Wednesday, November 28, 2012


One of the best resources I've found on my grief journey are blogs written by (mostly) women who have suffered profound losses. There is something universal about deep grief. In the midst of it, though, you think you are not only all alone in your feelings, but that you've completely lost your mind and are going crazy! I stumbled across this blog early on. Samantha lost her husband to an untimely death at any early age. He left behind two children. She has written a book called Crazy Courage where she details all that is necessary to travel along the grief journey and to adjust to the new normal. I haven't read the book, but I really like her concept of "crazy courage". "Crazy courage" as I believe she would define it is doing what you feel is right, what you have to do when your mind wants to tell you otherwise. It is finding the passion in life when life seems meaningless. It is brushing off the dirt after the fall and overcoming the fear that occupies your rational mind. It is adding enthusiasm to the mission you have to complete, no matter how small.

I have certainly been able to apply Light-Gallagher's concept to my grief journey, but I think I can take it one step further and apply it to my LSAT experience. I wrote here about how I am only going to take one more standardized test in my life and I was hoping to get the accommodations I need to be successful. Last week, I received the news that my request for accommodations had been denied....TWICE! This could be awful news considering that I am only able to get through a little over half the test without the extra time I need. And, a Scantron sheet is a recipe for disaster for me. But, guess who has to use a Scantron sheet on Saturday? This girl! Since receiving the denial news, I have implemented some crazy courage.

It's been a dream of mine to go to law school and I've always pushed it away. I am now ready to chase after this dream and am not going to let some meanies at LSAC get in my way! I now have a reason for going to law school and am not just haphazardly chasing after some "quarter life crisis".  I have prepared for this test and am ready to take it. Obstacles are not a new thing in my life. I navigate obstacles (mostly small) every single day. This is just one more to overcome. One more hurdle in the steeplechase that is my life!
Some people have wholeheartedly supported me on this journey to law school. Some people have told me I am flat out crazy! Crazy, I might be.

Courageously crazy!

Please say a prayer for me.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

100 Things About Me

Many bloggers in the blog world have made a list of 100 things about themselves in honor of their 100th post. At first, I was against it because I thought it was a bit self indulgent. Then again, a blog can be self indulgent, so I threw that notion out the window and decided to take it as a challenge to come up with 100 things about myself. I tried to make it into a little story about my life. So, here they are....

