Spiritual Journey


To focus
exclusively upon
quantifiable outcomes
denies Godly math,
incremental,
sacred growth
ordained before
the world began,
and embraces
null-
set
ghosts.

I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!

c. 2017 Not to be reproduced or used without author permission.

youth

she guessed
she never
really
knew
when
she
was 13
18
21
or even 2
how
little
sense
she made
to her mother
who was too

You say I took the Name in vain
I don’t even know the Name
But if I did, well really, what’s it to you?
There’s a blaze of light
In every word
It doesn’t matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

c. 2017 Not to be reproduced or used without author permission.

Recap (Warning. Contains spoilers.):

At the end of January of this year, I was diagnosed as an adult-late-in-life on the autism spectrum.

Already have the t-shirt if you read the dx post.

Tonight I shared a narrative that happened inside my head at the consultation when I first heard the information.

Upon reflection, I’m sure you’ll catch on quicker than I did in that dimensional moment, that it’s really a little bit funny.

So, I thought to share the twist here on bh too; shiny shoebeats sway.

Metacognitive dx Narrative

Reader’s Note: Narrative is internal, exclusively inside speaker’s thoughts/mind.

I wish
I had
sat in
the other
chair.

This
one
twists
scoliosis.

He’s got
his
usual
inscrutable
face on,
but,
Oh!
What
big
eyes
he has
today!

I’m
going
to move
to
the
other-

chair.
Can’t
feel
the
shift,
twist
of
bad
chair
under-
neath
me-

Default
+
Shift.

“AdultLateInLife.”

My
subway
reverses
Warp 5
off the
platform.

Shields
U
P
!

Red
Alert!

All
crew
report
to
battle-
stations!

Priority Messages
broadcast
in
full-
4
D
color,
cross-
platform-
sensory-
input-
channels
to
a
hive
of
networked
screens
sim-
ul-
tan-
e-
ous-
ly.

Re.
:
images,
colors,
synonyms,
smells,
idioms/
sounds/
slogans/
slurs/
lyrics/
etc./
associated with/
by/
to/
representative
of/
forecast upon/
hearing
diagnosis:

“AdultLateInLife:”

Stage 4
Adulthood.

Flotsam
gusts
past
me
as fast
as
a murder
of
scared
crows
scan
sonic-
feathered
barcodes.

Scared my crows;

I didn’t hear.

He’d
have
to
go
through
it
all
over
for me
again.

Cancel
Red
Alert.

Wait.

W
A
I
T.

Resume
normal
operation
protocols.

“…on the
autism
spectrum.”

Then,
I
simply,
“Oh,”ed,

a
phoenix
rising
from
the bonfires.

I’ll do my best, it isn’t much,
I cannot see you, so I’ll try to touch,
I’ll tell the truth, I didn’t come to fool you.
And even if
it all goes wrong,
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song,
with nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!

c. 2017 Not to be reproduced or used without author permission.

Special Delivery

An unexpected
package
arrived
last week,
special
delivery.

Old-fashioned,
brown paper
hugged
the box as
timelessly
as Savta’s
shawled
shoulders
on a snowy
night.

Twine
secured
its
perimeter.
Identical
rank
and file
knots
held
fast,
with
signature,
military
precision.

Kitchen
shears
cut
clean
each
knot’s
final salute.

Brown
paper
curtains
parted
wide
open
to bare
a box
as plain
as its
wrapper.

Atop
its
simple
lid,
a well-
worn
bill of sale
sat
with the
languid
ease
of a
wrangler
on a
saddle.

The
back
side of
this
receipt
ledgered
a single
line.

The
entry,
thumb-
polished
soft
by use,
coffee-
stained
and fragile
read,

“I
put it
in
a box
for you.”

Tulip
bulbs
nestled
cozy
amid
layered
nests
of the
Mosinee
Times.

Someone
with
nursery-
man skill
had taken
meticulous
care to
keep them
cool
and
safe.

Every
prized
bulb
had been
gently
brushed
to remove
residual
dust.

Recent
sunbaths
had
completely
dried
each one.

Damaged
bulbs
had
been
saved.

Careful
exam
identified
their
injured
areas.

Tertiary
care
protocols
had been
methodically
administered.

Fungicide
veiled
their
wounds,
like
a fresh
snowfall,
a shroud
of prevention
to thwart
further
decay.

I grew up
on farms.

