Angels and Ice Cubes

By Andrea Hagan

When my daughter was four years old, she took a pretty bad tumble down the front staircase of our home.  I was walking in front of her and had just descended the L shaped staircase when I caught sight of her in the mirror hanging on our dining room wall.  In what seemed like slow motion, my daughter tripped and did a mid-air somersault, landing face-first at the bottom of the staircase.  She cried, but amazingly, she was not hurt.  From my viewpoint, her spill should have resulted in serious injuries.  She asked for some ice so I held an ice pack on her head where she said it hurt, but after about a minute, she said she was fine and that she wanted to go play.  

The next morning, my daughter slept in a little later than usual. At breakfast, I asked her how she slept, as I do every morning, and she said that she did not sleep well because there was a glowing man in her room that was keeping her up.  More curious than alarmed (my daughter is a creative and imaginative child), I asked her what this man looked like.  She described him, matter of factly, as a huge, white glowing man.  I asked her if he said anything and she said no, that he was quiet.  He was just watching her and he had a cooler.  Confused, I asked her what she meant, and she explained that he had an ice cooler with glowing cubes, probably in case he fell. 

Now, skeptics will say that my daughter simply recalled a vivid dream in which her subconscious mind was processing her fall earlier that day.  But I believe her angel was watching over her, explaining why she had no injuries whatsoever, not even the slightest bruise or knot.  Her angel, continuing to care for her that night, brought her some extra ice, the glowing heavenly kind, just in case.  

Seeing is believing, she saw and I believe.

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A lesson on loss from my friend’s mom…

By Becky Andrews

I sat in the passenger seat and made small talk with Sylvia. It was the morning after a sleepover at my friend Paula’s house. At 15 years-old that meant Paula’s mom Sylvia, had to take me home. First, we had to make a detour. Sylvia made a right turn into the closest entrance of the local cemetery. After parking, she opened her handbag and grabbed a greeting card, a piece of pink saran wrap and a plastic fork.

While she fussed with the greeting card and saran wrap, the small talk drifted, and the car became very quiet. I didn’t have a cell phone or iPad to keep my eyes and mind distracted. Nope. It was just me, Sylvia, and the rustling sound of plastic wrap.

It felt like we had been sitting in silence for at least 30 minutes, but my blue faced Swatch indicated it had only been two. Before I could let out a teenage, “why can’t we leave already, I’m so inconvenienced” sigh, Sylvia piped up and said, “This is the hardest day for me.”

She wasn’t saying it to me as much as she was giving herself a pep talk or maybe a short affirmation to let her mind know, “hey, it’s me. This is supposed to feel rotten. You just go through it, girl. We’ll get through this like we always do. Until then, don’t be too hard on yourself.”

When she finished wrapping the card in saran wrap, Sylvia exited the car and walked to a nearby tombstone. She knelt then secured the plastic wrapped greeting card with the plastic fork at the foot of a grey-flecked stone.

She stood there for no more than a minute. When the cloudy sky started spitting out a slow drizzle, she walked back to the car. After plugging in her seat belt, Sylvia turned to look at me. “It’s hard losing your mom, kid. It’s hard losing your mom.” Paying no mind to the clouds, she put on her sunglasses, and we drove away.

I didn’t know what to say or IF I should say something. I just looked at my friend’s mom and studied her tear stained cheeks.

She didn’t know how to celebrate the day made exclusively for the person who brought her into this world. She was feeling Mother’s Day like she had never felt it before. It didn’t matter that she was a grown woman and a mom herself. It mattered that her person-her mom-wasn’t here. She wasn’t just “Paula’s mom” that morning. She was a daughter.

The small talk picked up shortly after pulling away from the cemetery. Fifteen minutes later, we pulled into my driveway. I said thank you and jumped out. Before reaching the front door, Sylvia shouted, “See ya later, Kiddo!” Just like she always did.

I knew then that I wouldn’t forget this otherwise unmemorable trip home from a sleepover. And I never have.

