Skip to main content


Monday, October 24, 2005 3:17 AM CDT

I need to find some time to write.

After the numbness of denial, and the outcry that is bargaining...anger is the next phase. I've been there. Off and on for a week or so. It's a hard phase to write about. Especially when I'm mad at everyone and no-one. Nobody wins, no matter what they say. Alex knows what I mean. It's hard to explain. It's this feeling that...well, one part of my brain says, "Shell, if you're mad at EVERYONE, perhaps the common denominator is YOU." And the other part of my brain says, "So what's your point?" It's like when we were going through the diagnosis process with Kenny. I'd call my mom and say, "Gosh, I'm really worried about Kenny. (Insert example of odd Kenny behavior here)." And if Mom said, "Honey, I think you're doing this right, you should go get it checked, you're such an aware, thoughtful mom." I'd seethe..."How can she even imply there's something wrong with my child." If however, she said, "Honey, Kenny is wonderful, he's perfect, just yesterday you were telling me how smart he was with that puzzle, I'm sure he's fine, all moms worry." I'd jump all over that..."Don't you take my concerns seriously? Aren't you listening at all??" Z and I were talking about that wounded animal reaction, that feeling of irrational, defensive, protective rage that can be triggered by the smallest of things. It's funny how I can sit outside myself and say, yep, this is exactly what you'd expect...and still have it consume me. Unfortunately, awareness doesn't give us an avenue around the pain. Hopefully an understanding of what it is and how to walk through it. But no free passes.

An example.

On an internet listserve I belong to (one devoted to parenting-not the brain tumor ones), about a week and a half ago...women were complaining about their husbands. Oh, they leave wet towels on the floor and the toilet seat up and don't change a diaper right and whine if their wives go out to a movie. I want to scream at them. I really do. I want to shriek and throw things that break loudly. Don't they know how lucky they are to have their husbands there?? I'd give anything to have Dave here to leave a wet towel on the floor.

Not really a good example, since Dave never did any of those things that were listed...but I'll give you this one. Last week, after a particularly rotten day, when 20 or 30 things went wrong before noon and I thought I was going to have to call a taxi to get Z to the doctor because all those people who say, call me if I can do anything, couldn't....the garbage disposal backed up. I stood in my kitchen and cried. I felt abandoned. And I wanted to yell, "Dave, where are you?" Which is actually kind of funny, because Dave is the last person on earth who would have a clue about how to fix a garbage disposal. But I would have given anything to have him standing there in the kitchen, with that perplexed look on his face, holding a screwdriver in one hand, shrugging with the other, being absolutely no help at all, saying, "Hon, I don't exactly know what you expect me to do...I'll take a look at it, but you'd better call my dad."

Luckily, Cindy came by, called Mike and he bailed me out of a truckload of spaghetti stuck in the drain. And Tiffany got Z to the doctor-thank you, Timm! His quad appears to have a tear, so he'll be out for a few weeks. Didn't get to play in the big final game against cross-town rivals at Garrison. (We won!) This injury did happen on a td run against Richland, though, so as Z says, "At least I got the 6 points!" Z's season is over. Tiffany and I both got teary when, after the game, the PiHi and Garrison players all took a knee around their coaches in the center of the field then raised their helmets together and shouted "WaHi!" They'll all be together next year. Basketball starts Monday. Z wasn't going to play school ball or AAU, but something happened over the weekend. Q, Jake and Paul were here overnight, boy town was fun, but man, they can pack away a LOT of food! (Thanks Deb, for keeping the late hours with me and for caring.) Anyway, now Z wants to play. I don't know what changed his mind overnight, but I'm glad. He seems to do better overall when he's in a sport. Pray for protection for him as he plays; he's gotta learn to hear pain as his body's message to stop!

Kenny has two more weeks of football left. We had his IEP last week. Another first without Dave. Things are going well for him at WaHi, and it seems that most of the programming that's in place for him is a good fit. He wants to play basketball again this year.

Kate is fighting a cold, but having fun with dance, choir and school dance team. She's thinking of dropping Explorers (her TAG program), she loves the program, loves the challenge, but feels unsettled spending that time outside the regular classroom, I think she's yearning for a home base and some stability. We're all meeting about it tomorrow. Please pray that we'll make the right decisions to support her best. I'd hate for her to lose the academic challenges and opportunities that Explorers provides, but her emotional well-being has to take priority.

Had a nice brunch with Bob and Judy today, thank you. Then we went to the farm to carve pumpkins and eat along with our church family. It was so good to be there. I'm up most nights and have been having a hard time getting up on weekends, so it was good to have an afternoon event. Wish Dave had been there...he never minded pumpkin slime. I hate it.

Anyway, back to the original story. If you are lucky enough to have your husband today, nag him a little less, appreciate what he does well, be grateful for him, and hug him once for me, okay?

More about anger later. I managed to skirt the big stuff in this entry, it will come when it's time. Shelley

PS. Thanks, Alex and Lisa...for being there during a very tough, lonely week, for not forgetting that for me, it's not over. It's just beginning.


Popular posts from this blog


I got a tattoo.  Christine actually wrote on my facebook post, "You??"
Yeah.  Me.

I've been thinking about it for six years.
I finally decided that if after six years, I still wanted it, maybe it was time.

The writing is Dave and Doug's.
Taken from notes they wrote me.
They always signed their notes the same way.

I thought I was doing it in memory of them.
To mark the way they are always on my heart.
To have a visible reminder.
A permanent keepsake,
always with me.

And while it is that.
It is also more.

I didn't realize it,
until afterwards.

It's a marker.
A closing of a chapter.
Closure, if you will.

I don't know how to explain it.
The minute it was finished,
I knew.
I knew something inside me was different.

and to a lesser extent,
have been part of my every thought
every day
for over 10 years.

Daryl saw the Dali Lama this summer.
One thing he learned:
Interrogate your truth.

I've been thinking about that a lot.

Interrogate implies a…


So I had my first Walla Walla goodbyes.
The first was my eye doctor, Dr. Poffenroth.
He's taken care of my eyes for 25 years.
He's more than just an eye doctor.  He's a caring person and a friend.
As I left my last appointment, he handed me a card with a referral to a friend of his who practices in Port Angeles.
I looked at the card.
And realized...I won't see him again.

I've been living in a bit of denial.
I know.  Big surprise.

With all the excitement and chaos of moving,
And all the stress of living in limbo,
I somehow missed that I'd be leaving some things
some people

I know I'll be back often.
To see my kids and the new grandbaby,
friends and family.
This fact allowed me to forget...
there are some I won't see.

Even though we promise to keep in touch,
Life has a way of getting busy.
Good intentions and all that.

I  have written many times about Walla Walla.
It's a magical place.
Safe, nurturing.
I never thought I'd leave.

People ask…

August Blog Challenge - Day 7

What is your dream job and why?

I have my dream job.  I really do.

I work at Walla Walla Community College.  It's the best community college in the nation according to the Aspen Institute.

And it is. It really is.

I went to a private university.  A pretty snobby, pretentious one. I thought the community college would somehow be "less" than a university.

I was so wrong.

This place is filled with dynamic, passionate, intelligent people.  And these people care so much about the students they serve. I am continually awed by the caliber of learning and the depth of compassion I see every day.

And I get to be a part of it.

The work I do is hard. But I have a partner.  Daryl.  He's my sanity.  He keeps me grounded.  He's brilliant and insightful and he fills my work days with unconditional love.  We support each other. We talk and connect every day, sustaining each other in ways that go far beyond the surface.  We grow together as people and as therapists.  We fight b…