25th reunion: Should I stay or should I go now?

AQUANET NATION: There was a lot of hair in the early '90's! My senior yearbook photo.
AQUANET NATION: There was a lot of hair in the early '90's! My senior yearbook photo.

AQUANET NATION: There was a lot of hair in the early ’90’s! My senior yearbook photo.

by Melanie Nicholas

The Lee High School Class of 1991 is planning its 25 year reunion in October, and they are looking for a local celebrity to help them get the word out!  Apparently, I am the most famous person they could find to rep the mighty Lee Rebels. Which is kind of funny, since I skipped a lot of my time there.

No, it’s not what you are thinking – I am not a secret genius that jetted off to college early. By the time my senior year rolled around, I was working almost full time and only going to school in the mornings. There were lots of days when picking up an extra shift or hanging out with my older friends was a lot more appealing than geometry. Apologies, Mr. Borrego.

Apparently, you can’t have too many unexcused absences and still walk the stage. So I made up my time in the office under the watchful eyes of Principal Don Mason and was allowed to graduate. High school just wasn’t my jam. It wasn’t awful or anything, it was just that step to take before going to college. Continue Reading

Grief Survival: Look for the clear days

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griefEditor’s note: Today marks the fifth anniversary of the death of writer/advocate Melissa Moore’s infant son, Greyson. Grey was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a congenital heart defect. After his death, Melissa fought to change Oklahoma hospital regulations to require pulse oximeter screening. She also founded Greyson’s Advocates, a non-profit foundation to aid families with children in medical crisis. In this piece, Melissa talks openly about the ebb and flow of her grief, and offers encouragement to other parents struggling to survive survival.

 

By Melissa Moore

Melissa Moore

Melissa Moore and Greyson Moore

When our youngest son, Greyson, went into the hospital, lots of things became unimportant; yardwork, housework, basic maintenance and upkeep on our house and property, yes, but on ourselves as well. And once he died, well, my husband, Austin, and I were lucky to get out of bed every day and do all the other things expected of us.

Then, a few months back, I proudly declared on Facebook that I felt like a fog was lifting. A grief fog that I hadn’t even noticed was there.

Here’s something you may not know about deep grief, unless you’ve lived it: it is a living organism. It constantly changes, evolves. The first few months were unbearable. I think my husband would agree that if we didn’t have our older son to take care of, I’m not sure we would have lived through it. But having something to focus on made us keep trudging along. Eventually the day-to-day banalities of life get easier to bear, and then you find your “new normal” and settle in. Most of the time you appear to be a normal person, people who didn’t know you before may not even know what you’ve been through (and those who were acquaintances may forget).

But don’t get too comfortable, because you can be going along at a good pace and WHAM! A grief trigger. And sometimes those triggers are the strangest, most unrelated-to-your-situation events, or sights, or sounds, or smells… . And when one hits you, all bets are off. The “mini you” who lives inside your head has put on her pajamas, grabbed a bottle of wine from the fridge and crawled into bed with it and a huge box of chocolates. She is crying her eyes out, whether you are crying on the outside or not. Continue Reading

First day of school photos

Well, it only took me five years to finally nail the first day of school photo cards! You’ve seen them on #Pinterest. Over-achieving moms with their clever signs or chalk art. I always want to be one of those moms, but I’m just not. This year, I will embrace the #GoodEnough mom. I’m setting the bar low low low! And you can, too! Set yourself free from your own expectations! #NailedIt

What do you think?

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