Monday, October 31, 2005


When did my 17 year old become so wise?

We were getting ready for senior pictures yesterday. I was helping her with her makeup, and we were just having lots of fun together. In the past, she had always asked me to help her to put a concealer on a scar where her port was placed last year. It is a fairly large scar, so it's quite noticeable, and it is located on her chest. So, without thinking, I asked her if she wanted to put the concealer on.

She looked me straight in the eye and said, "Mom, this is a part of me now - it is who I am. I have accepted it. If other people have a problem with it, oh well. That is THEIR problem, not mine".

Acceptance has arrived. TP has overcome that final hurdle of having a chronic illness. She knows her illness is a part of her, but it is not all of her. She knows how to define what it is, but it doesn't define who she is. She knows she is not invincible, and is able to articulate what her prognosis is.

She is a remarkable young lady. God has given her the gift of wisdom. This is what I've been praying for all along, even though I didn't have the words to ask for it. Thank you, dear Lord, for helping TP come to terms with Lupus. Her scars healed on the outside a long time ago, and now finally, they have healed on the inside.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

I'm Tired

I've been so busy the past few days, which seems to be true fora lot of my blogging buddies. I guess it's that time of year. . .

I am just going to make a few comments about things - kind of like a hodge-podge - so this really isn't going to about just one particular subject. It might not even be coherent, as I've been battling a killer headache all day.

TP is getting her graduation pictures done tomorrow. I also decided to have our family picture taken at the same time. We used to do that every year when the kids were litttle, but we haven't done it for five or six years, so I guess it's time. We are going to take some outside, so I am hoping for good weather.

DQ has a friend over this weekend who is VERY dramatic (worse than DQ, aka Drama Queen). She's also the kind of kid who says she never shops at WalMart, or she never eats meat, or she never has milk in her cereal - you get the picture. She also walks around singing in her opera voice, and strikes poses for added emphasis when she's talking about the latest compliment she has received from a teacher. DQ just eats all this up, and it takes several days to "calm" DQ down after this friend leaves. All in all, this friend has stuck by DQ through good times and bad, and I've known this girl for years, so I do love her dearly. It's just that she doesn't "mix" very well with this killer headache, 'ya know!

Lately, I swear I have ADD. I have so many projects going around the house, so many different tasks which require my attention, and it just seems like I never get anything done (which is ridiculous because I am busy so much of the time). I am not sure what's going on, but it's driving me absolutely nuts. It's like I'll start something but not quite get it done, then start something else, and then find yet something else to do. I've gotta get this under control because I can't stand having so many loose strings dangling at the same time.

This was the first week of my hubby's new job, and he seems to enjoy it. Let's hope this one lasts a long, long time.

And, on the political front. . . wait, I don't usually discuss politics here. Suffice it to say that I find all the crap that's being pulled right now is pretty sickening, and it leaves me wondering what kind of legacy my generation is leaving for our kids and grandkids. The Anchoress has written a really good post about this, in response to a Peggy Noonan article - both of those women are so articulate. The Anchoress' article can be found at and it is entitled "The Art of the Painless Coup".

So, that's it for tonight, folks. Not very articulate, but it's all I can muster for now.

Have a relaxing Sunday.

Sunday, October 23, 2005


I read a post this morning at Echotig's blog ( entitled "Exterminate White People?". Echotig discussed an article which she had read on World Net Daily, located at Carol at, also made reference to this article in her 'Round the Reader post, and she links it to Michelle Malkin's place.

Okay, so if that wasn't enough to get my blood pressure going sky high on an otherwise beautiful Sunday morning, I find this article on Drudge Report about California teenage twins who belong to the White Nationalist Movement: .

I have said this before, but I will say it again.

Racism exists due to fear, ignorance, and/or malicious (evil) intent. My family has experienced it at all three levels. When I read stuff like this, it angers me to no end. The first article deals with guy who believes that exterminating white people will solve the problem, the second article deals with the upcoming generation who have been brainwashed to believe that the white race is supreme. Both of these views are based on EVIL opinions about other races.

In order for there to be constructive advancements in getting rid of racism, there needs to be steps taken to ensure that this kind of propaganda isn't spread any more. But, when the guy in the first article is a so-called college professor, and the kids in the second article are getting their lessons at their mother's knee - it gives me very little hope of racism being eradicated in the very near future.

