adopting a prompt (pun intended)


This opening sentence comes from the following blog:

Having not been blessed with natural children, the McNeilsons devoted their life to fostering and adopting.  married five years earlier, the couple had been to numerous doctors, tried various treatments. Jeanie had been subjected to more than one surgery.  The endometriosis was just too serious, and it was the 1960’s.  There just wasn’t much that could be done.  So on that Thursday when Jeanie had called Bill from school weeping because she was not pregnant after all….again…..he said, “Enough.”  Enough pain and probing and hurt and watching his wife mourn over something she could not control.  And the next day he called the state adoption agency.

Their first social worker was…..well, a bitch.  Though the McNeilsons were good, churchgoing people, bitch was the only word that fit.  The house was too clean.  Jeanie was too good a teacher.  Bill had too little hair.  And the best of all the irrational shortcomings…..they were both too educated.  Bill called and complained, reporting her unprofessional behavior, and a new social worker was sent.  They were told the process would take time.  They were encouraged to be patient.  It was hard.  Jeanie was 26, Bill was 35, and they had been wanting a child for so very long.

On the morning of July 22, 1968, they got out of bed and wished each other a happy anniversary.  Jeanie was out of school for the summer, and though Bill did teach a couple of summer classes, his schedule was flexible as well.  He would go into the office for a bit, and then they would have a wonderful evening together.  Seven years of marriage.

Bill was gathering paperwork at his desk when the phone rang.  He picked it up and his secretary told him, “it is Jeanie, and she sounds upset.”  His heart sank.  He picked up the extension.

“They called!  We got a call.  The social worker!  A baby!”

“What?  Slow down Jeanie.  What are you saying?”

“A baby!  There is a baby!  OUR baby!”  She laughed and cried.

Bill was stunned.  What an anniversay gift!  They were going to be parents.  A thousand questions swirling into, out of, and around his head.  But he could only formulate one of them.  “When?”


Tomorrow!  They were going to be parents….tomorrow!  The phone felt like a foreign object in his hand.  His office was the last place he wanted to be.  “I am coming home now.  We have….we have a lot to do.”

He hung up and leapt from his chair, closing the door more forcefully than he intended when he closed it.

“Is everything alright, Dr. McNeilson?” the secretary’s voice was filled with concern.

“yes, absolutely,” Bill answered as he hurried to the outer door.  Then he stopped.  “I am going to be a dad…..Tomorrow!”  Then he left the office building.

The day was a blur of shopping and phone calls and cleaning and decorating and rearranging…and rearranging again. there were tears and laughter and excitement and fears.  They hardly slept. The anniversary dinner had been simplified, but it was an anniversary they would never forget.

Twenty-one years later, their daughter would be sitting across from Jeanie at a favorite restaurant having a celebratory lunch on July 23, 1989.  Jeanie would retell the story in more detail than she ever had.  And I, Jeanie’s daughter, would be so very thankful that God had allowed me to be adopted by two such loving people.  Of course, their names are not really McNeilson – that was just the name in the prompt.  But the rest of the story is absolutely true.


Aspects of a Lady


She healed me of a lifelong fear
She held close to me
She laughs and smiles
She follows me around
She sits under my feet
She wants my food
She wants her food
She wants everyone else’s food
She loves unconditionally
She protects
She plays
She questions
She resists
She kisses
She gazes
She makes me smile
She lets me cry
She forgives

She is Lady

~ written for my 12 year old sweetheart who doesn’t have much longer on this earth….

night talking

I was reminded today by a writing friend that I have not been on in awhile.  So I decided to see what the prompt for the day was, and while I was there I read through some of my old entries.  This one was from february.

Last night, I was shouting in a dream I had.  I did not awakened to my own shouts, as sometimes happens, but my daughter told me.  She told me what I had shouted.  And then she asked why.


“Why did you shout, ‘Shut Up!  Let me finish!’?”


How could I have told her that there were a thousand reasons, from the unfinished thoughts in my childhood, to the desperate pleas for a blessing in my early adulthood, to the ignored and interrupted emotions of middle age?  How could I have told her that I had been longing for someone to listen – just listen – for so many of my forty years?  I had made a promise to be different with her, to see her, to hear her.  Even if I was shocked or disappointed or did not agree, I would sit on my hands and bite my tongue and……pay attention.


I would do that so that she would never rouse herself at 3 am crying for someone to be quiet.  So that she would never be tired in the morning because she chased a faceless figure through the night, begging them to hear her.  So that she would not punch her pillow, and at times – accidentally – a bed mate, in a dream about the anger of not being heard.  So that her daughter would never ask her why she had been so angry in her sleep the night before, and she would never have to decide which of the reasons to give.

Regarding Monday’s Musings



Today’s post was prompted by the following blog:

The question prompt was this: What do you find most amusing about life?

Now, I admit I tend to find life extremely amusing at times.  But this particular question on this particular day was just too good to pass up. Yes, I ended a sentence with a preposition.  Call it poetic license.  It doesn’t look like a poem, you say?  It’s a prose poem.  There.  By the way……why are you so interested in the syntax of my posts?  Have you been speaking with my old English professor?  Aha!  I remember now that the owner of the coffee shop here asked me quite a bit about my writing a couple of months ago. She was a plant, wasn’t she?  A clever plant being used by you to subvert my attempts to capture the attention of Random House……..I KNEW it!

Okay, so that was a bit bizarre.  But really, I have to admit that today I am amused by what I like to call conspiracy junkies.  In church, we used to call them demon addicts – those people who saw a “demon under every doily” and who were always looking to cast out the spirit of fill-in-the-blank.  Now, I have no doubt that there may be any number of conspiracies going on throughout the world at this very moment.  Conspiracies to murder someone, to rob a bank, to take down a corporation….heck, even planning a surprise party is a sort of conspiracy.  But….I honestly do not believe that any of these conspiracies involve me.  Why?  Because I simply do not believe I am THAT important.  I mean, if others have lives, they have actual real literal things to do each day.  They probably don’t have the time, energy, or inclination to make an elaborate plan out of playing cat and mouse with me.  

In sixth grade, three girls did not like me.  They more than did not like me.  They whispered about me, made fun of me, and  put “mean notes” inside my desk.  Was this a conspiracy?  Perhaps. But really……what was I going to do about it?  Call the police?  We were 11.  By the end of the year we were all best friends.  This same scenario sometimes plays out when we are adults as well.  Not everyone likes us.  Sometimes people say bad things about us.  Sometimes people say bad things TO us.  The likelihood that any of these people have a spearmint gum statue of us long with our social security number and daily schedule in a secret room of doom is……….probably pretty low.

So today I find conspiracy theories amusing.  But what do I know?  I think we actually DID go to the moon……


Chance Music – a poem


Chance Music





Cracking, popping,


Ebb and flow, ebb and flow







                   White water noise


Mumbling chatter,






Doors opening, closing