Still There

She’s still in the hospital. She’s been there 10 days this go around.  There is more cancer. Going to visit her this afternoon.  Her mother called to tell me she wouldn’t be coming back to work when she said she would.  I told her that should be the least of her worries.

Sigh.  We were all hoping for better news.  They are trying to get her strength up so she can handle whatever the next stage of treatment will be.

Her spirits are pretty low.  If you can spare a thought, she could use it.

Seems the big C is all around lately.  My great aunt was diagnosed with leukemia late last week and had to have her spleen removed.  Please keep her and the family in your thoughts too.  Especially her daughter who is completely worn out with taking care of her parents.

Me?  Hanging in there just fine.  But I’ve only got so many thoughts to spare for those around me so I’ve got to ask for yours.

I hope to get a gunny fun post up later, and I’m looking forward to lots of fun at Christina’s shindig this weekend.

Prayer Request Part 3

Here is part 1 and 2.  You always hope you don’t need to ask again, but she is in the hospital.  She’s needed blood and is feeling very weak and depressed.  And so, again, if you are a praying person, please spare one for her.

Fifteen Years

Fifteen years ago today I was dolled up in blue sequins and stage make-up. I was a sophomore in high school headed to show choir competition. Who knew I’d be so festively dressed for the day my world would change?

The bus shook on its suspension as we passed downtown. We didn’t know what had happened or where that huge dust cloud had come from. We sat in silence watching it rise from the dirty bus windows as we continued on our journey to jazz square our way to a medal.

We didn’t find out until later. The bus driver must have heard the news while we were competing because he had the radio on for our trip home. We sat in silence. Probably the only silent bus trip that driver had ever taken.

We arrived at the local Mazzios to grab a quick bite before heading back to class for the afternoon. We ate in silence with eyes glued to the TVs. When we returned to the school, we discovered that all of our classmates were glued to the same broadcast being shown on the classroom sets generally used for in house announcements. They had felt the blast too.

The next several weeks saw fund-raising, volunteering, and benefit concerts. Everyone in my school either knew someone that had been injured or killed, or was close to someone else that did. We knew in a very personal way that evil does indeed exist in the world.

I heard Clinton’s pretty but empty words when he came to speak in Oklahoma City. As always, he was eloquent, but I couldn’t help but feel like he wanted nothing more than to get back to DC. He didn’t stand in the rubble and comfort the volunteers and first responders.

And now he wants to use the event to paint so many of us into an extremist box.  Shame on you, President Clinton.  Patriots ache with the memory of this terrible event.  Indeed, the majority of Americans don’t trust the government, but that does not mean any of us would take such horrendous actions.  That’s an awful wide brush you’re using there.

Today, I will remember the love that was revealed even before the smoke cleared from downtown OKC.  Today I will remember the news broadcasts telling us to stop bringing sandwiches and water for the rescue crews because people had already brought more than enough.  I will mourn the loss of the innocent life at the hands of evil.  And I will continue to support the actions of Patriots, of whom the former President is not.

Why Carry?

People ask on a regular basis why I choose to carry a firearm.  The crime rate in this state is low.  I live in a safe neighborhood.  I don’t work in any kind of law enforcement or security type field.

In fact, my statistical chance of being a victim of a violent crime are quite low.

I carry because the chance isn’t zero.

I carry because this guy exists.  A guy that can be turned down at a bar and so he follows the girl into the bathroom.  When she again resists his advances, he hit her twice in the face and shoved her into the stall.  He broke her nose and eye socket and caused a laceration requiring 50 stitches.  A friend found her unconscious in the bathroom with her pants partially removed.

Yeah, the police caught him.  But really, how much difference does that make to the girl in a hospital room that needs her face rebuilt?  Even if the can reconstruct her to some semblance of what she looked like before, it will take years of therapy for her not to live in constant fear.  The police weren’t there to protect her.  They can’t be there.  The only way the police could really protect you is if each and every person had a personal officer escorting them every moment of their lives.  No one wants that.

