Sunday, March 25, 2007


Hello, and long-time-no-blog! How is everyone? Hope you're all excellent.

So... on Saturday at Wal-Mart we had a promotion, jointly hosted by the toy department and our one-hour photo lab, where kids could come to the toy department between 10am and 2pm to get their picture taken with Spiderman. There was much preparation. First, we had to arrange rental of a Spiderman suit, as we were not granted the luxury of a man-in-suit as some other Wal-Marts did, and thought that the two-feet high cardboard cutouts we were given instead were.. well, if not crap, then a huge potential disappointment for the kids we had lured to the toy department with flyers and P.A. announcements promising a chance to meet Spiderman.

We arranged staffing for the lab, a guy from the toy department was supposed to be in early to set up the backdrop, and two of the managers agreed to dress in the suit for two-hours each. We had the bakery make two boxes of Spiderman cupcakes to offer the kids, we had our cameras ready the night before and... it all went the Wal-Mart way. I arrived at 10:05 am, and NOTHING was set up. On top of that, the manager who was supposed to "be" Spiderman for the first two hours had "not been told about it", the other was not in until 12:00pm. It was at least 50p/c the responsibility of the photo lab to make the day happen and, as manager, about 49p/c of that was mine. Panic was in the air like a very fat blimp, and indeed Hindenburg-like crash-and-burn film footage, and images of crying kids and angry parents began flashing through my mind at a great rate of frames-per-second. Anyway, to cut a long story at least in half, we drafted in, until he had to leave for lunch, David, who works in dairy, who agreed, for reasons unknown, to don the suit and save the day. Or should I say, half of it.

If you hadn't already caught on, guess who else got to be Spiderman, in the middle of Pekin Wal-Mart, in an INCREDIBLY hot suit, for just over two hours?

Here's the pics:

SpideyJim meets the kids - these little guys happen to be Mo, and Bo, the children of Amy Aluyi (background) who goes to our church. The kids go to Amy's daycare too.

The kids were all really, really cute, but otherwise fell into three distinct categories. Namely:

- Abject terror. ("I don't like this AT ALL.")
- Completely unimpressed. ("Wow. A guy with a suit on. Backwards.")
- Excited beyond all reason. ("It's REALLY Spiderman!!!!!!! I love you SPIDERMAAAAN!!!")

It was a welcome break from the norm - oh, and I decided that when Sawyer grows up we are definitely renting Spiderman suits for a day. :)

SpideyJim takes a moment out to have a chat with Jeramy (not a spelling misteak) from ICS.

We did it!!! Here's SpideyJim, after the successful completion of the Spiderman promotion. It was at this point that somebody pointed out that I'd had my suit on backwards the entire time, which is such a SpideyJim thing to do. I actually felt very proud that we made it all work out - I had privately SWORN when the promotion was announced that there was no incitement, inducement, or cooing would make me put that suit on, but I did and, though I admit it grudgingly, had a little bit of fun too.

This is SO going on my resume.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Bereaved Parents Wish List
I wish my child hadn't died. I wish I had him back. I wish you wouldn't be afraid to speak my child's name. My child lived and was very important to me. I need to hear that he was important to you also. If I cry and get emotional when you talk about my child, I wish you knew that it isn't because you have hurt me. My child's death is the cause of my tears. You have talked about my child and you have allowed me to share my grief. I thank you for both. Being a bereaved parent is not contagious, so I wish you wouldn't shy away from me. I need you now more than ever. I need diversions, so I do want to hear about you, but I also want you to hear about me. I might be sad and I might cry, but I wish you would let me talk about my child; my favorite topic of the day. I know that you think of and pray for me often. I also know that my child's death pains you too. I wish you would let me know these things through a phone call, a card or note, or a real big hug. I wish you wouldn't expect my grief to be over. These first years are traumatic for me, but I wish you could understand that my grief will never be over. I will suffer the death of my child until the day I die. I am working hard in my recovery, but I wish you could understand that I will never fully recover. I will always miss my child and I will always grieve that he is dead. I wish you wouldn't expect me "not to think about it" or "be happy". Neither will happen for a very long time, so don't frustrate yourself. I don't want to have a "Pity party", but I do wish you would let me grieve. I must hurt before I can heal. I wish you understood how my life has shattered. I know it is miserable for you to be around me when I'm feeling miserable. Please be as patient with me as I am with you. When I say, "I'm doing okay", I wish you could understand that I don't "feel" okay and that I struggle daily. I wish you knew that all of the grief reactions I'm having are very normal. Depression, anger, hopelessness and overwhelming sadness are all to be expected. So please excuse me when I'm quiet and withdrawn or irritable and cranky. Your advice to "take it one day at a time" is excellent advice. However, a day is too much and too fast for me right now. I wish you could understand that I'm doing good to handle an hour at a time. Please excuse me if I seem rude, certainly not my intent. Sometimes the world around me goes too fast and I need to get off. When I walk away, I wish you would let me find a quiet place to spend time alone. I wish you understood that grief changes people. When my child died, a big part of me died with him. I am not the same person I was before my child died and I will never be that person again. I wish very much that you could understand ~ understand my loss and my grief. But I pray daily that you will never understand.