Postcards of Grief

Mourning is a process.

Comments on breast cancer by proxy, written by a woman coping with the loss of her mother.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

emilin (at) gmail (dot) com

I’m narcissistic. We’ve covered this before, haven’t we? I’m also obsessive and find it very interesting to know who links to me, how people find me on Google, and in what time zone my various readers reside.

To the person whose internet domain is saputocheese.com: Please email me. I’d love to know who you are. You needn’t announce yourself publicly, but if you would be so kind as to just drop me a note and tell me a little about yourself, that would be fantastic. I mean, someone who works in cheese reads my blog? How cool is that?

Thursday, April 21, 2005

I used to spell well

I just learned about googlewhacking, a wonderful way to pass the time. It turns out that spelling counts, and rambuncious barrette won me nothing.

callipygous pangea, on the other hand, takes the cake.


Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday, dear Mo-om.
Happy birthday to you.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

A fondness for transubstantiation

I’m not as good a person as Frog. This will not be a pope-free zone.

I’m upset on behalf of the littlest monk, the kids attending Catholic schools in Detroit, and myself. Dan Savage gave us a good column on this issue—ignoring the stuff about the zombies and the chastity fetish—and frankly, I can’t say that I disagree with him.

I have a soft spot in my heart for Catholics. Until we moved when I was eight, my best friend was Catholic, and I regularly attended mass with her family. My best friend from eight years old through the current era, Heather, is a converted Catholic. She met and married a Bolivian man, and she converted. She loves her working class, justice oriented, internationally conscious church in Buffalo. Dear friend Ben was Catholic for a short time. He converted from the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod during college but converted to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in exchange for his partner becoming a vegetarian. I attend mass from time to time, generally when I need to receive the Eucharist mid-week or when commuting by bus makes it difficult to get to a Protestant church on a holy day. I received my ashes at the Catholic student parish this year.

For the most part, I believe in the idea that one needs to clean her own house first. That is, it’s not reasonable for me to sit in judgment over the Roman Catholic Church when my own religious body has some of the same problems. However, here’s where I am on the biggest debates in the RCC today:

I don’t think that the sexual abuse scandal reflects the need for priests to marry. If one were to argue that, one would be far better suited to state the fact that many priests have consensual, sexual relationships with other adults. I understand that priests not marrying has a utilitarian basis, and I respect it.

I also believe strongly that nuns should have the opportunity to serve churches in the form of parish ministry. Although many nuns would not choose that and instead prefer to serve the church the way they have been (generally that ministry is the reason they became sisters in the first place), the RCC at least ought to give women the opportunity to serving in leadership positions equal to those of priest, bishop, and cardinal.

Something must be done about the AIDS pandemic. Refusing to allow condom use is damn near the Holocaust—the Holocaust which the RCC stood by and refused to speak against. Now that millions of Jews have been killed, the Vatican wants to repair relations.

I respect that many Catholics are conservative and traditional, but it’s their level of consistency that’s important to me. Dennis Kucinich, for example, is a Catholic I respect very highly. Of course, now that he’s changed his position on abortion, I can stand behind him as a political figure, but even before that, he was consistent. He’s an anti-death penalty vegan. His respect for life is admirable.

So that’s where my anger comes from about much of mainstream Catholicism. Inconsistency. Show me a Catholic person who agrees with the Vatican on 100% of the issues, and I’ll show you one hundred who pick and choose. It’s difficult to find someone who will agree on all issues, but too many who agree with the Vatican on some issues will vilify those who disagree on the same issues. I’ve seen vehicles with a “You can’t be pro-choice and Catholic” sticker next to a “Support President Bush and our troops” sticker. JPII spoke very plainly against the war in Iraq, but too many people (Catholic and otherwise) refuse to see war as a moral issue.

I voted in November based on moral issues, but my moral issues revolve around quality of life (welfare), fair treatment (sexual orientation, race), and stewardship to God’s creation (aka “the environment”).

I will continue to do as I have done in the past and pray for the whole body of believers under Christ, as well as for all people of the world. I pray that this papacy will be a time of contemplation and transition into a world that promotes the health and well being of all people.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Truth, you say?

The Day of Truth was established to counter the promotion of the homosexual agenda and expresses an opposing viewpoint from a Christian perspective.

Participating students are encouraged to wear T-shirts and pass out cards (not during class time) with the following message:

I am speaking the Truth to break the silence. I believe in equal treatment for all, and not special rights for a few. I believe in loving my neighbor, but part of that love means not condoning detrimental personal and social behavior. I believe that by boldly proclaiming the Truth, hurts will be halted, hearts will be healed, and lives will be saved.
The Day of Truth is scheduled for April 14, 2005. This is the day after GLSEN (The Gay, Lesbian, Straight Educational Network) will sponsor the "Day of Silence." GLSEN’s Day of Silence encourages students to remain silent throughout the day and not respond to teachers or school administrators. It is part of their overall strategy to change how our society perceives homosexual behavior. But the Day of Silence is a misnomer, because what is truly being silenced is the Truth.

In the past, students who have attempted to speak against the promotion of the homosexual agenda have been censored or, in some cases, punished for their beliefs. It is important that students stand up for their First Amendment right to hear and speak the Truth about human sexuality in order to protect that freedom for future generations. The Day of Truth provides an opportunity to publicly exercise our free speech rights.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Acupuncture update

Mr. Acu Man wants me to start eating meat and plans to move back to Germany on August 1.

He was unable to provide any reason for eating meat other than that it was somehow the best thing. He insisted that it’s not about protein but couldn’t tell me what the purpose was nor what other foods would help fill in the gaps. I asked for alternatives. He suggested beef broth. Beef broth is not vegetarian, just in case you were wondering. I'm unwilling to eat meat. We'll see how determined he is. I'm taking Brooke in with me on Monday to make the case against meat.

He did the acupuncture itself, and he included a little moxibustion. My moxibustion was done on top of slices of ginger, not directly against the skin. When it got hot, I told him, and he moved it. I made a point of being relaxed about the whole needling thing, figuring that it was going to sting since, you know, he was puncturing my skin, but that it wasn't going to be a big deal since they were just little needles, not dinner knives.
There was a point at which the back of my knee was a bit uncomfortable, but all in all, it was a good thing.

Just before I left, he put one little bead on some special acupuncture point on each ear and taped them down. Whenever I want, I massage the little bead, and it’s supposed to relax me. Not bad. And placebo effect or not, my insomnia is way better.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


In the hopes of tempering my migraines, depression, anxiety, and insomnia, I sought out the help of an acupuncturist. I had a visit with him yesterday, figuring I'd give it a shot, since it's cheaper than therapy.

He told me "person to person" that he thinks I need more time to grieve the loss of my mother, and that he can't help me with my emotional problems. He did, however, agree to treat me.

Per Mr. Acu Man, I have a blood deficiency, which he said can sometimes be caused by a kidney deficiency but I didn't show many signs of that. I go back in on Monday to be treated (I think). We didn't get into my diet at all, but he took the most thorough menstrual history I've ever done. My blood deficiency might be related to my athleticism in my youth. While taking my pulse, he pegged a couple of other symptoms/annoyances which I wouldn't have thought to mention: dry skin, occasionally blurred vision, cold hands and feet. Brooke will be thrilled if the cold feet get taken care of. She's sick of feeling them in bed.

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