Mar 092010

I’ve been avoiding writing about how sick I am, because Momastery is supposed to be a hopeful place and sickness is so ugh. But in addition to hopeful, this is also an honest place. And life is painful sometimes so it’s probably best not to pretend otherwise.

It is becoming obvious that my fantastic wit and charm are not going to get me out of this Lyme disease debacle. I am shocked and offended by this, really. The truth is that Lyme has me so sick and tired that finding the gusto to even use adjectives these days is tough. What I really want to write to you every morning is:

Yo. Sick. Tired. Enjoy day. Love, G

But then I think of all the wonderful messages and well wishes you’d send me after a post like that and it feels excruciating for some reason. It’s like that quote from William Blake that I read in one of Lamott’s books,“We are put on this earth to endure the beams of love.” Beams of love are tough to endure, though I’m not sure why.

I’ve spent a lot of time lately thinking about all of you mothers out there who are sick and raising your babies in the shadow of exhaustion and hopelessness and darkness and pain. To you, I just want to say hello. Hello. Thank you for existing. Thank you for making it through the long days. When I’m feeling bad, thinking about you both breaks my heart and encourages it.

It’s hard enough to be a healthy mother, but when you’re sick, there are all these layers of guilt and anger and fear piled on top of the normal mommy layers that make things very, very heavy. When a mother becomes sick, her vulnerability makes her love her children even more, but her weakness makes her unable to care for them the way she wants to, and this feels a bit like torture.

All I have the energy to do these days is hug and smell and squeeze my children. I am so needy, but I can’t give them what they need. I can’t play. I can’t be patient. I can’t even be kind on my bad days.

Last week was so tough that the four of us just sat on the couch and watched TV all day, every day. Morning till night. Show after show after show after God forsaken show. I did nothing but try my hardest not to look weak and pathetic and to smile at them occasionally. I felt guilty and worthless. I also felt panicked that because of my sickness I was missing chunks of their childhood. In the midst of the guilt and the panic I thought… Well, at least things can’t get any worse. But then I got sicker and I stopped feeling guilty and panicked…I couldn’t even find the energy to care. And that was worse.

It’s like how a month ago I felt so guilty that I couldn’t summon the energy to make out with Craig and now some days I can’t even find the energy to smile at Craig. That’s worse.

It’s like how I used to spend so many of my healthy days wishing someone would help me take care of these damn kids and now I just want more than anything to have the ability to take care of my own damn kids. That’s worse.

So anyway. Today is just one of those Keep it Real Momastery days, Sisters. Life is tough. Nobody ever told me otherwise. I can take it. I can stay hopeful. I can do hard things. But it’s important to say it sometimes. Life is tough.

There’s good news, too. All this drama has led to some big decisions. Some big, life-changing decisions that I’ll share tomorrow. And I remain hopeful, as always. I’m comforted by my belief that if I’m in a valley, and I just keep walking, I’ll eventually find myself atop a mountain. Yeah, I do. I really believe that crap. I have good reason to.

To all of you mommies who are sick or tired or depressed or angry or alone or in some way feel like you’ve got one arm tied behind your back… Thank you. Thank you for keeping the faith. Thank you for getting out of bed each morning and putting one foot in front of the other out of sheer will and hope and love. How do you DO IT? How do we do it, ladies?

We are warriors, we mothers.

Love to you and to your babies,


Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
Join the Momastery on-line community on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest

Mar 082010

It’s Monkday, friends, otherwise known as…Momastery Beauty Collection day. It’s the day we Monkees take a vow of silence (no comments) to let the beauty offered soak in real good. While I’m at it, I’m going to take vows of poverty and celibacy too, because I’d like some public credit for the lifestyle I’m already living. The rest of you can choose to commit only to silence, though, if things are going better for you at home.

Anyway…on to the beauty of the day.

Some of you have inquired about my political views.

This is probably the closest I’ll get to discussing What I’m For. I think it’s good enough.