I carry because that guy really believes he has a right to take what he wants from women without consequences.  And I want him to know I carry.  I want him to start thinking lots and lots of women are carrying.  I want him to think that maybe one time, on the other side of that bathroom door, there will be something far harder to overcome than manicured nails and high heels.  I want him to start to question if the drive in his pants is worth his life.

The fact that the police caught this guy is no deterrent.  If we’re lucky, we’ll get to feed him and house him for a couple of years before he’s released because he’s ‘paid his debt to society.’  In two years that girl might be finished with all the reconstructive surgery and recovery.  She’ll still be in therapy.  She’ll still have a sinking fear in the pit of her stomach every time she turns away some guy.  She’ll always have scars.

And he’ll have a record.  You know, they don’t tattoo that on a guy’s forehead so you can see them coming.  I suppose I should take comfort in the fact that he won’t be able to legally own a firearm.  Of course, you can’t legally beat girls unconscious either.  I think I’d rather take my security into my own hands.  It is a personal matter after all.

The only person that is always available to protect me is me.  I hope that I never have to employ deadly force in my own defense, but I am prepared to do so if I must.  I’d rather spend time in therapy dealing with that than in the hospital having my face rebuilt.  And then there will be one less of those guys.  I really hope just knowing that more and more women are purchasing firearms and learning to use them is making guys like that one start to think twice.

You Know What They Say…

About the difference between a recession and a depression?  Yeah, we got a little closer to a depression in our household today.  Saved or created my ass.  Oh wait!  I’m supposed to blame Bush.  Meh.  I didn’t get that memo.

No really, we’ll be fine.  We’ve got options.  And you need holsters.  Yes you do.  (We are working on a new holster site.  Bear with us for the construction.)

We’ve survived on less than I am making now.  Sure, it sucked.  But we can do it.  My employer isn’t going anywhere.  We’ll cut corners.  We’ll find creative ways to make some extra cash.  T-shirts and bumper stickers anyone?  We’ll put the kiddo to work.  We’ll dress up Ferrule and make him dance for tips.  And ya know, I’ve got ads hanging out over there.  They pay for the hosting of this site.  A little more clicky and I could have an empire!  Yeah, I’m not Dooce.  But I bet I can out-shoot her.  (By the way, ammo’s ‘spensive!)

So I suppose I won’t be buying any fabulous new shoes for a bit, but we will bounce back.  We always do.  Your good thoughts and prayers are always appreciated.

It’s hard to ask you to hit the jar when so many in Haiti are suffering so much more.  Don’t.  I’m serious.  If you do, I’m sending it on.  Don’t waste the time.  If we need that, I’ll tell you.  See these bracelets
They are from Haiti. I’m wearing them as a reminder to pray for them. My mother-in-law brought them back for me when she was there on a mission trip.  They came back worn out.  The evil there was horrible.  It was draining.  These are exactly the people we should love and reach out to.  No one deserves that.  Pat Robertson, Danny Glover, et al are assholes for what they have said.  It’s a horrible tragedy.  These people that are so deeply entrenched in evil that they would block the roads with the corpses of their neighbors need our help and love.

I cannot in good conscience ask you for anything when these people have really lost everything.  In spite of our recent setback, we are rich in comparison to much of the world.  It’s all about perspective.

Eight Years

Now, we have inscribed a new memory alongside those others. It’s a memory of tragedy and shock, of loss and mourning. But not only of loss and mourning. It’s also a memory of bravery and self-sacrifice, and the love that lays down its life for a friend, even a friend whose name it never knew.
—President George W. Bush

Eight years and I’m still angry.  Eight years and it still hurts.  Eight years and I’m still proud.

Thank you President George W Bush.  I may still be hurt and angry, but I do not live in fear.

Thank you to every member of our military, their families, and the contracted warriors fighting for our side.

Thank you to the intelligence community that have thwarted more attacks than we know.

