Sunday, July 29, 2007


It's been hectic here with so much going on. Let's see last weekend my sister arrived with her significant other. I gave a party on Saturday for my grandmother who turned 95 the previous week. I only invited my siblings and their significant others along with us and my parents. There was some complaining that each and every family member should have been invited. Thing is, I was paying and chose to have a buffet supper, on a budget. (Did ya ever notice the ones who do the complaining are the ones who never pay or do anything themselves? Hmmm.)
On Sunday evening as my sister was departing, my mother-in-law, brother-in-law and niece arrived for a visit. We were all so disappointed that we had pouring rain on Monday. We visited my grandmother and afterwards went to get a few things, including some back to school shoes. Came home and had burgers on the grill and hoped for a good day the next day. That morning my brother-in-law slept in until noon. We were told we couldn't/shouldn't wake him and by the time he got up he only wanted to go to the mall. Rob did take the little princess for a miniature golf outing. While they all headed off to the mall I took superpup for his annual visit. He was so well behaved and happily healthy as well. That night I had to go to work and the following morning they were on their way home. The visit went so very fast. It's so hard to do what several people want. I wanted to indulge our niece and do anything she wanted. Unfortunately, she is going through some fears right now. She is terrified of getting lost. When her grandmother was out of her view for a few seconds at the store she screamed her name. She was fearful of going anywhere a crowd would be. That was virtually anyplace that might have been fun for her. I don't know what is the right/wrong thing to do in a situation like this. Three years of psychology didn't tell me how to deal with a fearful eight and a half year old who just lost her mother. I just dispense all the kindness, food, hugs and kisses that seem comfortable for both of us. Meanwhile at times I am washed in a wave of grief and the tears flow. Yesterday we went to the store and made many copies of pictures that we have. I am working on an album for her to have. Most pics of her Mom and her together and a few of her with us or her Mommy with us. Our constant thoughts are of this little girl who is so bright, so strong, so nervous and seems so very vulnerable. Her grandmother is still recovering from a recent surgery and seems so tired. I worry that she is up to this huge task. I worry that as my mother put it "she listened to her heart and not her head." We have told her that we are here as a back up for her. I hope she will take advantage of that. In the meantime my constant thoughts are of how I can make a small difference in this child's life.

On Friday I got a notice from the IRS. They think I failed to report something which I did NOT.
It's a mistake in how the taxes were done and I am afraid a nightmare will ensue. I do not have the money they are claiming I owe them. I have the guy I pay to take care of this working on this and I hope he comes through because I am on stress overload. Somedays seem so very overwhelming as I try to adjust to all the changes and concerns. One day at a time. I keep telling everyone else that and it has to work for me as well.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A Hot Topic

I just read that Amnesty International is saying countries that don't provide abortions are on their list now. This distresses me. With so many other human right issues such as female castration I wish they would not go down this avenue. They are going to alienate many of their supporters.

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

I am still here

I don't really feel inspired to write much these days. This past week my mother-in-law sent us a box. In it were some of Jen's things she thought I might like. I do like them but I hate that I am receiving them under these circumstances.

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

My Bouquet

Last night as I was laying in bed and fretting on so many issues going on I began to make a bouquet of my thoughts. I tried to picture each one as a beautiful flower. I then began to focus on memories of my sister-in-law Jen. I began to smile thinking of happier times and conversations. Sometimes I am incapacitated by waves of grief. At times my mind goes into denial mode and I refuse to believe that I will never see her smile or hear her voice again.
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

I wanna know have you ever seen the rain coming down sunny days?

Today it was sunny and we had a rain shower. How appropro. This week has been one of the worst I have had in a long time. I met a wonderful couple who I liked very much. They were in the market for a very expensive house and they finalized it to two choices. They told me they would call me that was several days ago. I have since learned they have done this with two other realtors and never come up with money when needed. We all believe they have the money and I am hoping that it will still fly. Let's say I am guardedly optomistic.
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 least not for a very long time. I just don't know what to do to have even a sliver of peace right now.