Category Archives: death

Someday.

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Someday.

Someday it will be me.

It will be that moment no one likes to think about. Or even say out loud.

Saying goodbye…forever.

Today is day one of many goodbyes to our Grandmother.

It doesn’t come as a shocker. It was not sudden or painful.

It was just time.

Ninety-six years of time.

Blessed time.

But five years without her sweetheart.

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So yes…it was just time.

Time to say goodbye to all of us here, and hello to her sweetheart again.

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I am trying desperately to remember this…we were blessed. We had her for so long. And now it is time for her to be at peace.

I told her it was okay (we all did), I whispered it in her ear, told her I loved her, many times…we had several weeks with her to say goodbye, as she slowly declined into a peaceful eternal sleep.

But I am still so heartbroken…

I will miss her…my husband and children and sisters and Aunts and Uncles and cousins…we will all miss her.

She was amazing…stylish, classy, funny, devoted and fierce.

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She would be hard to forget.

So I will continue to tell stories about her to my children and remind myself of all the beautiful memories we had with her.

She was like a second mother to me and my sisters through some very tough years for our mother and her painful divorce from our father. Our grandmother stepped in and protected us and hugged us and made us smile, when our mother just couldn’t. I don’t hold this against our mother…it was actually a gift. We were able to create a special bond with our Grandmother.

We are forever grateful.

Tonight, is our first of many goodbyes and many tears…some sad but many happy.

We were all blessed to be loved and adored by our Grandmother, Mother, Aunt, Mother-in-law, friend, sister…

 

Thank you, Gram, for just being you…

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Unable are the loved to die. For love is immortality. ~Emily Dickinson

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Last Night.

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Last Night.

About last night.

He was supposed to wake up this morning with a pounding headache. He couldn’t forget to grab the Advil and bottle of water before he collapsed in his bed-hopefully not alone.  He knew he would drink too much.  He knew he would be needing to let loose and get drunk. He was heartbroken. He would get over him, and the heartache…he just needed to have some fun.

But not last night.

She was to meet her at eleven. She would be waiting at the bar. She was nervous. She had never done this before.She just met someone she could fall madly in love with – it didn’t matter what clothes she wore or what bathroom she used. Who the hell cared what others thought.  Her friends and family would have to deal with it, support her, or she would have to walk away.

But not last night.

It was their big night on the town…celebrating their engagement. They couldn’t wait. They needed this. To laugh, to dance, to rejoice. Their moment to say to the world that they loved each other, and wouldn’t have it any other way. Their most devoted and loyal friends and family would be by their sides celebrating-dancing, toasting them, loving them.

But not last night.

He was bullied all through school. Did they know something about him that he wasn’t ready to admit to himself? Why did they mock the way he dressed, or the way he walked and talked? Why did they draw those dirty pictures and tape them to his locker? He was finally ready to figure himself out. He knows who he really is now-always did. He knows why they mocked him. But he didn’t have anything to fear anymore-he didn’t need to worry what anyone else thought. Tonight is his night to be true to himself. Maybe he will meet the love of his life or someone who understands him-a new friend, or maybe even his first real kiss…

But no. Not last night.

Last night. Dozens of men and women went out on a Saturday night. It just so happened to be a gay club. But they went for the same reason as any other…to find love, to dance, to have fun, to flirt, to escape from reality, to celebrate.

Last night, a monster decided to creep into their celebrations of love and life and courage.

Last night, dozens of people won’t wake up with hangovers or next to their one-night- stand or love of their life.

Last night…

Was their last night.

Please make the hate stop.

I am a happily married mother of five children. I fear for my children’s futures. We teach our children to love…no matter what your skin color is, or gender preference, or religion.

Last night, We were lucky. I went to bed with the love of my life after watching our favorite family show with our little ones, and then tucking them into to bed.

I woke up this morning next to my snoring husband, not realizing what had happened in the night…as we slept peacefully, the world was changing, yet again, forever.

Last night, too many beautiful souls went to Heaven together…almost all at once. They will be the reason we fight on.

They will make us persevere…

Last night must never happen again.