1.    I was born 3.5 months early
2.    I weighed only 2lbs
3.    I am an only child
4.    I would have preferred to have my birthday in April instead of January
5.    My parents weren’t prepared for my arrival – at all. Nothing was ready.
6.    I like to keep people on their toes ;-)
7.    I wasn’t named for a few days  because I had little chance of survival
8.    My parents named me after the news anchor/tv show character they were watching after my birth (Jessica Savage, a newscaster, and “Blair” from “The Facts of Life”)
9.    I had a stroke about 6 weeks after I was born.
10.    That’s why I have Cerebral Palsy
11.    I was baptized in my parent’s house.
12.    They were married there, too.
13.    I was born with hair ALL over my body (gross!) It was so much that my mom screamed “Oh my God! I gave birth to a monkey!"….true story. Thanks mom.
14.    Then lost it all and didn’t get any hair on my head until I was 2 years old! Lots of pink bows and dresses on this little baby!
15.    That might be when my obsession with dresses began.
16.    I hardly ever wear pants
17.    I have to dress up if I really want to focus
18.    I think some of it has to do with my private school upbringing. We had a dress code.
19.    I love pedicures, but hate when people touch my feet.
20.    I have a sunglass fetish, but really just wear the same pair all of the time.
21.    My biggest pet peeve is when people put things other than cups in cup holders
22.    Or they smack their food
23.    I am not at all patient with myself
24.    My life revolves around faith,
25.    Family,
26.    Friends,
27.    Football
28.    I was baptized Episcopalian
29.    Confirmed Methodist
30.    Attended a Presbyterian church in college
31.    Went to a non-denominational church after college
32.    Now Dad and I go to a Baptist church
33.    God is God. It’s the relationship that’s important not the denomination!
34.    I suffer through being a Redskins fan
35.    It’s a lesson in loyalty. I am very loyal.
36.    I also love college basketball
37.    And tennis
38.    I like to go to baseball games, but am not likely to sit down and watch a game on tv – except the Nationals vs the Cardinals in the Championship Series this year --- hate the Cards
39.    I can take or leave hockey. Just call me if there is a fight!
40.    I managed volleyball, basketball and lacrosse in high school.
41.    University of Richmond was truly the perfect school for me. GO SPIDERS!
42.    I feel closest to God at the beach
43.    My favorite food is mashed potatoes
44.    Or ice cream
45.    Or anything Italian
46.    Or Mexican
47.    Or snow cones at SnoBeach in Austin, TX
48.    Or Sarris chocolate covered pretzels
49.    I have a ginormous sweet tooth, but like vegetables a lot, too.
50.    I have tasted cupcakes in 4 different countries/3 continents
51.    I took piano for 8 years when I was a little girl. I was actually pretty good, but hated it.
52.    I always wanted to play the clarinet instead.
53.    I took tap dance lessons
54.    I had a solo in the middle of the mall
55.    I took gymnastics, too
56.    And horseback riding
57.     Singing is probably my favorite thing to do
58.    I was co-lead angel in the church Christmas pageant far too many times
59.    I would rather listen to music than watch tv
60.    Country music is my favorite
61.    I don’t have a favorite musical artist.
62.    Rap, hip-hop and heavy metal will never be on my Ipod.
63.    I could not live if I wasn’t able to travel.
64.    There are  over 100 places I want to visit
65.    Italy is my favorite place I have traveled thus far
66.    Riding an elephant in Thailand was one of the coolest experiences of my life
67.    A hot air balloon ride was a close second
68.    Eating fried insects was gross
69.    Skydiving would be such a thrill
70.    Rice cake and peanut butter is a favorite snack
71.    Chips and salsa, too
72.    And SkinnyCow ice cream sandwiches
73.    Camping is not for me, but a bonfire with s’mores and storytelling….oh yes!
74.    Anything with water is right up my alley
75.    Sailing
76.    Jet-skiing
77.    Swimming
78.    Not scuba diving, though. I am afraid I won’t come up from down there
79.    I am a morning person
80.    I usually am ready to go to bed or asleep by 10pm
81.    I can’t stay up late even if I am having a good time – my body just shuts down
82.    I have had 17 surgeries
83.    1 on my spine
84.    2 for my ears
85.    3 for my eyes
86.    4 times my ankles have been cut off on purpose and then put back on
87.    The rest of the surgeries have been for other orthopedic improvements
88.    I wouldn’t be where I am today without my surgeries
89.    I hope I don’t have to have anymore, but you never know.
90.    I have had surgery in California, Minnesota, DC and Virginia
91.    I consider myself a moderate when it comes to politics, but most people would say I lean slightly to the right.
92.    I am looking forward to starting a foundation.
93.    Summer is my favorite season.
94.    I can’t stand to wear shorts.
95.    I am undecided as to whether purple or red is my favorite color.
96.    Cottage cheese is absolutely disgusting!
97.    I would love to find my “champion” and be married with a family someday.
98.    I always get nervous about things, but
99.    I know God has a plan
100. And it is good.

And just one more because it’s cool!

101.    My dad flew on Air Force One.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

My Pants Don't Fit

If you know me, you know how much I like to eat! It's really kind of embarrassing, but Thanksgiving is a holiday made for me. Food, family, football, thankfulness....I'm there! Apparently, I like Thanksgiving so much, I felt it necessary to celebrate it 5 times this year!

It all started out with my prayer group Thanksgiving. The only Thanksgiving I have photos of.
Kathryn always has the best centerpieces! 
We had turkey, macaroni and cheese, green bean casserole, stuffing, and mashed potato casserole (code for fattening, but Jen made sure to let us know all of the ingredients used were low fat or fat free! Tasted like full fat to me!)
Yes, it was as delicious as it looks.
For dessert, Julia made a pumpkin pecan cake. It was so "light" and yummy!
Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of the company, but here we are at my birthday. We missed Ashley because she was on a mission trip in Ethiopia. I am so thankful for all of these ladies.

After prayer group Thanksgiving, the very next day, the cafeteria at work offered Thanksgiving dinner. It wasn't the best, but still good. Then my dad's office had a Thanksgiving potluck. Man, was that delicious! Those people can cook! I wasn't supposed to participate in that one, but Dad knows how much I like to eat, so he snuck me a plate!

