Posts Filed Under Ramblings

Why I’m a Terrible Mother

posted by Momo Fali on June 23, 2009

I was sick yesterday. Really sick. Dizzy and exhausted with a horrible headache that is still lingering today. I thought, maybe, it was the case of beer I drank while camping over the weekend. Until my daughter came down with it too.

My daughter rarely gets sick. She is going into the fifth grade and hasn’t thrown up since March of her second grade year. And, I better not have jinxed myself by typing that.

The fact that she doesn’t get ill very often makes this story even worse. This one event guarantees I will never win Mother of the Year.

In August, 2003 my husband won a fun-filled, family trip from his employer. He received four nights in a nice Cleveland hotel, four tickets to Cedar Point (the world’s best amusement park…just sayin’), eight tickets to Sea World (which meant we got to go two days in a row), four tickets to an Indians game and a fully-paid dinner at an expensive restaurant.

We drove up to Cleveland on Wednesday, August 13. The morning of the 14th, as we were preparing for our hour-long drive to Cedar Point, my daughter complained of a stomachache. By the time we got to the amusement park, she had a fever. I gave her some Tylenol and she did her best to have a good time.

Late that afternoon the power went out at the park. Luckily we all had our feet firmly planted on the ground and because we had been there for over six hours, my daughter was sick, and we still had two days at Sea World ahead of us, we decided it was a good time to leave. We hopped in the car and started to look for a gas station, as our car was nearly on empty.

Only problem? Every gas station along the highway back to Cleveland didn’t have power either. And, when we made it back to our hotel on the fumes of the gas tank we realized there was no electricity there…oh, and no water either.

By this time, my daughter was feeling very, very ill. A friend who lives in Cleveland brought us a small amount of gas and despite my daughter’s stomach pain, headache and fever, we dragged her to Sea World (they had power) the next day in hopes it would take her mind off of it.

We did the same thing the day after that, even though she was still feeling sick. We went to the restaurant that night and she wouldn’t eat a thing. We then went to the Indians game, where we stayed for maybe two innings before leaving because she felt so bad. That evening, she was pathetic and so horribly sick that we almost took her to the hospital.

On Sunday morning, as we were returning to Columbus, she was feeling better, but I started to feel sick. By the time we got home two hours later I was in such pain that my husband took me to the emergency room. I had all the same symptoms as my daughter, but I was only sick for a short time before I knew there was something really wrong.

After a couple of hours and a few tests, including a spinal tap, it was determined that I had viral meningitis. Not the kind that kills you, but still. I spent the next four days in a dark room until my symptoms improved.

That’s right, we had been dragging our daughter around amusement parks for three days, in the August heat, during the great blackout of 2003, making her stay at a hotel that didn’t even have ice or a flushable toilet and she had meningitis the whole time.

It’s six years later and I still feel guilty.

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The Meat Wagon

posted by Momo Fali on June 15, 2009
On a fair June day, three great women came a very long way.
They brought me a CD and a super-cute bag,

and that tote was full of yummy swag!

I got a tiara, a sash, and a bouquet made of paper.

And, even the dogs got treats. Beef and bacon flavor!

They made us a lock, reminding us to close the door.

And, there was beef, sausage, a duck and more!

All in all, it was a fantastic day made possible by people across the USA.

I’m not sure if my heart has ever felt such elation,
and now my family won’t die of starvation!


posted by Momo Fali on June 11, 2009

Back in the spring of 2002, my husband and I were told by a pediatric cardiologist that our baby would be born with a very rare heart defect. His best guess was that our son would be premature, then be sedated and ventilated until he reached five pounds and at that point, he would have open heart surgery.

When the news came that our child’s heart was getting worse and he would, indeed, be born seven weeks too soon, people in our lives starting mobilizing.

My best friend organized a massive effort to have people bring us dinner. She knew we would be at the hospital a lot, and we still had our three year old daughter to take care of. It was unbelievably thoughtful.

Which is why it should make perfect sense that we declined the offer.

My husband and I felt sure we could handle our household, his job, the dog, our daughter and a baby in intensive care. We handled it all right, but I look back and realize it was the most stressful time in my life. Luckily, our son proved his doctor wrong and he came home after three weeks. If his hospitalization had gone on for as long as the doctors expected, I don’t know how I would have held things together.

That story leads me to Tuesday, when I went to the garage to take some meat out of our upright freezer only to find that someone had left the door open. Water was dripping from the door and every bit of food had turned to a gooey mess.

What does my son being in the hospital have to do with a door left ajar? Wait for it…

Everything…everything…was completely thawed. All the beef and chicken we buy in bulk to save money, a big turkey, and lots of fish my husband had caught. Thousands of dollars in food. Gone.

I felt sick. I cried. This was food we bought despite losing our business last year. This mess was discovered just days after finding out that our health insurance at my husband’s new job starts the deductible over again on July 1st. The deductible we just met. Oh sorry, the $4000 deductible we just met. Oh, and before that insurance started February 1st, we had just met the deductible on our old insurance. That baby with the heart defect? He’s seven now and had his ninth surgery…in January.

In case you’re not counting, that’s THREE different deductibles we will meet in ONE calendar year. Our premiums are crazy-high too. We will put out over $20,000 in health insurance this year alone.

After realizing the food wasn’t salvageable, I did what anyone would do. I called my husband and then I starting venting to everyone who would listen. And, people did listen. Not only that, they did something about it.

Yesterday morning I received an e-mail saying that three great ladies would be at my door on Sunday with food to restock my freezer. A mighty generous statement, especially given that they live roughly 400 miles away.

It turns out that one person said he’d like to help us out then it kind of snowballed and other wonderful people got on board. People started mobilizing, and this time we didn’t really have a say. When I tried to stop them I was told, “This train has already left the station.”

All I can say is that I will do my best to pay this forward. I promise.

I couldn’t turn them down like I did my best friend all those years ago. And, I’m betting that when I look back at this time in my life, I won’t think of how stressful it was, but rather how generous people can be.

They didn’t do it for recognition. As a matter of fact, they planned on keeping it private. But I was not about to let this go unmentioned. My pride can take a ride in the back seat for this trip.

When I told my neighbor about it, she got goosebumps and said, “Thank you for telling me this. I needed to hear it because there is so much bad in the world.”

She’s right. But, you know what? There’s a lot of good too.

Frankly, Scarlett…

posted by Momo Fali on June 7, 2009

I turned 38 last week. During the last month I experienced the following. I am sharing this with you so you will recognize the signs that you’re nearing forty…

– If you pull a shoulder muscle in your sleep.

– Which leads to your husband buying you a TempurPedic pillow for your birthday and you’re actually happy about it.

– If you find a gray hair.

– In your chin.

– If you fall asleep on the couch at roughly the same time you went out to keg parties in college.

– When you go shoe shopping and consider how comfortable the high-heels are, versus how high the high-heels are.

– If someone asks, “Is that a tattoo?”

– And you reply, “No, it’s a spider vein.”

And, you really know you’re nearing forty…

– When you take all of the above and completely own it.

Because the best thing about getting older is knowing that life is too short to give a damn.