Thursday, October 28, 2010

BROKEN...AND THE IMPORTANCE OF 3:00 A.M.

This is about the next step in my journey. I wrote about where it started here. This is the next piece of the puzzle in making me whole again. 





Broken.

That's all I knew.  Medicine masked the pain, for now. Traction held my leg in place, for now.

But broken isn't dead.  Broken can be fixed.  So broken wasn't THAT bad...... right?

 Everyone told me it could have been so much worse. I knew they were right, but that somehow made me feel guilty for complaining.  What right did I have to feel bad when there were others whose crosses were so much greater to bear?

So I didn't.  At least not out loud. I put on a smile the best I could when others came to visit. I wanted to make THEM feel comfortable. So when they would tell me how lucky I was, I would just lay there, smiling and agree.

But I didn't feel lucky.

I felt...pain.  I felt...depressed.  I felt....angry.  I felt...BROKEN.

I was independent and stubborn and now I had to rely on others for everything....EVERYTHING!

My family was incredible, my husband NEVER complained.  Their lives too were turned upside down, caring for me 24 hours a day.  It was either that or be sent to a nursing home and I couldn't stomach the thought of that.  I just couldn't.

So around the clock I had people with me. Asking if I was okay.  Asking if I needed anything. Jumping to my bedside if I let a moan escape my lips...wanting so desperately to make it better. If only they could.

3:00am quickly became my favorite time of the day. It was quiet...still.  No one was hovering...no one was trying to fix anything.  I love my family so much, but I needed that time.  I needed to know that if I had to turn over or scratch an itch that I could figure out how to do it for myself. It was something small, but it was so important in the healing.  Not the healing of my body, but the healing of my mind...my soul.

I wasn't prepared for the recovery.  I wasn't prepared for everything ELSE that came with healing.

I thought it was all about the broken bones, the ruptured tendons, the stapled skin.  I could endure those things.  Time would heal those things and everything would be fine, right.

I didn't understand it would be more.  So much more.

While the injuries healed, my body would rebel in ways I wasn't prepared for. The human body wasn't meant to be without activity.  It wasn't meant to lie in a bed for months without there being consequences.

Nerve pain and atrophy set in. Pleurisy attacked my lungs. Bodily functions, we take for granted, stopped working. All of these things were consequences and complications that added to the difficult and painful road to recovery.

 I tried to stay positive. I tried to hang on to the knowledge that no matter what lied ahead I WOULD survive it.  I would be a stronger person in the end...a better person.

I longed for the day that rehab could begin.  I knew it would be hard...painful.  (although I COMPLETELY underestimated how hard) I also knew that it would mark the first steps in regaining my power. The first steps in reclaiming myself.

Yes, I longed for that day.  Until then, I would try to find pleasure in the little things....like 3:00am.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday: Vacation Memories

I'm jumping in and linking up to Slutier Nation for her Top Ten Tuesday funfest. This week the subject is vacation memories. Some may be good..others not so much, but all memorable.

So in Letterman fashion...

#10  Devil's Lake with the family: We would go up to a friends cottage and spend some time cooking out, taking boat rides and learning to ski. Let me emphasize learning to ski. I remember bobbing in the water...skis out in front of me... and listening to the instructions of holding on tight until I'm upright.  Unfortunately, I should have realized that those instructions only pertained to people whose skis did NOT flip over their head on take off.

#9  Cousins Reunion: As we got older my dad's side of the family decided to throw together a reunion for all the cousins.  It was a chance to get together for a weekend of fun and laughs...lots and lots of laughs! One year one of the campers was parked on the edge of a ravine. We were in this camper and all of the sudden the camper started to shift and I did what any loving person would do.  I pushed my husband out of the way and jumped out of the camper to save myself!  Hard to believe that marriage didn't work out, huh.

#8 Florida:  Family vacation to visit my grandparents when I was in high school. My Grandma wanted us to have a great vacation so she paid for us to take a charter boat out in the Gulf for some deep sea fishing.  SHE chose to stay behind and although I wanted to do the same, my parents didn't want me to be rude so I went. BAD IDEA!  Between the smell of the dead fish that was being chopped up for bait and the waves of the water, I spent the entire day sick as a dog! Laying on a filthy cot and having a fisherman with fish guts all over him and no teeth hitting on me was NOT my idea of a great day.  Blech!

