Archive for June, 2011



June 25, 2011

I am afraid to do a search on my own posts which deal with frustration. I think maybe 50% or more of my writing on this blog deal with me venting about a particular subject or aspect of my life. I love my life but sometimes I get stuck in a rut. I’m in one right now. My job requires me to produce writing — original, scientific writing. Just putting words on paper is extremely difficult. When I read my “To Do” list, I start to feel overwhelmed. I know how to deal with it — I braek it down into small manageable tasks. However, I get thrown off when my personal life starts to feel overwhelming. It is summer, and yes, as a professor I work through the summer. I taught one class and have research grants that require me to  fulfill my obligations throughout the summer. I don’t have time to write during the school year. Everyday this week, there has been some small emergency that I have had to leave work for to attend to — someone has lost something, a child is hurt, I have forgotten something at home, the day’s plan changes because of my husband’s work, and/or the day’s plan changes because of the kids nap schedule changes. I really do try to be a flexible as I can but I need to learn to take advantage of small bits of time. Maybe a better plan for me, instead of large looming projects, is to take home small projects (1 hour or less) that I can work on at night or anytime I can squeeze an hour into our hectic day. I was exercising regularly but everyday this week, my plan has been thwarted by these small plan deviations.

Where is the guidebook for how to negotiate all of these stressors? It is summer; I want to spend time with my children. How long have I had that paper to do revisions on it? When is that student supposed to graduate and why is it that his/her graduation hangs on my ability to read and provide feedback? Why did I agree to review that paper? How do I get that colleague to work on that paper (guild doesn’t work, tried it)? What is that student up to on the thesis and why haven’t I heard from him/her? All day and all night, these work questions are pumping through my head. This doesn’t include all of the family/kid unknowns. I think I need a vacation.


Right where I am Project: 3 years, 7 months, exactly

June 19, 2011

I am at a frantic time in my year. I made it through the semester: I go out into the field; I have dealines for grants and papers. I’ve been gone — physically and mentally. Last night I started reading some blogs again for the first time in many months and got wind of the “Right where I am Project” from Angie at StillLife365. I searched for the ladies that I knew and read their posts and then I was sent into a spiral of memories and self-analysis. How do I feel 3 years and 7 months after Norah died? Where am I right now?

My daughter Norah Clare died on November 18, 2007.  I was devastated; my children were confused and sad; my husband was lost. We did what we had to do to get through the first couple of months. At first, we were on the same grief page. He pulled it back together quicker than me. I grieved for a very long time. I had another baby, almost one year after Norah a died, a girl, my rainbow. She did bring happiness to me and my family; she did help us heal. I still grieved. Two and a half years after Norah died, I had another baby, a boy, my sunshine. We all healed some more. Our two little ones are so loved by the family, we know what the alternative is. I much prefer getting up 12 times a night and breastfeeding nonstop to buying a casket and burying my baby.

The conversations about Norah continue…

Oldest daughter (8): “I miss Norah.”

Me: “I do too.”

Oldest daughter: “Why did she have to die?”

Me: “I don’t know. Her heart stopped beating and her lungs stopped working. That situation is not compatible with life.”

Oldest Daughter: “Did it hurt to die?”

Me: “I don’t really know because I have never died. However, I suspect that it is easy and it doesn’t hurt to die. I suspect that it is peaceful.”

Oldest Daughter: “Where is Norah now?”

Me: “Norah is all around us. She is the wind, the trees, the air. She is the sunshine that warms our faces. She is the breeze that strokes our skin.”

Our family continues to heal but one is always missing. Always, she is the space at the dinner table, the space beside of me walking in the store, the space at the end of the sentence. If she were here, we would be…..

Where am I? Sometimes I am lost; sometimes I am here. My life moves onward. I am usually engaged but can fall into periods of melacholy. I am living.