Monday, May 12, 2014

Eight Weeks Ago

how do you tell a six year old her world has been shattered?
if you're me, it goes like this:

Emily:  Hey, Dexy is Here!!  Where's Pixie?  Where's Max?
Me:  Honey, Sit down, We need to talk.
Emily: Okay, but - where is everyone, why are we at Erma's?
Me: I need to tell you something, but first, WE are all okay.  We are safe.  Something Happened Em, there was a fire.
Emily: Pixie?!
Me: She's gone baby.
Emily: MAXI!?
Me: She's gone too, they're all gone baby.  I am so sorry baby, I am so sorry.
Emily:  YOU PROMISED!!!
Me: We promised we'd do our best to keep everyone safe, and not have this happen, I am so sorry.
Mike: We tried honey, we did.
Me: Dexy survived because she was hiding in the basement.
But listen.  Pixie was old, and she was ready.  She knew you'd need Dex because she sleeps with you every night, Rufus was ready for Sera to come home and play with him again.  He missed her terribly.  And the boys?  Well, Gullie & Ollie have never been apart, and they wanted to stay together.  God gave Maxi to Pixie, so she could play.  Finally, Pixie can play again.  She has both of her eyes, she can run and play.  She's happy. Healthy.  She's not in pain anymore.
Emily: So, we have five more stars in the sky?
Me: Yes baby, we do.

On Thursday, March 13th at 345pm, I received a phone call I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemy. 

My house, my home, was on fire.  All six of my pets were inside, and normally, my husband would be too.  Thankfully, that day, he had something else to do, and while he was heading home - he wasn't there.

We don't know when it started, we don't know how long it was burning.  My neighbor across the street saw flames and smoke, and called 911.  By the time the fire departments (there were 3) responded, it was too late for our animals.  Dexy was hiding in the basement, where she had routinely gone to escape Maxi's advances for play. 

Fire has recently been Emily's biggest fear.  Irrational, Petrified, Unconsoleably (is that a word??) Sad and Nervous.  No matter what we told her, or how we comforted her, the fear was there.  We couldn't figure out why she was so nervous, yes - fire prevention week had recently passed, but there was never a mention of it.  And then one day ... it was all she could talk about - almost obsessively.

We had a plan, an escape route, a meeting place.  We assured her that we would all get out, and if we couldn't find all of our "babies" (pets) - the firefighters would.  Because that was what they were good at.  We would all be safe. We would all be fine.  We were wrong.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Trying to be the change . . .

Some time ago, a very dear friend of mine shared a story with me. 
She donated bone marrow to a perfect stranger in order to help prolong, and potentially save, her life.

Very recently, a senior at the University I work, gave up his sports dream to donate bone marrow to a perfect stranger in hopes of prolonging, and potentially saving, his life.

This has always been a dream of mine.  To help someone with something so vital, so personal, so amazing.  In a way that only "a match" can.  Up until now I've been a coward.  You see I hate needles.  I've heard it's painful (I'm allergic to most of the stronger pain medications).  Surgery sends me into full blown anxiety/panic attacks. (I wasn't able to hold my daughter, for four hours after CSection - until my anxiety medication wore off enough for me to move my feet.)

On Saturday, June 1st, there was a bone marrow "drive" .. for a local boy who is in desperate need of a match.  

On Saturday, June 1st, I went to the bone marrow "drive" in hopes that I would be a match for this boy, or anyone else out there that may need my help.

I would never have been able to do this without the inspiration of those around me.

I find out soon, hopefully, if I'm a match him.
I find out soon, hopefully, if I'm a match to anyone.

Don't let your fears stop you from helping someone who desperately needs it.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world"  Mahatma Gandhi

I'm Trying.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

... EverySingleDay ...

So I've been radio silent for too long here.  (Since November 6, 2012 - as I was gently reminded a few weeks ago)

Lots of things have been happening here, some good, some great, some slit-my-wrist-in-a-bathtub ... Lots of things.

