April 15th, 2009 by Karen
Today is not just Tax Day when everyone over the age of 18 frets and worries and writes angry checks. Today is not just a day for Tea Parties and raging against the government that mismanages our money in such a way that would land an individual in jail. Today is not just the 97th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.
Today is my sweet little boy’s sixth birthday!!
Six years ago, at 3 in the morning, I got out of bed and quietly sat in the kitchen, desperately trying to finish our taxes between contractions. About 4:30 am, Joel realized I wasn’t in bed and came looking for me. Let’s just say he was pretty upset that I was doing the taxes in labor without letting him know!! Luckily, I was pretty much finished and my Dad saved the day and finished them up for us and took them to the post office while we were at the hospital.
Suddenly, he’s a kindergartener, the class clown, reading beyond his ken, creating fractal patterns of anything he can get his hands on, and playing the World of Goo where he creates bridges to his little engineering hearts content.
I have no idea where the time has gone…my only regret with him is that it passed so fast. My girls will still snuggle into my lap but Alex has already started the eyeroll and the “moooom” when I try to kiss his cheek in front of his classmates.
You can’t wait for them to grow up and be independent, but it still smarts a bit when they do!
In any case, today he is six and beyond the blue cupcakes for class, his only request is to go out to dinner someplace they have calimari.
That’s my boy!
April 15th, 2009 by Karen
This past week, Stephen has never been far from my thoughts. Because of the amazing generosity of so many family, friends and strangers, he and Rosemary were able to travel to Houston last week for the battery of tests to once again battle the Hodgkins and Non-Hodgkins lymphoma still attacking his body.
If all goes well and he stays healthy, he will go back in another week or two for the medication and treatment to finally kill it and put him squarely in remission.
Knowing Stephen and his profound affect on my little brother and all his friends, the fact that this travel occurred during Easter Week is well, nothing short of symbolic. The last three years Steve has traveled a long road with his friends by his side…being their rock when they doubted, sharing his own fears and being lifted up by them in turn, losing faith and rediscovering it over and over. Taking chemo and radiation treatments, bone marrow and stem cell transplants with short lived success. And then this solitary chance arose, a place that has done so much good for so many in his situation. An opportunity to overcome the death sitting in his chest. He took this journey to Houston akin to Christ’s own trip to Jerusalem. It’s a trip he knows will change everything. His friends celebrated with him and rejoiced, but I know that in each of them is that deep rooted fear that none dare voice…the fear that he is slipping away where they can not go.
Everyone who knows Stephen has high expectations that he will finally be safe and free and he and his friends can go back to joking and playing and being the young twenty-somethings they are and talking about baseball and barbeques instead of these suddenly somber men who use multi-syllabic medical terms in their everyday chatter.
That medicine they are making this week in Houston for Stephen will make him violently ill and so weak he will not be able to have visitors. He won’t be able to see his family or cling to Rosemary’s hand for comfort. He will be denied the creature comforts of home in the interest of sterility and his decimated immune system. He will be completely and utterly exhausted from the retching and the pain of feeling his insides torn apart.
In that IV bag is liquid death.
But in its plastic confines is Stephen’s final chance for rebirth in this world.
April 7th, 2009 by Karen
To say I am angry would not even begin to describe the blood that is currently boiling in my veins. I am at a loss for adjectives to describe how horrified and agitated I feel.
This morning over my morning coffee, I did what I always do…I run through my email, open my twitter, pidgin and skype for the day and then I hit Facebook and check the news headlines online at our local and regional papers to see what is going on in the world.
The first thing to greet me? A disturbing article about a new game out of Japan that is a rape simulator. Yes, you read that correctly. A video game that literally allows the player to tail and eventually rape an unsuspecting digital avatar. Whatever sick fucks programmed this thing need to have a little R&R at their local equivalent of the looney bin. A little shock therapy is more than in order.
Thoroughly disgusted, I flipped to the website for our regional paper to be greeted with the death of eight year old Sandra Cantu. Little Sandra went missing ten days ago from her home in a trailer park in Tracy. The police refused to catagorize her disappearance as a child abduction, so no Amber Alert was issued for the little one wasting valuable time in getting her back. This morning she was gruesomely found inside a suitcase in a farm collection pond.
I am sickened and disheartened that someone’s sweet little girl has been brutally ripped from their arms. My heart can only imagine the devestation her family must feel as their last shred of hope was torn from them.
When I was about eight or nine, I had a 10 speed bike and I was allowed to ride the bike around the neighborhood alone. I played with my friends, whose parents also let them wander the subdivision in the same manner. I have a daughter about the same age as Sandra and two other little ones and I don’t even feel safe letting them play in our front yard alone.
Why has our society become so violent against women and children? Those two groups have historically been considered worthy of protection…even in war raping, brutalizing and killing women and children is considered abhorrent behavior and is to be avoided at all costs. Why do we tolerate the sleeze in our midst that kills our children and rapes our bodies??
Call me intolerant, call me not understanding, call me cruel, but these men that commit these horrific sexual crimes against the weakest in our society do not deserve our pity for their childhood or our mercy in their punishments.
Christ taught us to turn the other cheek and to offer forgiveness to those who wrong us, but let us not forget that he also said “if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)