Anchors, ERs , and A Heartfelt Thank You

Sometimes, I can get way too far in my head. Little, everyday things start to bother me, bigger things that I usually can overcome become too much. I feel like I am treading water. I get caught up in the fast pace my life has taken the past two years, and start to feel really alone. Without anchor. It can be a lonely place, and it can swallow you. But sometimes? Something beautiful happens and I see clearly once again how incredibly blessed I am, and I can feel nothing but gratitude.

Last night my son Sam had a medical emergency. It wasn’t life threatening, but it was scary to see, and for him it was completely terrifying. I took him to the Emergency Room, fighting back a panic attack the whole way, because I needed to be calm for him. Once we were there and checked in I went on Facebook to distract myself from panic. I posted a brief, vague message about where we were and requesting positive thoughts. I pretty much forgot about posting as soon as I did it. Then, magic happened.

About ten minutes after my post, Sam looked at me in between the steady stream of doctors and nurses and said”Hey mom! Look at Facebook! People are commenting on your post!” As soon as I picked up my phone, it lit up. I was receiving test messages back to back. I received  phone calls, Facebook messages, and yes, responses to my post.

Within an hour, a stream of people gathered with us. My friends pretty much took over the ER, arriving sporadically, some armed with sodas, some coffee, all with love and concern. With tears in my eyes I looked around at all of these amazing, beautiful people who had left their homes, their families, their lives, because they were concerned for us. I was still scared and worried, but at that moment I realized clearly that I am not alone. Sam and I have people who love us. Really, truly love us, not for what we can do for them, not for what they can get in return, just genuine, honest, real love. I have never been more grateful, and more thankful in my entire life.

We were in the ER until around 1 in the morning. We finally left, armed with instructions, wrapped in our love bubble of friends. Today Sam is doing much better, I am exhausted, and relieved, and absolutely blown away by the amazing people in my life. Literally everyone who cares about me, who cares about my son, has contacted me in some way. That is so amazing, and I want to offer the most heartfelt thank you possible to every single one of you. You all mean more to me than you will ever know.

B’s Birthday

Sometimes when you do something for someone else, you end up getting much more in return. This past weekend was B’s birthday. She is a nurse in a long-term care facility, so she was working the night of her birthday. I decided to bring her dinner and surprise her. I went there, expecting to make her happy, to make her feel special on her special day. To make just another night at work a little different, a little more fun. I had no idea what I was about to witness.

I arrived at the facility, armed with a ton of food from an amazing local restaurant and a few gifts. B came to the reception area and I sat with her as she began to open her gifts. There were a few residents, but I honestly didn’t pay too much attention to them. I was pretty much oblivious, until Trudy came in. Trudy is a resident, and was clearly upset. She missed her home, she missed her family. She apparently had been upset all day, and was working herself into a panic. The receptionist said that she had tried to reach her family members for her, but they were not home. I Felt so sorry for this poor woman, the B took over. Instantly, she forgot her gifts and food. She forgot she was on break. In that moment, no one existed for B but Trudy. She sat and looked directly into her eyes and listened. She actually said very little, but she listened to every word Trudy had to say. Within ten minutes, Trudy was laughing. This sweet elderly woman who was on the verge of a panic attack minutes before was laughing and joking. That is nursing. That is a special, rare kind of gift that very few people are born with. It was truly an incredible thing to watch.

When someone is doing a job that they love, one that they were born to do, it stops being work. What B did that night will never be on a performance review. It will never be a factor in determining a raise or a salary. Most likely, no one will ever know about it. I am sure B has all but forgotten about the entire conversation, she has no doubt had countless others, with countless other residents. I know that I will not forget it, and in some way, I know Trudy will not forget it either.

It Aint for Pu**ies

Sometimes, God, or the Universe, or whatever term you prefer, gives us the exactly right people in our lives. I have many people in my life I know for sure were sent to me purposefully, One of those people is my bestie, Paula.

We have been best friends for over 20 years, and I cherish our friendship more every year. The following is an actual text conversation we had recently that captures our friendship perfectly.

Paula:  Can”t talk, still on this bus.

Me: Ok call when you can. I would have responded to your Snapchat, but my hair is currently in the kitchen sink lol.

Paula: That’s funny! (laughing emoji)

Me: What’s funny is it is soaking in my “conditioner” which you know as Downy.

Paula: That is funny! That’s ok, I soak my teeth in what can also be used to clean toilets, vases, and water bottles lol.

Me: We were destined to be friends! I bought lavender scented this time. Maybe it will make me calmer?