I knew
to store
this
treasure
chest
in a
cool,
dry
place.

The wind
whispered
steady
as I stowed
them away
on a shelf
in the garage.

“I
put
them
in
a box
for you.

“A
box,
not
a
coffin.

“They’re
Tangerine
Beauties.

“I’ll
let you
know
when
they’re
ready
to plant
sunrise.”

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew her
She tied you
To a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

c. 2017 Not to be reproduced or used without author permission.

lida vignette mama

Winds
blow
hard
outside.

For
the vision
Is yet
for
an
appointed
time;

New life
buds
in
cold
soil,
Cherry
creek
daffodil
bulbs
hibernate.

But at
the end
It will
speak,
And it will
not lie.

He
grows
from
dust,
new life

Though
It
tar-
ries,

w a i t

for
it;

God is good
beyond words,
His love
never lacks.

Because
it
will
surely
come,

She
has new
challenges
and
new
opportunities.

It
will
not
tarry.

He honors
her spaces
to share
His Love
forward
like
communion
of Communion’s
community.

Bread
Of Life
challenges
challenged
challengers
through
challenges
that
grow
her
U
P
in
His
way.

God is good
beyond words,
His love
never lacks.

God
alone
reserves
her space,
His call
for her life.

Thank God
for
making me
so
mysteriously
complex!

Itinerary
Mine
alone.

Go
and
teach
what
I want
you
to teach.

Everything
you do
is
marvelously
breathtaking.

God is good
beyond words,
His love
never lacks.

It simply
amazes me
to think about it!
How thoroughly
You know me, Lord!

Baby I have been here before
I know this room, I’ve walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you.
I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

c. 2017 Not to be reproduced or used without author permission.

DX

Even
zen
ranked
by
the
most
gentle,
retro,
revisionistic
rubrics,
despite
socially/
developmentally-
delayed
features;
I am an adult.

Full
disclosure:
at best,
I am
a
youngy-
old
woman.
No
longer
on
the
oldish-
side
of
young,
travel
with
ID
unnecessary;
no
one
cards
me.

Perhaps,
it’s
more
simple
and
I
am
just
another
old
adult,
certainly
past
the
typical
season
for
continental
shifts
in
identity.

Chronology
aside
however,
‘round
about
Thanks-
giving,
2016,
it
occurred
to me,
that
I
couldn’t
pass
as
“normal,”
even
to myself.

Even
though-

I.
Tried.
Everything.
I
knew
or
read
through
systematic
trials.
I
recorded
data,
analyzed
results,
and
controlled
indicated,
variables
to
adjust
test
method
parameters.

Thread
worn
as
baba’s
mop
rag,
I
wrung
every-
possible
suppositional
drop
from
these
experiments.

Perpetually,
I
tried
to pass
as
relentlessly,
and
intensely
I
was
labeled
INTENSE
(not in
a
good way,
mind
you).

Usually,
when
I
really
want
to
create
meaning
to
pattern
change
and
route
exodus
from
conditioned
parameters,
I
produce
results,
however
modest
or
slow
to norm.

NOT
SO
THIS.

A
random,
variable,
X
unelected,
undesired,
outs me
vulnerable.

Despite
therapy,
education,
career,
marriage,
blessed
children,
forever
wanted,
I
could
not
pass.

People
noticed.

Colleagues,
my husband,
our
children,
dear
friends
networked
consensus
as
viral
tumbler
that
confirmed
me
odd.

Random
reblog
notes
something
about
me
off,
and
a
little,
shiny
bit
that
bends
light
in
chaotic
angles
that
sort
‘a
squint
their
eyes
shut.

Not
much
was
said
to
me
directly,
and
yet,
I
could
often
sense
recoil
when
they
reached
for
their
sun
glasses
or
threw
shade.

Such
relational
signals
torqued
my
analysis
into
hyper-
drive.

To
know
why
transformed
want
into
need.

Security
risks
recalibrate
my
research.

Dire
internal,
tornado
warnings
broadcast
evacuation
drills
like
gubernatorial
orders:

Develop
safety
protocols
to
protect
children
from
collateral
damage.

The
nuclear
family
that
raised
me
ran
a
mill,
union-
workers
manned
24/7
shifts.

