Monday, January 16, 2012

I Have A Dream...

Last year, several of the children in Hope's class were given lines from Dr. King's "I Have A Dream" speech to memorize and recite.  Her teacher told me that she chose the following for Hope, with me in mind...knowing how much it means to me.
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

May we all find something that we can do, no matter how small, to make his dream...reality.


Friday, August 12, 2011

It's Been Awhile...

Yes, I'm still around...and yes I still write.  My writing for the last...well, almost ten months has been sporadic to say the least and of the personal or LJ variety.  It's a cycle creativity has always been at its highest when I am at my lowest.  Sad but true.

As an update to the last post...the MRI guided biopsy went very well...much better than the first time.  Yes, The Emperor Ass Hat was at his best...they couldn't even find him at the hospital and he was an hour or so late.  But he and I understand each other now.  He knows I'm not putting up with it and I will call him on it.  Aftercare was very different this time...I have no idea if that had anything to do with me or the dozens of other women who probably went home and bled for 24 hours straight after having the same procedure.  In any case, it went well, and I heard the words I wanted to hear, "It's benign."

Six months later, time for the follow-up MRI.  Guess what?  Yep.  Again.  This time, thank God, they were able to find the spot on an ultrasound so I was able to have an ultrasound guided biopsy instead of another dreaded MRI.  And you're never going to guess who did the biopsy!!!  Yep...The Emperor Ass Hat.  Again...we have danced so many times I'm able to lead.  And again, "It's benign."

Did I mention that the week before I had the ultrasound guided biopsy I also had an area removed from my left arm?  That was to make sure they got everything that was left of a "funny freckle".  Typical Mel Results, "'s not cancer.  But there is far too much cellular activity and if we leave it alone it could become cancerous."

I continue to take my roadtrips at least four times a year.  I just did one on Tuesday of this week as a matter of fact.  And as I look at the calendar I can see that next Wednesday is the TWO year anniversary of my very first one.

Claire graduated preschool to the strains of "My Wish" by Rascal Flatts while Mama held Hopie and sobbed into her hair.

Hope finished second grade with flying colors after a major hiccup near the end of the year.  Her beloved teacher...undoubtedly in my eyes sent from God especially for her...had to retire in February for medical reasons.  It was devastating for all involved.  The teacher they hired to take over, while I'm sure she is more than competent, was nothing like the original in any respect.  It was like starting the year all over again.  I don't know how the rest of the kids handled it but it took Hope a good long time to completely switch gears.  I thank God she got through it and it's over.

We took a long overdue trip to Walt Disney World at the end of May and spent ten days soaking up everything that Uncle Walt and The Imagineers have to offer.  It was far too crowded...and far too hot...but it's DISNEY for crying out loud!  How can you NOT enjoy yourself?  One of many cherished memories from that trip centers around an impromptu stop at The Voyage Of The Little Mermaid.  It is a combination live action/animated show put on at Disney's Hollywood Studios.  We were all far too hot and tired of walking.  We walked past the theater, I checked the wait time which was 10 minutes...thinking seats and air conditioning...and I said, "Let's stop here."  As we were going through the turnstiles, a cast member stopped us and asked the girls if they would like to help her welcome everyone to the show.  She took their names and then placed us up front and told us to wait for her...she'd be back.  Shortly before the doors opened she reappeared with personalized certificates for each girl, thanking them for their help, and signed by both Ariel and Prince Eric.  She got out her microphone, introduced my girls, then placed the mic between them.  Hope said, "Welcome to The Little Mermaid!" and grinned from ear to ear.  Claire...did nothing.  The crowd applauded...Mama cried.  I think I may have forgotten to mention that Vivien, the cast member who chose the girls to help her...was Chinese.  ")

Now....I've just reread this post...and it's missing the Mel trademark.  I can just hear Carolina saying, "But Mel...where is your heart?"'s still here too.  It is broken and battered and flawed to a fault.  But it's still here.  You'll hear more about that in the next post in a few days.  I can't believe it.  Shut up.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Still here!

