Saturday, December 29, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Saturday, November 03, 2007
When I first began going online there were a few chat rooms which I thoroughly enjoyed. Over the years I met up with many of the regulars several times. Several stopped going to our regular spot and about three years ago my visits dwindled away as well. I do email some of the friends I met there and hope to stay in touch with them in the future.
When I first began to blog it was on AOL. There was a strong blogging community which I felt a part of. My days when I was out of work for awhile began with coffee and some blogs that were food for my weary soul. Sadly, when AOL made some poor decisions, a mass exodus took place.
I was so angry and we all came here to start over. Sadly, it, at least for me, has not been the same. Something was lost when you didn't have the email in the person's name I think. I have rare contact with some of the people that I became so fond of. It's sad. By the same token, I am finding that the more I do in my real life, the less time there is to come on and make posts.
I am making friends at my new job. Friends who are making plans outside of work. Many of them are younger than me and have blogs over on My Space. I have no plans to start another blog anywhere else. I do want to keep in touch with the friends who I have met with the blogging community. There are many things that I learned here that I will take with me when I go. Mostly, I learned that there are a lot of really cool and genuine people on the internet. People who through keystrokes on their keyboards touched my life. I will always be grateful to have known them and at a time I was fragile for the gentle words that helped me regain my strength.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Back to work today. I am in training in some highly technical classes. I have to know how a call works and is received and every minute detail of how the internet works as well. I have to tell you that this company is awesome in it's expectation that if you work for a communications company then you need to know just how it works. My brain feels on overload at times but I am doing okay with an A average thus far. Hope I can keep it up.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Had our first exam yesterday for the training. I got a 99. So close to perfection but hey I'll take it! I am really liking this company and it's treatment of employees. Respect for fellow employees is highly emphasized, as well as tolerance. It's easy to get along with others when you feel so appreciated, all of you. Of course there are always the moaners who will look for the fly in the ointment. Sorry but I don't see anything wrong. I wish the benefits kicked in now but I have to wait for 90 days. They are well worth waiting for. I am grateful to have this opportunity.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
We made an excellent deal getting a leftover. I will have an extended warranty, 7 years of 100,000 miles so I can rest a bit easier. One minor snafu was that my manager backed into it leaving a dent yesterday but that will be fixed quickly and I will be provided with a rental car while the work is done.
I am so very excited about receiving a STEADY paycheck. The amount will be nice and in the neighborhood I have not received in the past almost five years. Finally, I can put some away and replenish emergency funds that were used.
Fall weather has arrived and I am loving it so very much. The chill in the air is invigorating.
Today I am off this afternoon to my new employer's huge building to fill out paperwork. They insist that you have direct deposit, not a bad idea. The building is really cool and the atmosphere is so wonderful there. People do not seem stressed out. I am eager to begin this new chapter of my life. Dress is business casual and that alone thrills me. Look out here I come!
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Sunday, October 07, 2007
I went to the periodontist and on Friday I saw an internist and along with an antibiotic script I received my required flu shot. My arm is hot and sore but I slept about three hours later than usual and am feeling rested today.
Last night we had a frustrating experience with our Pogo game playing. Pogo has a high stakes poker room which I never go into but my spouse enjoys. Some new player who was around for three days waiting until the pot token got really high and then refused to play. He was waiting for everyone to leave the room so as the last remaining player he could win the pot by default.
This really upset the usually genteel man of the house and I agreed with him. I cannot stand people who cheat, and it infuriates me that a company does nothing about it. We and at least a dozen other people reported his screen name and nothing seems to have been done. One woman came in after seeing his screen name and told us he had done the same thing the day before to her father. I know that this is a game and the tokens don't really mean anything. That is not the point. I feel that people need to know not to take, by trickery or outright thievery, what is not theirs. I believe in forgiving people, providing they are sincerely sorry. Clearly, this is not the case. My husband taking the high road has chosen to let it go. It will take me longer and I will always be telling others to watch out for this dishonest person.
I read an interesting book this week, Middlesex. It was recommended on Oprah's book club.
Have to say that although it was interesting I felt the constant jumping around from the deep past and the future interrupted the flow of the story. I was disappointed in it. I still have another book I purchased that she had chosen and after a few attempts, I still cannot get through it. The books I have most enjoyed recently are those by Jodi Picoult.
Have a good week.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
The new job will be five weeks of training which I will work normal hours. After that I will be working an unusual shift that will find me arriving home about eight thirty in the evening. The thing is I will be eligible for bonuses for accepting that position so I think it is worthwhile.
