MRI All Clear!

The PA just called and she had looked over the MRI report. There are no signs of tumors or anything unusual, so as far as the muscular-skeletal system, there are no catastrophic reasons for Monkey’s back pain.

Great news from a parents sleeping well at night perspective, but still perplexing.

We’re going to double-down on stretching for 8 weeks or so, and see where we stand.

Thanks, everyone, for checking in and sending loving thoughts to our girl.

No News From the Doc Yet…

I’ve heard from several people today, asking about Monkey. Thanks for that. Buds and I are anxious to hear the “nothing to see here” from the radiologist, too.

The Ortho’s nurse just called in response to my message from this morning, to let me know there was nothing to share at this point, and that the reports have not come over from the radiologist yet. A doctor reads the report where we had the MRI done, dictates the report, then it is sent over to Monkey’s doctor after the report is transcribed.

Nurse Nicole promised to get the report to Nicole, the PA, or Dr. Mackey as soon as it came in, and then they’d call me. If it isn’t received tomorrow, then we won’t get a call until Monday because they are in surgery all day on Friday.

So, if there is no news tomorrow, let’s not fret because we won’t hear until after the weekend.

The girlie is downstairs laughing right now, and she and I are heading out of town for a Mom/Daughter adventure for a couple days, so all is right with the world here.

Thanks for loving our girl.

Monkey Update

The red-head had 8 physical therapy sessions and did lots of stretching at home and after 6 weeks of this, her tailbone pain seems improved, but she is still having low back pain, and has added intermittent leg pain to the mix.

We loaded up all 5 of us and went to meet with the orthopaedic doc’s physician’s assistant today. Obviously we filled up the tiny patient room, but on the plus side, quickest appointment ever!

Nicole, the PA, was very open to our thoughts, and really listened respectfully to what Monkey shared about how the pain had or had not changed. After discussion about the options, we all agreed that having an MRI to ensure there are no other issues interfering with healing seemed like the conservative path forward.

A quick stop at Panera since we were all out the door before 7 a.m., then Monkey and I went for her MRI, and Buds and the youngers headed home. As Monkey and I headed into our 2nd hour of medical time, I was never more grateful to have a partner with a generally flexible schedule who can work from most anywhere.

The gentleman who helped us with the MRI was wonderful. He explained what was going to happen, including about the very loud noises, for which I was thankful. They were a surprise to both of us. He had ear plugs for both of us, as well as noise canceling headphones and a blanket for Monkey since the room is kept cold. There was a chair for me so I could sit close enough to hold her hand the entire time, and he even offered me a pillow since I was leaning against the machine to be able to reach her hand.

There was also an emergency escape bulb (my terminology) that Monkey held the entire time. If she had chosen to press it twice, the scan would have stopped immediately. It was a sphygmomanometer bulb, exactly hand-sized, and having that feeling of control had to make a big difference.

She handled herself beautifully, and we should hear from the doctor tomorrow on how the scan looks.

We’ll update when we know more, but several of you have asked how she’s doing, so, that’s the latest.

Taller, older, still just as sweet


I’ve been working on top secret essays, kept in a private place where no one can find them until I’m ready to share them.

I wanted to work on one, so I clicked on the one entitled, “Secrets.”

It was blank.

And now I can’t remember what I planned to write about.

Some secrets aren’t meant to be, folks.

Would you do it?

Yessa and I were driving in the car and she said, “Momma, if you could be in a car accident where you knew you would die, but there would be world peace forever afterward, would you die?”

She took my breath away with this question.

Later, I texted Buds to tell him about it, and his response was, “Of course you’d have to do it.”

Easy for him to say.

Yessa brought me face-to-face with one of life’s huge conundrums.

If she had asked me if I would die for one of our children or my nieces or nephews or other beloved children in our life, yes! An immediate yes, no question.

Asking me about dying for the children of the world…that feels much tougher for some reason. I love my life so much.

Of course, so do those children and men and women who are dying for no good reason in wars around the world.

A friend posted a similar thought experiment on Facebook one day. He was speaking in the context of driverless vehicles. One day, those automobiles may be programmed to make decisions.

Example: the train is speeding down the tracks. If it stays on the track it is on, it is going to crash into and kill five people ahead on the tracks. It has the opportunity to divert onto another track, and on that track, it would only hit and kill one person.

To our friend, Mark, the answer was obvious. Divert for the good of the greater number.

That isn’t how my brain works. Allowing life to unfold as it will, that feels more sustainable to me. It isn’t rational, it isn’t black and white. It’s life, messy and uncertain and beautiful.

The force is strong in this one.

The force is strong in this one.

A Little Moment

I went over to spend time with my nieces and nephew the other night so their parents could go to parent-teacher conferences.

The littlest, who is 4, wanted to wait to take her bath and wash her hair after I was there. She has beautiful, silky, long dark hair, which needs to be dried after she takes her bath before bed.

It has been years, actually decades, since I have dried anyone’s hair with a blow dryer. We have a hair dryer, but it is used by random guests, never by anyone who lives in our home.

But the littlest peanut sat down on the floor between my knees and trusted me to use a brush and blow dryer to groom her hair.

After I realized she doesn’t have a sensitive head like two of our kiddos, so I didn’t have to agonize over causing her pain, it was such a soothing, sweet, loving snippet of time to spend with her. She was working on a puzzle and telling me little stories while I brushed and dried her hair. It was just lovely.

Bless her heart that she trusted me and gave me this insight into a very different night time ritual than our own. I love that little one.

Data Fluency

Buds and his brother have written a book. A published book.

Zach was the lead author, and put in the vast majority of blood, sweat, and tears into the project. He is a driven, dedicated guy.

To open the boxes that arrived in the mail today, and see the product of effort and thought and dreams…very impressive and beautiful and inspiring.

I hope this won’t be the last time we have published authors in the family.


Climbing Blind

The world wants us to be afraid. The uplifting, joyful news has to be searched for. Fearful news is thrown at us from all sides.

My natural inclination is to embrace the world and all the folks in it. But even I can feel myself retracting in self-defense as so much bad news comes pouring in.

Then, at rock climbing, our crew did these things:

It’s difficult to tell, but Buster and Yessa are blind-folded in these pictures.

They are literally climbing into the unknown.



And then, this:

Monkey taking on the 3-story walls for the first time.

Monkey taking on the 3-story walls for the first time.



Then she popped right over for rappelling.

Then she popped right over for rappelling.

With the rappelling, you have to trust yourself…and the equipment…enough to step off the edge. Monkey made it look so incredibly easy.

Once again, these people I share my life with are inviting me into a better, richer, stronger life.

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

-Mary Oliver