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A Few Good Men.

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A Few Good Men.

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On the six month anniversary of losing one of these good men…cancer won yet another battle, but we are here to remember a loving good man and keep fighting the good fight against cancer.

Karma Is A Funny Thing

I don’t usually write two posts in one day, but  I just have to.

There are a few good men in my life. I won’t name any names, but they know who they are. Well, except for my three year old, since he cannot read this yet…but he knows I adore him.

We have faced some serious challenges recently…but none nearly as bad as some of my favorite men…

I love them. They love me…unconditionally. Some may not be blood, but I have grown to realize this does not matter anymore…it is who sticks around, even when things get tough, that matter most.

And they matter…a lot.

It is not my journey or my story to tell for these men, but all I can do is let them know this…

I love them…I really and truly love them with all of my heart.

They watched me grow…

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Only In My Dreams.

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Only In My Dreams.

It was such a clear dream. I could feel the breeze blowing through the open French doors as I walked down the narrow hallway to her room.  The room seemed small but ornately decorated and looking out onto a patio with a large old tree adding shade to the patio and garden.  She was distracted and not noticing the beauty around her. She was laying in her hospital bed in the cozy room across from another empty hospital bed. She didn’t look up at me, she was too focused on what she was watching on  t.v. or laptop that was perched on her side table.

Her legs…they were smooth and golden…bronzed and healthy from many days basking in the sun by her pool or on the beach. They were uncovered and outstretched from under her hospital gown, almost on display.

Her hair…it was chestnut again, curled thick and soft to the touch.

Grandmother.

I went to her to kiss her hello and noticed she had a plate stacked with cinnamon raisin bread, toasted with butter. There were several bags of this bread strewn across the bed as well. I asked her who made this all for her…she looked up away from me, almost defiantly, and said she did it all herself. Insulted I should even ask such a question. Then she demanded that I run to the store immediately and get her a loaf of white bread and cheese, she was craving a toasted cheese sandwich…I just stood in the doorway, looking at her beautiful self, feeling very puzzled…a combination of the old and new Grandmother…the forever young and the old woman living a life right now she would never want for herself.

I shake my head yes to her demands, and then feel a presence behind me on the patio…it a grown man with two small children. He is holding them close, gently gripping their shoulders, almost protectively. I cannot see their faces, the glare of the sun blocks my vision. Grandmother yells to me to quickly go make some of them the delicious toast she is enjoying at that moment.

Somewhere in all my dreamy confusion, I appear instantly with a white and pink china plate stacked high with steamy cinnamon raisin toast.

And then I woke up…it was over but the feelings are still with me as I type this.

My Grandmother has been rapidly declining mentally and physically over the past four years since my Grandfather passed away. She is always happy for the most part, and occasionally knows some or one or all of us. Some days she is feisty, and some days we cannot even wake her to get a greeting out of her.

I say goodbye each and every time I visit her. I just feel like she is kind of already gone, not because of the Alzheimer’s entirely, but I really feel like she is “one foot in/out the door” so to speak…she talks of times and people in her past, as if it were happening now. She sees people who are gone, and when she speaks of our Grandfather, it is as if he is sitting there with her…

I loved my dream last night

I saw her in all of her beauty and sassiness again. I felt loved and peaceful…I have been having many dreams of my Grandparents lately, and I know they will be together again…someday soon.

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Fifty.

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Fifty.

Fifty is a large amount…of time, money, hours, and even minutes.

It can seem like eternity waiting for a class to end that is fifty minutes long…

Or almost endless when waiting for those last fifty days for a baby to arrive, or a party that has been in the works for ages to come to fruition, or maybe vacation to start after months of saving and planning…

To some, it can seem like a lot of money, when you have not a penny to spare.

And it can seem like almost a lifetime when you share fifty years with someone…because it is.

Fifty years is more than doubled of the time that a person spends being reared by their parents…for most of us, that usually only takes about eighteen years…

Fifty years is longer than most will spend working at a job or career…which can be a relief at the end of a long drawn out lifetime of working at a job you couldn’t stand…

Or being saddened that it is time to retire from the one thing you loved almost as much as your family.

