Sticks & Stones

When I was two years old, I fell down two stairs and broke my arm.

My mother said she was devastated, and felt like the worst mother EVER when she brought me home from the hospital with the World’s Smallest Cast. People gave her funny looks, openly judging this possibly “abusive” woman and her victim child. What makes this story a chuckle is that when my father tried the pull off pjs, he accidentally pulled off my cast, so thin was my wee arm. The loss of the cast traumatized me, she said, as I thought it was part of my body. Thankfully, at this point, the fracture was healed. My father’s self esteem; in pieces.

Then I broke my collar-bone. I was five and didn’t bounce that well off the back of my dad’s pickup truck when he was “keeping an eye” on me. I did well for a couple of years, and was almost injury free. In Grade 7 my mother and I tacked up for an after school ride. It ended abruptly after my horse launched me into a rock pile in the first few minutes. I remember hold up my fettucine limp right arm and exclaiming to my mother, “Yup, it’s broke.”

Due to complications with the break (I came to while it was being set, and screamed so loud my father burst into the treatment room – not a good scene.) they decided to keep me in overnight. When I finally dozed off hours later, my mother was by my side, still in the clothes she wore when we went for our ride. Maybe she was avoiding going home, where my father declared he was going, to shoot the horse that dislodged me. (Fear not, he didn’t.)

I honestly couldn’t appreciate what my parents felt, watching me in these various scenarios. Kids get hurt, bones break. Big deal – they heal! It seemed like they were over reacting. (I’m not going to bore you with the details of my adventures that resulted in stitches. Believe me, that list is just as long.)

Then I became a mother.

And I had to take First Born Son to the hospital for a broken collar-bone.

In fairness to me, there was A LOT of stress going around and some extenuating circumstances that made this particular visit more frustrating that in might have been.

The doctor was very good in dealing with FBS and was direct when he told me, “It’s broken.” But one look at that X-ray and I LOST. MY. EVER. LOVIN’. MIND. Something in my head snapped and I had such a rush of adrenaline that made me feel like I could have thrown the X-ray machine across the emergency department. I’m not even really kidding about that. I was sad, scared and pissed off all the same time. Stike that. I was just pissed off. This injury was ill-timed and unfair, and I was beside myself just thinking about the consequences for my child. I would gladly let the doctor break MY collarbone, if it meant my son wouldn’t have to suffer. I could feel the irrational anger getting the better of me, and so I sat down in the examination room to cool off before they brought FBS back to me.

And passed out.

When I came to, I was laying on the cot and FBS was staring at me, about two inches away from my face and a look of desperation I don’t think I’ve seen since. Yup, my kid’s first time in emerg and it becomes about me. Let me know when the trophies are being handed out, cuz I’m MOTHER OF THE YEAR!

Then just last Wednesday I was greeted by my beloved sons coming through the door. Instead of their regular chorus, I was lifted from my seat by Second Born Son’s blood curdling scream. Sobs and snot later, and we find out that just before he opened the door, he wrenched his arm badly and it is sensitive to the touch. He finally calms enough to tell me how much pain he’s in, and that he heard a “pop”. I’m thinking dislocated shoulder. Hooo-ray.

We get to emerg and the one doctor I never want to see again is on call. He ignores me and tentatively pokes at SBS. He says it looks like muscle damage, possibly a ligament. If’ it’s not better in two days, get an ultrasound, he said. We get a sling, instructions to make sure he takes it off to keep the muscles in the arm moving, and a hasty exit.

But my Mommy Sense is tingling. I don’t like what he said.

The next morning, I call my GP and he gets us in Friday afternoon. The upper arm/shoulder area is almost doubled in size. He advises to go ahead with the ultrasound, but suggests we add an X-ray.

Today we get into the first booking we can for an ultrasound, and the technician starts with the X-ray. We don’t need an ultrasound, because the first image tells the tale.

“It’s broke,” she said. I check myself – not going to lose my load this time am I??

NO.

Not only is it broken, but we have a complication and have to see a specialist. As the doctor reading the x-ray goes over the various possibilities, I find myself having a completely different conversation – with myself. It is harsh and rather one-sided.

“He’s gone five days with a broken arm. What the HELL kind of mother ARE you?”

“Why did I listen to the idiot doctor about taking the arm out of the sling??”

“It’s been almost a week and the best we could do for him was Children’s Advil!!!”

“Dear God, It’s Sarah. Can you take the broken arm from him and give it to me? Totally serious here, God!! Just let me get him home safely and you can do the arm!”

As sappy as I thought it was that my parents reacted the way they did when I was young, I realize that I’m no better worse. Looking at my child’s body when it is broken is easily one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. The fierce reaction I have to it, and the anger I direct at myself, is nothing short of primal. Your typical Momma Bear syndrome.

