Posted in Uncategorized

About Me

I am a mom.

I am an ovo-lacto vegetarian who believes it is not worth my time to hate anyone.

My son’s dad crippled me by snapping my spine. I also have fibromyalgia and lots of fun illnesses / diseases. I live in chronic pain.

My ppsts are about my life. Sometimes I post stories or poems or reviews.

I’m verbose.

I’m an avid reader.

I like constructive feedback.

I am writing this on my phone so apolofize, in advance, for typos.

I believe in giving credit where credit is due so if you see your work and there is no credit, please let me know. If you wish to repost or qupte something of mine, please let me know. Everything is copyrighted.

Blessed Be, 

D.K. Stevens

Posted in Life, My Son, parenting

Chester The Mouse Is No More

I first noticed the dark colored mouse as it ran across the sink and jumped behind the stove. I thought my (retired mouser) cat Ema and I had imagined it until my son winessed almost the same scene the following day.

I was the runt of my litter and, worse, had the dark grey fur of my absentee father. My four siblings, all a light grey like our mother, and nearly twice my size, liked to make fun of me:

— Chester the Nester, he’ll need to feed til he’s one; Chester the Nester, he’ll always come in last. Chester the Nester, he’ll never be much fun, Chester the Nester, he’ll never be that fast.

It wasn’t much as childhood rhymes go, but it hurt. A “nester” is a mouse who never leaves the nest; and while I had no problem with the idea of caring for my mother into her old age, I had images of a wife and a litter of our own…

I was the first of our litter to go searching for food. Not because I was ready, mind you, but to try and prove myself. I was returned home by the two EMMT (Emergency Medical Mouse Technician) mice on a stretcher, my head bound tightly from a deep cut and a concussion I had received running from a cat and banging my head on a low-hanging piece of wood. I was still clutching the piece of cheese and saying, “Please, Mr. Cat, this is for my mum, not for me.” This changed the rhyme my siblings chanted a bit:

— Chester the Nester, chased by a cat and whacked his head, Chester the Nester bled and lay there looking dead, Chester the Nester, clutching the piece of cheese, “Please, Mr Cat,” he pled, “this cheese is for my mum”.

I moved a pan over to block the mouse from running to his oven hiding spot. We lived with (I’d say, “owned”, but what human has ever “owned” a cat?) three cats. The oldest, the aforementioned Ema had caught a mouse or three in her day; by the time the other two were acquired, my son and I assumed the Smell of Cat would keep away any mice. We were wrong.

After the head wound healed, I noticed that my sense of smell and taste were gone. I tried to hide this fact, but to no avail. When my older brother Charles was run over trying to bring home food for us, my sister Charlene shoved me against the wall. “You’ve lost your sense of smell,” she stated. Charlene was always very direct. “I’ve noticed how we all smell something, yet your whiskers and nose are the last to go — like you’re copying us.”

She let go of my shoulders and stood back, knowing I wouldn’t run even though I was back on all fours. I hung my head in shame; there is nothing worse than a mouse with no sense of smell.

“Mother knows,” I said lamely, in a quiet voice.

“And what of us?” Charlene demanded. “Chrissy has moved in with her husband, Charles has been run over, Christopher has some wild idea about going to the upper floors–“

“I’ll go with him!” I exclaimed, although my stomach churned at the thought. Christopher was the Wild One of our litter and the upper floors scared me. A lot.

Charlene glared at me. “You,” she paused. “You will go with Christopher to the higher floors?” She was almost screeching her squeaks were so loud. She slapped me across the face, then; the first, last, and only time. She looked ashamed. “Chester…” her voice softened. “Chester, I’m sorry about the chants. They were jokes. You’ve got nothing to prove! Chester, no. No,” she squeaked more firmly. “I’ll go with Christopher. Someone needs to stay with Mother.”

She rubbed her cheek, her whiskers, against mine. “I’ll go,” she whispered. Charlene was used to getting her way, and not just because of her large size.

That night, as everyone slept, I pulled myself carefully away from the bundle. “Ready, Christopher?” I squeaked quietly.

“Ready,” he whispered. I gently kissed my mother goodbye. “We’ll bring back loads of food, you’ll see,” I squeaked quietly, and followed Christopher down the halls and up the elevator wires to wait for daylight when the humans would be out.

The mouse hadn’t been seen in a couple of weeks. My son and I had forgotten about it. Until we came home to see it dart through the sheet that blocked the air conditioning from the living room / my bedroom to the hallway.