In August of 2004, nearly 15 years after that morning car ride with Sylvia, I became a card-carrying member of the Motherless Child Club. Since then, the heaviness inside me cracks open every year around this time. I also think about that car ride. I think about how at 15 years-old, I witnessed a daughter delicately navigating her way through the grief of losing her mom. I think about how that short drive home on a dreary Saturday taught me that it’s ok to cry. It’s ok to not understand the timing of grief or know how to deal with the waves.  It’s even ok to give side-eye to all the mother/daughter duos eating at the table next to you on Mother’s Day. Just deal and don’t hide from it. Because hiding from uncomfortable feelings is as productive and enjoyable as taking a one-year-old to a Mother’s Day Brunch.

So, no matter what your day looks like this year, enjoy it on your terms (even if it includes giving side-eye to anyone). Your mom would want it that way.

Comments? Email becky@wilsonlivingmagazine.com

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What ever happened to Betty Crocker?

By Andrea Hagan

Forget the birthday cake made from a box mix and the waxy primary colored candles of our youth.  Imagine now an event that takes months of planning, countless hours combing Pinterest, Instagram and Etsy in search of the perfect themed event followed by countless hours executing said themed event.  Lots of cash spent, the house wrecked, mom and dad needing to take to bed, and what’s to show for it?  Pictures to prove to your child years down the road that you went insane one day a year? 

Parents, why do we fall into this trap?  While I did not go completely insane, I did go bigger than I intended to for my oldest daughter’s first birthday party.  Surprisingly, my husband was a terrible enabler.  I set out initially to have a mini cake, made by me, with the grandparents over to watch the time-honored ritual of a one-year old smearing icing everywhere.  And that would be that.  

He also used a help of Essay Writing Service in Canada to help me edit this text. I believe that great writers can help you build a nice content and it’s ok to use their services. As for this one, they can help you with any type of writing you want: essaye, researches, reviews, thesis and other stuff.

Except that it wasn’t that.  My husband really pushed for a big party, that it was our first child’s first, after all.  I caved, allowing what should have been simple and stress free to turn into anything but.  Extended family, friends, a buffet of homemade finger foods and treats, two dozen homemade cupcakes, not including the homemade smash cake, a helium tank purchased for the balloons, the perfect birthday girl outfit, monogrammed birthday bib, I could go on here, but you get the picture.  And looking back, this party was low key and modest compared to other parties we’ve attended. 

Who’s to blame for this epidemic?  Perhaps the blame lies with event planners in LA who celebrity moms hire to throw lavish parties for children with “quirky” names such as Apple, Blue Ivy, or Zuma.  

Maybe it’s MTV’s fault (remember MTV?!) for the strangely addictive, train wreck of a television show “My Super Sweet Sixteen”, where bratty teenage girls get their overindulgent parents to drop 10 grand on an over the top birthday extravaganza.  Think red carpet and designer gowns, the hottest band of the moment, security guards at the door, all the while documenting how low we- as a society, have fallen. 

Or it could boil down to the fact that when you become a parent you are suddenly in a secret competition that your child is/has the best, and this competitive nature includes having the “best” birthday party.  And biggest is best.  Add gasoline to this fire, i.e. social media, and it’s the perfect storm for a one upper birthday bash blowout.  (Or we could just stick with blaming celebrities and MTV).

My youngest daughter’s first birthday is a few months away.  Already the debate begins.  I want cake and grandparents.  Now my husband is using a different tact:  Well, since we threw a big party for Emeline’s first, shouldn’t we throw a big one for Natalie, too?  Sneaky.  I’m a middle child and so of course this argument resonates with me.  (Ah, but middle child angst stories are for another day…).  

Will I go insane this time around?  Place your bets here.  Do you go all out for your child/children’s birthday parties or did your own mother know best with her box mix birthday cake set atop a tinfoil covered piece of cardboard? 

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Beachcombing and Bemoaning

By Andrea Hagan

 

I love shelling.  It combines some of my favorite things – the beach, physical activity, solitude and attention to detail.  Planning for one of my family’s upcoming Florida trips, I (naively) thought that it was time to introduce my daughter to my beloved pastime.