By the time, Thursday rolled around, I'd already had three Thanksgiving feasts, but the real deal did not disappoint! Normally, we spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with our friends who are like family, the Collins. Typically, they come to our house for Thanksgiving and we go to Annapolis for Christmas. This year we switched it up and gobbled the feast in Maryland. We had a wonderful time, but like always, there aren't many leftovers, so Mom ordered a Thanksgiving dinner for us to have at home. Last night, I had my fifth and final Thanksgiving of 2012!

I didn't work out all last week thanks to some scheduling conflicts. I am headed to Aruba in April and need to get it in gear now, so I don't have to go crazy to get into shape later. My regular trainer, Jen, will be back this week so I know she will kick my butt!

After five feasts, my pants don't fit, my heart is full, and I am one proud Redskins fan!!


Friday, November 23, 2012

How Grief Deepened my Gratitude

When Mike died I thought I would die. Literally. The pain was so intense. The sorrow so deep. I wasn't going to seek my own death. After all, Mike taking his own life was the reason my pain existed and I didn't want anyone else to have to feel such pain. But, I didn't think I'd have to. I was sure that my heart would not be able to withstand the pain that my body was experiencing. My heart would just give out. If that didn't happen (but I was certain it would), and a truck pulled in front of me, that would be fine, too. I realize this sounds dramatic, but sadly, it is entirely true. No exaggeration.
As the hours turned into days, the days into weeks, and the weeks into months, the intense sorrow has diminished and I am confident I will live through this. And I want to live. I want to live to carry on Mike's spirit and to live out the purpose and plan God has for me. Counselors and friends and family encouraged me from the very beginning of the grief journey to take it one day at a time. This is extremely difficult for me. I was born 3.5 months early. I say it was because I was tired of being in the womb and wanted to get a jump start on life! I am always thinking ahead and am working on something. It's very hard for me to slow down. But, grief forced me to slow down. It has forced me to feel real pain and to experience a roller coaster of emotions. It has forced me to recognize my limitations and admit them to others.

But, through all of this mess, grief has brought to light my blessings.....

When you move through life as fast as I do sometimes, you miss a lot.

In the early days and months, I was just thankful to not burst into tears in my cubicle like I did the day I got the news. I was thankful to make it another day. I was thankful to get out of bed. To be able to eat. To sleep more than 4 hours. My blessings were pretty simple. 

As time has gone on, my gratitude is increasing.....

for my family and for Mike's family and how they take care of me.

for our friends from college and how we have strengthened our bond through grief

for my friends who are completely outside of this situation and how they have stuck by me when I have not been the easiest to be around and they have no idea what to say or do

for the messages from people I haven't heard from in years

for my colleagues who bring me cookies and cupcakes and candy just to make me smile

for grief books and blogs that make me feel normal and ensure me that I am doing the right things to move forward

for the friends who used to just be "Mike's friends" that I can now call my own

for the Sundays my dad and I go to church together

for music

for writing

for the LSAT to help focus my mind and hopefully set me on a new path

for wine

for prayer

for God's faithfulness

for sunny days that remind me of Mike's smile and the fact that amidst deep grief the sun still shines

for Sarris chocolate covered pretzels

And the list could probably go on....

I initially thought there was nothing good about grief. And, believe me, there is a lot about grief that is not good. Not good at all. I didn't ask for this experience and I wish that it never happened. But if it had to, I am grateful to God for highlighting my blessings amidst such sorrow.

So, on Thanksgiving and every day, I will do my best to remember to count my blessings and be thankful no matter my circumstances.

Thank you.

Monday, November 12, 2012


Why - The question that is never far away - The Hurt and the Healer by MercyMe

Why? It's the main question that Dude's family and friends ask as we grieve this tragedy. Why did this happen? Why did God not stop this as He had done before? Why did Dude get so sick? Why were all of our valiant efforts not enough? Why was life not worth the fight to him? Why did he not accept all of the help that he was offered? Why? Why? Why? The list of questions could go on and on! Unfortunately, we don't have any answers to those questions...

We move on to other questions in search of answers. What? How? When? Where? I've wracked my brain for all of the details of the conversations I have had with Dude and explain everything I know to his mom and his brothers. Ava has patiently gone over all of the details of the autopsy with me. She answers any question I have. I answer anything she asks me, too. We have a ton of information, but no answers.

