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Wednesday, September 20th, 2006

(share your thoughts)

Subject:Life isn't always fair.
Time:1:00 pm.
Mood: sad.
My father was a runner for as long as I can remember. He'd come home from work change into his shorts & shirt and go out for a 5 mile job. He'd run around town with his Santa hat on Christmas morning, and most everyone in our little town knew him because of the amount that he ran. Nearly every weekend on Saturday or Sunday we would go to a different road race. My sisters & I literally grew up at the Falmouth road race, Clarence deMar marathon in Keene and the hundreds of other races in between. There was the annual Thanksgiving Day race in Andover, our trip to Burlington, Vt a bunch of times and of course there was always "Boston". We'd work water stops at some provide the biggest cheering section of all, decorate signs for my dad and run into the same people from the running community of New England. It's what my father loved and it's where we could be found as a family every weekend.

From first grade through my senior year of high school I never went to school on Patriots Monday. Not because it was school vacation but because it was known to be "family skip day" for the Kelly's in our district. "Marathon Monday" we all called it. My father would get up and go down to Boston early, park his car and take the first bus out to the starting line of THE marathon in Hopkington. We in turn would ride the train with anticipation and excitement and each and every year we'd go to our spot just past the 26 mile marker with just the 2 tenths left to go and we'd wait for my dad to run by. A few hours later he would. And despite the thousands of people that lined Boylston Street he would hear us.....every single year. Running, it's what he was passionate about.

Life isn't always fair, he doesn't get to run anymore.

He lost that ability when he was diagnosed with mesothelioma just over two years ago. You see mesothelioma is cancer in the lining of your lung that is caused by asbestos. My father was a pipe cover so he always made sure to wear his protective mask and go for his annual breathing check-ups. It was during one of those appointments that they found a mass which was later diagnosed as cancer.

Life isn't always fair, ya know, the job that he worked hard at for 20 something years to support my sisters, mother and I made him sick.

During my senior year of college he went through treatment for the mesothelioma. First chemo, then surgery to remove 1 of his lungs, diaphragm & the covering of his heart, then he had radiation. And for all intents and purposes the last year he's been doing well. Well of course for a person that has 1 lung and struggles to breath in extreme humidty, but honestly he was doing really, really well and we thought that things were ok. In May his oncologist told him that he didn't have to come back for 6 more months for another check-up, he was elated.

Then August came and he struggled to breath, and he started to get jaundis, and then it got worse and he ended up in the hospital. A whole slew of tests, needles, and doctors visits later he's been diagnosed with acute myelodysplasia (MDS) which is considered "pre-leukemia".

Life isn't always fair, just when we thought things were going to be alright we had the floor ripped out from under us.

MDS is treatment related meaning that he got it from his previous chemo and radiation. Doctors say that .5-1% of people that have treatment will get MDS. How F'n ironic?

Life isn't always fair, what was necessary to save my father's life in the first place also gave him this.

He's now deciding on what course of treatment he'll get, what type of chemo and how often it will take place. They're looking for potential bone marrow donors. But they don't even know if his body can withstand another surgery at all given the fact that he has one long and that it will extruciatingly hard on his body. Doctors say though that even with treatment 50% of the people with MDS make it 9 months, and the other 50% make it a little bit longer, maybe a few years.

It's awful. You're not supposed to worry about losing your father at 24. He's supposed to be there to walk me down the aisle, to see his grandchildren, to play with grandsons because he had all girls, to grow old & travel with my mother, he's just supposed to be there! What's worse is that I know how sad and scared he is, my mother is, my entire family is. And while I cry about it nearly every day, aside from emotional support I know that there is nothing medical that I can do to help. Suddenly nothing seems quite as important in life, and you realize that the trivial things aren't the ones that actually have meaning.

My father was never a smoker, in fact he never smoked a cigarette a day in his life. He was healthy and active, funny & sarcastic. He doesn't deserve this, bad things happen to good people and it sucks. I find myself getting angry with the world, repeatedly telling myself it isn't fair and asking why. I know that ultimately that won't help though.

I'm scared, more scared and sad than I've ever been in my entire life.

I told you.......

Life isn't always fair.