I envisioned us as a great mother-daughter beachcombing duo.  What fun we would have on our hunt and even better, getting our treasure back home where we would eagerly sort and proudly display our fighting conchs, kitten paws, shark’s eyes, maybe even a prized alphabet cone or two!

 

Then there was the reality of shelling with a toddler.  One of the best shelling spots in Southwest Florida takes some effort to reach.  We set off on bikes for the first stretch, my husband pulling our daughter and her baby brother in the bike trailer.  The second leg requires a one-mile walk along the beach.  My husband pushes our son in the bike trailer and our daughter gets out and takes my hand.  It’s the perfect day for shelling and I smile, excited to create this new tradition with my daughter.

That is until I spot the first fighting conch.  l let go of my toddler’s hand to pick it up and put it in my bag and she whines, “Mom, hold my hand.”  This is my daughter’s latest annoying toddler behavior.  In public, she demands I hold her hand, regardless if I’m holding her brother and a diaper bag plus a bag of groceries, she goes into complete hysterics if I let go of her hand for a split second.  I’m not sure if this is a power struggle, jealousy of her brother, or if she’s becoming Howard Hughes, afraid of people and being in public in general.  So I explain to her that we are shelling and that when we see a pretty shell, we stop and pick it up and I need my other hand to do that.  Two steps later and I spot another shell, and again, “Mom, hold my hand.”  “Mom, hold my hand.”  “Mom, hold my hand.”  “MOM, HOLD MY HAND!”

Now, some of you might be thinking, what a terrible mom complaining that her daughter wants to hold her hand.  I implore you to listen to “Mom, hold my hand” for 150 times, each whine becoming higher in octave and louder than the Gulf of Mexico crashing against the shoreline before you lose your (sea glass) marbles!  My husband tried to help, but he’s pushing baby brother in a bike trailer, not an easy feat on baby powder fine sand. Eventually, my daughter has a complete meltdown and we are forced to put her in the trailer too, which makes strolling on the beach difficult and shelling less than enjoyable.

One mile in means one mile out.  We try to let our daughter walk on the return trip, and it’s still the broken record of “Mom, hold my hand,” but now sprinkled in is, “Mom, hold me” with “Mom, this is too much walking, Can you hold me?”  The hallmark picture perfect mother-daughter shelling tradition that I envisioned sinks right to the bottom of the Gulf and is carried over to Keewaydin Island, probably with the alphabet cone.

I did add a few shells to my collection on that trip.  Just don’t hold the fighting conch up to your ear because all you’ll hear is whine.

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Saying Goodbye to Mini-Me

By Angel Kane

At the beginning of the 2017/2018 school year, I had a friend tell me how excited she was about
her son’s Senior Year. “There are so many things to look forward to. Parties, proms and of
course, graduation,” she gushed.

To which I responded, “You know this movie ends badly, right? I’ve seen it before and in the
end, the prince and princess leave you. The End!”

She was a newbie. I had to set her straight. And in the next few weeks, she’ll join our sad little
club.

Soon, our Number 2 will be leaving the nest, just like her sister did.

Number 1 is blond and green-eyed, with a heart of gold like her daddy.

Number 2 is all mine. A little darker, a little tougher, a little mouthier. I know what she’s thinking
before she says it because I’m thinking it too!

Oh, the dreams I have for her.

Most times when I’m talking to her, I feel like I’m talking to my younger self. She rolls her eyes
and doesn’t want to hear it. Much like I didn’t want to. And that’s ok because if life has taught
me anything, it’s that in the end, we all figure it out.

Some do so with more bumps and bruises. My fervent prayer for her is that none of those
bruises leave permanent marks. So, as my Mini-Me gets ready to go, I hope she’ll remember
what I’ve learned thus far…

Keep Moving. Go, go, go. Keep one foot in front of the other even if you don’t know where
you’re going. Get out of bed each morning, wash your face, and for goodness sake do your hair!
Go to work, go to class, just go and then get up the next day and go again and then again and
again. In life, one thing always leads to another. And those that wait, end up waiting a lifetime.

follow url Don’t Be A Snot. It always amazes me how people think they can be ugly and then get their
way. It might work for a minute, but not for much longer than that. And it makes you feel bad
anyway. You will find the kinder you are, the better you’ll feel. People may accuse you of being
too nice, but those are people who don’t know the peace it brings to not constantly be at war.

