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Showing posts from November, 2011

Avoiding Conflict

It’s very hard to separate rational truth from what we were taught as children.For as far back as I can recall I have strived to avoid conflict. With everyone, in every circumstance, regardless the consequences. Not only do I stifle eruptions of anger that well up within myself (even if justified) I do everything to avoid others becoming angry with me, especially in public. As would be expected this has exacted quite a cost emotionally and at times financially and professionally. My husband challenged me recently to consider this pattern of behavior; to study it deeply and identify why I often sacrifice everything at the altar of ‘keeping the peace’. So I did. I took time away from distractions and set myself down to pray and pursue and unravel this compulsion that often costs me so dearly. Here is what I discovered.From the time I was a very small child my mother would frequently yell at me. It was terrifying, loud, sometimes accompanied by physical violence (throwing things). I neve…

Suzie

My sister Suzie died unexpectedly yesterday in a most horrific way (she was 48). My college classmate Tondra died last week, also unexpectedly and horribly (she was 35).  I lost Jenna at the end of September (she was 14). I lost Daddy in March (he was 82). I am having a hard time keeping sane at this particular moment in time.

Ode to My Beloved Jenna

RIP Jenna "Piranha Mama" Parks
December 1996 - September 2011

Jenna. My beloved Jenna.


You have been a part of my life since I was 20. Since Jon and were in our first year of marriage. Nearly every meaningful memory of the past 15 years is intertwined with your presence.

When I broke my leg that cold Valentine’s day (a month and a day before my 21st birthday) as I raced up to my parents home barefoot with you in my arms (which you went sailing out of when I slipped on the ice and the audible crack of my bone could be heard) it was you, first on the scene, to lick my tears away and bring me comfort.

When I packed everything I owned into my car, said goodbye to my husband and set off for a new life in New York, it was you by my side in the car as my companion in adventure.

When we reached NY and were forced out of the only place we had to live, it was you and I against the big cruel world and I remember the promise I made to you through tears: I would never let anyone take …

My Protest against the 1% (God) Who Has 100% Power Over Death

It’s been a little over eight months since my father died. It’s been a difficult eight months. Sometimes my grief wells up and spills over into tears when I’m not expecting it but for the most part I find that the wound heals a little more each day.


While I am still healing emotionally and have healed physically (the human stress response of cortisol elevation causes multiple problems for our health), the death of my father has led to significant and permanent changes in my relationship with God and my understanding of the world. As I posted in a previous entry, during his health crisis in his final weeks I researched tirelessly to try to find a way to prevent my father from dying, all to no avail. This failure to control the situation burdened me with immense guilt (what if I had just could have done something different to stop this?) and stirred up irrational anger in me against the doctors (why couldn’t they save him?).

After a time, with the help of others I was able to see real…

To Mom

I sent this letter to my mother today...

 I have been thinking a lot about Dad lately and our family. Mostly lately b/c I have noticed how much happier, calmer, peaceful and kinder you have become since Dad has died. At first I was really angry that you seemed to be doing so well without him and not very sad all the time in tears missing him. You seemed to be even better than when he was still here. :/ But I talked about it a lot with Jonathan and I think I see really for the first time that maybe Daddy was not always kind to you and maybe that the way Daddy treated you and talked about you in front of me was part of the reason you struggled so much. I mean you made your own mistakes and I'm not saying that it was all Dad's fault or that I can pretend you did everything right as a mom but maybe I see that Dad didn't really help you when you were struggling with problems and depression when I was growing up or even when I was an adult- instead he used them agai…

On Running and Fitness

Several of you have emailed me to ask how my running regime has been going. I started c25k in June 2010. Way back in 2010! I made it to one week shy of graduation (I chose the distance goal versus time so for me graduation= running a 5k) and it took me something like 12 weeks to get there. I felt so good about my progress and about myself. And then...when I was so close...I let life get in the way. I lost my job (govt contract rebid lost by my employer), got depressed/anxious about that and stopped running consistently which kept setting back my progress. THEN I landed a  job and was super busy learning the paces of  the new environment and used that as an excuse to not run consistently. THEN in the winter my elderly parents fell ill, Dad came to live with us, was very sick and eventually died in March of 2011. Between the stress and grief my running was sporadic at best. I was determined to start running again in March after his death but something just wouldn't snap into place- …