Wednesday, May 10th, 2006

(share your thoughts)

Time:1:42 pm.
Soooooo my birthday in a nutshell was A-mazing! I had been really worried, although in large part I don't know why. Did I seriously think I was going to have like a break down when the clock struck midnight and it because the 6th and I realized that I was officially a year older? Well yes, in some way I did I suppose.

I've been so concerned in the last few months about where I am in life, where I'm not, what I've done, and what I've yet to accomplish that I really just stupidly forget that age is only a number. For most people my age they've already been out of college for 2 years now, and since I decided to stay at Keene for another year I sometimes feel myself behind them. Some days I feel like I'm playing this game of "catch-up" with those that are already in the adult world, and me who is just truly now one year out of college, acclimating to it.

But then I truly did realize....what the hell am I catching up to anyways?!? There is no set map for the way that we're each supposed to live. Some have things figured out from the day they leave home, others stumble around for a while before they find themselves right where they should be. There's no award for finishing college first, there's no medal for who gets married or has children before you, there's no ribbon for finding a job right away even if it is "not exactly what you wanted". Really, there's only societal pressure. You know, we're "supposed" to graduated college in 4 years, upon which time we're expected to either a) go to graduate school or b) leave with complete knowledge of what it is that will make us happy in our careers. Let me tell you, if the last year has taught me anything, it's that this notion of "the way things should be" is complete and total crap.

So while I silently (ok not always too silently) in the last few weeks began to freak about 24 my friends were able to remind me that it is really just a number. So I am 6 months to a year older than the girls from Keene, so what? So I haven't moved out or found "the one" that I think I will spend forever with, I have plenty of time for that. So I haven't started grad school yet or found a job that I love, both will happen in time and I'm now taking the steps to achieve both.

Life isn't about this great race with mile markers along the way and a laurel wreath at the end for the "winner" (however, you may define winner that is). I mean really, some may not even complete all of the tasks that others expect of them, but does that mean that they failed.....I for one don't think so.
Sometimes, when societal pressure gets to be too much we must remind ourselves of what it is that makes us happy. The people, the things, the events, the places and realize that each of those does not disappear with age but only if we let them.

And so, I'm starting 24 off fresh and it's looking up. Never have I had a birthday where I received more well wishes from the people that mean the most to me and for this I am eternally grateful. I'm thinking that it's going to be a good year. A big year of changes.

Talk to me in 365 days and we'll see how I'm feeling about a quarter-century.

Friday, April 21st, 2006

(share your thoughts)

Subject:1 year
Time:8:03 am.
It's strange really, in 3 short weeks I will be 24. Sometimes I find myself sitting here quietly saying, holy crap where did the time go? How is it that 18 and high school feels so awkwardly close and yet thankfully so far away? How is it that in 3 short weeks I will have been out of college for one full year? When the hell did that happen?

In all seriousness though, I feel as though May 8, 2005 literally JUST happened. In so many ways I'm still in the same place i was then, well perhaps emotionally. It literally feels as though all of us were just living doors apart from one another and that the stage was being built, and that all of us were united in our friendship and love and the uncertainty that graduating held for each of us. I can't believe this year is over. This first year out. They say time flies when you're having fun, really I think time just flies these days. For all of us. Between working, and applying to grad school, new relationships, old relationships, big moves, and staying in touch with close friends I've found that the time has just gone so quickly.

12 months. 365 days. 1 year older, and I do think 1 year wiser. So much has changed. And yet so little.

I'm starting to be ok with it now, well not really ok but I've learned that things will be alright even though we don't all live together. I've reconnected with old friends from home, and I visit my friends from Keene every opportunity that I have. Because really I don't know anything else. And so it's this strange juxtaposition of my-life-before-college meeting my-life-when-i-was-in-college. Granted there were 4 years where they mixed and they mingled and slowly intertwined as I would come home on breaks or weekends or friends would visit where I went to college. But no longer do I have 2 seperate and distinct worlds, each is one and I'm thankful that they've come together so cohesively since last May.

12 months. 365 days. A few too many tears. More than enough laughter. Way too many miles. Not enough hours in the day.