Every time I think of getting a nice paycheck I begin to do the happy dance.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
Over the weekend we traveled to New England, Rhode Island specifically for our niece's 9th birthday. This was the first birthday without her Mom. I knew we had to be there and do something that would be so special it would occupy her thoughts instead of the huge void left by her Mom's absence. She had mentioned that her stepsister had an American Girl doll and so did one of her cousins and she thought they were wonderful. I made a vow to myself that she would have one. Not only did she get the doll but she got the beautiful metal bed, night table, an antique typewriter, phone and gooseneck lamp, carpet, pillows and several outfits. Some were obtained used but in mint condition. She was really surprised. We had her open the furniture first and the doll last. She carried the doll all over with her, took her to church and put the doll bed touching her own. For the first time since June, she slept alone in her room with her new pal, Kit. It was very touching as she leaned over to me and said "I've always wanted an American Girl doll." To see a smile on a child's face, a child who has been through so much this past year, really made my heart smile. My mother-in-law found it very difficult to have the party without her daughter there. It was hard for us to be there and seeing Jen's room with so much gone. There were more things there than I would have imagined. When I see certain things that I have given her such as the angel that holds a banner saying "My sister is laughter on the cloudiest day" it hits you hard. Like a sucker punch to the gut. We went to the cemetery and it seems surreal to us. There were notes from her long time friend, Fred. Fred arrived early that morning to blow up balloons with a helium tank he had purchased. That guy is okay. So now as I climb into my own bed, I get a visual of our little princess in her bed and Kit's bed touching hers. I get great comfort from that. Now the search will begin for a Christmas dress for Kit. I think I will be viewing the American Girl website quite a bit between now and then. Well, time for bed. I am beat and have a full work day tomorrow that will begin at 9 a.m. and end after six p.m.
I am thinking of our Jen and hoping that she can know that her baby girl had a nice birthday. While we tell her daughter that she will never be forgotten and we keep her memories alive with words and pictures, we are trying to also let her know that life goes on. Tragedy strikes, our hearts get broken but we pick up the pieces and we go on. Most people don't learn that lesson at such a young age but our girl knows that she is loved by many people. Somehow I think that will get her through. Goodnight angel.
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Friday, August 31, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
My cell phone, the razor has a non functioning keypad. I went to the AT&T (formerly Cingular) store today. They told me I had to deal with the manufacturer but it was under warranty. For me who is on the cell phone at least a dozen times a day, not to have it working, is a hardship.
I had some voice mails which showed up two days late in addition to the keypad problem. They promised to have one to me no later than Friday with me paying for the expedited shipping.
This is the last time I buy a cell phone because I love the color and the thinness of it. If I continue to have the problems with the delayed voice mails I will be switching companies. Tomorrow I have another long day. I have worked two of the longest days ever this week already. I am working Saturday and Monday on Labor Day. Being a realtor is NOT an easy job. There are some wonderful things about it but you have to be flexible with your time. When someone wants to act quickly you accomodate them.
Monday, August 27, 2007
OH what a beautiful morning.......oh what a beautiful day.....I've got a wonderful feeling........everything's coming my way!!
I had a situation at work which was very delicate. My former mentor is not well and I was floundering and not knowing how to handle it. I couldn't pester her with phone calls with what she was going through but I needed someone to bounce my ideas off.
Fortunately, a coworker saw the situation and stepped up to the plate and called her and explained that I would never be so unkind to complain but that I was being put in a difficult situation. Much to her credit she made contacts and saw that I have a new mentor now. I pray daily for my previous mentor that all will be well with her and I am grateful that during her difficult time she did something to help me. I will never forget that and hopefully sometime in the future I can repay her in some way. I am more grateful to my coworker than I could ever say.
The weather last week was so crummy. It suited me being sick I guess. All was dreary. This weekend was all about sunshine. I soaked it up. Every last drop! It was really hot Saturday and I had to work for a few hours in the afternoon. Yesterday it was a bit cooler and I worked again. I feel fortunate to work with people who are helpful, friendly and make my office a happy place to be. If you need help with anything you just ask and although they are "independent contractors" they will take the time.
My attitude is 100% improved over the past few weeks. When you don't feel well, don't sleep and can't put your hand on what's wrong it's hard to feel any direction.
I got recharged over the weekend. I have a full week at work and I look forward to it.
Two coworkers are on vacation and I may have to pitch in a bit there but I am looking forward to it.
As much as I like summer......I love Fall. It's on it's way and I can hardly wait. I already have a new Halloween decoration. A fabulous witch my sister-in-law bought for me. It's my favorite time of the year. All the holidays are fun without the issue of gifts. Just time to have fun and be thankful. Speaking of being thankful.......August 31st will be our 5th anniversary. It has gone by so very fast. So much to be thankful for in my life partner. He is always there for me. Even during the times I try to pull away, he gently refuses to let go. I think I'll keep him. :)
One final thought: I sure do miss the postings in Randomly Rambling. No one had the wit and humor of the beloved author of that blog. I need those laughs again.
Pretty please with sugar on top???