God help us all.

Lake Michigan - October 2005

Friday, October 21, 2005


Just a quick entry today (for now, anyway - I may be back later).

We received tremendous news again yesterday. TP's labs are still NORMAL, meaning that they will decrease the steroids again! She will receive her next infusion in 6 weeks, and then if the labs remain within normal limits, she will have her final infusion 6 weeks after that. Thank you, dear Lord! It has been such a long haul! She also is getting her braces off on Monday (after 8 years, if you can believe that!), and we have an appointment with a photographer for senior pictures on Wednesday to go over pricing, etc. Some people have spent $600 to $1000 on packages, which is ridiculous, in my humble opinion. This lady is much more reasonable, and I have already alerted TP that there is going to be a monetary limit. If she wants more, she'll have to pay it out of her pocket. I'm a mean mom, I know.

DQ has done fantastic this first quarter of school. That is yet another miracle for which I am thankful. Not all the final exam scores are in yet, but preliminary results indicate that she got a 99 on her History final and a 93 in English. The school environment makes all the difference in the world!

Now, I have a favor to ask. TP is taking her ACT test tomorrow for the third time. The first two times were okay, but she needs to do better in order to qualify for additional scholarship money (which we desperately need). Her problem lies in the anxiety she feels while taking the test, which hinders the results. She has a very high GPA right now, but the scores on her previous ACT"s and the SAT don't reflect her abilities. But, that doesn't really matter to financial aid offices, unfortunately. So, if you don't mind, could you say an extra prayer for her to relieve the anxiety so that her score improves this final time? Thanks! :-)

Have a blessed day, everybody!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Tagged Again!

Tyra, at, has tagged me. Because she's a sweetie, I am happy to do so. I am supposed to tell my readers 20 things about myself, and then tag as many people as minutes it took to complete this assignment. Well, I am not going to tag anybody else, unless they really, really want to do this! (Besides, it will probably take me a couple of hours to complete this, and I don't have 120 blogging buddies).

Okay, here goes:
1). I am a "cradle" Catholic, who left the church for several years, and came back after a series of events left me without purpose to my life and I was searching for a reason to live.
2). My faith is now the cornerstone of my life.
3). I love chocolate.
4). I can play piano and sing (but not necessarily both at the same time).
5). When we were first married in 1975, my husband and I had $5.00 a week left over for groceries. It's amazing what you can do with $5.00. Have you ever had stuffed baked tomatoes (with liver stuffing)?
6). We have a Bichon named Katy, who is so attached to me, that she follows me from room to room all throughout the day (yes, even the bathroom!).
7). I am humbled by my clients, who share their incredible stories of pain and survival, and who have a strong desire to put their lives back together again.
8). I learn something new everyday. That is a good thing because I forget something every day.
9). I love Dr. Laura (hence, the name of my blog).
10) The only prime-time TV show I watch is "ER". Love that Dr. Kovach, but I still miss Dr. Green.
11) I used to sell real estate - worst job of my life. Don't ask.
12) I have fibromyalgia. It's not fun.
13) I have learned that my daughter's chronic illness has drawn us closer as a family, and strengthened our faith.
14) My favorite color is burgundy.
15) If I could do it over again, I would become a doctor.
16) I am glad we don't get the chance to do it over again - who knows how that version would turn out?
17) My mom died when I was 14. I still miss her.
18) One of my favorite things to do is to spend an afternoon shopping in antique stores.
19) I am still in love with my husband after 30 years of marriage.
20) I love being a mom.

There you have it! Please feel free to write 20 things about yourself now!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Road Trip

Our trip to Michigan was wonderful - just what the doctor ordered. The autumn colors were at their peak, and their brilliant hues rendered us speechless. The girls had never been in Michigan in October, so they were amazed at the differences between Michigan and Ohio in the fall.

We stayed at my in-laws, who have a house on the bay. Even the water takes on a different shade of color at this time of year. I spent a few minutes of alone time down on the shore each day, and marveled at God's beauty. I always feel renewed and restored after absorbing the sights and sounds and smells at the edge of the water.