I've applied for jobs at colleges all over NH and Mass. I've given soooooo much thought to what it was that I wanted to do. Because if there is one thing that the last year taught me it was to not accept a crap job, "just because the pay is good." I sort of did that here, ultimately I knew that I didn't want to do this for the rest of my life but I took the job because I needed one and they've paid me well. And at the time, last summer, I couldn't argue with that. But I've just come to this stark realization that my happiness and sanity are worth well more than they can compensate me for here, and that no amount of money is going to make up for me being miserable. And so I really thought about, what would make me happy? What have I wanted to do? And really, I've known it all along. I absolutely LOVED my work in the admissions office in Keene, I love learning, I love higher ed. and I love talking to people.

I knew I wanted to work in admissions. So I'm going to start my master's in student affairs I believe this summer, and I'm crossing my fingers that something comes through in a college that I've applied to. I just know that it will make me happier, which in turn is healthier. So while it's been this constant struggle to get where I am, and to figure out where I'm going. A truly testing experience of balancing the then and now things are really starting to look up and kind of fall into place.

Granted it took a year for me to say that, and I have no idea where I'll be in 6 months but for the first time in a while there are no definite plans. There are goals, don't get me wrong, but I mean I really have no job as of right now after July 1 and I'm ok with that because this time around I'm not settling, I'm not accepting less what I know I want, what I know I'm good at, what I know will make me happy.

If the last year, and 365 days have taught me anything, it's just that.

Saturday, December 17th, 2005

(share your thoughts)

Subject:Winter Wishes / Holiday Dreams
Time:6:18 pm.
Mood: pensive.
So it's been a while. Below, in no particular order, are my winter wishes. No I didn't make a "Christmas list" this year....although now thinking about it I don't think I ever have but instead I'll list little wishes that I have for this season as a whole. Most of which would be hard to find wrapped up in a bow on Christmas morning.......

1. My very favorite brown eye liner from Sephora has been gone for weeks now and each time I've gone to the store to get it they too are out of stock of ALL brown eye liner, AND I keep forgetting to go online and order it. I must do this and soon!
2. I would like to find a job that I actually enjoy. Sounds simple enough but really I must get on this and find something that does not make me hate going to work each day.
3. I think that certain people should learn how to pick up their phone and call me back. Again, I understand that this sounds simple enough, but nooooooooo apparently those people that I thought I was friends with just don't care enough to take a minute out of their day to speak to me.
4. In many ways I wish that this next couple of months would just pass by quickly so that summer would come around again. Michelle, Maris & I are talking about moving in together and really I can't wait for us to at least start looking at places. Don't get me wrong I love my parents and my family but I miss living with my girls more than anything.
5. My room is a mess, has been for weeks and I have zero energy to clean it. I wish a little fairy would just come in and clean it all up for me.
6. I miss being in a "real" relationship.
7. I'm soooooooo looking forward to our family trip to Aruba, I only hope that we have an amazing time!
8. Above all else I want my dad to be ok. I don't really want to get into it here, but suffice to say that I haven't slept much in the last week and the results of a very important test should be back next week and if I get nothing else for a very long time this would be it.

Monday, November 7th, 2005

(8 thoughts | share your thoughts)

Subject:Giving it a go.....because I'm interested to see what you all say
Time:7:40 am.
I am interested to see what results from this question.....

If you read this, if your eyes are passing over this right now, even if we don't speak often, please post a comment with a memory of you and me. It can be anything you want- good or bad. When you're finished, post this little paragraph on your blog and be surprised (or mortified) about what people remember about you.

Tuesday, September 27th, 2005

(3 thoughts | share your thoughts)

Subject:Happiness can't be put into words
Time:2:06 pm.
Mood: ecstatic.
I just got the greatest phone call of my life.

It was all that I wanted. All that I needed, because lord knows I couldn't have gone through all of that again.

To say that I'm happy, that I'm grateful is the greatest understatement I could ever make.

There are no words for this moment.

Thank you.

Thursday, September 22nd, 2005

(1 thought | share your thoughts)

Subject:sometimes we just have to keep pressing forward......no matter what happens
Time:12:41 pm.
Mood: sad.
I went back to Keene this past weekend. It was strange. Surreal. Wonderful. Different and yet still very much the same.

I can't even begin to describe the way I felt about a place that became home to me, and still remains one place I can go to and feel immediate happiness. In some ways I felt like I had never left. In others it felt like it had been forever.

And yet I left there horribly sad, not wanting to go. Because to tell you the truth that's where I'm my happiest. And it hurts so badly to be here without everyone from the last few years at my side.

