Boys Waiting to Swim


I feel like my mind is beginning to atrophy. Much of the time I feel as though I am merely floating through this life without feeling it, without experiencing it.

I have periodically pledged to be more in the moment, more focused on what I am doing right now, more dedicated to the important things, and almost immidiately find myself slipping back into the mindset of just getting through the day.

There is so much about life that isn't fun or exciting. Some of this shit - well we just have to do it - it has to get done. It isn't life changing or glamorous. And to be honest I don't want to fully live in those moments. I want to pass through them as quickly as possible.

I am never going to enjoy picking up dog crap in the yard, or making those peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the boys after they have refused the dinner I spent an hour preparing (also not much fun). I don't like paying bills/reviewing the finances, or shopping for clothes, groceries, god-knows-what. I don't like those things now and I doubt I ever will.

So where does that leave me? I guess more grounded. It is ok to not love every waking moment of this life, because lets face it - sometimes lemons are just lemons and you don't feel like making god damned lemonade. But it also leaves me anxious for those important things in life - the deep conversations, the shared glances, the intimate evenings. I want more of THOSE times - and when in them, I want to realize it and savor it...


Journal Entries From My Mom 3-16-07 through 3-17-07


Phoned Roger's secretary with names. Saw Chris and accepted job. Salary to follow. Sweet relief!
Phoned police department and appointment tomorrow with Sergent Wills. Judy phoned with support.


Happy St. Pats Day!

Goofed on lemon pie crust - space city.

Saw Sergent Wills - what an unexpected treat. Praise God he is the opposite of what I expected. Unfortunately he is retiring in 5 days! Mailed the request to Indiana Bell. Barb came and the supper was great.

Char phoned and is fine in Kanasas City.

Shawn is OK and so is Lisa.

Perhaps Bab is the friend I have been looking for.

Journal Entries From My Mom 3-13-87 through 3-15-87


Talked with Annette. States her house was broken into 3/5. Nothing taken. Feels this is no coincidence and is related to Char. Very frightened. Unwilling to be home alone.

Class night. All went well with group!

Estelle came in early to say my job has been abolished - Lovettia (?) also. Talke with Pat and Kristin. Very supportive. All Lonnie wants is my company card.

Talked with Char, Shawn and Lisa in late pm. Gave me name and number of Tom Hennessey - the slanderer. Also 3 instructors Dr. Yarber (Death and Dying; Dr Weiskopf (Psych); Gary McLain.

I had phoned Roger earlier to find out how to handle tracer with police. Gary had not phoned. Roger agreed to contact IU concerning refund of tuition. I said Char had decided to withdrawal. I am to contact Rape Squad at the police department and phone him Sat with instructors names. Phillips flaky on phone.
Talked with Carol Bogol regarding 4E - Chris delighted and to see her tomorrow am.

Journal Entries From My Mom 3-12-87

Phoned R.C. Char and Rich gone. Talked with Carol - slight edge to her voice - Stated Rich Sr. tried to use Roger's 800# and was unable to get through. When he got other number from Rich, had a business interruption and didn't talk with Roger concerning Rich Sr. conversation with Sergeant Webb.

Journal Entries From My Mom 3-10-87

Case #

Off name

Mental health day - phoned Indiana Bell - got tap - doesn't work properly.

Quiet day - Praying - Phoned Freedom Line

Sorry for the Negligence!

Char called - Her English professor, Gary McLain, talked with her concerning a conversation Gary had with Tom Hennessey who is an AI - has something to do with Ashton - he has told Gary his opinion of Char is being unstable and not belonging at Indiana U - encouraging Gary to get rid of Char - Gary very indignant and supportive of Char - Gary agreed to phone Roger - Char very upset and talking about not returning to Bloomington. Happy about vacation.

Journal Entries From My Mom 3-9-87

12:15 Char phoned – Rich is seeing her attitude as being bad. She is unable to concentrate and retain info for her psych exam. Talked with English professor and was told he had been informed by Deans office concerning whole situation. He had been instructed by Dean's office to encourage her to leave school. Stated she had been a good student and would give her earned grade – Very depressed.

5:15 Annette phoned to ask description. Man had been in last night and today who is "creepy" and "strange." He talked about buying shoes there 6 months ago and wanting another pair. Talked about being here from Bloomington – with a woman – dark, attractive, with woman – wedding band.

