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Passions in Poetry

serenity's interactive journal

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Nightshade
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425 posted 04-03-2004 01:26 PM       View Profile for Nightshade   Email Nightshade   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nightshade's Home Page   View IP for Nightshade

We certainly do Maureen, and we should join hands to make the circle complete.
I am holding yours now.


Serenity - oh serene one....codependency is just as crippling of a disease as any other. Been there....tasted that coppery, self-loathing candy drop.

Will write about it another day. Sighing with memories here.
serenity blaze
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426 posted 04-03-2004 01:26 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Maureen, thank you for understanding.

Please know I've been thinking of you, wishing I could help somehow. (write me?)

And ladies, as for my shrink stories, well, we'll see--those stories that I have to tell are kind of mixed up with the privacy of other people who might not appreciate my um, unveiling of self when it would include them. As I told Jan, there are some stories that aren't wholly mine to tell--those may be told one day by a little old lady serenity--I think of that as "survivor's rights". Until then, it may well be okay for me to run naked across the world wide web like a damned fool, but after sleeping on what would have been my next installment--I think propriety demands a bit more tact for the time being.

But, yes, the good doc has been on my mind lately.

Right now, as I type, I have a card for another psychologist in my wallet. I've been thinking about going back.

About a decade ago, during those sessions with the god doc, Denton, I was diagnosed as mildly manic depressive. I refused medication. He warned me at that time, that this particular illness could become inflamed by self-medicating. (nodding, ya'll already know about that)

He also said that the onset of menopause (there's those hormones again) could compound the illness as well.

sigh.

To be perfectly candid, I probably won't go.

I like the mania--when the mania is kind to me.

I just read this book, "An Unquiet Mind" written by a psychiatrist with bi-polar disorder. (I'm having a brain fog attack right now and can't recall her name.) She described the better aspect of manic-depression as "white mania". During these times, my creative energy peaks off the charts and I find I can accomplish myriads of multiple tasks without blinking an eye. I can do anything during those times. Even math! But it's true, I can just look at things and comprehend the answer, although I can't explain how I know. Yep, I can do anything during that particular mood swing--except sleep. After a couple of days, that's when the darker aspect of the mania surfaces. Irritability sets in as I become hypersenstive. Sound, light, and even the texture of clothing can be painful. So I go off in search of some comfortable fog.

nod.

I self-medicate.

And right now I'm just so tired of the cycle, and sick of withdrawals from the various "comforters" that I have used, that I thought I might get some help.

Well, I am sort of considering it anyway.

That first session with Dr. Denton was a two-hour marathon of couples counseling. We moved so quickly to core issues that it shocked me. At one point I began to cry, and he walked across the room to hand me a box of tissue, just as I was pulling one of those "mini-packs" of kleenex out of my purse.

He smiled at me, and said knowingly,

"You don't like to have to ask for help, do you?"

*   *   *

No. I don't.


Nightshade
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427 posted 04-03-2004 01:30 PM       View Profile for Nightshade   Email Nightshade   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nightshade's Home Page   View IP for Nightshade

Gosh, Karen we posted at exactly the same time. I don't like to ask for help either...and that in itself is another "disease." All it has ever gotten me are a couple of stays at the Breakdown Ranch.
Hugging you lady!
Sunshine
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428 posted 04-03-2004 02:41 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine


I posted the following, over four years ago, in Prose.  I didn't know you then, Serenity, let alone Martie, Chris, Nancy Lee, Maureen, Maree or Vicki...

I don't think Ron will mind if I repost it here?     I thought about just leaving a link...

but I opted for the full gambit.

~*~

[There has been a poem on these two subject matters, but I wanted to share some feelings this way, as well. For all of you who have “been there…”, if you haven’t let go yet, and I hope you haven’t, perhaps this will help.]

Summer, 1988. Everything at once, Lord. Why? My daughter has been diagnosed manic-depressive, and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, leaving her there in the mental center, alone, scared, crying, screaming, hating, cursing, and I just walked out. I had to. She is capable of committing suicide, I knew that when she admitted she had the 97 sleeping tablets, bought over the counter, hidden in her room. Why was it that day you allowed a glimmer to come to me, when I questioned her, that she capitulated and for once, told the truth? Thank you, I guess. Yes, thanks. She needs to be where she can get help…her step-father and I have tried for so long, Tough Love, rules, regs, you name it, the discipline was there….where was she? Where did my first daughter go?