Its
conversion
process
fed
my
faulty
chips
directly
into
the
assembly
line’s
ravenous
maw
to
produce
pulp
prose
that
proves
there
is
something
wrong
with
me.
Like
an
errant
piece
of
code
that
breaks
the
smooth
build
of
family
unity,
my
bark
rejected
as
unusable
fibres
darken
the
pulp.

Such
systematic
feed
back
loops
identified
me
as
the
system
glitch.

Pop-up-
error-
messages
in
resplendent
bold,
ALL
caps
print
included
stop
signs
to
confirm
same
on
my
laptop.

Their
attempts
to
upgrade
my
operating
system
downloaded
constant
commands:

“If
you
get
your
ass
off
your
shoulders”

“If
you
try
hard
enough,”

and

“If,
and
only
if,
YOU
GET
OVER
YOURSELF
and
LET
IT
GO
ALREADY,
R
E
A
L
L
Y,
For
God’s
Sake,”

“Only
then
will
you
be
normal,
better
company,
and
easier
to
get along
with,”

and

“Clearly,
you
aren’t
REALLY
trying,
or,
at the
very
least,
not
trying
HARD
enough
to
get
it
right.

Over
time,
it
also
became
crystal
clear
that
I never
did.

Get
it
right.

Not
EVER.

Fast
forward:
to
now
and
my
own
family
God
gave:
Our
precious
homestead
no
longer
could
bear
X’s
collateral
damage.

I
wanted
for
my
children
more
of
a
mother
than
what
I
could
tender.

Despite
my
known,
know,
knowing,
knowledge,
discord
clashed
outcomes
I had
methodically
deleted
from
my
user
profile.

So,
I
got
me
a
good
psychiatrist,
who
asked
hard
questions.

I
loathed
my
deficits
more
fiercely
than
my
capacity
to
love
my
husband
beloved,
or
our
four,
precious,
innocent,
children.

Just
this
past
Tuesday,
January
31,
2017,
two
days
shy
of
Punxsutawney
Phil,
Seer
of Sages,
eye-
spied
his
shadow
in forecast
of
six more
weeks
of
winter

Clinical,
empirical,
objective,
reproducible
data…

(_least my
blended
parents
all
believe
I
am
making
this
all up,
again-)

…identified
me
as
an
adult,
late
in life
dx’d
on
the
autism
spectrum.

Relief
drenches
rain
upon
an
arid
oasis,
splashes
reprieve,
and
puddles
tears.

I am
NOT
a
fucked-
up,
broken,
damaged.
not-good-enough,
shameful
excuse
of a
daughter,
woman,
wife,
or
mother.

There
is
a
reason
and
name
for
why
I
cluster
cognition
like
constellations
pattern
stars
across
the
night
sky.

Abject
release
falls
Niagara
baptism
and
washes
me
clean.

I
am
undone
amid
the
rabble
pile
deconstruction,
my
identity.

A new
frame
raises
my barn.

I got
a
lot
to
hammer
out.
Likely
may
whack
an
errant
thumb
along
the way.

Yet,
tonight
Saturday
February 4,
2017,
as I
lay me
down
to sleep,
and
pray
the
Lord,
my
soul
to
keep,
I
lift
prayers
of thanksgiving.

Our
Father,
who
art
in
heaven,
may
it
be
Your will
that
this
dx
allows
me
liberty
to
live
out
and
be
who
You
made
me.

This
changes
everything
I
ever
knew
anew.

I am
more
grateful
than
anything
I can
si-
mul-
tan
e-
ous-
ly-
list
in
metacognitive,
pull-
down-
menus-
streams
list,
or
smells
shout
colors.

I
am
by
Your
design
made;
I
dwell
in
possibilities.

Hallelujah!

c. 2017 Not to be reproduced or used without author permission.

Sacred Dichotomy

We are
born.

Our
Father,
all knowing,
ever loving,
delivers us
to
the family
He Knows
Plants us
in the
perfect
ground
for
each
one
of us
to
begin
our lives
in his will.

We
grew up
a
certain
way.
We
learned
and
heard
loud and
clear
what
our moms
and
dads
think
is
good
and
bad.

It’s not easy probably,
being family.

Our
homesteads
taught
by
process,
as
how to
gather
eggs
from the
coop
without
a
break,
or
how to
drive
a nail
without
cost
to
thumb.

Such
lessons
protected
our
eyes
as
filters
safeguard
a
lens.
All
trained
our eyes
up
to
see
and
know
what
relationship
and
business
and
hard work
look like
here
on
these
family farms.

