Infertility Bites

Infertile, Trying to Conceive, and Forty-One Years Old – Ain't THAT a Bummer!?!

Happy 2009! Mindless entertainment for you January 5, 2009

Filed under: Random chunks of thought — vamplita @ 2:01 pm
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Yes, I’m alive.  Lazy as hell, but alive. 

Here’s something fun to do that I stole creatively acquired from Kimbosue’s blog, and thought it’d be a hoot. 

Simply copy the list and cross out the ones you have done.
1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/Disneyworld
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang/played a solo – in band, on tenor saxophone
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris  (airport only though)  :o/
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch (Is needlework an art?)
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty -no, but I did walk down from the top of the Empire State Building
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch-hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping (daytime and nighttime – ha!)
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise – It was actually a three-hour tour… no, really.
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language –  Does Pig Latin count??  :oÞ
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa (again, airport only – sigh)
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale-watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets, or plasma
65. Gone skydiving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox – twice!!
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous – Does Jackie Mason count?  Do college football coaches count? 
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Made a baby – Lollipop counts, dammit!
95. Seen the Alamo in person – I am a Texan, after all. 
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake – no, but I have been swimming in the Arctic Ocean…I’m a Polar Bear Club member, heh.
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

 

IUI #3 in mere hours October 29, 2008

I’ve been informed that IUI #3 is scheduled for tomorrow morning, at 10AM.  I have to say that I’m rather excited about this time around.  It’s almost the same way I felt when we did the first IUI.  I’m eager to get it done, partially because I am sick of injecting the oh-so-pricey Gonal-F.  I did my last injection of it last night for this cycle, thank the good Lord.  I’m also eager because I have a good feeling about this time around.  I’ve got a good feeling about this IUI, partly because I now know for a fact that I can get pregnant this way.  I know it works. 

I’m also nervous about the IUI because, once again, in spite of our best efforts, I’ve only managed to produce one follicle that looks to be a decent size.  The follie we’re placing this month’s hopes on was an acceptable 17mm in size on Monday’s scan.  I may as well have taken a smaller dose, since I got the same results on the smaller dose too.  Damnation.  Why, oh why, couldn’t I respond to fertility meds like normal ladies would??  Any other person who took that much of Gonal-F would have had enough viable follies to start her own football basketball team, for Pete’s sake.  Sigh.  Don’t get me wrong – I’m grateful that I don’t have OHSS or anything of the sort.  But… why not more than one follicle?  Just once?  Still, I did get pregnant last time with just one follicle, didn’t I?  It could happen!      

Please, y’all keep your fingers crossed that this IUI works, and that we get a real, live, healthy take-home baby.  I know all the statistics.  I know they’re certainly not as in my favor as they would be if I were five (or ten years!) younger.  Still, we could be that couple who succeeds, right? 

I don’t even want to think about what we’d do (or not do) if this doesn’t work this time around.  I know it’s ridiculous not to think about it, but it’s not like I don’t know what could happen.  It’s not like I haven’t been there, done that.  La, la, la!  I’m not listening!

I was thinking about it, and if I do get pregnant this time around, the baby’s due date will be around August 1st.  Not exactly ideal, from a teaching perspective or a weather perspective, but don’t think I wouldn’t take it in a nanosecond!  I can handle a third trimester in the sweltering heat and humidity of July and August in Texas, ’cause I know what the (likely?) outcome would be.  Hell, if someone could guarantee that it would work, I’d do it standing on my frickin’ head, thankyouverymuch. 

Anyway… I worked at the Fall Festival here at our school last weekend, to earn some of those much-needed internship hours I require to satisfy the 140 hours required for my Masters degree in Educational Administration, and to qualify to take the test to become an administrator.  I do enjoy teaching, but I certainly don’t see myself in the classroom until can I retire in about 900 years.  I believe I will be a good admin, but that test we have to take to get the certification is nasty, y’all.  Ugg-gah-lee.  I generally don’t do much (read any) studying for a test like that, because there’s really no way to prepare.  However, this time, I at least need to see a practice test, to see what it’s going to be like.  There’s just. so. much. material.  It’s mindboggling how much crap they expect us to know and remember.  I’d be lying if I didn’t say that this certification exam has me concerned, even thought the test isn’t until next Spring or early Summer. 

