Category Archives: What Doesn’t Kill You

The Cheese Stands Alone

My name is Mallory, and I am a blog addict.  Seriously, my day doesn’t feel right until I’ve caught up with Dooce and Zoot and Amalah and Mir, and Wacky Mommy, oh, and too many others, just wait till I build that blogroll.  You’ll wonder how I do anything else. 

 Actually I do a lot.  I’m a left-leaning, life-loving, NPR-listening, book-reading, blog-addicted, crafts-making, scrapbooking,  positive-thinking shutterbug who is an ample, angsty, over-scheduled, overfed, under-rested but still smiling mom of two amazing kids. 

The amazing kids, (and yes, yes they are amazing and awesome and wonderful) do lots of stuff.  There are two of them, a 12 year old boy and 14 year old girl.  They are both cast members in a professional children’s theatre, and both do tap and jazz dancing.  (Yes, even the boy, since he was 6 years old.  And yes, he is straight.  Which, who cares, I’d love him any old way, but he is.  Decidedly, emphatically straight.)  The girl also does Irish dancing, and we go to Feisanna, which are Irish dance competitions. 

The girl and boy have actual names:  Liliana and Matthew, who is also Matt or Matty, but Liliana is always, always Liliana.  She won’t let anyone call her Lily (but I do) or God forbid, Lil.  They go to a public school that is a math and science magnet (to balance out the artsy stuff) that has an accelerated curiculum and is about 75% TAG kids.  This school is waaaaaay across town, but we get to go there because we live in “da hood” and the President-That-I-Would-Never-Ever-Vote-For got that law passed that if your local school sucks you can go to a different one, etc.  So I drive a lot.  A lot.

 Did I mention that I also work full time?  And I am going to school to be a nurse practioner?  I should say, I did work full time, because I am currently on a medical leave of absence, not for me, but for my mom.  Here is the Cliff’s notes version:  Mom went in for a “routine” 3 hr operation.  It ended up taking 17 hrs.  They gave her a medication that she was allergic to, that causes massive blood clotting all over her body.  They had to give her clot busting drugs to save her life, drugs you should never, ever give while a patient is opened up in surgery.  She lost 18 units of blood.  She almost died.  She spent 56 days in ICU, had 4 more surgeries.  Had to have her left leg amputated.  Got a horrible post-surgical infection that damn near killed her on Christmas and on my birthday a few days later.  Was on a ventilator, and the doctors kept suggesting we ought to give up and pull the plug.  Instead we prayed and cried and begged her to hang on, and she did.  She went to a skilled nursing/rehab for 6 wks.  She was weak as a kitten, my strong, amazing mom who used to work 9 and 10 hour days on her feet. 

She needed someone to take care of her, so I did.  I have one sister, who’s single, but financially, she couldn’t do it.  So the kids and I moved in, I took the leave of absence and I am trying to live on my child support, which is laughably little but so far so good.  I do everything for Mom and also for Dad, who has MS and uses a wheelchair part time himself. 

If my life were a sandwich, I’d be the cheese, a life sneaked in between supporting active kids and disabled parents.  I love my life.  I feel like I have found my purpose.  It is a life of service, and it brings me meaning.  It also means I have to work harder to take care of myself, and I don’t always do a good job.  That is what I am working at the hardest these days.

 So that’s me–Mallory in the middle.  Nice to meet you.