These
pictures,
all
among
the
infinite
and
perfect
ways
and means
our
roots
sank
d
e
e
p
l
y
into
the garden
He
first tilled
for
us to
prosper
our
lives
through
grace.

It’s not easy probably,
being family.

We
want
to be
good.
We
want
to
do all
the
right
things
the
right way.
Photographs,
however,
take time
to
develop
sharp,
clear
images.
Humble
mortals,
we
forget.

Our
unremembered
harvest,
all that
fruit-
the
moist sweet,
the
foul bitter,
is
not
ours
to put
up
alone.

So,
instead,
we
pressure
cook
ourselves
like
fresh
strawberries
too
long
in
the
cooker
upon
the
hot
wood
stove.

Left
unattended
too long,
the
potent
force
locked
beneath
heavy
gauge
boils
hazardous.
Rocket
fuel
erupts
scarlet
splatter
up on
the
kitchen
ceiling
in
abstract
expression,
rather
than
making
jam.

It’s not easy probably,
being family.

We
know
what
is
expected
as
if
written
on
tablets
of stone.
Crystal
clear
guidelines
reinforce
like
nursery rhymes
since
before
we
remember
genesis.

Such
family
codes
make
it
easy
for us
to
know
when
or
how
we
are
doing
well
or
failing.

We
know
what
is
expected.
We
want
to
get
it
right,
not just
go through
the
motion
by
stations.

Yet,
just
last week
the
pickles
burst
Pollack
sonic
boom,
an
inter-
section
jade
across
the
straw-
berry
stain,
our
ceiling’s
canvas.

We
some
times
get
mad.
Vain,
feet
pedal
a
dervish
upon
flat
tires
of
an
out-
grown-
bike
hid
in the
woodshed.

We.
Just.
Can’t.
Follow.
The.
Recipe.
Perfectly.

We
don’t
get
it
all
right.
We
know
we
used
the
same
ingredients,
and
yet,
no
jars
line
the
shelves
of
our
root
cellars
to
guard
against
the
winter
as
they did
every
fall
at
busia’s
house.

Other
times,
we get
so mad
we quit,
curled
ball
of spit.

We
fallow
like
fields,
erosion’s
costly
response
to
rigidity.

It’s not easy probably,
being Family.

We
marry
someone
and
think
we
will
be
happy.
Kids,
and
expectations,
and
all
that
that,
make
it
harder
as
we
only
grow
older.

We
think
we
know
what
we
need
to
do
and
be
to
sanctify
our
own
lives
and
live
as we are
supposed
to
be.

We
think
we
know
what
it takes
until
a
blaze
of
locust.
blinds
us.

We
do
not see
our
response
for
what
it is,
an
epic,
ageless,
battle
of wills,
no more
what
we
were
made for
than
the
inert
plot,
just
there
outside
our
kitchen
window.

It’s not easy probably,
being Family.

The
sacrifice.

Any
farmer
worth
salt
will
tell ya
that
it takes
a lot
of work
to
cultivate
new harvest
from
unsown
dirt.

If
he
reads
your face
listens,
he will
add
that
it can’t
get
done
alone.

When,
finally,
we
cry
out,
please
help
us
raise
this
barn;
our
family,
by blood
and
others,
same
as kin
through
mercy made,
shows up.

They
forget
to
bring
hammers.
One just
burst
a
thumb
for
a board.
Their
not-
always-
helpful-
help,
an
at
times
an
unnecessary
crutch.

Still,
the
picnic
baskets
they
carry
along
with them
over
flow
juicy,
fresh,
sticky,
moist,
melon
that
blushes
pink
delicious,
slate,
shiny
seeds
salute
crescent
moons
fully
stocked,
daily bread,
and wine.

It’s not easy probably,
being Family.

Oh,
yeah,
and the
barn’s
up.

We also
planted
a new
patch
of
blackberries
in the
back
for
preserve,
that
kind
of
jelly
jaja
always loved.

It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah

c. 2017 Not to be reproduced or used without author permission.

The highs and lows of the week roller-coasted with such a centrifugal force of hormones that a Rite of Passage collided with a Mens Warehouse.

I bought The Boy his first suit today for his 8th grade graduation tomorrow. I couldn’t take him before today because he’s been cramming for finals.