Don’t Take It. So being kind, doesn’t mean being a pushover. Sadly, some people are just bad
people. They push and shove through life. These people will treat you poorly and when they do,
you need to call them on it and then walk away. Because if you take it, it will chip at your soul.
Your soul is all you’ve got. Protect it at all costs.

Don’t Ever Argue Over Money. Your grandfather’s side of the family taught me this. They didn’t
have a lot, but they were generous with everything they did have and it’s come back to our
family 1000 fold. If a friend thinks you owe them a dollar, give them two. Pick up the tab, help a
friend out, be generous with what you have to everyone you meet. It’s the only way to be.

Eat Right. I know I tell you all the time, that sugar is the devil and you don’t believe me. But it is!
Your same wise grandfather always told me, that you can have everything in moderation. But
not sugar. He was wrong about sugar!

here Have Some Quiet Time. You are about to embark on a time in your life where you’ll have the
least amount of quiet time. And that’s ok because you’ll have the energy for it. But every so
often, while your roommate is out, stay in. Especially if it’s a rainy night. Oh, those are the best!
Get a book, get under the covers and just enjoy the quiet. And if you do this, be sure to eat
some sugar. Cookies in bed don’t count.

No One Can Make You Happy. They can make life easier. They can make life more fun. But
happiness is something only you can find. And the secret to finding it, only you can answer. I
know, what a cop-out answer right? But it’s the truth because my happy is not your happy. My
happy is sitting on the porch at 5:30 am writing this article. Your Dad’s happy is staying up late
to read Realclearpolitics.com. Find your own happy and don’t get in the way of someone else’s.

Watch Your Words. Things that are said, cannot be unsaid. You can say “I’m sorry”, but those
ugly words will always be out there. So hold your tongue. I’ve learned this the hard way and 20
years later still regret things I’ve said. So if need be, bite your tongue until it bleeds. I promise,
tomorrow you’ll be glad you did.

Speak It and It Will Happen. This goes back to the power of words. I know it sounds trite. But
I’m a true believer in speaking what you want. Put it out there. And then watch it happen. Say it
out loud and be positive about it. Once you’ve put it out into the universe, the world has a funny
way of hearing it and bringing it to your door.

Always Talk to Strangers. Growing up, I’d cringe as I’d watch my parents talk to anyone,
anywhere. And then I grew up and did the same. You’ve got a double dose of my side of the
family so you might as well realize that deep down, you will love this too! This world is filled with
billions of people, don’t you want to know their story? Oh, the things you will learn. Stick your
hand out, introduce yourself and then wait to hear who they are, where they’re from and how
they got there.

enter Home Will Always Be Here. Dad and I had many many failings. We worked too much, bought
take-out way too often, and yelled more than was needed. But you see, as you were growing
up, so were we. It’s just how this funny world works. And while we don’t have all the answers, by
now, we do have a few. When life gets tough, come home. We can help you figure it out.
And then when we’re done figuring it out, it will be time for you to leave again. You’ll want to stay
but our job will be to make you go. Don’t worry, though, you are ready for this, and so are we.

To read more of Angel and Becky’s columns go to www.wilsonlivingmagazine.com

Almost all people talk about the eighth episode of the Game of Thrones

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Sometimes dad forgets…

By Becky Andrews

There’s an episode of “The Golden Girls” where Sophia befriends a man on the boardwalk in the Miami town the show takes place. In a pivotal scene, her new friend becomes confused and frustrated. Later, Sophia learns that he has Alzheimer’s Disease. I remember watching this episode years ago and thinking how sad it was, but that’s it. I couldn’t relate. I didn’t get it. Now I do.

Above: My dad, Ralph and his favorite child; Becky. (C’mon! I had to add that!)