#7 Daytona Spring Break: My only year in college (Go Rockets!) to head to Florida for the infamous, Spring Break.  Six girlfriends piled into a pickup truck headed down I-75.  The truck had 'three on the tree' shifting and was so old we had to take it out in the country to practice driving it.  Only two of the six of us were capable of driving. We put a cap on the bed...threw down some mattresses and lined the truck bed with our luggage.  Three girls sat up front and the other four rode in the back...VERY safe, I know! Up all night...laying on the beach all day...lots of fun, but once was definitely enough!

#6 Trip to NYC: Two girlfriends and myself went to NYC for a long weekend. One of my friends had a little business to take care of so we had a free room in the middle of Times Square.  We went to TWO Broadway musicals, Mama Mia and Rent, and had brunch at Tavern on the Green.  It was an awesome trip with great friends. And to make things even better, Joel surprised me by driving up to the airport to pick me up...great ending to a great weekend!

#5 
Trip home from Washington State: Joel and I decided to take a little extra time coming home from a working trip out in Washington State.  We went to Coeur d'Alene,ID (yes..Idaho...it's GORGEOUS), Yellowstone National Park, Mount Rushmore, and the famous Wall Drug.  What?  You've never heard of Wall Drug?  Well just drive through South Dakota and you can't miss it.  There are about 100 signs along the highway directing you to the 'largest drug store in the world'.  How could we resist? It was an GREAT trip and I got to see places I probably never would have gone to otherwise.  We have a beautiful Country...I'm lucky to be able to see it!





#4 Mexico with a Group of Friends: Spending a week at an all-inclusive resort with a big group of friends was a great time. A full week of sun...fun...foo foo drinks with little umbrellas...and lots and lots of laughter. One of the biggest laughs came when we first settled in on the beach and I turned to find Joel dropping his board shorts to reveal his......bright blue speedo!! When in Rome....(or Mexico)

#3 NYC with Joel: For Christmas a few years back Joel got me one of the best gifts EVAH. A long weekend in NYC with tickets to my all time favorite musical "Wicked"! We stayed in a chic little boutique hotel right off of Times Square...over-indulged in everything...and had an incredible time! Joel even admitted that he really enjoyed "Wicked"...and lets face it... how could he not! We are looking forward to planning another trip to The Big Apple soon.

#2 Mexico 2004: This was a vacation we planned as a much needed get-a-way.  It turned into sooooo much more. We went into town to do some shopping one day and while I wasn't paying attention Joel bought a ring I had been admiring. Then, on a dirt road in Mexico, in 110 degree heat he asked me to marry him!  After my initial response.. of "For real?" I said, "ABSOLUTELY!" It was one of the BEST days of my life!

#1 Las Vegas/Maui:  If #2 was our engagement then it should be no surprise that #1 is our wedding and honeymoon.  We decided that we wanted to go away to get married.  We planned everything long distance and much of the details were left to the staff of the The Flamingo Las Vegas.  I was a little nervous about that, but it couldn't have turned out any better.   About 50 of our friends and family members joined us for the most incredible day of my life! I told Joel that Vegas was fine with me, but I didn't want to get married at a drive thru window or have Elvis perform the ceremony.  What we got was a beautiful ceremony...an incredible reception...and a great time in Vegas with the people we love most. What could be better than that?

Well.....the honeymoon comes close! After a few days in Vegas we left our guests to fly off to Maui.  Ten days in paradise was a perfect way to end our celebration.  We did some of the touristy things, such as, snorkeling and a helicopter tour, but after a bout of motion sickness and air sickness, we figured out that laying in the sun and visiting local eateries and pubs was more our speed. We had the best time ever and didn't want to leave.  We have vowed that we WILL return someday....I can hardly wait!

So, these are some of my favorite vacation memories from over the years. I could share so many stories from each of these vacations, but these are the highlights.  I look forward to adding many more in the future and would LOVE to hear about some of YOUR favorite memories! Come on......SHARE!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Turkey Day Angst...I NEED Your Help!

While some of you have Halloween on the brain I have already leap frogged over Oct. 31st and have moved on to a much scarier holiday...Thanksgiving!

Don't give me that look.

Halloween is a piece of cake.  All you have to do is buy a few bags of candy and wait for the scavengers to descend.  It's a couple hours of oohing and aahing over little kids costumes and then pigging out on the leftover candy that you intentionally mistakenly bought.

