you just never know what’s gonna pop up.

Googled a website today that was instrumental in helping ME survive my daughter’s illness, 8 years ago.  My last couple attempts to log in were met with failure so I thought I’d see if I could figure out what was going on. Google sent me to a list of articles and restaurants (?) and, surprisingly, a blog written by the founder of another organization that set me back years during the recovery stage of my daughter’s illness..  Weird.

Long story short, and I think I have written about it on this blog somewhere, I was asked to become a board member of an organization working in the field of my daughters illness.  Asked after MANY long conversations and emails.  The founding Exec. Director was stepping down and I applied, on a whim.  Im one of those people who wants to pay it forward, and since we had been helped by so many when our daughter was struggling, I thought this might be the opportunity to step it up and be a force.  WRONG.  So, anyway, we talked and talked and talked. They ultimately chose another applicant, but called to ask me to take on another role, sort of a face for the organization.  Someone who could speak with parents, the press, the former exec., the new exec. Great gig, right?  WRONG.

My husband and I planned on making the trip to DC for their National Conference, I bought a new suit — took a day off work and drove down.  After signing in, with a wonderful lady who knew my name and seemed excited to see me, I wandered around for about a half hour, introducing myself, unsure of what or where my place was — feeling like I had stumbled into a Sorority Mixer that I wasn’t really invited to.  Finally the new Exec. Director approached and told me “don’t introduce yourself as a board member, the members are getting offended.”  Huh?  “There are people on the board who don’t know about this decision, people who have worked with us for a while, who are unhappy, trying to figure out who you are.”  HUH?  Wouldn’t the business meeting the night before have been a good time to tell them about me or the role you had in mind for me?

Needless to say, this did not end well.  We stayed the day, listened to the self congratulatory speeches about all the organization had accomplished, watched the new Exec. Director be introduced — Couldn’t get out of there fast enough. I remember my husband’s face as he tried to gauge my disappointment, tried to say the right thing.  I had been “removed” , belittled and dismissed by people that  I thought shared my vision, people I wanted to work alongside.  His proclamation?  “You don’t need them, bunch of stuck up women”.  Gotta love him.

Which leads me back to where this post began.  Google led me to  a blog entry, written by the former Exec.  about another website set up to help people suffering from this illness, and their families.  Very similar initiative.  The former Exec. had been ‘removed” from this site for a difference of opinion, belief, whatever.  Years ago.  Apparently her removal was the impetus for starting the new organization.  Apparently she feels the former site was detrimental, archaic and giving bad information.  Maybe, I don’t know. I don’t think so.   The former site had, truly, given me solace and comfort when my daughter was suffering.  I could turn to the site and post my feelings, my fears, my challenges, our triumphs.  I didn’t fixate on  the ads or the promos, didn’t see this organization as promoting themselves as experts, just purveyors of information for you to analyze yourself — I needed moms and dads, brothers and sisters, to listen to, react to and empathize with what we were going through. That is what I got there.  No preaching.  No “our way or the highway”.

So in her blog she ranted about the horrors of the site and demanded it be taken down or revamped.  Sometime in the period of her writing the blog and the time I found the entry, the site had, indeed, been taken  down.  Because of her feelings?  Because of her blog?  Doubtful, but who knows.  On that former site I had shared information with parents.  People had contacted me, comforted me — given me advice and led me to resources that , I believe, helped our family survive.

And yet, the other site couldn’t stand the presence of their existence.  Ironic, right?.  She described her hurt at being removed from the original site, the pain it caused.  I offer up, as a comparison, the pain this group of women caused me when they dismissed me , revoked their offer to work ( for free, obviously) with them.  They missed out on something good.  Im good at this, this advocacy gig.  I am working to better the lives of women, to eliminate racism, to promote health and joy and empowerment.  Your loss, dude.  look in the mirror.

You just never know what’s gonna pop up when you hit “search’

What mess is this?

I refuse to believe this is a Pre-Christmas funk, because I just dont do that.  I prefer to think of it as post -traumatic stress syndrome.  Dramatic?  maybe, but over the past 7 or so years my life has been full of bumps, hell, downright BUMPS interspersed with immeasurable  moments of golden joy — and I think it is really beginning to take its toll.

I have said for years that I am the worst judge of character EVER.  I believe what people say to me, I am sure that I am mistaken, or to blame, if someone comes off as iffy or shady.  I let people, or in this case, institutions, in and then I am amazed, floored, downright pissed off when they let me down.

Someone said to me yesterday “Your one weakness is you dont like being told NO”.  Huh.  Like that’s ever happened.  I’ve heard and FELT no more times than I can remember.  Havent we all?  My weakness is I expect to be told “yes” when it is regarding someone or something that I believe in.

And I have reached a time in my life where I have the voice to say so.  But, I still am disappointed when I have to regroup, rethink, reexamine someone or something I have put my energy into.

And, I also, deal with the reality that every hit brings back some of the bangs of the past.

small small world

there was a terrible accident in Seattle this week.  all the way across the country from the east coast.  I caught a bit of it on  the news, a set of grandparents walking across a street with their daughter and her baby — and — suddenly they are hit by a drunk driver.  grandparents killed, baby and mom in critical condition….

I stared at the TV, said a silent prayer for all of them, shook my head and went about my day.

 

Then I went, two days later, over to see my daughter, whos best friend had flown in with her 7 month old baby, from the west coast, to visit.  She had never met my youngest  grandchild and walking into my daughters house it was wonderful to see those two girls together again. We chatted a few minutes, sitting on the floor marveling at the perfection of the three babies they had produced.  Then I asked, how are you, hows John?  and a glaze came over her face, she swallowed hard and related the story of how there had been a tragedy the day she left Seattle.  Her husband had been planning a peaceful week at home while she came east, but then he got the call that his friend’s wife and child were in critical condition, his inlaws dead.

And suddenly the world shrunk, almost like it had been shrink wrapped in that filmy plastic stuff that wraps Easter baskets and the like.

Small small world.  Pain and connection and sorrow and wonder stretches across the continent, just like that.