Fifty years.

We are almost at twenty years of marriage…and pray we are lucky enough to celebrate fifty…or more.

I know very few people who have surpassed Fifty Years of Marriage.

What an amazing gift.

Yet today, my heart aches for my Mother-In-Law as she celebrates a Fiftieth Anniversary…without her beloved husband.

A man she has shared minutes, hours, days building up to an amazing lifetime together…almost.

She lost her dear husband nine days shy of this amazing accomplishment, after falling in love, getting married, then creating a life together for themselves and their children, finding careers that they both enjoyed, traveling, and just living life to its fullest…

They shared losses of loved ones and friends and jobs and homes together too…

But these losses just brought them closer together.

And now we, today, respect my Mother-In-Law’s wishes to not celebrate this special day…her heart is too heavy.

 I know in my heart that My Father-In-Law is with her, holding her chin up and wiping away her tears…I know we must move forward with their strength as a couple…encouraging us to believe in our marriage and our family, and watch it blossom from love and loss…

In Fifty Years, I hope I am not alone, and I hope I am still here…with my sweet husband holding my hand and smiling at all we have accomplished…

I hope that I can look back at all those minutes and days, hours and years that would bring us to that special day.

Because my In-laws will celebrate today…

With tears of sadness and tears of joy…

Here on Earth and in Heaven…

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Their love story is not over…

And will never be forgotten.

The Lighthouse Keeper.

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The Lighthouse Keeper.

He climbed 228 stairs each week to the top of our State’s tallest lighthouse.

He volunteered for every board that would have him to help the sick, needy and poor.

He traveled around the globe countless times, in search of adventure and curiosty of this beautiful world we live in.

He worked hard to raise money to make hospitals better and YMCA’s state of the art.

He cherishes life.                     He cherishes family.

He devoted his life to his wife, in good times and bad, sickness and health.

He watched his children grow into successful loving and caring adults.

He adored his grandchildren…all six of them.

He is with us now, in spirit…holding on, fighting his hardest battle…not just for all of us, but most importantly for himself.

He wasn’t ready to go yet…he had so much life he wanted to live.

He is still loving us and proud…has told us so for all the accomplishments we have had as a family…

And for himself.


He wasted no time. He is a man who lived every second of his life waiting for the next adventure…his favorite fishing trip to Nantucket with his son and old friends, birthday parties and recitals for his granchildren, and holidays to share with family and friends…always ready to create more memories…

He is a quiet man. But has a lot to say…eager to share all his knowledge of business, travel, life with anyone who will listen.

He always has a smile and an open heart for anyone he greets…

He is our lighthouse keeper now...

He is lighting the path ahead. He will give us a gentle nudge when we think we can bare no more. He will make us climb those 228 stairs when we feel we cannot even get out of bed with heavy hearts.

He will give us strength to move on.

He will be at the top of the lighthouse looking out upon the sea, waiting for us to join him someday…

 And as we sit beside him now waiting for him to reach the top of the lighthouse,  we have comfort knowing he will guide us safely on our journeys…

For he will have the best view.

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One Year.

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One Year.

One year is a long time.

365 days.

8,760 hours.

525,600 minutes.

And so on.

That IS a lot of time.

But what if?

What if someone said…that is all you’ve got left…

That’s it.

Well, then I am counting seconds too…31,556,926 seconds.

Each and every thousand of them.

And hoping that there is more than that…but if not? What would I do?

Well, knowing my weepy self…cry for atleast 12 of those hours…maybe steal a few more.

But on the hour I DO decide to stop feeling sorry myself, I will hopefully realize this…

I was just given  a gift.

My greedy butt was just given the Golden Ticket.

I would now know that I just wasted 43,200 seconds feeling sorry for myself. That I had places to go and people to see, and could have been half way to Disney with my family in the amount of time I spent blowing my nose and wiping my tears away.

So now that I have realized the Gift that has been given to me…the all-knowing…the fortune teller…the life sentence…whatever I compare it to…it came into my life for reason.

I will be THAT person…

I will travel, snuggle, kiss, hug, love hard, clean my house less, laugh more, get sad less.

