Posts filed under ‘cancer’

Top Ten Reasons We Love Judy

Over there to the right…see that star?  That’s for Judy.  She’s one incredible and wonderful woman.  Today she is having surgery in her fight against breast cancer.  Soooo…let’s all be sending out some good vibes, juju, prayers, good thoughts, positive energy and virtual chocolate.  Judy is fab.  Here’s why.

1. She uses the word ‘asshat’ which is a perfect word for a butthead, only way better

2. She’s a thoughtful, descriptive writer of stuff, her experiences, her feelings.  She’s honest and real.

3. She’s totally adorable

4. She’s an adoptive mom who totally gets it

5. She’s kind to everyone online and in the blogging community

6. She shares about how awesome her husband is, and his touching poems about how much he loves her and his family  (Are you getting how much love there is in this family??)

7. Anytime I’ve ever emailed her personally, she has written right back and she’s always funny and sweet even if she’s having a tough time

8. She listens to everyone’s point of view

9. What an amazing job at mothering she is doing

10. How she has faced her cancer with dignity and class and unbelieveable maturity and humor and bravery.


Judy…thinking about you all day today!!  It all sucks so much.  Wish I could bring you a stupid casserole and a hug today too.  HUGS.


August 6, 2008 at 6:26 am 7 comments

Crack open the Kumis and raise your glasses!


Suzanne, over at Straight Down The Mountain has downright made me blush.  She has nominated me for the “You- make-the-world-a-better-place” award.  Holy smokes that’s fancy.  So, I’ll pass on the blog lovin’ to a few people who I know without a doubt are making things better in the world. John Wright and his family walk the talk.  They give of their time, energy and money to the people who need it most in Kyrgyzstan.  He and his group fix up properties, restore hope and provide dignity for the forgotten and needy.  They bring food, vitamins, warmth, toys and money to the orphanages and baby houses in Tokmok and Orlofka.  They help people who are living in the dump and have no other options.  John plays with the children, reaches out to those who are sick and can’t afford healthcare.  He does this because of an unwaivering belief and faith that this is what he must do.  I admire him so much.  He and his family are there now and I dare anyone to read his blog and not feel the same admiration and respect.

Margie over at her blog, is a wise, kind, funny, insightful and amazing mom and human being.  I feel that she is an online mentor for me in her graceful and gentle way of interacting with other bloggers (especially ones whose opinions are different from hers) and she writes about adoptive parenthood that exemplifies respect for her children, their mothers, and their country of origin.  Margie is an activist, writer and a good soul.  Read her.

Judy over at makes the world a better place because of her peerless honesty, humor, chutzpah, and her all-around sassyness.  Judy is another adoptive mom to Nate and I admire her parenting so much.  She walks an honorable path in everything I read in how she lives her life.  Right now, Judy is battling cancer and is asking the tough questions that go along with a life-threatening illness.  I totally love Judy.  She makes the world a better place because her writing is as big as her heart.

Lastly, but not leastly, I want to send an award out to Nicole at for being an incredibly brave blogger.  She writes with her whole mind, heart and soul on being a relinquishing mother who regrets placing her daughter for adoption.  She writes with great compassion and anger about adoption, the system that let her down over and over, difficulties and pain in open adoption, and what it all means to her.  I never tire of her willingness to put it out there, and to let all comments stand, even the ones that hurt her.  So, while I wish she weren’t having to write a blog about her pain, I celebrate her and I feel that she absolutely is making the world a better place by writing at length about that which must be changed in the American system of adoption. 

There are many others I’d love to honor.  But man, it’s late here.  Four is good, right? Oh darn…I just remembered one more new-ish blogger I really like.  Talk about honest.  KAD blogger Kev Minh.

Feast on the riches of these people. 

March 27, 2008 at 10:42 pm 7 comments

This Weekend Took A Lot Out Of Me

Taking a detour from our regular topics here at Hearts, I am compelled to write about my friend Craig who passed away recently and whose memorial I attended Saturday.  I ought to put the word memorial in quotes because it was not a memorial.  Only his sister spoke.  She eulogized him and told the story of his life, and her idea of others participating was to raise your glass when you heard her speak of the era in which you met him.  I was speechless at how this minimized the other people in his life and how this enabled Craig’s family to control the content of the memorial.  There were about 100 people there and only she spoke. 

The elephant in the room was that Craig was gay and his sister and his family were not about to even look in the direction of the elephant.  So, when she mentioned how Craig had gone to college in the mid 80’s at how at that time he had worked in a coffee bar, that was my time to raise my glass.  That was how I was able to honor my friend at his memorial.  I sat there while I heard her minimize his personality, his creativity, his brains and smarts, his passions, and whole entire fields of his life. 

She minimized all the things that she and Craig’s family didn’t identify with therefore, enabling them to feel more comfortable. 

I had prepared a short bit to say at the memorial which I carried lamely in my hands until I fully realized that no one would speak at which point, I tucked it away back in my purse.  During the eating part of the evening, I approached Craig’s brother and asked why it was that no one else spoke.  “We felt that there were so many different groups of people here, that we decided not to do that and that others could memorialize him by sharing stories amongst themselves.”

I felt like I had fallen to the bottom of an elevator shaft when he said that.  There it was, utter proof of editing Craig’s life, even in his death.  “But, feel free to write down a special memory of him in this book…”  I was handed a small, attractive notebook in which I was supposed to encapsulate my feelings.  I pulled out my paper that had what I would have read, and stuck it in the book.  Three other people had written in it. 

Now, his family has always been kind to me and I’ve spent quite a bit of time with them over the years. (Over 20)  They know that Craig and I had a deep, lasting relationship and his sister said several very kind things to me before the memorial about how much I meant to him and he to me.  She had told the people at the funeral home that Craig had, “Not left a wife, but he had left a Tina…”  So, she knows that I and many, many others were aching and mourning for her brother’s passing.  Why was there no storytelling?  Laughing over the shared lives and experiences?  Why was that all brushed under the carpet?  Craig had not lived with being ashamed of being gay, but his family had always struggled with that and other parts of who he was, like the things that sometimes accompany a gay man’s life.  Craig was an artist in everything he did.  He wasn’t one to be put in a box.  His home, his clothing, his choices were of a person who was a true individual.  They called it ‘artsy’ which in its own way was their version of ‘weird’.  These things and more were threatening to his family.  The memorial was all about putting him into a box.  Their box.  The memorial was their memorial to their version of his life. 

I went with another dear friend of Craig’s.  We had the same reaction to the event and did our best to honor him that day and the next by telling our favorite stories and remembering things about him that we loved as well as things that annoyed us, or made us laugh.  We were outraged for him.  I went to bed very late and just before wakening, I had a dream in which I was talking to him.  In the dream I am able to talk to him, even though he has already died.  I asked him, “Wow…how are you doing?”  and he answered in a steady, regretful voice, “This weekend took a lot out of me.”

I woke up and said aloud, “I know it did….I know.”

I love you Craigeee…


March 18, 2008 at 8:27 am 15 comments

I Heart Snarky Librarians

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