Monday, August 20, 2007
I love a good quote. Saw this one on a card which I purchased for my best friend. I have had the same best friend since the age of ten. We have had our ups and downs over the years but she has always been there for me when the chips were down. She is very comfortably financially. Many people think that would cause big problems for us but it really hasn't. She lectures me for being so generous when I give her what I can afford to. She doesn't lavish money or gifts on me but treats me the same as she always did from the time we were children.
I love the internet. I really do. When I think of all I can accomplish on the computer I am amazed. I can find out the weather and even what my local pizza place is serving special for lunch today. I could even order it up in advance. What an amazing tool. What I do struggle with are email addresses. I have way too many (as one blogger can attest to when the other day she asked me just how many emails do you have?) When I began on AOL so many years ago, you could only have 7 letters in your email. I opened my account with Nelclaire which I am stuck with as a master. My family used that and continues to. My darling hubby, then boyfriend gave me a cute nickname and I used that as a second identity which I used for chat rooms and such. I later learned people from there took it and used it on Yahoo and other places. I still have it on AOL and won't give it up. No one emails that one but for sentimental reasons it stays. Nextly I made one up for a religious chat room I went to. I never imagined all the email that would start. Nice people and I still want to stay in touch so that one stays. Next I made a screen name using my actual name. This was going to be the ONLY one I would use. When I began the job hunt I quickly learned that my journal was being read by every company/job agency out there. I felt I had no privacy and tried to make up something else. Ended up deleting both. I now use my Verizon addy for my work email. I was forced by Blog Spot to make up a GMAIL account.
IF I tried to check all these emails all the time I would be crazed. I am trying to think of how I can get down to only ONE email for everything except business. I wonder if the screen name
I Have 2 Many Email Addys is taken. I am open to suggestions.
Friday, August 17, 2007
Yesterday I went to work and had to cancel something I was going to do in the afternoon. I came home and took inventory of my thoughts. I have been pushing myself very hard for the past month. Yes, I needed a day of pampering and spoiling myself. Don't think I take this to any real extreme. I did it with a budget in mind. I started out by going to a new store here that just opened. They sent me a 25% coupon off. I was able to score two lovely tops for work at HALF price each! I also bought a nice quality tee shirt and a necklace that matches one of the "shells".
Got 25% off all of that and the necklace was marked down as well. OH yea I was on a roll and just feeling better about having something decent to wear to work. I had worn white and black nearly all summer. I then headed over to my favorite farm market near the house I lived in for twenty years. It's in the country. I got a huge canteloupe, three huge tomatoes, three large plums, six ears of corn and three green peppers all for under $10.00. The smells of the fresh produce were wonderful. I then hopped over to the factory outlets and bought my nephew a toy at the Disney outlet. I saved about $10.00 on that and found my mother-in-law a Tinkerbell mug for $1.99! Could this day get any better? YES! After that I headed over to my favorite pizza place who makes the world's best salad (IMHO). I came home and enjoyed that and just enjoyed viewing my bargain purchases. Had some of our fresh wonderful produce for dinner.
A fresh garden tomato makes a hamburger right off the grill taste extra good. The corn was so fresh. Came home and had a two hour phone call with someone I rarely get a chance to talk to. My husband is home and the weekend is here. Except for an hour and a half tomorrow we can enjoy each other's company and just kick back. My life hasn't changed in the past 24 hours, only my perception has. Today I stopped to enjoy a few things and recharge. We all need that once in awhile. At this point in my life when my body speaks, I listen.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
I have always thought of Brooke Astor as a heroine. Having enjoyed the museums of New York there are so many places that are the beneficiaries of her wealth. While some people who are wealthy only think of themselves her great life's work was sharing the wealth. I have the utmost repsect for this woman and I think most people in the New York area share that.
For the past few weeks I have been enjoying my 95 year old grandmother's company. This time we did notice memories that were confused at times. She has had such a clear mind for most of her life. She walks a bit unsteady on her feet at times. She has less gray in her hair than I do! It is about 90% brown still. She frets constantly that her hair doesn't look pretty because the beauty parlors in her day used curlers and a set. Now they all want to blow it out. This is a constant source of frustration for her. She still enjoys cooking but this year she had to supervise the planting of her garden instead of doing the work herself. She takes frequent naps but I can only say that if I lived to 95 I would be very happy to be in the wonderful condition she is. Yesterday she was telling me that she lays in bed every morning doing leg lifts. She has been a hard worker all her life and took care of her mother who lived to be 97. We cannot partake of any food without her first blessing it. She thanks God constantly for everything. She is very grateful for everything and thanks us profusely for the smallest things. She has never had much money but she wants to treat us constantly. In short I can sum it up: I have been very blessed to have been touched by this woman's life. I will miss her when she goes home today.
