Sunday, June 22, 2008

I do not know what to say

Just when I thought that it was not possible to feel more celebrated, my mind was blown away. Last night... At a surprise early-birthday gathering planned by my best friend and lifelong companion, Scott Arthur... with the generous help of Lynette, Henry, Becky, and countless others...where loved ones from all around Ohio, Michigan, and Kentucky communicated their love by their presence.

When I type, "I do not know what to say" - I really don't. And the normal Tricia would follow this "I'm without words" comment with a 5 paragraph description using lots of the very words I claimed to be "without."

But I'm really speechless. All that seems to be reeling through my head since last night (aside from processing the different contexts where the knowledge of this event was sneakily kept from me - smooth lying friends [and relatives - AUNT LISA] I have!!!), is "THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU."

So hopefully, the pictures will fill in the other blanks and tell it all. The look on my face might be an indicator of how successful the "surprise" efforts were. Did I mention, "THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU????"

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Book Club to the rescue!

I think the reason I've remained relatively (BIG emphasis on that word) sane from 2007 until now is because so many healthy support systems have been in place. AM runs with KK, the structure of Sophia, Girlfriend's Club connections, "Wacky Wed" craft nights and girl talk, day dates with Theresa and her kids, real dates with my husband... without these in place, I may have been blissfully crazy in some psych ward by now.

One structure that popped on the radar unexpectedly was a Book Club formed originally by my former teaching colleagues. It has grown to include several of their women friends. What a gift! #1) It allowed me the chance to be in contact with my school friends without school (woulda been WAY sad to disconnect from Liberty all-together during my leave of absence). #2) Each book club meeting involved food and adult beverages - need I say more? #3) Jackson stayed home with Daddy. #4) It "encouraged" (I refrain from the use of the word "required" because I was known to attend meetings WITHOUT opening the book assignment - oops!) me to stay on track with reading interesting books.

So last night was my last book club here in Columbus... THANKS girls for a really healthy outlet for me. I appreciate you inviting me to be apart of it! One of my first priorities upon arriving in Rochester will be to find me a book club!

Monday, June 16, 2008


Today marks one year since Mom died.

Dad came into town on Father's Day, so he, Scott, Jackson and I had a JANET JOHNSON SPECIAL for lunch: BLT sandwiches with cheetos as a side dish. These were two of her favorites. We woulda complimented the meal with a bourbon and coke if Scott hadn't had to go back to work for the rest of the day. (ha!)

I spent quite a bit of time journaling (thanks to Dad for hanging back at the homestead while Jackson napped, while I escaped to the library for some quiet time with myself)... and it brought me to think about the timeline leading up to Mom's death... it was so quick, her decline.

I love my Mom. Always will. One line in my journal reads, "I never want to forget the sound of her laugh." Sometimes it takes a couple seconds to find that memory/sound, but eventually I always do.

Thanksgiving '06 - opening the card that says "Will you play with me? Love, Your Grandbaby"

We officially told the family about our pregnancy that evening. Mom had wrapped up her bio-chemo clinical trial, and was beginning to get her weight and her hair back...
Christmas Day 06 - feeling more and more like herself
Spring Break 07 - By now we know that Mom's melanoma cancer had spread to her brain. She had grown quite weary around this time. We didn't know if this was a reaction to medicine or the disease itself.
Baby Shower in Louisville - April 07
Easter o7

Mom's last trip to Columbus for a shower - May 07

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Officially Stressed

It's here. Stress has arrive on my doorstep this morning. And I feel like my head is spinning, as a result.

My friend Belinda called and said to pick a time to be together before I left. She said to look over my calendar and email the possibilities to her. I did just that, and could only come up with a couple, couple hour windows from which to choose.

When am I gonna go through my whole house and Goodwill what I don't want to take with me? When am I gonna say the goodbyes I want to say? When am I gonna have moments to myself to spend in the Park of Roses and the Caribou up the street and the cemetery with Duncan? When am I gonna eat up all the goodies in my deluxe freezer downstairs?