Gave her Roger's number. Gave her Geoff's number. He had offered to see her for free.

1P Saw Geoff – good ventilation

5:30 Talked with Roger, told about Annette and English professor. Gave me name of support group.

9 Char called – English professor had something so awful he heard from an Ashton manager concerning her. Wants to wait until her exam tomorrow to talk with her. She still unable to concentrate.

Journal Entries From My Mom - Dating Service

Well, now the most interesting aspect of the dating service is the idea of starting a business of my own. I need to explore the services now available and determine if a more competitive approach is possible. Perhaps this would be a good subject for a research project. I like the idea of screening all the applicants, especially the men. I can have first choice on it ___ ___, how I want to own my own business. It will be exciting and stimulating to explore the possibilities and feasibility of marketing a professional service. Some real work will have to go into it.

Journal Entries From My Mom - Unknown Date

Dear Journal

Today I had a really interesting conversation with a co-worker, Barb. She jokingly mentioned at the end of one of our rare "real sharing times" that I should talk with one of the other employees, Sharon. "Sharon met a man and lost 35 pounds. She's a new woman." Wow, I thought, sounds good to me. So I met Sharon and we had a good old fashioned "girls talk." The rumor was that Sharon has a new outlook on life, weights "25" pounds less, and has a man friend who seems to meeting many of her needs. We talked, I again became aware of my fiercely ____ attitude. How many compromises would I make to _____ relationship? Not many. Would I be willing to make a time commitment to a man? How ____ am I in seeking a ____? I don't know.

Journal Entries From My Mom - Unknown Date

This is a day of conflict. My conviction is that Sunday is the Lord's day and He should be worshipped in church. For years, sick or well, rain or shine, my children never questioned on Saturday night or Sunday AM, "What are we going to do on Sunday?" We go to church. One of my reasons for giving up a job was to be able to go to church on Sunday. What did I do this AM? I curled up on the couch, listening to my favorite evangelists and slept until 11:30 AM. My conflict is quilt for staying home not in the morning but also thinking about a movie in the evening! The other part is the absolute joy and freedom I have felt all day long simply puttering around and doing things that never get attended during an average schedule. I need to spend more time in prayer to ____ the truth.

Journal Entries From My Mom - Unknown Date

Dear Journal

Today was a pleasing day at the office. There's such an undercurrent of unrest. The glittering eyes that don't meet mine, the mouths curving down at the corner. The tight faces and sharp words. The conversations that cease when I walk in the room. What a pleasant atmosphere. Office politics and intrigue! How I abhor them.

How grateful I am for a loving daughter. What a blessing. The joy of seeing her peacefully asleep. The wonder of her smile. The fire of her anger!

Journal Entries From My Mom - Unknown Date

Surprise – I've had 2 wonderful low key days – able to think – able to respond and react. Not feeling so angry with a low stress (wall?)

I feel like a very different person when I am able to be more of the person I desire to be and take time with everyone. Just to be able to slow down and smile at a whiny impatient child is a joy.

How curious it is to have to interact with people who are completely opposite in personality and (perspective?) All this in the name of team playing. My perspective is game playing is a better description.

Journal Entries From My Mom - Unknown Date

Dear Journal:

Today is a day I am content to be me. What is contentment really about? "The joy of the lord is my strength." Perhaps I have that Joy – or more than yesterday. Just to be who I am – how wonderful. This is the essence of today – Just to be.

Anger, frustration, tension were all present in my day. Sometimes nothing but contradictions – how can the mind reconcile all the dichotomies?

Journal Entries From My Mom - Unknown Date

I'm so grateful that with God all things are possible. How else is there any hope for tomorrow? Of my own self I am nothing. My own control over my world is but a sigh, a puff of air.

What does all the struggle mean? Why do I eat when I'm not hungry?

Journal Entries From My Mom - Weirdo

His face is painted like a clown. He carries a doll with a wand on it. His voice sounds like a 6 year old belying his near adult stature. His clothes – black tuxedo – look odd in contrast to the bland garb of the crowd. His silver shoes with 2 inch platforms do cause unmasked stares. He approaches a group of vacationers sitting in the park listening to the rock group. The conversation he initiates is so bazaar and inappropriate. Certainly he hears the conversation and comments. As he wanders through the groups of families and friends relaxing in the grass, "Boy, who is that weirdo?" seems to typify the reactions.