To come back on Sunday was hard enough. To hear what I did on Monday was literally like being hit in the stomach with a ton of bricks. For the most part I haven't slept in three days, and I feel just complete lost. It hurts. I, we, thought this was all over and to have this happen so unexpectedly was the last thing on my mind. Then again I suppose once cancer happens it's never really over. You don't go back to the life that you led before it one hundred percent. Ever. Things will be different. There will forever be a looming cloud and suddenly that cloud exploded and I feel empty. And for the first time in a while I feel truly alone in the situation and that might possibly be the worst.

Things are never going to be the same. I've said that from day one. Unfortunately I got one of the most shocking reminders of that this week.

I'm done talking about this here. You know how to reach me.

Thursday, July 28th, 2005

(share your thoughts)

Subject:An update of randomness
Time:7:43 pm.
Mood: happy.
So summer is going well. But it's odd, in the last week or so I've found myself feeling a little sad. Knowing that it's almost over, and yet I'm not going back to anything this time. No leaving in four weeks.

And to tell you the truth that scares the hell out of me. We all said it wouldn't hit us until the fall came and we didn't go back to Keene. Here it is nearly three months after graduation with what would be one month before returning and it's only now beginning to settle in.

But yeah. Overall it's been an amazing summer. One that I needed and wanted so desperately.

So to some up the last couple of weeks.......
- I've been car shopping as of late.
- The Dave concert a couple of weeks back was simply amazing! I couldn't ask for anything more.
- Things were going well with that other thing. Right now I don't know anymore. But I'm remaining optimistic for the time being.
- Work is going well, I've been there for three weeks now and I've begun to settle into a routine. I'm picking things up quickly and people are pleased with my work thus far which in turn has made me very happy.
- Talked to some people in the last month that I haven't in months or years. It's been good. To get some closure. And for others a new beginning.

So that's all for now. Hope everyone is enjoying their summer as much as I have been.

Tuesday, July 5th, 2005

(share your thoughts)

Subject:a surprising look back
Time:2:31 pm.
Mood: happy.
You know when you completely forget about something that you have. It's tucked away, in a safe place, and quite often is pushed to the back corner of your mind and yet remarkably, there are moments when you don't expect to see it and you do.

I found the white water rafting video from my senior class trip today. I had honestly completely forgotten about it.

So I sat down and watched it, and laughed.

That was a great time. And a great trip. It was funny to look back at it and see how much things, and people have changed.

And in the end it brought a smile to my face.

Monday, July 4th, 2005

(share your thoughts)

Time:9:53 am.
Mood: hopeful.
I find it odd that there are certain times in the year when things just kind of fall into place for people. I have this theory, that there is a specific time period albeit a couple of months, a couple of weeks, perhaps an entire season when each person is more confident, more self assured, and things just sort of happen. Ya know.

It could be your favorite time of year. But for me it's the beginning of July. I love autumn and spring in New England, for both very different reasons. Spring to me marks new beginnings, hope, optimism, and my birthday which in turn is a beginning and an end in itself. And then there is autumn and for purely emotional ties to the changes in the season I think it is one of the most beautiful times to be alive.

But nope for me "great" things don't happen for me during these periods. Well not repeatedly at least. And that's fine I'm glad that there is this completely different point in the year when I have this great optimism and hope for what might happen when it comes around.

See Miranda and I have had this conversation, and for her her time is the spring. But for me, like I said it's the first few weeks of July.

I've started two new significant jobs during that period in my life. And every major relationship or person I've dated has begun at that point in time. Don't ask me why but I find that July 1, July 4 and July 9 have had a great importance to me year after year after year.

And so here we are again. On the fourth of July, just having had yet another significant July 1 and looking into the great unknown of a new future and new person and a new possibility.

It's been a long time coming since last summer. And while it's just as uncertain in some terms as last year was it feels very different this time. And for that reason I will keep it to myself, and him, because that's the way that I would like it.

But just for the record. Here are in the sweltering heat of July. Long phone conversations have returned. Endless summer nights spent hanging out, talking have resumed. And the smile that I go to bed with is bigger than ever. All with someone brand new.

I, for one, could not be happier that HE and July are here.

Friday, July 1st, 2005

(share your thoughts)

Time:1:57 pm.
It's so funny. People think they understand.