Wow. I'm in a tailspin. I guess the first step is to stop blogging and get to it.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Couple shots of 1734 7th St SW

OK, so I am a complete moron for NOT taking more photos of the house when we were in Rochester that one weekend. In my defense, when we went through it the last time, I a) didn't know that house was going to be the one we put the offer on and b) didn't think it would be the last time I saw it before we left.

Anyway, I'm kicking myself, cuz folks have been wanting to see it! Below are only two pics. The only ones we got. More to come when we actually arrive there...

This is the front living room. There's a bay window to the left and, of course, a fireplace!

This is the family room in the back of the house. The picture is taken from the kitchen... so the kitchen walks out to this little eat-in space and then into the casual family room... another fireplace (and you can catch a teensy glimpse of the screened-in porch to the left!!! A MAJOR bonus for me!). Can you see me deliberating??? I think I was stressed at this point!

Last Day

Yesterday was my last shift with Sophia. She has been SO good for Jackson and me. On the one hand, I was feeling like wrapping up my nannying position needed to happen - lots to do, lots to think about, lots of reasons to be a busy-body (and it's hard to get much done out of the house with the two of them!), but on the other hand, I am SO sad to see it end. It was such a priviledge to be apart of Sophia's life, months 6 -12 months. And she offered ME the structure and routine I was craving (not to mention some extra fun money) and JACKSON the socialization he was craving. A win, win.

So here are pics from our last day together. Love you Sophia!!!When I was growing up, my Aunt Jo used a phrase commonly: "Paybacks are hell." Well, Sophia, I'm sorry to say that Jackson has learned how to pull hair too. In previous weeks, Sophia has just been so excited to be around Jackson that she doesn't know what to do with herself - so she yanks and pulls and tugs to show her affection. But it's NOT malicious, just energy coming out. I caught Jackson, for the first time yesterday, "returning the favors."

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Celebratory Day

June 2, 2007. A Saturday. I had several nice visits that weekend from people I love, namely Becky, Lynette, and Amy. Then, Carey and her mom (Mel) stopped by unexpectedly on the afternoon of the 2nd. We had a nice chat about all sorts of things.... and at one point, I remember feeling that there MIGHT be a small chance that trickling was occurring. Trained to be proper and polite (yeah right), I kept my mouth shut (rare) and didn't interrupt the dialogue to say, "Guys, I've never done this before - so I don't want to alarm you - but I might need to go check real quickly to see if there's some amniotic fluid leaking out of me. Hold that thought while I find out if I'm going to have babies tonight." Instead, I assumed it was my imagination getting the best of me.

Once Carey and Mel left, I scurried to the bathroom. I did need to pee anyway, so why not give a little looker down there? The specific words that came next (to Scott) were, "Babe. I just finished going to the bathroom... BUT I'm still going." He wasted no time in flagging down a nurse.

And that began the process of one of the most incredible experiences I've ever had.

We celebrated that experience yesterday. Jackson and Duncan were born! The one year anniversary of that day was enhanced by a splendid gathering of loved ones in our back yard Monday night. Scott and I had talked long and hard about how to honor Duncan as well as Jackson. It's a tricky thing. How to honor and remember, yet not dwell and cling to? How to preserve, yet let go? We decided that although Duncan's memory may not need to be celebrated in an obvious way in future birthdays, this first one could/should include some serious Duncan representation. So after the eating was over, we all paraded to the Park of Roses, where Duncan's tree is located. And we showered Duncan with rose petals (sophisticated confetti!) and playful bubbles. To say, "We love you and celebrate you!" It was just what Scott and I were aiming for - touching and celebratory, not sad or melancholy (which represented our set of emotions on June 2 - to us it is a happy day...). It was a beautiful focal point to our park journey.

Ladybug cupcakes were the concluding activity of the party. Sophia, Jackson's pseudo twin (born at Riverside a mere 12 hours before Jackson and Duncan on June 2, 2007!), also participated in the cake-eating.

It was all around wonderful. I am a lucky woman to have a 1 year old named Jackson Reed Arthur. And a bunch of people I love and who love Jackson come to the party. (sigh). I'm gonna miss Columbus.