The Boy is 6 feet tall and weighs 155 pounds.
These vital statistics prove he is a freak of nature
as just yesterday he was less than 7 pounds
and boasted only 21 inches.

I’m gonna have to measure, but I think his left foot now might be longer than he was when he was born.

So we walk into this suit place and Matthew comes over to wait on The Boy.

The Boy looks at Matthew who’s got style written all over him from his purple tie to his black cowboy boots and gives Matthew the eyebrow. The Boy has very expressive eyebrows that can communicate a derisive snub or an impressed bravo depending on their signature arc. He extended Matthew the thumbs-up eye brow. The Boy was quick to notice Matthew’s accessories too. The thumb ring and hand-hammered, silver slave cuff bracelet earned a nod. Matthew’s hair also met approval, tussled with that just-out-of-bed look that takes 45 minutes and two kinds of product to produce.

So as not to mislead you, let me say upfront that our boy is straight. He wasn’t sizing up Matthew, he was making notes as this first suit of his will not only be worn for graduation tomorrow, but also his first formal dance tomorrow night.

So I walk in with The Boy whose shuffling in a pair of warped flip flops and a stained pair of PE shorts (he won’t let me toss because they’re in beloved favorites), and he intersects with Matthew whose got some major swagger.

That was probably the moment that escalated the shopping trip from one that I knew was going to be expensive to one that got really expensive.

Historically,
The Boy loathes shopping.
He hates it.
He detests it.
Like it he does not.
Disinclined be he.

I get him to buy new shoes by throwing out the old pair.
Not being able to dress-out for PE motivates him.
He wears the same three shirts
over and over again
unless I hide them.
I expect his classmates think we are on food stamps.

That’s The Boy I took into the men’s clothing store today.

We’re five minutes into a shopping experience with Matthew and The Boy’s asking for fashion advice. He’s actively discussing purple versus pink as an accent color and which tie best pulls a pattern. We didn’t go in there to buy shoes and he pets a pair on display and confesses to Matthew that he really doesn’t like borrowing his dad’s shoes and that they kind of pinch his pinky toe.

Matthew counsels my son on the importance of taking care of his feet as he is an athlete and is gonna need them strong for the field as well as the dance floor.

The Boy was almost purring once it came time to pin his pants to hem. He quickly agreed it was worth the initial investment for the perma-crease for his trousers.

He and Matthew extolled the virtues of a heavy, cedar hanger for hanging suits and willingly practiced hanging up his own pants so that they would not wrinkle. Matthew explained to him that a man needed to know how to take care of his own suit without the help of mom.

To his credit, The Boy knew who held to the American Express card and gave me a look. It was the I-love-you-aren’t-I-adorable-I’m-your-boy-eyebrow.

He puts his arm around me after the eye-popping tally hits the credit card voucher and opines that he really doesn’t mind if I chaperone the dance.

(On the way to Mens Warehouse he stated that he had vomit in his mouth at the very same prospect.)

We return two hours later to pick-up his altered suit and pressed shirt. He greets Matthew with this complicated handshake-slap routine I can’t imagine where he learned. Matthew leads him to a fitting room to try his suit on and it happens.

The Boy comes out with
Young,
Proud
Swagger
that needs no thumb ring.
His attitude’s shiny
Youth,
Power
and Hope.

Potential
pops his buttons
as much as his ego
and I see our son thrill
himself with the strapping figure
and delighted grin
that greets him in the
3-way-mirror most women dread
that loves him like
the camera loves Brad Pitt.

My eyes blur as I watch my boy see himself and like the man he sees.

You say I took the name in vain
I don’t even know the name
But if I did, well, really, what’s it to you?
There’s a blaze of light in every word
It doesn’t matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

Sometimes analogies are as clear as glass like I feel as giddy as champaign is bubbly or I am as low as a crab in an ocean trench. In fact, our DNA wires our brains to seek patterns from nothingness. This drive to create order compels us to interpret our dreams and identify concrete symbols from abstraction. Our medium is meaning and we seek to understand. We want to know and to be safe and feel well.

This genetic drive for stasis socializes us into a community of diagnosticians as our need to know is equally yoked with our desire to be comfortable.  As such, we approach experience like a puzzle to solve or a diagnostic differential.

If we feel ill, we assess our symptoms to determine if we do or don’t need the intervention of a physician. Often the indicators are straightforward like a fever, or a rash that won’t go away, or pain.

