My surgery to reattach my intestines and get rid of my colostomy bag is in less than 2 weeks, on Wednesday, October 25th. I am definitely nervous about it. Everything from getting an IV to having my intestines reattached and eating afterward without ripping my intestines apart, to the pain after surgery. I am afraid of the IV because nurses tend to have a really bad time getting an IV in me and I have to be stuck several times. When that fails, they may try to give me a midline, which is painful. I’ll find out this Thursday at my pre surgery appointment what the guidelines are for me eating, but whenever I’m allowed to eat I’m going to be afraid of a whole lot of pain and torn intestines. I am also going to miss food, as I’m guessing I won’t be able to eat for awhile. And I am dreading the pain when I wake up from surgery. I was in a lot of pain when I woke up from the surgery that gave me my colostomy bag, and this is supposed to be more major surgery than that.
At the same time, I am so thrilled that I won’t have to live with a colostomy bag anymore. I just have to get through this surgery (well, possibly two more surgeries depending on how things go) and I will be back to normal. I am so excited that I am counting down the days.
I’ve been busy the past couple of weeks. I’ve spent a lot of time hanging with friends and reading. I am excited about my new secret sister. I’m in a group that just started a secret sister swap. You get a name and address and some basic information about the person, and then you send them little cards and gifts. You also pray for them. In April you find out who your secret sister was. I need to get creative with my little gifts.
I am taking a break from writing and instead focusing on reading and researching. It refreshes me. You can’t take water from a dry well, or withdraw from a bank account you haven’t been depositing in. Well, I have withdrawn and withdrawn from my creative account and now it is time to make some deposits by reading.
Angelica’s 4th birthday was on October 4. We had her party on Sunday the 8th. Vicki and Joel, my inlaws, came to town for it and my parents and my sister were there too. My parents brought a pinata and she had a blast with it. She has been munching on the candy all week. She loves all her gifts.
Last night Craig was sleeping with his head on my shoulder and I just realized I’ve been given a second chance at life. In another generation having diverticulitis and a hole in your intestines would be a death sentence. Your intestines would leak and you would get sepsis and die. But modern medical technology, as gross as this bag is, allows me to have a second chance to live my life and be with my husband. And that’s a beautiful thing because I can’t imagine being without him. And I can’t imagine leaving him alone to spend his days and nights by himself and raise our daughter alone.
Nonetheless I woke up this morning depressed by my bag. As I was sitting on the sofa feeling tired and depressed, Angelica randomly brought me one of my Bible devotionals. It was open to a page about guardian angels and I realized there’s an angel around me. I’m not alone. I have an angel watching over me. It gives me some comfort. Maybe my guardian angel was convincing me to go to the hospital on the day my intestines opened up. I was in pain, but I couldn’t imagine that anything was seriously wrong so I was on the fence about going to the hospital. I almost didn’t go. If I hadn’t my intestines might have leaked and I would have had sepsis and died. I can’t imagine leaving Angelica motherless.
Later on I opened the devotional myself to a random page and the page landed on was about trials and tribulations. It was about God rewarding you at the end of a trial. This is a trial to me. But if I can get through this I will be rewarded with abundant life when it is over – if I draw closer to God.
It’s funny how these devotionals can really speak to you and just the way you need in times of stress and duress. It’s the workings of God.
“You need to have a boy to carry on the family name.” “It is your responsibility to have a boy. We don’t need more girls. We need a boy.” But, I explain, girls are wonderful and I would love ten more of them. My father had two girls and was happy with them. “Well then your family is history. They’re dead then.”
These were a few of the remarks I got from my husband’s grandfather and his grandfather’s girlfriend. And I was really taken aback. Society has advanced so much but to hear that a girl child is not as welcome as a boy child really threw me for a loop. How could anyone look at my beautiful baby girl and see her as being less than the best? Why is a boy necessary or even desirable when we have her? And if I did have another baby why wouldn’t I want to experience the joy of raising a baby girl again?
My daughter is not a consolation prize. She is not what you accept when you can’t get something better. There is nothing better and I would not favor having a son over her.
Girls carry the family legacy just as much as boys do, and in fact girls are often the glue that holds a family together. It is women that knot the ties that bind. And many of us do carry our father’s names probably either by keeping our maiden names or using our maiden names as a middle name. Whatever accomplishments I may have in my life, whether it is getting a book published or something else, my father’s name will be emblazoned on me and I will do him proud. No, my children will not carry my father’s name, but what is the arrogance of man that he thinks he can pass down his label through every generation? Do men really think that when someone achieves something great six Generations from now anyone is going to look back and say well your great-great-great grandfather must have been a hell of a guy? You can’t pass on a name forever, and if you have posterity worth being celebrated and researched, their mother and her forebears will be researched also.
What we need are patriarchal family units, but a more matriarchal society. The roles and achievements of women are just as important as the roles and achievements of men, and we are as much part of our family lineages as males are.
So no, I don’t need a son. I have a daughter to carry my husband’s family and mine. She is as much a Minner and an Applegate as she is a McLemore, and she will be part of the McLemore line after she marries. It is time to talk about the legacy of daughters.