Several times, I became quite nostalgic as I thought of what is in store for me in the next few months as TP prepares to go to college. I realized that this trip could possibly be the last one that just the three of us would go on together, and it was a bittersweet recognition of time's swift passage. These girls are young women now - which is a cause for celebration, and a cause for undeniable sadness as a mom lets go, slowly but surely. Here they are - at the brink of taking on the world; and here I am - beginning the descent of my journey. But, I wouldn't trade places with them for a second. It is their turn, I've already had mine.

We visited friends and family - and experienced the full spectrum of life as we celebrated the birthday of my 2 year old great-niece, and the life of a woman who was like a second mom to me during my childhood who died in September. The happiness of one event was contrasted with the sadness of the other, and this added to my pensive reflections about life. I thought about how much this woman had suffered throughout her life, but how strong her faith had become over the years, and how it sustained her through a painful divorce. Her children were united in their grief, even though painful words had passed amongst themselves over the years. And they stood together, holding hands, as the minister said the final blessing. Their mother, who had prayed for this togetherness for a long time, was probably smiling down at them and praying that her children would now begin to repair their drifts and become close once more. I prayed that my girls will remain close after I am gone - that would be the legacy I want to leave behind.

During our trip back home, the girls and I passed the time listening to their CD's and enjoying the scenery as the miles passed quickly by. A few times, I was tempted to ask them to turn down the volume. But, because they were enjoying their music so much, I let them control the volume. My enjoyment came from listening to them sing at the top of their lungs, and savoring each and every lyric which came from their beautiful voices.

Life is a journey made up of many road trips. A road trip like the time you let your child's hand go and watch as she makes her first steps away from you towards her own independence. A road trip like the time you celebrate a new life and mourn the passage of another life. A road trip like a those "little deaths" of giving up a portion of yourself for the benefit of another person. A road trip like giving up some control. . . of letting go. . . and letting God.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Continued . . . Racism Still Exists

The first thing I must do is apologize for the delay between posts about this topic. I find it to be a very emotional topic for me, and thus it is very draining when I do write about it. Hence, I tend to kind of wait until I know I can "handle" writing about how this topic has affected my family.

I left off with the remark that keeping DQ in her school was a decision that we would live to regret. Pretty drastric remark, but it truly reflects what consequences that decision had on us. In retrospect, I wish we had made a different decision, but it doesn't do any good to ponder the "what if's". It is what it is. I do know, in the long run, it has made all of us (in particular, DQ) stronger and closer. So, in that regard, all is not in vain.


DQ was going to go back to her "old" school for 8th grade due to all the upheaval she experienced during 7th grade at the junior high she had enrolled at the previous year. However, a couple of weeks before 8th grade started, she had a change of heart, and decided to return. She said she had wanted to "make a difference" at that school, and show them how to overcome their preconceived ideas about different races. I had a talk with the principal, and he assured me all would be well, and that he and the teachers would monitor things closely. About three weeks into the school year, DQ's sister became ill again, and was hospitalized for awhile, plus had several outpatient procedures which required a lot of time away from home on my part. I wasn't able to monitor DQ's emotional state nor her progress in school. By the end of October, I found out that all was not well at her school. Her grades were slipping, and she was moodier than normal. DQ has ADD, and I had asked the teachers repeatedly to do certain interventions to help her out. None of the interventions would have required much effort from the teachers, but their attitude was one of being put out by my requests rather than interested in the well-being of DQ. Her teachers had the attitude that DQ was "lazy" or "irresponsible" rather than trying to help her develop some organizational skills within their classrooms to help her achieve. I could do some of these things at home, but I couldn't be present with her all the time at school. I went to the principal over this, and it fell on deaf ears. Finally, in December, when DQ began speaking about some of the treatment she was getting from the kids, I went to the principal again. I told him about my frustrations about the so-called Christian learning environment within his school, and I said that I was considering withdrawing DQ. His response? "Well, we'd hate to lose another student, but if you feel the need to do so, then I will understand". Nothing whatsoever about trying to meet DQ's social or academic needs. Oh - and did you notice that he had not even called DQ by name, and just referred to her as "another student"?

