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☜♥☞ Mama Kim ☜♥☞
02 January 2012 @ 02:37 pm

Haven't written in so long... since September, I see.  During a typical December, I'm a very productive Kim.  This year, I got Very Little Shit accomplished, and even less that was NOT shit. Maybe this will kick-start the process.

Here's the thing:  since the beginning of December, I felt dragged down, like all of my energy and drive was being sucked from me.  I wrote about it on December 6 on Facebook.  Here's what I said: 


I have had the weirdest feeling that something bad is going to happen. It's that feeling you get when someone calls with bad news, or when you've just had a car accident -- like you're going to be sick with anxiety. Now if I only knew why! I'm not borrowing trouble, but this weird feeling that something's happened and I just haven't heard about it yet is sitting heavy on me today.


Dad died the following week.

While he had been very sick for a very long time, no one could have predicted the manner of his actual passing, or the time.  This was one of those things where Dad had begun the slow, excruciatingly painful and undignified, wicked death that the doctors told him about, and God decided the man had suffered enough and sent a random metaphorical medical left-fielder to make sure it didn't happen the way any of us expected.

I was there when he died.  It was very ugly.

So, here's what I'm getting to: pop bottle moments.

I explained it a few times this way and it makes sense:  I'm feeling rather like a bottle full of soda (I don't actually call it "pop" -- that's an up-North thing, and I'm a Southern girl, but "pop-bottle moment" sounds better than does the alternate).  That bottle gets shaken up unexpectedly, and by the damndest things.  Suddenly, I'm agitated and exploding out in these great gushes of ouch, and the crying goes from a teary-eyed weeping to these animal wails that just take over and leave me gulping for air.  

I'm crying for Dad.  I'm crying because of Dad.  I'm crying for hurts he caused and for hurts he suffered and for things we will never know because, well, we'll never have the chance.  I'm crying because my kids never got to have another Christmas with him.  I'm crying because I'll never have another Christmas with him.  

Ever.

The faith I have in heaven is being tested in profound ways.  My religion teaches that we aren't just assumed into heaven for good behavior or time served.  It's more complicated than that if you're Catholic.  I can't deal with the thought that he won't be Dad again even if I do see him, that the person he was will never exist again.

He never got to say goodbye to me.  That's the way he died; he was awake, aware, but couldn't talk.  He could not move.  He couldn't squeeze my hand.  He couldn't blink his eyes.  He could feel and hear.  But he couldn't tell me, "Kim, you were a great Mom and I love you and want you to know that."  He couldn't say, "I'm sorry about this.  Christmas won't ever be the same again."  He couldn't apologize for things that happened.  He couldn't not apologize, either, as a choice.  Or maybe he tried.  I will never know.  When the time comes that I can ask him these things, they will no longer matter.  So I'm left with what I've got.

I didn't have time to make things right.  I didn't have time to tell him it doesn't matter.  I didn't have time to figure out whether either of those is true.

Now I have lots of time, but can't think about it.  Pop bottle moments happen and wash out every rational thought with a flood of feeling.

And I'm still unable to write.  It's as though my ability to make sense of anything that doesn't have to do with my own pain and confusion has been dulled by December.

There's an irony there, a sick poetry to it.

Pop bottle moments may subside when the vessel runs out of juice. Frankly, I'm astounded that I ever had that much in there to begin with.
 
 
Mood: melancholyfreaking exhausted
 
 
☜♥☞ Mama Kim ☜♥☞
06 September 2011 @ 02:50 pm
Originally posted by kimaginethis at Remembering Life!!!

Lieutenant Commander Otis Vincent Tolbert Jr. led a life of service to God, his country and his family. He loved football, and was a star runningback in college. A navy brat, he followed his father's footsteps and joined the US Navy as soon as he was able. His dad was a pilot, an officer, and an instructor at Annapolis. It was probably inevitable that his son, Vincent, would show the same character, gifts, hard-working spirit and dependability. He was a hero not only to his wife and three daughters, but to the people he worked with at Macdill AFB in Tampa, and then later at the Pentagon.

His wife, Shari, put it best: "These guys are heroes every day. It's not just when a plane hits their building.  It's a shame the only time they get that honor is when they are in the ground."

U.S. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of U.S. Central Command, U.S. Representative C.W. Bill Young, U.S. Senator Mel Martinez, and the Tolbert family, were present at the dedication of the Lt. Cmdr. Otis Vincent Tolbert Joint Intelligence Operations Center at MacDill Air Force Base, Fl, which was held this summer.  The building is referred to as "The Vince" to those who work there, in memory of the many contributions of the man who spent his life surrounded by men and women who give their all to protect us, and who left a wonderful legacy of example for others to follow.

******

My husband works at the building called "The Vince", where US Central Command is housed.  When I found out about Project 2996 from my friend, Dale, I immediately jumped at the chance to participate.  I asked him right away if I could write something about Lt. Cmdr. Tolbert, because his story is so compelling and he shares so much in common with my family.  I could relate in so many ways to who he was, and his story is very real to me because of that: he's not just a name on a plaque on a wall.