When you’re a Parent, there are things that you would do for your kid that you normally wouldn’t. I’m terrified of bugs. TERRIFIED. But so is my son. So when there’s a bug, I MUST protect my son. Even if I’m terrified. Even if I’m about to throw up / pass out/ scream/etc.

I stepped on the mouses’ tail, glad I was wearing sneakers. The mouse squeaked — LOUDLY. I moved my foot and moved a box, effectively blocking it in on three sides. “Get me a plastic container!” I called to my son, who came running in with a small container, while trying to remove the top. I took it from him, yanked off the top, and tried to catch the mouse in it. I succeeded on my second try, slid the top underneath — had to shake it a bit so I could close it without hurting it’s tail, and it was in! 
Carefully, I slid the lid underneath the mouse and flipped him over but had to shake him a bit so I wouldn’t close the lid on his tail.

“Open the door for me, please, Sweets,” I said. I didn’t want to touch anything even though I was pretty sure I hadn’t touched the mouse. “I’m going to bring this to the Super,” I said. “Don’t touch anything, ok, Pup?” He nodded.

I was reminded of the time we stayed in a Family Homeless Shelter. I had refused the mouse traps that snapped on the mouse for the sticky kind. I surrounded the heater with them and one night a mouse, holding a Phillies Blunt wrapper in it’s mouth, was caught. I called the front desk because I didn’t want to touch it but, long story short, after half a litre of vegetable oil and a lot of “this isn’t part of my job” complaints from the night guard, the greasy mouse slid off the trap and ran off into the night.

I had decided to take the mouse to the Super’s apartment on the first floor. Not his son, who should be the Super, but the old guy who purposely stepped on and broke my then toddler son’s favorite train set piece; the old guy who put a lit, bare bulb on my antique luggage collection and set them on fire; etc. Hundreds of dollars worth of damage, and not a single apology. He goes through the tenants mail and steals government mail — welfare letters, disability letters, and so on — so appointmens are missed and cases closed. He broke the lock off of my mailbox with a screwdriver and tried to charge me the fifty dollars I had refused to pay for my keys when I had first moved in.

I rode down the elevator and looked at tbe little dark mouse in the clear plastic container. I realized I should take pictures with my phone, which I’d left upstairs, so there would be a time / date stamp. When the elevator opened on one, I quickly pressed “6”, followed by the Close Door button. The mouse was busy going in circles, keeping his right side against the plastic container. Upon reaching my floor, I called out to my son, “Pup, my phone, I left it up here. I want to get pictures.”

My son opened the door for me with my phone in hand. “Mom,” he said, “there’s a big drop of blood on the floor in front of the kitchen, in the hall. I think one of the cats got a bite just as we came home.” The blood stain was almost the size of a quarter and there was a light blood smear nearby, heading towards my room. I held up the plastic container and shook it a bit. In the sunlight I could see a chunk missing from the left shoulder of tbe mouse. It was so deep that as he scurried about his plastic container, I could easily see the bone of his left arm as it went up and down with each step.

It was a set-up. Christopher assured me that he had scoped tbe place out twice and there were two humans but they had gone out. He would stand guard while I grabbed as much food as I could and give it to him. I thought the strange glint in his eyes was excitement. Or the sun. Or his crazy.

“You’re sure this is safe?” I squeaked quietly.

“Don’t you trust me, Chester?” Christopher squeaked back, a bit loudly, I thought. “Now… go!” And I felt both hands shove me out into the open kitchen and by the time my eyes had cleared from the bright sunlight, I was surrounded by three cats. “Christopher!” I squeaked as loudly as I could. “Christopher! It’s an ambush! Let me back in! Please!”

“Couldn’t smell the cats, could you, Chester?”

“Who else is in on this?” I squeaked, ducking under a paw with very long nails. “Charlene?” I asked. No answer. Suddenly I felt fangs pierce my left side, right on my shoulder. I didn’t want to know, but I had to know. I gasped for air, pushing with hands and feet against the felines’ mouth. My head was back so I couldn’t bite the cat, but I squeaked out quietly, “Mom? Was Mom in on this?”

The cat shook her head, teeth digging deeper into my shoulder meat,  her claws reaching for my belly. “No, Chester the Nester. This was all me. I’ll return and tell how we were ambushed and though they’ll pretend to be sad, Charlene and Mother will be glad you’re gone,” Christopher answered, his voice fading as he ran away through the tunnels to tell his version of the story.

