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the unreliable narrator

March 9, 2019

i don't know how old i was when i learned i had cerebral palsy. i suspect it was when i was ten, when i had to have the third of six surgeries... the first one i was old enough to remember. i had a navel hernia -- something to do with the abdominal wall and a hole... and if it's not fixed, your stomach could mesh with your intestines and you die. or at least that's what i remember from the explanation of the thing all those years ago. i'd been suffering suicidal ideation for two years by this point in my life. i would've preferred death, but... i was ten. my parents found a doctor and scheduled the surgery and here i am.

i'm always amazed at how full of irony life can be. seconds before i'd begun typing this, the group messaging app used by the gals in a bible study i've been attending started sounding off notifications. a friend's husband was life-flighted today and had a surgery that lasted eleven hours, the results of which have so far been unsuccessful. it's funny to me how the ones who don't want to live get to linger, and the ones whose lives are so detrimental to the well-being of others can be snatched away in seconds. i'm writing about the need for a patch in my abdominal wall... and another's in need of the patch in his heart. the patch in mine worked. the patch in his isn't.

i've been volunteering at a christian academy since september. the kids are out for spring break this coming week. wednesday next, i'll be presenting at the school's chapel service. i'll be talking about the fruits of the spirit -- one in particular: faithfulness.

i've shared some of the details of my story with the gals in the bible study. the other day, one of them commended me for my faith. i was surprised by the compliment.

there's some passage in the bible about how we're fearfully and wonderfully made. fearfully. yes. absolutely. i am full of fear. wonderfully? i call bullshit.

i was browsing through netflix and came across the theory of everything. i can't watch the whole thing. i can't. i HATE seeing how the body is ravaged, how its destruction ruined so much, was so catastrophic to so many and in so many ways.

what i have, it's nothing compared to lou gehrig's disease. my body isn't rotting. but i recognize the anger stephen hawking may have felt in the days... the decades after his diagnosis. i've been PISSED at mine for almost all my life. and i've been pissed at me for being pissed because, as my mother has said over and over again, i can do so many things.

it'll get worse as i get older, though. and at some point, i'm not going be able to keep my muscles from spasming... and the heart... it's a muscle, too. most of the time, i think this can't come soon enough. i dread it, though. i dread how this disability is going to break me.

this is the story i've chosen to tell... this one of anger and hate and fearfulness. i played the part of the unreliable narrator. i've become so accustomed to the role, i don't know how to make the necessary corrections.

what was i thinking? how could i possibly begin to talk to ten-year-olds about faithfulness?

because one reading challenge isn't enough

January 13, 2019


okay. so i'm gonna try my hand at this year's pop sugar reading challenge. i spent the morning at brio's with a couple of friends chewing over the list and the books on my to-be-read shelves and have come up with this list:

one. a book becoming a movie in 'nineteen. the rosie project by graeme simsion.
two. a book that makes you nostalgic. every last word by tamara ireland stone.
three. a book written by a musician (fiction or nonfiction). this life i live by rory feek.
four. a book becoming you think should be turned into a movie. the last summer of you and me by anna brashares.
five. a book with at least a million goodreads' ratings. the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime by haddon.
six. a book with a plant in the title or on the cover. becoming the woman god wants me to be by donna partow.
seven. a reread of a favorite book. lovers and dreamers by nora roberts.
eight. a book about a hobby. let's pretend this never happened by jenny lawson.
nine. a book you meant to read in 'eighteen. elinor oliphant is completely fine by gail honeyman.
ten. a book with pop, sugar or challenge in the title. the sugar queen by sarah addison allen.
eleven. a book with an item of clothing or accessory on the cover. the seven rules of elvira carr by maynard.
twelve. a book inspired by myth/legend/folklore. the lord of the rings by j.r.r. tolkien.
thirteen. a book published posthumously. the guernsey literary and potato peel pie society by shaffer and barrows.
fourteen. a book you see someone reading on television or in a movie. dandelion wine by ray bradbury.
fifteen. a retelling of a classic. alice i have been by melanie benjamin.
sixteen. a book with a question in the title. where'd you go bernadette by maria semple.
seventeen a book set on a college or university campus. maybe someday by colleen hoover.
eighteen. a book about someone with a superpower. miss peregrine's home for peculiar children by simsion.
nineteen. a book told from multiple points of view. the bookshop at water's end by patti callahan henry.
twenty. a book set in space. the martian by andy weir.
twenty-one. a book by two female authors. between the lines by jodi picoult and samantha van leer.
twenty-two. a book with salty, sweet, bitter or spicy in the title. hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet by jamie ford.
twenty-three. a book set in scandinavia. bear town by fredrik backman.
twenty-four. a book that takes place in a single day. one hundred two minutes by jim dwyer and kevin flynn.
twenty-five. a debut novel. reconstructing amelia by kimberly mcreight.
twenty-six. a book that's published in 'nineteen. all we could have been by t.e. carter.
twenty-seven. a book featuring an extinct or imaginary creature. the hobbit by j.r.r. tolkien.
twenty-eight. a book recommended by a celebrity you admire. where the crawdads sing by delia owens.
twenty-nine. a book with love in the title. love walked in by marisa de los santos.
thirty. a book featuring an amateur detective. the lake house by kate morton.
thirty-one. a book about a family. the weird sisters by eleanor brown.
thirty-two. a book by an author from asia, africa or s. america. the number one ladies' detective agency by smith.
thirty-three. a book with a zodiac sign or astrology term in the title. water for elephants by sara gruen.
thirty-four. a book that includes a wedding. the glass kitchen by linda francis lee.
thirty-five. a book by one whose first and last names begin with the same letter. probability of miracles by wunder.
thirty-six. a ghost story. a room away from the wolves by nova ren suma.
thirty-seven. a book with a two-word title. saving june by hannah harrington.
thirty-eight. a novel based on a true story. the promise by ann weisgarber.
thirty-nine. a book revolving around a puzzle or a game. legendary by stephanie garber.
forty. your favorite prompt from a past popsugar reading challenge. furiously happy by jenny lawson.