I, for one, will never forget what was done to our country that day, and I will never forget the amazing bravery that has kept it from happening again.  Thank you.

Jen’s Adventures With Lexapro

So now that I’ve over-shared all over Shoothouse Barbie’s comment section, I think I should just bring it home.

Unless you want to know a lot, you can stop at the short version-Jennifer and Lexapro DO. NOT. MIX.

Got it?  Yeah, the rest says that in more words.

This was Jennifer pre-firearms.  If it hadn’t been, you might not be reading this now.

There was a life changing/challenging event of which I will not elaborate.  Suffice it to say, it sucked.  During this point around  6 years ago, I went to see a therapist.  Through a few sessions she discovered what I had known for years, I’m depressed.  Clinically.

Questionnaires and such proved it and so thus, I must need medication.  Seeing as how most days I wanted to curl up into a ball in my closet, this seemed reasonable.  Sobbing breakdowns on the floor in front of the couch are not so pretty.  And so I took a little note to my regular physician who prescribed Lexapro.

“Very few side effects,” he said.  “It’s new,” he said.  “I’ll give you samples since you’re broke,” he said.  The worst side effect that he actually told me about was that I might gain weight because I would feel like eating again.  Did I mention I weighed about 100 lbs?  Um, not healthy.

So I took the Lexapro.  Any hey, I didn’t feel like curling up into a ball and hiding the closet anymore.  Food tasted good again.  Seems like good stuff right?

And it was.  Sort of.  Except on my lonely commute home.  The radio was never good company.  The CDs I loved only served to give me headaches.  And so I drove in silence.  For someone so auditory, this was wrong.  As a child, it was a compulsion to drum on everything that would reverberate.  My parents never consented to get me lessons on any instrument though.  But they never could stop me from singing.  (My mother really, but if we get into parents this will be too much over-share, even for me.)

No music, no talk, just me and the drive and my thoughts.  And my thoughts felt perfectly normal.  “Slow down a little, let that guy merge.”  and I was lost in tail lights.  “Feather the gas, get in front of the truck.”  Ah the wind in my hair was wonderful.  “Coming up on a busy overpass.  I’ll get to left to allow for the people merging from the interstate underneath.”  “If I jerked the wheel to the left, it would all be over.”

Read that all in exactly the same tone with the same feeling attached.  That last line was that normal.  And yes, I understood the screeching groaning metal and horrendous crash that would come.  I was numb.  Everything in my life was reduced to the lowest common denominator.  I was alto.  (for reference, vocally I’m a first soprano.  Complete with a certain level of diva complex.)  I never pulled the wheel.  Obviously, I wouldn’t be telling you about it now.  Many things kept me from it.  Mostly an over-riding feeling of unfinished business related to the aforementioned event.  Funny, I would tell myself that it would be okay once it was all over.  I made a deal with myself that I could pull the wheel then, but not before.

My samples ran out.  I lost my job and accompanying medical insurance.  My prescription fit into the luxury column.  It was out of my system before said event was settled.  It became an expense we jut couldn’t afford.  I could exercise (obsessively).  I could surf the web and take walks.  Hell, I didn’t have a need to be anywhere at any time, I could sleep until afternoon.

The event settled slowly and in phases.  I started to be me again.  The depression was there, but like an old friend.  I had worked out ways to get through the bad days though.  I never again wanted to pull that wheel, and so I considered that an improvement.  I knew (and still know) who my real friends were.  I knew what was and wasn’t important.  Jobs and postition, not important.  Family, very important, worth giving up anything else.  Real friends?  Worth more than any sum of money or success.  I don’t say ‘I love you’ without really meaning it.

I did this long after the ravages of puberty.  I went through this long after the emotional roller coaster that is adolescence.  That cruel point in life where emotions work in extremes and you’ve yet to form a frame of reference.  I made it through because I was an adult.  And yet, they want to test and feasibly medicate our sons and daughters for the normal ravages of puberty with drugs that make you numb.    No.