Suddenly, there was a loud noise as the two humans returned. In the split second that the cat was distracted, I pulled free, losing flesh and blood, and ran for a dark room.

Not fast enough. “Mouse!” yelped the bigger of the two who pushed aside the doorway and stepped — hard — on my tail. I yelped. The larger human moved a box as I tried, and failed, to jump through a tiny hole. Now I was boxed in on three sides — wall, wooden table leg, box. And a large human on the fourth side.

After going downstairs, realizing I needed pictures, having my son take them, and noticing the wound on the mouse, I wasn’t sure what to do. I left the closed plastic container in the garbage room on tbe first floor. Back upstairs, I cleaned my shoes, the blood, the cat puke ln the bathroom floor.

Then I sat on my bed.

I felt horrible.

I should’ve let the mouse go. Somewhere… Outside? Where the feral cats could kill him? No. Where, then? I think I went into shock, a little, at that point. I would shake uncontrollably, intermittently, for almost four hours afterwards, until my Nighttime Meds kicked in.

But what choice did I have? Make my son get rid of it?

That night, and the night after, I had nightmares. Mice everywhere. Big ones, little ones, mice with missing chunks of flesh and visible bones. Leering mice. Mice squeaking at me. The following morning, I ran downstairs. “Did they take out the garbage from yesterday yet?” I asked a neighbor who lived on tbe first floor. He nodded, “You just missed them. Why?”

And that was it. The mouse had most likely suffocated or bled to death. I am a horrible person.

The plastic container wasn’t closed all the way, but enough that with the loss of blood and lack of air I soon became unconscious.

“Psst! Psst! Chester! Wake up! Wake up!” the last was more of a plea. “Charlene? You’re dead, too?”

“No, stupid, but we’ve been trying to get you out all night and the garbagemen are coming!”

I took a deep breath — I could breathe! And I felt the burning pain in my left side, where the cat had taken a chunk of flesh. Charlene and my mother had been chewing through the bottom of my plastic prison for hours! The two EMMT’s who had brought me and that infamous piece of cheese had been helping, and now one took charge. “This is going to hurt, Chester,” she smiled reassuringly as she squeaked. “My name is Jen, that’s my brother Jonah.” She nodded at a mouse with white fur like hers; litter-mates are named using the same letter. “That bite in your side is bad but we are out of time. Hold my hand and squeeze when it hurts.” Charlene and the male EMT, Jonah, looked at one another and, with some unspoken signal, pulled me out through the hole.

I squeaked, I wet my fur, I squeezed, I passed out… We were a couple of months old: Charlie, Charlene, Chrissy, Christopher, and me. “Look! I’m Chester!” squeaked Christopher after rolling in coffee grounds to make his fur darker like mine. “Chester… Chester… Chester!” the voice changed from Christopher’s teasing tone to Jen’s concerned tone.

I tried to sit up and as the pain shot through my left shoulder, my nose touched Jen’s nose. The pain wanted me to fall back onto the soft bed, but everything else wanted to feel the warm wetness that was Jen’s twitching nose and feel those whiskers move against mine forever. “You should, uh,” Jen paused, as if not wanting to move away either, “Lie down.” She smiled nervously. I took her hand in mine as the pain took over and I fell back onto the feather nest. I looked around. “This. Isn’t. The. EMMT. Uh, place,” I said slowly.

Jen smiled and lay down next to me on my right side. I noticed my left shoulder and arm were tightly bandaged. “When your mom and Charlene found out about your brother’s plan, well,” she covered her cute pink mouth with her dainty pink hand and gave a fake little cough.”Well, there’s only one bed at the EMMT’s headquarters so I said I’d take care of you here.” She paused and looked up at me, and I could see the pink skin under her white fur turning a darker pink. “Um, as long as it’s ok with you.” I pressed my nose against hers, our whiskers twitching together. “I wouldn’t have it any other way,” I smiled.

Afterwards: We had a dual wedding, Jen to me; Charlene to Jonah. Charlene was halfway through her pregnancy, and six months after Christopher set me up I was a proud, happy, stay-at-home dad. My mom lived with Jen and I and our four; Charlene often helped as she and Jonah had a litter of six. Christopher agreed to get help although none of us had gone to visit him yet. On the other hand, we had all agreed not to press charges, either. I’ve been writing short pieces for the local paper, but Jen thinks I should try a novel. Or a Children’s Book. Or a comic… Who knows? I’m just happy to be surrounded by family who love me as much as I love them and don’t mind that I have a bit of a limp on my left side. Lester, our runt, thinks it makes me look, “cool and tough”. And that’s good enough for me.

