Anissa, freed

Erma Bombeck said something that pretty much defines my approach to life…. “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and I could say, “I used everything you gave me.” If you switch the word TALENT for LOVE or LAUGHTER or HAPPINESS….it still stands. ~ Anissa Means Mayhew

Yesterday, a most incredible force of nature left this world and I am absolutely certain that standing before her Maker this is exactly what she said.

Like so many others, I get to say that Anissa made me feel special and powerful whether through our interactions on the inter webs and social media or face to face while enjoying the most amazing view of Columbus Circle where she reminded me of the absolute truth that her bewbs were so much more spectacular than mine – long story kids, but trust me, there was no nudity, it was all for fun, games and a good cause and yes, her boobs were fantastic!

So was our view.

So many others are going to share far more eloquent tributes for this amazing woman and I’m going to let them and let Anissa’s own words stand as my tribute along with my most sincere gratitude for knowing her and condolences to Peter, Peyton, Rachael and Nathaniel.

 

mother, child, friend

Twenty five years ago, we met face to face for the very first time. That’s right folks, my Zoë Elizabeth is twenty five years old!

She steals my breath every time I regard her while basking in her warm, bright, shining face.

Twenty five years ago I was her mother and she was my child. Through the years we challenged one another in many ways. There were the times where I did find myself saying out loud, “I am not your friend, I am your mother.” I might have even screamed it through an abruptly slammed door. But that is part of being a parent. I won’t lie though, I wanted to be her friend. I really, really wanted to be her friend. I have always loved talking to her, laughing with her, playing with her. Yesterday she called me her friend and with her now at twenty five, we are at a place where we can be friends.

Always her mother, always my daughter, and now my friend.

Happy birthday cheers my darling daughter and friend!

 

October five faves

October is the fallen leaf, but it is also the wider horizon more clearly seen. It is the distant hills, once more in sight., and the enduring constellations above them once again.

~ Henry Rollins

And October, you kind of seemed to take a very long time. All is forgiven though because all in all, October you were mostly good.

Check meowt! It means “check me out”, Mima!

That moment when you can see, feel, smell and taste that your darling husband loves you and wants you to be happy.

After work nights like last night, I am reminded how lucky I am to be a part of the best NICU team because I get to work with some pretty talented, kick-ass NICU rock stars. But this (and so many other candid shots) reminds me of the joie de vivre  they all possess and share so freely with the ones they love, the ones they care for and the ones they work with. Blessed, y’all! We are blessed!

She bought herself flowers for no darned good reason – except they were beautiful and she deserved more beauty in her life.” As we all do, y’all.

November, bring all of that more beauty!

 

when sisters are great

Summer vacation from school can really suck sometimes; especially when your parents work life and that thing they call being an adult get in the way. I try to placate the kids with I know how you feel, but really what would a mom as old as me really understand about any of that. Still I do try, as do many other parents distracted by work life and not enough vacation time and adulting obligations that get in the way. My friends, Kristen and Liz, really nailed it discussing this topic recently in their podcast with Jessica Lahey.

All good stuff really; but it doesn’t help ease the disappointment when your son’s plans fall through…the plans that he literally was counting down the days to and that you perhaps  misunderstood but you likely did not because you were actually trying to downplay and distract son from his calendar countdown to make alternate plans because you had a feeling…

It is then that you and your son give thanks for sisters; big sisters who drive and who have a day off when mom and dad don’t.

Sisters and their friends are awesome like that. He’ll ignore that which usually annoys him about sisters and girls right now because here is …

His happy place.

And this week, for now, he agrees that sisters are great.

 

our favorite baby daddy

Ask Hazel who is Amber and she will tell you very matter of factly, “She’s my Baby Daddy.”

Because she is.

The friendship between Hollie and Amber is a friendship that binds them together in spite of life choices and directions and distance. Get a job and some of the closest bonds will loosen. Have a baby and suddenly single friends aren’t around as often. Fall in love, get married and some bonds become undone because lust and love get in the way. Move and suddenly it becomes hard to stay close, get together, stay in touch even with smart phones and social media. Weather through all this and more and the promise of best friends forever is sealed.

This is Hollie and Amber.

When Hollie needed a friend the most there was Amber. Through the pregnancy; the pregnancy alone. Yes, mom and dad and family were there but mom and dad and family can’t quite fill the soul mate void during one of the more challenging milestones in a young woman’s life. Through the labor and delivery; that likely scarred her for life witnessing her best friend screaming at her mother that this FUCKING HURTS and her mother answers back in agreement that yeah it FUCKING hurts because mom knows that it fucking hurts thank you darling daughter. At that moment when Hazel was born and her best friend became a mother, Amber was there.

After Hollie and after Hollie’s mom, Amber, who provided the kind of support Hollie needed the most during one of her more challenging times, held Hazel…and of course it was love bonded forever.

Always.

Hazel has a Father and Hazel has a great Daddy and Hazel has the best and most beautiful Baby Daddy.

We call her Hazel’s Baby Daddy because, biology aside, it’s true; and because we love her.