Friday, August 03, 2007
My bed is calling me to come enjoy the soft cotton sheets and quilt. Quilts and down comforters are such great source of comfort to me, especially when I don't feel well. In the winter it is so cozy to crawl under my lightweight but very warm down comforter. In the warmer months I switch to a light weight hand made quilt which I love. I actually own several, some of which were made by my grandmother. Well time to rest.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Thursday, July 19, 2007
I was raised to think that abortion was wrong. The irony is that my grandmother told me she had a back woods abortion when it was illegal. She did it because she felt she could not afford a second child. She spent much of her later years regretting that decision. She later became very religious and was adamantly opposed to legal abortions.
When I was in high school I had friends who became pregnant. I cringed when I learned that some of them had abortions. There were many forms of birth control available and for the most part they didn't use any of them. I felt that was very irresponsible. In my early twenties I was becoming more and more open minded and I felt that it was a woman's right to choose. I didn't really think that I could ever personally use that right but having said that, I have never been raped or sexually abused. In those cases, I think every woman should have that option.
When I went to work for a health insurance company my views on abortion changed. The reason for that is how often many women were having abortions. When they called to discuss their benefits they would talk at great length about it. Most of these women were married.
More than one told me that if their benefits didn't cover birth control pills then they would not purchase them but rather make the company pay for the abortion instead. When I had one client have several in one year my view was starting to change. I would never make abortion illegal however I would like to see legislation of some sort that would not permit it to be used as a form of birth control. To me, that is irresponsible and immoral. Perhaps this is only my opinion but it is how I feel. I also have strong feelings about other emotional issues. Having said that when I pick up the paper and read of children who have been murdered by their parents I have to ask myself if that child would have been better off never having been born. Those are not my decisions to make or my judgements to pass but I wish people would take more responsibility for their own actions. Again, I realize that there are people who are victims who are not given that opportunity and that does not apply to them.
On a different topic I was shocked at something I saw on The View yesterday. Barbara Walters, Joy Behar and an African American actress whose name escapes me at the moment, all admitted they had affairs with married men. Only the newer younger Elisabeth had not.
They all felt it was wrong. I am strongly opposed to cheating of any kind. If you make a lifetime commitment to someone then I think if you cannot keep that commitment, you deserve it to let your partner know. My suspicion is that in many of those cases the partner is not happy either. I feel people degrade themselves by becoming involved with married people. The person who is married is not being faithful to their current spouse so why would you want them? I know there are rare exceptions where the cheating spouse is faithful to the new person but I believe those instances are rare. What about the person who was cheated on? It takes them years to rebuild trust, if they ever can. I know women who have never even dated again because they know they can not find it in themselves to trust. I wish we as women would show more respect for ourselves and other women and not become involved with these men.
Sometimes I think that I am becoming more conservative as I age. That worries me. I have always prided myself on having an open mind. Part of having an open mind is the ability to go back and rethink things I guess. I will have to revisit these thoughts in the light of day.
Well, it's nearly 5 a.m. and I have a big day tomorrow. Time to try to get back to sleep.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
On the happy side of life I am working to make Cassandra's 9th birthday magical. She has wanted an American Girl doll and I have been bidding like mad on Ebay to secure her one that I could afford. One in VERY good condition. My neighbor's daughter Skyler, an angel, offered me hers. I told her I would accept only if she would allow me to buy her an ITunes card for her Ipod. I know that she is always wanting a song and her Mom doesn't like her to use her credit card online. She insisted that I did not have to do it but of course I will. In addition to the lovely doll, KIT there are some clothes. Missing is the original skirt Kit was wearing and I am searching Ebay high and low and not finding one. I have found the comforter for the bed that she gave me.
I plan to be in Rhode Island to celebrate this special birthday. I am hoping to be able to put together a little tea party for the birthday girl, a few of her closest friends and cousins and their dolls. I have obtained some little porcelain baskets to use as favors. These are the things that I try to keep my focus on right now. I have already ordered the Christmas outfit for the doll for her. I am hoping I can find a similar dress for her. (When she was at her Mom's wake she had a bear in a dress like hers. Although it was made for this doll she didn't have one and improvised.
I vowed to get her the doll and I think she will be thrilled.) Life goes on. I am sad much of the time and I have so many questions I would like to ask Jen. I want to call her and hear her voice. I want to hear her say it just once more "I love you" as she always did when we ended our conversations. When grief washes over me I just remember the words of Kahlil Gibran about sorrow and they are so very true
"When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight."
This is the price we pay for loving. It is hard but I am happy to pay it for someone who brought so much joy and laughter into my life.
Friday, July 13, 2007
We speak almost daily with my mother-in-law. She seems to be managing well but no one knows the pains that we hide from others. Life goes on. That bothers me. You die and life goes on without you no matter who or what you leave behind. I guess it is myself I sometimes think of when I have those thoughts. Mostly my mind focuses on a petite 8 1/2 year old little girl who faces each day without her Mom. I wish I could make it better for her and I hope to try.
