Monday, March 20, 2017

My friend, Teresa

Obituary of Teresa Edwards

Teresa H. Edwards, 56, of Herndon, Virginia, died suddenly on Wednesday, March 14, 2017, at Reston Hospital. She was born June 29, 1960, in Roanoke, VA, the daughter of Jack and JoAnn Hale.
During her childhood years, Teresa and her family moved multiple times, living in Roanoke, Virginia; Syracuse, New York; Cary, North Carolina; and Charlottesville, Virginia.
Teresa graduated from Albemarle High School in Charlottesville, Virginia with the class of 1978. She attended the University of Virginia and graduated in 1982 with a degree in Environmental Science. On September 25, 1982, she was united in marriage to Harold (Chip) Edwards in Charlottesville. In 1984 they moved to Herndon, Virginia. Teresa worked as a technical writer for a local engineering firm until birth of her first daughter in 1988.
Teresa was a stay-at-home mom who also had a love for animals and a passion for her pets. She home-schooled her two daughters and was involved in La Leche League for many years. Teresa was dedicated to finding loving homes for animals in need and recently became a volunteer for A Forever Home Rescue Foundation, a dog adoption agency. In her spare time, Teresa enjoyed spending time with her daughters, visiting her mother in Charlottesville, cooking healthy meals, caring for horses, and reading while sitting next to her dog Sadie.
She is survived by her husband Harold R. Edwards of Herndon Virginia; two children, Marie Nelson and Sallie Edwards of Herndon; her mother JoAnn Hale of Charlottesville, Virginia; and her sister, Kathy Hale of Herndon.
She was preceded in death by her father, Jack F. Hale.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, March 25 at 2:00 p.m. at the Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Herndon with Pastor Margrethe Kleiber officiating. The interment will be held following the service at the Cool Spring Natural Cemetery in Berryville, Virginia.
Memorial donations may be made to A Forever Home Rescue Foundation at (look for the “Donate” button on the right). If you donate online there is a field called “special instructions” that will allow you to you designate the donation in honor or in memory of Teresa. You may also mail your donation to the address below:
A Forever Home
P.O. Box 222801
Chantilly, VA 20153-2801

Monday, March 6, 2017

Three years ago

Three years ago today, my doctor listened when I complained of bad headaches. He ordered an MRI and I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. In June 2014 I had brain surgery to remove the benign tumor. I am grateful to my doctor for listening to me and to my sister, Carol Thompsen Hestvik for insisting I go to Johns Hopkins for my surgery and care

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Some sort of epiphany

I have had this feeling of gloom and doom for a while now.  It's just been an underlying depression that I couldn't exactly put my finger on, but I was just feeling kind of blah.  

I know some of it comes from the election of Donald Trump.   But, usually something like that passes.  It is intense, but fleeting.  This was different.

Then, I think I finally figured it out.   I "lost" my "H" drive- an external hard drive on my computer.  I had all of my thousands of pictures stored there.   I had worked so hard on taking and storing and organizing them.  
The pictures were not actually "lost".  They are all still around.  But, not the way I had worked so hard to create and organize and file them.

I have tried to explain it and have not been able to articulate my feelings.  

Then, the other night, I couldn't sleep.  I got up and started to write/ draw out what I had "lost".  It was all of the work I had done to create a system that I loved.   I have had lots of suggestions such as "they are all there, you just have to re-organize them again".

I started to think about what it was I felt I had lost.  I thought of it as an object.  I told it to Nick this way;  imagine you made a beautiful guitar (which he has done), and it broke into a thousand pieces.   And you were heart broken.   And you were told "you have all the pieces, just put it back together".  Like it is that simple.   It is the loving care and thought and time that went into the beauty of the guitar, not just the "pieces".

I wrote down what I felt represents, somewhat, the order and system I had created, and why I felt too overwhelmed and too hurt (?) to just "replace" it.

I had made folders for every month since 2004.   For every month.  Plus I had made folders for special subjects.  and sub folders of those folder.   I had done a lot of photo shopping and cropping on a lot of my photos.  I don't know if I can ever pick up all of those broken pieces and put them together again.  I don't think my heart is in it.

But being able to articulate what my loss was, and to have it understood, took away that feeling of helplessness.    

It has been and is genuine grief.  No, not over a "living" being, but a piece of myself.   So, now I can get back to feeling like I am going to be alright.

Here's what I drew up in an effort to try to help it make sense to anyone else.  Mainly to Nick because I know he cares about it more than most anyone else would.

This represents all of the folders and work I put into my now lost filing system.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

So far so good

The last week or so I have been contemplating my future.  Not that I am not always doing that anyway.  But, I found a lump in my breast.

I am a lactation consultant,  I know what breasts feel like.  Some are lumpy, but when a lactating breast is lumpy, it is usually a plugged duct.   I have not been a lactating mother for a very long time.  So, I did not imagine I had a plugged duct.