What can I say?  I worry, therefore I am. 

Wish me luck tomorrow, please.  Ten years of trying is long enough.  Really and truly.     

XOXO

 

My version of Show and Tell October 12, 2008

For those who may or may not know, Hurricane Ike left a massive amount of destruction in its wake.  My cousin sent this PowerPoint to me, and I hope I can get it to work for you.  Just to cover my butt, I have no idea who put this together, but I’m sure several (if not all) of the pictures are the copyrighted property of someone.  Since I don’t know who all of you photographers are, I wanted to say that I am only posting this in the interest of public information.  I don’t make a dime on this, trust me.  If any of you know who the owners of these photos are, send me the info, and I’ll happily edit this entry and add their names with my hearty thanks.  Lastly, if I’ve used your photo and you don’t want me to include it in this PowerPoint, please inform me, and I will gladly remove it with my apologies.

hurricane-ike-pics1

 

Good News/Bad News October 8, 2008

The Evacuation

  • Good news:  we evacuated from Ike without any issues or Rita-like traffic jams.  More importantly, we managed to leave before I murdered my husband in a fit of anxiety/panic/frustration.
  • Not-so-good news:  Hurricane Ike’s path included the part of Texas to which we evacuated.  His winds caused a substantial amount of destruction throughout the storm’s path.

Infertility Medicine Status:

  • Bad news:  I had to discontinue taking the Gonal-F for this cycle, because I couldn’t get in to have my blood levels and scans done.  It was necessary so that I could avoid such lovely things as OHSS and/or the off-chance of becoming pregnant with my very own basketball team.
  • Further bad news:  That means that any of the Gonal-F I’d already taken for this cycle was completely and totally wasted, and that stuff’s expensive as hell.  F and I are out several hundred dollars because the medicine is so costly.
  • Good news:  I had the presence of mind to take the Gonal-F with me when we evacuated because I knew that it would probably ruin in our refrigerator, since we were almost guaranteed to have our power knocked out.  We took it with us to my parents’ house in Lufkin, in an ice chest.
  • Shitty news:  Lufkin’s power was knocked out too. 
  • Even shittier news:  In addition to Lufkin’s electricity being out, there was no ice to be had for several days, so the medicine was not refrigerated as it needed to be… I’m sure as hell not going to inject that stuff into my body, after it being at temps as high as 87° F for more than 24 hours. 
  • Possibly redeeming news?:  We’re going to claim the meds that were lost in the hurricane on our insurance, and hope to hell they won’t refuse to pay for it.

Hurricane Aftermath:

  • Great news:  Our house escaped damage, for the most part. The outside had a couple of cosmetic things messed up, but it is, as Austin Powers puts it, “sound as a pound, luv”.
  • Disappointing news:  There was a small hole created in our ceiling next to the fireplace, where leaks shouldn’t exist because we had the damned roof replaced, and that was supposed to fix it, but it didn’t.
  • Annoying-but-okay news:  The outside chimney cap was blown off of our house, and it landed in our back yard.  It’ll cost about $350 to get that fixed, and that will be covered by our insurance.
  • Seriously annoying newsThe fireplace/chimney specialist who came to inspect the fireplace to see if the damned leak was due to the roof or the chimney and give us an estimate for the chimney repairs necessary after the storm said that the inside of the fireplace, however, is basically crumbling and is not considered safe for fires in its current condition.  The cost to fix it?  About $1000, which will not be covered by our insurance, since this wasn’t a result of Ike.  Naturally. 