Unrelenting pain.
Pain is the body’s signal that something is wrong.
Pain is a definitive, primal signal.
Pain flashes a warning.
STOP!
Pain asserts the most elementary of medical principals.
If doing that hurts, STOP doing that.

Yet, in it’s way, pain is also entirely subjective.

When I’m in pain, it’s difficult for me to remember that it may have hurt less yesterday.

It (still) hurts (now)!
Make it stop!
Make it stop now!
I’ll drink anything.
I’ll swallow anything.
Get me an epidural!
I don’t care I’m not in labor (or even pregnant).

When in pain, it’s difficult for me to remember that I will feel better, let alone soon, or that my life, actually, is generally very sweet and comfortable.

I’m so comfortable in fact, with my first-world sensibility and Middle Class American propaganda that I’ve devolved into something of a pain-phobic persona.

I don’t want it to hurt.
Whatever “it” is.
Truth be told,
I don’t even want it to feel hard,
or require too much effort…
Whether its making dinner,
or raising a child,
or saving a marriage,
or growing in Faith.
I really don’t want it to be messy
or painful
or moist.

I want my challenges like
I want my food,
fast,
quick,
inexpensive,
easy,
and convenient.

(Hmmmmmm…. Notice I didn’t list healthy…)

As such, I avoid pain and difficult conversations and hard workouts for the simple reason that they hurt. I know they hurt. The gamble that pushing through the pain will take me to a better place often, and simply, isn’t worth the upfront pain tax. This is true when The Husband and I try to agree on a budget or our family needs to purchase a new vehicle or The Mamma needs to schedule her annual OB/GYN physical.

In fact, prior to this week, The Mamma was over a year past due her for her pap and pelvic. Even though I respect that my health is a family resource, and it’s a commodity that daily caregives for the five people I love most on the planet, I kept procrasstinating making an appointment Here because I knew it would hurt.

I wasn’t willing to pay the pain tax.

Ever since I was in grad school, I had the benefit of the medical care and relationship with of one primary physician. Initially he was my gynecologist and later became my obstetrician. He tended my every woman’s health issue from before I conceived of conception through every pregnancy and pregnancy loss and reproductive repair.

He caught each of the heads of our four children.
He held us together through four losses.
He helped me get my body back into shape four times.
He performed seven surgeries.

I trusted him
in a way that I haven’t ever trusted
anyone else with my body.
Never.
Ever.
Except my husband.

So I thought I knew how much he meant to me before I finally made my appointment for that stupid pap smear Here.

I was so wrong.

Nothing at all went wrong with the appointment Here.

The physician was entirely competent and kind and professional. She was thorough and took a medical history as extensive as an archeologist on a dig. She tutored me on how to do a self breast exam and its importance. She inquired if I wore a seatbelt. She admonished me not to drink and drive. She warned that sending a text behind the wheel could kill me dead. She observed that there were treatment options available for recreational drug use and tobacco addiction. She inquired if my husband ever abused me and if I am safe in my relationship. She ordered blood panels and offered me a referral for a primary caregiver. She also asked to weigh me, inserted the speculum without telling me that she was gong to do it first and placed her finger in my bottom without a polite warning.

In other words, she didn’t know me.
Like, at all.

There was no malpractice and nothing inappropriate in the medical care she gave me.

As a woman physician, taking care of a woman with my medical history, she had every reason to expect I knew the ins and outs of a gynecological exam without verbal cue or someone to hold my hand.

Mine was a routine exam,
one of many she would do that day,
of the scores she would do that week,
of the countless thousands
she has done user career.

It was simply,
no biggy for her.
It was just,
as my lab prescriptions record,
a routine well visit annual exam for a healthy woman.

It was for me, however, anything but routine.

I felt anonymous.

As course as it sounds, I learned a lot about relationship from having a strange woman’s finger up my bottom.

Yep, I said it.
I went there.
I mentioned the nasty.

Ladies, we all know that appointment can be a literal pain in the butt.

Now I’ve got to figure out how to make my point without your thinking that I have some kind of anal fetish or engaged in an inappropriate relationship with my previous doctor.

No.
No, no.
No, no, no!

He was, however, a partner in my medical care and wellness. The Husband and I have had a relationship with him for over 15 years.

Relationships matter.