Friday, July 06, 2007
My parents spent the past few weeks at their house they just built in upstate New York. It's been cold there. On Thursday morning as my mother was packing things up to head back to Jersey my father appeared to have some small stroke. His face contorted and he was visibly confused and unsteady on his feet. My parents called my brother who came and PRAYED for them. Not took him to the hospital a few minutes away but then sent them on their way for a five hour journey home. My mother called all the other children but me to tell them about it.
I learned as my other brother and sister called to ask me to go over and persuade him to go to a hospital. By the time I saw him he seemed okay and he refused to go to a doctor or a hospital.
I came home and it was nearly bedtime. I was so exhausted but this was weighing heavily on my mind. I dozed off until a giant clap of thunder wokened me. We had one of the worst lightning and thunder storms I have ever witnessed. I tossed and turned and I heard my neighbor's car leave around 1 a.m. I wondered if something was wrong. An hour later her husband's car left and I became more concerned which led to me tossing and turning some more. In the morning I discovered that my engine light was on in my car. Took it to a mechanic who turned it off and it came right back on. Apparently this means something serious. Since I just put over $600 in it last week I was hoping I would be alright for awhile. Not so.
I was exhausted and came home after checking on my father who again refused any kind of medical treatment or evaluation. I fell asleep and promptly my phone rang three times, two of the calls were asking me why I was not there observing my father while my mother was in Maryland picking up my grandmother. I gave up and went back to my parents house. On the way home again a few hours later I noticed that my mother-in-law had called my cell phone while I was sleeping. Rob was home then and I had him return her call. She needs a new pacemaker. Her one that is three years old has stopped working 75%. If it stops completely she will lose consciousness. She was going into the hospital today and having surgery tomorrow.
We had a huge dilemma. Do we go? Well, my car is not reliable right now and cannot be taken. Rob's vehicle is a truck, very uncomfortable and very costly gas wise. We thought he would go alone. WE have made several phone calls and her sisters are telling us they are on the case and that she will be upset if we come. She is planning on being here in about ten days. They are not having to open her chest totally as the wires are alright. Just replace the pacemaker under her chest. I am so overwhelmed right now. I am concerned about her, my niece, my father, my lack of steady income, my lack of sleep which has become so bad it's impacting on my health, my car repairs which may be outrageously expensive and my current physical problem. I am retaining huge amounts of fluid and have been put on a drug for that. I need some tests to make sure my valve is functioning properly. I cannot face the possibility that it is not.
I am sick of hearing myself and I fear that anyone who reads this will feel the same. I have never had so many things go so wrong....at least not for a very long time. I just don't know what to do to have even a sliver of peace right now.
Friday, June 29, 2007
I know that people grieve differently. I know that I must respect the m i l's process of grief.
Having said that, a part of me feels so disturbed that she is removing every trace of her daughter from her room. She has given away all her clothes already. I know how I grieve.
I worry that my little niece needs to be surrounded by her mother's things right now. I have searched my house for things Jen gave us. They are organized together and I feel the need to keep touching them. What if her daughter feels that way? Granted most of what she has was given to her by her Mom so she may not be going through those feelings that I am. There are things that I gave Jen I would like to have back. I doubt I will get them. For the life of me, I cannot understand how removing someone's possessions can help. My m i l came upon a box wrapped for a birthday present. She was so happy. Her daughter had missed her birthday this year and she thought that she had hidden away a present for her. When she opened the box she realized that it was not for her but for her granddaughter's birthday in the fall. Her heart sank. I really was sad for her. We exchanged a glance and a thought at the same time. There will never be any more gifts from Jen. I thought of the joy her daughter will feel on her birthday in a few months to have a last gift from her Mommy.
Now I must distract myself from these thoughts and go balance my checking account. I am going to try to write again in my paper journal.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
The first picture is Magnolia Diana drew and I just love it. She is a Southern Belle that has been liberated.
This is a picture of Diana with Rob (over 20 lbs. thinner)
when we met her in North Carolina about seven years ago.
I just learned that one of my favorite people, Diana the author sometimes formerly known as Prozak and ProzieofMountns has married her darling HippieJim.
Oh this makes me so happy. Two people joining their lives together despite hardships they have been through. Actually, I think hardships bring true love couples closer.
Diana helped me get through a really rough patch when I needed support. She didn't tell me what to do but gently affirmed my decision to take another chance on love.
Oh, friend, I can never thank you enough.
I cannot wait to actually meet Jim. All I know is anyone who still has Woodstock tickets really rates in my book. I hope someday he can see my Janis Joplin Porsche cookie jar.
Best wishes for a long life and much happiness,
From just one of the many who love you.