I was quiet about it for about a week.   I was able to get an appointment with my gynecologist to get an order for a mammogram.   I could have gone to get one without the doctor's order, but, I wanted her to write the order in a way that assured that the lump would be seen and studied.

I kept saying, "it's fine".  "I am going to be just fine".  "It's probably nothing".  But I had not really convinced myself.

I had always told myself that if I had breast cancer I would be fine and get through it.  If I needed to have my breasts removed, I would be okay with that too.

Then, for a brief moment of my life, I faced that possibility.  And I felt sad.  These are the breasts that fed my babies.  That have known life and love.  They are a part of me.

The fear of the practical things in life getting disrupted.  Like who would run the weekly drop in breastfeeding cafe' that I have held weekly for the last seven years.  Who would water my house plants, and keep the bird feeders full.  What would my kids think?   How would they cope?

And I kept smiling and telling everyone "oh it's all going to be fine".

Yesterday I had a very complete mammogram,  a 3D mammogram and an ultrasound.   When the tech said she was going to get the doctor, I braced myself for ...well.. whatever would come next.

The doctor came in smiling.  She shook my hand as she introduced herself, and she said I am just fine.  Nothing wrong.  No cancer.

I texted my sister because I know she was as worried as me if not more.  I texted my husband, and told him I was on my way home VIA the bird seed store.

I stopped at the grocery store and came home and cooked a good dinner.

And when I went to bed, I wanted to cry.  Cry hard.   I have had too many friends who did not have good news.  I cannot imagine how they felt, but I am sure they cried.

But, I didn't cry.   Nick came to bed and he read the names of various community center courses which we re-named into silly words and activities.  We laughed and laughed.  And I slept better than I have in a long time.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Women's March January 21, 2017

This is my friend Maureen and here's what she wrote:

The chocolate chip cookie drop worked! I scored a Pussy Hat tonight from the collection site in Reston. They got over 60,000 hats, knitted by supporters all over the world! Mine was knitted by Erika from Madison, Wisconsin. Here I am with my dear friend Nancy, who already knitted several hats for the Marchers.

Maureen was hoping I would have a hat for here and I wish I did.  But I am confident that all of my hats were at the demonstrations in Washington, DC today!!


Protesters in solidarity, Perth, Western Australia

My knitting being worn in DC

Thursday, January 19, 2017

I've been knitting

The Women's March on Washington D.C. is happening January 21, 2017! The Pussyhat Project launched Thanksgiving weekend! As of now, we have 4 days to knit, crochet, and sew 1.17 million pink pussyhats. Join the movement!
Please check out The PDF to get the whole picture of what we're about.  We'll be updating this website with more content SOON.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Reflecting on the New Year




2015 the tape is there because I just had my thyroid removed


I posted the most recent picture, from 2016, on Facebook as my "profile picture".  This is pretty much how I look when I am not too tired, have on a bit of make-up, and am smiling.

I wanted to load the pictures here in chronological order, but haven't yet mastered that skill.   Oh well, I did date them the best I could.

My favorite picture among these, of myself anyway, is the one from 1983.  Of course I was a lot younger and thinner.  That helps.  And something that bugs me, but nobody else probably cares about, is how much straighter my teeth were back then.

I want to get them back to that although some people would say "you're almost 63, what does it matter how you look?".    Well, I don't know that it matters in terms of global importance, but it matters to me.

I guess I am aging alright.   I don't know what I expected!  I kind of had a picture in my mind, once upon a time, of myself in my 60s with two long, gray braids.    Wearing overalls.   Being a country woman.   I imagined myself as one of Joni Mitchell's

"Ladies of the Canyon".      

She always makes you welcome in
Cats and babies 'round her feet
And all are fat and none are thin
None are thin and all are fat
She may bake some brownies today
Saying you are welcome back

I knew this song before  I was married and before I was a mother, but I had a romantic vision of myself with cats and babies.  I got to live that dream, didn't I?   And I can always go back and listen to the music.

What is it about the music of youth and dreams?  Here's another one that Nick and I both loved listening to:

"Teach Your Children"

You, who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by
And so, become yourself
Because the past is just a goodbye

Teach your children well
Their father's hell did slowly go by
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picks, the one you'll know by

Don't you ever ask them why
If they told you, you would cry
So just look at them and sigh
And know they love you

And you (Can you hear?) of tender years (And do you care?)
Can't know the fears (And can you see?) that your elders grew by (We must be free)
And so, please help (To teach your children) them with your youth (What you believe in)
They seek the truth (Make a world) before they can die (That we can live in)

Teach your parents well
Their children's hell will slowly go by
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picks, the one you'll know by

Don't you ever ask them why
If they told you, you will cry
So just look at them and sigh
And know they love you