Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving is a Time for Song

And now a Thanksgiving Day song just for you:

Gobble-Gobble who is that?
Mr. Turkey big and fat.

Gobble-Gobble what does he say?
"Eat me on Thanksgiving Day!"

OK, so it actually goes "meet me" instead of "eat me", but I just don't feel that it has that same ring. Or maybe it is supposed to be, "meat me." Hmmmm....the important questions in life.

Another thing that this little ditty has me thinking about...the word "Gobble." Is it a coincidence that the sound we attach to a turkey is also (according to defined as:

verb, -bled, -bling.
–verb (used with object)
1. to swallow or eat hastily or hungrily in large pieces; gulp.
2. to seize upon eagerly (often fol. by up): After being gone for so long, they gobbled up all the local news. –verb (used without object)
3. to eat hastily.

I think not. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Love -
The Sparkly Queen

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

From Emily

...and the leaves on the ground
are crisp from the fall

the orange and the red
and the beauty of it all

it's autumn, my love

our first together

I love you now,

and in all other weather.


From Emily

... and the leaves on the ground
are crisp from the fall

the orange and the red
and the beauty of it all

it's autumn, my love
our first together

I love you now,
and in all other weather.


Monday, November 24, 2008

A Prescription for Detachment

"Detach with love." Al-Anon constantly reminds me to do this, but I am always left with the question of HOW? During my recent stay in Indiana I repeated this over and over again to myself...along with "The Three Gets":
  1. Get off their backs.
  2. Get out of their way.
  3. Get on with your life.
My dad invited me to an NA meeting which gave me a new perspective, humbled me, and made me feel a sense of pride for my father that I am not sure I have ever felt. After the meeting, we talked openly about how our recent arguments had made us fee,...hurt, confused, and longing for a better relationship. We each apologized and walked away with a better understanding of the other.

When I told him goodbye, I knew I was ready to
detach with love. I love my father and my family. I hope nothing but the best for them. It is their responsibility to make those hopes a reality.

So...on to the third "Get"...getting on with my life. I have been living their lives for almost thirty years; therefore, living my own feels a little-bit uncomfortable and a lot-bit scary. Where will I begin? Tea on the patio...I think that sounds good for now.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Blessings & Baby Jeeze

Sitting on the landing of our stairs tonight, I took a moment to let in the silence. Above me Emily was sleeping and below me was our lovely home. I smiled...actually, I smiled so big I became a little self-conscious. Realizing that it was just me and Otho (the cat) I allowed myself to take in the peaceful joy that surrounded me. Even now as I type this, I am overwhelmed by this feeling...a realization actually...the realization of the many blessings that are in my life.
  • The consuming love that I am able to feel for and show Emily.
  • Emily's love, commitment, smile, humor, kindness...the list goes on.

  • Everyday I am told and shown that I am loved.

  • Laughter. Each and everyday we laugh.

  • My family: Emily, Karon, Toni, Steve, Ferryn, Amanda, Mindy, Aunt Carolyn, Pappaw, Karter, Bella, Otho, Monster, and even Gertie.

  • The warmth that fills our home.

  • Emily likes to snuggle when she sleeps.

  • Enduring friendships.

  • Bella smiles every time she sees me.

  • The kindness, prayers, love, emails, letters, and support (emotional and financial) that so many people have shared.

  • My Therapists: Robert, Richard, and Ikea. (A girls got needs ya know.)

  • The best pizza in the world is only a mile from my house and costs $1.5o per slice.

  • Framboise.

  • The support of my team, who have made it possible for me to take a leave of absence to focus on the care of my mother.

  • Al-Anon (Never thought I'd say that.)

  • Our new bedding. Love it.

  • Excellent health insurance. If you've got it be thankful. If it's good...get on your knees and thank The Sweet Baby Jeeze or at least your CEO cause man it's a hard-knock life for those who ain't got it.

The list goes on. The point is I am happy. Despite all that may be difficult right now, I am truly happy. This is my with Em in Houston. Thank you Sweet Baby Jeeze, for everything.