Still here...still post coming soon...promise.  ")

Friday, October 29, 2010

Six Months Again? Already?

Well...I guess it wouldn't be Breast Cancer Awareness Month without my body jumping on the bandwagon now would it?

One mammogram, one breast MRI, one ultrasound, and one surgeon's appointment later...I need another MRI guided biopsy. Whatever was found on the MRI in October of 2009 is now significantly larger. Yes, it's still tiny, but the thought of something totally foreign, growing unchecked inside my breast and described as being "significantly larger" tends to bother me. After the MRI I had to have an ultrasound to see if the mass could be located. can't be detected via ultrasound. You just know what kind of day it's going to be when you're waiting for the ultrasound tech to show up, look over at the screen and see your name alongside the words "Type: Breast ~ Category: Small Parts". ::sigh::

I knew something was up when the tech returned and told me the radiologist wanted to talk to me. I've never been escorted to the inner sanctum before. He was a nice guy...firm handshake...spoke to me in plain English...remained positive yet honest. He basically told me they can't find it...I've had one test too many...they were recommending an MRI guided biopsy and throwing it back to my surgeon. It would be up to the two of us to decide if we went any farther. As I was leaving he yelled, "Keep the faith kid!" I've been holding onto that for the last few weeks. That meant something.

My surgeon isn't any happier about this than I am. But as she always says, "If we wait...and it is've got two little girls depending on you. We're not going to mess around." Sooo...back to the...ummm..."person" who does these procedures. He, apparently is the only human in this area and I'm stuck with him...again. And as with the other times I've had a procedure scheduled with him, shortly after it is confirmed, he decides to go on vacation and it has to be rescheduled. Hey, put my life on hold again! I freakin' LOVE it!

The procedure was scheduled for yesterday...and the day after it was scheduled I got the call saying we'd have to push it back, he was going on vacation. I made two calls after to The Spousal Unit, and one to Amy at my surgeon's office. Both of them thought I was kidding. It took me almost five solid minutes to convince Amy I wasn't joking around. But you have to laugh right? Because the alternative just isn't acceptable! So...something that was sooo important, that was recommended by two different physicians, that was scheduled for less than a week away from seeing my surgeon...has now been pushed back to mid-November. Ain't nobody for the guy on vacation. I'll spare you the cute little name I have for him...oh the hell I will. I've dubbed him The Emperor Ass Hat. If you'd like to read about my other exploits with him check out this post. God has pointed out sooo many times in my life...and seems to really enjoy doing as of late...He has shown me that this timing thing of His can also be a blessing. Remember how He told me earlier this year to "wait"? And the only concrete thing He's given me is, "Can you wait three years?" Remember how I'm SICK TO DEATH of waiting? Read on...

The other night I was sitting on Claire’s bed. She was fixing my hair. It felt so good…and she was just jabbering away about what she was going to do next and I had this…body memory…of just aching for her. Not knowing where she was…if she was being well taken care of…if she was even born yet. Wondering if I would ever have a chance to hold her…remembering getting in the shower each and every night and saying to myself, “One day closer to Claire.” He said something to the effect of, “See what I can do?” And then my heart damn near stopped when I realized that the whole process for Claire took close to…three years.

Ok…the whole Emperor Ass Hat rescheduling thing? As much as I hate to admit it, that has turned into a blessing as well. I was sick as a dog last weekend…didn’t even get out of bed Sunday. I’m still not 100% but I’m not flat on my back anymore either. Wednesday afternoon I got a call from Hope's school...she had been coughing so hard she threw up. Two weeks ago we received word that there were several confirmed cases of whooping cough in the system and one of the signs was, guessed it. Scared me senseless…bless her heart. I picked her up, brought her home, cleaned her up and then we went straight to the doctor. No whooping cough...but she does have strep. I've never been so thrilled to hear a diagnosis of strep before in my life. She’s been home for the last couple of days. If the biopsy hadn't been rescheduled? I would've been at the hospital yesterday…with nobody to take care of her. He pointed that out to me last night as well…not in a snotty way…because let’s face it, if He had, I would’ve completely shut down. So…I get it…I do. Three years…still don’t like it…still don’t want to do it…still don’t know what I’m waiting for…but I’ll try my best.