We know Dude's diagnosis. We know that he was very sick. We know how he died. We know that he loved Jesus and is safely resting in the arms of the Lord, healthy and himself  again. There's so much more we want to know, but that is all that we can know for sure.

Healing doesn't come from the explained - The Hurt and the Healer by MercyMe

While doing my grief work today I stumbled across this statement: "It is natural after loss to ask the question 'why?' However, we will likely not know the answer to that question in this lifetime. A different question to ask is 'what now?' Living into the answer of that question is to learn, to grow, to keep your heart open, to reach out to others in compassion, to keep your relationship with your dear one vibrant, to find meaning, and to turn your attention to those still here as well". Transcending Loss: Understanding the lifelong impact of grief

I think this was something of a turning point for me. I will do my best to resist the urge to ask the question "why". Instead, I will ask "what now?" "What now?" allows me to acknowledge that life is not the same as it was -- that I must adjust to a new normal. But, it also helps me to move forward and encourages me to have something to look forward to.

So, what now?

The answer to that question will unfold over time..... 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Election Edition

I grew up in a politically divided household. One parent tends to side with the Republicans while the other most closely identifies with the Democrats. My parents are opposite in every way. Dad is black; Mom is white. Dad is tall; Mom is short. Dad is from the South; Mom is from the North. Dad is the third of ten children; Mom is an only child. Dad grew up in a family who owned their own construction business; Mom grew up with a mother who worked in a factory. Both are college educated. Both are hard workers and respect each other's differences. These very differences (besides the height -- although, I am the shortest of the cousins on my dad's side -- thanks Mom) have all contributed to the person I have grown up to be. I have always felt like I cannot exclusively identify with one group because I would be denying "half" of myself. My parents' differences have enriched my life and have also affected the way I approach politics. They have always taught me to consider both sides and to vote for the person I feel would do the best job. Even though they identify with opposite parties, they tell me that they evaluate their vote in the same way. I can't say "I grew up in a Republican/Democratic household and have learned to put the most stock in those beliefs." People can say how they grew up does not affect how they vote today, but I don't believe that. I think we are all able to make our own choices, but are most inclined to make the choice that follows the values we inherited.
Since I've been incredibly reflective lately, I decided to take stock of my experiences and my friends prior to this election. I learned that my closest friends from childhood and high school (with the exception of one) are devout Republicans. I considered the fact that my closest friends from college are jumping for joy right now because Obama was just elected to a second term. And, I realized my closest friends from life after college are die hard Republicans and are sad but respectful today. So, what does that say about me?
I have had the privilege of voting in four elections so far. I can tell you that there is yet to be a time where I have voted exclusively for one party. I am talking President, Senate and City Council and School Board elections, included. I split tickets all the time! I truly vote for the person I think is best at the time. Not just the party. In the four elections, I have voted for an equal amount of Democrats and Republicans to hold the highest office in the nation. Some people are probably disgusted by this fact, thinking that I should have more solid beliefs and know where I stand. The fact is I do know where I stand. I am conservative on some issues and liberal enough to be content with the Democratic perspective on others. This election was extremely important so I made sure to do my research and also consulted friends from both sides to get their point of views as well. Then I made what I felt to be an informed decision. I am not going to reveal who I voted for because I know it is not advisable to discuss politics in public (even though I live in the DC area and it is many people's favorite topic) and I just prefer to keep that to myself.

Now, to "Thankful Thursday":

I am thankful (for):

- the diverse perspectives of my parents that have enriched my life and helped me to grow into my own person

- being able to vote freely

- such good friends that our political affiliation does not divide us

- the patriotic feeling that exists in this country. I teared up at both Romney and Obama's speeches on Election Night. Both men truly want to do what they feel is best for America. Aside from Election Night, people have been coming together to help the victims of Superstorm Sandy and to me, that is just as patriotic as supporting your candidate of choice

- John T. Chapman: John had a very modest beginning and was just elected to Alexandria City Council. John and I went to school together and I know he is a man of great character with a deep commitment to his hometown. So happy for him! Winner, winner,  chicken dinner!!

- a fight not breaking out in the voting line between me and my tenant. We did not get along after he destroyed my condo. It so happens that I was directly behind him in the voting line. He looked at me.  I looked at him. Neither one of us said a word. That was a blessing.

