Monday, May 28, 2007


Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.
I am numb, profoundly sad, and feeling GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY that I couldn't stop him. I did all the right things. I held him, told him I loved and needed him, hysterically begged him to stay. But it wasn't enough. Today my mom's life partner decided that life wasn't worth living. He calmly walked down the hall to their bedroom, lay back on the bed, put the cold, blue steel of his .22 pistol in his mouth and pulled the trigger. Click, click, bang.

So here I am, at almost 5am, awake and alone and trying to make sense of today. Trying to figure out why this quiet man who has been my family for sixteen years decided that today, today, was the end of the road. Why it didn't matter that we love and need him. Why my pitiful attempt at CPR didn't do anything except make a mess. Why I felt his pulse disappear right under my fingertips. Why, aside from the blood on his face, he looked so totally at peace.

Charlie hasn't felt well in a long time, he told my mother today. He believed that he was seriously, if not terminally, ill. He simply could not take the pain anymore, both physical and psychological. He matter-of-factly told her that he was going to kill himself today. That she should leave and come to my house, because he would prefer that she not witness his suicide. And that it would happen even if she stayed.

Mom came to my house today at 2pm, crying hard and asking for help. She told me, "Charlie's going to kill himself."

"Oh, no, HE'S NOT," I replied. And I ran faster than I ever have. I called 911, drove maniacally to their house, and proceeded to beg Charlie to care about himself as much as we care for him. It didn't work. By 2:10pm the deed was done. Neatly, with as little fuss as possible.

So now we are left to analyze the past days and weeks. What did we miss? What could have stopped this horrific tragedy from unfolding right in front of our eyes? And how do we remember Charlie's life without reliving his death?

I pray that God gives us the strength to heal. Because right now it feels like we all took a bullet today.

In Memory of Charles R. Hindall
December 9, 1933 - May 27, 2007

Peace, my friend

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

A Rose is a Rose

As some of you may know, I work in public health. This affords me the opportunity to make contact with every freak of nature in the tri-county area. Our agency offers family planning services, STD testing and treatment, WIC, and immunizations. Sometimes all on the same patient.

Caller: Hi, I need to be checked for

Me, unfazed: Ok, can you come in today?

Caller: Yes, and while I am there, do you do surgery? I
think I have a feather in my ear.

Me: One moment please *pressing the mute

Me: Oh. My. God. while spitting coffee on my computer.

Nutritionist, meeting with WIC client: So how is Junior doing with his cereal?

Client: I don't know how people feed that stuff to their kids. Every time I try, it just blows off the spoon.

As interesting as though encounters were, young parents' attempts at creativity in the baby name department just make my job a never-ending hoot! I may never know how young LuckyBoy got his moniker, but it's a sure bet that he is never going to run for political office!

I can tell that all of you chose your children's names with care. Invincible Erik, the Norseman. Beautiful Clare, with her quiet dignity. Abigale, with her blond braids and kind nature. Feisty Emerson. Sexy Tatum. Exotic Gianna. Sweet, nonthreatening Ava, who loves unconditionally.

And then we have JaFreeda. DaChristian (as opposed to DaSinner?) Mikayla/Makayla/Mequella. Tank (who weighed in at a whopping 5# 15oz) RV (named after the place he was conceived?) JerMichael (not MY Michael) ANYTHING with an apostrophe. It never ends. Have these people never heard of saints and angels? When all else fails, pick an apostle and run with it! Little Tyrongela will be eternally grateful.

PS: The picture of RockStar Ava was too cute not to share. ~K

Monday, May 14, 2007

She Can Do WHAT????

Never underestimate the power of Ava. In the past couple of weeks she has made remarkable progress! My girl has been EATING. Real food. Sloppy joes, cookies, deli meat, green beans. All followed by a satisfied "Mmmmm". Only families dealing with WS can really understand our (my) complete JOY at this turn of events. Woo-hoo! Yeah, the bites are tiny and she can't handle a lot of food, but she is EATING. Wow. Watching her enjoy tastes and textures is like winning the lottery. Today she gave me a kiss after I had a drink of Diet Pepsi and Laura and I had to laugh when she exclaimed, "Mmmmm." It must have tasted good!