Summer, 1988. Everything at once, Lord. Why? My dad is failing faster now. I’ve got to travel the 289 miles from my door to my parents’ door to be there, to help Mom, to help Dad. Help Mom cope. Help Dad ease his way out of this life. Damn that emphysema! Damn that Cancer! Damn those horrible stinkin’ cigarettes. Thank you for never letting me even try them! I abhor the smoke! And Mom still sucks on them, standing at the sliding glass door, blowing the smoke outside so it won’t irritate Dad’s lungs. And he tells her quietly, softly, between breaths, “Honey, those aren’t good for you.” She listens, and clings to her habit. I softly curse the reasons of their habit under my breath, for I am not a screamer. And it was their choice. Oh God, why do you give us such choices. Oh yes. Adam. Eve.

I leave on Sunday afternoon to get back to begin Monday all over again.

I ask my husband, my daughter’s step-father, please, come with me to the center. Help me go through these classes. Help me get through this. I know it’s probably my fault. I know I could have, should have done better. I know you were there, being a good parent. I know you’ve tried. I’ve got to try some more. Do you want to come with me? And we go to the first meeting after the ten days where she had to be kept from us, “for her sake.” The doctors say “she doesn’t have a problem. Maybe it’s you…”. Oh. Me. Me? Did you push her buttons? Can’t you see that she is street-wise, and smart, and perhaps this time she is smarter than you? What did she tell you? That we have rules? That we have done all we could to get her through those so-called “tough, teenage years?” Did she tell you we both work, and she’s been a latch-key kid? So why is it her younger sister doesn’t have these problems? Did she tell you she’s tried drugs? That she’s run away before? That she’s had to have two abortions before the age of 16? NO, I don’t believe in abortions. I don’t believe in children having babies, either. Where were we at the time? Right there, at home, waiting for her to come home from her double-date. Yes, she came home from her date on time, 10 p.m. Doesn’t matter, being boy-crazy doesn’t wait for the magic hour of midnight, you know. No, you haven’t pushed her buttons. You’ve been nice and sweet and non-demanding, right? Why don’t you go in and tell her she has to do something, and watch the fur fly.

The fur flew. It flew so badly she had to go into solitude. And I had to leave to go to my parents’ home.

Fifteen weeks, Lord. Fifteen weeks of going to work, trying to get into our new home, which deal cannot be cancelled now, going to Tough Love classes during the week to learn that we were not alone as parents. Just what WAS in the water some years ago when all these children were conceived, all these children with problems? Fifteen weekends of leaving work with bags packed to go the 289 miles to help take care of Dad, and comfort Mom and give her some rest because Dad can’t be in the hospital, he needs to be home, where he can see the photographs of his children and grandchildren and leave, hopefully, comfortably, and not alone in a sterile environment, perhaps with none of us there.

September 2, 1988. I’m here, Dad. I’m holding your hand. The doctor’s called and Mom is telling him you made it through the night. It’s 7:00 a.m. It’s Sunday. Your hand is cold. Your cheek is not your cheek anymore. “Mom. Dad’s OK now. He’s OK now.” OK means he’s gone to be with God. She cries out. The doctor says something and she puts down the phone. Brother is there to hold her. I’m holding Dad’s hand. Goodbye, Dad.

September 4, 1988. The papers are signed releasing my daughter, on medication, back to me. She is happy and chatting and out. She knows her grandfather has died, and her happiness at being released and the sadness of his death are a sickly combination and she doesn’t let the happiness go at her own release. I have a suffocating feeling that this is another act, medication or not. I have the realization within me, creeping up toward my throat, that this will just be a game with her until she is 18, and she will leave. I know this, and I get ready, now, to say goodbye. She’s already left, and what comes now and tomorrow will never be what it could have been.

And it never was.

11 August, 1999
©KRJ


[This message has been edited by Sunshine (04-03-2004 08:10 PM).]

serenity blaze
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429 posted 04-03-2004 02:59 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

*touching the screen*

thank you
Sunshine
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430 posted 04-03-2004 03:13 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine


I need to go get some Kleenex...If you go into Prose, and pull that particular post up, you will see that a few folks read it, and supposedly went and called their folks.