Electricity status:

  • I-told-you-so news:  Yes, I was right – Hurricane Ike did knock out the power here in our neighborhood. 
  • Frickin’ bothersome news:  The power wasn’t restored at our block until September 27th, fifteen days following Ike’s visit to our neighborhood.  That’s right; fifteen days without hot water… without internet(!) …and oh yeah – without air conditioning during 90-degree plus days.  Fifteen days cooking on our propane grill outside while fighting overzealous mosquitoes.  
  • Life-saving news:  While in Lufkin, F and I managed to stand in an outdoor hurricane relief line for about three hours and purchase a refurbished generator, so that we could return home and begin repairs and/or restoration of our home.  This was a week after no power, and no ice in Lufkin, thankyouverymuch.
  • Effing frustrating news:  F and I brought the generator back home, and tried to fire it up.  That’s right, you guessed it – the sonofabitch wouldn’t turn over.  F and I loaded the damned thing back up into the car, and drove back to Lufkin (where my parents now had a generator too) with our tail between our legs, hoping to get it repaired in Lufkin, where 25% of the town had electricity by then.  No way could we have stood the heat here in our home without fans at least, and there’s no way in hell I could’ve slept here with the windows open.  I would’ve been too afraid that someone would come in and knock F and I in the head.  As we were loading that generator into our car, I hadn’t seen F that disheartened in a very long time. 
  • Thank-God-it-wasn’t-too-terrible news:  We took the generator to a repair shop that evening, and picked it up the next day for a repair cost of only $40.  That gave us the ability to come back to our home again, and start trying to clean up around the house.
  • News for which I was thankful:  The school where I work was closed until Wednesday, September 24th, when faculty and staff had to return to get things ready for our students who returned the following day. 
  • It figures news:  Didja notice that school started three days before I got power restored to my house?  Yup – it’s great fun, having to dress and put your makeup on by flashlight, lemme tell ya.   

All in all though – F and I came out of this relatively sane, still on speaking terms, and mostly intact.  He marveled that he’d managed to gain weight during our power outage.  It didn’t surprise me though, because all we could do was eat and play Spore on my laptop.  (Frickin’ love that game, by the way.)  It was too hot in the house to do anything else. 

Our internet service was restored, and we were back on the grid the Monday after the power was back on at our house.  The university where I am getting my Master’s Degree in Educational Administration was very considerate of its students, and allowed us to still participate in the current course.  They extended the deadlines for all of our assignments, for which I am eternally grateful.

My heart definitely goes out to those whose homes and lives have been destroyed by Hurricane Ike.  I attended Texas A&M University at Galveston, and enjoyed living in Galveston for several years after I graduated.  It breaks my heart to see all of the damage that has been wrought upon my old stomping grounds, and to the folks who live there.  There is simply so much destruction.  It’s hard to wrap your mind around the devastation.

 

Take a hike, Ike! September 11, 2008

Wouldn’t you just know it??  Hurricane Ike is now heading right toward us, and as we’ve feared (but expected would happen sooner or later), Houston is expected to be on the dirty side of the storm.  Where F and I live, we live in Evacuation Zone C, so we’re supposed to be the last group of Houstonians to undergo mandatory evacuations.  However, this sucker scares the fire out of me.  The sustained winds are supposed to be over 100 mph here if Ike hits where they are predicting it to go.  These sustained winds will last for around 12 hours, and that’s not counting the winds that will be in the area starting tomorrow around noon, and all the way through Saturday.

So, F and I want to get the hell outta Dodge as quickly as possible.  There’s a snag, though.  I’m supposed to have an appointment tomorrow, to get bloodwork done and have another ultrasound scan, to make sure I’m not sending my ovaries into a tailspin with all the Gonal-F I’ve been shoving into my body since Monday night. 

I started my period again on Saturday, so I called in on Monday, like a good patient is supposed to, and had to go in that afternoon to get my baseline scan done, and make sure everything was as it should be before delving into another round of infertility meds.  Since I checked out clean as a whistle, I started Gonal-F injections that night, 300iu this time instead of the 187iu I did the last time. 

That’s all well and good, but now I’m concerned that I won’t be able to continue this freakin’ cycle, if I can’t get this bloody u/s scan and bloodwork thingy completed.  If that happens, I’m screwed, ’cause I’ve already injected several hundred dollars worth of this stuff into me, and it would suck beyond sucking to have to start all over again a month from now, without completing this round.  We’ve already established that F and I aren’t exactly rolling in dough, so this could be a rather large potential setback.  Another thing I’m worried about is the fact that I have enough Gonal-F left for about four days’ worth of shots.  If we are relocated because of this damnable hurricane, will it screw up the delivery of my meds??  Ugh.

