Prayers For Peggy: Reflections On Love And Motherhood

You might have read in my previous post that my mom was back in the hospital again, this time with meningitis. The meningitis is under control, thank God, but my mom hated being in the hospital. She was miserable to the max. So a couple of days ago, she transferred to a hospice facility. I haven’t seen the place, but my mom, dad and brother say that it is wonderful. You can even bring your pets there if you like!

Hospice is a scary word. Once I heard she had transferred there, I did some research, and what I found made me feel better. Hospice is not about giving up hope, but rather it’s about regaining a better quality of life. It’s about being with your family. It’s about comfort and peace and love. My mom indeed seems much happier and much more comfortable there. And that, my friends, is all I could ever wish for my beloved mother: peace, comfort and buckets of love.

I’m going to put myself out there now and share a letter that I wrote to her because it also explores some of the thoughts and feelings I’ve been having about motherhood.

Dear Mom,

Since I’ve had my daughter, I’ve been thinking about you all the time. I don’t remember a lot from when I was very young, but the one thing that I do remember—strong and clear—is a feeling of overwhelming love for you. I think that’s my first real memory—not a place or a time, but a feeling of love for you. I was a true mama’s girl, as I’m sure you recall. I remember wanting to touch you and hug you and just generally wanting to be around you as much as possible. It occurred to me the other day that, before Tim, you were the original love of my life. Most people only associate that phrase with romantic love, but I think that’s silly. I am lucky enough to have three loves of my life: first there was you, then Tim and now there’s Colette. But you were first and I wanted you to know that.

Love,
Tanya

This letter, of course, became the family joke, with my dad and siblings crying that they “didn’t even make the list.” And to that I say, whatever, peeps. I gots plenty o’ love to go around.

I would be extremely grateful if you all could keep my mother in your thoughts and prayers. If you could send as much goodness as you can spare her way.

I love you like crazy, mom. I love you to the sky and back, and even further still. I love you all the way to the stars and the moon and into the furthest reaches of the ever-expanding universe. There is nowhere you can go where my love cannot reach you.

Letter to My Little Lady: Your Dad Is Awesome

Dear Little Fish,

Every time your dad sees a baby his whole face lights up. Usually he starts laughing, too, like he can’t contain his joy at seeing a mini-person. When we first started dating, we were at this party together and I commented, in a mildly snotty tone, that there were “so many babies here.” Your dad looked me in the eye and said, “If you don’t like babies, we need to break up right now!” Well, ok then.

Your dad is very even-tempered. In the years that I’ve known him, I’ve never heard him yell. Not even once! Sometimes it’s hard to tell when he’s excited because he certainly does not wear his emotions on his sleeve. But whatever you do, don’t misinterpret his lack of outward emotion as a lack of enthusiasm for you. He’s over the moon about you and always will be. When in doubt, look for the twinkle in his eyes. It gives him away every time.

I love your dad so much it’s kind of ridiculous. I wonder all the time how I got lucky enough to snag him. And now I wonder the same thing about you. I’m not sure how I got so blessed, but let me tell you, I appreciate it.

Every single day.

Your dad and me about four years ago, way back when he had facial hair. I wish I still had those sweet shades.

Letter to My Little Lady: Let Me Break It Down

Dear Little Fish,

There are two things I want you to know. Right now you are all warm and safe, but after you arrive there may be times when life isn’t as awesome as you’d like it to be. So if you’re ever scared or sad or lonely, please remember this:

1. You were wanted, long before you were ever born.

2. You are loved beyond measure.

Throughout your life you will grow and change in ways I can’t even imagine. But these two truths will never change.

They are forever.

2011: Can You Feel The Love?

What I did on the last night of 2011: romantic dinner for two at casa Best.

I’ve never been big on resolutions. But I do love me some reflection. In some ways, as I’ve written about on here before, this was a rocky year. But in many other ways it was wonderful, too. And that’s what I’m going to focus on today, the awesomeness.

7 Reasons Why 2011 Was Awesome:

1. The old 9-5: I’ve been at my company for three and a half years, with varying degrees of satisfaction and happiness there. In August, I took a new position within the company and I’m happy to report that I love it. I’m writing all kinds of creative stuff and I’m getting to use my brain on a daily basis. I am so lucky that I get paid to do what I love, especially in a time when many people are struggling to even find a job.

2. My health: As you know, I cut out alcohol. I cut out caffeine. I even cut way back on sugar, meat and dairy. If you would have asked me a year ago if I would consider doing any of the above, I would’ve answered with a resounding hell no. But having a goal in mind has given me strength and willpower that I didn’t know I had. It makes me wonder what other hidden things I have yet to discover about myself.

