Sep 232012
 

 

 

G:

Brandon had a brief period yesterday where he came out of his “lost” look and gave me a smile. It’s the best thing I’ve seen in days!

All of the clapping and cheering for our family was amazing…even the hubster was amazed at the outpouring of support from strangers. I informed him they weren’t strangers…they were Monkees!

Much love,
Heather

 

We are not strangers. We Belong To Each Other.

 

Happy Sunday,

G

 

 

Sep 222012
 

Five minutes ago, I received this email from Heather:

 

Dearest Glennon,

I’m not even sure where to begin…

I’m sitting in a hospital room where my hubby is asleep on the fold out chair and my son is resting after undergoing surgery to remove a tumor from his brain last Wednesday. We’ve been at the hospital for over a week and I can’t even begin to tell you how much my heart hurts for Brandon.

I’m wavering on the point of a complete breakdown between undergoing chemo treatments for breast cancer (I was diagnosed in June) and watching helplessly as my son tries to cope and heal. We brought Brandon in for an MRI last Friday and we were told that day that we would be admitted to the PICU immediately…they found a tumor the size of a lemon in my poor, sweet boys head. The hard part is that he felt fine. He had a couple issues with headaches but otherwise you would have never known anything was wrong. He’s been hooked up to monitors 24 hours a day and I’m sure he will forever be angry at me for saying we are just getting some pictures taken!  In fact i can pretty much guarantee he will never want to get pictures taken, go to the doctor or even the dentist (whenever the nurses suck stuff out of his mouth they always make mention “its like going to the dentist!”…not such a good tactic). He may, however, request that he be taken to Disneyland because that seems to be the tool the nurses use to try and get him to go to”his happy place” when they are poking or prodding him.

When I received my breast cancer diagnosis it felt like a ton of bricks being dropped on me. I’m only 33. I have no family history. Statistically it wasn’t supposed to be me. But I cannot even begin to describe the feeling of having a neurosurgeon come to you in the waiting room so you can “go somewhere and talk.” Complete devastation comes to mind. To hear that our sweet, energetic, baseball-loving boy has a brain tumor was almost unfathomable.

I’m thankful that we did “get pictures” taken. I’m thankful that the surgery was deemed successful. I’m thankful that my sweet girl who is only 2 1/2 is enjoying time with grandparents. I’m thankful that my husband is strong and supportive because this is way more then he should have to endure.

I ask that you please keep Brandon in your prayers. Maybe encourage some Monkees to send positive thoughts for healing our way.
 Even a
“LET’S GO BRANDON”
Clap
Clap
Clapclapclap

Would work :) he loves to do that at baseball games!

Thank you for “listening”.

Heather

 

Here is what our family did -  and all we ask is that everyone else in the whole world says a silent, loud, or recorded cheer for Brandon and Heather.  Post it here, post it on the Momastery Facebook page, shout it to the heavens or just smile or cry. Prayers, prayers, prayers, all of it, everything is a prayer. Even that feeling you got in your gut when you read Heather’s email. A prayer.

Also, it is about to become clear to all, including me (for the first time) why it is that I didn’t make the cheer leading squad thrice.

 

I LOVE YOU.

HEATHER- WE ARE IN THAT ROOM WITH YOU. Right now. We love your boy. OUR BOY. BRANDON. BRANDON. BRANDON.

 

Love- TWMF

 

 

Sep 182012
 

 

On September 11th our plane seats were rearranged at the last minute, which landed me next to a gorgeous, put-together, beaming woman. Half way through our flight, she began telling me a story. It was clear that her story was a gift to me and to you. Here it is. It is all true.

I will call the gift-giver Karen.

Karen’s grandmother was a tough woman. She was hard on Karen’s mother. One afternoon, Karen’s grandmother called Karen’s mother and insisted she come over right away. She had insisted many things from Karen for many decades. Karen’s mother said that she couldn’t come right away, because Karen was cheerleading that evening and she didn’t want to miss her game. She promised she’d be over first thing the next morning. This was the first time Karen had ever heard her mother say no to her grandmother.

Karen’s mother did rush to her mother’s home the next morning, and found her mother dead in her car. A plastic bag was tied around her mother’s head. The car was still running. There was no note. There was no need for one. Her message was clear.

Karen’s mother never said no again.