Well… that issue’s been resolved for me.  Crap.  I can’t get into the doctor’s clinic soon enough today to get the test results back today, so I have to wait until next period.  I’m stuck up here at work until at least 2:30, and the clinic won’t be able to have my estrogen levels back before Dr. S heads home.  Thanks a lot, Ike.  You just cost me at least $500 that we don’t have, you bastard. 

I sometimes hate my damnable luck.  Honestly, I do.

 

A dubious honor September 1, 2008

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?

Sigh. I suppose I ought to be ashamed of myself. Damned if I am, though.

A bit of news – school started back to what I’ve fondly termed a “complete and total cluster fuck”.  This past Monday was the first day back to school for our students.    They were herded into the three sites on campus where they were to all pick up their new schedules for the year.  Because our school district adopted a new software package that encompasses our scheduling, our gradebook, and our attendance, we our assistant principal in charge of the counseling center expected about 55-60 students with scheduling issues.  We figured out pretty damned quickly that this number was wrong… wayyyyy wrong. 

There were:

  • students who didn’t have a schedule at all,
  • students who didn’t have a total of eight classes on their schedules,
  • students who had more than one lunch,
  • students who didn’t have a lunch,
  • students who were scheduled to take classes they’d already taken and had passed,
  • sophomores who were scheduled to take senior-level classes without ever taking the prerequisites,
  • students who weren’t scheduled in their dual credit courses and were missing valuable class time in those college-level classes,
  • students who were supposed to be in AP (honors) classes who were in regular ed classes with kids who beat up students like them,
  • students who were wondering around in regular English classes when they couldn’t speak a lick of English,
  • students who were registered to take classes with teachers who hadn’t been faculty members at the school in over a year,
  • students whose schedules sent them to rooms that their teacher had moved out of several semesters ago…

Like I said, a definite cluster fuck.  

Before second period, the principal came on the PA system and said in her singsong, not-ready-for-high-school-kids voice, “Students, if you do not have a class for a certain period, please go back to the room where you were to originally receive a schedule.  We will try to get this resolved as quickly as possible.”  Um… yeah.  I think about one fourth of our 1700 students showed.  They were to repeat this practice throughout the day, showing in the room for each period that they didn’t have a class on their schedule.  Not very efficient.  Soon, it got to where the administrators weren’t even trying to get the schedules fixed; they were just trying (unsuccessfully, I might add) to corral the kids who didn’t have a class.  Add to this situation those kids who may or may not have had an actual class (or two, or eight) missing, but smelled the blood in the water, and took this opportunity to just wander all over the damned place without so much as a by-your-leave.  Soon, the kids who were leaving the corral to supposedly go to a legitimate class on their schedule were following the examples set by the other skipping kids, and just wandering the halls, hanging around all over the bloody place, (rightfully) claiming that “it was too boring to just sit in there for hours… the APs wouldn’t let us talk or move around at all”.   

The next day, Tuesday, we were told that things would be improved.  Every student was again to go back and get a new schedule.  We teachers waited for 90 minutes in front of our doors, eagerly awaiting our classes of students to show up with their corrected schedules.  This time, the students showed up with schedules printed on colored paper… gee, they’ve got to be right – they’re printed on colored paper, after all.  Wrong again, Gunga Din.  Many students had the identical schedule, only printed on snazzy colored paper.  Other students received a nice piece of colored paper with their name on it – and nothing else whatsoever.  On the whole, the schedules were just as screwed up as before, and was even more so for several.  This time, when the principal came onto the PA system, she announced that they would again address the incorrect schedules during those periods that were done incorrectly on the students’ schedules. Students were to show up and get things resolved during those times.  Again, students went, only to find that there were several hundred folks there waiting right along with them.  It simply seemed to be a waste of 45 minutes that could be better spent wandering the halls and hanging around, texting their buddies on banned cell phones, and generally doing nothing even remotely resembling educational.   