Love & Sparkles-
The Sparkly Queen

Monday, November 17, 2008

Reflections Smothered in PB&J

Over the weekend, I received the message below via MySpace from a girl I have known since elementary school.

I am writing this message to you and not really sure where to begin! First off, I know that I wanna say how sorry I am to you! I spent the better part of my 30 yrs thinking that your life was all peanut butter and jelly. I have known you, from a distance of course, since Maplewood days, and prejudged you! I had no idea what you went through all throughout your childhood and apparently throughout your adulthood thus far! After reading some of your blogs several months ago I realized that you were not the person I had always thought you were much more. And today after reading your sparkly queen tales, I found myself with tears in my eyes for more than one reason. I am happy that you have found someone that makes you as happy as Emily does! Take care of you and the family you are making with her. Always remember that you can't change other people (i.e. your family). They are who they are gonna took me a long long time to figure that one out!

This message caused me to reflect on several things...
1. How hard I have worked throughout my life to keep my family's secrets. I am exhausted and cannot do it any longer.

2. How heavy a burden it was for my 8 year-old self to carry so much guilt and shame. These things were not my own to carry, and I am done.

3. Growing up I denied myself the opportunity to truly connect with people by hiding. I will always be true to myself.

4. Peanut Butter and Jelly isn't just for lunch anymore! B.B. thank you so much for your lovely message. This one's for you...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Oh Brother Where Art Thou?!

So I'm chatting with my friend at her desk when a call comes in. "An unidentified male has just been shot at the Shell located at 9th and Vine..." I watch her quickly log the notes into her laptop. My stomach, once happy from a dinner of queso, tortilla chips and olives in the shape of penguins, hits the floor. My body quickly fills with lead with each "mhm" or "yeah" that leaves her lips. She is typing fast.

"Just tell me, " I demand. She attempts to reassure me that we don't know anything yet. They might not know...but I do...a sister can feel a loss this great before her mind is able to process the reality.

The waiting...the waiting seemed to take days, but it was only a matter of minutes until my name was called. Called for what? Well clearly, my name was called so I could stand in a line longer than the one for a women's restroom at a lesbian bar on Pride Night. Oh no, not me...nope...not waiting any longer. I need my eyes to catch up with my heart. I literally run, and those of you who know me... you know I DO NOT run, and hop on the elevator.

"Ma'am, it is not your turn. You need to wait until your name is called."
"I need to know RIGHT NOW if that is my brother down there. Fucking take me to him!"

We go down several floors before the elevator stops. She grabs "Jon Doe's" file off the counter behind which a woman sat reading a romance novel, never acknowledging the significance of this moment. Not seeming to realize that in a matter breaths my life as I know it will crumble. I, unfortunately, am acutely aware of all of this. My hair is standing on end, there is a sweet taste in my mouth threatening to evoke vomit and I am numb.

I don't remember much after that, but what I do remember is the car ride home with my dad's sister. Why she was the one to pick me up I will never know. I had a small box on my lap with belongings that were not my own nor my brother's, but instead the jewelry of my brother's killer. My 21 year-old cousin pulled the gun from behind the counter of the classy gas station where she works the night shift. Maybe she was just showing it off...maybe she was offering it to him in exchange for just one more Oxy (a deal my brother would've accepted at one time, but The God Father a.k.a. "Dad" said no more guns...he was putting his foot down.)

I'll pause here for the dramatic "ohhhhhhs." and "ahhhhhhs" that typically follow my dad putting his foot down. That foot stopped carrying weight for me on Christmas of 1996 around 11:00pm. I was finishing up packing for my trip to London, a trip I worked to finance, he came home drunk and.... "I'm putting my foot down! Your not fucking going!" Ummm...yeah...whatever dad. Of course I cried then, but I knew that I would go the next morning regardless of what he said.