Who indeed is this young person – male or female is not really established. Where is he/she from? Where or what was the family like that produced him/her? Did he/she dance and play on the beach like the children here today? Is this person here enjoying the performances he /she is presenting or is this his/her reality? Who knows and sadder yet, does anyone care?

Journal Entries From My Mom - Saugatuck

We go to Saugatuck at least once a summer season and have been for at least the last 10 years. Our first trip to Oval Beach and then shopping and eating in the village was a highlight in our family memorabilia. The beach house reminded me of something from the late 40s with its cinder-block construction and post WW II plumbing. A few spiders in the john – so what. That added to the mystique. The sand in the hamburgers made them the "best we'd ever eaten." A hamburger at the beach becomes a "family custom." This was an extravagance as in those days we packed our picnics as money was very tight. Admission to the beach was free, and that also helped the budget. We had a large pizza in a mom and pop Italian restaurant and that too has become a family custom. One of the charms for all of us for Saugatuck is the absence of fast food chains and shopping mall franchises. What a delight and surprise each year as we go back to see which of the favorite shops is still open. We grieve over the disappointment of a shop that is closed or replaced.

The atmosphere has always been from a by-gone generation. Value is given to hand crafted items and foods "made from scratch." What a gem of Americana. May it thrive and flourish as a contrast to Westfield Mall.


Loss of Memory

Outside the night is still. The streets are vacant as the city sleeps.

I lie awake, as I do most nights. I recall the past day, my sucesses and my failures. I remember the funny things Cole said, marvel at how energetic Roark was at 8:30pm, and mentally prepare myself for tomorrow. I am glad nobody else is awake - that I am able to escape the constant demands that seem to never cease during the day.

It is also at night that I try to remember everything I have forgotten. I have for as long as I remember played this little game with myself at night when I am unable to sleep. I close my eyes and try to capture new memories, things I have not thought about for years. I start with a very early, solid memory and try to extend it, try to follow it further ahead or back a few hours, days, years.

Somewhere between the ages of birth and 5, I am able to remember so many more things than I would think possible.

I remember two neighbors from the 'Big House' trying to fly a giant red kite in the church parking lot.

I remember sitting on top of the swing-set belting out "sitting at the top of the world."

I remember watching a scary movie with a hand that crawled around by itself, with my mom and brother.

I remember my parents finding some baby squirrels (or was it rabbits?) outside and bringing them inside to try to save them - they lived in a shoebox for a while (a day? a week?) and then died.

I remember being in sunday school, playing the piano - having a stiff neck so bad that I couldn't move my head at all in either direction.

I remember a little boy (a friend of mine) missing - the whole neighborhood searching for him. We found him hours later, asleep in my dresser drawer where I kept my dolls.

I remember the boy who lived across the street getting in trouble for trying to convince me to play in the rain naked.

I remember the first Christmas after my father left us - when he still felt obligated to send presents. I woke to a living room full of surprises - a cardboard refridgerator and sink, pretend food, play dishes. I also discovered real oranges in my stocking. This made me very happy.

I remember visiting my father's family in Cincinnati and my uncle giving me a stuffed pink weasel for Christmas. For some reason I had always thought my dad gave it to me, but now I actually remember who did (See? The memory game works). I named him Wesley the Weasel. He is in the boys' toybox as I write this.

I remember walking to Kindergarten by myself.

I remember the neighbor girls scraping up their arms with rose thorns and claiming my brother did it. I also remember their mother coming over to our house trying to fight with my mom about the incident. I got locked outside with the crazy neighbor...where I cried and cried on the front porch until my mom let me in. I am still not sure if she let me in before, or after the police showed up. Oh, and crazy-neighbor-lady put her arm through the glass storm door trying to get at my mom.

I remember not wanting to ride in the baby seat on the back of Little Tom's dad's bike to the park - wanting to ride my own bike with training wheels. I also remember getting sent to my room for crying about it - forced to take a nap instead.

I remember being woken up and taken down into the basement during a tornado. We slept there all night.

I remember not picking my toys up after my mom had screamed "for the umpteenth time, put your toys away or I will give them to children who will appreciate them" and watching her stuff evrything in trash bags and take it all out to the garage to be thrown out. I also remember her giving in and letting us keep pretty much all of it.

I remember laying in my crib and throwing my pacifiers out repeatedly so that my papa would come into my room and give them back. He would crawl in, staying out of mi sight, pop his head up so I could see him and then give them back. I would laugh and laugh and we would repeat this until I fell asleep. This may be my earliest memory.