Saturday, June 16, 2007
" Rainbows and butterflies.Fairies and dragons.She always saw the magic in life." The heart is surrounded by gerbera daisies. At her services Rob and I had a huge heart of them with roses and a banner "Sister." Those are favorite flowers of Jen's and ours.) Thank you again to my ownline friends who made pledges in her honor. Jennifer, Mary and Katie bless you.
Today is the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life
There is a survivors lunch at noon. I can bring one guest. At 2 p.m. the festivities start. I have submitted luminarias for Jen (which Rob and I worked on together) and Marc, his friend we lost last year to cancer. I would give years off my life in exchange for a cure for this disease.
I am going to walk only one lap. If it's hot it is a strain on my heart and body.
There are two other cancer survivors in my office. They understand what I am feeling right now. When you survive cancer and someone else loses their battle you experience guilt. You feel unworthy to be given survival when someone else was not. Especially when the person is young and leaves a child. Our niece has become very weepy. She never cried at her Mom's services but now the slightest thing has her crying and she made the statement that she never got hurt before Mommy died but now she is having a lot of accidents. I am so concerned about her getting through this with minimal psychological stress. Her grandmother is doing everything possible to comfort her while dealing with her own loss. Yesterday she began cleaning out Jen's room, sorting through clothes. I would leave it all alone for a very long time. She and I are handling things differently and I have to respect her choices.
The Beatles were right......love is all there is. And.........the love you make is equal to the love you take. That's it, all there was to know and I have had the albums for forty years. When you leave this world all you leave behind is the love that you gave people. It inspires me to want to give more, be more accepting of others and make joyful memories with those I care about.
So, please have a wonderful weekend and know that if you have the link to this private journal, you are someone who matters to me. Peace and love baby.
Friday, June 15, 2007
I feel numb.......that is when I am not crying so hard that I have pain in every limb of my body.
Thanks officer for being a human being.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
I guess it's normal to go through that but I cannot feel that I did my best.
I want to be more like her, more thoughtful and helpful of others.
Her ex mother-in-law wrote this about her:
"Rainbows and butterflies.
Fairies and dragons.
She always saw the magic in life."
So very true. I do remember when her Dad died and she went through a bout of depression.
I know in time my grief will lessen too. I feel guilty about that as well. I made a memorial web page for her. On Saturday there is the Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society. I am walking with my team from work. I did it in her honor. I am doing two luminaries for her.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
MEMORIAL WEB PAGE FOR JEN
On June 8th at 5:15 a.m. my beloved sister-in-law (the baby of our three sisters)peacefully left this world. We were blessed to be able to spend several hours with her for the two previous days. Despite four surgeries since January and many radiation treatments, her cancer had returned in less than four weeks after the last surgery in which the doctor felt he had it all. Mercifully, pneumonia claimed her before the cancer could. She left the world without complaint, much as she had lived her life. Her final words as we left that evening were barely heard because of the difficulty she had speaking and the weakness of her voice. We did see her mouth move and I heard the whisper "love you" as her mother, brother and I headed out. I suspected that might be the last time we would see her alive.
Jennifer McLaughlin McFetridge was a wonderful friend, daughter, sister, niece, cousin but mostly she was a mother to her eight year old daughter, Cassie. That was the thing that made her happiest. Making Halloween costumes, making head bands with ribbons to match each outfit, waiting in line to buy the latest Disney DVDs, anything that was for her daughter. This was her true happiness in life. Her daughter was not the only person who benefitted from Jen's caring. She always thought of what she could do for her Mom and even for her neighbors. All the neighbors had many stories of the times Jen had helped them. She did not complain. Her doctors came to tell us how brave she was, how hard she fought. We knew but it was good to know that they knew as well.
My favorite memory of Jennifer is this. When Rob and I were married we asked our DJ to play some Irish songs. He played the Unicorn Song where you make all the hand motions. She and I totally spontaneously, jumped up and the two of us did all the motions. When the music played between we grabbed each other and we waltzed all over the dance floor. We then proclaimed ourselves unicorn sisters. That Christmas we gave each other (unplanned) unicorns. That was a magical moment as were so many moments spent with my beloved baby sis. Several months ago I got a phone call at 7 a.m. It was Jen. They had just told her that her tumor which had been removed from her neck was now in her skull. She was scared. She talked to me about so many things that morning. Before we hung up she reminded me of the day we met. It was her father's wake. Her daughter was not yet two and I left the receiving line to care for her. We bonded like there was no tomorrow that evening. Since then her daughter and I have had a mutual admirational relationship. I adore that child and often think she was the daughter I might have dreamed of having. Jen asked me to promise her that if she lost her battle I would take care of her daughter, Cassie, at HER funeral. I promised her. I never dreamt it would happen. When we arrived for the communion last month Jen asked me to do everything for her. I did, WE did. Yesterday, once again, I dressed my eight year old niece and we went to her Mommy's funeral. It was heartbreaking to say goodbye. We will be seeing them here in a few weeks. I am hoping to make more money and surprise them with a trip to DisneyWorld.