I mentioned earlier that Ava has begun to crawl. Every day she is improving. She can crawl, pivot around into a sitting position, pull herself up on furniture, and yesterday she began to cruise from object to object. Laura tells me Ava is "into everything" but I don't believe my perfect granddaughter could possibly be naughty.

In other news, we had a couple of birthdays last week. Justin turned 21 on May 11, and I turned 43 on May 10. My age doesn't really bother me until I think about the fact that my baby is 21! It seems just yesterday he was starting kindergarten, all dressed up in his polo shirt and khaki pants, soccer-themed backpack in tow. Yes, I dressed him like a little nerd. Imagine my horror when all the other boys were wearing athletic shoes and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles short sets. Poor Justin. No wonder he rebelled as a teenager.

Mothers Day was fantastic. I, my mom, and Dominick hit the breakfast buffet. Let's just say they didn't make a profit off our table! After breakfast we did a little shopping, giggled a lot, and then visited the kids. Ava was in great form. My mom just loves that baby. It's funny, because my mother cannot seem to speak English to Ava. Usually she starts out with, "Hello precious girl! Come see da gommies!" Ava kind of tolerates it, but she gets this confused look on her face that seems to say "And they think I have problems??"

Side note: Be careful, because this could happen to you. Dominick and I were in the grocery store Sunday and I decided to check out the premade margaritas. As I was perusing the various liquors Dominick opened his BIG MOUTH and said, "Mom, you should probably get the great big bottle. At least then we won't have to come back here EVERY WEEKEND." I just know the man standing next to me thought I needed rehab. Darn kids!

Happy Mothers Day!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


It seems my girl has fallen head over heels in love--with the camera. She knows just what to do. OK, I admit to a little bias, but is she not the cutest little tyke when she crinkles up her face in a great big smile? She positively glows! Wouldn't it be nice if we all could hold on to that innocence and lack of affectation?

Ava's language skills are improving. She has progressed from "Bah!" to a chorus of gong-gong-gong la-la-la oon-dah. Oon-dah, obviously, means Grandma. We have learned, undeniably, that Ava does NOT have hyperacusis. She is so loud! Her voice is loud and, shall we say, her other bodily sounds are just as powerful. And she expects applause for all of it! She loves those positive affirmations. Hey, Nancy--what was it Jack Handey said? I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and darn it, people like me! Or something to that effect.

Speaking of Nancy: She told me a while back to be patient, that Ava would "wake up" soon. Amen to that. Ava is wide awake and ready to rumble. Since I began writing this post last week Ava has begun CRAWLING(!) and also pulled herself to a standing position while holding onto a chair. Can you believe it? Thirteen months of therapy and then one day she just decides that it's time to make a move. Wow.

I included the picture of Ava's feet for two reasons. First, I wanted to show off her new shoes. She absolutely hates them. They make her cry just looking at them, probably because she is not willing to sacrifice comfort for beauty. *smart girl* Second, check out those toes. I hope that they don't cause problems when she starts walking. Through the list serve I have learned that this problem is quite common and that whether or not it causes problems is unique to each individual. So I guess we just wait and see.

The group picture is Laura's family, the Turner's. Clockwise from the top left they are Great-grandpa Paul Turner, Grandma Geri Turner (holding Ava), Grandpa Bruce Turner, Great-grandma Arline Turner, Aunt Lizzy Turner, and of course, Laura. Isn't Ava lucky to have so many people who love her?

The smiling girls are Laura and her best friend in the whole world, Tiffany. Tiffany and her husband and baby are living in Ft. Campbell, Kentucky because her husband is in the Army. It's been very hard for these girls to be separated. Tiffany's husband will be deployed to Afghanistan in September. At that point Tiffany will come home to be with her mom until he comes back to the states. Say a prayer for him, OK?