The way it's scheduled now I'll get to enjoy my birthday and the good Lord willing I should be up and around for Thanksgiving as well.

Another thing that was bothering me was I had decided for the first time in probably fifteen years, to dress up for Halloween. I had the best time putting together my costume...and then the biopsy was scheduled for, you guessed it, the day our little town has Trick or Treat. So there's another plus for the new date, eh? I got to enjoy Trick or Treat with my girls and show off World's Coolest Pair of Shoes...EVER!

Still fighting...still smiling...still being Mel!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Mel...One Year Later

I sat down recently and reread my entries starting in August of 2009 and going through October of the same year. Folks...I have come so far...farther than I could ever have imagined...especially if you would've told me this last year. I remember sitting in my kitchen, typing one or more of those posts and sobbing so hard I couldn't even continue. I vividly remember being barely able to function, to just get through the day...the only thing I looked forward to was going to bed. I remember being so far down I couldn't even see daylight, let alone the top of the pit. I remember being cautiously optimistic when I thought I had finally broken the surface, only to be pulled back under once again. Well, I would like to announce that not only have I broken the surface, but I am climbing the mountain. I will never, NEVER go back to the pit and will do WHATEVER it takes to be certain I never return. Not only am I on the mountain, but I have actual days where I'm able to find a peaceful outcropping to just sit, rest, and enjoy the view. For the first time in my entire life, I am comfortable in my own skin...and it shows in every aspect of my life.

Feel free to go through my Ancient Ramblings to further illustrate these points!

There were several "major events" that finally brought this excruciatingly painful, yet well worth it part of my journey to an end.

1. Jim
The death of this man whom I loved so dearly, literally stripped me of my last reserve of strength. I fully believe one must be at their weakest before they can start to rebuild.

2. Losing Grace
The character of Grace Hanadarko from Saving Grace as you well know, was an inspiration not only to me, but to millions of other women. I felt so close to this character, recognized so much of myself in her, both good and bad. When the series ended and her character was killed it sent me reeling. I've never been so close to giving up in my life...on everything.

One evening, shortly after I watched the final episode I went out for my walk. That day had been abyssmal and if I didn't get out I was going to lose what tiny bit of sanity I was still clinging to. It was ugly outside. I mean approaching Storm Chasers ugly. I didn't care. If I got wet, so what. If I got struck by lightning, all the better. Nothing was going to keep me from going for a walk. I hadn't even made it around the corner before the thunder started. I kept going. About a quarter of the way into my route it started raining and there was a wall of rain coming right for me. I walked straight into it and just kept going. I crossed the street and looked skyward. I've never seen anything so dark, so compelling, so beautiful. I stood there for the longest time, staring skyward and I finally said, "You want me? Then just go ahead and take me...I dare you." Probably not the smartest thing I've ever done...or was it? I truly believe that was the day I got my strength, or my Mel Mojo back. At that moment, I knew exactly what it felt like to Embrace My Grace. What I did was something I could see Grace doing...effortlessly. I will never forget cresting the hill and seeing a family standing in their garage who had been watching the storm look at me like I was a complete and total moron...and I just smiled at them and kept on going. The following was my status on Facebook that evening: "Ever walk headlong through a wall of rain straight into the darkness of an incoming storm...on purpose? Stare straight up at the swirling clouds...the black tendrils so close to the ground you feel like you can reach up and touch them? Stand with arms outstretched and face toward the sky with 3DD mixing with thunder in your head? I have to say it was one amazing fear...just...peace."

3. Facing Demons
Once you've dared God to snatch you up during a thunderstorm, facing old demons doesn't seem quite so scary. You can read about that here, here, and here.

So how have things changed? Everything else might want to read this post before you go any farther.