There is no secret that the last year ... or so ... has been a little more than survivable.  Barely more than survivable.

From watching family members lose things (businesses, homes, friends, marriages) to absolutely losing and nearly losing things myself, it was barely survivable.   However, thus far, we have.  We have all survived.  Thus Far.

Without reliving every gory, heartbreaking, and terrifying detail - I'll recount as much as I can because I haven't updated in a while.

In March of 2012, my parents had to close their company of 17 years.   In turn, I lost my job of 12 years.

Then on January 4th, I was laid off.  Due to the "Fiscal Cliff" the company I worked for no longer had construction work, thus claiming they no longer had need or work for me.  I was pissed.  relieved, because I was so unhappy there, but pissed .. the words they'd said, the things they promised, the work I'd done - echoed through my reeling mind.

Not only did they lay me off on a Friday Afternoon, at 230, but they walked me to my desk, stood there while I cleaned it out, and waited while I left.  They refused to allow me to finish my 1.5 hours of that shift, stating instead they'll pay me until 4, but I needed to go.  So I did.  I packed my meager belongings (I hadn't yet made that place home .. it didn't feel like home, and I'd learned from having to pack up an office of 12 years, the less stuff, the better --- those boxes remain packed up, in stacks, in our spare room) and left.   Seething.  Bubbling under the surface.   But relieved.

They weren't nice people.   They never took responsibility for anything they did, instead, saw fit to blame everyone else, whenever they could.  I should have seen the writing on the wall.  I should have listened to the others that were working there.  They all left, of their own accord, in September & October.  Instead, I stayed on.  Hoping they were wrong, hoping it would change, and start to feel like home.  Instead, I was blindsided.  They'd just had a Christmas party, thanked us all, and given us bonuses (some more than others) and handed out door prizes (A popcorn machine, a WII and a 42 inch flat screen TV -- the 3 employees who were there the longest ended up "being the lucky ticket holders" - the rest of us were given gift certificates to a Frozen Yogurt place.  It was kind, it was nice, it was rigged) .. they just said they had the best year on record, and were continuing to grow.  We were in it together, for the long haul.

Except they were no longer growing, and we certainly weren't in it together.

Back on unemployment, Emily home with me in the afternoon .. she hated it.  I hated it.  Not spending time with each other, we did some fun things, had some times with some great friends, but never the less - we hated this "in between" time.  This "will we make it" time.  Times were tough as it was, still trying to recover from the nearly 8 dollar an hour cut in pay, plus the months of unemployment - and here we were, just when things were starting to look up, there goes that damn rug again.

I sulked.  I whined.  I bitched.  I moaned.  But mostly, I watched HuluPlus and Netflix.   I searched for jobs, sent out resumes, took phone call interviews, I even went so far as to apply with a temp agency.  (who is still calling me 2 months later, trying to "place" me ... when I've told them in no uncertain terms, I am employed, please use your resources for those that need the help).  Every.Single.Day.

Now?  I am gainfully, happily, healthily Employed.

That's right.  I am loving my job.   seriously, Loving.

I am now employed by the University of New Hampshire.  Not bad for a kid people said would never amount to anything.  Not bad for a girl who never went to college on her own.   Not bad for someone who thought she was going to drown in all the sorrow of the past year.   Who still has to find the courage and strength to swim against that current more often than she cares to admit.  Not Bad At All.

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I even have a title.  No, really.  Ready?

Amy Mayo
Business Service Assistant II for the Business Service Center for the College of Liberal Arts at the University of New Hampshire (BSA II, for the COLA BSC at UNH for short) ... I am also the Telecommunications Account Manager for the Business Service Center for the College of Liberal Arts at the University of New Hampshire (or TAM, for the COLA BSC at UNH for short) I have an alphabet!  Well, okay, not the entire alphabet, but damn I'm getting close!

I wake up each day, and I'm not dreading the drive in.  I'm not dreading the co-workers. I'm not dreading the work.  I wake up each day, and while I don't exactly vault out of bed, I don't lollygag as much as I used to.

