For The Love of Grammie



TODAY IS THE DAY!!! We get to pick up my beautiful Lyra after three weeks of having the time of her life in California with my family. During week two, I was talking to her and I was ready for her to come home and she apparently could hear it in my voice…..and she says with a Long SIGH, “Well, I AM having a REALLY Good time MOM.” Mine has never been one for separation anxiety dramatics. It was always me crying while walking away. Early on, she would sometimes forget to even say, ‘BYE’ until I demanded it! And when she learned about flying on her own…..She was excited. I had to promise her I wouldn’t hold my breath the entire time after she proceeded to lecture me on the pains of death when a body turns blue. I swear this child is going to try putting jet propulsion on the back of her car when she is 16 just to see if it “will go a little faster.”

But the best part has been hearing the stories of my family who is spending time with her. She spent two weeks with my parents who we traveled all over the west coast as a kid. I also grew up going places with my grandma and now Lyra gets to go places with her. I told her that Gram took me to Disneyland and she said, “Yes, but she was much younger.”

So, I share a wonderful note I received just before her return……Let’s all imagine some sweet soul helped my Gram schlep all that junk to the San Francisco air port special services. Oh, and the kid too.


It has been a whirlwind week to say the least. Lyra loves Rain Forrest Cafe and after two days of that I would like to shoot all those animals. The food is not that good and not that bad. You are paying for all the add on stuff. I am hoping not to see the place until she comes back. So funny, she ate breakfast and had a late lunch, so eating was not on my top list. She even had a doughnut at 6 PM! I told her she needed to take an early bath tonight as I am pooped. She gets all teary and say but, “I have not had dinner”. So funny.Right now she is at the table with her favorites. Salami, crackers, cheese, oranges, carrots and a few grapes. With milk.

Brings back the memories of Disneyland and Coralie. I fed everyone before going to Coralie’s thinking that was dinner but it wasn’t to them. Coralie did not cook so I did not want anyone to be hungry but you would have thought they had been starved and that was not my intention. I have heard about it for years. Honestly Alicia she has not been starved, limited diet, her choice, but it was nothing she did not want. She was even good about trying things at Vicki’s. I am so proud of her.

I can see myself now trying to haul this packed duffle bag, Hello Kitty suitcase, a backpack and a tired kid into the airport Saturday morning. I want you both to think about this picture and have a good laugh. Me, I won’t be laughing. I hope someone takes pity on me and gives me a hand. I want them to think ‘that poor old lady’ and ‘why is she trying to carry all that stuff?’ A Mom who knows her Mother can’t resist shopping, so she sent the GIANT duffle bag and I am the one doing the schlepping, LOL :).

I boxed up the computer and took it to Apple. That thing gets heavier every time. He cleaned it up and reset it and right now it seems to be working. My phone is still flashing that white screen so I took it in and there is something wrong inside the sliding movement. I will hang in there with it until it dies or I do.  (REALLY GRAM?)

I took her across the Golden Gate Bridge and she just can’t get over it is painted burnt orange. It wasn’t the size, or thought about of how it was completed, or where it was going to –Just the color. Children are truly a work of art and simplicity.

Love to my favorite girls, Mom and Gram



for loving my daughter the way we love OUR LYRA


The Domino Effect


Recently, a fellow writer sent me a message with a blog topic for me. Here is how the initial chat went:

Friday, 3:45 pm- She wrote

I have a blog topic for you!

How to function as survivor after being a victim

*as a survivor

Saturday 8:20am- I responded

Would you like to write it?

Saturday- She responded:

Oh goodness, I don’t know.



Initially, when I received the blog topic suggestion I thought to myself…..’Uh, I know you have been reading my Blog, I think this is what I often write about….I am confuzed lady??’ (My daughter and I readily use the word confuzed to denote that we are beyond normal confusion). Then I realized this really was not about me so I asked what I hoped would be the Golden Question.


Let me say before you read this below, this is why I tell my story: for the Domino Effect. I fell in love with Maya Angelou when I was a teenager because it was the first time someone spoke my story of trauma and I held that in my heart for years and years before I wrote my own.


My hope is that for every truth we tell, another life will be lived fully.



       Solange Made Me Do It


I had no idea I was a victim. I knew that I had been through some unpleasant things in my past, but the idea of being a victim carries so much shame and embarrassment for me. I can help other’s see their worth, but I was delusional about my own.

For the first time a few weeks ago I shared the story of how I was verbally, mentally and sexually abused by my ex-fiance. In the midst, I didn’t even realize it was happening. I was raised to be a strong woman that didn’t take anyone’s shit and to recognize the signs. I saw them and ignored them because I was lonely in a foreign country. I didn’t realize how much damage it did to me and I didn’t realize that I carried it with me like a piece of luggage until the word vomit started flowing. You know, that one bag you have had forever, that you would rather duck-tape than to throw it away because the hole is not that big, and you paid too much for it? That one. It was attached to me like a tumor.


I left him when I realized that we were two different people. I stayed away when I had time to think about the manipulation and the fact that he tried to break me. He didn’t. He couldn’t. My genes were stronger than his desires. I had generations of women standing with me who were strong enough to endure and flourish.


I have heard Alicia share her story a few times. The first time, I didn’t know I had one. Well, I knew I had one, but I didn’t want to be vulnerable. I didn’t want to share. I wanted to support those brave survivors from a distance. If I got too close, I knew I would spill the beans and then everyone would know about my private pain and shame.


I sent Alicia an email a few hours ago telling her that she should write a blog on how to function as a survivor after being a victim. She is the expert, she knows, right? I needed to know because I was so tired of living like a victim. The shit sticks to you like honey on a hot day and even when you aren’t thinking about it flies zone in on it, drawing attention. And even after you wash it off you still feel those phantom flies and stickiness. It never goes away.


What I didn’t expect was her response to my proposal: “Would you like to write it?” My first thought was No!!!! I don’t want to be vulnerable! I don’t want to share my shame. I knew better than to be abused. I let it happen. I paused, took a deep breath and remembered that I had a choice. I could continue to function from behind the scenes or I could step up and own my story. In those terms, I didn’t really have a choice. I knew what I had to do.


I know that Solange never thought that beating up a guy in an elevator would inspire such honesty, but there it is. So now I have to figure out how to function as a survivor instead of a victim. I have to figure out how to let go of my shame and embarrassment. I have to because I want to be authentic. I want people to be able to look at me and know that they are getting all of me. The good, bad, ugly. No more hiding. No more isolation. Just me.


I’m not yet ready to thank Solange for sparking this conversation and revelation. I’m sure she doesn’t care, LOL. I’m a victim who is learning how to function as a survivor. It will take time, and now that I have opened my heart to receiving the love, acceptance and support that I know I will have, I’m ready to receive it.