For the first time in, well, probably forever, I enjoyed the month of August. On the day school started? I was fine. I was actually better than fine. I was looking forward to it…having a little time to myself…recouping a little bit of my peace, quiet, and sanity. All the dreaded paperwork was finished…early. The day before? Just another Sunday…no stomach issues…no tension…no tears…slept great. That was all phenomenal, sure. But you want to know what the absolute best part was? Hopie picked up on Mama’s attitude, much like she always does…and you wouldn’t believe the change in her. She was excited, but not scared. She was smiling from the moment she got up that morning. And when she waved goodbye to me from the bus window? It wasn’t just her mouth that was smiling. Her eyes…her body language…she was positively radiant!

The next month? Claire started preshool. Day one and not only did we survive it but one could say we were thriving. She was happy and excited and ready to go. No tears, no tummy aches, just lots of big smiles. I didn’t cry when I left her…can you believe it? I can’t! Don’t get me wrong, I felt a big old tug, but it’s time for her to be with other kids and have somebody else leading her besides Mama. And when I went to pick her up? She came racing out of her room, jumped into my arms and cried, "Mama!!! I missed you!!!" That's some pretty awesome stuff there folks! And yes, I did cry later when I was looking at the picture posted here...she just looks so very grown up.
I have a peace...a center...that's not been there before. My smile...I've missed them...and it's so good to have them return. My life has light...and color...and warmth again. No, it's not perfect...and I'm not where I need or want to be yet. But I am ok with where I am now. And that my friends, is something to be proud of.

I had mentioned in a prior post that during my last check-up, the nurse suggested I try taking a daily Vitamin D supplement. I’m the one who pulled myself out of the third concentric circle of hell by my fingernails for the last year…I’ve got the burn scars to show for it. I’ve faced down more demons…and won…than I ever imagined I could. Believe me, I know, I was there. I am ultimately the one who did all of the work...and I'm not trying to take away from that in any way, shape or form. You've got to go through your fire to get to the other side. But that little white vitamin tablet, at least for me, takes the edge off, rounds off the corners a little, and helps makes my journey just a little easier.

I want to take a moment to say a few words about my friend. Perhaps a better word to describe him would be catalyst. I don't know why God placed him in my life when He did but I am eternally grateful to Him for it. I trusted this person without giving it a second thought...I've never been so open, so trusting, so comfortable with anyone before, or most probably after. He kicked down every single wall I had ever built...effortlessly...and I let him. He is the person who started this change. He taught me to trust myself, showed me just how strong I am, allowed me to see Mel as the world sees her, was there for me each and every time I needed to cry or whine or bitch or laugh or smile, and always, always knew just what to say to make me pick myself up and keep going. He shared so many wonderful bits of wisdom with me, but the one that perhaps resonates the most, was just two simple words. He said, "You matter."

He has since moved on...probably helping someone else get his or her life together. It's his gift and most likely his curse as well. I miss him...a lot. But I want not only him, but anyone else reading this to know I am NEVER going back. Back to the darkness, the fear, the self loathing, the hiding from everyone and everything, building walls...never again. Those few months that he shared himself with me, our friendship, what he taught me, mean too much to me to ever disrepect it in that way. It meant more to me than you can ever know. I'm going to honor that relationship and keep going forward, keep fighting, keep living, keep being Mel whoever she happens to be at that exact moment, and keep smiling.