Thanksgiving, on the other hand, is an entirely different monster.  For those of us that are "domestically challenged" it is just down right an anxiety fest. Trying to figure out what recipes to make and listening to people complain that, "that's not how my grandmother,mother,aunt, etc... fixes it".  It's all judgey and a real pain in the ass.

Last year was my FIRST turkey and although it turned out alright, it did not go without a few missteps along the way.  Apparently, there are TWO bags of shit you are suppose to take out of the turkey before you cook it, huh? Yeah well, I didn't KNOW that.

Stop judging.

We got through it and nobody died from food poisoning so in my book it was a success.  So let's jump ahead to THIS year.

We are once again on the road and we are thrilled that both kids will be able to join us in California. Our son, who is a Marine, is stationed near us and our daughter is flying out for a visit.  We are REALLY excited about that.

What I'm NOT so excited about is trying to plan this years menu. Joel will be working so it is time, once again, for me to scour the internet for recipes. Except THIS year we have an added twist.

This year we don't have a full kitchen to work with.  The apartment we are staying in has a 'kitchenette'. We have a grill with ONE burner, a small toaster oven and a microwave...that's it! Good God I'm breaking out in a sweat just thinking about it.

How do you cook a respectable Thanksgiving Day dinner with NO OVEN?!

So this post is less about what I WILL do and more about you people giving me suggestions.  Help a sister out would ya. If it's left up to me we may be giving thanks over some grilled hot dogs and toaster ovened french fries.  Don't let me do that to my family!

Come on people...Bring It! (and please keep in mind my lack of culinary skills...thank you)

Friday, October 22, 2010

FEAR...

With halloween approaching, it got me thinking....about FEAR.  Things that scare the bageezus out of us.

When I was a child my biggest fears were the boogeyman and monsters under my bed.  Both, fears that would vanish with the comforting squeeze of my parents arms or the break of dawn. Because it's common knowledge that boogeymen and monsters don't exist in the daylight and your parents arms will protect you from everything.

Once I conquered those fears I'll be damned if new ones didn't take their place.

After  falling off the shoulders of a friend while trying to perfect my cheerleading dismount, I broke my jaw and several teeth and I began to develop a fear. NO not of cheerleading, although that WAS the end of my cheerleading days.  I developed a fear of the dentist.

I know...that's a common fear, and having your jaw wired shut and several root canals will tend to make one leery.  However, I actually didn't start having, what I consider a phobia, until one dentist SCREAMED at me while I was in his chair.

He was supposed to LOOK that day.  No drilling...no needles...JUST LOOK!  I had made sure to ask my mom that question a million times before we got there so I was sure that's all that would happen.

Me: Are you sure he's just looking today? I won't have ANY shots today, right mom?
Mom: No honey, no shots today.
Me: Oh okay, good, but you're POSITIVE, right? No shots at all today?
Mom: No honey...I PROMISE...no shots at all today.
Me: Whew okay. ( a few minutes later) But you're SURE, right?

Then, he decides that he wants to do a double root canal instead and, I admittedly,  freaked out on his ass got a little upset.  For Christ's sake I was in like 5th grade. My mom wasn't too happy with him turning her into a liar either.  He then proceeded to SCREAM at me and told me to "SHUT UP...I was scaring his other patients!"

I should have bit his damn hand, but I just sat there and sobbed while my mom chewed his ass out.  To this day I break out in a cold sweat and have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, to the dentist.

Another fear I have is a fear of heights.  Yes, another common fear, but I'm only afraid if I'm in a situation where I feel I can fall.  Put me in the needle at Cedar Point or an airplane, no problem, but put my ass on a ferris wheel and I will become a lunatic and shit a purple cupcake.  I kid you not...A. PURPLE. CUPCAKE.  It isn't pretty.

I know it's common to develop fears.  They're like assholes...everybody's got one...or ten (well I don't know anyone that has ten assholes, that would be weird, but you know what I mean). I've had people tell me they aren't afraid of ANYTHING. Those people..well, those people, are just lying.  We ALL have fears.

The fears I have today aren't as easy to deal with, as dentists and heights.  The things that scare me today are sometimes too much to handle. Alone.

A phone call at 2 am.
The deployment of our son into a war zone.
Will our daughter find a good job? Will her fiance' keep her safe and happy?
Will my nephew grow up in a world that is less scary than it is today or will it only get scarier?
Am I making the right decisions?  Am I doing enough?  For my parents? For my husband?
The unknown.


