someone asked me to talk, and my sister laughs because they used to ask me to shut up

A while ago Pete and I were asked to speak at a conference.

Not just “A” conference, but “the” conference.


Pete was stuck in a really tough spot.

We pretty much had to make a choice to go back when I didn’t handle crowds at all and I thought road signs were totally dangerous.

Luckily, most of that has changed now.

Hearing in large crowds isn’t great, but I don’t think that traffic cones might kill us.

I’ll be totally honest that I’m nervous like I’ve never been before.

I think of the people who will be seeing me for the first time.  I think of the gawkers, the starers, the look-but-pretend-you-aren’t-so-she-won’t-see-you-ers.  I’m just vain enough to worry about the fact that I won’t be wearing lipstick.  It will be odd when I explain the tape on my glasses.  I’ll be short in my wheelchair.

Then I think about the people that I have had the chance to meet face-to-face.


The old pre-coma me, with quickness and wit, warmth and compassion. A need for patience when everything is RUSH RUSH RUSH.  I remember.  I’ve been there.

Will they be harsh?

I have no idea.  I hope not, but I really don’t know.

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41 Responses to someone asked me to talk, and my sister laughs because they used to ask me to shut up

  1. Dawn @ Coming to a Nursery Near You June 15, 2010 at 10:54 AM #

    you, woman, had the ENTIRE blogosphere in tears, multiple times, during your “ordeal”. Me – my kids would ask me “are you reading about your friend again?” because I’d have tears in my eyes when I didn’t think you were going to make it, and then over your newest achievement. When I was reading the sessions the other day, trying to decide how to divide my time at my very first BlogHer, wondering if I’d even be able to get IN to the one that you & that incredible hubby of yours will be giving – knowing you wouldn’t remember me from twitter but hoping you’ll recognize genuine AWE in my eyes if we do get the chance to meet – Anissa, you rock. with a capital Rarrrrrrrrrrrrr. You are the epitome of determination – and fuck anyone who gives you anything but the utmost respect. Seriously.
    .-= Dawn @ Coming to a Nursery Near You´s last blog ..BlogHer ’10, Here I come! (call for sponsors) =-.

  2. The Pony Lady June 14, 2010 at 9:04 PM #

    I need a blog.
    And a job that pays.
    And a couple of nannies. (Especially since I can’t trust my mil not to overdose the kiddies on vicodin and iron pills.)
    Then I could go to blogher (bloghim?) and watch you and Pete shine.
    July can’t come fast enough.

  3. AmazingGreis June 14, 2010 at 7:08 PM #

    I think your trip to BlogHer is going to be better than you could ever imagine it to be!!! The only not BETTER part, is that I won’t be there to see you!!!! I’m so bummed.

    .-= AmazingGreis´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday – Random iPhone Photos… =-.

  4. Janine (@twincident) June 11, 2010 at 9:28 AM #

    Honestly – I can’t imagine anyone being harsh. And if they stare it’s because you were dangerously close to dying less than a year ago! You’re freakin Wonder Woman! Also, you probably still have nice bewbs.

    I’d like to know the parameters tho…
    Can I come up to you, interrupt your conversation to say Hi and give you a hug the first time I see you? Or will I have to wait politely in line?
    Can I sit on your lap on the wheelchair for a ride when my feet are tired?
    Can I cry? I don’t think I’ll cry… I typically mask my emotions with jokes and inappropriate laughter
    Can I put Pete on the phone with my husband to explain his story so I can stop hearing my hubs complain every time I ask him to load the dishwasher??

    Um, I think those are all questions.
    Also, think of this:
    FEAR – False Expectations Appearing Real
    Go into it with a clear mind, just go for the ride.

  5. kgirl June 11, 2010 at 8:54 AM #

    I haven’t met you, I’m totally a stranger, and I’ll be there, glad to see you. Besides, I’ll be too busy wondering if I have spinach in my teeth to judge anyone else.

  6. If I Could Escape June 11, 2010 at 8:45 AM #

    You will be fantastic. I’m actually going this year! Hope that I get the chance to meet you.

  7. Elisa @ Globetrotting in Heels June 11, 2010 at 3:33 AM #

    How could anyone be harsh with you? You are wonderful, warm, funny, and just generally awesome. I hate that I won’t be at BlogHer this year. I wish I had never moved back to Switzerland, so I’d be right there, in New York, and I could meet you again and give you a hug. And maybe this time I could give you a goody bag ;-)
    .-= Elisa @ Globetrotting in Heels´s last blog ..Ah, sunshine, how I have missed you. =-.

  8. Adrienne June 10, 2010 at 11:37 PM #

    You’re a total bad ass. Anyone who doesn’t know that is a dumb ass.

    And me? I won’t be there and if I don’t get a shit load of pictures to look at, I’ll have to kick some ass.

  9. Elsa June 10, 2010 at 11:33 PM #

    sounds like you are loved and that is probably what you will experience mostly during that conference … the love others have for you and basically you reap what you sow … therefore you must have given a lotta love before … wish someone will tape it so us non-bloggers could feel like we were there too … go on and rock their world!

