Saturday, July 15, 2006


Well the time has finally brother and I check into the hospital tomorrow morning, Sunday, July 16th at 7am for pre-operative testing and will be wheeled into the surgical suites the next day, Monday, July 17th at 7am to undergo the actual, long-awaited kidney transplant. For those of you who believe yourselves to be prayer warriers, let the praying begin! In the interest of being specific, as you all already know, my name is Sharon and my brother's name is Roy [but we call him Dee]. Your prayers are both wanted and appreciated so advance heartfelt "Thank yous" to you all.

Right now, I'm doing okay if a bit frantic as I am compulsive in some ways whenever I am required to be away from home. I have this unsuppressible urge to leave my home sparkling clean as this is how I like to return to it; thus I am always in a cleaning frenzy before leaving home. As the mother of a teenaged boy who will be staying at home during my hospitalization, I also become somewhat obsessive about making sure he has plenty of food that he can prepare for himself in my absence which necessitates one of my least favorite tasks: a trip to the grocery store. Add to that, all that had to be handled to wrap up the loose ends at work until my return sometime around Labor Day, and suffice it to say, I am a bit hectic right now to say the least.

Emotionally, I'm holding up okay, but I have awakened in the middle of the night every night since last Saturday in a moderate panic. In an attempt to alleviate some of the anxiety I am feeling during these episodes, I did the only rational, logical thing I could think of:

  1. I called the closest thing I have to a pastor (as I do not belong to a church), my close friend Traci. Traci is a minister of a church in Columbia, Missouri and though I know I was risking a lot as I awakened her at a time that only someone she truly loved could get away with, I called her anyway. As I knew she would, she talked me down from the ledge I was precariously hanging on to and returned my spirit to a place of peace. I Love You Traci!
  2. I developed the following list:

Top Ten Reasons To Give Your Brother One Of Your Kidneys

10. Because African-Americans represent 33% of all the patients currently on dialysis due to kidney failure but only 11 - 18% of the patients who actually receive kidney transplants. This is at least partially due to the high rates of hypertension and diabetes in our race which drastically reduces the number of eligible donors, as well as the reluctance to be a donor amongst those who can qualify; a consequence of little to no awareness of the power some of us possess to help save and/or improve the quality of life of others.

9. Because you love your brother (Duh!).

8. Because you know it is the right thing to do and you always try to do the right thing.

7. Because you have two kidneys and your mother raised you not to be selfish.

6. Because you are almost out of vacation time at work and the doctors said this would be good for at least 4 to 6 additional weeks off from work.

5. Because you heard it was a great way to get flowers and you LOVE flowers.

4. Because if you are a "Boudoir Diva" like me [defined by Webster's as one who loves the idea of laying around in the bedroom (my favorite place on earf!) wearing pretty PJ's and satiny ling-A-Rie], then you already get it.

3. Because even though you're watching what you eat [as you eat TOO much of it], AND you got a personal trainer, you STILL need to lose 3 pounds.

2. Because sometimes the kidney hides behind the bottom rib [a.k.a. the "floating rib"] and it has to be removed; leaving you with Janet Jackson's body when you wake up....don't hate the playa, hate the game!

1. Because if you don't, you might hit hard times and decide to sell it on the black market for $10000, $15000, or $20000 which is on average what a good kidney goes for....wait, what the hell am I thinking....Hey Dee, we need to talk, see what had happened waz....

Anyway, after coming up with my Top Ten list, I felt infinitely better. Unless the hospital will let me access their wireless internet, I will be incommincado through next Friday. However, shortly thereafter, I plan to once again become the infamous Microphone Queen....the beloved moniker that Original Oldgirl Ladylee [who herself seems to be MIA] bestowed upon me. So, until then, please keep Ms. Just Write Now, her brother Dee, and her family at large [which includes each and everyone of you!] in your prayers.

Oh, and one more thing.....

Please BLOG like hell for the next 4 to 6 weeks as I will have nothing but time on my hands and reading the magic that spills forth from all of your beautiful minds is about the best thing [okay maybe not the best thing, but pretty damned close to the top of the list ;)] I can think of to do with it!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

On Probation And Loving It!!!

