• Charlie,  Writer

    Eleven. 11. XI.

    Eleven years ago today, you graced us with your presence. You caught us off guard by coming a little bit early and taking forever to be delivered. You caught us off guard by being so aware, so beautiful, so wise. From the moment you arrived, your eyes told your story. They were wide and bright, inquisitive and alert. They knew too much. They knew you had a short time. When I look back at your pictures, so very few of them, your eyes are always open. I see wisdom and love and know that you lived the life you were meant to live. It wasn’t to be a long life,…

  • Charlie,  Sad Stuff,  Writer

    A Look Inside The Private Folder Of Grief

    Tonight, on Lifetime, a movie called Return To Zero will premiere. The movie was a labor of love for writer/director/producer Sean Hanish, whose own experience with stillbirth and loss drove his passion for creating a film with a storyline based solely around the loss of a child. Return to Zero will take the audience through the highs of pregnancy, the lows of the loss, the struggles of anger and marriage, and hopefully, share that there IS hope after loss. Over the last 11 years, I’ve heard so many people say, “I don’t know how that feels, so…” when a friend or loved on loses a child. They’re paralyzed with fear…

  • Artsy Stuff,  Writer

    Contorted.

    It twists and turns, going up and down, around and around. Never a straight line, always contorted. Always changing directions. The contorted filbert branches– they’re a lot like life.

  • Charlie,  Listen To Your Mother,  Sad Stuff,  Writer

    LTYM 2014: A Mother’s Heart

    On April 26, 2014, at the very first Listen To Your Mother: Atlanta, I read these words. I should tell you to bring tissues. It had been a rough week around here between me and the 9 year old. My husband had been traveling a lot and work had been stressful. Henry and I had butted heads, talked back to each other, and raised our voices way too many times. It wasn’t pretty, y’all. I’m ashamed to say, I had yelled more than I should. I’m sad that Henry had said “I hate you” more than he ever should. I know he didn’t mean it, but he said it. He…

  • Dramatic Nonsense,  Just Jana,  Mental Health,  Writer

    Drowning

    Have you ever felt like you were drowning? It’s my worst fear. I would rather die in fire or from falling out of a plane that to drown. Maybe it’s because I don’t like to swim, or because I’m a Sagittarius. It’s probably because I can’t hold my breath very long and was always the first one up during Country Club Pool hold-your-breath contests. Last night I dreamed about drowning in the Country Club Pool. I’m pretty sure it’s because after a week of feeling like drowning, I was granted permission to “GO GENTLY WITH YOU.” (thank you, Ann) Work is crazy. I mean, it’s Spring and I work at…

  • Dramatic Nonsense,  Henryisms,  Life as an Anthoine,  School Days,  Writer

    The Ace Bandage Incident

    I got a call from school the other day. Monday, in fact, after I’d been gone all the previous week and NEEDED to be at work for at least 16 hours that day. The nurse started out by saying, “It’s not an emergency” as usual. But then went on to tell me that this was the second time he had been to her office complaining about his knee hurting. Now he was dragging it. I should probably come and take him to the doctor. She put him on the phone and he sounded pitiful. “Mom, I didn’t tell you, but I hurt it on Saturday. It didn’t hurt too bad…

  • Just Jana,  Mental Health,  The Struggle Bus,  Writer

    When The Glass Is Half Empty

    Being an optimist stinks sometimes. No, really, it does. You see? When you’re happy and positive and the one people look for to feel better all the time (read: Me), it gets to be a heavy burden to bear, especially when you really just want to have a bad day. Right now, I just want to be grumpy. My glass is half empty. I want to stay in bed and watch trashy TV. I want there to be a pizza delivered to my house every night for a week so I don’t have to think about cooking or eating or cleaning up. Do you ever get sick of eating or…

  • Charlie,  Just Jana,  Mental Health,  Writer

    Just Write: The Doctor’s Office

    Yesterday, I was sitting in the pediatrician’s office, waiting for a consultation with Henry’s doctor. He wasn’t with me. So I was the lone mother sans child in the well waiting room. Even though the waiting room was the “well” one, there were still people hacking and there’s technically no wall separating the “sick” from the “well” so I’m unsure how that works. Germs just know which side to stay on? Anyway, when I sat down, I realized there was a baby crying in one of the rooms. It was loud and screechy and muffled. I tried to drown it out by watch Cars on the big screen and by…

  • Fun Memories,  My Family,  This is Fantastic!,  Writer

    {Part 2}: The Door To Christmas: Story of The Christmas Room

    For Part 1 of The Christmas Room story, start here. ******************************* Once everything was checked out, we were given the thumbs-up to go into The Christmas Room. In spite of being in that room year in and out, the magic of the room made your brain feel all oogly woogly and for a moment you couldn’t remember where you were supposed to go or sit or what you were supposed to say and YAY IT’S CHRISTMAS WE’RE FINALLY IN! If you’ve ever been lucky enough to go into The Christmas Room, you know that whether it’s April or July or the day after Christmas, you will long for wrapped gifts and…

  • Fun Memories,  Ho-Ho-Holidays,  My Family,  This is Fantastic!,  Writer

    {Part 1} The Door To Christmas: The Story of The Christmas Room

    The door to the jewelry store was locked as soon as the clock struck closing time on Christmas Eve. Jewelry was put away, money was counted, the employees milled around to wait for their gifts that were always handed out after closing. My sister and I were twitchy to get out of there so Christmas could start. Christmas Eve was always spent at Grannie’s. It was tradition. It was how Christmas started. After we got home from the store, my parents seemed to mill around for hours. My grandparents and Aunt and Uncle knew to wait for us, that we would be there as soon as we could. It seemed…