On Wednesday, guess what – same frickin’ thing.  By now, the kids that actually give a damn about their educations are shaking their heads in disbelief, right along with the faculty.  Those students who aren’t exactly model students are not-so silently rejoicing that the chaos continues… all the better for them to wander in roving cliques of mischief.  By the time Wednesday’s emergency after school meeting rolled around, there were very many disheartened teachers around the campus.  That’s when the principal told us of a new plan of attack regarding the schedule fiasco.  For Thursday morning, teachers were instructed to collect a classroom full of students to take into their first period classroom, and keep them there. The students would be called into the gym hall-by-hall to correct, where the schedules would be corrected, once and for all.  The principal assured all of us that it should take no later than by first lunch, which occurs at 10AM. 

So, armed with a few PG-rated movies, i.e., The Lord of The Rings trilogy, I snagged a collection of random students to keep in place until our hall was called.  Right at the start of Thursday morning, the principal called for the 700 hall and ROTC room… and hasn’t called for another hall since.

Not. a. single. one.  None.  Nunca. 

So… we watch the first of the LOTR movies while waiting to either be called for schedule adjustments, or lunch.  Then, we start the second LOTR movie, The Two Towers.  Lunch is announced by halls, and we’re fed at about 12:30.  Not surprisingly, I lose some of these random students over lunch, in search of better entertainment.  I also manage to gain a couple of kids who were bored with whatever form of entertainment their teacher babysitter jailer had provided.   Every teacher on campus misses their conference period, which is one of the fastest ways I know to get an entire staff of teachers annoyed with you.

When Friday comes, repeat Thursday’s process, with a different batch of kids.  This time, we watched Twister, Armageddon, and began to watch my all-time fave, Monty Python and the Holy Grail

We were informed on Friday afternoon that all of the scheduling issues would be resolved by Tuesday.  I somehow have my doubts. 

In the meantime, we’ve been tracking Hurricane Gustav, hoping and praying that it wouldn’t knock on Houston’s door over the Labor Day weekend.  We’ve all been told to keep watching our school’s website and our local news, so that we will know whether or not school’s been closed due to inclement weather.  The way things were this past week at school, with all of our classroom instruction delayed by a week (so far), another week of delayed instruction due to hurricane evacuation would be simply dreadful.

When hurricane evacuations are called for, there’s generally a half-day of hurried preparation of the house and packing, a day of uncomfortable and worried travel, another day or two of exile, followed by nervous return trips to homes that are (hopefully) intact once you’re given the all-clear by the city officials of your evacuated town.  If an evacuation did happen, it’s almost a certainty that you’ll be out of school at least four days.  Add to that at least another day where many, many of your students still haven’t returned, plus a day or two where you as a teacher have to talk with your students about the elephant in the room (the storm and its aftermath).  There you have it – you’re another week behind in your curriculum.  Just like that. 

Of course, that’s for the lucky individuals who still have homes and schools to return to.  I shudder to think of a Cat 3 or better hitting just west of Galveston.  We in the Houston-Galveston area would be beyond screwed.  Big time.  The worst-case scenario would involve a nasty storm surge heading up the Ship Channel during high tide.

 

memories… July 27, 2008

We went the natural route this month…no big symptoms this month thus far, but ya never know, I suppose.  F and I are trying not to burst into flames here in Texas.  It’s been so hot-n-humid that it takes my breath away when I have to venture outside.  Nasty, I tell ya. 

I drove up to my parents’ home in East Texas a couple of weeks ago, if only for twenty-four hours.  I would have liked to have stayed for a little while longer, but it couldn’t happen this last time.  I went up there after my mom told me that three of her cousins were coming to visit for one day only, and she asked if I could please drive to Lufkin to visit with them too. 

It’s pretty funny, because F was convinced a bit concerned that I was going up there to meet with my mom and her cousins and then head to Louisiana to go gambling.  Ha!  Not hardly… these “girls”, as one of the ladies called themselves, were 70+ years old.  These sweet ol’ gals were hardly the slot machine type.  They were worn out by their trip to my mom’s, and I frankly don’t think they could’ve made it another fifteen minutes in the car. 

