Saturday, July 28, 2012

I am enjoying my new space

I am enjoying my new blog platform more and more and think it might be time to retire this blog. I will keep it up and maintained because of all the history here that may help others, but it's time I start new! So check out my new blog peeps and follow me there if you choose!

Friday, July 27, 2012

New Blog

Well I started a new blog but I'm not sure if I will switch over completely yet. I am trying it out, trying to get a feel for it. Here's my first post at my writings new home.

What do you think? Do you like the new look? The cleaner feel? Or should I stay here at blogspot?

Perhaps I will use the new blog for metaphysical ramblings! I don't know. Advice please!

Monday, July 23, 2012

God's Waiting Room

He was in the pits watching the race unfold before him. The sounds of engines roaring and tires squealing filled him with adrenaline. They’d worked hard this year to get the car running smoothly and his role of crew chief was drawing to an end.  The smell of diesel and dirt might seem overpowering to some but he loved it. He took a deep breath, inhaling the familiar and soothing aroma. He started to feel a little ill, sweat speckled his forehead and he thought perhaps he had eaten something which hadn’t agreed with him. Then there was pain; an explosion in his chest and throbbing in his left arm. Gasping for breath and maybe mercy he stumbled towards his pit crew. His eyes rolled up inside his head and he collapsed, his body met the heated, dirty asphalt and sirens rang out in the distance.

Billy Sr. was rushed to the hospital barely clinging to life. Although he had managed to survive the heart attack, he had slipped into a coma. The community of racers at PGARA Speedway were devastated.

My brothers and I had never met the infamous Billy Sr. Over the next few days we heard plenty of stories as people reminisced and drank and hoped that maybe God might see fit to spare his life. I felt for my family of course. They had been close to Billy Sr. and he was a good man – one who deserved to know his future grandchildren, one who deserved to live. My family was hurting and for my part I could do nothing to ease their pain, nor even share in it, at most I could give my sympathy and prepare to give condolences.

A few nights after Billy's heart attack he came to visit our family. At first I had no idea what my mother meant. He was in coma after all. How could he visit my brother who slept across the hall from me? Apparently even at death’s door Billy Sr. could not be dissuaded from putting others at ease, indeed from being a good guy.

My brother said he dreamed about a conversation with a man who was in a bright and beautiful room. He looked calm and happy. My brother went on to describe the man in great detail right down to the stubble on his face. My mother pulled out the racing team’s photo (over fifteen different men) and asked Greg to identify the man he had spoken with. Without hesitation my brother identified Billy Sr.

My mother was astonished but she managed to ask, “What did he say?”

Greg glanced up and said, “He told me he was in God’s waiting room, but he’d be home soon”.

That night Billy was taken off life support; he passed away silently. But his message to my brother has lived on and although he is missed, he is no longer mourned.

For he is Home.

read to be read at

Sunday, July 22, 2012


When I met my mother-in-law I went in expecting to meet Mrs. Cleaver as this is EXACTLY how my husband described her. It turns out my mother-in-law may be more like Marie Barone than June Cleaver. She's head strong, stubborn, and autocratic. I wasn't sure what to say or do; how to act or react around her. I mostly tried to do my best to avoid her while not inhibiting her from seeing her grand kids or Scott.We struck a silent and uneasy agreement; one that would not last long as it would turn out.

Diane has always been a woman who intimidated me. There's just no getting around it. She carries an aura about her. She's kind but can be quick to judgement; sweet but vicious if necessary. To be fair I can come off as snobby or superior because of how quiet and reserved I am. I can appear emotionless and cold as my skills at social interaction are severely lacking. I’m weird. In truth, we are polar opposites and connecting was nearly, if not, completely impossible.

And then something changed. Preston was born with his heart defect and everyone suffered. Every person who loved him bore a weight of dread that you could never know unless you shared the same experience. It equalized us. I kept family up to date with my blog which now enabled Diane a peek at my innermost thoughts and our relationship began to evolve.

Preston got better and things got back to “normal”. Health was now good, I felt free. Then last month I suffered greatly at the hands of an unfortunate condition and the house fell into disarray. I kept the kids intact, alive, fed and bathed but that was all I could do. At the height of my pain I literally sobbed in the bathtub and begged God for death.

Three doctors saw me but kept sending me home while only increasing my medication. I phoned my own mother in desperation knowing she was on vacation and might be able to assist me. I needed compassion and companionship, but my mother couldn’t make it. I was lost. Finally a doctor treated my problem and slowly I have been on the mend. But the surgery left me wholly unable to care for my kids or the house.

