in winter's freeze

took me sledding
in our neighborhood
lincoln park

an orange sled
buoyed through the snow
i floated up
and down the hill

shrieks of excitement
in winter's freeze
a father's love keeps me warm


The Vigil

at the gym
i watch
as my husband walks on the treadmill

i am reminded that
nine months ago
he experienced a dramatic rebirth
a new heart

i wait . . .
as we look forward . . .
to a baby's heartbeat
yearning for a nine-month-long experience of . . .
a new life


Trying to center myself

Get back into writing, get back into my heart, says my therapist. Maybe if I write through my fears about my dad's cancer, my husband's faulty heart, I will be able to feel centered. To actually put my thoughts and feelings into writing will make it real for me, says my therapist. Maybe that's why it's taken me so long to commit to my writing again. It's been over a year. It's been over a year since I've dealt with the truth of my dad living with prostate cancer and all my fears around it -- he'll never see my unborn child . . . I will not have spent enough time with him . . . maybe he doesn't know how much I love him.

It's amazing what seeing my thoughts in print does for my psyche . . . the black font, one letter appearing immediately after another . . . it exists . . . my thought, my feeling. It's real.

My mother is an amazing woman. She has been through three heart attacks, a quadruple bypass and now, is getting through cancer -- all my dad's. I am an amazing woman. I have been through all of my dad's heart trials, his cancer and my husband's quadruple bypass. So many times, I have asked the Goddess, Why me? Why am I living my mother's life?

We've been trying to get pregnant for a few months. But my thyroid has become overactive once again, and the babymaking process has come to a halt. My eyes welled up as the doctor said that we should stop trying, and maybe in the new year, we can resume. In the meantime, I am back on my methimazole medication more anxious than ever because we cannot even try at this time. Funny how I spent most of my life afraid to get pregnant and now, it's the one thing I'd like to be. We talk all the time about baby names, how we'd decorate the baby's room, what activities s/he might do . . . all in anticipation of actually having a baby. Sometimes I wonder if folks are right . . . I married late, waited too long to have a baby . . . What if it never happens? I know that's not true -- whether we have birth or adopted children. I know that I place unnecesary pressure on myself . . . on us. That's not good. I just want so much to be a mom. And everyone around us is pregnant.

I worry about my mom. She spends all of her time taking care of dad. When we visited Gilda's Club, she appreciated that there was a space for her there. I need to spend more time with her, give her a break. But maybe she and dad are fine with their daily routine -- church, walk in the park, TFC . . . My parents have given me so much, and I want to make sure that I give back to them.

Trying to care for my parents and husband, wanting to be a parent -- definitely creates much pressure and anxiety. So my therapist says. Never looked at it that way until she actually said it. Guess that's the theme of my life for now -- "parenting."

A wife's strength

Caregiving is a sacrificial act
In fear of a loved one's pain and inevitable death
Hoping is an act of strength
Wanting my father to live long enough to see my unborn child
Following in the footsteps of my mother
As she courageously and unconditionally
Loves her husband, his heart and his cancer