Thursday, February 25, 2016


I am blogging about today - just today...not yesterday, not tomorrow, just today.  My day started at 5am when I woke up.  I do not know why I woke up then, I just did.  Boys come in at 6:50 and 7:00 and the day begins.  Grant decides he is going to work because he needs to to payroll, he believes that there is something on his desk that he needs to tend to and he will be back by 1:30.  He drops Mason off for DRUM (music) and I take Nolan to regular start.  I come back and think - alone, alone at last, I should sleep....but then I feel it, a swift kick in the butt and the words, "GO TO BIBLE STUDY."  I have not been in weeks.  Pretty sure that is God.  Then, I hear, "And put on some make up."  Pretty sure that is NOT God.  I listen to both voices in my head and go.  It was good.  Lunch canceled - the person I was having lunch with had to do a repeat mammogram and only could schedule it then, REALLY GOOD EXCUSE!!!!!  So, I have some time.  Go pick up some things from a partner PTA who has been in a bit of a pickle.  Get the stuff, organize a plan to help her during the one down time in my day (3-5 only because Grant will be home sick), and move on to Student Leadership at Neely.  Courtney (my awesome volunteer that saves me regularly) and I get an AMAZING amount of work done, but the kids are, how do you say, not unruly, but single minded.  The single minded part was, when it was time to go they got to leave.  That is fine, but all was not done and there was PLENTY of time to do it.  So, as I closed the door to the room and said, "I am done with cleaning up after you, look at the floor, pick up all the agendas, crayons, markers, etc and put them away."  They continued to stare at me like I had to let them go.  (Still five mins to the bell.)  I reply to the blank stares and open mouths with, "Looking at me will not clean the room, so look down, look BEHIND YOU, and clean it up.  We are Leadership."  Stares continue.  "Okay, let me put this another way, you are not leaving until you clean up the classroom.  I don't care in you miss your bus, track, etc. and I am not kidding."  Apparently, those are the magic words.  Really, fire me - it will so impact my income.  Oddly, more children were worried about being late to track than missing the bus.  That is "interesting"!  Poor were coming up to him and saying, "Does she always yell like that?"  He was good and said, "Listen, you know when my Mom is pissed, you also know when she is happy.  She was pissed."  (Would prefer he did  not use "pissed", but I am not perfect so who is to judge.")  Bravo Nolan.  A couple students said they would not come back.  Was that a threat?!?!?!?!  YIPPEE!  I said nothing, but thought, "This is Leadership - either you can hack it, or you can't."  They will be back and they will clean up - PROPERLY.  I then race Nolan home with him yammering on about this smoothie that they made in PE and how much he loved it and I had to buy all the ingredients and I had to make sure that the pineapple and the mango was frozen because it would be too watery, etc. etc..   Nolan has not touched Spinach in his life.  I LOVED SPINACH (until I puked it up in chemo, but I am working on that - it came out my nose....yuck).  So, I go to the store to shop for Kent Elementary PTA and, apparently, Nolan's smoothie.  Done and done.  I am late picking up Mason, but true to form, he was there waiting for me.  I knew that no one would bug him, knowing I would come, but at the same time, I knew all of them were watching so he was safe.  I love Neely.  I love Lori at Champions.  This is after Grant called me and said, "Have you picked up Mason?!?!??!  Do I need to get him?!?!?!?"  I was like, "Grant, I got it.  They stay put.  I tried to get to a parent but they already left.  This is MY life EVERYDAY.  We are fine."    Mason saw me at 300 yards.  I explained I did not forget him, it is just hard to juggle everything and ALWAYS be on time. He responded with, "I just got cold.  I did wonder if you were kidnapped, but thought that was unlikely."  Seriously?!?!?!?!   Who wants a cancer survivor with lots of issues???!?!?!?!  Got home, downed dinner, off to Nolan's soccer practice.  So, because I did a favor for Kent Elementary, the new PTA President said, "I found these and I know you are doing box tops.  Take them."  OMG.  They are due tomorrow.  Okay - THANK YOU!  Our drive is desperately low this I drop Nolan off at Soccer at Wilson fields which is UP THE HILL, I do my errands UP THE HILL and then I just need a table and warm air to count box tops.  I go to a restaurant that someone recommended and they were packed, so I to a place I go to with your Treasurer.  I walk in and say, I have one hour, need two beers and need a table to count.  Beer list?  No.  Red.  O-K-A-Y.  Then I see friends.....can't count with friends.  So, I count with my two beers, finish which includes cutting, and labeling, and garbage and sorting.  I have half of the last beer left, pay my tab - over tip, and go sit with my friends for 20 mins before I pick up my son from soccer.  Pause........I am a stay at home mom, that drops her kid off to soccer, to go to a pub and drink beer while counting box tops, and visit with her friends.....who by this dialogue are questionable...and then goes and gets her kids to come home and go to sleep. BTW - the pub is the highlight of her day.

That was today.

Things that make you go hhhmmmmmmm, Ang

Monday, February 22, 2016

So much has happened....and Maggie......