I'm annoyed. Frustrated.

I'm done writing here. There's too much to say.

Thursday, June 30th, 2005

(share your thoughts)

Time:2:28 pm.
I'm annoyed as of late.

That is all.

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2005

(1 thought | share your thoughts)

Time:5:50 am.
Mood: tired.
I find it funny how some people must work so hard to maintain a relationship, a friendship while with others it just comes so naturally.

Sometimes I think that it's important to reevaluate friendships. Those that are forced. Expected. And see if they really mean as much as you once thought that they did.

And then there are those friendships that just are. You don't have to try. It's just a given that it "is" there. And I think those are the best ones. The ones where there is no forced conversation. The ones where you might not speak for two days or two years, and yet still know in your heart of hearts that you are still friends with a person.

It doesn't take a daily or weekly conversation with a person to mean that your friendship is real.

Sometimes you must lose a person completely in order to realize what they meant to you. Still other times you must lose a person in order to realize what they did NOT mean to you. Because honestly how much do you know the strength of a friendship when you see the person every single solitary day. Maybe it takes being away from each other for a couple of weeks on a trip. Maybe that period must last months or years for whatever reason. Perhaps it isn't until your best friend moves so far away that you see them only a couple of times a year that you understand the power of your bond. On the other hand time and distance can be too great for some relationships, some friendships. Some cannot "stand the test of time" as that old addage goes. The bond breaks, and at some point down the road we come to understand that while we were friends with a person at that point in time we no longer truly are anymore.

And then there are those people whose friendships are cyclical. Who just keep finding there way back to each other time and time again.

Sunday, June 19th, 2005

(share your thoughts)

Subject:a look back
Time:9:15 pm.
Mood: calm.
One year ago today we celebrated father's day like many other people. We sat in the backyard, enjoying the warm summer weather, drinking margarita's as my dad ate his favorite oysters that my mom had gotten him. We talked. And laughed. We shed no tears. (On that day at least)

And it hit me again today. This afternoon. How ironic that my father was released from the hospital on father's day of all days just one year ago. Diagnosed with cancer we didn't know what the future held, what we would have to go through to get back to the point we are in.

Sitting there again today. Enjoying a fire with my family. Talking about nothing in relation to what my father. My family. Has been through in the last year it was eerily reminiscent of last father's day.

I realize now how quickly things change. We take everything for granted so often, saying that we appreciate things as much as we can. And yet I think that it isn't until you see someone you love so much in so much pain with absolutely nothing to do that you realize just how much you will try. Still it is a humbling experience. To be able to do nothing, to take away a person's sickness to not be able to "cure" their disease. I had to learn that this year. That sometimes one person can't do absolutely everything and that it is alright to lean on other people for help. Once again in the last year I learned just how strong my father is. How strong our family as a whole is.

I learned more. So so much more in exactly 12 months. But again, sometimes certain things mean more when we keep them to ourselves and don't go around telling everyone else. As it stands the lessons I learned are not exactly the same ones as my sisters, my mother, and even my own father. They are vastly different from my friends who have seen me change from this. And that is because every person is different. We react to things differently. We learn from them differently. We adapt. Grow. And change from everything just a little differently.

But my lessons. And my growth are mine alone and I say with the strongest convictions I have ever had in my entire life that I am not the same person I was a year ago when we found out. I changed. And I am forever grateful. Not for the experience of seeing my father lying in a hospital bed with a lung removed. Or barely able to walk when he came home. No I'm not grateful that he still to this day is sore from it. And that there was no "bad" thing that he did to get this awful disease. No I don't wish those things on anybody.

But I am grateful that it brought my family closer together. And that we've all grown from the experience together.

How ironic that 1 year to the day life can be so drastically different from what you knew. A year ago my dad was working, we thought he was healthy. Now, retired he just had his first three month follow-up appointment and everyone says that he is doing remarkably well.

He said the other day to us, "when will they say that I'm cancer free?"

And we reminded him that it's not for five years. And while that seems like a long way off I hope and pray every single day that we never have to go through what we did in this past year again.

He's in 'remission' now. And for now I'm ok with the sound of that word.

Tonight after I came in the house my mom and dad were sitting in the backyard at the fire. And I looked out the kitchen window at them, their backs to me and for the first time in a few months I cried about this experience.