To any of you still stopping by here at this point, I won't apologize again because even I realize that there comes a time when an apology simply won't cut it. I will simply say, that I will do everything in my power to become once again, the reliably consistent blogger I once was. Also, the transplant surgery has been moved up and is now scheduled to take place on Monday, July 17th so keep us in your prayers and look for me to be back to posting regularly during my recuperation for sure.

That said, I am here tonite to deliver the first of what I pray will be many installments over the years regarding the newly, re-discovered love of my life....a wonderful man who for the time being, will be known as "THE PROBATION OFFICER", or following the example of one of the supreme bloggers of our time, David Parrish of "Parrish, The Thoughts" , "THE PO"! So, without further ado, let us get into the meat of the thing....and by the way "Diva" , this one's for you!

Almost 22 years ago, during the summer following my first year of pharmacy school, I decided to remain in Nebraska [where I attended school] and work as a counselor/resident advisor for the Upward Bound Program instead of going home for the summer. Even so, I went home for two weeks between the end of the school year and the starting date for my position. When I returned, my best friend Angie had begun dating a well-known local DJ who was also a sergeant in the Air Force, and had decided to "fix me up" with his best friend when I returned for the summer. At this point, it is important to note the "back story". This was a time in my life, when I was everything but "girly". A tomboy from birth, I was completely at home in jeans, sweats, etc. and rarely even curled my hair. I had worn make-up a total of exactly once, for my senior prom, and the idea that I might even have "feminine wiles" with which to attract the attention of the opposite sex was completely foreign to me. Only having recently reached the ripe old age of 20, I was as inept in the art of "man-getting" as any woman could ever possibly be. Though I had by this time had one boyfriend, that had been a relationship that started when I was 16 and was assigned to my then boyfriend's carpool. That relationship though it lasted almost five years was more the result of us being kind of thrown together more so than any "man-getting" skills I might have had.

Angie and two other of my close girlfriends at the time, Lori W. and Kim N. had come up with a master plan to give me a complete make-over before setting up this fateful meeting. They took me shopping for "man-getting" clothes, things that required underwear designed specifically to be worn underneath them; or just pantyhose and/or no underwear at all. I was dismayed as the idea of leaving the house without underwear was as alien to me as eating squid with any regularity. Next, they took me to the eye doctor for an eye exam and my first pair of contact lenses. Though traumatic, this was the one thing that had the greatest and most lasting impact on me as I simply fell in love with my own eyes, and as I recall, this was the very first time that I felt that a physical feature of mine was truly beautiful. Wow! The idea that a person could live that long and be happy, even though they had never before felt that something about themselves was physically beautiful. Thanks Angie and Lori....that changed everything! As the make-over endeavor rolled on, I was taken to the beauty salon for a short, sassy haircut that started me on the road I now travel of short, stylish hair that is easy to manage.

Once all of the transformations had been completed, my make-over mavens chose a form-fitting tee-shirt dress from my new "man-getting" wardrobe for me to wear to the next Air Force Base "All-nighter" party, and insisted that I wear it with nothing but a pair of pantyhose and pumps. Though I protested vehemently, once I saw myself in that dress sans panties, I was won over. I had no idea I had that body! Though I had been an avid swimmer and PomPon girl for years, I was totally unaware of what those activities had done in terms of the sculpted, toned body I had developed. My confidence in myself and my "man-getting" abilities grew three times that day. Without question, satisfaction with the image one sees when one looks in the mirror definitely goes a long way in giving one more personal armor which serves to strengthen one's self-esteem.

Finally, I was ready to meet the PO. My girlfriends and I piled out of the car on the base of the Strategic Air Command located in Bellevue, Nebraska and joined others in a long line waiting to be admitted to one of the regularly scheduled base "all-nighters" which lasted until 3am which in Nebraska is all night. Standing in line behind us, I noticed a tall, dark-skinned brother who was dressed in red, Ralph Lauren Polo line if memory serves me correctly, and I remember poking Angie and telling her that this was the brother she should have been fixing me up with. Remember, the newly made-over, sexy me was a much bolder sista than the Sharon who existed even 24 hours earlier. In one of the best moments of my life, Angie smiled and told me that in actuality, this was the brother she was fixing me up with and the introductions were made.