So it looks like I need to cut my parents some slack…

…and hope my kids do the same for me.

Yup, I brought him along for garbage picking. I'm tellin' ya, I've got a a spot on the mantel for my Mother Of The Year trophy!!!!

Definition of Sportsmanship

Definition of SPORTSMANSHIP according

to Merriam-Webster

Pronunciation: primarystressspomacr(schwa)rt-smschwan-secondarystressship, primarystressspodot(schwa)rt-
Function: noun
: conduct (as fairness, respect for one’s opponent, and graciousness in winning
or losing) becoming to one participating in a sport

“Sportsmanship for me is when a guy walks off the court and you really can’t
tell whether he won or lost, when he carries himself with pride either way.”

­Jim Courier 

“One man practicing good sportsmanship is far better than 50 others preaching
it.”

­Knute K. Rockne 

It would be enough to say we were proud of the season First Bon Son had in
hockey. But to find out he received an award, especially for Most Sportsmanlike
Player, is truly the cherry on top. What makes it extra sweet, is that this year,

the players chose the award winners, so his conduct throughout the season,
in spite of some challenges, has not gone unnoticed by his peers.

In this house, Sportsmanship has been valued at LEAST as highly as
performance and accomplishment. Sports prepare you for the Real World,
and this award shows that FBS making some great steps in the right direction.

Everso proud!

Taking A Moment

I had a very funny post planned for today. But I’m afraid I’m not up to funny right now.

We have lost a dear friend. A neighbour of 18 years who was more than the person who lived next door. She was the first person to come see me in the hospital to see our babies, aside from immediate family members. She was the first person to care for First Born Son outside of family. She LOVED every minute of it.

So today, I’m going to take a moment for her. And her family. And her husband.

I wonder about the logic behind taking someone so young – as 57 is far from old. I question how someone can fight and fight and then fight once more – only to lose the battle. I scratch my head as I look around at people who not only don’t give more to this world, but take away from it. She gave so much to so many. She had so much more to give – and would have given it willingly.

Then I sit back and realize none of us gets out of this alive. We will all meet the same fate one way or another. There is a message here – you just have to be still enough to listen for it.

It is grace. Strength. Passion. A woman who could have left this earth last autumn not only persevered, but thrived. She made it to her son’s wedding in February. She WALKED down the aisle, casting aside the wheelchair provided for her. She DANCED at that wedding, after giving a speech to her son and new daughter-in-law. She was the definition of what we can overcome with Faith and Love.

The Human Spirit is a gift from God.

And we are so glad you are free to be with Him tonight.

Letters That Need to Be Written – Part III

Dear Ashley Kirilow, Dina Perouty-Leone, Keele Maynor, Jessica Vega, Christopher Gordon and Jessica Leeder,

I would like to say you are isolated outcasts of society; that you are loathsome examples of humanity. But the sad fact is, when I type in “cancer patient hoax” you are but six of more than 6.2 MILLION possible internet hits.

I wish I had the vocabulary to effectively articulate, without resorting to profanity, the disgust I feel. Between you, you have duped friends, family, spouses, and kind-hearted individuals, many of whom sympathized with you because they themselves have had Cancer touch their lives.

Repulsive.

What kind of self-centred egomaniac looks to draw attention to themselves in this way? Do you honestly feel the love and support given to someone battling Cancer is something to envy? Covet? You can’t accomplish something positive with the health you are blessed with?

Obscene.

You have used the title of leukaemia, stomach cancer or breast cancer, to justify your crimes. You have lied through word and deed. You played on the heart strings of good people. One of you even convinced your boyfriend you were dying to get him to marry you. Flowers were donated, the wedding was paid for by family and friends. Your honeymoon was free.

Evil.

Back in the day, charlatans travelled from town to town, duping innocents into buying miracle cures and snake water. They would take money and flee, leaving their victims disillusioned and poorer. You are no better. In fact, you are a couple of rungs lower on the ladder, because you actually feel you can pass yourselves off as victims.

Reprehensible.

Aside from the vitriol you so richly deserve from the media exposure that has now turned on you, I hope you are haunted for the rest of you life by the images of truly sick people. Cancer has a legacy of pain and loss for those left behind.

You deserve no better.

Can you Parent Too Well? aka LIKING Your Kids, aka The Story of Lilly & Prince Charming

I know I have a long way to go when it comes to raising kids. With a 14-year-old and an 11-year-old, I can look forward to at least 5-10 more years of in-house parenting. And that’s if they both promise they won’t move into the basement after college/university or refuse to move out in the first place.

In all seriousness, when you first look at your child, and think of what the goal is down the road, it’s pretty simple. You want them to be happy, fulfilled and independent people.

The problem is, if you do a really GOOD job, it can come back and bite you in the butt. Because you’ll really like them and as independent as you’ve made them, you’ll want them around. It’s a given you will LOVE your children, but it’s a wonderful thing to actually LIKE them.

