Friday, September 20, 2013


This is not my reality. It was NOT seven years ago that we picked him up from the hospital.
He had a great day. Mom made bacon for him for breakfast. Gramma Cathy called and sang happy birthday to him over the phone. He absolutely did NOT want anything taken to his class to share with other kids, he wants no attention drawn to him for ANY reason and he already asked to stay home from school because the principal was going to give him an apple for his birthday.
He had an ice-cream cake, he got his own TOOLBOX and a key to lock it!

This is the first photo we ever took of our Miracle Max

Here we are leaving the hospital:

And here is the photo I was able to get of him this morning:

Here are his answers to the questions I am going to try and remember to ask him each year:

1. What is your favorite color? Yellow
2. What is your favorite toy? My Music Player
3. What is your favorite fruit? Oranges
4. What is your favorite tv show? The Wild Kratts ( it is what was on t.v. as we were talking)
5. What is your favorite movie? Night at the Museum
6. What is your favorite thing to wear? The tool-belt I got for my birthday
7. What is your favorite animal? Zebra
8. What is your favorite song? Daddy Cool by Boney M
9. What is your favorite book?  I don't like books ( this is both disturbing AND true - his mother and I LOVE books and he does not!)
10. Who is your best friend? Ben (this is equally disturbing. Ben is not so nice to Max......)
11. What is your favorite snack? Ritz Cheese Crackers.
12. What is your favorite drink? Apple Juice Boxes
13. What is your favorite breakfast? Oatmeal (I thought he would say "bacon")
14. What is your favorite lunch? Ham Sandwiches
15. What is your favorite dinner? Spaghetti
16. What is your favorite game? Sonic Dash on his Ipad
17. What is your favorite thing to play outside? Riding Bikes
18. What is your favorite holiday? Summer when there is no school.
19. What do you sleep with at night? My sleeping bag
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? Firefighter. Not really but I don't want to answer any more questions so that's what I am saying.

It took quite a while for me to get all this information from him. He is not a talker and would rather not be "interviewed". He had a number of different reasons why he could not participate in this adventure but made it through alive!
I hope you enjoy this little snapshot of my boy.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

THREE months? How did that happen?

It seems impossible that it has been three months to the day since I last posted. I can't believe that much time has passed. SO much has happened.
I am no longer working in my former position, where I was employed for ten years. I have a new job, Shel has a new job, the boys are back in school, and we are moving forward and being MUCH more conscious about making our lives healthy and happy and positive. I would be lying if I said I have resolved all of my feelings about what happened and the people involved, but overall I can honestly say I am MUCH happier now and grateful to have moved on and away from what was a toxic environment for me and vicariously for my family. (This is not to say there were not a small number of great people that I worked with)
It was only three months ago that our lives were shaken up and we had some serious decisions to make. starting before the job loss, it seemed that everything that could possibly go wrong, WENT wrong. We had bad news on Shel's health, then bad news on mine. I was out of work, our van broke down, our dog died.... yup, I'm not even making it up about our dog. I could actually go on and on about things that were happening all around us.

I went through some very dark days and would not have made it through them without the most amazing support. Some friends in town picked up Shel and the boys when the van broke down and loaned us a vehicle. We took a trip to the city for some medical testing and had a fun afternoon with the kids in Galaxyland. I quit smoking. Two "friends" I have from blog land but have never met in person (Teena and Michelle) sent words of support which really impacted me in a most positive way. My spouse, my mom, my siblings, ALL of them offered daily support - sometimes hourly! I discovered some friends among former "aquaintances" in this small town who also offered insane amounts of support and positivity. Even my "distant" friends supported me in emails and messages on facebook.
Then I got a monthly newsletter (which I subscribe to) from Carol Lynn Pearson which was so timely and relevant it gave me goose pimples. Here is what she had to say in her own words:

"SMOOTHING THE PATHWAY OF OTHERS.  Actually, I've been forced to think about this because the bishop of my ward asked me to speak in sacrament meeting (which I did last Sunday) and that was our theme of the month -- "Smoothing the pathway of others."  He specifically asked me to tell the story of my life with my former husband Gerald (which you have or can read about in Goodbye, I Love You.") That was just a small part of my talk.  I emphasized that as I was smoothing Gerald's path at the end, there were others smoothing my path, and I believe others were smoothing their paths.  That's what we do for one another, you know.I began my talk with a little story I heard long ago -- about the King who placed a large boulder in the road leading to the city and then hid to see what would happen.  The merchants and important citizens came by and loudly complained about the boulder and then went around it.  Finally a peasant put down his basket and used all his might, finally moving the boulder out of the road.  To his surprise, there where the bolder had been was a purse with 50 gold coins and a note written by the king, stating that the gold belonged to whoever cared enough for others that he/she would remove the boulder.We love our stories of heroes removing obstacles for others -- when Superman moves not only a boulder, but a building -- when Schindler moves a deadly boulder from the paths of 1,200 Jewish people.We do that on a smaller scale, you and I.  And we don't find a purse full of gold.  But what we do find is this -- peace of mind, gratitude, a knowledge we have been of use in this world, and -- very often -- experience that gives us an opportunity to be of use to many others.  That's what my experience with my former husband gave me -- the privilege of being able to touch the lives of large numbers of gay people and their families. That kind of opportunity is pure gold.Each of us has different boulders to help remove from the paths of others.  And I really do believe that there is some large plan that puts us in the right place at the right time.  The boulders in your own path -- and the boulders in the paths of those your meet on your journey -- are perhaps ones that are designed specifically for you.  At least that's the belief that helps me when the path gets rough.  Thanks for walking with me."

My path has been smoothed by many people over the last three months. Thank-you. Thank-you. Thank-you. One day, if your path needs smoothing, I would be honored to smooth it in return.