AND?   I get to see things like this:

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Every Single Day.

I am happy.
I am healthy.
I am different.

and also?
This:

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Fill it Out. you know you want to

Can you fill this out without lying?
You need to answer all the questions HONESTLY.

1.What was the last thing you put in your mouth?
 Penis. Just kidding... no but really. I'm sorry. --- this answer was just too good to change :)

2.Where was your profile picture taken?
My favorite place in the world - our boat, on the lake

3.Can you play Guitar Hero?
 Nope

4.Name someone who made you laugh today?
Mary Jo

5.How late did you stay up last night and why?
11pm-ish .. couldn't sleep

6.If you could move somewhere else, would you?
Nope

7. Ever been kissed under fireworks?
Yep

 8. Which of your friends lives closest to you?
That's a tough one .. everyone has moved recently .. Brandie is still the closest I think

9. Do you believe ex's can be friends?
Meh, depends on the Ex and what caused the "EX" status

10. How do you feel about Dr. Pepper?
Eh

11. When was the last time you cried really hard?
Tuesday, April 16th

12. Who took your profile picture?
I did

13. Who was the last person you took a picture of?
Emily and Mike


14. Was yesterday better than today?
Not so far.

15. Can you live a day without TV?
Nope

16. Are you upset about anything?
The state of the world I am raising my daughter in.


17. Do you think relationships are ever really worth it?
Absolutely

18. Are you a bad influence?
Yep

19. Night out or night in?
Nice night out followed by the remainder of the night in.

20. What items could you not go without during the day?
Music.  whatever I'm using to play IHeartRadio.com

21. Who was the last person you visited in the hospital?
My Mommy.

22. What does the last text message in your inbox say?
"Your reg is all set if you get pulled over"

23. How do you feel about your life right now?
Pretty dang good

24. Do you hate anyone right now?
I do not hate anyone.  ever.  I am indifferent to a few people. but hate? No

25. If we were to look in your facebook inbox, what would we find?
Old messages ... messages about baby showers, friends who are adopting, the upcoming Relay, and yard sale site purchases

26. Say you were given a drug test right now, would you pass?
Damn skippy -- I even have someone you can call to administer testing - if you need!!

27. Has anyone ever called you perfect before?
Nope.  I'm blissfully Imperfect

28. What song is stuck in your head?
1, 2, 3, 4 - Plain White T's

29. Someone knocks on your window at 2:00 a.m., who do you want it to be?
Someone who clearly doesn't want to live

30.Wanna have grandkids before you’re 50?
Nope

31. Name something you have to do tomorrow?
Work.  Which I'm loving .. A LOT

32. Do you think too much or too little?
Too Much

33. Do you smile a lot?
I do the best I can

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

She's Only Five.

My child is amazing.
She is smart, she is witty, she is kind, caring, gentle.

She is also mean, fresh, mouthy, sarcastic and bitter, and vicious.

My child is five.

Those times when she grates on my last nerve with her mouthy fresh barbs.  Those times when I think - I can't take it anymore - I'm done, over it - out. (and trust me, they happen.  embarrassingly, they happen)  Those times when I have just Had It.   Those times?  I need to remind myself - she's only five.

She acts, talks, thinks, and reacts like a 12 year old.
She acts, talks, thinks, and reacts like a 5 year old.

My child is five.

as much as I absolutely, without fail, miss this little girl:

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I absolutely, without fail, adore this one:

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I need to remember.  She's Only five.

She has those moments where she makes my heart melt:
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But really .. she's only five.

We will have days when we fight, when she says things that are hurtful.  When she pushes those buttons... but then.

She's Only Five.

And she does stuff like this:

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And then I laugh, and smile .. and melt again

Monday, September 17, 2012

Simple Goals

I'm a fairly simple, easy-going girl.