- "the election is behind us, the Great Commission is before us, the Holy Spirit is still in us and Jesus is coming for us. That's hope." -Ken Whitten

- Romans 13:1 (NIV) "Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God." 

Those who disagree with the election results should remember that God has a plan and He will continue to bless America.  Those who are excited about the next four years, don't gloat! It's really tacky. I earnestly believe both candidates want to work in the interest of America (even though, their ideas are in opposition to one another) You also won't catch me launching personal attacks on the President or any candidates. My philosophy is unless I feel that I can do a better job in his position, I will refrain from that behavior. And, quite frankly, I think respect speaks the loudest and is the best response in all situations.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Lessons I'm trying to teach my parents

Mike's death has not just affected me, but the tragedy has taken a toll on my parents as well. Mike was very much a part of our family. My parents grieve the loss of their golfing buddy and bowling competitor, the loss of the "Italian boy", as he was affectionately known by some members of my family. My parents' grief is complicated because not only do they miss Mike, they grieve for me and what this loss means for me.
I can only imagine that it would be quite difficult to see your child in so much pain especially when she proclaims that she thought dying of heartbreak was just an over-exaggeration, but she was sadly mistaken. It's real. Consequently, parents go immediately into "protect mode". They want the pain to go away. They want to be able to fix it. But, they can't.
While my parents might feel this loss a little differently than some of my close friends, I have noticed the desire to "stop the pain" and to "do something" is quite the same. I was going to call this post "How to Help Someone You Love Through Deep Grief", but that's boring and has been done before. So, seven months into grieving this profound loss, I offer some things I have learned about my own deep grief and hope that they can help you if you are currently grieving or want to know how to help someone who is.

1. Be careful with the language you use. "Move on" sends me through the roof! "Move forward" is much more accepted and embraced by me. "Move on" fires me up because it implies that I have to forget about the person I just lost. I will never forget Dude. I do know that I have to move forward and I'm willing to do what is necessary to adjust to the new normal. "Move forward" implies progress.

2. No pain, no gain. Counselors and others who have suffered profound loss will tell you it is imperative that you let yourself experience the pain. It hurts. A lot. Sometimes the pain is so overwhelming you think you will die or you would rather die, but deep down you know there will be better days. I have noticed that there is intense pain, then your body goes into "survival mode" and you almost try to forget what happen to you/deny the loss, and then when you come out of this "bubble", the pain is intense (but sometimes a little less intense) again. Encourage the griever to experience the pain. It will be painful for you to watch the griever go through the necessary emotions, but think of how painful it is for them to keep them inside.

3. Talk about the loss and bring up the person's name: Oftentimes, I hear my parents or friends say, "Don't feel like you have to talk about it" or they shy away from bringing the loss up because it either makes them feel uncomfortable or they are afraid it might make you feel uncomfortable or some combination of both. Let me just be honest with you. Someone who is grieving has not forgotten about the person. In fact, they may be struggling to think of something else to talk about because their thoughts are (at times) consumed with the loss. When someone asks how I am dealing with this or brings up something about Mike, I am so thankful. Not only have you just given me permission to let my mind relax, but you have acknowledged my loss and I very much appreciate that. I especially love to hear stories from people about Mike. I have kept every letter and card and message people have sent me. Talking about Dude keeps his spirit alive and brings a smile to my face (even if tears are falling from my eyes, too). And, if the griever doesn't want to talk about it, believe me, they will have no problem telling you that!

4. Reach out to the griever: Grief is exhausting. The grief counselor told me grief doesn't go to sleep when you do, and she was right. There are so many emotions that the griever goes through, sleepless nights, lack of appetite, physical aches, emotional pain....all of this takes a toll. It is exhausting. The last 7 months, I have barely picked up my phone to call people or to make plans. It is not because I don't want to talk to them or do things with them. I do. I really love it when someone calls or suggests we do something fun. But, I don't have much energy to initiate the contact. I am slowly starting to get better about this, but I would offer that the griever needs you to help them. I have always been one to jump to help others. Not recently. I can't. Reach out to them. They will respond and will be so thankful that you did. I know I am. I feel very loved when someone asks me to do something or takes the time to call and check up. Most of the time I want to do it, but don't have the energy to ask sometimes.

