A Lot Happens

  • Mother falls and breaks hip, has hip replacement, has heart attack, gets pneumonia, Blacksburg, Virginia, January 2006
  • Put townhouse on the market, Tampa, Florida, January 2006
  • Finish master’s degree in counseling, July 2006
  • Leave Tampa home of twenty-three years to move to Blacksburg, July 2006
  • In lockdown with eighth graders while fellow Blacksburg High School graduate escapes from prison and kills two, August 2006
  • Called to a meeting to learn that fellow teacher and family friend has been arrested for molesting children for 30 years, September 2006
  • Meet nice guy on my 48th birthday, December 30, 2006
  • Eighth grade student at new school in school system of which I am a graduate enters my classroom after the lesson has begun, walks by me, and shoves me, February 6, 2007
  • In lockdown for approximately eight hours with approximately twenty eighth grade students at a school a few miles from Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, while a fellow Hokie shoots fellow Hokies and their teachers and himself, April 16, 2007
  • Nice guy asks me to marry him, April 16, 2007
  • Electricity goes out so parents come to my house for water and warmth, mother bathes, falls in bathtub, rips open leg wound, April 17, 2007
  • Marry nice guy, June 16, 2007
  • Eighth grade student positions himself so only I can see and hear, looks me straight in the eye, and says in a very low voice, “I’m going to shoot you,” September, 2007
  • Leave quarter century teaching career, November 7, 2007
  • [If 2007 Could Be Different]
  • Start writing blog for VT KnowledgeWorks, November 30, 2007
  • First sprint triathlon, May, 2008
  • Start Handshake 2.0, July 28, 2008
  • Start company, Handshake Media, Incorporated, August, 2008
  • Nice guy’s father dies, April, 2009
  • Read Wally Lamb’s novel based on shootings at Columbine, The Hour I First Believed, March 2009
  • Parotid surgery, February, 2010
  • Step-grandmother dies, April 2010
  • Start new company with big dreams and a team, September, 2010
  • Put beloved cat to sleep, November 20, 2010
  • Get new cat, May 2011
  • Learn new cat has incurable, auto-immune disorder, May 2011
  • Last sprint triathlon, June, 2011
  • Mother dies, August 27, 2011
  • Female surgery, September 13, 2011
  • Counselor of five years tells me she has cancer, September, 2011
  • Read writing on the wall at start-up company competition, October 15, 2011
  • End new company with dashed dreams and farewell to team, October, 2011
  • Do nothing at all for four days for the first time in half a century, St. Petersburg Beach, November, 2011
  • Another shooting at Virginia Tech, Thursday, December 8, 2011
  • Retinal hemorrhage, Monday, December 12, 2011
  • Grandmother dies, Tuesday, December 13, 2011
  • Counselor survives cancer surgery, Tuesday, December 13, 2011
  • Macular degeneration named as possibility by eye specialist, Wednesday, December 14, 2011
  • Get new counselor, Dr. H., December 15, 2011
  • Turn 53, December 30, 2011
  • When asked to propose a toast, am speechless, December 31, 2011
  • Attend first political meeting since government teacher made us go in 1976. Government teacher is there, February 16, 2012
  • Sit in front row at Gotham Comedy Club in New York City and get reminded I can be seen by comedian: “You look like you bake cookies all day long.” Friday, February 23, 2012
  • Six months since mother died, February 27, 2012
  • First bike ride in six months, March 3, 2012
  • Make finals in VT KnowledgeWorks Entrepreneurship Challenge.
  • Retinal hemorrhage heals after 3 months, March 12, 2012
  • Conversation initiated by my father about my mother begins to free me from the past, Wednesday, March 14, 2012
  • Have dinner with government teacher, thirty-five years since we were together in her classroom, March 14, 2012
  • Meet with health care organization physicians for first time who might do a clinical trial with our behavioral health software, Wednesday, June 27, 2012
  • Take up sport of table tennis again after 32-year absence, June 27, 2012
  • Begin designing research and writing application for Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) and Institutional Review Board (IRB), June 28, 2012
  • Cat missing for 25 hours, July 9-10, 2012
  • First table tennis tournament since 1980, last place, July 21, 2012
  • Freak at 35th high school reunion, July 21, 2012
  • Start new start-up, July 31, 2012
  • Think I never, ever will but finally complete task of about 40 hours: passed online Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Human Subjects Research Training, August 1, 2012
  • Sell a corporate asset, first big deal, feel like Donald Trump, August 8, 2012
  • Start, again, to keep a food journal with my trainer because I am eating and drinking too much, August 25, 2012
  • One-year anniversary of mother’s death, August 27, 2012
  • Learn of acceptance of presentation of behavioral health software during tracked session “What Goes Into Making an Extraordinary mHealth App?” at mHealth Summit on Wednesday, December 5, the National Institute of Health (NIH) an organizing sponsor, expected attendance of 5000 from 50 countries, August 27, 2012
  • Last Presidents’ Council meeting, September 4, 2012
  • Host a baby shower, as always, as a childless woman, September 6, 2012
  • Host a farewell party to a national team table tennis player from China, September 9, 2012
  • Write a column for the November issue on the dark side of entrepreneurship for Dan Smith at Valley Business FRONT, September 10, 2012
  • Serve as a mentor at Startup Weekend Blacksburg, September 14-16, 2012
  • Post a job opening on an online job board for the first time, September 14, 2012
  • Struggle with operating a 4-year old company, starting a new start-up company, running both with people, not machines, contractors, not full-time employees, being a good wife, taking care of cats, doing dishes and laundry, maintaining relationships with friends and family members, staying fit, handling the urgency of entrepreneurship which regresses one from secure urbanite to desperate hunter-gatherer (i.e. if we don’t finish hunting and gathering, we don’t eat, i.e. if we don’t finish the tasks in Basecamp right now, the company goes down), negotiating consensus among salaried people with the leisure to contemplate the stars, eating Greek yogurt at 3 PM so I don’t binge at 5 PM, not lamenting the 3:00 AM awakenings, but making a pot of tea and starting to work again on that application with its 100+ questions, not being able to talk with my mother, June 27, 2012 – September 26, 2012
  • 12 weeks to the day after our first meeting, and 100s of hours of work later, team completes application to submit to the OSP and IRB for the clinical trial, September 27, 2012
  • Laugh joyously with someone a fraction of my age with whom I do not share the same sex, language or culture about the craziness of using impossibly small paddles to smack an impossibly light ball back and forth across a table, September 27, 2012
  • Participate in 4-hour part one of research study billed thusly:  “The Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute’s Addiction Recovery Research Center (ARRC) is currently recruiting participants for a brain-imaging study that looks at decision-making and decision-making with brain stimulation.” October 9, 2012
  • Participate in part two of the research study by spending 30 minutes in an MRI tube, head in a vise, getting my brain scanned while answering questions by pushing a yes button in my right hand and a no button in my left, October 16, 2012
  • Celebrate my sister’s birthday with her and my father and husband at Sal’s. “You didn’t seem like yourself,” my sister said later.  October 17, 2012
  • Get carded at Kroger’s at the age of 53, November 5, 2012
  • Can’t stop drinking so have to stop, December 28, 2012
  • Turn 54 and learn former student had honored me beyond words by taking my name, December 30, 2012
  • Quit table tennis, Spring 2013
  • Do one last sprint triathlon, April 7, 2013
  • Get passed by police cars on Main Street and know it’s a shooting and shut down, April 12, 2013
  • Separate from nice guy, May, 2013
  • Move into separate residence, a townhouse, July 2, 2013

Self-portrait at 54 1/4

My Drinking History
When You're the One

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