She never said no to her alcoholic husband, even when he abused and neglected her. Even when he abused and neglected Karen and her brother. She never said no to a charity, to a friend in need, to Karen’s schools, to an unkind neighbor, to a family member in crisis. The world was Karen’s mother’s to save or let die. Karen watched all of this. She watched closely. Closely enough to decide to live differently.

Karen spoke to her parents daily. She visited her mother one morning and then went home to care for her two young children. Karen’s husband had recently cheated and Karen said No to that, so he was gone. She was a single mother. She said Yes to that hard thing, to single motherhood. To Karen it was hard but true, at least.

That afternoon, Karen’s phone rang and when she answered it, she heard her brother say: “Come to mom and dad’s house. Leave the children. Do not bring the children.”

Karen left her children with a friend. She arrived at her parent’s house to find her mother dead in the garage. A bottle of sleeping pills gone. Plastic bag around her head. Car still running. Dead.

Karen’s father was a mean man and a chain smoker. Karen believes that her mother was hoping he would find her with a cigarette in his mouth, and she’d take him with her.

Months later, when Karen found the strength to go through her mother’s things, she found piles of books titled: “How to Say No.” “How to Become an Assertive Woman.” “How to Know When Enough is Enough.”

 

We must stop hurting ourselves because we are angry at someone else. That’s what we do.

We are too confused or tired to accept that love should not hurt us. Not that way. We want to be good girls with tidy lives so we do not dare to disturb the universe by telling a few people to be decent or get the fuck out of our beautiful lives. To be decent or get the fuck out of our children’s beautiful lives.

Instead of raging or running, like men tend to do, we swallow our anger instead. We swallow pills, too much food – we turn on ourselves. We turn all that anger that should be directed outward, inward – and that is the definition of depression. Turning anger inward. Then we medicate ourselves- because something is wrong with us. Why are we anxious? Why are we depressed? Because we are ANGRY. And we have reason to be. But anger is so inconvenient and messy. Easier to stay quiet and keep self medicating, one way or another.  It’s been easier for me, at least.

 

If you need to say No, do it today. Do not live a life of quiet desperation or of silent defiance. Do not live in a self created world of self inflicted and undeserved pain. Do not punish yourself for the madness of others. Be sane.

People do not save other people, people save themselves.

To Audrey- my beautiful fifteen year old monkee sister who won’t stop cutting and who uses Momastery to “know what to do next.”

Here is what you do next, precious girl. Stop hurting yourself. Figure out who you’re angry at. If it’s your daddy or the boys in your class or the patriarchy or your mom or the popular girls or the politicians or the liars or the glossy magazines or all of the above- decide. Decide who you are angry with. Step one. It’s not you. There is nothing wrong with you, Audrey. You are new. You are not broken. When I said I was born broken, Audrey….I don’t know anymore. I don’t know if that’s really true. I’m starting to doubt that assumption I’ve made my whole life, Audrey. I think maybe I was actually born whole. You were too, I suspect. You are a fresh, beautiful slate and you need to stop cutting yourself and instead, turn your body and life into a work of art.

Find your anger. Let yourself feel it. It won’t kill you. It won’t eat you up. Become Queen of the Wild Things, Audrey. Get the book. Read it every night.

Then learn that there are two words that belong to you forevermore. YES and NO.

Audrey- say yes to people and trips and activities and books and dreams and plans and conversations that feed you, that fill you up, that make you feel like Audrey.  You need no other reason or excuse or explanation for your yeses. You are like a scrapbook right now. Instead of cutting yourself, cut and save and paste experiences and poetry and people that feel like Audrey. After awhile, you will know who you are by looking at all the things and people you say YES to.

Say No to everything else. By the power granted to me by my own thirty year process of recovery (which is JUST STARTING, AUDREY, JUST STARTING! You know I’m talking to both of us right now, right, Audrey? You know that, right?) I hereby give you permission to say NO.

Don’t wait till the end of your life to show the world how powerful you are, Audrey. Show the world everyday. Get on with it. Get angry at the right people. Then get on with it. Create your scrapbook. Become yourself.

Never hurt yourself again. Don’t hurt yourself. There is nothing more beautiful and worthy of love and tender care and protection than you, sweet Audrey.

And you, too, sweet monkees.

And me, too.

Love,
G