I thought I was pretty together but Jen taught me a lot these past few months. She was wise beyond her years and she knew how to squeeze the lemons life threw at her and make them into lemonade. She knew how to put it in a beautiful glass and then take it to the beach to drink it. Her legacy is that she left people better off for having known her. I am a better person because of her example. I strive to be a good example for her daughter.
Jen never ended a phone conversation without saying to Rob or I "I love you both."
What a beautiful way to remember someone, that they made you feel loved. Thank you unicorn sis for the sunshine you gave not just to me. Jen was loved by all who knew her. It doesn't get any better than that in life.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
This will be the last post I expect to write for awhile. We got disturbing news today about my sister-in-law Jennifer. If you remember she had surgery just one short month ago to remove a large tumor in her head. They felt that if they radiated her right away, the chances were that the tumor would take at least a year to return. They did radiate her right away. The result was a swollen brain that filled with fluid necessitating a shunt put in about two weeks ago. Two nights ago she began to feel ill and they discovered that she had pneumonia. Last night they were uncertain she would make it through the night and wanted to put her on a ventilator. She refused (how I respect her for maintaing dignity in a hopless battle). Today they took her down for an MRI and it showed that the tumor is already back. Devastating news. The doctor told my mother-in-law that they are only going to make her comfortable at this point. To try to cure the pneumonia might only make her death far worse so at this time they are done treating her.
I think that is the right decision and one I would want made for me. The thing of it is although we logically know what is good our hearts only know the pain and don't want it. First thing tomorrow morning we will be driving up the the hospital for a visit. Not sure she will even know we are there. This is the dread disease that robbed a beautiful and energetic 34 year old woman of her life and her eight year old daughter of her mother. Surely, less money could be spent on war and more on cancer research. Tonight I am trying to think of all the wonderful memories I have of Jen. I have many. During our last visit I held her and told her that I loved her. We both cried and discussed our fear. When she first learned of the tumor in her head she called me at 7 a.m. I made a promise to her. One that I will keep. On the first day I met her over seven years ago we were going to her father's wake. Her little daughter was only a year old and I volunteered to take care of her, leaving her to deal with her father's service. That always impressed her. She made me promise to take care of her daughter at her funeral, should that happen. As my heart breaks, I will be taking my little niece's hand and letting her know that she is not alone. Letting her know that her Mom will always be with us in our memories. It's my final promise and it's the last thing I can do for my beloved Jen.
Sunday, June 03, 2007
I got to see Debbie's huge family which I don't get to see that much anymore. I got to see her two grown children and got to see the restaurant manged by her new husband's son who is a great guy. If you're ever in Philly you should really stop in The Continental Restaurant and Martini Bar (old city) there is also one midtown. I was literally drooling looking at the fresh salads and had a wonderful drink called a Miami Mango something.
Now back to the real world. My doggie missed me like crazy despite visits from my son and mother he refused to eat. We missed him too. The cat is less fussy.
It will be nice to sleep in my own bed tonight. There truly is no place like home.
Friday, June 01, 2007
Kahlil Gibran: three by him, one, Beloved Prophet, was so difficult to find as it had not been published in many years. It took me two years searching before I located it in a rare book store in another state. it contains his love letters to the woman he loved, Mary Haskell. I have been fascinated with him since first reading The Prophet as a teenager. Some of that book contains quotes that I frequently use. I love his mind. Other books are by Anna Quindlen. Her essays in the New York Times were outstanding. She can open anyone's mind by using logic. Three books are by an author most of you never heard of, Laurel Lee. When I was being treated for Hodgkin's Disease in 1977 she wrote an article that appeared in a woman's magazine along with her ink drawings. She was living the life of a hippie (not so different from mine) with two young children. While pregnant with her third she developed a horrible cough which was diagnosed as Hodkin's Disease. She refused a late term abortion as the doctors begged her to have it. She later gave birth to a healthy daughter and published her diary of the ordeal, Walking Through the Fire. A TV movie was later made of it, but it did not do the book justice. Laurel has an uncanny sense of humor and her drawings make it rich. I do not know what became of her.
I do know that her books are two of my prize possessions.
I stopped here and went to Google her name. I simply cannot believe that I never thought to do that. I just learned that she died August 2004 from pancreatic cancer after fighting it for a year I am so saddened by that but joyful that she left behind three children and four grandchildren.
The fact is that she died at 58 but she lived each day after her cancer diagnosis at age 29 with such joy and appreciation. Her dream was to live long enough to see her children independent and she achieved that. I hate knowing that she is gone because of all the days and nights that I wrestled with the demons of fear. I knew that she was out there doing the same and overcoming them. Thank you Laurel for all the hope that you gave me for all those years. Rest in peace. I have one last book of hers to purchse, Tapestry the Journal of Laurel Lee.