I wiped away my tears, and then I smiled. Things are alright now. Today reminded me of that.

Friday, June 17th, 2005

(share your thoughts)

Subject:just plain. randomness
Time:1:44 pm.
Mood: giggly.
Absolutely hilarious night last evening with Angela. I'm glad she and I are hanging out again. It feels so good to laugh with an old friend, most especially one you haven't spent so much time with. And yet in the last week we've already hung out a bunch. I guess it's just nice to be back to that point in our friendship to be able to hang out, and do nothing, and go out and get drunk, to laugh at the stupidest stuff and to have someone that is always up for a good time. And of course someone close by to remind me of things from the past.

With that said I will buy whoever gets the following question right first a drink the next time I see them. [Angela you don't count because we talked extensively about it last night....hahah!!!]

What does NCMO stand for??

Come on friends from high school I know you'll remember it as she and I did!! HAHA

Best of luck...let's see who gets it right.

That's all. Things are going well. That is going well. And I haven't stopped smiling in six days because of it.

Tuesday, May 31st, 2005

(4 thoughts | share your thoughts)

Subject:and we all move forward
Time:11:35 am.
Mood: thankful.
In the last four weeks........

- I said goodbye to some of my closest friends at school, unsure of when I would see them again.

- Spent 8 days with some of my good friends from Keene, having one of the best vacations ever in Florida.

- Made what I will for now consider the second most important decision of my life. Period. You may talk to me if you are truly interested.

- Visited the baseball hall of fame and Niagra Falls with my family.

- Got a call out of the blue on my birthday from an old friend I had sadly lost touch with.

- And then the same person was involved in a very serious car accident and was hurt pretty badly, and everyone from the past has just kind of come together. Picked back up where everyone left off and rallied together. Three visited him this weekend. I wish I could have been there, really I do, but if nothing else this one critical incident has brought people back together that had at one time lost touch and now we have this huge unknown future in front of us.

Everything is going to be ok.

Wednesday, May 11th, 2005

(share your thoughts)

Subject:a new ending. a new beginning
Time:10:33 am.
Mood: hopeful.
And just like that college is over.

I will never been in the same situation living with and near 8 of my friends.

The campus will never look the same.

I will never feel the exact same, as I did for the past four years. For the last few weeks.

And really. That's the way it's supposed to be. We go through things. We have certain emotions, feelings. They change us.

And then they end. And we move on and take bits and pieces of it with us.

So it's goodbye KSC.....and hello to the future.

Whatever that may be.

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2005

(share your thoughts)

Subject:life is good
Time:10:00 am.
Mood: excited.
I'm 2 for 2 on the interviews. Got a second job offer yesterday. And I'm pretty positive I'm going to take this one.

And that means growing up. And looking for an apartment. And moving closer to the city.

I am beyond happy. And so excited for this opportunity.

I graduate in 5 days.
Turn 23 in 3.
And yesterday I took a step towards the future.

All in all things are looking up.

Wednesday, April 27th, 2005

(share your thoughts)

Subject:breath in. breath out. just breath.
Time:12:54 am.
Mood: contemplative.
After this Sunday everything will be gone from my room except what I will need for next week before I graduate.

I'm happy. I'm excited. I'm just plain ready.

And yet every time I pack, or I walk by the stage, which mind you is now fully built I get this sickening pit in my stomach.

I know that this will be that second moment in my life. The one where everything feels absolutely surreal. I have this theory that we only get a handful of those in all of our years of living. So I'm trying to soak up themse moments. These last few days with these amazing people and perfect place.

Because I don't know when that next moment will come.

And so I take pictures. To carry with me. To remind me when I'm 40. To show my grandchildren when I'm 70. To bring a smile to my own face in a year.

Times are a changing. That's for sure. And while it's all part of this, and of growing up I'm nothing more than a twisted up ball of emotions because of it.

Saturday, April 16th, 2005

(share your thoughts)

Subject:the future
Time:10:48 pm.
Mood: excited.
Friday I went for a day long interview at a marketing company.

It was great.

And I got my very first "real" job offered to me.

I think everything is going to be ok, after May 8th. Rather I know that it will be. And everything is starting to fall into place, and things are starting to happen as I knew they would.

So that's that. And I couldn't be a single bit happier.

LiveJournal for *Maureen*.

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