March 14, 2013

Catching Up

So, let's see: it's been five months since I last posted. Mea culpa to both of you who keep checking back, and thank you for your patience.  :)

How do I cover five months as succinctly as possible? Bullet style, like Rox.

• After all the fuss faded away, I was invited to join two clinical trials for triple-negative breast cancer. Since I was pretty much guaranteed side effects that are permanent already from prior treatment, I declined. I'm doing okay. Still out of shape but getting better. My hair is almost 3" long.

• I went to Cleveland in August and saw Blobby and my friend Mike, who kindly hosted me. So cool to see them again! I was there to pick up my niece who had finished her internship there. She stayed with us in Indiana for a month. She is such fun to have around and she is welcome here any time. She graduates from Smith this spring.

• While I was in Cleveland, my son's car was stolen in Indiana by new "friends" who took off with it when he was in the store. Ben got it back a couple of weeks later, and the idiot who stole it is in jail.

• In December Abe learned he was being set loose to be an independent contractor. He still had a job in sales, but no paid expenses, no car, no computer, NO HEALTH CARE. This will cost us about $30K a year. So I went to my boss, and her boss, and HR and explained: I have to have more hours (full time), more money, and benefits. No choice. To their great credit, they're coming through. I'm full time with benefits for me and the kids (Abe's got his own—it's cheaper), and we are negotiating another substantial increase in pay. Truth be told, I've been getting church mouse pay for far too long, and I made a good case. And they know the circumstances at home. I can't tell you how great it is to work in such a supportive place. Everyone should have this sort of atmosphere in which to work.

• I spent Christmas in Sarasota after we learned that Mom had been put on hospice care. All of us siblings were there, together with Mom for the last time. Her dementia kept her from realizing what was going on, but she was comfortable and relatively content. Mom died in early January after a mercifully brief descent. I was the only one to speak at her service. In an interesting turn of events, our executive pastor in Indianapolis had left to helm his own church once again—and this time it was the church I attended as a child, where Abe and I got married. He presided over Mom's memorial service after having been on the job for one week. It was very comforting to have him there.

• I went back to Florida in February for an annual church educators' convention, where once again we learned that our church and ministry continue to lead in innovation and best practices. It's great to be affirmed, but I want to learn something new and bring home fresh ideas. At the urging of one of the convention planners, I entered my workshop proposal once again. There is a chance that they will accept it again, and I can present it next February in San José.

• After the convention in Orlando, my sister picked me up and we drove down to Fort Lahdeedah to see Tony and his husband Chris. We had an absolute blast, as I suspected we might. My sister is really fun and everyone loves her. I run the risk of becoming "her sister" once again when people meet her. It's happened more than once, but I don't really care. Tony and Chris joined us for dinner and the next day held a soiree so that we could meet more of their friends. Some I knew, most I did not, but all of them were fascinating people. We laughed the afternoon away. It was the highlight of my time in Florida.

• I'm staying active in PFLAG and I'm now on the board of our local chapter. A new project of PFLAG National is called Straight For Equality and one of its divisions is "In Faith Communities." Apparently I must have written them a bit about my story, because an edited version of it is in print in their main publication "Be Not Afraid." If you get one of these booklets, check out page 15. For some reason they shaved off a few years of my age, but I'll take it. Our local chapter is among the group that started the You Have A Purpose Project in reaction to an Indiana teacher who stated on camera that gay children have no purpose. We are filming a video to put online. I'll tell you when it's up. Meanwhile, check out the Facebook page for the project.

This post has no real purpose except to tell you I'm fine and still here. Dare I hope for "normal" times? Hope springs eternal. I'm glad to be back and grateful you are here too.


Blobby said...

Glad you're back.....not that you truly went away. But it's nice to see you writing. Normally I'd ding anyone from my blogroll who hasn't written in 6 months, but you got an exemption. :)

Anonymous said...

What the hell are "normal" times? Heehee!

My girl! You've been so busy! Surviving is tough work sometimes. So proud of you for going after what you and your family needs from your job. It's a crazy world.

So wild that you posted because the morning of your post, I was thinking of you and was planning to drop you a line, next thing you know, there's an update. (I haven't commented sooner because I've been avoiding my laptop.)

I hope your son is okay.
I hope your PFLAG work brings you joy and solace.
I hope your mom is resting in peace.
I hope your hair is more stylish than mine.

Ur-spo said...

I stop by regularly hoping to see you posting again.
Thank you for the updates; I am glad to hear you keep on kicking!
More blog entries now!

Brian R said...

Also am glad to see an update from you. I do think of you often. Glad to hear there have been many good times. Sorry about your Mum but thankful there was a comforting aspect. However do not get me started on comparing USA health care with other western countries.

Anonymous said...

Birdie! At last, a sighting! I've missed your blog wisdom and wit.

I hope you will plan another visit to Cleveland.