Since my last post so much has happened......little things, big things, but they all effect us.  I have received A LOT of comments on my secret hope for my future.  Only one guessed right, but the encouragement from all of you was unsurpassed.  I need to just go for it, but I need to time it right.  My life is really not my own right on....get coffee or a glass of will take that long...

1.  I have broken down my position of PTA President is into a bizarre about of jobs and it will be posted in the March Newsletter with the tag line, "If these jobs are not taken, they will not be done and that would be sad."  Everyone is supportive of me....the challenge is me....but I am ready for it.

2.  My Father is doing MUCH better.  Not with his memory, but with him dealing with it.  He calls me if he is nervous and that is all I can ask for and for some strange reason, I calm him.  You see, he is suppose to take care of my Mom.  That was the goal his whole life.  Despite all the things he said and complaints he had about her spending, he was to take care of her.  With me, he can.  It is sweet yet daunting, but I take it on because, well, that is my duty.  I am an only child of an only child.

3.  My own family is challenged.  Grant has been sick for two weeks.  He fought through the first.  We vacationed through the second with him down for two full days, but when he came home, I was like, "You are here and will go to the doctor and will not leave the house until you are completely well."  That could be a while.  He went to the doctor and he is just, well, sick.  The good news, he has cough syrup with codeine and a bunch of other drugs to "relax" him until cure.  I am not budging.  SORRY!

So, during President Day Break we went to Big White like we usually do.....I loved having a kitchen with an oven and a dishwasher!!!!!  I did a complete Turkey Dinner which, yes, was RIDICULOUS, but I do  not care - I got to cook!  We went to Kelowna to visit Rob, Jen, Nadia and Tash.  We love them so much.  Mason is actually go to stay with them for a week for Hockey Camp this summer - what a treat!  Mason is so excited and I have to say, they are not know EXACTLY why, but I am goin' with it.  But AFTER the Kelowna visit, we drove to Wenatchee, picked up a car that Grant and Mason left in for a Hockey Tournament in Spokane and Nolan and I returned to Seattle for his Basketball game.  Yes, we are that family.  CRAP.  Anyhoo.....I also learned that there was a funeral in Seattle that I needed to attend.  Maggie Kennedy Gogerty had past.  I knew that is was immanent, but I did not know it was then until I got the email over wifi in Kelowna.  "Grant, you know I have to be there."  (This is when Grant and I were discussing if I should go to Spokane in his stead......he is one of the coaches, so it was a bit ridiculous, but okay.....)  "Of course, they were good to you."  And it was done.  So, I go to Nolan's Basketball Game with his Grandma (my mother) and leave in the middle with my mother's blessing and Nolan's blessing because he gets to go to Grandma's that has NO LIMITS on X-Box or iPad time.  My Mom tears up saying good-bye because she knows how much they meant to me.  I go, blasting my music, with the windows and sunroof open with my sunglasses on because, well, it was a beautiful day and Maggie would be pissed if I didn't enjoy a beautiful day. I arrive to Auburn Childhaven.  No directions.  Know EXACTLY where to go.  Park and see the family arrive.  I give them their moment, look inconspicuous (I know - challenging for me), and go in.  BTW - they did not notice me, so HA!  I see so many people that I remember and LOVED.  It really was a true celebration.  There were beautiful flowers - a must for Maggie.  There was beautiful food which Maggie also loved.  I hugged people, shared stories, and, saw Pat Gogerty, her husband, my boss.  I do not know how I exactly got my relationship with Pat, but I think it was when I stood up to him.  This was a long time ago and he said, something to the effect of, "I am old enough to be your Grandfather!"  and I yelled, "I don't let my Grandmother talk to me like that!"  Pat took out his hearing aids (which was a sign he was DONE and I stormed out of his office.)  Maggie was there and followed me down the stairs begging me not to quit and I turned to her and said, "I am not quitting but I am not martyr, so he and I have to get that figured out!"  She stepped back and said, " will do just fine."  I asked if she was going back up to his office and she said, "No.  There is no point in that....I have work to do!"  What I learned is that was Maggie.....she also told me his driving was a bit of a adventure.....I agreed, but I am not known for my "safe, perfect, driving".  I did not really understand what is was to be in the umbrella of the Gogerty's until I attended their wedding on Vashon.  A coworker was in a situation with the care of her family.....I was, as HR Director, the portal to her career it seemed, and everyone, and I mean everyone, was supportive of me and gave me accolades for what I saw was doing the "right thing."  I loved them for it.  So, was I there for a wedding or for an employee.....I was there for both.......that is the Childhaven way.  Nothing is ever separate because it cannot be.  BRAVO.