Relationship reduces pain. Relationship takes the impersonal out of sterile medical procedures. Relationship extends safety when you’re feeling naked and alone, let alone literally nude while straddling stirrups.

It hurts to be away from the people who make me feel safe and known and loved. It hurts to be anonymous, just another pap smear, just two more breasts to palpitate and one more woman to remind about sunscreen.

I knew it would be difficult to see a new doctor. But I didn’t realize how much it would hurt my heart.

I am so grateful that I enjoyed such flawless medical care from my physician the for so many years. His choice to care about me as a person was the longest acting, most effective and most life-giving prescription he ever wrote me.

I know it’s unlikely I’ll ever have that kind of relationship again with another doctor.

I am grateful to him.

He knew me.

I will go to the dentist and get a skin checked and make and keep my annual appointments Here.

I will also seek to nurture and grow the relationships that I’ve begun with people Here. Nothing is more important to my wellness nor better medicine than being known and appreciated for who I am.

There was a time when you let me know
What’s really going on below
But now you never show it to me, do you?
And remember when I moved in you
The holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

The May dance Here jigs a dervish as frantic as the one I recall and trust that  you are also doing There.

It’s an aerobic month that demands inventory and industry with more than a dash of insanity.

With no end to the list of things I gotta do, my children also scramble to meet their many, various objectives.

They have academic jobs, social obligations, domestic chores, athletic responsibilities and personal agendas. They gotta do so much more than was ever expected of me at 6, 10, 12 or 14. In many ways, their I Gotta Lists are longer and less yielding my own.

It is also Final Exam season.  In my house only one is old enough for that rodeo, and the others are in the midst of the school year “ramping down.”

Running a household wherein one is frantically studying cumulative, college-prep, honor’s curriculum
(not bragging here, friends, and no longer certain that I still want them to participate in this Chase to No Where) 
while the rest of his siblings leisurely unfold into Summer mode collide two fronts as forcefully as a hurricane. Their howls, cries, complaints, and frustrations register enough MPH (Moans Per Hour) to be classified as a Category 4 event.

It is also simultaneously a season of turning each other in, spontaneous confessions and hypersensitive peer relations. In this merry ‘ol month of May, I never know at any given moment which child will come to me with moist, wide eyes and, “Need to talk to me alone.” Generally, there are tears and we have to hug it out before things resolve. The school year has tenderized their egos like a gourmet marinade and the Crying Chair hasn’t gotten this much use since we moved in.

As a Mamma, I’m something of a hybrid between an attachment parent and a drill sergeant. I am crazy in love with my wonderful children, but I get that they are no where near perfect and often need a combat boot kick to jump start their quality maneuvers. I am also aware, however, that their I Gotta lists demand almost every moment of their waking hours.

Their obligations have begun to blister them like their now almost too small shoes I bought them for Back to School in August. They are rubbed raw by the deadlines, award banquets, concerts, and games. They can not perform at a concert and play in a soccer tournament at the same time. They can’t study for an Algebra exam and practice an 8th grade class speech in tandem. Though helpful to an extent in terms of teaching time management skills, too often our kids face Hobson Choices between two required events. Does this help them better organize their time or polish their study skills or simply assert that many students are overbooked?

What strikes me as most unfair in this merry old month of May is how unrealistically our children are taught to adhere to the rigid (and often unreasonable) timelines of their I Gotta lists. As an adult, I have options that are unavailable to our children.

I can delegate.
I can pull an all-nighter.
I can file for an extension, or sometimes pay for an extension.
I can outsource it.
I can wing it.
I can decide not to do it.

At their school, my children would be suspended if they outsourced, consequenced if they winged it and have no option to delegate their I Gotta lists.

As a  mom, I also have options my children lack.

I can not do it.
(Think laundry, dishes or making beds.)
I can reduce the usual requirments.
(Think cereal for dinner.)
I can delegate.
(Now the kids have to walk Puppy and get their homework done.)
I can do it tomorrow without penalty.
(Think scheudling my dental cleaning.)

In our home, my children would lose a cherished, electronic device if they went on strike, sent to Time Out if they didn’t do something, “The right way the first time,” and have zero delegation options.

As we sprint through this month with so much to do and so many places to be, let’s consider that even within our families, our I Gotta lists ain’t really equal nor created the same.

My children need Grace, the Crying Chair and the boot right now.

And they’re in good company.

So say we all?

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty in the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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