I have other books........they are my friends. Sometimes on a bad night they help me. I have one book that is unread. I purchased it a few years ago and I simply cannot get through it. I refuse to get rid of it and I just know that one day I will get through it, One Hundred Years of Solitude. My new favorite read are books by Jodi Picoult. If you haven't read My Sister's Keeper, you must. I am eagerly waiting to read her latest. Hoping it comes out in paperbook soon!
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
He then systematically vetoed what she liked. All the while he was telling me that it was HER choice. I came close to piercing my tongue with my teeth this past week. I was pleasant and polite throughout even when he behaved in what I felt was insulting behavior. In the end he has chosen to buy something that he saw on the ONE day that I did not take them out when he wanted to go. What he is buying is a very poor investment and something that his wife does not want but he is pushing upon her. If she doesn't take that she will be in a rented room in someone else's house. I feel sorry for her to an extent. I feel sorry for myself at times but I have learned a valuable lesson. Early on I felt no loyalty from these people. I should have not continued to work with them, allowing my time and finances to be consumed by them. I take responsibility for that. I really thought once they got to know the kind of person that I am they would appreciate my honesty and integrity. He did thank me for all my efforts and told me he was very frustrated and knew I had to be. Of course, he felt this rested with his wife. I have to let this go and move on, taking from it knowledge. It was a hard lesson to learn. What is hardest is not to lose my confidence. I did a good job. As I told him I cannot demand loyalty, I can only hope that one gives it freely and appreciates what I do for them.
It's a beautiful day here today. Has been for several days running. I decided to treat myself to a bit of shopping. The Pier 1 outlet relocated and it was a treasure hunt to find the new place. Sadly, the new place is fancy like the store and the fabulous bargains were no longer to be found.
I think I did better in the regular store with the sale prices actually.
I had a bad night last night tossing and turning. I am going to have a little nap now. Sometimes we have to be gentle with ourselves.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
The problem is that if she does not have the radiation the tumor will be back quickly. They fear if she does continue though she is running a risk of paralysis from damage. What a choice to make. She has chosen to continue with the radiation even though her mother is strongly opposed. My m i l asked the doctor would he have his daughter radiated like this and he answered he would not want to. She has the power of attorney and is struggling with what to do. I am glad not to have to make those decisions. Unfortunately I do not believe my sister-in-law now down to 70 lbs. and heavily medicated can make sound decisions on her own. While we can only listen and offer emotional support we are all hurting on the sidelines.
Last night, after nearly five years Rob heard from his estranged best friend. I believe that karma knew Rob needed something good to happen. His best friend really hurt him when he failed to show up as best man for our wedding. The night before he went out on a drinking bender that lasted for days. We were aware at the time that his wife and he were having some serious problems. That lead to him drinking way too much which caused other problems.
I would not be discussing this here, but my journal is private and I trust those who have access to read it. When he called he left a lengthy message asking both of us to forgive him. He went on to say that if we couldn't he would understand. That really touched me. I played the message for Rob and at first he was reluctant to call him back. Five years is a long time to wait for an explanation. I asked him to just listen to what he had to say and then to make a decision. His friend cried over and over as he told him all of the problems he had been experiencing. His wife left him and he took his two sons and had to go stay with his parents in Florida. I knew right away that Rob would forgive him, as would I. He asked to speak to me and asked my forgiveness. It is easy to give when someone demonstrates real sincerity as he did. All is alright now and now as we face the problems with Jen, Rob has a friend who truly understands. His friend's father has cancer as well. Life is strange but sometimes just when we need them our friends surface and just their voice can be soothing. I was thinking about when Rob's Dad died. This friend was there for every minute of that time dispensing hugs to his entire family. Friends and relationships are never perfect because as human beings we fail sometimes. The thing is that when the relationship is based on the good stuff we accept those failings and we forgive....just as we hope to be forgiven when we mess up. I am happy for Rob and since his friends are my friends too, a bit for myself.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
now we will be going through this again. I must say it does not make sense to me to pay less to buy a home that is cheaper if it is not what you truly like. Wife likes the other home very much though and I am hoping that I can talk them into coming up a bit so they might get this one.
Interesting what motivates people. To me when I see a home I know I would want to live in, price is very much secondaring PROVIDING I can afford it. Other people fall in love with a home they can't afford, but find a way to give up enough to make that dream come true. I think I am too prudent to do that but I admire those who can. I have a busy day today. I am showing a potential buyer a home this morning (someone driving here from Maryland because this Victorian home he heard about is a MUST SEE) and writing a new contract then answering phones in the office for an hour and a half. So glad Sunday will be a day of rest. I need it!
If you love older homes, I have the most beautiful home, with a historic plaque, been on many tours: Christmas, gardening etc. on a main street of a small town just reduced to $400,000.
Honestly, it's a great buy! The yard is amazing.