I remember my parents yelling and fighting and my mother slamming the oven door shut - and my father slamming the back door after leaving.

I remember Mrs. Monhock - an evil older lady who would babysit us. I really didn't like her much at all. She washed my mouth out with soap for saying "shut up!"

I remember a little girl stapling her finger in kindergarten and having to go home. I also remember that she missed the oragami lady that came later and tried to show us how to make a swan. We were 5, so there were very few of us who made anything resembling anything other than crumpled paper.

I remember finding candy and makeup in the alley on the way to school (or was it the way home?) and my brother and I hiding it so nobody would know. I also remember eating the candy...we were lucky we didn't kill ourselves!

I remember hiding in a wicker basket at Little Tom's house and them looking all over for me. His dad told me I was lucky there were no snakes in there that day - because they usually kept cobras in there. It was a lie of course, but I didn't know that. I never did that again.

I remember an older kid (as instructed by his mother - who was RIGHT THERE) standing in the middle of his living room facing me, pushing me repeatedly and telling me that I was not invited to his birthday party. I cried and cried - and then hid in a bunch of pillows they had on their futon type matress on the floor in their living room. I also remember this same idiot mother carrying her younger son on her shoulders (the kid that was found in my dresser). He fell off her shoulders and whacked his head on cement. I kind of felt like she deserved to have that happen to her. I felt bad for her son though.

I remember before I had even started kindergarten, I would go to a baysitter's house during the day. The sitter, Mrs Pepper, had a daughter (Wendy?) my age. The highlights of my days in that dark, depressing house were watching the mailman come, and jumping on her mom's bed at naptime. This bed-jumping got me in quite a bit of trouble one time. Some guy (older son? husband? random man?) locked me in the basement, turned off the lights and told me the boogyman was going to get me. I have no idea how long I was down there. I sat on the steps by the door and cried. When they let me out, they made me take a nap in a baby crib because they said I was "being a big baby."

I remember traveling halfway across the country to some farm so that my mom could see the Guru Maharashi. We slept in a barn. My mother fell out of the hay loft one night and broke her arm. I think that is when we went home.

I remember my brother and I stealing rubarb out of the neighbor's garden. We would climb onto our garage roof, sit behind the basketball goal and eat it.

I remember our kitchen being a construction disaster most of the time. I think my dad was either adding on to the house of remodeling the back half. I am not entirely sure he ever finished it. I also remember the bed he built in my room - and how much I loved that it looked like a princess bed - framing the window.

I remember white gloves, a pretty hat, and a new dress and gray coat on Easter Sunday. I felt so perfect.

I remember my brother's prized Tony The Tiger stuffed animal and how he lost it when he ran away from home and hid in the window well at Sunnyside Church.

I remember my brother pretending he was sick so that he could stay up and watch TV when we had babysitters. He would put hot towels on his head and wrap the thermometer in them as well so that they would think he had a fever.

I remember goofing around in my brother's room, ignoring my mother's demands to "go to bed right now" and laughing so hard that I wet his bed - sprinkler style - straight up in the air... This still makes laugh to myself thinking about it now.

I remember eating space sticks. Lots of them. But I don't have any idea what they were made of.

I remember sitting by the heating vent in my room (where my crib had once been) playing with my tea set.

I rememebr my mom's sewing room in the back of her bedroom. And her closet that connected over the stairs to Shawn's closet. I also remember being assaulted by the numerous long-legs spiders that lived in there.

I remember being late for church on Sunday, hiding behind the cardboard refridgerator in my room. I didn't want to go past my closet door because I was convinced there were monsters in there waiting to get me. So I waited there, yelling for my brother to help me until my mother lost her everloving mind and threatened to leave at home alone. My brother finally rescued me.

I remember Uncle Tom bringing us inner tubes for the lake and a giant tractor tire that he made into a sandbox. He wass also our supplier of STP stckers and NFL football pencils (I liked the Steelers and th Dolphins because of the colors)

I remember my brother dropping a crowbar on my foot.

I remember all of the men my mother dated; the science teacher who had a farm, my ski coach, the man in th A frame house who always gave me a new book everytime I saw him, the real estate friend who's daughter was in my class. I was always so quickly attached to them and so sad when I didn't see them again.