Now, I simply wouldn't be Mel if I didn't share a song with you that is just scary appropriate to this post, would I? Enjoy your life like it

By Aerosmith

I kept the right ones out
And let the wrong ones in
Had an angel of mercy to see me through all my sins
There were times in my life
When I was goin' insane
Tryin' to walk through
The pain

When I lost my grip
And I hit the floor
Yeah, I thought I could leave but couldn't get out the door
I was so sick and tired
Of livin' a lie
I was wishin that I
Would die


It's Amazing
With the blink of an eye you finally see the light
It's Amazing
When the moment arrives that you know you'll be alright
It's Amazing
And I'm sayin' a prayer for the desperate hearts tonight

That one last shot's a permanent vacation
And how high can you fly with broken wings?
Life's a journey not a destination
And I just can't tell just what tomorrow brings

You have to learn to crawl
Before you learn to walk
But I just couldn't listen to all that righteous talk, oh yeah
I was out on the street,
Just tryin' to survive
Scratchin' to stay


Listen to the whole thing...the very end is my favorite part!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mel's Walls

I know some folks have been wondering if I'm still talking to God...and if He's still answering.  In a word, yes.  The lines of communication are still open.  I'm still cautiously optimistic.  As always, I don't trust Him like I should, but He still loves me...and He still keeps trying.  If He's willing to work at it, then so am I.

I can't say He's spoken in audible tones since very early this year.  One of those "wait" messages.  Y'all know how good I am with those.  But, as I have learned through this journey called Mel's Life...He can make His message just as loud and just as clear without ever opening His mouth.  You have to be open to receiving that message from any time...from anywhere.

The last big one came at church.  No surprise there really...

A couple of weeks ago we dropped the girls off at Sunday School.  While Garry took the newspapers to the recycle bin I went up to the balcony to read.  I've become more than addicted to my nook that the girls bought me for Mother's Day this year.  While I waited for it to power up I skimmed the bulletin...the picture on the front didn't really register with me at that point.  Garry appeared, sat down, laid his bulletin on the pew next to me and as I glanced down at it I think I actually shouted, "That's EARL!"

The picture on the front of the bulletin...the same one posted here...was my beloved Earl. You don't know Earl???  Allow me to introduce him.  I don't know who chose the picture...or why that was the picture they chose.  I don't really care.  I thanked our pastor profusely...he looked at me like I was nuts...most people do...I'm used to it...I revel in it!  ; )

My stomach was filled with butterflies...I knew this meant something...I knew there was going to be a message for me somewhere and I needed to pay attention.  The hymns were good...but that wasn't it.  The readings and the sermon were good...about angels of course...but I still wasn't getting it.  I thought, "Well...ok.  Maybe the picture is the message.  Maybe that is simply all there is to it."  Ohhh...what was that "wait" thing I mentioned earlier?  Shortly after I had that last thought, our pastor began his pastoral prayer:

"O God, our lives are surrounded by walls.  Some walls are good and strong and keep things in where they should be.  But other walls keep people out.  We confess that too often we build walls made of fear, anger, misunderstanding and hatred.  Too often we build walls to protect ourselves from being hurt, from being changed or from being vulnerable.  In our blindness and prejudice, we forget the gates, doors, and windows in our walls.

Help us, O God, to build walls that are freeing...walls that set boundaries of love and responsibility within which we may live and love and play.  Help us, Loving God, not to be so quick to judge others.  Help us to not create boundaries which separate us from your love for us, but rather enable us to trust in the protective walls that you provide.

Heal our judging spirits, we pray, and make us forgiving people, shaped within your transforming love.  Be with us as we build up and take down the many walls in our lives.  Grant us the wisdom to know when to construct, when to confront, when to climb, when to dismantle, when to ignore, and when to go around the walls of our lives.  And help us to remember that some of our walls may actually be bridges, answers to unspoken prayer.  Amen."

Do you think He was talkin' to me?  Yeah...pretty amazing isn't it?  It took my breath away then, and it does the same every single time I read it.

Thanks J for sharing this, making me a copy, and for just being you.