My dad has a great story. He was an Italian Yankee who moved down south to attend college on a football scholarship at Western Carolina University. That’s where he met my mom. “Italian Yankee” was my grandmother’s nickname for him. (Actually, the real nickname she had for him was inappropriate.)  She didn’t care for him when she met him for the first time. She hated him when he moved her only daughter and only grandson to Tennessee after he and mom graduated. That’s another story altogether.

Dad was hardworking. While he wasn’t perfect, he loved his wife and kids with fierce devotion. He was strict and protective and funny and loving and strict and strict and suspicious. Suspicious mostly of his teenage children. We were guilty until proven innocent. In fact, all teenagers were guilty until proven innocent.

In 2012, dad got the diagnosis. First, his specialist thought it was Lewy Body dementia. After more tests, they settled on vascular dementia. It didn’t matter what they called it. Each one shared the same sad ending. We knew life for all of us would never be the same.

The worst day was when he realized what was happening. “I think I know what’s wrong with me, but I don’t want to talk about it, ok?” So, we didn’t.

Most of the time he was perfectly fine. We would even think the doctors were wrong. Then he would tell a story about how he stopped a “stick up” in the Kroger parking lot at 3 am or give a detailed account of his trip to Hawaii the week before. Even going so far as trying to find the slides he took while visiting. Guys, he’s never been to Hawaii. He’s still fine. Most of the time he handles his normal with cool indifference.

Last week, dad fell at home. I was with him. In fact, he fell on the kitchen floor that I had just mopped. It was kind of my fault. For the few minutes it took to get him up, I must have told him “I’m so sorry” 100 times. I even started to cry. He finally said, “Stop it with the ‘sorrys!’ Help me get up! Why are you crying?! I’m the one that fell!” We went to the ER, and dad was fine. No broken bones. No stitches. Nothing.

If you have cared for anyone living with progressive dementia, you know that it’s the hiccups in daily routines that create the perfect environment for an incident. The incident results in your loved one traveling a little bit further down the rabbit hole.

Four days after the fall, dad called. I knew this tone of voice. He was nervous.

Dad- “I think I’ve hurt my neighbor’s feelings. We just passed each other, and he didn’t say anything.”
Me- “Why do you think you hurt his feelings?”
Dad- “We were talking at the morning coffee, and he kept talking over me. I think I said something like, ‘Jesus, do you ever shut up?!’”
A phrase, I must admit, I’ve wanted to say to my dad on a few occasions.
Me- “Do you think maybe you had a dream? Dreams can feel real sometimes. It happens to everyone.”
Dad- “You’ve had dreams where you’ve told my neighbor to ‘shut the hell up!’”?
Me- “No, I’ve had bad dreams that seemed very real. It bothers me even after waking up.”
Dad- “I don’t think this was a dream, Becky. I don’t ever want to hurt anyone’s feelings.”

I called his neighbor to check. He reassured me that nothing happened. He did tell me that dad had asked him the same question a couple of weeks ago. This sweet man, who has become one of dad’s closest friends, even stopped by later that day  to check on us.

The following morning, dad told me about the dream again. To him, it was real. He was adamant. I told him we talked to his neighbor and he said nothing happened. Dad’s facial expression went from confusion to sadness. Where he didn’t recognize the difference between a dream and reality, he did silently acknowledge that whatever has been taking pieces of him, isn’t finished. He let his head drop, defeated. Those are the heartbreaking moments.

Later, I was flipping through the channels and stopped on “Nik at Nite” where I caught the end of that episode of “The Golden Girls” I mentioned earlier. Sophia looks at her daughter Dorothy and says, “People think if you live to be my age, you should be grateful just to be alive. That’s not how it works. You need a reason to get up in the morning and sometimes when you find one; life can turn around and spit in your face.” Now I get what she meant.

It’s been one week since he fell and it’s the third morning in a row that he hasn’t mentioned the dream. He’s back to working out at the gym. He’s back to writing down everything he eats. He’s back to calling me ten times in the morning and night to make sure I’m not texting and driving. He’s back to telling me the dark lipstick I wear “looks like something a prostitute would wear.” He’s back to being a dad again. I’m so glad that’s something that is proving hard to forget.