I remember all of these things from such an early age. My mother always said that I had the most amazing memory. And yet there is this gap of two years when my mother was remarried. I remember nothing.

Outside the night is still. The streets are vacant as the city sleeps. And I lay here playing the memory game, trying to reveal the hidden one or two years of my life, yet hoping I never do.


Journal Entries From My Mom - Memories of a Mom

"Do you remember when I got so mad at you I ran away from home?" "No," I responded, "tell me more about it." "Well, when we were living in the 'Big House' and you would not let me have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch, I got so mad I decided to run away from home. I remember packing my suitcase. I think you helped me. I also made a stack of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to take with us. 'Little Tom' came with me."

"Where did you go," I asked.

"Well, that was the problem" my 19 year old daughter laughed. "I was so upset because you might find out I didn't have anywhere to really go. We just walked around the block 4 or 5 times."

"I'm so glad you decided to come home" I confided. Remember when you and Shawn hid in the fireplace and got ashes all over yourselves and the living room?" I started reminiscing.

Who can ever foresee the pains of parenting? Who can ever weigh the value of those cherished memories? Oh to be able to live in the present with the ability to cherish the perfect present while we reminisce the perfect past.

Journal Entries From My Mom 5-20-87

Where does time fly? It evaporates like an ice chip in the blazing sun - or like an over-ripe dandelion head in the wake of a storm. Time escapes like a thief - stealing our dreams and phantasies. All those tomorrows - those wonderful golden times we believe are stored up "somewhere" just waiting for us to claim them. Only who has the password, the key, the claim check for this treasure. Did I misplace mine? Did I ever receive it? Where are the rainbows I have been saving for. How do I redeem my lifelong dreams? Where is the husband of my childhood fantasy. Is that green shuttered, rose covered cottage redeemed by a coupon or dream stamps? I suddenly see time compressed with an end in sight. Energy wanes as my ____ of dreams seems to be ____ endlessly out of sight on the horizon. Please stop ....

Journal Entries From My Mom 5-15-87

A friend - what is she, who is he/she. Is there some one to share my joys with, my tears? is there anyone who cares what I think or how I feel. Can I just be me with no masks, no walls, no guards? Is this a dream, a fantasy. I've searched. I've tried. Treat people the way you want to be treated. Perhaps I am out of step with the world. when I tried this approach, I received lukewarm politeness. Be honest about how you feel. I have discovered I was rapidly abandoned with this behavior form. Accept people as they are. I listen to what people profess and proclaim. I see how they respond and behave. What a dichotomy. Who is the hypocrite? Them or me. Am I as I perceive myself to be? Let me be my own best friend. Let me see the world through Jesus' eyes. Then truth will be mine.

Journal Entries From My Mom 5-13-87

Here I am again - exhausted with no energy. Is there really a meaning to all of this activity? What is quality of life?

The dog wants attention. All she focuses on is her desire to be petted. Nothing distracts her as she tries a vanity of approaches. When rebuffed by being put on the the floor, she continues to make half-hearted attempts for love. Her wants are so simple. Oh, that I could identify and focus on a need with such persistence. No distraction for her. How hard to hold back a pat - unless you are energy-drained.

Journal Entries From My Mom 5-12-87


Today is over. Who knows what tomorrow holds. The exhaustion, the stress, the frustration of unfulfilled expectations and plans. Who knows! What is real - What is imagination. You see the looks and hear the words - The eyes belie the words - the words do not echo the facial expressions - does the smile mean pleasure as in agreement or does it indicate amusement at a mistake. Does the joviality mean friendship or a hidden knife for the back. Ah, the 2 faces so many people wear. Ah, the joys of a bureaucracy.

The dog barks incessantly. She likes to wind her chain around the rosebush until she cannot move. She keeps going around in her hopes for freedom. Each revolution constrains her more in her search for freedom. In her quest for independence, she restrains herself more. The enigmas of life.


Roark wearing a "safe helmet"


Soccer Recap

Todd: So Kids, how many goals did you all score?

Kid 1: I had a hundred!

Kid 2: I had a million!

Kid 3: I had a hundred million!!

Todd: We'll work on counting later...



Bribery photo taken last night. Justin watching over Britt when she is sort of waking up. Was a long night.

Verdict is sketchy. Definitely severe dehydration. Possibly heat stroke because of the seizure activity. Maybe dealing with blood clots - or just recovery from everything. The waiting and not knowing kind of sucks.