Posted in Knowledge, Life, My Son, parenting

School Is Starting Soon…

My son will be 12 in November; he’s starting 7th grade on 30 August. As someone born at the end of March, I was one of the older kids in my class; my son is one of the younger. I’m still not used to having a child born so late in the year. When it became 2016, I immediately knew my age*, but when I came up with “12” for my son’s age… I realized I’d better learn about having a kid born later in the year!

My son goes to a Charter school. (When he leaves this school, I have a loooong post written, including video, photos, emails, etc, to show just how bad this particular school is. Until then, we’ll pretend he’s going to a school that is a tiny bit better than our zone school and not mention the name if the school.)

Normally, the school allows students in between 7:15am-7:30am. A second after that, and you’re considered “late”. When my son was in 5th grade, they excised kids whose parents called in and said there were problems with the trains (this can be easily confirmed by going on the MTA website). Apparently, too many kids showed up with food from tbe local McDonald’s and train delays, even with a note from the conductor, are not acceptable reasons for lateness. I can understand this for kids with McDonald’s or kids who use this excuse a few times a week. But I kept track, and my son was less than 5 minutes late due to train delays about once a month. We would leave at the same time each morning, leave twice the reccommended time Google Maps suggested, and normally arrive between 7:10 and 7:15am. But at least once a month, my son, probably the only kid brought by a parent on the train (I didn’t see any others although about five come by car), would have “lunchtime detention”.

With the exception of Wednesday, when they get out at 2pm, they would get out at 3:45pm. Unless they had detention or Homework Center (meaning you didn’t do or didn’t hand in all of your homework). Then they got out at 4:30pm.

Either way, my son arrives as the sun is rising, and, in winter, leaves as it is setting. He was put on a Vitamin D supplement as he didn’t see the sun for a few months every year.The new schedule is 7:45am-4pm. Meaning my son still needs his Vitamin D supplement.

I’m worried about my son returning to this school. In 5th grade, he was bullied by 3 boys (one of whom was part of the reason we left his last school) to the point my son had to be switched to a different class. Knowing this, they still put the one boy we had left his old school to avoid in my son’s 6th grade class. Ironically, the bully’s mom had also asked that they be separated. (I had tried being friends with her and apparently “knew too much”. And there was the time she yelled at my son in the charter school office in front of teachers and staff before I got there. But why should they care about my son?)

Anyway, once my son is back in school, what will I do?

I will write. I will set up, and keep to, a writing schedule. I will set up doctor’s appointments on only two days a week so tbere will be a minimum of three day wbere I have to take my son to school and pick him up and in between, write. Write, Write, WRite, WRIte, WRITe, WRITE. (That was harder than you’d think with my cruddy phone keyboard.)

I have tons of ideas and I will do them.

I will be more social. Fuck this pain. I’m in pain no matter what I do or do not do, so I might as well do something!

And that’s all, really.

(Oh, I’ll find out hpw to have a bar separate sections of my blog!)

As for the asterisk it will be explained below.😃

* Although I tend to add a few years. Most people take off years. I had a boss who turned 30 three times when I knew her; everyone laughed behind her back, saying she was probably closer to 40. I add a few years, and people say, “You look so much younger!” That’s the trick, folks: add a few years. People will think you look and actually are younger than your real age.

I also reccommend staying away from ages that “sound” fake. Twenty-one always sounds fake, and you will be carded, even if that’s your real age. Thirty sounds like you’ve been there before and, depending on how you look, people will mentally add a couple of years, believing you’ve been 30 before.

Obviously your real friends will know the truth 😃

And now I’m melting in the bathroom, and the constant knocking followed by, “Are you ok in tbere, Mommy?” (I only get called, “Mommy” when he’s worried or tired. Otherwise, I’m, “Mom”.) means I’m done.

Blessed Be.

See y’all soon!