 So, here is what I did not say.....there was an opportunity to say was you remember about Maggie.  Mine recollection was not about work but about when I was sick.....She and Pat would cook these elaborate meals and meet Marlene Carter at the ferry dock or Pat would drive them to me after lung surgery to my parents house where I was cared for.  He would then tell them stories about  me and how "obstinate I was" or how I did a great job.  My parents loved it, while I, well, I admired the attention.  He would say things to me like, "Angela, you look pretty good and you know I would tell you if you did not and if you needed to get you stuff in order - you know, for death."  I would respond with, "Yes, Patrick, I am well aware of you tell me the brutal truth."  "But you look good!  Really for your condition!', he would reply.  In every meal that they sent there would be fresh fruit all cut up with a can of whipping cream.  During the entire time of my real fight with cancer, I had whipped cream in my frig.  My boys used to call it, "Maggie's cream" and so it is today.  My frig ALWAYS has a can of real whipped cream.  I thanked her once for it and she said, "Everyone needs more whipped cream in their life."  I can also hear the, "not that crap cool whip that people buy.", but I was sick and she was kind.  I do not think my frig will ever be without it now.  My boys now LOVE to shoot it in their mouths and I let them.....that may be bad, but y'know in the scheme of things, I thing it is fun and I think Maggie would too.

When I said goodbye to Pat he said, "This will probably be the last time I see you and that is okay."  Pause.........Okay, so I get it.........I have had the near death experience.....I know how peaceful it is there.......he is old.......I get it......I said good bye to my grandma.....I get it..........I stayed strong.  Pause.....I told him that he needs to do whatever he needs to do and I would see him on the "Flip side".  I told him I loved him and I think he got how "I got it".  He was cute and said, "Yeah, the flip side....."  What he does not know unless he reads this is that as soon as I turned from him and left, I broke down. Patrick Gogerty was a light in my life.  I love him.  I would follow him into fire without question if he told me to.  He is my guy and he knows it and I will see him again.  Here is to the flip side.

Love, Ang

Thursday, February 4, 2016

February 3rd, 2016

Today I woke up at 6:20 with Mason.  Mason had DRUM which means he has to go to school early to practice with the DRUM group.  It stands for "Discipline, Respect, and Unity through Music".    Mason forgot his Tromprone for Band.  I told him Nolan could bring it.  I needed coffee.  I went back home, made coffee, got in the shower, told Nolan about the Tromprone and then took Nolan to school WITH the Trompone and started out on my day.  1. Bible study where I learned that I am a hopeless case and will have survivor guilt FOREVER.  2.  Leave Bible Study early to put my Mom's butt in the car to go to Kirkland to get samples and advice on the backsplash because, from what I can detect, everyone is FREAKING out about it. and 3. Throw my Mom out of the car even though she made me lunch and go to Student Leadership of which I am in charge of and make something out of it.  I actually had lunch with her in my house, not like that is a treat right now....but I am not that horrible.

In this Bible Study, I am to learn how to make space for the Sabbath.  I know technically how to do that, but I am stumped on why.  When I search why, I realize, I can never make space because space was made for me when I was sick.  I can never pay them back for the help they gave me.  NEVER.  I needed it so much and they gave it so willingly.  I took for 6 to 7 years.  How does anyone pay that back?  There are things I want to do, but do not feel worthy.  I actually feel that I should continurally serve everyone and everything because I am, well, alive.  So, the question is, do I break from the guilt and follow my passion?  I have never really had one.  My parents were overinvolved and chose everything I did.  I chose one elective in High School - photography.  The teacher was a whack job, but she said to me one day, "Angie, you are talented in this.  I think I should fail you so that you could do another year."  My GPA was too good for that to happen, but I LOVED the dark room and processing.  Things that are never done now.  I do not blame my folks.  They believed they were doing well by me.  I am VERY good at business, and I get it, but it was truly never my passion.  Pictures - history - timelines - stories.....those are my passion.  My Dad was an amazing story teller, my mom a great writer - I am them (after college and learning how to write!), but I never exhibitied because, well, it didn't pay the bills.

What do I want?  Well, that is a secret.  Only one that I have.  I am too afraid to tell it and I am sure I am not capable of doing it.  I am not strong enough.  My body may not be able to handle it.  I do not want to do the work that it takes (or so I think, but I do not know because I have never thought I should benefit from my disease).  I want ot share my story.  I want to tell me my journey because literally even now, I am like, "Really, that happened to me?!?!?!  THAT SUCKED!"  And I have told my story - free for anyone that wants to read it, but it doesn't seem like enough. 

My boys come home and I ask Mason to help Nolan with his homework and I get, "MASON IS RUINING MY DAY!  THIS IS TORTURE!!!!"  Pause.  I go into the dining room and say, "Has anyone beaten you today?  Burned you with cigarettes?  Or sold you into the sex trade?"  "MOM!"  "Well, Nolan, THAT is a bad day.  Your day is exactly as it would be if I was checking your homework and it is JUST FINE!"  I know that it is harsh, but it is real.  I let my kids play by the river, I let them walk home by themselves.  I am cautious, but realistic because I bore these kids in this world. 

I guess what I am saying is - life is unpredictable and I want everything for my kids with nothing bad to happen to them.  That is not possible.  Life is short and death is sure - Downton Abby.

I think I need to call a shrink, oh well, it is not the first time!!!!

Happy Thursday, Ang