Yes, I'm finding that there are some fears that can survive the light of day.  Some fears that don't vanish with a simple hug.   I'm also finding that we can overcome our fears by letting go.  Living each day fully so that if the unthinkable happens, we have no regrets.

Yes, we all have fears...and I am learning to conquer many of mine.

Well, except for my fear of clowns, but come on now... clowns are just FREAKIN' CREEPY!






*Go ahead...leave me a comment. Tell me what you fear and how you deal with it!!



































Monday, October 18, 2010

Who needs Lassie....

Almost 4 years ago we went to the pound and came home with the sweetest member of our family.

 I was the one who was hesitant.  It was such a huge responsibility, and I refused to bring a dog into our home if we couldn't give her everything she needed and deserved.

I agreed to 'just go look'.

So many dogs had found their way to the shelter.  Each had a story and not all of them would have a happy ending. I hate to even think about that , but it's the sad truth.

We walked in and the dogs all started to bark and jump around.  It was as if they were saying 'look at me, pick ME.'

And then there was Ashley.  She was standing in the first kennel and she wasn't barking at all.  Just looking up at me with these big brown eyes.

Joel and our son wanted to look around.  See all the dogs before we made a decision...before WE chose which one would go home with us.

Yes, as soon as I walked in the room I knew I couldn't 'just look'.  I'm sure my husband knew that too.

I told them to go ahead...I'd catch up.

But I already knew...I knew that Ashley had picked  US.

I knelt beside her cage and she crept closer.  As close as she could get to me and then she reached her little paw under the cage and touched my hand.  I think she somehow knew that I needed her.  Maybe more than she needed me.

Not long before that day at the shelter I had gotten sick.  I don't want to over-dramatize it. I wasn't dying, but I was in a lot of pain.

Joel knew...he didn't tell me until much later, but he knew having a dog would give me a companion on the many days I spent at home not feeling well.

He was right.

We took Ashley home and from the very beginning she was loving and as sweet as a dog could be.  She would lie down next to me if I were on the couch or curl up next to me in bed....she never left my side.

My illnesses are more under control these days but my need for Ashley has not diminished.  She is my daily companion.

And YES...I am one of 'those people'.  I talk to my dog like she's my child. I call myself 'mommy' and Joel, 'daddy' where she is concerned and I don't give a shit who doesn't like it or thinks that's stupid.

Now don't get me wrong...as much as I LOVE her she is not perfect.

She sheds more than any dog I've ever seen.  She's horrible on a leash and just this morning she was no help at all.

At 4:30am the walkway was dark (another whole story) and I was creeping down the stairs one at a time.  Being very careful as I went. I got to the bottom step, or so I thought, and then went to step on the ground.

Oops...there was one more step.

As I missed the step and my weight shifted, I twisted my foot and went tumbling to the ground.  My purse strewn everywhere...covered in mud and grass...and my foot throbbing in pain. I look for help (or at least some sympathy kisses) from my trusty companion and where is she?

Sitting on the patio...looking at me like, 'get your ass up and open the door already'.

So much for her being like Lassie.  If left up to her, Timmy would STILL be in that well.

That being said... I may not have gotten Lassie, but I wouldn't trade Ashley for anything in the world.

Friday, October 15, 2010

TADA....

Nadia Comaneci...Mary Lou Retton...Shawn Johnson..ME...one of these things is not like the other...one of these things does not belong...go ahead take a guess which one.

Okay, well you didn't have to guess it so quickly..Geez!

When I was in elementary school I wanted to be in the Stardust Tumblers soooooo bad.  I begged and begged and begged Mr. Vogt (the coach) to let me join and he told me he only wanted kids that wouldn't quit when they got to junior high to play sports. I PROMISED him I would never do that and he let me in.  I was average at best, but I felt like one of the cool kids so I didn't care.

Oh, then I got to junior high and I quit. (sorry Mr. Vogt)

Jump ahead many years later to college. I was a health and phys. ed major so naturally there were many different activity classes that were required. One of which was.....(drum roll please)....gymnastics!

Now you need a visual here to appreciate this story. I was a college basketball player, 6'0 tall.  Not exactly the body of a gymnast.