Posted in Uncategorized

Divorce Timeline

Jambernews will now be an archive. There will also be a forum (the link is in the menu).
Jambernews has been a wonderful site for people to go and read an unbiased account of Amber Heard (who?) and the man unlucky enough to be snared in her web, Johnny Depp. Some have claimed that Jambernews is anti-Amber, but this is not true. The site also offers insight into Narcassistic Personality Disorder.
This piece is a brief overview of the Johnny Depp / Amber Heard divorce.
Thank you, Andy, for all of the hard work you and your Jamber Elves (instead of Xmas Elves) have done over the years. Wishing you and yours all tbe best in your future endeavors.
Blessed Be,
Dee Kat
A.K.A. dkstevens327


May 20-21 Johnny Depp’s Mother Betty Sue Palmer passes away.

May 23 Heard Files for Divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. She asks for 50,000 a month in spousal support, the penthouse, and the range rover.

Depp’s attorneys have not had enough time to get all of his financials together. Until they have more time, they can not agree to Amber Heard’s demands.

May 27 Heard Accuses Depp of Abuse, obtains a restraining order, and states she;s been abused for 4 years by Depp, and that he has a long history of substance abuse. She claimed Depp threw an iPhone at her on May 21st, photos are released showing a facial mark caused by the iPhone. The police that arrived that evening (May 21st) state they did not see any marks on her , nor any thing in the home that was disturbed.

May 29 Friend Says Depp Was ‘Manipulated’ By Heard…

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Posted in Disability, fibromyalgia, Knowledge, Life, My Son, parenting

Warning: I’ve Got A Twisted Sense of Humor

(NOTE: This entire post just got deleted. I’m rewriting from memory.)

I wrote a whole long post about how I came to have what some might call a twisted sense of humor.

It was all erased.

My dad was going in for surgery on some herniated discs in his neck. There was a 50% chance he’d die on the operating table. But when his parents and brother went for lunch, my dad launched into a hysterically funny story about a hot female nurse shaving him “down there” as he would need a catheter after the operation — and how cold the room was.(look up the Seinfeld episode about Cold Water if you have questions.)

Then he pointed to a huge fruit basket he had received. “What am I supposed to do with that? I can’t eat solids for a month!”

When our family came back from lunch, my dad was smiling and I was hysterical laughing. He was literally facing Death but he had made me laugh.

As he was wheeled into surgery, everyone said how much they loved him. I whispered, “When you wake up, you’ll have a catheter.” My dad smiled, “I already do.”

He came out of surgery as well as could be expected, but I learned a valuable lesson:

As I grew older and amassed my own laundry list of illnesses and diseases, I remembered that lesson. Life can suck but if you are reading this, you are better off than most of the people in the world. If you have a roof over your head, food (or money to buy food), and a change of clothing, you’re better off than 70-90% of the world. (Sorry, but I couldn’t find an exact number to quote.)

I’ve been told I have a twisted sense of humor. But…

Here are a few links:

Laughter truly is the best medicine.

When I was in high school there was a girl I couldn’t talk to because she was so cool. We became Facebook friends and, I thought Real Friends. We supported each other and sent messages of encouragement. Recently, I made a joke to my ex- high school/ college boyfriend, based on this joke:

An elderly widowed gentleman in a nursing home became very friendly with an elderly lady. He told her his former wife used to hold his penis every night to help him go to sleep. The elderly lady decided to do this for her new male friend every night for a week. Each night he fell soundly asleep. The next week the gentleman told the lady that he was sorry but he had found a new partner. She was very upset and asked him, “What does she have that I don’t have?” He replied, “Parkinsons.”

The Cool friend replied:


I replied:

[i]t’s how my family deals with us all having chronic pain / illnesses. Mostly my dad and me when we were talking.

It’s from a joke about a couple who meet in an old folks home. One day the woman sees the man with another woman and calls him over.

“We’ve shared meals, we’ve slept in the same bed, I even put my hand on your penis! What does she have that I don’t?”

He answers with a grin, “Parkinson’s.”
If I couldn’t laugh I’d curl in a ball and cry. Sometimes the pain is so intense I’m laughing and crying. 

When the muscle spasms started, it would scare my son to see me jerking around or flipping off the bed or, one time while making dinner, a knife flew out of my hand across the room. If I let my son know how much pain I was really in, it would’ve scared him and he would’ve worried more.

So I’d laugh.

Often hysterically, like a crazy person, but then he [my son] could laugh, too, instead of being scared all the time.

I hope you understand — I’m not making fun of anyone. When Michael J Fox was diagnosed an article said it was from head injuries playing hockey as a kid. I used to get my head slammed into walls daily by my biological mother so I was terrified I’d get early onset Parkinson’s.