I always think my Dad keeps working through me, in some way...and, since my daughter ran off six years ago [this month], leaving behind her own daughter...because of her illness, you have all shown me that I am truly not alone...and you know now, that when I say, I understand?

It's because I really do.
serenity blaze
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431 posted 04-03-2004 04:13 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Chrislane? I didn't mean to ignore you, lovie.



and Kari, I'm here if you need an ear.

You people are all a remarkable blessing to me.

thank you thank you thank you
Dark Angel
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432 posted 04-03-2004 04:52 PM       View Profile for Dark Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Dark Angel

Just letting you know, I've been here and listening....

how about and all round. It's on me  

Maree


Beauty of the world which is soon to perish has two edges, one of laughter and one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder.
(by Virginia Woolf)
Enchantress
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433 posted 04-03-2004 05:05 PM       View Profile for Enchantress   Email Enchantress   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Enchantress

I'm here as well...hugging all of you.

....and there are tears.
Martie
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434 posted 04-03-2004 08:07 PM       View Profile for Martie   Email Martie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Martie's Home Page   View IP for Martie

Me too!     
Mysteria
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435 posted 04-04-2004 06:15 AM       View Profile for Mysteria   Email Mysteria   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mysteria

I know this all a bit too well unfortunately.  Karen and I have talked about our manic times, and I too would not part with them for anything   as they make up for the rest of the time.

Not accepting help or asking for any, really boils down to letting go of your control, and until you can do that - one foot will always be nailed to the floor I am afraid.

serenity blaze
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436 posted 04-04-2004 12:01 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Hey you! I was waiting for you to show up.



I didn't intend to paint myself as being tortured--although, nodding, as you well know, it is episodic, according to many things, but I find the most debillitating are the results of hormones.

Kari--the teen years were especially perilous for me as well--I made many rash decisions during those manic times. Please know you did what you could and keep that heavy burden of blame off of your shoulders.

Recent technology (Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI) has revealed there are physical differences in the brains of people with manic depression. This is an anomaly of birth and manic depression cannot be induced by outside influences. Therefore, it is not your fault. Please read that book that I mentioned--I found myself nodding over every page. Also know that, with your permission, I will continue to pray for you and your daughter.

Like her, I'm afraid of the medication, because it does take some experimenting to find the right dosage for every individual. Until then, the manic-depressive feels locked into what I call "gray days"--when that pendulum of mood quits swinging, "level" feels bland and like a hell of "nothing". I've met and talked with many manic-depressives over the years, and without exception, they have all expressed the pronounced fear--a sort of emotional claustaphobia. This, I believe, is the main difficulty of treating what is a manageable and fairly common disease.

The problem is that our thoughts, our emotions make up our reality. It's a frightening ordeal to "trust" enough to turn that over to other people. And "trust" is a huge issue when one is unsure of the validity of one's own feelings.

And lastly, after reading Kari's post, I seriously considered having this thread locked. I feared I had inadvertantly hurt her by triggering her memories and emotions. I still have qualms about that.

I don't tell my stories to garner sympathy, and I would hate it if anyone assumed that were the case. I didn't have an altruistic motive of "helping mankind" either, through my sharing of my personal errors and self-inflicted psychic wounds. I actually started out with the intent of just sharing the funnier stories. But?

Half the truth is still a lie.

I've said it before but I'll say it again:

My life is just my life. It's just a viewpoint of one. I'm not proud of it, but I also steadfastly refuse to be ashamed of it. And remaining silent felt like shame to me.

It just is what it is.

But if I think for one second that these stories are hurting anyone--I have no qualms about asking Ron to delete it.

Smile, I can always return to writing it out in the puzzle pieces of my sometimes perplexing poetry.

In that book, "An Unquiet Mind", the author describes a point of trust in every new friendship, when she must decide if the relationship has reached the level of intimacy that requires "the confession" of her illness. She details several reactions of people too. The one I liked best was that of her current husband--

he simply looked at her and said:

"That explains a lot."

*   *   *

While a few of my more observant friends here at Pip had already noticed my manic depressive cycles, I just thought I'd let the rest of you in on it.