5. Just do it.: Immediately after someone dies, people kindly ask what they can do or how they can help. I remember being graciously asked that question numerous times and my response typically was, "I have NO idea!". I responded that way because it was the truth.  I had never experienced anything like this before and couldn't even think of what my name was let alone how someone could help me. I found it most helpful when people would just offer to bring dinner or call or come over and sit with me and give me lots of hugs. Some would send a text message that simply read "I love you" or a song or a poem that they thought I could relate to. Anything and everything, no matter how small, made a difference. I would have never been able to articulate my need for all of the things people did for me, but I clearly needed and appreciate every one!

6. You can't fix it: My parents are the biggest culprits of this one. They want to fix the pain. They want to protect me from the pain. They want all of this to go away. But, they can't, you can't, and it's not good, too. The most helpful thing for me is when someone says "I don't know what you are going through, but I am here for you". Say it and mean it. That will mean the world to the griever.

7. Keep an eye on the griever, but don't smother them:  People sincerely try to be helpful with all of their suggestions and I have considered every single one because I know they offer them with a compassionate heart. Some people have offered things that I would have never thought of so I appreciate all of the suggestions. But, it is also important to understand that the griever deeply misses the person they've lost. So, if they start talking about heaven, it doesn't necessarily mean they are planning how to get there. It might (so you should keep an eye just to be sure), but not necessarily. I talk about it not because I want to go there ( I do when God wants me to go), but because I want to know what Mike is doing. It's frustrating because I can't really know, but I do like to think about what his new life with Christ is like.
Since the loss, I have also preferred to be by myself a little bit more. The first few months after the tragedy, it wasn't a good idea for me to be by myself. Just too painful. But, now it is OK, and I welcome the time to process everything and to grieve just the way I need to...or to sing and dance like nobody's watching to one of Dude's favorite songs!

8. Pray for them. This goes without saying, but those in deep grief need lots of prayer. It has been hard for me to pray. My mind can wander at night or in the morning and I sometimes have trouble formulating the words I want to say to God. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit can intercede for me, but any prayers anyone else lifts up is extra protection and a blessing to me.

9. Refrain from asking too many questions: This particularly applies if the death was a suicide. A suicide survivor has so many questions swirling around in their head. Additional ones can just seem incredible overwhelming.

10. Everyone grieves differently: I had always heard this, but never quite understood it until now. All of Mike's family and friends are grieving, but we all do it differently. I love writing my feelings and the lessons I am learning out on "paper. Hence, this post.  I have been to counseling, but I don't find that as helpful as others do. I much prefer the support groups and the grief blogs. Some of his family/friends prefer to grieve privately. Some are angry. Some use humor to deal with the pain. Some openly express emotion and others cry in the quiet of their own room. 

Before experiencing such a loss, I didn't know how to attempt to help someone who was truly grieving. These are the lessons I am trying to teach my parents (and anyone really) as they struggle to know how to help me (or my godfather). It's just my two cents, but I wanted to document them so I can remember them in the future -- although I doubt I will forget! Hopefully, they are helpful to someone else, too!

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Redskins Report

It hurts to be a Redskins fan. Staying on the burgundy and gold bandwagon is a lesson in loyalty. I was full of hope when we drafted RG III and he came out and we put up 40 points against the Saints in the first game! At this point, we didn't know just how much the Saints sanctions would hurt them, but who cares, I don't think the Redskins scored a combined 40 points all season last year!! So, I had hope. And, now, at 3-6, hope has dissolved. Mad props to Robert Griffith III! He is the best thing that has happened to the team and he is not giving up despite the dreary circumstances surrounding the season! He is a class act, speaks well, is mature and just seeing him in that burgundy and gold brings a big 'ole grin to my face! HAIL!
 I know a little something about football (and I truly love the sport), but picking a fantasy team would do me in because I'd have to do too much research. Now for the rest of the team. Here is my proposed plan for the future (take it for what it is):

1. Hire a new defensive coach. Haslett has got to go!! Our defense used to be envied and now it is horrendous!

2. Get rid of both of the Shanahans! I was never comfortable with Kyle working for his dad, Mike. And, Head Coach Shanny totally ticked me off in his press conference yesterday when he basically gave up on his team. Yes, we all know the season is probably over, but don't flat out say it when you are supposed to be the leader of the team!! He is now going to evaluate the players when half the season is over....cause that will do a lot of good!