Take for example, Lilly. She is beautiful, kind, whip-smart, and adored. Her parents raised her to be all of these things, and more. Now, she’s about to embark on an amazing journey that is taking her far away from her family and friends. She will have her significant other – Prince Charming, and they will start an exciting new life together. But her parents are torn. How to be happy for her so far away when they’d far prefer to have her close by?

It’s easy to say you want your child to be independent. Doesn’t everyone want their offspring to be everything they themselves want to be? But what if that means they will take their light, and shine somewhere far away from you? Lilly’s Prince Charming has a wonderful opportunity out West. He is young and talented and most certainly will be a huge success with this new posting.

So when we found out PC asked her to move out West with him, there were two thoughts packed into one emotion – Oh-that’s-aweseome-I’m-so-excited-for-her/Oh-shit-she’s-leaving-that-sucks-for-us!

I’m dead serious. One thought. Crammed in my head. I’ve got a very small head.

We will miss her huge smile and her willingness to cuddle Roman, as well as play the 16th consecutive hand of UNO. We are selfish and we miss her already and she only left this morning!!!

But the Golden Rule of parenting, which one learns as one goes along, is that raising a child is not about what YOU want for your CHILD. It’s about you supporting and nurturing that child to find what they need to be in their own life. You don’t get to be selfish as a parent. You can’t force your life plan on your child – at least not if you want them to be happy and save the funds you would otherwise need for therapy.

With this in mind, Lilly’s parents have not only done an amazing job in raising her, which has brought her to a place in her life where she is capable and strong enough to take on this new challenge, but they are giving her the greatest of gifts by supporting her decision, even though their hearts may feel otherwise.

I hope I can be as selfless when the time comes.

Good Luck Lilly!!!!!!

BREAKING NEWS ~ BREAKING NEWS ~ BREAKING NEWS

Lilly called me this morning to tell me she was on the road with Prince Charming. I was touched she thought of us as she headed out (and I could tell her I had already written three-quarters of this entry) but even more thrilled with the news she gave me — THEY ARE ENGAGED!!!! Congratulations to Lilly and Prince Charming. You will have your Happily Ever After!!!

Sweet Sixteen

When my niece M&M was born, she was about a month early. Things were very touch and go for both her and my sister during her delivery. It was rather dramatic and very fast. Twice I was told that there was a chance that I might not have a niece, or a sister.

Praying was involved.

M&M arrived in the afternoon on April Fool’s Day.

My sister refused to name her daughter until she saw her. I was pushy enough to go down to the ICU and video this tiny baby in her incubator, hooked up to wires and tubes, and then return to my sister’s bedside to play it back for her. My parents held her. I held her, and even The Big Guy held her, before her mother could.

The days that followed were pretty tricky. Being such a small premie, my sister was advised there could be some issues for M&M down the road. We just prayed that we could get her home quickly. M&M never suffered the delays the doctors cautioned about. She has thrived from the day she came home from the hospital.

M&M is the first grandchild for my parents. She was always tough kid, to the point that she has sustained rather serious injuries and never uttered a moan never mind crying. She loves animals, sports and her little sister. She is on Team Jacob. She is selfless and sweet, with her own stubborn streak that I’m sure she comes by honestly.

This year, she turns 16. Little Sister decided M&M needed a Sweet Sixteen party. So she surprised her!

She doesn't wear glasses. She "surprised" us with these!

LS recruited M&M’s best friend to lure her to the hall where the party was being held. Before you know it, she was in the door, and we were screaming “SURPRISE!”

Which resulted in this….

Face covering - M&M code for "Crying".

A room full of people. Family and friends. Food and drink. Decorations and….. A BAND?!?!

<PAUSE> I’d like to offer a little sidebar here on what MY 16th Birthday was like.

  • we had pizza.
  • we watched Top Gun on VHS.
  • when I say “we” I mean my family and my best friend.

No band. No hall. No party. Just in case you are looking for comparisons…

<PLAY>

LS wanted something special for M&M and asked me to put together a photo presentation. It made sense because I’ve taken the lion’s share of photos of just about everyone in this family. However, ironically, I’m the only person left in the Western Hemisphere who has never used Power Point before. SOOOO after several hours of online tutorials, swearing, hair pulling and the overwhelming desire to throw my Mac through the patio doors, I had something that was “presentable.”

M&M 16TH

In spite of the bathtub shot, the buck tooth shot, and just about every shot of her in a costume, M&M is still talking to me. She actually LIKED it!

So far the evening was a huge hit, but LS being who she is, wanted ANOTHER surprise, so she did this to us….

Which resulted in a great deal of snot and tears for those of us watching. If you had told me last fall that not only would my father be alive, but he’d be dancing, I would never have believed you.

But we did a lot of praying then too.