Whatever intentions my cousin may have had, it doesn't change the simple fact that in less time than he needed to take a drag off of his Marlboro Light my brother's life was gone. So hours later, riding in my aunt's car I am sickened by the fact that I am holding her shit. A necklace given to her by our grandfather to show his love. My brother is dead, and I'm holding a reminder of how little we mean to this side of the family. They are relieved that he is gone. My dad can "finally get it together without Andrew holding him back." What the fuck ever!

I can't stand is all happening too fast yet I am in slow motion. I look out the car window and see the most amazing sea of colors. "My brother would've liked this." I say to myself. "Oh brother!' This is a guttural sob that comes from somewhere so deep inside it shocks me. The sobs continue as look at the sky, screaming for my brother and mourning his life. Yes mourning his loss...not my own. The loss of his childhood, the loss of time with his son, the loss of the opportunity to live life sober, the loss of the opportunity to see the successful and responsible man that I had faith he would one day become. Me...I'm mourning the loss of time. Time with him...the beautiful, funny, smart, caring, nurturing, and talented young man he once was. The screams continue to rip themselves from my body, leaving behind holes and tears in my soul. I worry that this time, duct tape will not be enough to mend what is broken. Emily reaches from the back seat to comfort me and to try to pull me back from this dark pit into which I have fallen.

She is successful. I am laying next to hear, snuggled in close in our bed in Houston. Em is leaning over me, rubbing my back and arm. Tears are streaming down my face and my breathing is short from the screaming. She couldn't understand what I was saying, but she knew that I needed to be woken up. My nightmare was too much for me to handle. "I've got you," is all she says, wraps her arms around me, and I continue to sob. I am not ready to lose my brother and in so many ways I already have. I want to call him now, hear his voice, tell him how much I love him, but I fear that he will not be in his bed. I am lighter after blogging this out. The medicine ball that lives on my chest is now the size of a manageable peach, which I may snack on later.

Note to Drew
Where ever you are, know that I love you dearly. You are my heart. I have a bond with you that I share with no other person in this world. This bond can never be broken. I need you in my life. I am proud of you for being a survivor. I miss you.

Sissy (The Sparkly Queen)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dear Family & Friends-

Ihope this finds you all doing very well. As most of you are aware, my mother has been in the hospital and now a nursing home for several months, and I have been spending a lot of time traveling to Indiana to help with arrangements, family care and financial needs.

One of the things my mother now greatly needs is money to pay the deductible on her insurance in order to stay in the nursing home. I have already managed to pay $600 of the $2164.63 total owed in addition to other family debts. Payments toward this deductible in the amount of $521.54 are due by the 15th of each month in addition to the daily $12.80 fee (~$384 per month.) If the deductible is not met in a timely manner, my mother is at risk of being removed from the nursing home.

Now comes the part of this letter that is hard for me. I am financially drained from all the travel and payments, etc., thus far. I am writing to all of you to ask for any assistance you may be able to offer. My hope is that in reaching out to all of you, I may be able to collect enough money to pay the remainder of the deductible so that my mom can stay in the nursing home while she continues to recover from her injuries.

If you are able to make any donation, even if only a few dollars, I would be so incredibly grateful. Donations can be made directly to me, or, if you prefer, I can give you information on making a direct payment to the nursing home. I know times are financially tough for everyone, so I understand if you are not able to donate.

I can't thank you all enough for your emotional support, prayers, and positive thoughts during this ordeal. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and for any help you may be able to offer.

Much love,

Please send donations to:
Amanda Gay
2125 Augusta Dr. #41
Houston, TX 77057

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Daddy Dearest

I had a difficult conversation with my Dad today...very difficult. One that included him calling me, "stupid" and hanging up on me. I had no idea that the word "stupid" could cut a person so deeply beyond the first-grade lunch table. But it most certainly can. I've got the marks to prove it. We were arguing about my mother's Medicaid application. Simply put she needs Medicaid to get the medical care she so desperately needs,and he just wants her money; therefore, he wants me to pull her Medicaid application and to start sending him her entire SSI check each month. Not gonna happen. Once I informed him of this he went totally ape-shit crazy. It was like living on 8th street all over again, only this time I am not 13, and I don't have to stand by while he talks to me like an abused dog. I want to find compassion in my heart for him, but I am struggling. I want to believe that he really loves my mother, but I am struggling. I want to not eat that entire pan of brownies downstairs, but I am struggling.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ummm...I Think I Forgot to Tell You Something!