Peace?


(Yep, "serenity" always was more than a pen name--it was and remains a goal.)
  
Sunshine
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437 posted 04-04-2004 06:34 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

quote:
And lastly, after reading Kari's post, I seriously considered having this thread locked. I feared I had inadvertantly hurt her by triggering her memories and emotions. I still have qualms about that.


Don’t you even think of asking such a request.

In the last 15 years, I have come to know more about this disorder, and understand it was not my fault that it occurred in my child.  The hopelessness of knowing that this disorders causes such a thrill when one is walking the edge, when it can present such dangers, is a fearful thing to a mother or father, when they see it happening to their child.  

My “child” is now of an age where she finally realizes that her vices of drugs and alcohol do not help her disorder.  And I very well remember her telling me that the medication she was on for a brief time made her feel “dead”.  Again, the hopeless, helplessness I experienced that I could not alleviate her condition or situation made me very miserable.

But there comes a time when the person with the problem needs to be accountable for themselves.  They either acknowledge what they can do for themselves, or they give in to it.

And I know there are various levels of this condition.  When I understand or have been informed that someone has been diagnosed with this problem, I know that I have to change my ways of understanding their “days”.  And believe it or not, I have several such friends who have been diagnosed with this condition.

And my pride in them for doing what they need to do for themselves is on-going, and unconditional.

And Serenity?  You fit your name very well.
garysgirl
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438 posted 04-04-2004 09:31 PM       View Profile for garysgirl   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit garysgirl's Home Page   View IP for garysgirl

Hello ya'll. I've missed you all. And um, this last page is hitting mighty close to home. All I want to say right now is that I have been in the hospital a few times years ago with my nerves, under psychiatric care. I'm not now though...but probably not because I couldn't use the care.

My daughter has a psychiatrist and a psychologist. She said that she has to have the psychiatrist for her medication.

There are many causes for mine and my daughters problems, but I just can't go into them now.

Well, I feel the tears coming, so I've got to go read a few poems. I've missed ya'll so much. I love you all
With love and heart hugs,
Ethel Mae
serenity blaze
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439 posted 04-04-2004 10:00 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Ethel Mae?



My first thought is, yet again, there's so many of us...

I'm awestruck too, thinking of the balance of strength and fragility of the human being.

Amazing. I think we're just amazing. All of us.

I've been sitting here, ever since I posted my little "confession", waiting for something horrible to happen. I thought, "well, there. Now they know..."



I'm not sure what I expected. Maybe I thought there would be some snot-nosed kids laughing and pointing--

"Cooties!"

And hell, maybe there are...but?

grins...as I typed once before, "they can go ahead and laugh if they wanna, I can't hear them!"

So...shrugs.

Love and hugs to all...

Sunshine
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440 posted 04-04-2004 10:22 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine


You are ALL simply amazing women.

All of you.  
garysgirl
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441 posted 04-04-2004 10:48 PM       View Profile for garysgirl   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit garysgirl's Home Page   View IP for garysgirl

Karen, let 'em laugh if they want to. We don't care, do we?

But, I don't think there are many laughing at us  on here. Just reaching out their arms for us all. Isn't it great to be understood?....and loved anyway??...even if we may not understand totally, we qccept. that's what friends and family are for, though....well, most family and friends. Right?

I love ya'll.....
Nightshade
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442 posted 04-04-2004 11:11 PM       View Profile for Nightshade   Email Nightshade   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nightshade's Home Page   View IP for Nightshade

I think compassion for others comes from dealing with life's afflictions and tests.
Every single thing that we experience good or bad, teaches us a valuable lesson. That is why it is called Earth School.
Karen, your journal is allowing us to verse what we might not have been able to do otherwise. We are in no means forced to do so, and that is why memories, laughter and yes, some tears are being brought to the surface. We have free will to expose them, or keep them to ourselves. For this we are grateful. Soul cleansing it is!
  Nighty night and hugs all round.
Susan Caldwell
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443 posted 04-05-2004 03:22 PM       View Profile for Susan Caldwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Susan Caldwell

Karen?  I am still listening....

