the rain

And the pain
With the fear
Unable to breathe

Where what ifs
And could’ve beens
Break loose

Only moments ago
So tightly held
Now free
Savaging through
This exhausted brain

A horrible person am I

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I’m a terrible person

Or so I’ve been told

Through actions

Thoughts and feels

You seem to hold


Yes, oh yes, I’m horribly horrible

With yet the whole story

To so complexly unfold

And swiftly unfurl


Curl your righteous fists

And wave them at my effigy

Prick those sharp pins

Deep into my skin


But understand just one thing

I bring love to everything

I so forcefully bring

Those times I raise my voice

Nag, hold accountable or question

Stand tall in conflict

My conscious choice

To remain true to belief


Despite the sharp sting

Because I believe that being me

And expecting you to be you

Holding up your end

Folding your white flag

Not to surrender

But to acknowledge


You don’t truly know me at all

‘cause if you did

You’d love me too

And that’s just a untenable thing


you’d have to see me

The real me


For all the kindness,

Empathy, effort, sacrifice,

Tears, gifts, deeds

Effort ‘til my fingers bleed

That I actually bring


Not just one string

But a chorus

Of actions, words and soul

I give my whole

My voice, my strength, my love

Even when even now

Every nights darkness

Takes its terrifying toll


So yes, hate me, please

Know that I’m a terribly

Horribly flawed, beautiful mess

And I must confess

I’d not change one thing


And neither would you

If you knew me at all

But that’s your choice

It won’t alter my voice

Even when I stumble

And fall to my knees

The true meaning


It seems like a lifetime ago, although it was just three weeks ago. With Christmas fast approaching I was feeling the pressure of the countdown upon me. Feeling far behind and anxious about getting decorations up, shopping done, wrapping and tagging and delivering accomplished. Two weeks to go and not close to the goal. That combined with work, social commitments and the chaos of everyday life with kids I was stressed to the max. Or so I thought.

On December 19th, my life changed, possibly forever. My oldest daughter Meghan had been sick for over two weeks, with what the doctor had called a gastro-virus. The typical vomiting, fever and fun things that come with being sick. Nothing seemed out of the normal kid being sick. With three kids living in our home full time I’m very familiar with the various colds and viruses that come in. Meghan was very sick, but seemed to be getting a bit better. Her fever went away, then came back, along with a bit of a rash, a sore knee, lump near her clavicle and general soreness and lack of energy.

So I did what every parent would do, I took her to the doctor. The doctor reassured us that it looked like this virus was simply hanging on a bit longer than usual and he ordered an ultrasound for the strange lump. That was Wednesday. By Saturday she called me while I was out doing errands and preparations for Christmas. She said she was in excruciating pain and the rash was all over her body and getting worse. I almost dismissed it, being so busy and her being sick for so long, but I got home as soon as I could.

One look at her and I knew something was terribly wrong. I rushed her to emergency and we went through the typical triaging and waiting that ones does in the ER. Two hours later and her face had swollen up and I was panicking to a nurse to come take a look at her. The moment the doctor came into her cubicle; I knew something wasn’t right. He was far too serious, asking dozens of questions.

The next twenty-four hours are a bit of a blur, where they moved her first to the short term stay area and then to the High Acuity Unit in the Critical care area. Her blood pressure plummeted, her blood counts and renal function weren’t good and they told me she not only had a Staph infection but was septic. She couldn’t keep her blood pressure up and her temperature rose to 104. After three blood transfusions and several blood proteins, her hemoglobin finally started to stabilize.

That was eighteen days ago. Eighteen days ago I came so close to losing one of the beautiful loves of my life. I’ve been through many difficult times in my life, like most people, but I can with sincerity tell you that this has been the most terrifying experience of my life. She is no longer in critical condition, but has two binders full of test results, treatments and doctors’ commentary on her care. She spent almost two weeks in the critical care tower and now languishes here in the surgery unit. She’s been seen by an ER doctor, cardiologist, radiologist, thoracic surgeon, orthopedic surgeon, Internist, Hospitalist, several ICU doctors and resident. She’s had hundreds of vials of blood taken, several chest x-rays, an MRI, three ultrasounds, ECG’s, echo cardiograms, knee surgery and aspiration of her lump. She’s been poked and prodded and examined until any idea of personal space has long since gone.

Despite the invasion of privacy and personal space she has looked every single caregiver in the eye, thanked them for their help and with dignity and grace accepted and submitted to every single test, needle, exam, procedure. Despite the massive pain she’s been in she hasn’t once complained. Not to me, not to the nurses, doctors or visitors. She’s smiled and soothed other’s concerns with her nonchalant hair flip and crooked grin.

I know she’s in a lot of pain, I can feel her pain and exhaustion and impatience. Yet she worried that she hadn’t finished her Christmas shopping and hadn’t bought me something yet. What she didn’t realize is that she gave me an abundance of gifts that cannot be bought, wrapped or returned. She first and foremost gave me the gift of herself, fighting to be here, with me and on the road to recovery. She gave me the gift of courage when mine was low. How could I not be strong and have courage when she demonstrated it? She gave me the gift of humility. So often ego gets in the way, and so often in recent times I let my ego get in the way of relationships. What I’ve realized is that when you’re at your lowest, it is the people that you love that matter. Period.

Her sense of humour and smile have carried me through in a time that I should be carrying her through. Instead we’re carrying each other through. The universe gave me the opportunity to really get close to my daughter, to truly understand the beautiful human being that I helped create, but she’s evolved and become. Not the venue I would have preferred but I will never forget the last eighteen days of sharing space, tears, laughter and a common goal.

So it turns out Dr. Seuss was right. Christmas doesn’t come in packages. All that stress I had before this journey began was senseless. It turns out that no matter the circumstances, the true gifts of life will appear when something like this happened. We didn’t get to have our Christmas morning, like I’d envisioned. Instead we had visitors come and cheer Meghan up, bringing her gifts and goodies and well wishes. We had loved ones bring us food, clothing and comforts. We had so many people supporting us through text, email, social media and the good old fashioned grape vine. We were showered with love and support. We had her siblings agree to wait for her to come out of the hospital to open presents and instead bring her kisses and hugs. All of these gifts far more valuable than what still sits under our Christmas tree.

So here I sit, tears rolling down my face, watching my daughter sleep. Thanking any deity who will listen for the gift of Meghan. She’s taught me far more than I could begin to teach her. I’m one lucky mama.






Once upon a time

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Is this resignation
Or realization
It ain’t gonna change

Firing blanks
On this empty range
Except the echoes

Of long forgotten things
Whispered memories
And words that ring

Still poisoned to sting
Too late to bring
To the beginning

Where everything
Was so bright
Seemed so right

Twinges of
Fireside kisses
That take breath
So quickly away

And once
Monday’s girl
Where demons
Kept at bay

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