Queen Elisabeth Archive

The angst of a peacemaker



I am the first born of my parents. I was the first grandchild and first great grandchild on both sides. I came into the world to quite a fanfare.
I was the darling of my grandfathers and the sweetheart of my grandmothers. I lived for their praise and laughter. I was a pleaser. I wanted things to be wonderful. When my parents got upset with me, my first instinct was to please, to make peace. My mom used to say that when she confronted me with a question that called into question my behavior, I would immediately reply ‘Boy you look pretty today mommy’

Make peace, make everything and everyone happy. Be a peacemaker. Yeah ok…

It has carried over into my adult life with some pros and some cons. I find myself being not only a peacemaker but an on-call problem solver. I have a hard time not taking on people’s problems as my own; giving myself anxiety trying to think of solutions to problems that most of the time have nothing directly to do with me. Most of the time, I end up feeling overwhelmed. I want to fix things for people I love and it’s not always within my power to do it. Sometimes I end up feeling resentful because people don’t go ‘out of their way’ to please me in ways I would try for them.
My husband says that one of my best qualities is being able to anticipate exactly what would make someone happy, the right phrase to say to make someone feel good, or making someone who is feeling down laugh. I’ve always felt pride in having this trait. Other times, I’m wracked with guilt when my efforts fail.

Now I see my daughter performing the same way. When I scold her, she immediately tells me how beautiful I am. She tries to temper my anger with pretty compliments and to avoid her wrongdoing.

Somehow, I feel like I’m failing to teach her to make herself a priority and not bury her head in the sand when it comes to unpleasantness. I come from a family of ‘head buriers’ My father was famous for his ‘don’t worry about it’ attitude. Smooth things over.

I don’t want my daughter to feel like her problems can be glossed over or left on the back burner (which I tend to do while I’m busy worrying about everyone else) I have a very hard time taking criticism because I immediate think “Why are they picking on me? What about all the nice things I do for everyone? YOU’RE PRETTY!!!” etc etc etc…

Perhaps I should start being my own peacemaker, pleasing myself and letting everyone else solve their own damn problems.

Rant over

check this out

I promised my sister in law I would post a link to her blog.
She has 5 awesome kids and a life that can only be described correctly as a circus. In her blog she posts about her children (my beautiful nieces and nephews) and their every day trials and triumphs. Please take a moment to bookmark it and check it out!
much much appreciated



Eternal Sunshine

Today on Ron and Fez they posed the question ‘Would you pay to wipe your mind of unpleasant memories?’
I have mixed emotions, let’s say 90/10 exactly.

My first reaction is no. Everything I have experienced, good and bad, carved me into the person I am today. Every painful thing I experienced can be matched with something joyful. The death of my father/the birth of my daughter. I can’t feel the pure high of her birth without feeling the despairing agony of my father’s passing. As much as I hated to see my father die, in a strange way, that pain was my privilege. He was there at my beginning and I was there at his end. I washed his face and hands, I smoothed his hair and kissed his forehead. That was the price for loving him. I don’t believe in assigning blame for this heartbreak, this is the circle of life. All my joy and sorrow is the wheel of life that turns and turns for me. Just like for every bad day there is a good day. I want to experience it all. Experience eases our anxiety and gives us wisdom. I don’t want to forget any of it.

Now for my 10%

My friend’s husband passed away in December. He was the youngest of 5. His mother is elderly and living in a nursing home. Her memory is going. She can recall things from 1960 but not remember what happened yesterday. On the advice of her doctors, the family chose not to tell her that her youngest child passed away. In this instance, I have to agree. What benefit would there be in it? To give her the information that her youngest child is dead, the pain of that reaction, then having to return next week to her asking ‘Where’s Joey?’ I think her memory loss is protecting her from the worst thing a mother can experience, the death of her child.

A similar experience happened a few years ago when my stepfather had a pulmonary embolism and died in front of his elderly father. The father, who suffered from dementia, had no idea what was happening because he couldn’t remember who his son was. After my stepfather’s death he would ask ‘How is Mike doing? I heard he was sick” my mother would say ‘He’s ok now, don’t worry’ and he didn’t. He passed away a few years after that, never remembering his oldest child died in front of him. His dementia protected him in that way.

But there is always fear in memory loss. My grandmother had dementia. She would call my mom different names from her past. She would tell me she loved me and then not remember my name. It was like something shorted out in her head. Sometimes she could recall with clarity and other times she would cry in fear at her strange surroundings. She took great comfort in my daughter, whose name she never once forgot, in all her suffering.

But all in all, I wouldn’t want to forget. I just pray for more good than bad.


Early retirement

Tomorrow I have a consultation with a doctor to have a tubal ligation.

I never thought in my life I would be actively ending my fertility. But let me start from the beginning, you need some perspective on my story.

My youngest brother was born when I was 8 years old. Despite all my entreaties to The Almighty for a sister, he gave me a 3rd brother. All my protests died on my lips when my beautiful Joshua was placed in my arms; from that moment on I became his second mother. I played with him, I cuddled him and whined when my mother took him from me to nurse him. He was my baby after all! I knew from the age of 8 that I wanted to be a mother. Little did I know it would be another 27 years before my wishes came true.

I met my husband in 1998. We became engaged in March of 2000 (I asked him) and we were married in May of 2001. We immediately started trying to get pregnant. I had it all planned out in my head, pregnant by September and I would present my parents with their 1st grandchild. I imagined how my family would be over the moon. We hadn’t had a new baby in our family in quite some time. My parents were just itching to become grandparents. It would all be so very perfect.

