Monday, August 26, 2013

Someone misses Chinchie

Reagan brought home a paper today.

'Specialist Topic List' was written at the top.

Teaching the fundamentals of outlining for essays.

What was written on his?


thay hav fowr legs.

thay have fer.

thay are cyoot.



I think someone misses Chinchie.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Ready for 4 more

"You don't come across as someone who has been wounded."  The woman said across the table while taking a sip through the straw of her Starbucks coffee.

That was the ultimate compliment.

I hadn't shared much.  Just a sentence or two.  A brief overview.

I had been encouraged to share with her my personal story by our mutual contact.

It was in the downtown Hartford Marriott's Starbucks.

I was nervous.

I was excited.

Mostly, I was ready to take the world by the horns.


Earlier that morning I said to my friend: "Who would have thought 4 short years ago, that today I would be preparing for a meeting over coffee in a downtown Hartford coffee shop with a VP of a huge company?  Who would have thought the girl who had to hide to sleep and feared for her and her children's life would be meeting with such a professional networking contact as this?"


That meeting took place a few months ago.

But today, especially today, her words are echoing in my heart.

It was today, I stood my ground and said "no more".

Over the next few weeks I gave him the ultimate ultimatum:

Either us, his family or cocaine his addiction.

In the end he chose cocaine.


There was a time when that was hard.

To have the reality that someone would choose cocaine over me.

Over his CHILDREN!

But I'm okay.  I'm stronger now.  Maybe even a little too tough.  

One thing is for sure.  And that is that I am happy.

Happier than I have been in decades.

I love life.

I laugh.

I smile.

I joke.

I'm not afraid to live anymore.

I'm not wounded. 

He didn't destroy me.


But I stood up and fought.

And conquered it.

I  am no longer wounded because I am healed.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Chinchie {We loved you}

The kids had been begging for a pet.

I wasn't sure if I was willing to oblige.

I didn't want to bite off more than I could chew.

So when a friend called months ago and asked if we wanted a chinchilla, I wasn't sure.

A week later, I relented.

And surprisingly, never regretted.

The kids adore Chinchie, the chinchilla.

My kids' friends adore Chinchie, the chinchilla.

And Chinchie adored them all right back.

He would climb up to the wooden board in his cage, putting his paw on the wire of the cage staring out at us.

More often than not, he was being toted around, kissed and loved, played with and cooed at.

There was no chinchilla more loved than Chinchie.


Tonight after football practice the boys went to the neighbors house and Rhianna took Chinchie out of his cage to snuggle and chat with for awhile.

She said he was acting a little more quiet than normal, but not overly strange.

Then she walked in the room and said "Mom.  Chinchie feels really funny."

She set him down on the arm of my recliner and he just lay there.

Because he would normally run away, {they are really fast} she grabbed him and held him to her chest.

My heart sunk.  I was so afraid that what I thought was true.

I reached out and felt him while he was in her arms.

He was cold.

I told her I think he died and to lay him in his cage.

I was hoping against hope that he just was faking it and would spring to life and run on his wheel again.

But he didn't.

He just lay there.

Not moving.

Not breathing.

Not scampering to the top shelf to stare out at us.

As soon as Rhianna realized, she gasped and started crying wailing.

I told her it wasn't her fault but to be thankful Chinchie didn't die alone, but in the arms of someone who adored him.

I pulled her into my arms and let her weep on my shoulder.

I held her for quite awhile.  She is so sensitive and so sweet.

But then I knew that I had to call the boys.

I called Kristie and told her.  Then asked to send the boys home.

While waiting, I found a small shoebox and lined it with soft papertowels.

I lay Chinchie in his soft bed and wrapped him gently.

I was choking back tears while I did it.

I am choking back tears while I write this.


The boys came running up the stairs.

They knew something was wrong because I called them home 30 minutes early.

They knew something was wrong because Rhianna and I were sitting in the chair sobbing.

It was so hard to tell them.

But I did.

Immediate sobbing poured through their bodies.

Reagan, who was most attached to Chinchie, crawled in the corner of the room and wept.

They pulled the lid off the box and gently petted Chinchie for the last time.

I know it was just a chinchilla, but it was heart-wrenching to see.


Tomorrow we will take the box to my mom's woods and bury Chinchie there.

I didn't want to do it here.  But wanted to do it in a place where my kids can always visit.

Might sound silly, but its what we want to do.


We cleaned out his cage and put it away.

We put his toys and stuff in a box and put it in a corner.

We just needed all reminders of him put away.


Will we get another chinchilla?


I don't want to get one based on emotion.

I'd rather wait and see how they react.

Maybe a surprise at Christmas.


I know most of you are probably thinking we are nuts for being so upset about a rodent.

But this little guy was so interactive and such a huge part of the stability in my kids' lives.

While it breaks my heart to see them so devastated, it also makes me thankful.

I'm thankful because the tears mean they are loving, caring, and compassionate people.

Chinchie brought a lot of love and happiness into our lives.

We will really miss him in our home and in our lives.

RIP Chinchie.  We love you!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


2 phone calls and 2 emails later, I received the news that they jumped the gun in opening the position for me.

It wasn't 100% approved as a staffing need.

So for now, no job offer.

I could take this news really bad.

Instead I'm going to tell myself that they wanted me SO BADLY that they couldn't wait for me to work there so they QUICKLY opened a position in hopes that I could QUICKLY get to work with them.


Or maybe its just Corporate America and its just how things go.

I am still in the running for the one position, so its not a total loss.  Just the first job was the job of my dreams.

All eight employees I have interviewed with (2 VPs, 2 upper management, 2 employees, 2 recruiters) are impressed with me and like what I have to offer their company.

All eight are going to watch the staffing needs and keep in contact with me.

I'm okay.

Disappointed.  Worried.  A bit taken aback.

But okay.  

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


I guess I left everyone with a cliffhanger.

I sorta feel like the cliffhanger right now.

I spoke with someone there, at that certain place, last Tuesday and again on  Wednesday.

They changed the job they want to offer me from one kind to another.  Similar, but different.

But for me, this change is so much better in many different aspects.

This means a little bit more time to open the job and write the offer.

Still haven't heard back, but I'm peaceful about it.

I originally wanted to be moved before school starts.  But that is in 2 weeks.

2 weeks here and 3 weeks there.

But to have the kids unregistered in Rittman, they have to be registered in Conn.  To be registered in Conn., I have to have an address there.

That means I would have to be moved in less than 2 weeks.'am. 

I'm okay with the extra time.

I just don't want the kids to go to school here for a week or two and then move.  I'd rather a little settling here in school and then have a date set and work on being mentally prepared for a few weeks.

I hear its better for the kids socially to be the new kid in the middle of the year, even in the middle of the week.  They aren't as easily lost in the crowd and make friends faster.  

Who knows when it will happen or how it will happen and what will make it happen.

I'm okay with waiting for the right time.

I've waited for three years.

In that time I have found peace with some tough relationships.  In that time I've found the strength to move on by changing our last names.  In that time I finished my degree.  In waiting through that time a dream job has been brought before me.

One thing I've learned and waiting often makes whatever we are waiting on better.  

And my boys are just fine with this taking a few extra weeks....the longer it takes, the more football they get to play :-) And to my boys, one especially, football is life.