Be blessed y'all...until next time,

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I'm Not That Girl Anymore

Ok, let me tell you something about high school.  It was NOT the best time of my life.  It was, in fact, horrific.  I wasn't involved in sports (surprise!)...didn't play in the band or sing in the choir...was never invited to a party or asked out on a date...and was ditched by just about each and every "friend" I ever had when a potential boyfriend or girlfriend came on the scene but was expected to always be there for those "friends" when said potential relationships didn't work out.  Looking back...I think I looked like a extremely skinny boy...with bad hair, bad skin, and chipmunk cheeks.  I had less than zero self-esteem.  No one paid attention to me unless it was to make fun of me...sometimes behind my back but most of the time to my face.  I pretended that I didn't care but every hurt registered and each was filed away.  I'm sure this comes as no surprise to anyone who has read my ramblings for longer than six minutes...none of those hurts were ever dealt with.  I survived my high school career by having a very loud, very smart mouth and by making other people laugh.  Hey, it worked...if I had them laughing about someone or something else they weren't laughing at me.

And so, for these and millions of other reasons, I'm sure you can see why I never saw the need to attend any of my high school reunions.  My excuse was always the same, "I've kept in contact with everyone I'm interested in keeping in touch with."  And believe me folks...don't think the sting was any less severe when for whatever reason I wasn't even invited to one of our early reunions.

When Mel's Walls came tumbling down last summer those old hurts were just as alive, just as painful, as if they had happened yesterday...and suddenly...I'm being told that lists are circulating via Facebook and email, searching for contact info for classmates for our 30th reunion.  What did I care?  I wasn't going...and the hurts just bubbled to the surface again because even though I was just as visible on Facebook and as many other former classmates...and I had received information about the last two reunions...and I still live in the same little town I grew up in...and am in the phonebook...I was on those lists of classmates they couldn't locate.

Well meaning "friends" took it upon themselves to tag me in 37 different notes assuming I would be interested.  I spent the greater portion of two months removing those tags.  I got tired of telling people I wasn't was the whole screaming into a vacuum thing all over again.  I finally received an email from my friend Jane who knows me well enough to put it into terms I'll respond to.  She said she knew I was hiding, but at least give the committee my information so they could take me off the list of folks they couldn't find.  Ok...I did it...I grumbled the whole time...but I did it.

I'm sure it was during one of those grumbles The Friend said to me, "You've got to go."  I said, "Where?"  He said, "To your reunion."  I said, "You're out of your *insert your own expletive here* mind."  He said, "No I'm not.  You're going."  I said...well, you can guess what I said.  This conversation was returned to numerous times over the span of a couple of months with phrases coming from him like, "You are the most stubborn woman I know!  You are GOING *insert another expletive here...or three*!

He finally wore me down and by late last summer I had decided I would go.  I still didn't want to go, but I was going.  I asked my  best friend from high school...that would be go with me.  She said she'd go if I forced her to but it really wasn't something she wanted to do.  I certainly couldn't fault her for those feelings.  I told her we'd have lunch the weekend after the reunion so I could give her all the details.  So, I would go by myself and face down all the noisy demons that had broken free...put those bad boys to rest once and for all.  I shared my decision with The Friend.  He was happy, but he still wasn't convinced I'd go through with it.  He looked me in the eye and said, "Promise me you'll go.  Trust're going to regret it if you don't."  If I remember correctly I rolled my eyes and said something to the effect of, "I said I was going!  OK?"

So, for the next year I kept it to myself.  I got sick to my stomach just writing the check for my ticket.  Every little reminder email that came in made me want to run screaming into my closet and never come out.  I think by the time the actual reunion rolled around I had told all of five people I was going...and that's not counting The Friend, or anyone who lives in my house, or the reunion committee.

The Reunion Proper was to be held on a Saturday night.  The Friday before, we were to meet at our old high school which will soon be no more, for one last tour and then an informal gathering at a local restaurant.  Just hours before the Friday night festivities were to begin, several other classmates convinced Sherri she needed to go.  When she pulled into the driveway I made her get out of the car so we could take pictures.  She said, "Geez you're bossy!"  To which I replied, "And you're just learning this now?"  But notice, she did get out of the car and have her picture taken.

The drive from my house to the high school takes about five minutes.  I was surprisingly calm after being a total whack job for the last year.  I asked her if she was going to go to the Official Reunion the next evening.  She emphatically told me she was not.  She had no intention of putting on uncomfortable dress clothes.  I said, "Sherri?  It's CASUAL.  I'm wearing jeans...and only a slightly less slutty top than what I'm wearing tonight."  She wasn't convinced.