Also….since I promised myself I’d never lie to you people, I should also mention that nobody really asked me about my political views. But doesn’t it make me sound quite important and fancy to say that people have? “Oh, hello…Some of you have inquired about my political views.” Love it. So fancy. Not true, but fancy. Like my hair color.

Love, G

P.S. Second Official Hermit Crab Book Club Meeting is coming up. Finish Same Kind of Different as Me, prepare your koffee and krumpets and meet us first thing Thursday morning!

Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
Join the Momastery on-line community on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest

Mar 052010

I can barely remember my paternal grandfather, GW. He died when I was five years old. Stories about him are legion. My father describes him as a huge, gregarious man with hands the size of dinner plates and fingers that big around. I grew up listening to my dad tell story after story about his father and his uncles and all the trouble they caused in their small west Texas town.

GW had five brothers. Their names were Sharon, Faron, Earl, Dick, and Woody. Yes, that’s right. I said Sharon and Faron. Sharon, the family ne’er-do-well, went by the nickname Blacky. With a name like Sharon, I can hardly blame the guy for wanting a nickname. He must have wanted to keep unusual names in the family, though, because he grew up to name one of his daughters Ouida Moody (pronounced WEE-duh). And Faron must not have thought it too awful to have a name that rhymed with his brother’s; he named his own sons Lowell and Joel.

GW and his brothers were a bunch of characters, raised to be openly loving and fiercely loyal. There was nothing one of them wouldn’t do for another, and this remained true throughout their lives. If anyone messed with a member of the Adams Family, they were messing with all of them, and there would be consequences. Family came first. And if any Adams family members decided to visit another, they would just show up at any time of the night or day and stay as many days as they wanted. If they arrived during the night, they wouldn’t wake anyone. They would just walk in, find a bed or a place to sleep, and in the morning the bodies of sleeping family members would be found strewn throughout the house.

One of my favorite Adams stories is about Blacky, the oldest brother, and Woody, the youngest. Blacky was a drunk and a scoundrel, and he did some pretty low things to his own relatives. One time he sold his own nephew’s beloved dog, Ithmy, and spent the money on booze. Yes, that’s right. I said Ithmy. Ithmy dog. Even though Blacky was a deadbeat, everyone put up with him because he was family.

Woody, on the other hand, ended up being a successful businessman. He earned a college degree (rare for those days) in geology while playing football for TCU. After fighting in WWII, he returned to Texas to work for the Gulf Oil Company. Soon after that, he started his own scouting company. His job, basically, was to strike oil, and he did.

When Woody was first trying to get his company off the ground, he needed some financial backing for his venture. So he invited some potential investors to town, hoping to pique their interest and get them on board. Woody, dressed in his Sunday best, was walking this group of men through town, trying to impress them. This was most likely a lively gathering of fellows because in those days, the oil business was full of rogues, wild cards, and charlatans. As the group approached the town square, Woody heard a voice in the distance calling his name.


He looked around. The voice was getting louder and more familiar.


“WOOOOOOOOOOOOODY!?!?!?!?!” it boomed.

Everyone stopped and looked to see where the voice was coming from. Woody’s heart sank when he looked up at the jailhouse window and saw Blacky steadying himself on the iron bars, peering out, and still bellowing out his brother’s name.


Blacky was thrown in jail the night before, and he was still very drunk. Imagine how relieved he must have been to look out the jailhouse window and see Woody walking down the street. It was Blacky’s lucky day! So there he was, hollering at the top of his lungs, trying to get his brother’s attention. Woody and the rest of the group watched from the sidewalk to see what Blacky was going to say next.

You’re probably thinking that Blacky was going to ask Woody for help. If a thinking man had been in Blacky’s shoes, he might have asked Woody to bail him out of jail or maybe find him a lawyer. It would have made sense to ask Woody for help since he was the only family member within shouting distance and the only one with any money. Also, the brothers lived by that anything-for-family motto which meant Woody had to help Blacky. He had no choice. But Blacky was a man who had his priorities straight. Instead of asking for any type of help that might get him out of jail, he hollered,



Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
Join the Momastery on-line community on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest