Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Daughter Number Two

Photo by Pat Little found here. 

My daughter number two shared a story with me recently, and it's too good not to share.

It has occurred to me that I have written very little about Daughter #2. Which is not to say that she's any less loved or chock-full of personality than my other two kids.

Quite the contrary.

D2.....ah, D2...... defies description. She's just a little bitty thing graced with glossy dark brown hair and beautiful brown eyes. At first glance, she appears to be a very docile young lady. But look closer - yes, yes...there it is.....the twinkle in her eyes. This kid is the embodiment of the word impish. Always has been.

The youngest of my three, she has been fussed over and yes, spoiled rotten. She walked and talked later than my other two because there always were four other people in the house at her beck and call. All she had to do was point in the general direction of whatever she wanted and we all went running.

But in spite of all of our attention, she remains remarkably un-diva like. And, like my other two kids, has developed her own brand of wickedly sharp humor, which contrasts with her demure looks.

D#2 told me this story which is a perfect example of our family's weirdo brand of humor:

This little imp works for a large company in downtown Seattle in a very, very tall building near Puget Sound. The firm takes great interest in a peregrine falcon pair that nests on one of the ledges of their building, which is pretty danged awesome, if you ask me.

So she and a co-worker were preparing a conference room for an important meeting hosting several employees from across the country. It was a beautiful day and the large windows in the conference room showed a spectacular view of the Seattle skyline.

The meeting commenced with introductions and pleasantries, and as the group moved into some serious discussions, one of the peregrines landed on a ledge directly in front of the conference room window.

Awwww.......said everyone. Until.....

....the peregrine began disemboweling it's prey. The group watched in horror as the falcon happily eviscerated a small grey pigeon.

D#2's shoulders shook with laughter as she described the scene. Our family collapsed into guffaws as each of the kids began to theorize business lessons to be learned from this display.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH US?!? Sigh.

I recently asked Daughter #2 to write a guest post. And although I would disagree with her about her bratty teenage years (she was typical of all three of my kids), here is her post in it's entirety:

Hello fellow wanderers of the endless blog-o-space! This is Julia's daughter number two.

As many of you will undoubtedly notice, my writing skills aren't nearly as up to par as my mother's or sister's. Readers, the writer of this post has the attention span of a small insect. There may be some tangents. Perhaps. Maybe.

I'd like to begin by saying that my mother, to me, is amazing. An amazing nurse, piano teacher, Halloween costume maker, gingerbread house decorator, inconsolably sobbing daughter consular, earwax swabber, Christmas Butt wiper (ask my mom about that sometime), and mother.

By the way, did I mention that my mom made me a teenage-mutant-ninja-turtle suit one year? Awesome.

One thing that makes my mom particularly incredible is the fact that, as she was feeling the worst of the effects of Sjogren's, she was taking the time to raise a particularly surly, boy obsessed, self-conscious, drama-plagued teenage girl (me).

I specifically remember the day when I realized that something was seriously wrong with  Mom. She had come home from her job at the Alzheimer's facility, completely exhausted, rubbing her neck.

"I think I may be coming down with the mumps," she muttered.

At the time, I was a sophomore in high school. Along with the loss of energy, dry mouth, and other symptoms,  my mom had to deal with all the things that come along with raising a teenage girl: the arguments over the neckline of a dress, ("It's NOT too low, Mom!!") to finishing schoolwork ("I'll get the report done, Mom, I swear!") to a never-ending river of teenage drama. (HEEEE DUUUMMMMPPPPEEED MEEEEEEEE!!! ILL NEEEEEVER LOOOOOVE AGAIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNN!!!!!)


Through it all, even through her "low energy days," my Mom was there for me.

I do remember it being hard. For both of us.

One of the things that was hardest was simply not knowing what was going on. I remember overhearing conversations between my mom and dad; catching bits and pieces, "Syndrome," "Auto-immune", and such, got me really scared, and I knew that my mom was scared too.

Now that we know what is going on in that immune system of my Mother's, things are considerably less scary, although I do admit to being the queen of worrywarts. My mom has taken this disease with grace, patience, and a great dose of humor.

My sister wrote earlier that the dark thought of possibly getting Sjogren's some day enters her head. I also occasionally get a scary idea...that my Mom's Sjogren's syndrome was a direct result of the stress I had put her under.

I know now that, while I was quite the brat, that notion is totally not true.

I can kind of, KIND OF, understand what Momma goes through. About two years ago, I was diagnosed with BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo). Knowing that nurse Mom was only a short drive away, I came home for the "mom exam."

I remember whimpering, "I just want this to go away! Why won't it go away??", and my mother saying to me, "Honey, trust me, I know. It's probably not going to go away. But it's going to be okay."

After two years, with the help of nurse Mom, I've been able to learn what triggers my vertigo and what can help it. I take comfort in knowing that BPPV is supposed to get progressively better, rarely ever requires the use of heavy medication, and has the advantage of an entertainment value: when I get a bout, I can sit on my bed, tilt my head back and toward the affected ear, put my hands in the air and pretend to be on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride :-P

I'm not going to even dream of equating the fact that the room spins for about thirty seconds if I tilt my head up and to the left, to the fact that my Mom's immune system is attacking her body. But at the very least, knowing that my mom GETS it in regards to having a chronic illness (although I'm not sure I could refer to vertigo as an illness) is a great comfort.

Ladies and gentlemen, the woman who writes this blog is the greatest mom ever. On behalf of all of us, I want to thank you all for being all so awesome! Reading your encouraging and insightful comments is a joy for me, my mom, and our family.

DNT out.

4 comments:

annie said...

Welcome Daughter Numero Due,

I think all her readers find your Mom to be helpful,insightful, and humorous. I know this is the first blog I read when I get up in the morning, and it makes my day.

I'm sorry to read about your BPV...I also suffer from this and it seems to hit at the worst of times, and stressful situations don't seem to help it. You are very young to be going through this! Are you the person that knits those amazing pieces? You're very talented and creative.

Jackie said...

Thanks for the kind words!

I wouldn't say that I "suffer" from BPPV nearly as much as I was when I was first diagnosed, and after reading about people's experiences on support forums and such I think that I should count myself lucky. It's less of "suffering" and more of "annoying", mostly.

I am the one that does the knitting. Thanks so much for the compliment!

Terese said...

Very lovely blog entry. Be a blog writing guest again sometime.

Amy Junod said...

DNT- Very nice job.
I payed particular attention to what you said about how your Mom's illness effected you. I think it made me more aware of my own fear about how Sjogrens is effecting my own kids. It's hard to turn the "Mom" off in our heads.
Your Mom is the best to keep us all informed and feeling like we're not alone in this. Misery loves company? Perhaps. It sure helps to get a chuckle too.

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