Tag Archives: mom

Memories of a Life

Published / by Kim

My former stepfather, Stuart, died after a horrible car accident a few years ago. Stuart and I didn’t have a relationship after he and my mother divorced, but for much of my life he was my father. In fact, he was the only father I ever truly had. He was a complicated man, capable of sinking to very low lows but also capable of incredible kindness and caring. The stories of the lows are many, but since his death, I make an effort to focus on the good things, and those, too, were many.

Two days after Stuart passed away, I found myself sitting in my mother’s kitchen at 3am with my younger brother. We spent the night drinking tequila and talking about his dad. A memory I shared with him that night was one of my fondest, the memory of the first night I met Stuart. He and my mother were dating for a little while and she brought him home to meet me. I think I was about eight years old, maybe nine. What was supposed to happen was that I would come out of my room, be introduced and be charming, then disappear back into my room for the rest of the night. As is still typical of plans about me made without asking me, the plan went askew. When I went out to meet him, I showed Stuart one of the drawings I did that afternoon. He was so sweet, and seemed so interested, that when I went back into my room, instead of staying in there like a good girl, I immediately came back out with another drawing to show him. He expressed an interest in that one, too. And so the rest of my mom and Stuart’s date that night consisted of me popping in and out of my room with more and more drawings. I’m sure I must have shown him twenty pictures that night.

A lot of men would have lost interest after the first time, maybe the third if he liked kids, but Stuart stayed interested and kind throughout the whole thing. (Or at least was nice enough to act like that fifteenth cartoon drawing was fascinating.) The next day, my mother chastised me for being a ham, but I didn’t care. All I cared about was that Stuart was sweet to me, and to a little girl starved for paternal attention, that was a balm.

After my mother and Stuart moved in together and eventually married, there were the normal blended family growing pains. Things weren’t always happy and became less happy over time, but I will never forget that first meeting and how kind he was to a little girl who desperately needed kindness.

Kim and the Sort of Crappy But Much Better Day

Published / by Kim

First off, Scott’s mother is not in a medically induced coma, as it turns out. The information we’ve been getting from family members on the scene has been altered as people put their own take on it and as a certain family member spins it to cause the most feelings of guilt in those who aren’t there. Scott’s brother arrives in Pittsburgh today, so I expect to start getting more accurate information. Or at least less altered information.

We going to drive out on Thursday or Friday now, depending on what his brother says when we speak to him later today.

Second, the shared SSL thing at my Web host has been resolved. I woke up to find an email apologizing for the way it was handled and the news that they renewed the shared SSL certificate for another year. So now I still have to set up a few clients with their own SSL certs, but we have time to do it correctly instead of making it a mad scramble because the sites are down without it.

Third, one of the sites that was going down, which was why all those sites got moved to another server, went down again today. But the good news is that the other sites did not go down with it, and also it seemed to resolve on its own without having to reset IIS. Hopefully that was just an isolated incident, but I’m keeping a close eye on things.

All in all, today is a much better day. A little bad, but mostly it doesn’t suck as thoroughly as yesterday. There’s hope for everything.

(Semi-)Daily Gratitude #13

Published / by Kim / 2 Comments on (Semi-)Daily Gratitude #13

Today I’m really grateful for my mother. When I called her after my doctor appointment last week and told her that the surgery date was set, she asked if I wanted her to come up for the surgery. I asked, “Do you want to come?” And she replied, “It’s up to you, but if you want your mommy there, you’ll have your mommy there.”

And yeah, I really do want my mommy there. Even at nearly 39 years old, when I’m sick or hurt, I still want my mother. So she’s coming up on the 16th and will stay with us that night, then stay in a hotel near the hospital for a couple of days.

I’m really glad she’s coming, and so is Scott, who remembers how her presence during my first surgery helped keep him sane while they sat for 7 hours and waited for news. Hopefully they won’t be sitting with no news for that long this time, but if they are, it’s nice to know they’ll have each other to help keep calm during that time.

And even nicer to know that she’ll be there when I wake up in recovery.

I Know Myself, Honestly

Published / by Kim

One of the things that drives me crazy is having family members whose interactions with me haven’t evolved from the time I was 13 years old. That was 25 years ago. I think I’ve grown just a little in that time.

And one way in which I’ve grown is that I’m fairly self-aware. I know my own mind and I know what I can handle emotionally and for my stress level. So if I say, for example, that I know I couldn’t handle the stress of being a foster parent while dealing with IVF cycling, you can really trust that I’m saying it because I know myself. If you press it and act as if you know better and keep insisting that I should just take a few days to think about it, you’re not only not helping me, but you’re harming our relationship. I’ll be less likely to discuss my feelings with you in the future and much more likely to shut down when you try to start talking about anything meaningful to me.

I know there are people out there who aren’t self-aware and don’t know their own strengths and/or limitations, but I’m not one of them. I spend plenty of time inside my own head and inside my own heart, examining my feelings and understanding myself. Do I have a perfect understanding? Of course not. Few people do, I imagine. But when it comes to this infertility stuff and things related to children and knowing what I can and can’t handle? Yeah, I’d say I have a pretty good handle on that. That’s not to say that what I can or can’t handle won’t change over time – 5 years ago, I said I’d never try IVF, for example – but those changes take place over years, not after a few days thought.

One thing that should make it apparent to people that Kim-at-38 and Kim-at-13 have little in common is that Kim-at-13 would have thrown a fit when confronted with someone telling her, in kinder words, that she didn’t know her own mind. Kim-at-38 resisted for a few minutes and then gave up. Instead of turning it into an argument, I just said, “Fine. I’ll think about it for a few days.”

I’ve written about this before, about how my family interacts with me expecting me to behave as I did when I was a kid. I just don’t get how they don’t see that my behavior has changed while their expectations have remained the same.

That link, by the way, may be a little intense reading. It’s not really the same as this one, but it’s kind of about the same topic, in a not about the same topic kind of way.

This rambling, all over the place, completely incoherent post brought to you by the letter F.