I always have been (in my own head.) low maintenance.   Very few things are necessary to make me happy. A camera, a book, and a little time to myself - perfect afternoon.


After getting married, and having a child?  Those types perfect afternoons are fewer and farther between.  I have to adjust my way of thinking.  So .. Now?  A perfect afternoon still involves a camera, but now I don't "need" (always) the time to myself.

Since being married, and a mom - my goals have also shifted.  No longer do I strive for professional perfection.  No longer do I strive to dine out every night of the week, or even once a week, or even once a month.  No longer do I strive to see "The It Movies" while they're in the theaters.  No longer do I want to be President, or a Lawyer.  Now?  Now my goals are .. eating dinner together, at a decent time, at the table.  To maybe have some time to myself, once a month or so (Book club) .. to keep in touch with friends (which gets harder and harder to do it seems.) Now, I strive to make sure that Emily has everything she needs, while still understanding the differences between "want" and "need" ... 

However, ONE goal that I have had since I was a little girl - third grade, actually, when we moved from Massachusetts to New Hampshire - was to see every Covered Bridge that is still standing in New Hampshire.   Legitimately.  And to photograph them, naturally.  I will complete this goal, even if it takes me the rest of my life.

Thus far, we have crossed 10 of the listed covered bridges off ... (though, since some of them are close, I'm sure I'll double dip a few times. So to speak)

This past Saturday, we decided to take a jaunt to the closest town that we hadn't traveled to - in order to see the two bridges there.

Here are just a few of my most favorite pictures from Saturday, our recent Covered Bridge Excursion.

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Perfect Late Summer Day <3 br="br">


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Unpopular Opinion ..

I have never - in my entire 31 years of existence - held back an opinion.  I may have softened one.  I may have slightly altered one.  But I have Never Held One Back.

Today - is September 11th.   
Today - is 11 years since the terror attacks on US Soil took the lives of thousands of people.  
Innocent People.

Today - is the day my unpopular opinion *should* probably be held back, but I can't.  It wouldn't be true to who I am.

I fully believe we should, and that we will not ever, forget the events of that day, and those immediately following - and the "reality" that is now.   I fully believe we should, and that we will not ever, forget the victims of that day, and those of the immediate days following.  I fully believe we should, and that we will not ever, forget the heroes of that day, and those that emerged immediately after.

That said.   I don't see how it's healthy, or helpful, to consistently - year after year - replay the events of that day, and those following - on the anniversary.


The people who were in NYC?  Near that field in PA?  In the Pentagon?  Or those who had loved ones who were?  Are not the ones you see posting "I remember" or "never forget" or "9-11" with a little heart - all over social media.  They are not the ones who are giving media interviews, 11 years later with where they were, and what they remember of that day. They are not the ones who need the attention of "remembering" ... they?  remember every day.   They can never forget.


They cannot live their lives 'normally', they cannot escape it.  

We?  We, who were in rural/urban NH or rural Wisconsin or the metropolis California even?  We escape it for the rest of the year, except this one day.  Maybe the week leading up to it.

Those family members who gave birth in the days following - while missing vital members of their family?    They aren't the ones posting "I remember" ... they have an 11 year old reminder, every second of every day.

It is my (unpopular) opinion that reading the names of those lost, every year, is harmful.

It is my (unpopular) opinion that in order to remember, we need to some how - some how - move on.  We need to remember, yes.  Never forget, surely.  but we NEED to move on, not backwards.

These people need to heal.

I have devoured everything written, or created, photographed, reported, recorded, remembered by those that were there - with regards to this day.  This infamous day in History.  I cannot imagine having to relive the  last moments my husband had before his plane slammed into a building in front of the entire world.


I cannot imagine reliving that in front of the entire world.  I don't think we should expect them to.  I don't think we should require them to.


I think there are honorable, respectful ways to remember those lost.  Remember those who have fought every day for us, for them.  I think we can figure out a way to Honor this day.  Without forgetting.  Without reliving.

It's Unpopular, but it's mine.