Suffice it to say,

For me it was all over in that very instant.....
If I could find a store like Build A Bear, where one could design their very own brotha, the PO would be the brotha I'd build. At 6 feet 5 inches and about 225 pounds he is sized just right. Add in skin as smooth as melted chocolate stretched across a frame that was designed for basketball and a voice so deep that it is capable of making me lose my train of thought without regard to the content of what is being said, and you have my idea of an ideal male specimen.
DISCLAIMER: I was only 21 and these were the things that were important to a former tomboy who had only just discovered that she was cute and even kinda sexy ;)
To shorten up a very long story, we hit it off that night and dated for the summer. Though the physical beauty of him immediately caught my attention, we soon discovered that we were very compatible relative to our sense of humor and love of teasing and bantering with each other. Unfortunately, I was built from birth to be a one-man woman, and he on the other hand was not built [at least not at that time] for one-woman activities. Thus, this pivotal romantic relationship in my life ended. However, the friendship we had managed to create lasted and was maintained over the last 20 years even though I graduated and left Nebraska, he retired from the military and left Nebraska, I went on to have the relationships I spoke of in the post "Through the Fire...." , as well as Ryan, and he went on to marry and divorce one of my former class mates and have two children with her.
For the last couple of years, we have talked about getting together as we live in different states. I invited him to come down for my Memorial Day Picnic and he accepted, and thus began Sharon's probation. Following his return home, he called me while I was sick in Atlanta, and told me that he had been thinking about how good it was to reconnect with me. He talked about the fact that in actuality, his relationship with me was probably the most healthy, and positive long-term relationship he had ever had with any woman and definitely with any woman with whom he had been romantically involved. When I thought about this perspective, I had to admit that the same held true for me as I have never been one to maintain contact with those with whom I have ended a romantic liason [with the PO being the exception of course]. He said he would really like it if we could continue to see each other and spend as much time together as possible and just see where things go. I was estactic, as I have always felt a special connection with the PO and have always wished we had the opportunity to explore our feelings for each other more thoroughly as he possesses so many of the traits I actively look for in a sig other.
He has a great sense of humor which allows him to laugh frequently, often at himself. He is considerate of me in more ways than I can list, and he is proactive in his consideration, never waiting to be asked to do something that will make my load lighter or my day brighter. He has been an excellent father to his children, and is an avid cheerleader for me in my efforts to raise Ryan alone often giving me encouragement and insight on specific situations from a man's perspective. He respects my love of my family and each time he has come to visit, [three weekends since Memorial Day], he makes a point of asking that we go visit my mother, grandmother, and sister, all of whom he seems to have developed a special affinity for. He supports my decision to undergo the kidney transplant with my brother and plans to come and be here for me during my recuperation. I could go on forever, but I guess to sum it all up, I'd have to say that he makes me feel that this is a special relationship not because it is "new" again, but because we, he and I, are special people with a special connection to each other. Oh, and just so there is no confusion, though I've grown up, all that physical stuff that he had going for him then and continues to be blessed with now [Helleluia], surely doesn't hurt his chances for getting off probation!
So, right now, I'm on probation and loving it as is he. He is my Probation Officer and I am his. How long the probation will last is anyone's guess, and as he frequently admonishes me to do, I am coasting along as best I can and occasionally pumping the brakes to make sure that I don't get nowhere too fast. In my heart of hearts, I want this to become the defining relationship in my life and to be the relationship that I have been waiting for it seems all of my life. I want to be with him all the time and when I'm not with him, all I want to do is think about him. I definitely expect some of this to pass, but I hope that all of this won't go away and definitely not too soon. He is more special to me than I can relate, and I just hope he feels the same or at least similarly about me. One thing is for sure, his memory is as long as mine, and the fact that he remembers so specifically so many things from both our distant as well as our recent interactions is something about which I can definitely get very excited. I already have a wonderful history with this man, and am looking forward to adding to that history.
So as the probationary period continues, I will try to just enjoy the blessing that is he. I will drop an occasionally line or two about our progress as it is warranted, but mostly, I will focus on doing what is necessary to nourish this wonderful new life force within me. I am happy, and I know that you guys are happy for me which only serves to make me happier! Always able to find a silver lining in any cloud, I'm here to tell you all....