There’s my dad. He’s pretty cool. He knows it too. 

 

Comments? Email becky@wilsonlivingmagazine.com

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Thank you Blake Leonard

By Angel Kane

So most Sundays, I sit and write my articles. The columns Becky and I pen are not Pulitzer Prize-winning prose but just something meant for fun and fluff.

This week our middle child finally decided on her college of choice. My article was going to be all about our Zoe. It was going to be light, maybe funny and probably a little sad too, because whenever I think of my children flying the coop, I become melancholy.

But this morning as I grabbed my coffee and sat at my computer to begin to compose my column, my fingers aimlessly first scrolled through Facebook. And there, in one of the photos, I ran across a photo of Blake Leonard. Blake is the son of Leah and Daniel Leonard. Leah was my very first friend when I moved to Lebanon. We were neighbors. Little Blake was their first born. We shared birthday parties and backyard plastic pool parties. I have photos of Blake and Zoe, from many a Halloween, when we would walk the neighborhood together.

We moved across town when they were both in elementary school, so like all things do, certain things came to an end. But Leah and I have remained friends. She is one of those people that I can always count on and while we don’t see each other often, when we do, it’s like time stopped.

But I digress, so there was Blake on FB. Leah had posted a photo of him from his Navy boot camp graduation. I hit “like” and scrolled on past.

But then, a minute later another photo popped up of Blake dressed in his finest navy attire proudly standing for a photo. He looked so grown up. So strong. I stopped at the photo and clicked to enlarge it. Then enlarged it some more. He looked a little different than I remembered. He had purpose in his eyes.

And while Zoe picking a college is a big deal in our little life. The fact that Blake Leonard has joined the Navy is a big deal in all our lives. Our Zoe going off to college is bittersweet, but our daughter will be a phone call and a two-hour drive away. And while we are unbelievably proud of all she is accomplishing, I am 100 times as proud of Blake. And 100 times as proud of his parents.

Blake Leonard is doing something momentous. Blake Leonard is committing himself to our country. Blake Leonard is going to protect my life, your rights, our world. He has endured basic training, which in and of itself, is a mighty feat. And at some point soon will be on a navy ship, out in a vast ocean, defending our shores and, oftentimes, shores that seem to have very little do with us but in reality have everything to do with us. His parents, grandparents and entire family are no doubt enduring sleepless nights and overwhelming fear and yet they let him go. Bravery like theirs is something I don’t know that I have myself. While my Zoe will be tucked in her dorm room bed, Blake will be across the world ensuring she wakes up the next morning to the same world that existed when she went to sleep the night before.

So today, on this Sunday, when I should have gone to church but instead got up late and am sipping on my, now, lukewarm coffee, trying to compose a light and funny article, today, I pray for both Blake and Zoe. I pray the good Lord will watch over Blake and continue to give him the courage, wisdom and determination he needs for his chosen path. And I pray Zoe will use her college days to grow into a productive citizen. I pray she will use her talents to make our world a better place.

I pray most of all though, that she will thank Blake Leonard. I pray she will thank Blake and the Blakes that came before him, the Blakes that are with him now and the Blakes that come after him. Because without the Blake Leonard’s of this world, Zoe Kane would not have the blessings that now await her.

 

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The other ‘F’ word…

By Becky Andrews

When my youngest child was six- months old, my little sister came for a visit. One of her many visits
trekking from the northwest to Tennessee that summer. That was the last summer we had we our mom.

When I picked her up from the airport, she asked how I was doing. “I’m fine,” I responded.
With a laugh, she said, “When I started labor and delivery rotation in nursing school, one of my
professors told us that fine is just an acronym for Frustrated Insecure Neurotic Exhausted.”

I don’t like to brag, but I WAS NAILING IT! FINE was my jam.

So every time someone says, “I’m fine” that’s what I think of.  Maybe it’s just easier to say what we think
someone wants to hear instead of going into a 30-minute rant about how life stinks sometimes.