My husband phoned Diane. I was done. I was in so much pain I didn’t care how horrid my house looked when she came, or how dishevelled the kids were. I needed help, and so it was time to eat crow.

People say thing happen for a reason. In the beginning I couldn’t imagine what that might be. Now I get it. You see I’m not good at asking anyone for help. I’d usually prefer to suffer silently, excruciatingly rather than whisper those four little letters out loud. I swallowed my pride and I allowed Diane not only to care for me but also my house and kids.

Thank you, Diane.

I can never express to you how much I appreciated your help, indeed how much I truly needed it. The kindness you showed me in this brutal experience has been a life preserver.

I love you.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Grumpy Gramps

My Grumpy Gramps was born in South Shields, England and lived through the horrors ofWW2. He was a great storyteller and his escapades as a Merchant Navy man were thrilling. During my college years I moved in with him and although living together would prove to be more difficult than I had foreseen he never gave up on my brooding form. One night he called to me.
“Carrie, Pet, come here and have a drink with me”.

I threw open the door of my room and stared down the length of the trailer to see him standing with a bottle of whiskey and a two litre of Ginger ale. Now we’re talking old man, I thought to myself.

He poured me a finger full of whiskey and topped it off with the pale pop and I remember being insulted. Surely I could handle more alcohol then that. I drank anyway.

“Good?” He inquired. I nodded my head.

“You spend too much time in that room, girl; you can come out occasionally and we could chat”.

“I know Grandpa” I said non-committedly.

“Did I ever tell you that I used to send money back to my mother; a big chunk of what the Navy paid me I sent back to her. She needed it. And that’s what we did back then. We took care of family.”

I mumbled something about how nice that was and greedily gulped the Whiskey. I was about to thank him for the drink and head back to my room when I glanced up from my glass. There were tears rolling down his cheeks and I was flabbergasted. I’d never seen him cry. I reached for his hand and he drew back, wiping the tears away.

“She saved every pound I sent her. She never spent a nickel of it and she gave it all back to me upon my return. I miss my mum. I’m an old man and I still miss my mum.”

I swallowed hard and felt a little uncomfortable. I wasn’t sure how to console him.

“She sounds wonderful Grandpa” I lamely replied.

“She was the greatest woman I ever knew. I hope your future kids will say the same about you”.

A long silence stretched out before us as we consumed another glass of Whiskey. I wondered what all of this was about. What was going on? My grandpa finally said, “I’m saving for you too, Carrie.”

I raised an eyebrow.

“The rent money you pay me. I’ve put it away for you, and when you’re ready, you can have it.”

I was stunned and before I knew it we were both crying. We drank together until the late hours of the night and I barfed the entire morning. Despite the alcohol poisoning and subsequent blackout his words have never left me. And while he knew one great woman, I can honestly say I knew an even greater man.

read to be read at

Monday, July 9, 2012


Sometimes I feel so lost; angry too. Life has given me so much, awarded me my every dream. But it feels cheap. It feels wrong to ride the coattails of my husband. Every success in my life from the house I live in to the food in my cupboards – all of it is because of him. God knows I love him. I love him, and our kids, but for the life of me I can’t find the will to love myself.

I don’t think I’m depressed. I’ve lived feeling this way for as long as Scott and I have been together. I’m capable of a lot. I’m smart and hard-working; I can string a sentence or two together to make a paragraph that’s clear, concise, and sometimes beautiful. But I haven’t used any of those skills. Anxiety ruled me for so long that even now I fear it will raise its ugly head if I dare to dream something more than “housewife”.
When my children go to school, when they leave the house, what am I then? Deadweight, a voice whispers. It shrivels me, the realization they won’t need me forever. It terrifies me that one day I will have to define myself outside of this house and how? How the hell do I do that? I was a chambermaid before I met Scott, a girl struggling to make ends meet, a girl dying from the heavy weight of independence.  

And now I am a wife, and a mother, and all of those roles can be lost in one form or another. Shouldn’t I have something more definitive, something that can be declared out loud and on paper – a career perhaps? But my anxiety – the disorder I claim to be cured of. Is it still there, lurking to send me for a loop? Last week I wrote that I was a loser. I meant to put it in the past tense, but I realized that it wouldn’t be true to how I feel if I changed it. I still feel this way; some days more than others. I’m a loser.
The irony is that I know how stupid this sounds. To judge your worth by how much money you make, or don’t make. The problem with this world is that “money talks and bullshit walks” and sometimes I just feel like I’m trudging through a whole bunch of bullshit – my own and others.

