Care package

I apologize to all three people who sat with bated breath, waiting to read today’s blog post. I was in a miserable mood this morning. Actually, I was sad. Can I admit that without being labeled crazy? Well, I am, but that’s between me and my therapist.

I told you recently about my friend who lost her sweet baby girl. Grace died after surgery, complications from CDH. She would have been 18-months-old today.

I decided to drop off a package of goodies for my friend. I realize there is nothing I can do to ease the pain, but I could try to brighten her day. I packed cookies, snacks, magazines, zucchini, a picture of Ryan Gosling and left the box on her doorstep. As I drove away, panic set in. What if her husband found the box first? Zucchini? Ryan Gosling? Oh, shit, that doesn’t seem appropriate. My intentions were good. The zucchini is our little inside joke. I tease her for bringing the same zucchini dish to every event. I suppose some people enjoy it. In case you haven’t noticed, I happen to be obsessed with Ryan Gosling. In my opinion, his photo is like a ray of sunshine. (Did I just sound like a stalker?) Well, it was too late, I couldn’t go back. With my luck, it would turn into a Seinfeld episode. A neighbor would see me rifling through the box and call police. I would have to explain to the officer why I was stealing zucchini. I opted to leave and explain later.

I picked the kids up from school and went home. There was a package and other mail on my doorstep. Among the pile of bills was a newsletter from a local children’s hospital. I flipped through the pages and discovered a story about Grace. Her parents helped raise a lot of money for the hospital. They hoped to have a room in the new wing named after Grace. It was going to happen. I smiled thinking of how many lives Grace touched. I guess you don’t need Ryan Gosling after all. Remembering “Amazing Grace” is enough to brighten any day.

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Jesse

I met a crazy woman this weekend. I am probably 50 mg of Zoloft away from being just like her. She was sitting in the hair salon waiting to have her roots colored. She greeted each and every person who walked through the door. She talked non-stop. Sometimes she spoke to other patrons. She would also announce her observations to the room. “The prices sure have gone up.” She appeared to be in her late 50’s. A button on her grey cardigan was dangling by a thread. A brightly
colored knit hat rested on top of her head. A few people seemed alarmed by her behavior. A guy in his 20’s giggled. I gave her what she desperately needed, someone to talk to. She asked me about my children and told me about her family. The red headed doll nestled under my daughter’s arm caught her eye, “What’s her name?” My daughter looked up at me before speaking. I have repeatedly given the “Stranger Danger” speech. I prefer the scare the hell out of your children method of parenting. I am not going to sugar coat it. If you talk to a stranger he will kidnap you. After working in the news business for a decade I am slightly paranoid and overly cautious. My gut told me this woman was harmless. I gave her the nod of approval. “Her name is Jesse,” my daughter said, proudly lifting her favorite doll into the air. “She is from Toy Story.” The characters from Toy Story are adorable. Well, that is, unless you wake up in the middle of the night to find this in your bed:

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In a dark room Jesse looks a lot like Chuckie. I woke up last night to find her staring back at me. I screamed and jumped out of bed so fast I think I pulled a muscle in my back.

My 5-year-old joined the conversation. “Actually,” He uses this word often. It is his way of saying, You’re idiot, but I will correct your mistake. “It is from Toy Story 2.” As we got up to leave the woman yelled “Have a nice day!” Our hairdresser apologized, “I am so sorry about that.” There was nothing to apologize for. Maybe the world would be a nicer place if more people were like her. She was happy and didn’t care what anyone thought. A man with a thick mustache held the door for us. “Aren’t you cute,” he said to my daughter. Back off Chester! We left without saying a word to him.

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