3. Let RG III have input into new coaches and players hiring decisions. That rookie works his butt off and basically plays the game by himself!! He needs to have some say in who he will be leading on the field.

4. Play catch. When I was little I went to occupational therapy for far too long, in my assessment. One of the things we worked on was eye-hand coordination. Throw the ball, catch the ball, repeat. I didn't get paid anything to do this. In fact, my parents paid for me to learn this. Our boys of Fall are getting paid millions to master this valuable skill and they are failing. Eleven dropped balls in the Pittsburgh game is atrocious! Practice the most basic skills....or get rid of the buttered popcorn snack on the sidelines because those boys have butter fingers!

5. Wipe away the whole roster except for RG III, Morris, Garcon, Kerrigan, Fletcher and Orakpo. I know our injuries are catching up with us, but really, we don't have good backups. We need some receivers that RG III can count on....and I've already discussed the defense. It isn't worth another breath!

I am dead last in my pool (when last year, I came in fourth place out of 30). The Redskins have no better a record than they did last year. But, the blow is softened because the Cowboys are 3-5!!

Hail! Here's to better days!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

One Month.

One month from today, I will take another standardized test. I promised myself I was not going back to school, but as my mom's friend said to me shortly after Mike's death, "You know, now's the time to do what you want to do, and I don't really feel like you've put that dream of going to law school to bed".  She was right. I earned my Project Management Professional certification because it was a necessity for my job. I earned my MBA because it would help in my job and would help in the foundation I have always wanted to start (and hope to soon). These degrees/certifications have been important to my success today, but the desire to go to law school has never quite died out.
I didn't have any "control/choice" in Mike's death. I didn't know it was going to happen. I didn't get to say goodbye. I didn't get to see him when he died. I didn't get to see him before he died. Even though I was right there for him every step of the way, and ultimately, made the call that helped find him, I had no "choice" in any of this.
The moment tragedy struck, I had a choice. I could crumble into an emotional mess and treat my life as it was over. I could be just as paralyzed by pain and fear and despair as Mike was. I could throw in the towel. The other option, the best option, was to find something to help me move forward. Through talking with family and friends and grief counselors, it seemed like the right time to pursue the dream I had been shoving aside for so long. I sanity checked my decision with a few people I work with and trust with helping me flesh out my career path and they couldn't have been more encouraging. I had also been praying for about six months prior to Mike's death for God to show me the next step in my career. So, all paths have diverged, and I am taking the LSAT on December 1.
I was supposed to take the test in October when most people do, but as I was practicing, I noticed a huge discrepancy in the number of correct answers when I circled in the book and when I bubbled the answers in on the Scantron sheet. This issue led to a decision to request an alternate answer sheet and extra time on the test like I had throughout high school and college. Well, LSAC doesn't make it easy to request accommodations, so 8 hours of educational tests, an IQ test, and a physical exam later, I submitted my request. In the process of all of these tests, it was discovered that I have a learning disability that is common in people with Cerebral Palsy. I'd been telling my parents and teachers that I have trouble with these tests, but they just told me to use a ruler and calm down. Nope, turns out 30 years later, we discover I have a learning disability. LSAC doesn't think all of that testing is enough, though, so they denied my request and sent me for an eye exam and further explanation of my learning disability. Now, I have more information on myself than I've ever wanted to know! One interesting fact is most people either use both eyes or one dominant eye to read. Not me! I alternate my eyes. The eye doctor was fascinated by this, but I've never done anything the "normal" way so I wasn't surprised! Now, I wait to see if my appeal is accepted. I sure hope so because I had to postpone my test date because of all of this. I wait and see.
Regardless of whether my request is accepted, I have to work really hard to knock out those logical reasoning questions, logic games and reading comprehension. I'm no stranger to hard work and this is something I really want, so I am willing to put in the effort. One month. One more month.
I never thought I'd say I'd be thankful for a standardized test, but studying for this has done wonders for my mind in terms of helping me deal with my grief. It helps to shift some of the focus of what has just happened and gives me something to look forward to. So, I am very thankful for all of this. I am also very hopeful all of this will work out. I don't want to let everyone down. I don't want to let myself down. One month. One month.

In the words of my favorite book as a child, The Little Train that Could, I think I can, I think I can.

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