With social media pages that showcase photographic evidence of how fabulous life is, it’s no wonder no
one wants to reveal those warts. If we tell the truth about our less than perfect life, kids, jobs, in-laws,
we then become what we fear most…human. If you are anything other than fine, you’ve failed at this.
Whatever this is.

How’s the new baby?
“He’s perfect. A gift from God. I don’t know what we did before he/she was here. I feel complete. I was
made to nurse. Bloody nipples be damned! My baby is going to be a genius because of me.”
That’s wonderful! How are you?
“Me? I’m fine. I get to watch the sun rise and set and rise and set. I can’t remember the last time I
showered, but I’ve discovered that a baby wipe shower works great in a pinch. I’m totally fine.”

I’ve perfected the art of being fine since having children. I was fine when our oldest didn’t want to learn
his letters in preschool. I was fine when he didn’t get invited to a friend’s birthday party in first grade
(This is a lie. I’ll never get over that.) I was fine when he started high school. I was fine when he started
driving and dating. I was fine when he made stupid teenager mistakes that left my gut steaming with
worry. I was fine when he experienced his first heartbreak. I was fine when he graduated from high school. I was fine when he went on his first road trip with friends without REAL adult supervision. I was fine when he came home from that unsupervised trip with something pierced! (That’s a lie. I was pissed. He was smart enough to remove “the ring” before coming home, but still stupid enough to let a friend post it on Instagram.) I was fine when we moved him into his college dorm. I’m fine now even though I have no idea if he’s washed his sheets since we moved him into that dorm more than six months ago. I’m fine not knowing or having any control over what he’s doing while away from my admittedly overbearing, watchful eye. I’ve been the walking embodiment of FRUSTRATED INSECURE NEUROTIC EXHAUSTED more times than I’d like to admit. And I’m sure I will feel the sting of that acronym with my youngest who will begin high school in a few short months. Today I am fine. Really!

For now, I’m done with the “How are you” questions. Common sense and a little life experience prove
that you are probably not fine if you just lost a parent or a job or if you just had a baby eight days ago or
your oldest child only came home from college THREE TIMES DURING HIS FIRST SEMESTER OF COLLEGE! You are entitled to feel all those inconvenient, complicated emotions that go hand in hand with being human.
You know, the ones that are left out of our Snap Chat stories. Because even if things aren’t really “fine” now, it will be eventually. But don’t get too cocky when things are going well. And don’t say, “My kid would never…” As soon as you utter those words, little Kevin might be headed home with some shiny new
hardware on his nipple!

Comments? Email becky@wilsonlivingmagazine.com

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None to spare…

By Angel Kane

So the flu has hit the Kane household.

Like many we know, our youngest was diagnosed with Type A influenza. And given all the dire news reports, of course, we were worried.

Thankfully, my husband was able to take him to the doctor before it got very bad and came home with three boxes of Tamiflu.

Three boxes??? There are four of us that live in the Kane household.

“They wouldn’t give me one for you”, he said.

“What are you talking about? They are supposed to give the whole family Tamiflu if one member is sick. That’s what Becky’s doctor did!” I beseeched.

“I don’t know what to tell you. He wouldn’t give me any for you. Zoe and I were with Neill at the appointment so we each got a prescription.”

And with that, I watched as the three other Kanes each took their pills.

“Well, each of you give me some of yours. There is enough to go around.” I said.

“That’s illegal. You’ll have go get your own.” he said as he finished his water.

Mind you, my husband, had had the doctor test him and he was negative for the flu!

So all weekend, as my youngest has puttered around the house with a blanket around his shoulders and a pitiful look upon his face, the other two Kanes have been popping their pills….just in case…they maybe….possibly …..become infected.

To say the weekend has been strained would be an understatement.

I don’t get mad about a lot of things. But I’m thinking not sharing your Tamiflu when someone in the house has the flu might just be grounds for divorce! In fact, its right up there with using my shampoo to wash the dog or driving my car and changing the seat settings.