P: Lol. I doubt it.

M: Me too lol

P: That would be ganja scented.

M: How awesome would that be??!!

P: LMAO I really like that wig.

M: Me too!

P: I may have to get my hair cut like it.

M: Or lose it all and buy a wig!

P: Or buy a wig!

P: Fake hair, fake vision, fake teeth, and the piece de resistance……Fake boobs! Add a cup bra!

M: Getting old is hell man. It ain’t for pu**ies.

P: Oh no. Not at all!

M: I feel like I should blog this entire conversation.

P: Lmao. As long as you drink a glass of wine while you do it.

M: I wasn’t aware there was any other way to blog?

P: Just double checking.


Seriously, is there another way to blog?




I believe

I believe:
– We each are responsible for our own happiness, and that no one can make someone else happy.
– I was born to be a mother.
– We can learn a lot of valuable lessons from hard or painful situations.
– The most important things in life can not be bought, and have nothing to do with money.
– There is good in everyone.
– True beauty is found on the inside, not the outside of a person.
– I am a lot stronger than most people give me credit for.
– It is vitally important to laugh every day.
– That sometimes smart people make stupid choices.
– Mistakes are a part of living.
– When we know better, we do better.
– Starbucks coffee, when combined with best friends, has healing properties.
– Love never makes people sad.
– Tears are not a sign of weakness, but they do make you stronger.
– Some of the most unexpected events can bring life’s biggest blessings.
– Age is nothing but a number.
– Wisdom comes with maturity.
– If you don’t take control of your life, you are a spectator, not a participant, in life.


Today I went to a viewing for a friend and co worker. I was planning to tell her story here, and make my case for health care reform. While I still think that health care is important, after this afternoon, that is not the story I want to tell today. I have been told that everything happens for a reason, and while I don’t believe that, I do strongly believe that we need to try to make something positive come out of terrible, tragic situations. I fall sadly short of that mark on many occasions, but today, I would like to try, for my friend.

So many times in life, we take for granted the people we are around every day. The co workers, friends, and family members that we see on a daily basis, sometimes never for a second considering the possibility that a day will come when we won’t see them ever again. We exchange cell phone numbers with vague promises to call “sometime” and get together. We work long boring nights together and remark that we should do something together “sometime”. Well, what if “sometime” never comes? Today I watched my co workers and supervisors crying over these very things. I saw my friends family devastated beyond anything a person should have to withstand because they will never have another day with their daughter, fiance, mother. There is a lesson to be learned from this experience, one I hope to never forget.

If you care about someone, please, do not assume that they know how you feel. I cannot express how strongly I feel about that. I will no longer make plans for “sometime” with anyone. I will make sure to make time, no matter what the situation, to have a cup of coffee, a beer after work, lunch on a day off. It is too important, too vital to let people you like and admire know how you feel. Much more important than anything else I might have to do that day. We lead busy lives, to be sure. We juggle jobs, and homes, and families and still try to have a few minutes of peace for ourselves each day. I get that, I really do, and I would be willing to bet the person you want to do things with “sometime” does too. Why not make sometime now, and find out?

The Things I Carry With Me

Ten years ago, I carried a two year old little girl. She was loving, adorable, and instantly loved by everyone who saw her. Her two older sisters and one older brother were with me constantly, not carried, but attached none the less, with sticky hands and firm, sturdy arms. I carried a diaper bag, too. It held spare clothes, cheerios, boo-boo tape (band-aids) and blankies.

Today, that two year old is a beautiful, blonde, older than her years twelve year old. She has compassion, and a strong sense of right and wrong. Her oldest sister is now far away from us, living her own life, and missed terribly by all of us. Her other sister is now a mom with a diaper bag of her own, and her older brother has somehow changed from my beautiful little boy into a handsome, quiet teenager. They have been joined by another brother, now eight years old. My diaper bag has been replaced by one of many hand bags, depending on my mood, and the cheerios have been replaced by mints and gum, but they are still carried mainly for them, just like the cheerios.

Ten years ago, my son died. I carried the grief of his passing clearly, the pain raw and exposed, probably to the point of making other people uncomfortable around me. His name was spoken in whispers around me, kindness showed to me by caring people afraid to open the wound that had not yet begun to heal. I remember thinking at the time that it never would heal.

