Excuse me, are you Listening? 4-14
Sunday, August 7, 2005

Dear Readers,
  I told you that I was going to take it slow and I have been.  I realized that I was moving just a tad bit too fast and not taking care of myself.  I started to revisit a lot of things that I was not paying attention to like why I could not pick up heavy items any more.  Well, I found out from a recent doctor’s visit that I my muscles in my stomach were separated.  She told me that it was from childbirth but she still checked me for a hernia. 
    While I was at the doctor’s office, I ran into a friend of mine.  I always tell myself to look presentable during the day when I go out but my appointment was at 9:00 am and trying to get the children up and ready was a chore.  I was looking crazy with blue sweatpants on with a white stripe down the side and a black tee shirt that was wrinkled.  Just wrinkled enough for me to think that no one would be able to see the wrinkles in the black shirt.
     Crazy, thought process.  I am getting better though. 
     I used to have oatmeal on my shirt or bleach spots on my shorts.  I am doing so much better.  Hey, I was stressing when I first started the newspaper. Well, I was stressing for sometime.  No one ever said anything to me about it.  I created great relationships and great “How I met breastfeeding Rina with a double stroller and 8 year old sidekick.”
     If any of you have ever met Anissa, who is 4, she can eat and when she was starting to eat she loved oatmeal.  A part of the process of her loving oatmeal involved her getting it all over me.  I had things to do and sometimes forgot about oatmeal on my shirt.
     So that was my longwinded way of saying that I have gotten much better.
     As I ran to sign in on the doctors list, I waved like a maniac.
     “Hey girl, how are you I asked?” smiling like I just drank a cup of sunshine.
       After signing in, I ran over to hug her and I asked her again how she was doing.  I knew her husband had died suddenly.
      She explained to her daughter that I knew  her father and how and her daughter looked at me straight in my eyes and said with honesty but laced through with so much sadness, “I miss my Daddy.”
      I wondered to myself, why is this happening to me, why right now.  I just drank a cup a sunshine and now I could feel a lump in my throat.
     In my cowardice, I turned to the mother and asked her how she was doing.  I knew that no matter how much she was missing her husband she would say that she was all right.
     I was right and I began to get away from the subject by asking about her job. 
     The little girl looked up from her children’s book and said with more emphasis ,”I miss Daddy.”
     I could see her father in her eyes.  She looked like him and just the sight of her brought every good memory of him to the forefront.
       She took a deep breath and went back to reading while her mother stroked her hair and told her that she knew she missed her father.
    I could see the pain of loss pulsing through her as she choked back emotions of comforting a child who would probably tell her every day that she misses her father.
   As I write this, I want all of you to take stock.  People who have lost loved ones need time to heal.  What ever was in the past leave it there.  Emotions are very fragile and need time. 
   They called my name and I told my friend that we should do lunch.  We both have been saying it for years and there was just never any time.  I will call her and go to lunch with her because time waits for no one.
   I grabbed my friend and gave her a big kiss on the cheek.
    I held the little girl’s face in my hands.  I looked her straight in the eyes.  I wanted to capture her sadness and upload and save it to my brain.
    It only took about 2 seconds.  I kissed both of her cheeks and turned quickly.  I felt the tears rolling down my cheeks.
   I smiled at the nurse and said,”Allergy season is really bad right now.”  She handed me a tissue as if she somehow knew. 
     Early in the morning, I was awakened by thunder and lightning and it began to rain hard.  I felt the urge to write and I wrote a poem for the little girl.
     Slow it down.  Take time to smell the roses or what ever else will make you happy.  A very special person in my life right now told me that a manicure and a massage would do me good.  I took the advice and I do feel better.  Take time out to pamper yourself and if you already do, find time to read a book.

Rina N. Risper


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