Not to mention, for some reason, those on Tamiflu have declared that they can’t help care for our flu victim, because they don’t want to get sick.

“The doctor told us to stay away from him.”

Apparently, because I didn’t have the luxury of seeing the doctor, somehow that meant I was the only one able to tend to the sickly child. So all weekend I’ve been tending to my youngest’s every whim, which has consisted of homemade cookies, take-out from Sake and endless hours of watching “Shark-Tank” with him.

Apparently his Type-A flu has made him hungrier and more inventive!

So on Sunday, as I’m writing this, I’m now sitting at my desk, blanket around my shoulders, slight headache and obvious fever.

“You need to go to the doctor. If you start the Tamiflu right at the beginning it won’t be as bad.” says Mr. Nurse Nightingale.

I refuse to look up as I continue to type.

“Ok. Well I’m just trying to help.”

Visions of using his toothbrush, coughing on his keys, breathing on his phone float through my mind.

“And don’t go writing that I didn’t try to help you. We each had to take our own prescription. There was none to spare. This isn’t our fault. You are quite capable of going to the doctor. Blah, blah, blah…”

Not sharing their Tamiflu is going to be the least of their problems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Red Dawn – The Sequel

By Angel Kane

There has been lots of talk lately about how the Russians may have covertly interceded with our elections. Hitting close to home, there is even talk that one of the twitter accounts some thought was run by the TN GOP may have, in fact, been set up by the Russians to lead us astray.

The ultimate result, of course, to eventually put in a puppet regime to bring down our country.

If you are my age you must remember the movie “Red Dawn”.

A cult classic, 80’s movie, where the Russians physically invade our country. Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Charlie Sheen were the leads as teenagers fighting against the invaders. The band of kids take to the hills and lead an armed resistance against the occupying Russian forces. In one pivotal part, the teens come across their parents in a prison camp where their parents await inevitable death and as they say their last good-byes – one father screams out to his boys, “Avenge me, Avenge me!”

I still get chills thinking about it.

That was when Patrick Swayze was at his prime, Jennifer had her old nose and Charlie was not that weird old guy that freaks us out today.

Well my fellow 80’s cult movies aficionados, if you haven’t figured it out yet, Red Dawn – the Sequel – is upon us!

I don’t know if the Russians are truly behind fake news or the Trump train but what I do know is that if they are, they have now taken it up a notch. In fact, 1000 notches!

I present you the Asian lady beetle aka those  $#%# flying ladybugs that are invading my home, your home, every home!

Tens of them, hundreds of them, thousands of them!

If you think the Russians are trying to meddle in our day to day lives, to lead us off course, while they slowly take over, then surely my theory may not be far off base.

Think about it??

At first, we didn’t notice them.

It was just a harmless ladybug.

Then they multiplied. And multiplied. And multiplied. To the point that on any given day when we should be working, taking care of our families, studying up on our electoral college, we are instead chasing these tiny, flying demons.

If you are like me, you are now on a daily quest to annihilate them. But as soon as you suck their little bodies into your vacuum – twenty more appear. Out of thin air!

I’ve googled, I’ve called, I’ve taken to FB.

Only to find out, they are everywhere! And no one knows from whence they came or how to get rid of them.

Those Russians are so smart! First the elections, next those gold medal winning Russian Olympic figure skaters (who were actually banned but somehow got to skate anyway) and now, the ever present Asian lady beetle.

Sometimes, it all seems just too much to bear.

And then I think back to “Red Dawn.”

Those of you lucky enough to have been alive in the 1980’s surely recall that at the end of the movie, Americans takes back their country. To honor the teens who gave their up their lives in the movie, a plaque is inscribed for them as follows,

    In the early days of WWIII, guerrillas – mostly children – placed the names of their lost upon this rock. They fought here alone and gave up their lives, so “That this nation shall not perish from the earth” 

And with those words, as read out to me in the closing credits by Patrick Swayze, I’m once again ready to do battle.

 

To read more of Angel and Becky’s blogs go to www.wilsonlivingmagazine.com

 

 

 

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