Nothing. Month after month, nothing. I didn’t give up hope. My mother told me it took her a few months to get pregnant with me, don’t stress out it.

Still nothing.

At my annual ‘oil change’ (i.e. yearly gyno appointment) my doctor had been reviewing my complaining symptoms and lack of pregnancy with a diagnosis. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. The leading cause of infertility. My heart sank. I had a nagging fear of infertility for a long time. I remember thinking ‘Oh God I would just die if I could have kids’ Now my worst fears might possibly be real. Before I could panic, my doctor sent me to a specialist. The fertility specialist would help me get pregnant, I thought, they are experts. And besides, my family had no history of fertility problems. My mom gave birth to four fat healthy kids after all.

Fast forward six rounds of Clomid and three rounds of IV injectable drugs (and a husband who tested with a tremendously high sperm count) I still wasn’t pregnant. I was told at the pharmacy that my lifetime allowance for fertility drugs had been reached and if I wanted to continue it would be $1500 a month. I can honestly say I don’t remember walking back to work. I felt like my heart had been shattered into a million pieces. If fertility drugs couldn’t get me pregnant…… my hope was low. I cried for months.

Over the next few years, my brothers and their wives began to produce offspring. My oldest niece (and my parents 1st grandchild) was born in April of 2004. Despite my own struggles, I happily and joyful greeted each new baby with a happy heart. I couldn’t begrudge my brothers the joy of parenthood just because I couldn’t get pregnant.

Near the end of 2007 my doctor suggested that I could try losing weight to help with my fertility. PCOS causes weight gain and I had gained weight since marrying my husband. It could hurt anyway. So I joined a gym, started doing South Beach Diet and waited for my youngest brother Joshua and his wife to have their 1st baby. April 2008 gave me my first nephew ‘lil’ Josh. I was relatively happy at this point. I was losing weight, I had my friends, and family, I had a good husband. I had slowly start to accept that parenthood was not in the cards for me. I took immense joy in my godchildren, my nieces and now nephew. I was getting a grip.

Christmas 2008 was a bear. I was getting the flu and felt like garbage. I knew me and my husband would have to ‘do the rounds’ and I was dragging ass bad. I just wanted to sleep. But little did I know, I wasn’t really sick.

I was pregnant. I was finally pregnant!!!

Needless to say, there was never a better Christmas then 2008. I rung in the new year with pure unadulterated joy.

I’ll give you the short short version of the next 6 months. My father died in April of 2009 and my daughter was born 9 weeks early in June due to preeclampsia which had a ‘Stroke Team’ standing by during my delivery.

New Years 2009 I had a baby in my arms and my father in the ground. Needless to say, I had quite the struggle with mixed emotions.

And despite all of this, my greatest wish came true. At long last I was a mother. The thing I had prayed, cried and begged for was mine at last. All the heartache my husband endured with me, never once reproaching me for my lack of fertility, was ours at last. Our daughter was beautiful and perfect.

In the 4 and a half years since my daughter’s birth, I have not gotten pregnant again. I have done nothing to prevent it or actively tried to get pregnant. My reasoning was that if I was blessed with another child, so be it. If not, I wouldn’t ‘look a gift horse in the mouth’

Now as I approach 40, the dangers of getting pregnant now are paramount in my mind. I had a harrowing experience the 1st time around, did I really want to try again and be 5 years older doing it? The answer is no. I was given a beautiful daughter in reward for my years of struggle and she is enough.

But it seems so bittersweet to truly put an end to my fertility when for years my goal was to have a child. When I started on this journey, I wanted three children, two boys and a girl. By the end, I just wanted one healthy child and I got her. This is the hand I was dealt and I’m happy. But I guess there is just a tiny pang of longing for the son I will never have, the second daughter that might have been. But it’s time to put that struggle to an end.

Thank you, my fertility, for giving me enough in her.


Being vintage


I will be 40 in March. My best friend just turned 40, along with most of my graduating class. Some people I grew up with are turning 40 this year. Some are taking it well, some not and other are in completely denial.

Not me. Turning 40 is awesome and here’s why…..

I could give you some generic claptrap that ‘age ain’t nothing but a number’ or ‘you are only as old as you feel’ or better yet ‘I’m just celebrating the 20 anniversary of my 20th birthday’. But that is not it.

It’s a privilege to turn 40.

My father had a younger brother. He was a few weeks shy of his 21 birthday when he made a serious of stupid decisions involving drugs. In the course of events that followed, he was shot and killed. My 23 year old father was never the same.

Uncle Jim was just 20. He never got married, never had children,never bought a house and he never met me. I was born 3 months after his funeral. I was the niece he predicted would be born when everyone else told my mom she looked like she was carrying a boy. He told my mom the last time he saw her ‘Take care of my baby girl’ then rubbed her belly.

In honor of the uncle that loved me and never met me, I have decided to grow old in his honor. To take every year I am blessed to become one year older with grateful heart. I will do it for my father who didn’t live to see 60, which is a relatively young age now.

It is not so terrible a thing to grow older. At nearly 40, I feel more confident in myself then I did at 21. My life experience has molded me into a better person then I was, a more patient, loving person. I like who I am now.

40 is not so scary, 40 is awesome




Walk with the angels Uncle Jim <3