"cast me gently into the morning, for the night has been unkind"
~Sarah McLachlan~

garysgirl
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444 posted 04-08-2004 11:19 AM       View Profile for garysgirl   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit garysgirl's Home Page   View IP for garysgirl

Karen, where are you?
serenity blaze
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445 posted 04-08-2004 12:48 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Hey Ethel:

I just took a little break.

But I'm here.

I've just been working on a different project lately, (that, and my "office/bedroom/cage") but I may be back later...I have other, happier stories to tell yet.

coffee....wouldja believe I JUST woke up?

Earth Angel
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446 posted 04-08-2004 05:47 PM       View Profile for Earth Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Earth Angel's Home Page   View IP for Earth Angel

This is such a liberating interactive journal. Everyone opening up and sharing their personal stories ~ and the wonderfully supportive responses they have received. I do believe that the more a person has experienced in life, the more compassion and understanding they can give to others. There are, unfortunately those, who want everyone else to suffer as much as they have. That last scenario is definitely not the case with all of you wonderful Pipsters.

Sending love and understanding to all of you!
Linda
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447 posted 04-08-2004 06:49 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

quote:
That last scenario is definitely not the case with all of you wonderful Pipsters.

So true, Linda.

Many years ago, decades ago, my mother was relating a story to one of her friends, of a job she had taken on when the need to supplement the family income had taken hold.  [But my grandmother worked too - at the time I didn't understand why, other than she put a good face on it, and I thought that's what women did!  I was SO naive!]

Anyway, she took a position as an answering service operator.  [It eventually led to their own business - but that's another story! ]

She worked a day shift [longing for the midnight shift...] and had to deal with the folk that gossiped and gabbed during the quiet moments.

One day, as she related it, the operators were all cawing and crowing over their newest associate who would soon be coming for the afternoon shift.  One had heard from the other who passed it on [you know the grapevine venue] on her style dress, her inexperience, and were generally tearing her to pieces in their vulture-like manner.

Apparently, Mom had had it up to HERE, and said, in a very polite manner...

"I've got to take a restroom break.  Why don't you all chew on me while I'm gone for five minutes, and leave off the new girl?"  With a smile [and probably a slight flounce] she left the operators behind, speechless.

I'm sure their eyes were this big!

Mom usually only shared the "funny times" of her job. Even though, later, when I worked for an answering service for a while, I learned that she could have shared many, many stories.  And many of them would have been far from pleasant.

But here's the point, if you haven't seen it.  She realized early in life there was only "so much" any average person could do in life to make it better for others.

That day, she took the crows and vultures off the young girl who wasn't even there to defend herself.

Brava, Mom!

serenity blaze
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448 posted 04-09-2004 01:35 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Okay, okay.

Serenity enters, grumbling.

It has been pointed out to me (again) that I have been selectively selective in the telling of my collage of stories.

Someone persistant and (yep, sometimes annoying) asserted that I am predictable (grrr) in that I am most comfortable relating my failings.

I had to take a few days to think about that.

It's true.

I was raised in a manner that didn't allow a great deal of crowing. I was raised by two stoics, and accomplishment was just a nod in my home--because doing your best is what-you're-supposed-to-do. Don't expect accolades for utilizing gifts. Be grateful.

There was approval, but it was wrapped in a quiet dignity that demanded a certain humility.

"Understand how lucky you are..."

Express gratitude and don't linger on stage.

(What, and give up show biz?)

But that's how I was raised.

So it vexed me a bit when I was challenged to add to this journal,a story of a moment in life when I felt proud of me.

(There was a clause too--it couldn't be related to my children. Sigh. There went my "easy answer.")

So I had to think awhile, and to my surprise, I came up with three stories I can tell.

Smile.

Three moments in my life--when I felt like I "liked" me--right then--during those moments, on those days.

And yes, I entered grumbling.

I exit grumbling too--
not even sure if I can do this...
garysgirl
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449 posted 04-09-2004 01:53 AM       View Profile for garysgirl   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit garysgirl's Home Page   View IP for garysgirl

Uhhhhh, Karen, I was hurriedly scrolling down so that I could read your "Happy Stories". LOL

But, I'll wait until you're ready to tell them.

Oh, and I just thought while I was reading that I didn't tell you to congratulate your son for me for winning the scholarship. Give him a hug for me. Okay?
 
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