A friend of mine , Steve, who was a football player and 6'5 280lbs., also needed to take this class.  We were quite the pair.  I remember the instructor looking at us on the first day of class and just shaking his head.

What the hell did he know anyway. I had a secret that he knew nothing about. I had been a Stardust Tumbler back in the day!

Turns out, this was not as helpful as I was hoping.

Both Steve and I figured, how tough could this class be?  We'd stretch out, do a few cartwheels and frog stands and waltz out of there with an 'A'. Well whatdayaknow (spelling/grammar nazis just move on)...we were mistaken.

The instructor (who was about 80 yrs. old) hands out the class syllabus.  This guy was insane...INSANE I tell you.  This class required us to become proficient in each of the 7 events. We would be required to perform a routine on each apparatus to pass the course. That is right..I would have to create and execute a routine on the floor, balance beam, uneven bars, vault, horse, parallel bars and the rings!

For Christ's sake, this guy thought we were training for the Olympics. He evidently didn't get the memo that his class was just required for us to get one step closer to our dream job.

For me, that would be teaching in a high school that had little more than 4 bases and a few balls to create a physical education course with.  If I had to watch one more game of kickball or dodgeball I may have slit my wrists. (but I digress)

Back to this class.

As Steve and I stand there in our sweatpants and t-shirts we look around at our classmates.

All of them were 5' nothing and weighed 105lbs. soaking wet. (I think drool was seeping from the corners of Steve's mouth)  Something told me these girls had been around a balance beam or two before. I could hardly wait to get started. (that's sarcasm in case you were wondering)

The first routine we worked on was the floor exercise.  We were given a list of about 10 moves we were to incorporate into our routine.  As we practiced, the instructor was getting frustrated with me.

Instructor:  Tonya, you are NOT completing the routine within the floor's dimensions.  You need to finish ALL of the movements before you reach the end of the mat!

Me:  Hey look Bela Karolyi...I'm 6'0 tall with long ass arms and legs.  I am going to land a little further down the mat then the rest of these little cheerleaders....DEAL with it!


Then we move on to the other exercises.  Next....the Rings!

Seriously...when Steve stepped up to the rings and he was flat footed with his arms bent while hanging on to them I thought I would pee my pants!


Oh yeah, come on big boy let's see ya hoist your ass off the ground...without caving in the roof!

Bela didn't find it as amusing as I did.

The rest of the course went about the same way.  The little chickies flipping and twirling and prancing around to the instructor''s praises, and Steve and I laughing our asses off at each other while the instructor scoffed and sneered at us.

Whatever, old man.

We FINALLY get to the LAST day.  I have stumbled through each apparatus, but have completed each routine with a passing mark...thank freakin' God!

I am on the uneven bars, performing my LAST routine. I swing and twirl and THEN....WHAM!  I hit the floor!

During my twirl, the little piggy that went to market and the one that stayed home, decided to do the splits on the bar! I lost my balance fell to the floor and hit my head.

Damn...that was graceful!


My foot is throbbing.  I look down at my toes and they look like they are broken or dislocated.  It hurts like a son-of-a-bitch and I'm pretty sure I was cussing like a sailor at this point.

THEN Bela looks at me and says: "Well, you haven't completed the routine.  You'll need to either finish or I will have to give you an incomplete for the course. Then you will need to come back next semester to complete the course."

Are you FUCKING kidding me? I have been tortured throughout this entire course.  I have done EVERYTHING that has been asked of me (even if it WAS pathetic) and now you are threatening to give me an incomplete because of an injury on my final routine?


What I WANTED to do is get up and punch that old man in the face, but I figured that would ensure a failing grade, so instead, I got my sorry ass back on that bar!

I twirled and turned and cussed my way through the rest of the routine.  Then something unbelievable happened.  It was like all that hard work throughout the last 9 weeks had finally paid off.  I finished with an amazing, flawless dismount and stuck the landing...TaDa...just like Kerri Strug!  Bela came over and hugged me and then lifted me into his arms and carried me off the floor.

Shut Up. That's what happened.

YOU weren't there.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Day IT Happened....

I wasn't sure I would ever write about this. I wasn't sure I wanted to go back there, but it's part of me. It happened a long time ago, but it still affects me. I can't write about it all at once, so I'll take it in steps...baby steps. One post at a time...when I'm up to writing about it.  This is where it began....




We all have days that change us... forever.

For me, September 18,1997 was one of those days.