It’s the best coping mechanism I have since my son is with me a lot. If I didn’t have a kid, well, I wouldn’t be using prescription pain killers, that’s for sure! I’ve been out of Lyrica for a week now & am praying I can get it today. Mixed with the heat… It’s been rough. And my son has to watch.

And then after finding out she had unfriended me on Facebook and Instagram, I wrote:

I see you unfriended me on Facebook and I had to request to follow your instagram account (again; As we were following each other).

If you’re that bothered by me making a joke, I wish you’d text me or messagenger me or dm me privately to discuss this.

I can’t believe this is the first time you’ve noticed my sarcastic / laugh-instead-of-cry approach to living with chronic pain. Even with my son, if I had to take a cold hard look at my future — in a wheelchair, in constant pain, completely alone — I’d probably be suicidal. It’s one thing to not mind being alone but to deal with never being held as I sleep, never being kissed again, etc… Once my son is grown, I will have to deal with such self-pity. But until then, I need sarcasm and humour or else I might as well pack it in. I’m sorry if I offended you but it’s how I cope.

And now I’m [re]writing this. Hoping she will see; hoping she will understand.

Mi Manzanita:

I’m very sorry that you misunderstood my comment on Facebook. If you don’t wish to talk to me, I will respect your wishes.

Please understand, I would never “make fun” of any illness or disease; I do use humor to deal with my situation and if that means we cannot be friends, I understand. I would like to hear your reasoning, but I wish you health and happiness no matter what you choose.

I freely admit that my mind goes to self-pity-mode a lot. It depresses me that after I have raised my son I will be, literally, alone. It upsets me that I will never be kissed or held by a lover again. But I need to stay strong for my son and for myself. Please do not mistake my joking as “making fun of” or “laughing at” others.

Con mucho amor,


Aka, D. K. Stevens

Posted in Uncategorized

Help a Family Keep Custody of their Transgender Child

Originally published on my birthday. Well, I didn’t exactly make a wish so… (I can’t say it out loud or it won’t come true).

Transgender Bisexual Political Nerd

Letter from a grandmother who is trying to help her daughter and grandson who is living out his childhood as the gender he believes himself to be. Read this story and help support a family doing what they all families should do support their children. 

I am the grandmother of a 7-year-old child who loves bugs, swimming, artichokes, Elvis and Superman. When my grandchild was born, the doctors told my daughter that she had a baby girl. But my grandchild has consistently maintained that, “The doctors got it wrong” and “I’m really a boy.” He even picked a new name for himself: Jake. For the past year his mother and our side of the family have supported him living as a boy and have watched him absolutely thrive. Unfortunately his father, who shares 50% custody with my daughter, has not been supportive at all. In fact, he’s now filed a…

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Posted in Baby Daddy, fibromyalgia, Knowledge, Life, My Son, parenting

Sometimes You Need To Take A Step Back

[I wrote this a year ago about an Angel I met in a children’s cancer ward. Or maybe just a very wise little girl. But I prefer to think of her as an Angel. Its a Free Write, but it’s true.]


