Bragging and Worrying – What Parents Do Best

I’ve had a query or three from readers curious about Stephanie’s own website, and whether or not it’s available for viewing by the masses. Since she’s the one who put the link on my blog, in the sidebar under “etc.”, the answer is yes, feel free to go over to her place for a good look around. Click on the lovely icon she created from a William Blake etching, and it will take you to her spot. A good selection of her poetry and prose from the past several years is on her site.

I’ve been after her for ages to let me post a few pieces on here, but her extreme modesty always got in the way. However, I now have permission and I’m not going to give her a chance to change her mind. All of her poetry tends to make my jaw drop, but there’s one piece in particular that I haven’t been able to get out of my head since she first showed it to me three or four years ago. It’s not her most insightful piece, nor is it probably her “best” piece as far as construction and such go. But there’s just something about it that makes it stand out as one of my favourites, now and forever. Thus, I present:


a night like this in a restless city
streetlamps paving the way
through faded buildings
snow setting the tones of black on grey
perfect for anxious hearts
and melancholic dreaming

cars slide by, slowly engulfed
by the cool smooth wave
entranced by the lonely wails of a sidewalk saxophone
trailing music into the mist
beside it, a case of dollar bills
anonymous thank-yous

a car glides to a stop
a cabaret heel steps out
followed by a fur that reeks of cool sounds
and last night’s stale cologne
a sultry voice blends into the tones
weaving them into a soft heartache

two souls melding every saturday night
she, always fashionably late
they join together in the deserted downtown avenues
painting them electric blue
with the only beauty they know
soul-stripping street jazz.

I’d like to post her most recent effort, too, but I don’t have permission for that yet. She presented a stunning poem to me a couple of days ago, as a thank you for being there for and with her during a particularly difficult time of late. Which is why I haven’t done much in the way of actual writing on my blog in recent weeks. I can write when I’m happy, I can write when I’m in a snit, and I can write when I’m somewhere in between. But I can’t write when I’m frightened for, and worried about, someone I love. The mind switches to a single, main track at times like this and the branch lines remain closed until the situation is resolved.

Stephanie told me to feel free to tell the story as our experiences might be of benefit to another family out there, dealing with something similar. Which I will probably do, but not today. As is generally the case, the head is clear and the back is strong mid-crisis, but I tend to cave in somewhat once the cavalry arrives! So, I need a bit of time to “recover” and get my thoughts in order before telling the story. I’m still a bit torn between telling the story and the instinctive urge to protect her privacy. But, she told me to put it out there, and I likely will, in as much detail as I feel comfortable with at the time. It’s a story that has included some fairly scary bits along the way, especially recently, but it’s moving towards a very happy ending now. Phew!

Fate played into our hands on Wednesday and Stephanie is finally in the care of a specialist who really knows what he’s doing. She was so scared that day that she took herself off to the hospital very early that morning, and we met her there a short time after. I wanted to go with her, but couldn’t get my head together quickly enough. I hadn’t had much sleep due to a thundering migraine, and the sleep that I did get came after being knocked out by migraine medication. So, when she shook me awake to tell me where she was going, I couldn’t make a whole lot of sense of it for a bit. Meanwhile, Richard had gone to work, but every instinct told him that he was needed at home. So, he walked back in the door just as I was dunking my head under the cold water tap and literally slapping myself about the face, trying to kick start the brain and clear the medication-induced haze. Anyway, after the emergency room doctor got the story, he decided that it was time to get a specialist involved, for all of our sakes. Things haven’t been right for too long and he couldn’t see why they had reached the point that they had. So, the specialist came down, had a long chat with Stephanie and me, quickly figured out what was what, and set a new game plan in motion. Which has brought an indescribable amount of relief to all concerned, especially as there was such a noticeable change in Stephanie within just the first 24 hours. But with the relief came the realization of what we were really dealing with, and why. I’m not going to let anger and blame take over my thinking in the slightest, as that’s pointless. But it’s still really scary to know that my daughter could have died because of mismanagement of her condition, and how lucky we are that things didn’t get a whole lot worse than they did. The most important thing is that she’s going to be absolutely fine, now that she’s in the right hands. But it’s still going to take a while to get that other stuff out of my head!

That’s where I think I’ll leave it for today, as just thinking about things is bringing on the jitters. This will pass, though. She sees the specialist again tomorrow morning, at which point he will have her bloodwork results and will have a better idea of how he plans to proceed from here. Which will then make the patient and her parents feel even better. Onward and upward!


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