We pulled into the high school drive and saw a decent sized crowd of who we assumed to be our classmates.  Sherri drove by slowly, beeped her horn, and we gave them all the parade/princess wave.  Did I forget to mention that Sherri was voted Class Clown?

I won't lie...the walk from the parking lot was tough.  My stomach was churning and I really wanted to run back to the car and go home.  As we approached the group, everyone just kind of parted, and there stood this guy I've known since...fourth grade?  Granted, I haven't seen him in 30 years, but as soon as he saw me he smiled and held out his arms for a hug.  I don't know why, but as soon as we hugged, I knew everything was going to be fine.  So thanks meant a lot!

Our old high seemed a whole lot smaller than what it did 30 years ago...even though they've added onto it since we graduated.  And it has this...funk about it.  I'd drive one of the bulldozers and knock that sucker down for free if they'd let me.  But it was fun walking around and watching everyone find their old locker and try to remember the combination.  At one point Mike and I found this stash of old cosmetology relics and were laughing like idiots...I'm still not exactly sure what some of the items were...let alone what they were used for.

Next stop, the north end of town to see who didn't make the tour and was waiting for us on the patio at The Restaurant.  Folks?  I'm going to tell you right now...I had one of the best times of my life that night.  It was was was insane...and I loved every minute of it.  I believe the phenomena I found most interesting was everyone there breaking into groups of three or four.  All the groups would then openly stare and point at the other groups, trying to figure out who the members of those other groups were.  After about five minutes, the groups would mingle and then break up into different groups and the game would start again.  Eventually everyone knew who everyone else was.  HA!  I think I won for being the person that the most people had no clue who I was.  After awhile it got to be a game.  Jane and another high school friend, Randy would start grabbing people, dragging them over to where we were standing and say, "Do you know who this is?"  Of course they didn't...they would blush, stammer, and stare blankly at me hoping the floor would swallow them. Randy or Jane would say, "You don't remember Missy?  Are you kidding?  She looks exactly the same!"  (I'd like to take this moment to remind you that there are very few humans in this world who get away with calling me "Missy"...and I'd also like to clarify that at least in MY mind, I look NOTHING like I did in high school!)  At one point I shared the conversation between Sherri and myself about what I would be wearing the next evening.  I was told that my slutty top was being enjoyed and that it's not every chick pushing 50 that can pull off something like that.  : D

Sherri and I took off around 11:00 and then, as we usually do, spent the next couple of hours in her car, sitting in my driveway talking.  Again, the same group of people who convinced her she needed to attend the informal function had convinced her she needed to show up Saturday night as well.  Yay!

The next night was really no different.  I reconnected with my freshman science lab partner.  That girl swears like a sailor...who knew?  Those of us who swear like truckers salute you Sue!  I laughed...I chatted with people I haven't seen in decades...I fielded compliments about my choice in slutty tops...I noticed that quite a few classmates have become absolutely human.  Of course, there are still members of my class who haven't changed a bit...but that was good to see as well.  One of my biggest demons walked up to me, called me by name, and shook my hand.  I was floored beyond belief...the demon remembered me without a nametag, was polite, looked like hell, and I just didn't care anymore.  Check.

Oh and make sure you check out my top, the bracelets and my watch!  Those are all treasures from my Totally Excellent Cheesecake Adventure!  ")

Jane, Mel and Randy

Jane apparently took this shot without me knowing and posted it on Facebook titled "Missy's Tat".  I guess it's only fitting.  She's the one who gave me my first tattoo by drawing it on the back of my neck in French Class.  No I'm not telling you about it.  She's evil...but I love her.  ; )

Mike and Mel

Would I have regretted missing this?  Absolutely.  Will I go to the next one?  Well...just wait and see...because as I learned not only from this experience, but from the last year...I am NOT that girl anymore.  ")

Hugs y'all,

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