Lessons In Keeping It Together (ish)


I fall in love with them a little more every time I see them.

I might have been looking at new houses today.

We can’t really afford to buy yet and it is going to take some time to establish my credit rating here in my new home of Texas.  That’s a blow to my ego that has presented a few emotional moments for me since I arrived in May.

“Welcome to the USA.  You will not have status, credit, the ability to vote or get a drivers license for a bit.  Also you will not have free healthcare but if you are  a hard worker and believe in dreams, we’re glad to have you.”

Canadian’s cringe when I say this.  “I am a Canadian but already proud to be an AmeriCAN” <— see what I did there?  I’m going to be a hard working, penny pinching, saving, frugal, strategic, home buying, car owning, putting my step-son’s through College and big barbeque (grill) owning woman.


So as I was looking at the new car I want to buy (I haven’t had a car since February and I am about to go ape-shit without one)  and sending off little  happy emails to possible bigger and prettier rental homes here in our small town in North Texas, I got the news that completely changed my day.

My step-son needs to have a surgery.  Within two weeks.  And a biopsy.


Forget what you think you know about Step-Mother’s. I let them eat my Fruit Loops, ’nuff said.

Someone has already mentioned that Logan already has a Mom and a Dad to worry about him.  I wonder sometimes if people get that for two years, the twins have already been part of my life.  That they already WERE my kids before they became legally my responsibility too.

I fell in love with my son’s a long time ago you see.  Which is what made 2013 so hard for me, being unable to enter the USA and see them.   Except on Skype.  I am the reigning Queen of social life on Skype (except now it’s Diane on the camera).

So at first came the questions about deductibles.  This is new for a Canadian keep in mind, since we simply visit the hospital and pay… nothing.  Ever. Never.  So as the dollar signs started to pile up a comical voice in my head said: “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore Toto” as I looked down at Diego.

Close to Kansas I suppose here in North Texas, but not Canada, land of the free healthcare.  It didn’t take long for my reality to sink in again.

But money comes and money goes.  Seriously, I am beyond getting stressed about money.  I find a way to work it out always.  It was the munchkin that was the sole thought of my day.   He’s the very very sensitive one.  Prone to anxiety (how could he possibly take after his Step-Mum more).

I hate it for him.  The day surgery.  The anxiety he is going through.  The not knowing.  The waiting that is going to happen until we have the biopsy back.

I love him you see.  And I couldn’t give a shit if it was $100,000 to be honest, as long as he is okay.    I just wish he didn’t have to go through it at all.  I wish I could make it not happen, wave a magic wand (I wish for a wand on a daily basis) and make that lump in his throat go away.

And life changes.  Tell God your plans and he’ll laugh, but my heart isn’t full of fury.  I am not calling down the Furies either by saying “we’ve got this”.   Just praying that he will be okay.  That we can support him and make him feel less afraid on the way in to the surgery.   That I can figure out how to hide my concern because I am new at this shit.    This putting on a poker face for kids is something new for me, and I’ve never been good at faking it.

I’ve been practicing answers to his questions in my head all afternoon.   Sometimes in front of a mirror.

Thank you for partial medical coverage.   We’ll cope with the costs together, Kevin and I.  This is part of life.  But when I say I wish this wasn’t happening, it’s not the cost.  It’s his scared little face.   And then I cry a little bit and write some more.

And I got a call from Kevin who said that their Mom Stephanie had sent a sweet text message.

She said “Tell Lori thank you for being so kind and supportive.  Let her know we  appreciate her.”

And something warm and kind within me stirred, and made me feel like everything was going to be okay.  She saw me.   She got that I am deeply invested in taking care of her children too.

Yeah, it’s going to be okay.