I just want my kids to look at me with pride. I want them to be able to take me to career day and to never think I’m useless; shallow right? Here’s my truth, laid bare for everyone who reads this… Every day I struggle with the inevitable decay of time and the realization that they won’t need me forever.
And I’m terrified. I’m terrified that in my search for myself, I won’t find anything great, just mediocrity.
read to be read at

Thursday, July 5, 2012

In the simplest terms...

"You see us as you want to see us - in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal. Correct? That's the way we saw each other at 7:00 this morning. We were brainwashed". - The Breakfast Club

I’m a loser. I always have been. I was never a popular kid; in fact, I was the kid that the unpopular kids picked on. People look at me now and can’t imagine it. I’m beautiful, apparently. I don’t see it. I was told for too long how ugly I was and I’m the remnants of their words; scar tissue that still hurts.

I developed severe cystic acne as a child. Eleven years old, and tossed to the lions that are school yard bullies. ‘Pizza face, crater face, ugly bitch, disgusting, dog’ there are so many “original” ways to tear a person down. They tried to beat me with their fists too when words weren’t getting the rise they wanted. I was always able to stand up for myself, my father taught me well. Hit the biggest and the rest will fall. They learned quickly that I would defend myself and so they finely tuned the craft of verbal abuse. I guess it worked. The marks are still there.

At thirteen I finally saw a dermatologist who told me about a brand new drug on the market, a chemo drug that was discovered to cure people with stubborn cystic acne, Accutane.

I was on Accutane for a year and half before my acne disappeared. During my duration on the drug I thought about suicide endlessly. Apparently it was an unknown side effect. I refuse to blame the drug though. After years of endless teasing, and beatings, and having to defend myself it was no wonder I wanted to die.

I had five people who prevented me from carrying it out. Five people who loved me. Five people I owe so much too and have never said it. Youth and introspection don’t go hand in hand.  But they saved my life. And I will always love them for that. The distance between us now; spelled out through detached and impersonal online interactions is all that I have left of some of the most profound relationships I have ever had.

Lynsey, Alena, Marina, Laura, and Tasha are the girls who gave me courage to believe in myself, and who said out loud and through actions that I was worthy and awesome. We were the outcasts, and labelled by our peers and sometimes our own families. But all of us refused, on some level, to fit in, to compromise ourselves, or to change. We found acceptance with one another - and for a while it was enough.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that I’m a loser in my own mind. I’m ugly, and awkward, shy and so insecure. But with the right people around me – with people who love me for who I am - I can be a person who still hears the voices, but who chooses not to believe their accusations.

Carrie (me), Marina, Alena, Lynsey, Tasha.
You can kinda of see the acne that plagued me.
Laura had yet to enter our...unique group. :)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Three Days.

My husband left me once. I was stunned and frightened but mostly lost. He’d always been the stoic one. My faith in him seemed unshakeable, until the day he faded from our life and I was left alone to face an unimaginable and desperate situation. 
The seriousness of my son’s congenital heart defect was officially diagnosed during a weigh in. Three days after discovering the holes in his heart, three days on a drug called furosemide (a diuretic), my husband and I left our house with great hopes that it was a cold which had plagued our baby and caused his laboured breathing.

Three days would determine whether my son’s weight gain was baby fat or excess fluid caused by heart failure.

I bore out those three days and the days before them without my husband. He was there, in our house, but he had vacated our marriage and his role as father as wholly as though he had walked out the door and drove away.  He was a shell of his former self.  Our marriage, only five months old, was being tested and it seemed as though my husband had decided to skip the exam altogether.

After surviving three torturous days where we lived together but suffered alone we arrived at the weigh in. The pediatrician placed our baby upon the scale. Its digital face came to life and spoke a truth we hadn’t prepared ourselves for. He’d lost an entire pound in three days and was a “failure to thrive”. There was no denying that “his heart was the problem”.

On the drive home I doubled over and cried. Silent and hysterical I longed for my husband to reach out, to hold my hand or pat my back.  Instead he glanced at me and asked if we should pick up lunch.

“You are so fucking stupid” I whispered. I didn’t need to shout; my rage laced the words and poisoned the atmosphere more effectively than screaming would have done.

“Did you just call me stupid?”

My anger fizzled and suddenly I was calm again. Roles had reversed and it was my turn to be strong. I quietly explained that his detachment from the situation was hurting all of us. I told him that if our son died I planned on never looking back and wishing I could have loved him just a little more and could he say the same?

A marriage should never have to encounter the terror of losing a child. Although it is promised before God that we would endure the best of times and the worst – this worst – had the potential not only to destroy our marriage but also the people in it.

I lost my husband once. But with a little grace and a wealth of understanding I found him again. It would be months before any good news would be received, but they were months where we learned to live as husband and wife and love as parents should, unconditionally.

read to be read at