I was right. That kind of wound never does heal fully. After experiencing pain that deep, that all consuming, you are left forever with a void. The void can not be filled, not with more children, sex, alcohol or drugs. The pain, however, does lessen. One day you wake up, and you realize that you can breathe, that life has been going on all around you, and people are depending on you, looking to you to help them with their grief and pain. It is always with me, and always will be. The pain has changed me, and carrying it has made me stronger, I think, and so appreciative of my children it’s hard to let them grow up sometimes.

Ten years ago, I carried an engagement ring and a wedding ring on my left ring finger. They were symbols to the world, and to myself, that I belonged to someone. I wore them proudly, and in really bad times in my marriage, would look at them and tell myself they meant that I was okay, that I was loved. Ten years ago, I carried with me a deep, all encompassing need to be loved no matter what. I truly believed that if I was loved, if I was “in love”, nothing else mattered, I was complete, a whole person. I could overlook anything, as long as I was “in love”.

Today, my left ring finger is empty. My rings were taken off, and my marriage is over. They were replaced, briefly, wrongly by other rings, on two separate occasions. Not wedding rings, but symbols none the less. I was “in love”, someone loved me, so therefore, I was okay. I no longer carry that need. Today, I feel that the word love is so highly overused, and so misused, that I don’t believe in being “in love” anymore. It is a big realization for me to come to, that I don’t believe in love. Of course, I love my children, but the other love, the intoxicating, you complete me, you had me at hello, love? No, I honestly don’t believe in it anymore. That is kind of sad, I think, but it’s okay for now, I’m good with that.

Ten years ago, I carried a secret. I hid this secret from everyone, guarding it with everything in me. I hid it, most especially, from myself. I thought about it sometimes, during long, sleepless nights. I would quickly force myself to think of something, anything else. To reveal the secret to myself, to open it up, lay it out and examine it, would mean questioning everything in my entire life. It would mean questioning my motherhood, my marriage, my role as a daughter, a sister, a friend. Doing that would require a strength almost super human, I thought, although I knew that many, many people had. I applauded them silently, in some hidden corner of my heart even envied them, but I knew, no matter what, I could never be like them.

Today, that secret is still with me. It isn’t as guarded or protected anymore, shared with trusted, loyal friends and, finally, myself. The amazing thing is, I didn’t die! No one has turned their back on me, no one has stopped talking to me, no one has told me I am no longer welcome in their life. I am humbled and saddened that I didn’t give these amazing people the credit that they deserved from the beginning. Because of their openness, their acceptance, their love, I have been able to slowly, timidly, but with growing confidence, open my circle and share my secret with more and more people. People like me, people like you, people willing to turn a light on dark places, and prove, once and for all, that their is nothing so scary in the darkness. I lack the words to express my gratitude to them all.

My load was pretty heavy ten years ago, and I am so grateful that is is so much lighter today. There were a lot of bad things, a lot of painful, scary places that I wouldn’t want my worst enemy to go through. I wouldn’t change any of it though, looking back. All of the things I carried then have brought me to the place that I am now. While far, far, from perfect, I am in a pretty good place today, and for the first time in my life, I can’t wait to see what happens next.


So I think Ive been looking at things entirely the wrong way lately. For months I have been sad and depressed, thinking about all of the endings that have been occurring at an alarming pace lately. I have listed and mourned all of my losses, bitterly regretted each one, and lived every day with an emptiness in my very being that comes with loss. However, if I know nothing else about myself, I know for sure that I am a survivor, and be assured, I have survived far worse than this. So in my disgustingly optimistic way, I have realized that there is a flip side to all of this, a mirror image, if you will. I feel that I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the beginnings that are occurring.

1. My roommates are here. All the time. They aren’t always here at the same time, but they are always here some of the time. The thing is this, they are here for me, no matter what. They are dysfunctional, they are loud, they can be obnoxious. They listen, they support, they care. They are my family, and I love them more than I could ever say or express.

2. For the first time in 4 decades, I am on my own. I pay my own bills, I make my own decisions. I live my life on my own terms, and make my own mistakes as I go. Its scary as hell, but I love it, and it feels right.

3. I am finally figuring out who my I am, really. In the words of Oprah, my authentic self. Living authentically is hard and takes real courage, but I would really like to think that I have courage. I really believe that the outcome will be worth it.

4. Probably most importantly, I have discovered who my real friends are. People who will tell you that you are wrong, and then let you find out for yourself. People that support you in your wrong-ness. People that cheer your right-ness. These are the people everyone needs in their life, and my gratitude is deep and eternal.

So for all the miserable, depressing blogs to come, I can now look back and see, for all of the endings, I am blessed beyond what I deserve.