  10. ThePeachy1 June 10, 2010 at 11:33 PM #

    You are and will be fantabulistic if anyone gives you grief I be getting names for ETM. That’s Extreme Throatpunch Makeover.. I will just travel around in my minivan knocking on doors and when they answer I will throat punch them and yell. Hey bus driver… this twits a buttmonkey.. so there ya go.

  11. Maria June 10, 2010 at 11:24 PM #

    You were a rock for me last year, and I know you’ll be the same this year because you’re just… you. I can’t wait to hold your hand again.
    .-= Maria´s last blog ..Girl Talk Thursday: Favorite Childhood Books =-.

  12. Susan from PA June 10, 2010 at 11:02 PM #

    Here’s the thing. You must go and speak if you want to because you give everyone hope. I don’t blog, but have followed your story forever…almost…and what I know is that everyone wants to be in the room when you appear. Alive, on the mend, and inspiring everyone. You can do this. And people will cheer. Wish I blogged, so I could be there to witness you…the miracle. :) Not sure I have ever read about someone so loved.

  13. Jenny June 10, 2010 at 10:41 PM #

    You will be great and I am sure everyone will be thrilled you are there!! It is great that you are going to do it.

  14. Barnmaven June 10, 2010 at 9:49 PM #

    And NOW I wish I was going to Blogher.
    .-= Barnmaven´s last blog ..Powerless =-.

  15. Bella June 10, 2010 at 9:11 PM #

    They’ll smile with JOY that you are able to come and participate.
    They’ll be in AWE of your strength and determination.
    They’ll be GRATEFUL to share this blogging community with such a wise & witty woman.

  16. Scatteredmom June 10, 2010 at 7:17 PM #

    I WISH I was going to Blogher, just so I could run up and give you a big squeezy hug. No judgement, no gawking, just a hug to say I’m glad you’re still here and the Internets need you.

    Because you’re awesome. That is all.

  17. Kim June 10, 2010 at 5:23 PM #

    I’ll sit right next to you up there, no lipstick ! We can both be nervous together. : ) Can’t wait to see you again and meet all of the wonderful folks that have helped us and others get through this life of ours!
    .-= Kim´s last blog ..Mental Health Day …… =-.

  18. melanie June 10, 2010 at 2:49 PM #

    Wow..I see a whole conference of no lipstick in your honor. Niss, you always have been impressive, you were before you were “famous” and though I haven’t seen you in ages, I stalk you like the rest and I can tell you’re even more impressive now. If it’s true that that which won’t kill you will make you stronger, than you are the woman of steal. I’m sure that you will be gawked at, but I think it will be for a wide variety of reasons, mostly leading back to your awesome-niss……God will show you His love for you through these people who will no doubt overwhelm you with it. Eat it up!

  19. Pattie June 10, 2010 at 1:55 PM #

    That’s awesome that you’re going to BlogHer. Sounds like you’ve got a lot of friend/fellow bloggers looking forward to seeing you there, so I bet the good will outweigh the bad/concerns. Look forward to hearing all about it!
    .-= Pattie´s last blog ..Bundle Is a Punk Rocker =-.

  20. Jessi June 10, 2010 at 1:45 PM #

    You might have to deal with little bits of the negative stuff you’re concerned with, but I doubt it’ll be much and the positive that comes from it? Oh my, it’ll be so worth it. But you know that, don’t you? It’s scary, but will be amazing and there’s no way you’d miss that.

  21. Monica ~ MommyBrain June 10, 2010 at 1:08 PM #

    I honestly can’t wait to finally meet you in person… I’ve wanted to meet you since BlogHer last year.. seriously!
    .-= Monica ~ MommyBrain´s last blog ..New Deals with Walmart & Six Flags! =-.

  22. Kristin June 10, 2010 at 12:45 PM #

    I am so excited that you are coming to BlogHer. You will totally rock…and, I think you should add some bling to your wheelchair.
    .-= Kristin´s last blog ..Support needed for a fellow Land of IF resident… =-.

  23. Headless Mom June 10, 2010 at 12:25 PM #

    Oh my God, Anissa. You will be the best received speaker in all of BlogHer history. I can’t fucking wait to see you, wheel chair and all!!!!!!! Wear it as a badge of pride!
    .-= Headless Mom´s last blog ..Mexican Rice =-.

  24. Peter Mayhew June 10, 2010 at 12:22 PM #

    Wait….we have to speak?

    I thought it was going to be just a lot of staring.

    Can we get a refund on the air fare?

  25. Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] June 10, 2010 at 11:47 AM #

    You will be surrounded by love and titty grabs.

    Or maybe just from me.
    .-= Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]´s last blog ..That post where nothing makes sense but there’s some pretty pictures to look at. =-.

  26. Miss Grace June 10, 2010 at 11:08 AM #

    I know that I for one, absolutely cannot wait to grope- er….I mean….SEE you again.

    I love ya sugartits.
    .-= Miss Grace´s last blog ..Children’s Books =-.

