Posts Tagged ‘Tina’

It was a Thursday. I was substitute teaching at an elementary year round school. It was the end of August (1997) in Los Angeles and it was scorching hot. At the afternoon recess, when I went to the administration building to use the faculty restroom, the school secretary called me over. She said my daughter had called and was upset but said it wasn’t an emergency but that I should call home. Tina was 12. She didn’t go to year round school, nor did my other two children. Tony was 15 so he stayed with the girls when I had a subbing job. I called home and Tina’s voice was shaky.

“Mom, I feel like someone is going to die. Someone famous.”

We had been talking about Mother Teresa because she had been ill and was elderly so I suggested that perhaps it was Mother Teresa that was going to die.

“No. It’s someone young. Someone that everyone loves and it’s going to be a big shock to everyone. To the whole world. Mom, I’m scared.”

Tina had this thing where she would pick up on feelings and could feel when disasters happened, often before they were reported on the news. She could feel when we were going to have an earthquake. She often could not put it together; she just knew “something bad is going to happen.” I was at work so I couldn’t console her but I told her we could talk about it when I got home in a couple of hours but by the time I got home, she had put it out of her mind and I felt it best not to bring it up because I knew she was always upset when she got these feelings. That was Thursday.

On Saturday, my youngest, Susie and I went to the grocery store in the late afternoon. When we drove into the driveway, Tina came running out of the house crying. Before I got a chance to ask her what was wrong, she cried out.

“Princess Diana was in a car accident. It’s bad, Mom. She’s the one. She’s going to die.”

Going into the house and watching the initial coverage, I learned about the car accident and that there was not yet any official word on her condition. However, as we all know, within the next half hour, her death was confirmed. There was indeed great sadness and shock at her untimely death.

And my Tina cried. Whenever she got these feelings and they came true, she felt like it was her fault; like she could have done something to prevent it. It wasn’t long after that she intentionally tried to tune out those type of feelings. The grief she felt was way too much for a teenager to process and handle.


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Tina picked me up the other day. We were going to the store for a quick errand. As soon as I got in the car, she exclaimed, ” Henry died!” I asked her who had died afraid she was talking about Henry, the maintenance guy here in the mobile home park. She said, “Henry! Our spider. Our pet spider!” Big sigh of relief but then I asked her about the spider.

She went on to tell me in detail about how a spider appeared in their bathroom back in about May or June. It was a little spider and they just left it alone. One day one of the boys accidentally displaced it and Chris picked it up and put in ton the shower curtain. She talked about how the spider slowly found its way from the shower curtain to a corner on their tub organizing tray. Henry lived there since then. Chris even would feed it bugs every few days…bugs he would pick off of his plants.

Yup, I was smiling and on the verge of laughing out loud.

She went on and on, talking about how sad it was; how upsetting; how she wanted to go out and find another spider to bring inside and make into a pet. I reminded her that spiders have a short-ish life cycle. She agreed but still kept trying to figure out why it died. I counted out the months for her…it was at least seven months old since they noticed it.

Well, she kept talking about Henry until we got to the store ten minutes later. That was the longest she had talked about any one subject in a long, long time so I didn’t have the heart to ask her when she got so friendly with spiders. It wasn’t all that long ago that the tiniest of spiders would make her scream and cry. It wasn’t that long ago since the “I hate spiders!” incident (which if you really want to smile, you’ll go read it).

That was my smile for the week. Even now, telling you about it, I’m smiling!

When you’re done smiling, go on over to Trent’s blog and read about the Weekly Smile blog hop, think of a smile you would like to share with us and write it up and enter it on the linky for this week’s blog hop. You have the whole week, until next Tuesday night to do it!

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Tina is my oldest daughter.  Today is her birthday.  She’s 27.

It’s hard to believe that it has been that long since I held her in my arms, completely in awe of her tiny-ness.  And even more in awe of the fact that I had a daughter!  A “psychic” had told her father that I was carrying a boy.  I didn’t have a strong feeling one way or another as I had with my son, so when the doctor said, “It’s a girl!” I was glad I was in bed or I would have passed out!

She was a beautiful little baby.  Her skin was plump and not wrinkly.  She had a beautiful color.  In fact, she looked more like a C-section baby, not one that had pushed her way out!

The doctor held up the placenta so I could see it…he wanted me to see that she had a heart-shaped placenta.  He said she was going to be a sweetheart.  And she is.  IF she wants to be, that is.

I also remember that her shoulders were very broad when she was born.  Her brother, born three years before, had not had those broad shoulders.  She was very long.  She measured 23 inches and weighed 7 lbs., 7 oz.  She was also 20 days post-mature and I lost weight during the last two weeks so it’s very likely that she would have been another pound heavier had she been born earlier.

She was due on the 21st of December!  I remember being on baby watch since before Christmas and all through Christmas.  For a while we thought she would be born on Christmas, which is my birthday, but even then she had a mind of her own!

There is so much I can say about Tina but I think I’ll just go on and sit with my coffee and think about my girl.

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