He Speaks the Truth

posted by Momo Fali on February 24, 2015

My 12 year old son has been known to have anxiety and OCD. To know him is to love his perfectionism, his lining up everything in the colors of a rainbow, and his constant obsession with rings.

Right now we have a little extra anxiety going on, so in addition to seeing a therapist I made an appointment with the pediatrician. She had him complete a survey on his inner-most feelings.

And, while we have concerns about some of his behavior clearly we don’t have to worry about self-esteem, because when he checked off Item 25 he scoffed then said, “Oh, please! EVERYBODY loves me.”

anxiety checklist

Bock Bock

posted by Momo Fali on February 17, 2015

The past few weeks have been tough; not as tough as I thought they would be because there is some peace that comes after the kind of anxiety I was facing. Not knowing where your future lies is terrifying – and that’s where I was for months. At least now I know where I stand – squarely on the other side of the door.

I have continued running to lift my spirits (and my hind end), I have been making my bed every day, buying healthy food, going to church, showering, working and fixing things around my apartment. I am in constant contact with friends and family whose love and support are a lifeline. I am moving. I don’t know if I’m moving forward yet, but it’s at least in some direction.

The other day, I even put on lipstick.

That afternoon, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror by my front door and thought, this is no beauty queen, but considering what I’ve been through, it will do just fine. My hair was curled, my green eyes weren’t red and puffy, my cheeks weren’t splotchy, my under-eye, black circles were reduced to sepia. This? This was progress.

I plastered on a smile and took a picture for proof. My mother, she worries.


And, then I saw it.

Do you see it? Look. LOOOOOOOOOK.


It’s chicken neck. Leathery, wrinkly, 43-year old chicken neck. I had a momentary pause, mouth agape, at what was staring back at me from my phone. Where did that come from?

Then I realized how I ended up with skin that makes roosters swoon. That patch of neck is from too many days of soaking up delicious, warm, wonderful sunshine.

It’s from sitting at my daughter’s softball games, taking my son to the pool, drinking warm Natural Light on spring break. That chicken neck is a badge of honor for so many great times, I can’t even count. It’s a reminder that there are good, smooth, carefree times even when it appears everything is wrinkled.

It’s also a clear sign I need to up the SPF.

Finding Words

posted by Momo Fali on February 10, 2015

I hurt too much to write.

I have always been able to write through pain; through tumultuous teen years, an abusive relationship, my son’s illnesses, surgeries and social struggles, and through too many deaths to count. I have always been able to write.

But, six months ago my husband told me he wanted a divorce and now we are separated, and I still can’t find the words or where to even start.

© Mamz | Dreamstime Stock Photos

© Mamz | Dreamstime Stock Photos

I guess I could write about the searing pain – of wailing and sobbing in my shower, screaming in my car, and crying every single day for months. I could tell you how I felt like my insides were torn from my body and my soul was ripped to shreds.

I could write about the anger I have felt, which has left me reacting about as inhuman as a person could. I have said the meanest things that have ever come out of my mouth.

I could write about the betrayal I feel and the deep sense of loss of the one person I thought would always be by my side. I could tell you how it feels worse than a death, because how can you mourn someone who is still there?

I could admit that I made mistakes, but I was always faithful and was willing to do anything to save my marriage. I would have found a way to make things better, to fight for my family, rebuild and honor the vows I made. I could tell you that he wasn’t willing to do the same.

I could tell you that my job and friends have saved my life, that I actually can’t bear to think about not being part of his family anymore, and that despite seeing the devastation that one person can cause, most people are actually good.

I could tell you how much I miss my dogs, the love of my life, and the world we built together.

I could say that moving on is a struggle of monumental proportions, but I am finding peace at times. I could tell you that retail therapy is a real thing, that it’s okay to have occasional panic attacks, and that you can still believe in fairy tales. Of course, you hope that the Beast becomes a prince and doesn’t stay a Beast, but everyone will appear to be Gaston; arrogant and back-stabbing

I could tell you that I will be okay. Someday. I don’t know if I will ever heal or if I will always feel this ache, or if this loss will always be the first thing I think about every morning and the last thing I think about every night, but I will be okay.

I could tell you all of those things. Maybe one of these days, I’ll find the words.


posted by Momo Fali on December 29, 2014

“Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” – Elizabeth Stone

That Elizabeth Stone was a smart cookie.

How else can you describe the feeling of creating and carrying a child; protecting and nurturing her before she can even breathe on her own, then slowly, over the course of time, allow her to become her own being? She is a part of you. Yet, not at all.

There are times when it seems she won’t ever be self-sufficient, like when she was a tiny preemie who didn’t grasp the concept of eating and breathing at the same time.

Or, the 13 months of rocking her to sleep for every nap and bed time. At the time, all you think about is how much you want her to slumber without assistance. Sixteen years later, all you think about is what you wouldn’t do to have the chance to hold her in your arms like that again.


Now there are moments when you feel like she is soaring to terrifying heights as you stand with your feet firmly planted on the ground, doing your best to stand beneath her in case she falls, but knowing there won’t always be soft landings.

There are still so many milestones to hit, but gone are the days of walking and talking. Now, you see things looming like a driver’s license and graduations. There will be firsts; a car, an apartment and probably, most unfortunately, heartbreak.

There will be triumphs and mistakes and though they will affect you more than any you have ever experienced, they will not be your own. Your heart will beat, but you can not contain it.

This is what it’s like to see your child turn sixteen. Unbelievable pride and love combined with disbelief at the swift passage of time. It’s happiness and excitement for the future and an aching and longing for the past.

But, more than anything, it’s pure joy in seeing a kind, funny, smart, beautiful soul come into her own. It’s years of your life which have exceeded all expectations. She has exceeded all expectations. And, now she’s sixteen.


Happy birthday, Goose. I love you.