I can't believe that I have been so wrapped up in my anxiety and family-mama drama that I forgot to mention the fact that I asked Em to marry me. So let me be kind and rewind for a moment.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Somewhere around 7:00 a.m. I quietly slipped out of bed and placed a brightly wrapped gift next to Emily as she slept. Then, smooth like Bond, I snuck back into bed to stare her awake. You know what I'm talking about...when you stare so hard at a sleeping person that their subconscious nudges them back into reality in an effort to give them warning that they are being watched. Of course my powerful stare-down worked, and Emily,woke up. So naturally, I snapped my eyes closed and pretended to sleep. This was how the morning of our engagement began. Oh I said smooth like Bond...that's me.

All wrapped up!

Actually, when Emily finally did wake up, she gave me that beautiful smile that I love so much. This perfectly sweet smile is the exact reason why I chose to propose first thing in the morning. I know what you are thinking...sooo not romantic, morning-breath and whatnot. But this is when I love her best. Every morning when Em wakes up she gives me this amazing smile like she is seeing me for the first time. Like she has waited all night for this wake up next to me. Me...sometimes I feel that I do not deserve this kind of love...then I remember how AWESOME I am!

So, anyways, she discovers the package and gets super excited because she thinks I have gotten her a gift to celebrate the beginning of our summer off together.

Who loves a present more than my girl?!

She tears off the paper to find a scrapbook. Yes, you heard right folks. After buying The Complete Idiot's Guide to Scrapbooking, I spent the entire month of June compiling the last 3 months of our lives together into a genuine scrapbook.

Em checkin' out the scrapbook.

When she came to the end, she found her ring tied with a silver ribbon to the final page along with the words, "Today is the day I will ask you to marry me." After that, the rest is a blur. Completely overwhelmed by emotion, I got down on my knees and babbled on about my endless love for her, finally ending with, "Will you marry me?" The only thing about this particular moment that I do remember clearly is the look on her face and the sound of the word "YES" leaving her lips.

Em shows off her ring from James Avery.

If you think she looks happy, you should've seen me. The BEST day of my life!

We spent the morning together kissing and laughing about all of the things to come and how crazy it was that we had found our "person" our "bacon". This was followed by a delicious brunch with her moms (I had asked for their blessing earlier in the week and invited them to meet us as a surprise for Emily) and a couple of our friends at Baba Yega to celebrate. It was wonderful!

Brunch with family and friends.

Gabby and Amanda

Karon and Toni (Emily's Parents)

Emily with her moms.

My new family!

Future Runaway Bride?

More details to come...I promise!

The Sparkly Queen

Emily and me. God she is beautiful!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Pancakes and Oxycontin

This morning I woke up feeling unmotivated and simply put...sad. So I crawled out of bed to make breakfast for the hot red-head lying next to me. Chocolate-chip pancakes. For me there is something therapeutic about cooking for other people and seeing them enjoy my food. I think this may be a common trait of fat-girls everywhere. Take Paula Deen for example. We are like crack pushers.

So, here she comes (the hot red-head...not Paula Deen) down the stairs into the kitchen. She tells me I look cute...and OH...DID I LOOK CUTE! She kisses my cheek and proceeds to make a peanut-butter and honey sandwich that she wraps in foil. Why foil? I am not sure, we have baggies. Then we proceed with our morning conversation...

Me: You want some

Hot RH: No thanks.

Hot RH: Are you sure you don't want to take
with you?

Hot RH: No thanks. Are you O.K.? You look

Me: Do I?

Pause for reflection on my tiredness. I think I look refreshed...don't you?

Hot RH: What are you going to do today?