Thank you for taking the time to learn a bit about this remarkable man, and how he was also so much like the rest of us: a hardworking family guy with three kids, one of whom was disabled, a competitive man who excelled at sports in his youth (and in the football pools as an adult!) and a patriot. 


 
 
☜♥☞ Mama Kim ☜♥☞
28 April 2011 @ 03:04 pm
I'm not planning on watching the wedding. I might try to catch a recap of some of the coverage, but I'm not going to stay up late/get up early to see it. What about you guys?

I think they're an adorable couple, don't get me wrong. I just don't think there's any way any of us will be able to miss the coverage at some point. It'll be everywhere.

I dunno -- am I the only one?
 
 
☜♥☞ Mama Kim ☜♥☞
09 April 2011 @ 03:55 pm
I wrote an article about blogging styles based on a study that just came out. I tried very hard not to see myself in a few of those listed. Unfortunately, I did... and I don't necessarily like what I saw.

Here's an excerpt:

"You might think your blogging style tells the world what's on your mind and what's important to you. What it actually shows is much more revealing—it predicts what kind of friend you are, how you’re coping with stress, and even whether or not you feel fulfilled in your relationships with others.

A new study reveals that a blogger falls into one of four distinct “types”: Therapeutic, Self-Censoring, Connected, and Substitution bloggers, whose styles gives clues about why they write.

According to an article published today at Physorg.com, the study by Swinburne University of Technology focused on what bloggers thought about their own writing style. While some writers do it as a form of personal expression, others might use blogs to promote themselves professionally, because they are bored, or they engage in a hobby they want to share with others...:

What the different types look like, and what they mean


I think I'm sort of a combination of the second and last type of blogger. I do feel more comfortable talking to people online and I'm terrible with face-to-face relationships because I don't edit my reactions properly. I don't know how to deal respond the right way most of the time. Being online allows me the extra time I need to think about what I'm going to say and how to phrase it, which I can't do in real life because people don't typically stand there waiting for you to proofread your replies.

It's sad, though. The words "nut" and "case" spring to mind.
 
 
Mood: geekygeeky
 
 
☜♥☞ Mama Kim ☜♥☞
01 April 2011 @ 08:00 pm
WIN!  
 
 
 
 
☜♥☞ Mama Kim ☜♥☞
15 March 2011 @ 07:46 pm
 New stuff at Disney's Haunted Mansion!!!

Walt Disney World Unveils Restyled Haunted Mansion Ride Queue:
Imagineers Liven Up the Wait to See the Haunts Inside

I can't wait to see this -- especially the new tombstones.  I know the interactive ones are the features most likely to be the most popular, but I've always loved the tombstones. :)
 
 
Mood: excitedexcited
 
 
☜♥☞ Mama Kim ☜♥☞
 When I was reading the statistics on this, it scared the crap out of me.  It also made me think.  I need to not let myself get distracted when I drive, or at least try to keep the distractions to a minimum.  With three kids in the car, that can be tricky.   In this report, the big distractions included not just cell phones, but music, movies (I play them for the kids, but I can still hear what's happening despite that -- thank goodness I don't find Thomas the Tank Engine that interesting), and even navigators (the programmable kind -- not the husband kind).

EEK.

One in three people under 30 texts while driving; 60% talk on the phone while driving.
 
 
☜♥☞ Mama Kim ☜♥☞
07 March 2011 @ 10:22 am
 Here's my argument against eBook readers.  They have their place, I'm sure -- just not in my house. :)

Confessions of a Paper Pusher: Why I Refuse to Yield to eBooks

Interestingly, Yahoo!Associated Content refused upfront payment for this because they said no one would do a search for anything like this.  I disagreed and published it anyway, without their measly $2 payment.  Glad I did -- I feel better sticking to my guns. :D
 
 
Mood: satisfiedsatisfied
 
 
☜♥☞ Mama Kim ☜♥☞
02 March 2011 @ 04:58 pm
Let's face it: if you're having lunch at Taco Bell, you're probably not obsessed with calories and don't want to think too much about what you're eating. The Associated Press reports that Taco Bell has launched a massive television and YouTube video campaign to make sure you do know what's in that beef taco of yours... mostly.

Dear Taco Bell: I'd Really Rather Not Know
 
 
☜♥☞ Mama Kim ☜♥☞
02 March 2011 @ 04:49 pm
I called and emailed and called and emailed and I finally got an answer from the folks at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The article hath been written. I think, all things considered, it's not too bad.

Forget the Sorting Hat:  Are the Four Houses at Orlando's Wizarding World Small, Medium, Large and X-Large?

We've talked about this already, but I wrote it up and published the article at Yahoo! Associated Content, and posted the link in a few places, as well.  The PR department at the park had NO idea what I was talking about when I told them what the employees have been telling guests about this.  I guarantee they're rewriting the park policy as we speak.