i'm also doing erin's book challenge again and intend to use selections from the popsugar list for hers.

one. freebie. the probability of miracles by wendy wunder.
two. a book that was made into a movie. the guernsey literary and potato peel pie society by shaffer and barrows.
three. a book set in europe. alice i have been by melanie benjamin.
four. a book that was a newberry award winner. ramona quimby, age eight by beverly cleary.
five. a book that is a friend or family member's favorite. dandelion wine by ray bradbury.
six. a book originally published more than one hundred years ago. the mill on the floss by george eliot.
seven. a book with six words in the title. the seven rules of elvira carr by frances maynard.
eight. a book with a compass or cardinal direction in the title. one hundred two minutes by dwyer and flynn. 
nine. a book that was originally published in a language other than your own. bear town by fredrik backman.
ten. a book that begins with the letter n. the number one ladies' detective agency by smith.

random quarter

January 5, 2019

one. three things i like about myself: intelligence, compassion, generosity.

two. three things i dislike about myself: insecurity, temper, laziness.

three. the happiest person i know: michelle.

four. the two people i like and respect the most and why: aurora and cynthia because they are like sunshine.

five. i am: a child of god, one who is never quite happy with her lot in life.

six. the five qualities i most admire in others: perceptiveness, honesty, dedication, resilience and affability.

seven. my mission: to last the day.

eight. what i would attempt if i knew i could not fail: the things that come to mind are ideas put in my head by family and friends, and i am not confident that these wants are truthfully my own so i don't feel comfortable with this topic.

nine. five people who can help you achieve your goals: the only goal i have now is to survive the day, and the people i would most like to have near me for that are aurora, cynthia, erin, rebecca and traci.

ten. five things i've been procrastinating doing: cleaning out the closet, creating a prayer corner--a war room--in my bedroom, cleaning out my vehicle, applying for full-time employment and cleaning out my storage unit.

eleven. ways to make monday magical: i welcome ideas for this one. all i can think of is allowing myself a long, hot soak in fragrant bubbles and salts whilst sipping a glass of some kind of a white.

twelve. do you know how amazing you truly are? no. no, i do not.

thirteen. natural gifts: i can sing. that's pretty much it.

fourteen: wonders of the world i'd like to see: the great barrier reef, the grand canyon and the northern lights.

fifteen. ancestral lands i'd like to visit: austria, ireland and scotland.

sixteen. i've always wanted to: attend a red sox game at fenway park; drive the length of route sixty-six; drive the length of highway one; take the train across the country; spend a week on a beach in fiji.

seventeen. if the average lifespan is an estimated twenty-seven thousand, three hundred seventy-five days, how many do you have left? ten thousand seven hundred seven.

eighteen. what did you worry about six months ago? a year ago? five years ago? my well-being. always me first because i'm a vain woman. my biggest fear in life is that i would become a spinster, and yes, that has come to pass.

nineteen. when was the last time you did something for the first time? december twenty-fifth: i played game of thrones settlers of catan with my mother.

twenty. about what are you passionate? nothing.

twenty-one. what is something you've always wanted to do but haven't done? know romantic love.

twenty-two. how will you change the world? no fucking clue.

twenty-three. about what do you care? my family and friends.

twenty-four. how do you want to be remembered? for my heart... as scarred as it is, it is good.

twenty-five. people who have made you feel appreciated and special: amelia, megan, cassady, jace, maylee, elizabeth, nicki, luke, landon, liberty, colton, piper, cam, bentley and justin.