Me: I haven't decided yet. I have no

Hot RH: Ok, well I'll see you at 11:30.

Me: Ok. Have a good morning.

The hot red-head leaves, I eat a pancake, and I get angry. Now I have this entire stack of fucking pancakes, and I am fuming. Whatever. We have our first couples therapy appointment today at noon. Maybe that can be our first topic of conversation..."Em doesn't appreciate me when I make her foods that she doesn't like/want." How fucking lame is that? Let's get real. This is not about Em, nor is about pancakes.

I think I really need to go back to what I have learned in my own therapy sessions and ask myself, "So what is this REALLY about?" Because Lord knows, it is not about chocolate-chip fucking pancakes. It's about me needing to feel appreciated. Like what I do matters to someone...anyone. I have never been enough for my family. They always want more. I was just in Indiana for 3 weeks to begin cleaning up the huge mess my family has created. When I would go to the nursing home, I would always be armed with clean clothes, meals, snacks, flowers, name it...and the response would always be, "Why didn't you bring ____!" Fill in the blank. I spent hours cleaning their apartment, hired a crew to haul out the piles and piles of shit that covered the floors. Wiped down tables covered with white powder residue, remnants of crushed Oxycontin, Hydrocodone, and Xanax. Boxed up empty bottle after empty bottle because I couldn't drop them into the dumpster due to the large number of bottles, the illegality of the doctor shopping that my family has done, and for fear of raising anymore suspicion about the "business" they were running.I bought groceries, did laundry, took them to numerous doctor's appointments, fought w/ the directors to keep my mother in her nursing home, went on an endless scavenger hunt to collect all of the paperwork and evidence needed to just to begin the Medicaid application process. If the words "thank you" dared to leave their lips, it was only if their right hand was simultaneously extended in need. I have left my job, my home, my life and for what? Does what I have done even matter? Has it made a difference? Or, at the end of the day, will my family go back to living in filth, snorting pills, guzzling methadone, and will I just continue to make pancakes in hopes of getting the validation I so desperately and pathetically seem to need?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Introducing Our 44th President

Photo Courtesy of

No words can express the significance of this moment.


I was officially awake at 3 am. Could it be the excitement of going to the polls this morning? Maybe it is...or it could be the fact that Em and I are the youngest senior citizens on the face of the entire planet going to bed at 8:50pm. Truthfully, this is not an appropriate bedtime for a professional insomniac like myself. Regardless, I am actually very excited to "Barack the Vote" and plan to be there when they open at 7:00am. I have never felt so anxious in my life about an election...the outcome feels so critical that my stomach actually hurts from the butterflies drop-kicking each other's asses.

During one of my random Blogspot blog searches this morning I stumbled upon the rants and raves of a young woman who looked about my age. Her top post was a picture of her and some friends ready to hit the town on Halloween, their costumes looked quirky enough that I thought I would skim through in hopes of finding another blogtastic blog. I learned so much so quickly...

1. She is always the bridesmaid never the bride, yet she gushes each time about the "beautiful bride" and how "lucky" she is to have a new "cuz" (Mike, Brian, fill in the name.)

2. She finds people who use the term OMG "lazy" and "annoying".

3. She is a "devout Christian" doing the "work of God" based on quoted bible verses; therefore, she is voting for McCain.

Let us pause for a moment to mourn the loss of whatever brain-cells this blonde-bombshell has left and wrap it up with an OMG...WTF? The last time I checked, nowhere in the bible does it say "Vote for McCain" nor does it say "In order to be a Christian you must be a Repub." I am fearful today of those voting "in the name of the Lord." Voting without true knowledge of the issues and for the only white man in the room over the age of 70 who has a bible-thumping side-kick wearing fashion glasses in hopes of making her look less like she did the political research for her campaign on Wikipedia, and more like a "real American."

So today I ask that everyone go out and vote, and when you are standing behind that curtain don't ask yourself, "WWJD?". Instead, ask yourself which candidate is truly less likely to F-up this already struggling country of ours...then vote for Obama.