The holidays came and went, and during this time period, I was able to spend some more time with DQ. She told me of being taunted by the other kids. They would say to her "you have no friends". They would say to her "If you don't like it here, they why don't you just leave?". They would exclude her from group activities and discussions. They would turn their backs when she'd enter the room. They would giggle when they'd see her, and lower their voices as she'd walk by. When the class went to a game at a larger town, they saw a group of black teenagers, and they kept on commenting - "Why do THEY dress that way?" (in reference to the style of clothing and jewelry). We discussed ways of handling this, and she really wanted to go back and try once again. I decided to bring it up again at the next school board meeting (I was president). I did some research to ascertain how many kids had left the school over the past two years, and perhaps not too surprisingly, what I found out was astounding. This little school of around 100 students had about 10 kids leave the year before. Five of them were from a different race. Two of them were overweight and ridiculed by others. One who left was "popular", but her parents saw what was going on within that environment, and wanted to get their child out of there. Another one left due to financial reasons, and the final one left due to being sexually assaulted by another student.

I was unable to discuss this at the January or February school board meeting because the principal circumvented the discussion (I wasn't even able to get it on the agenda). In mid-February, the proverbial shit hit the fan.

DQ walked in on a conversation that the "cool" kids were having with one of DQ's male friends, another biracial kid. They said something about him having black toes, and asked him if he got them when he lived in Africa. SAY WHAT???? DQ was furious, and hauled off and hit the "queen bee" of the girls in the face. The girl hit DQ back. Obviously, they were both sent to the office, and they were suspended for one day. The principal spoke to them together, and he actually had the audacity to say "Now, Queen Bee, you know that because of DQ's skin color, she is at a DISADVANTAGE". . . It was later that DQ told me that she felt like screaming "I am NOT at a disadvantage". She kept her mouth shut, but later when we were talking about it, I explained the remark to her in this way: some people say things like that out of ignorance, others out of fear, and even others out of pure hate. I said I doubted that he was saying that because he hated her or was fearful of her, but rather because he just didn't understand what he was saying and how he perceived her race.
Now, mind you, DQ has never hit anybody. When she got home, she burst into tears when telling me about the whole incident. She felt absolutely HORRIBLE about herself for doing it. She said "Mom, I tried to use my words with Queen Bee and the other kids, I tried to tell the teachers and the guidance counselor and the principal - and you tried, too, but nothing helped - it didn't help!".

My next entry will be about what I said to the principal when he called me about this incident, and how I handled it with the school board. Believe me, I am like a lioness when it comes to protecting my kids, so be prepared. . . In the meantime, I am heading off to Michigan in the morning, and won't be back until Sunday night, so I won't be posting again until Monday. Have a great weekend, everybody!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

DQ's Homecoming 2005

TP's Homecoming 2005

Monday, October 10, 2005

A Great Time Was Had By All

TP had a great time! The whole senior class went to dinner at a Japanese restaurant (yup - all 13 of them!) before the dance, and the food was excellent. I guess that the boy whom TP has liked for a long time took one look at her, and he must have liked what he saw because he couldn't keep his eyes off her during the whole dinner. All the kids commented on how beautiful she looked, which of course, made her feel wonderful. After dinner, TP stopped in at the restaurant where she worked just to say "hi", and then she went on to the dance.

Apparently, there is a sophomore guy who's had a crush on TP, so he asked her to dance almost all the dances. Later in the evening, he asked her out on a date - but TP isn't all that interested in him (the maturity level is a big concern). Nonetheless, it did help to lift her spirits even more. She spent the night at a friend's house, and came home yesterday morning exhausted.

Anyway, I am just so relieved that she was able to enjoy herself so much.

My husband has pretty much decided which job he is going to take, so I am hoping he'll feel less pressure over the next couple of weeks before he starts working there. It may work out that he'll be able to take off a week in between jobs, and that would help him be refreshed when he does start at the new place.

DQ worked all weekend on school projects. I have never seen her this motivated to do school work before! It is a joy and a wonder to watch her.

Today is kinda cloudy out, so I am not exactly motivated to get much done, although my to-do list seems to grow more each and every day. I wish there were two of me so I could accomplish twice as much. . .

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Off She Goes. . .

Standing in front of the fireplace, she posed like a model. The smile on her face radiated the excitement she was feeling, and her eyes sparkled with the beauty from her soul.

