How?

“We’re unable to approve your loan right now but we appreciate the opportunity.”

I mumble a thank you and hang up. I sit on my bed and stare out the window at the gray sky.

The guaranteed approval promise is bullshit and I should’ve figured that they’d say no. I have no FICO and no active credit accounts. My debt is under $1,200, mostly medical bills. And my disability income is pitiful.

When you spend almost a decade being treated like and then believing that you’re a waste of a human being, you lose not only your sense of identity but also your creditworthiness.

I go downstairs and tell my daughter, who is busy cleaning out the closet under the stairs, the bad news.

“I’m sorry, mom.”

I shrug and fake my famous I don’t give a fuck smile. I hate her to see me when I get upset, especially when it’s about money.

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“Once we get moved into the new house, I’m going to have to find a part-time job. I’m really getting sick of being so broke.”

She stops what she’s doing and stares at me with a worried look on her face.

“How?”

So simple, just one word.

How can I work when some days I can’t wake up or think straight?

How can I work when I can’t be on my feet for long without needing to sit down to rest?

How can I work when I have a debilitating disease such as fibromyalgia?

“I don’t know. But I have to try.”

She sighs and goes back to what she was doing. I sit on my chair and silently watch her.

Her doctor thinks that she might also have fibromyalgia but B doesn’t want to find out for sure.

Not yet.

Never take your good health for granted.

The Graduate

My beautiful daughter graduated yesterday and when it came time for photos, I stood next to her proudly as my SIL took the shot.

I’m not sure if it’s the winter weather, the grief and the fibromyalgia, or perhaps all three, but I’ve been feeling extra sickly lately.

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Yes. I look that ghastly, my friends. I won’t put you through the trauma of laying your eyes upon my image.

But I will share a photo of the kid.

Isn’t she lovely?

It was a hard day that was filled with joy, but there was a layer of sorrow draped upon all of us, especially my daughter. My mom had vowed to make it long enough to watch Brooke graduate, but it wasn’t meant to be.

My aunt said as we sat next to each other in the auditorium that my mom was there, in the empty seat next to us.

I wish I could feel her, I replied.

The middle-aged man that had asked if he could sit alone at the end of the row would’ve irritated her because his cologne was too strong. She would have asked to move the seating arrangement and I mentioned that to my aunt, who smiled slightly and nodded in agreement.

After we were done taking photos, we dropped Brooke off at her parking garage and headed back to my aunt’s house. (I can’t get myself to say Mom and Aunt Debbie’s anymore.)

Brooke had somewhere she had to be before it became too dark and they closed for the day.

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Looking at this photo hurts so much.

She wanted to go alone.

When she got back home, we were so exhausted that we both crashed. We’re officially celebrating this upcoming weekend.


I think about my dad, gone now these last 33 years and even though she never got to meet the man that was her grandfather, I know that he must be so proud of her.

I also think about her own father and a part of me feels sorry for him. If he hadn’t first been an abusive prick and then an absentee parent these last 11 years, he could’ve watched his child graduate from college, something that neither one of us accomplished ourselves.

I have no envy for her advanced education, only pride and a sense of amazement that my daughter, who started life as a premie (weighing in at only 5lbs 2 ounces at birth) turned out to be such a brilliantly beautiful, intelligent young woman.

I’d like to find the kindergarten teacher who’d claimed that she thought Brooke wasn’t the brightest bulb because she wouldn’t talk during testing, then agreed with a shrug to “give her a try…”

I want to smack her upside the head with the diploma that clearly says “Cleveland State University.”

Sorry lady, but just because the kid was shy and didn’t fit into your specific mold didn’t mean that she wasn’t smart.

Bitch.

Oops. Sorry.


For myself this holiday season, I am giving the gift of the No-Drama Llama.

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This means that I am avoiding all things that create drama, without the guilt.

Fewer gifts.

Minimal decorations.

Keeping mostly to myself in order to save what energy and spirit that I have, which ain’t much, to begin with.

Allowing myself to feel all of my emotions and then observe as they quietly ebb and flow.

There are few people that I interact with because I just don’t have the stamina it takes and the recovery time is longer than it rightfully should be. Since people are so busy with their own lives, it doesn’t seem to bother them much anyway, so it’s a win-win situation.

Like I said at the beginning of this post, I’ve been feeling extra sickly lately. It worries me a little because I don’t know if I’ll get worse or better.

If I’ve learned anything this year, it’s that there isn’t much that we can do but wait and see how it pans out.

I Carry On

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My daughter has been sick the last couple of days with a nasty stomach flu.

And as her mother, I’ve been tending to her while she rests on the couch, rather miserable.

It doesn’t matter that she’ll be 23 years old next month. She’s still my baby girl and as long as I am able, I will take care of her.

Because that’s what a mother does for her child.

Taking care of my sick little girl (she’ll always be little to me) makes me realize how incredibly lucky I am to have this kind of love in my life.

I miss my own mom more and more as each day passes.

Yet I carry on…as she once did for me.