  27. Angella June 10, 2010 at 10:55 AM #

    Girl, I’m just happy that I get to see you again. I cannot WAIT to hug you and sit with you and love on you.
    .-= Angella´s last blog ..Ready To Run =-.

  28. Brittany June 10, 2010 at 10:49 AM #

    All those things. Those differences in yourself that you described. I saw them all. For about…4 seconds, and then you opened your mouth and they disappeared. All that stuff just melted away when you spoke, and I never thought twice about it again.

    You are still pre-coma Anissa to me. But, with better parking.
    .-= Brittany ´s last blog ..Something Wicked This Way Comes =-.

  29. maggie, dammit June 10, 2010 at 10:35 AM #

    I will sit quietly with you and hold your hand which, as I recall, is pretty much what we did on the lobby floor late one night at last year’s conference. It was more than enough for me then, and it will be more than enough for me again. I can’t wait to be with you. xo
    .-= maggie, dammit´s last blog ..Lights Out. =-.

  30. cindy w June 10, 2010 at 10:30 AM #

    I’m so happy you’re going to be there. I cannot wait to give you a ginormous hug. Oh, and I probably won’t have on lipstick either, just because I usually forget to put it on.

  31. Becky June 10, 2010 at 10:27 AM #

    You’re going to rock the house! I so wish I could be there to cheer you on. To the stare-ers and the rest? Pft. Just be your bad self and screw ‘em if they can’t deal. *g*
    .-= Becky´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday: Having a "Mom Moment" today =-.

  32. PrincessJenn June 10, 2010 at 10:20 AM #

    I think it’s wonderful that you’re going. And P.S. I probably won’t be wearing lipstick either ;-)
    .-= PrincessJenn´s last blog ..Cookie Cutter Lives =-.

  33. Rita Arens June 10, 2010 at 9:46 AM #

    I am so excited you are going to speak. Your story is important, and it’s a miracle.

    Your concerns are completely normal. It would be shocking if you didn’t have them at all — we all have those concerns even if we don’t have physical changes to deal with. Watching people go through experiences like yours has really made it obvious to me that souls do exist, that people are an essence that has nothing to do with their physical shell, and the people I befriend and love are inside those bodies no matter what happens to the bodies themselves.

    What I want to know is will you be wearing my jeans?
    .-= Rita Arens´s last blog ..I Already Gotta Man =-.

  34. Julie Presley June 10, 2010 at 9:30 AM #

    I love how real you are here. You will be great!! Wish I could be there!

  35. Cindy June 10, 2010 at 9:19 AM #

    Why no lipstick? Unless there’s a medical reason, just get that man of yours to put it on you! OK. Bad idea. I wouldn’t let Jesse apply lipstick to me, either. Who could trust him to get it on right? I think so many people know and admire you (both pre-stroke and post-stroke) that you’re gonna get a lot more love than stares! I’m sure I’m saying something to put my foot in my mouth, since I do that twice a day on principle. Anyway, I know you’re gonna be great!
    .-= Cindy´s last blog ..Contests 6/5 =-.

  36. Melisa with one S June 10, 2010 at 9:16 AM #

    No way, Jose. And I won’t be wearing lipstick either.
    .-= Melisa with one S´s last blog ..I’ll Tell You Who He Is…He’s MY SON! =-.

  37. KellyBurton June 10, 2010 at 9:01 AM #

    Anissa, I wish I could go JUST to meet you & Peter. You are hilarious and brave. From the outpouring of love and goodwill toward your family, I believe there will be a minimum of awkward moments…and a lot of people lined up to hug you or…touch your boobs.
    .-= KellyBurton´s last blog ..My Big… Italian Family =-.

  38. muskrat June 10, 2010 at 8:59 AM #

    i’ll be glad to see you again!

  39. TechyDad June 10, 2010 at 8:59 AM #

    I’m excited to hear you’ll be going to BlogHer. My wife (TheAngelForever) and I will be there too. This will be my first blog conference. (Disney SM Moms doesn’t really count because my wife went to that while the boys and I walked through Disney World and went on rides. Not that I minded, of course.) I hope to get to say hi to you.
    .-= TechyDad´s last blog ..Cooking With TechyDad: The PB Files, Part 1: Veggie Elvis =-.

  40. suzi June 10, 2010 at 8:53 AM #

    I am excited beyond words to know that you will be at BlogHer too. I so hope I can meet you in person. You are inspiring beyond words and you crack me the hell up. :)
    .-= suzi´s last blog ..less whatevers and more patience, please. =-.

  41. Molly June 10, 2010 at 8:47 AM #

    Anissa, you were the one who encouraged me to come to the aiming low party. If I hadn’t gone and you hadn’t been so freaking friendly I’d never have signed up for BlogHer. I knew from the first hug I got from you at Aiming Low that this was a fun group of ladies. You’re awesome Anissa!

    I can’t wait to see you again!!! I’m psyched to hear you and Pete speak. No harshness here. Just an excited EEEE about seeing you again! No expectations either. I’ll bring my patience. I’ll just be glad to see the two of you up there speaking. and in solidarity I won’t wear lipstick either.

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