I woke up this morning as I always do — in pain so harsh it makes it hard to breathe. I have three herniated discs in my lower spine. Fibromyalgia. My knees have been locking up on me and I’ve had a pinched nerve that has rendered my left arm almost useless for over five weeks.
My son is in my bed, which happens more often than not. ACS (Children’s Services in NYC) has given him PTSD and the nightmares are bad enough that he comes into my room in the middle of the night.
My middle cat, Nikita, is having a bloody discharge, sometimes cloudy yellow, that is leaving stains everywhere. Worse, I can’t afford a vet. I tried all of the free vet services, and none were able to help. I’m going to have to throw out what little self-esteem and pride I have and try GoFundMe.
My favorite game, Titan Empires, has had an update. I’ve got two accounts and had just started one for my son. This new update resulted in the game crashing during three attacks yesterday. Today, it crashed during a war attack for my main character, leaving me with 0% on an easy 100% win. My son’s account took the Titanite (required to upgrade Titans, who help with your attacks) for an upgrade three times but didn’t do the upgrade.
We’d missed lunch with my grandmother, who is my best friend and always has been, along with being a mom and a grandmother, on Monday due to my son throwing up and having an upset stomach. The lunch was to be a one-week – early Happy 88th Birthday with my aunt and uncle who don’t yet live full-time in NYC and we’re leaving the next day. Tuesday we’d gone to the New York Aquarium, and today, Wednesday, my son had his stomach ache back.
We had a home visit and we’ll have another Friday morning, despite everyone agreeing that being crippled and asking for help was not child abuse or neglect. The damage to my son, my family, and to me has already been done. Lesson learned: never ask Children’s Services for help because you’re physically unable to clean. They did nothing for years despite overwhelming proof that my son was being abused by his father and father’s girlfriends. Why would they help a non-abusive, non-neglectful parent?
As I went to the bathroom for a cigarette, I thought back to when I was first diagnosed with cervical cancer. I was 20, but my birth date had been written wrong and I was sent to the children’s cancer ward.
I sat on an uncomfortable chair and tried not to look around. The parents with that hollow look, watching their child die and not being able to do anything about it. The thing about losing a child is that it goes against Nature. Parents are supposed to die first and while it’s sad, it’s the Natural Order of things.
Then She sat next to me. It bothers me that I can’t remember Her name, but I will always remember Her.
“Hi,” She said, this little girl attached to a metal pole with wheels. The pole held bags of liquid which were attached to tubes leading to needles in her veins.
I nodded a hello, gripping my latest test results in my sweaty hands.
“You’re new,” She observed.
“That obvious?”
She coughed a little laugh. She was barely four feet tall, and probably didn’t weigh more than 50 pounds. Her hair was gone, but She wasn’t wearing a scarf around Her head.
“I know everyone here. You’re too young to be a parent, you don’t have that Family Member Look, so you must be a patient.” She went on to tell me that She was eight and the couple nervously watching us were Her parents. Her brother was somewhere, wandering the hospital hallways.
Her parents came over. “Sweetie, don’t you think you should get back in bed?” Her mom asked.
“Come on, I’ll carry you,” Her father offered. They looked like they hadn’t slept in years.
She bargained for five minutes with me. They returned to their seats, never taking their eyes off of Her. Or me.
“No offense, but you do look tired,” I said quietly.
She gave a small smile. “I’m exhausted all the time. But you look like you could use a friend.”
The next few minutes flew by. She told me how She was so tired, that She’d been in and out of hospitals since two years of age. She said She held on for Her parents, who wouldn’t be able to handle Her being gone. How Her brother loved and hated Her: loved Her when She was healthy; hated Her for being sick, taking all of their parents attention, then hated himself. She spoke like someone years older than eight. Every Doctor or Nurse who walked by received a greeting by name. But as She spoke She seemed to lose substance until a nurse came over and said She needed to go back to Her room.
“Chemo,” She said, rolling her eyes. “I wish they’d stop.”
“Now, honey, you don’t mean that,” said the nurse, helping Her up and taking hold of the metal pole.
“You’ll be okay,” were Her parting words.
I had to turn in my seat to watch Her walk back to Her room. She was insisting on walking by Herself.
The sun was bright thru the hospital windows and while it might have been a trick of the light, to this day I swear She had a beautiful pair of white feathered Angel wings on Her back.
I blinked, and She was gone.
I was called in soon after, the age mistake corrected, and I was sent to the adult cancer ward.
Two days later I went back to the children’s ward. Her parents weren’t there. I asked some of the Doctors and Nurses if I could visit Her and received confused looks. Nobody had been there with that name recently. Thinking I’d gotten Her name wrong, I described Her. Unfortunately, that description fit most of the children there.
I left, hearing Her say, “You’ll be okay.”
And I was.
A few years of cancer treatments and numerous hospital visits and I got a clean bill of health. My eyebrows will never grow in properly, my hair is very thin, and I have a desperate fear of feeling my bones after having lost so much weight. I also proved the doctors wrong by giving birth to my son — I had been told I would never have children.
So, I may have left the Nair on my tender areas a bit too long, and I may be in constant physical pain, and my son may be scarred for life by Children’s Services, and my cat may be sick. But I’ll get the money for the vet. I’ll put my son back together. My tender area will heal up. And maybe Titans will fix the bugs or maybe I’ll find a new game.
We’ll see my grandmother for her 88th Birthday this Monday. And we’ll get thru the home visit and hopefully won’t have to have someone court ordered to stay in our house every day (again).
Either way, as an Angel once told me, “You’ll be okay.”
I will. I’ll be okay.

Continue reading “Sometimes You Need To Take A Step Back”