Craig got home on Friday and we got to pick him up around noon. It has been so nice having him here. Angelica actually thinks he lives on the ship, and whenever he has to go to the ship she says he’s going home. Today we went to the ship for Craig to offload the rest of his stuff from his stateroom and she asked if daddy was going home. We try to explain to her that Daddy lives with us and just works on the ship, but after the last big deployment that doesn’t really seem to sink in with her and she’s quite sure Craig lives on the Eisenhower! It’s cute and sad at the same time.
We stayed in for most of the weekend, but today we went to Steak N Shake in Virginia Beach. I love that place. Forget my previous post about dieting. You can’t diet when the possibility of Steak N Shake exists. The diet will have to wait for another day. I got the shooter trio with two garlic burgers with cheese, and one cajun burger with cheese. Then I got an orange creamsicle milkshake. Delicious.
Parsnip is settling in to family life quite well. He apparently got out of his enclosure last night and Craig found him waiting patiently outside the enclosure this morning, wanting to get back in to get to his food and water. I don’t know whether he leaped over the side or if he squeezed out because I didn’t have it secure enough. If he could squeeze out though you’d think he could squeeze back in, which makes me wonder if he jumped out and maybe had a hard time clearing that height. But at any rate he was not destructive even though he was by himself out of his enclosure for who knows how long, and today I even let him in the master bedroom and closet and bathroom, so now he has been everywhere except the FROG and laundry room.
I love it when he jumps up on the sofa to sit with me, and he grooms me and gives me kisses. He would have loved Jack. They are the best two bunnies ever. I’m so glad I found another companionable bunny. He makes the house more lively and cheerful. I always look forward to letting him out of his enclosure when I get home. He runs loose the whole time I’m home. He enjoys relaxing under the window behind the rocking chair in the library.
Angelica loves having him and is always petting him and feeding him. The first thing she does when I wake up in the morning is ask me to take him out. Getting a pet was definitely the right decision from her point of view as well. As I write, she’s playing with him.
Yesterday I went over to my parents’ house and I spent ended up spending the night. Angelica slept on the sofa and I slept in the twin bed in the guest room. We had a great time. I went with Dad to Home Depot to get parts for the garbage disposal he was replacing, and then I hung out with Mom. Mom made her signature gourmet macaroni and cheese bake with bread crumbs. Divine. It was so good I had more for lunch today.
Last night we rented Moana and watched it together. I’d never let Angelica watch it before because of the demigod in it, but after going over some Christian reviews with my Mom I decided to let her try it. It was a great little movie. Good graphics and good music. Moana was a sweet, strong character.
Craig and I had a good conversation. He called at about 10. It feels so good to hear his voice. It almost makes him feel a little less far away. One week down on this mini deployment.
After the movie we went to bed and I slept like a rock. I didn’t wake up til 11:20! My mom and dad took care of Angelica and let me sleep, even taking her to Target for new clothes. When I woke up, and after they got home, I went back out to Target with my Mom and then I came home and hung out for a little while. I’ve since headed home and here I am taking a break from house cleaning. Angelica is with my parents to spend the night again. She was so happy to be staying with them. Angelica adores spending time with my parents.
My parents are so good to Angelica and love spending time with her. They always do a lot for her and she looks forward to seeing them, begging me to take her over there on the days we are staying home just the two of us. She misses them when we go home.
I love spending time with my parents too. I’m reconnecting with them. I would have stayed another night, but I needed to go home and take my day meds and also I wanted a little time to myself to dream and create and clean. I’m someone who likes a lot of down time at home, and it is nice that to know Angelica is having a fabulous time with my parents while I’m getting that alone time. My parents and Angelica have become so close. I really love my parents, and so does Angelica, and I regret the time lost with them.
Today I was hit almost head on by someone heading in the opposite direction on 168. I was at the light waiting to turn and she was starting to drive after her light turned green and something in her car fell and she bent down to look for it and veered out of her lane and right into me. The car seems to be drive-able, but I haven’t had to take it far. I’m worried my AC may have been damaged, but time will tell. We stood outside for two hours waiting for the state trooper to arrive.
The lady was nice, said it was her first accident. She was an older woman. It sucks that now I have to take the car in and get it fixed when it just got out of the body shop from the accident we were in back in May. This has already been a rough summer for that car.
My mom came down in case we needed help getting home and she hung out with us for awhile. She has since left and I’m letting Angelica spend tonight and tomorrow night over at my parents’ house. I want her to get to spend extra time with them now that it is summer and my mom is on summer break.
As for me, I’ll just be relaxing tonight. I might watch a movie. I know I’m going to read before Craig calls. I’ll study the Bible. I might take a hot bath. I might write. I feel lonely without Craig or Angelica, but it will be nice to have some time to myself and I’m so glad she’s getting extra time with my parents.
Today my mom bought me a little lime pillow. It is going to jazz up my green, green sofa. Here’s a photo of it on a chair at the store. This week I’ll get a photo of it on my green sofa. It is so fresh and verdant and wet looking. It looks divine.
Grandma also got Angelica a bubble blowing kit. Angelica had fun outside making bubbles. We had a lovely day together. My dad was there too. He has some time off work for a change.
In the room with the low light
and the high shadows
she says hello to her grandmother,
her grandmother’s sin,
and can’t see Heaven for all the Earth that lies ahead
on her head.