Full day of teaching, followed by volleyball practice. Then, the plan was to run home, change clothes and return to town for the homecoming parade.

I had volunteered to take over senior class advisor responsibilities for a good friend who was dealing with her own life changing events.

What do they say about best laid plans?

On my way home from practice, all my plans would change.

It was like slow motion...driving along...approaching an intersection...and all of the sudden a car pulls out in front of me.

I tried to swerve, hoping she'd see me and put on the brakes.

She didn't.

Awful noises...tires squealing...glass breaking...metal crushing.

Then for a moment....silence.

A face appears at my door. I know her. A student of mine...a volleyball player. She too had left practice only moments before.  I can see in her face she is scared.

I see some blood running down the side of her face. She asks if I'm okay.

I'm not.

She starts to scream...I tell her to go get help...she leaves.

As I'm waiting I looked down at my legs. Something isn't right.  My right leg looks... wrong.  It's crossed over my left leg.

I'm not thinking straight.  I pull myself over to the passenger seat.  I somehow think this will fix my leg.

Of course, it doesn't.  Now my leg is facing the driver's side door.

Someone opens the driver's door...she takes my hand.  It is another student who lives nearby.  She is a quiet girl.  A sweet girl.  I am crying out in pain, I think. She holds my hand and caresses it.  She is telling me everything will be fine. I'm not sure I believe her, but I appreciate her sitting with me.

From then on I just hear noise...lots of noise. Sirens...voices...the sound of metal sawing.  The pain is getting worse....

I hear..."Life Flight"...this can't be good, right.

I'm removed from the car...put in the helicopter...the pain is excruciating.

I'm begging for relief.

 I don't care how they stop the pain...Please God, just let it stop.


It doesn't.

The hospital is bright.  It is loud and I'm scared.

Doctors...nurses...these strangers that don't know me.  They don't know I am always the tough one. They don't know that if I'm crying I must really be in pain...that I must REALLY be frightened.  They just don't know.

There is someone standing over me...standing ON the table, looking down on me.  He grabs my mangled leg.  The pain is indescribable...He pulls hard on my leg...I am SCREAMING!

He lets go of my leg....It POPS loudly...the pain is making me sick. He pulls on my leg again...again I am screaming. He lets go...it POPS again! Please God...please let this end.


Whatever he is doing, is not working. Yet he grabs my leg once AGAIN!  He pulls...I have no strength left to scream...I think I am praying to die.

I don't WANT to die..I just want the pain to stop..I NEED the pain to stop!

I hear my dad's voice.  His voice is undeniable...it is low and strong and I can tell he is angry....scared. He doesn't understand what they are doing.  All he knows is that his little girl is hurting and he feels helpless. He doesn't know that hearing his voice gives me strength...he IS helping...he just doesn't know.

They are taking me somewhere...I feel a hand on my head. My eyes open and I look up to see Reverend Haller standing over me.  He leans over and whispers to me..."I'm not here because it's that bad honey...I'm here because I Love you." His words calm me...I KNOW he is telling me the truth. I KNOW I will be okay, but I also know it won't be for a long time. I can tell I am "broken".

The next thing I remember I open my eyes...it's dark, but I can see my mom sitting in the corner of the room. I may be an adult, but I needed my mom. I needed her, and she was there...there was never a doubt...she is ALWAYS there.

I don't feel pain...I don't feel anything ...I'm numb.

That would change soon....sooner than I would like...but it's part of this journey.

So much ahead of me...but this is the day it began.  This is a day that would change me...Forever.

 I just didn't know...how much.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sometimes words DO hurt you....ASSHAT!

This post is going to be extremely short and not so sweet. It's something that happened many, many years ago but has stuck with me my entire life. It has sort of become a family joke, but I have to admit, at the time I found very LITTLE humor in it. So, I'm just going to put it out there...cleanse my soul so to speak.

Here was the exchange I had at a family gathering, with my grandmother's brother.


Uncle Dick:  Hello Tammy, boy you sure have grown since the last time I saw you.
Me: Hi Uncle Dick, but I'm Tonya not Tammy. Tammy's my cousin, remember.
Uncle Dick: Oh yes, how silly of me, of course. You're the athlete, Tammy's the PRETTY one!

I never DID like my Uncle DICK!

So there you have it folks...I was the athlete, NOT the pretty one. It probably shouldn't bother me as much as it does, but REALLY?