We had a very pleasant time, catching up on times past, especially their memories of my grandparents and great-grandparents.  I got to see a cool book that one of the “girls” had created about her family on her own computer.  Her book included pictures of my great-grandparents that I’d never seen before, which was a neat thing.  This book wasn’t a professional job, by any means, but I could tell that she’d spent a great deal of time researching her stories, scanning the pictures, and assembling it all into order.  It was a labor of love.

Perhaps one day I will pursue a labor of love along those lines.  I think it would be great to pull all of the memories together that my aunts, uncles, cousins, and my immediate family have of my great-grandparents, my grandparents, Mom, and her brothers and sisters as they were growing up in Central Texas and later in the Houston area.  Mom’s oldest living brother in particular has many, many fantastic stories about growing up as a child of my grandparents. 

Grandmama was an awesome woman, in my opinion.  Some of the stuff she dealt with – a child with epilepsy, a husband whose big heart turned out to also be a weak heart, and children whom she outlived – are the kind of life-altering events that most of us pray we never have to face.  Her eldest son, the man whose first name I share, later died in the same way as his father.  I was truly worried that Uncle Buddy’s (again, not his real name) massive heart attack was going to kill her, but she lived on, still taking care of her youngest son who lived with her until the day she died.  When her oldest daughter was diagnosed with liver cancer, and Grandmama saw another beloved child fading before her very eyes, she again was devastated by how cruel it was for a parent to outlive her offspring.

As far as anyone knows, Grandmama never drank a drop of alcohol, and she cursed just one time in her entire life.  She was a short little thing, about 5’1″ tall, and one time, Grandmama was unfortunate enough to be bending over to get something out of a lower cabinet while someone had left an upper cabinet open.  Of course, when she stood up, she whacked her head really hard on the corner of said upper cabinet door.  Apparently, there was a deafening silence while people held their breaths, until one of her sons asked her, “you all right, ‘Dessa Mae?”  When she managed to say yes, those folks who were within earshot of it began to release their suppressed laughter after finding out she hadn’t been mortally wounded.  Grandmama was still in a considerable amount of pain as she jokingly said, “Well damn, I’m glad y’all found out I was going to live before you laughed.”

Grandmama died on cold day in December 1997, just a couple days after Christmas.  When my sister and I went to talk to her preacher before her funeral service, her preacher asked us what were some of the things about this remarkable 87-year-old woman that would be remembered by those who knew her.  The first thing two words that simultaneously came out of both of our mouths was “her laugh”.  There was no way in the world for my grandmama to hide when something tickled her, because her whole body shook when she laughed.  She had an incredible sense of humor, and God, how I loved to hear and see her laugh at something. 

I think about her often, and wonder what she would’ve had to say about F, and about our infertility problems.  If she’d been around for our wedding, she wouldn’t have been able to not cry, especially since she would’ve known that I was going to move up to Washington state with F the very next day.  I know she would’ve cried to hear of our miscarriage, because she was a very tenderhearted lady, and because she lovedlovedloved her grandchildren.  It may sound bizarre, but the thought that she and my husband’s grandmother were in Heaven waiting to take care of our baby and shower it with all of the bajillions of kisses we would have bestowed upon our little one was one of the main reasons I could still function immediately following our miscarriage.  It’s one of the reasons I could still manage to breathe as the pain  and sheer grief threatened to cut off my supply of air.     

I never knew my grand-daddy, but he must’ve been a pretty spectacular man.  His mother was Native American – Comanche, to be exact.  His birth certificate says that his race was “Native”.  In that day and age, he never, ever wanted anyone to know that he was “Indian”; he’d fight anyone who said he was anything other than White.   He is the person I have to blame for my unruly, curly hair.  🙂

The only way I know him is through the stories that others have told and retold about him.  At the same time, he was both a gentle soul to his grandchildren, and “one of the meanest SOBs that ever played baseball”.  He had a nasty temper, but was generous enough to give a person the shirt off of his back. 

I regret that I myself have no memories of him; Grand-daddy died of a massive heart attack just six months after I was born.