3. Bucket list: As I’ve mentioned before, I had the opportunity to travel to Iceland with Tim this summer. I’ve always said that it was the one place I wanted to see before I die. And yeah, I hope I don’t die anytime soon, but it was pretty cool to check that off the list.

4. Baby Tessa: My sister’s baby was born at the end of November and I got the chance to see her at Christmas. This little miracle was wished for for many years, and nothing makes me happier than to help welcome her into the world.

5. the sky and back: I know I’ve talked about this already, but this blog is definitely one of the most awesome things about 2011. It’s brought me so much—comfort, hope, support, new friends—the list is endless.

6. Friends: Speaking of new friends, I’ve made a few this year. And best of all, I’ve formed a stronger connection with many of my old friends. They say that in times of struggle you really learn who your friends are. And guess what? I learned that my friends are…my friends. Every single one of them stood by me this year through my fertility struggles, my mom’s cancer diagnosis and all of the other bumps in the road. And people that I didn’t even know cared came out of the woodwork to show their support. Damn, you guys really know how to make a girl feel loved.

7. Counting my blessings: In June of 2011, Tim’s best friend passed away. It was unexpected and awful and there was nothing good to come out of it. Except. When something like that happens, it really puts everything else into sharp focus. Because you realize that, holy crap, life is beautiful and slippery and way too short. All of a sudden, it was magically clear what was important to me and what wasn’t. This event and the re-emergence of my mom’s cancer, have made it impossible for me to take anything in my life for granted. And even though this feeling was born out of really shitty events, I am grateful for it all the same. Because I love life, so much, and I don’t ever want to forget that. No matter what happened in the past or what happens in the future, what everything boils down to for me is this: I love and am loved in return. And I honestly can’t think of anything more wonderful than that.

Happy New Year, everyone. I hope the year to come is filled with more love and happiness than you can handle. Cheers.

Seeing Green


I try to be super positive on this blog. I want this space to be about health and hope. But I also want to be honest. And if I’m being honest right now, I’d say that I’m having a crappy day. So this is where I’ll issue a warning: if you don’t want to read a Debbie Downer post, halt!

I’ve always been an envious person. Of all the seven deadly sins, I’ve got that one on lock. I am not at all proud of it, but there it is: my biggest fault. Now that I’m so keen to have a baby, and it hasn’t happened for me right away, I’ve been trying hard to keep this bad tendency in check. I mean, there’s always going to be someone I know who’s pregnant. And there’s always going to be someone I know who got pregnant in the first month of trying. I could drive myself straight into the nuthouse if I let myself be envious of every pregnant woman in the universe. Usually, I do a good job of containing these feelings. I am, after all, truly happy for the women I know who are having babies. And I do believe that it will happen for me too at some point.

But today, I don’t know. Blah.

A few people I’m acquainted with, in the blog world and otherwise, have had babies in the last few days. Baby extravaganza! And as I’m sharing in their excitement, I’m listening carefully to what they’re saying. Sometimes they say things like “I didn’t really know love until I held my child,” or something along those lines. A cliché, yes, but all clichés are rooted in some truth. And while I do not begrudge these new mothers their joy, I can’t help but feel envious of it. The green-eyed monster is like, oh, hello.

And if it’s at all true that one does not really know love until they’ve held their child, then where does that leave me? And where does that leave the women who can’t have children? While I’m sure none of us are loveless, are we missing out on some elemental part of life?

It’s these thoughts, my friends, that are bringing me down.

How Hope Street Came To Me

Something happened tonight that touched me beyond words. If you remember a few posts ago I talked about visualization. And I mentioned how my favorite visualization ended in Hope Street – a wonderful avenue filled with babies and dogs and wheatgrass smoothies.

This is what I came home to tonight:

Not one, not two, but six signs proclaiming that Hope Street was right at my doorstep! Can you imagine my amazement at seeing this as I parallel parked my car? I thought I was going crazy at first – there was no way I was really seeing something that cool!

My neighbor and friend Susie made the signs and put them there for me. Holy crap. I think that might be the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me. In an amazing gesture of friendship, love and faith, she brought Hope Street to me.

And how cool is that? I mean, I live on Hope Street now. It’s my permanent residence.

Thank you doesn’t seem adequate, but that is how I’m feeling: so incredibly thankful. Thankful for Susie, and for all of the wonderful people in my life. There are many of you. And I want to take this opportunity now to tell you how much I love you.