It took a long time to get to this point. The past three weeks, she has teetered back and forth between wanting to go to Homecoming, yet she dreaded going without a date. The guy she has had a crush on for years asked one of her best friends (who accepted the invitation), and it crushed her. Out of the five girls in her Senior class, only three are chosen to be on Homecoming court, and she wasn't one of them. Her spirits continued to dwindle, and she interpreted everything as a personal slight. Finally, with a lot of encouragement and pep-talks and prayer, she was able to recognize that she didn't need a date to homecoming, nor did she need to be on the court, to still go and have a good time. It was a painful process - and it was hard for me to watch her go through it (as a mom, we want to protect our kids from all different kinds of pain) - but it was something she ultimately had to do on her own. There was a part of her which thought that perhaps she wasn't chosen for a date, or chosen for the court, because of her illness. She has felt, at times, like an "outsider", because her illness has required her to mature well beyond her years. Still, there is this 17 year old child who wants desperately to be "normal". And ultimately, it was her desire to just be "normal" which won out and helped her decide to just go, and to have a good time.

There she stood, looking drop-dead gorgeous, and I wondered if she knew how beautiful she looked - on the outside as well as on the inside. I thought of all the pain she has gone through the past year and a half, all the indignities her body has suffered through - and I thanked God that my "little" girl had the spirit to defy ALL of the odds, and just be a "normal" teenager this evening. I kissed her goodbye with tears in my eyes, and watched as she jumped into her car saying "I love you, Mom". And off she goes. . . ready to embrace whatever this night might bring.

I love you, TP. You bring me so much joy.

Friday, October 07, 2005

A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

We are now in the position of having to decide between two excellent jobs for my husband. We are very fortunate to be in this position, but at the same time when put in this kind of situation, I always "freeze" because - what if we choose the wrong one?? What if, after a year of being at this new job, he gets laid off, or the company gets bought out? This is what has happened to us every year for the past four years - and believe me, we are all getting tired of it. It's just such a stressor, and it brings a certain amount of turmoil into our lives. We will think and pray about it over the weekend, and the decision will be made by Monday.

TP has decided which college she wants to go to next fall, and it's a local private one which has an excellent BSN program. She will live with us for the first couple of years (YAY!), and then she will more than likely get an apartment to help her gain some independence. We will still apply to a couple of other colleges just to see what they have to offer us, but this one is an excellent choice.

DQ tried out for the play, but didn't get a part (it's rare for a freshman to get one). So, she is going to get on the crew, which will kind of get her foot in the door, so to speak. I went to her old school last night (which is still TP's school) for Homecoming activities, and it was pretty sad. The girl who tormented her for two years made the Homecoming court as the freshman representative. Her mom just glared at me. I just smiled in return - it is of no consequence to me any more. DQ is happy and excited and in love with life again - and that is all that matters to me. To think that this girl's mom is so full of hate still, speaks volumes to me of where her heart is, as it was her daughter who was the perpetrator of all the meanness and cruelty directed towards DQ.

I am looking forward to our little vacation next week. I am sure we shall enjoy ourselves. I wish all of you a great weekend!

Monday, October 03, 2005


Thank you for all your suggestions as to how to "cope" with all that's been going on recently. The good news is that things are looking up. The job situation is in the process of getting resolved (but still say some prayers, please, that all works out well), and the teenager angst is seemingly better. DQ's first interim report from her new school was wonderful - and it is a joy to see her so motivated to doing well there. And TP's extreme moodiness lately can be attributed to, I think, the tapering off from the prednisone meds. Even though this weaning process has been very gradual, her body is still reacting to not having such massive doses being pumped into it. So, I am taking her to her general practitioner to have her evaluated for an antidpressant to take on a temporary basis to help her get through this process. When I explained to her that all of this is "normal" given what she's been through, she seemed so relieved. It was like a huge weight had been lifted from her - I could tell it really bothered her that she has been so negative and "witchy" lately. It's just not like her at all. And, when I put it in that framework, it helped me to not take all of this so personally as well.

Anyway, what I decided to do to help myself, is to go home to Michigan for a short vacation in the middle of the month. I will take the girls with me, and we'll stay at my in-laws, who have a place right on the shores of Lake Michigan. It will be beautiful there at this time of year! I will also be attending a service for the mother of my two best friends when I was growing up. They were my neighbors, and this mom was kind of like a second mother to me way back when. She died last week, and they have postponed the service until all the relatives can make it up there.

So, I am looking forward to getting away from here for awhile, back to my childhood home. We are all excited about it. My dog is, too. If I don't take her, she will have a major setback with her separation anxiety disorder!

Thanks, again, everybody! I feel so loved. . .