I can be sad, but why? I know that each snuggle with my babies or husband means even more now…I should have known that before…but I didn’t…who truly does?

Those giggles or games of hide and seek with my kids, or seeing their faces light up one more time when they see Mickey Mouse or their favorite Princess at Disney, or when we pack up for a long full day at the beach…and then they all collapse…a sweet deep sleep after fresh sea air, hearts and bellies content and so full of love, and happiness. And I would stand over them, and be able to smile…and maybe shed another tear or two…as I realize that these are the moments that count…making memories of joy and happiness.

And even when the bad days might come, reminding my self that the Golden Ticket was given to me for a reason…

That I need to make amends…fight it out and make up…stop giving twenty second hugs…make them forty.

This is my fantasy plan of one year.

It is isn’t fair for anyone to ever receive that message…when someone has hopes and dreams and deserves to see them unfold just like any other person does…but it does happen.

I promise myself, that if it ever does…

I WILL let myself cry at all the things I may miss out on.

Then smile…and realize that every second counts… I will make the most of each and every moment...all 31556926 seconds of them.

Fear.

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Fear.

We all have a little of it. Or if you are anything like me, a lot.

I am afraid of everything.  Spiders, flying, heights, death…

Nothing too out of the ordinary in the fear department,  but enough to leave my nerves raw at times.

I get it...when I am outside, that is a spider’s home so they will forever exist…as long as they are outside. I didn’t invite them for a visit or even to dinner…so amscray!

Flying I have been told is safer than driving…not sure I buy that one in this day and age of missing aircrafts and terrorism, but from a safety standpoint,  fine. And associating turbulence with a bumpy road in a car helps calm my nerves…sometimes.

The heights thing…well this one is just plain annoying/gut-wrenching/knee-shaking fear. I’m embarrassed to admit the second floor in the mall terrifies me. My kids are gently warned to stay away from the railing(probably more because if they had a problem over there, I would not be able to help) and just leave Mama be…nonchalantly hugging the windows and walls as we slowly make our way to a destination.

Death.  Well, the other fears just look ridiculous when comparing them to this one.

Death freaks me out more now as a mother and wife than ever before.

I fear getting sick and leaving my children too soon. I fear my husband getting sick and leaving me jobless and with a house full of kids and broken hearts.

I fear accidents that could alter our world in any given moment to any of our loved ones or even myself.

I fear loss...loss of a loved one so dear.

I have lost many loved ones…and it never gets easier. Never.

But losing someone or thinking it could be me or my husband, is just simply unbearable.

My fears, I am learning (even as I write this), are based on lack of control…I don’t know how to fly a plane, or keep bugs away, or stop my head from spinning when I get up too high.

I can conquer them in one way…

Never fly again. Squash every spider that enters my house. Never go to the second floor in the mall again.

I could maybe even conquer my fear of death…do not allow myself to love or get close to anyone, for fear of losing them. To give up on my health and do whatever I want, eat whatever I want and just stop worrying about it all…

Become numb to everything around me.

It is possible…

I may not be a scaredy cat anymore by becoming numb, but I will be all alone…

With lots of memories…

Like the countless times of running scared when seeing a spider in my house and my kids running in circles around me, laughing as I climb up on a sofa to get away from that tiny little bugger…

Or of when I would have to stop and grab onto a wall like Spiderman in the mall as panic sets in (looking like a complete weirdo), glaring at my husband and kids who were trying to be supportive and steer clear of me, but not hiding their giggles as they watch my discreet web-slinging action along the windows of countless storefronts.

Or maybe even forget about all the amazing trips we took together as a family, exploring the world together, or even flying yet again last week (after years of mentally blocking out the possibility of ever flying again) and meeting the most inspiring woman I could ever imagine sitting next to on a plane…

Trying to forget all these strange yet beautiful memories shared with my loved ones…

I could do all of that and let fear control me…and it might actually work…

Or even worse…

Waste more precious time being afraid…

Instead of realizing I should have just lived.

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The End.

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The End.

It shows up at the end of a movie. Or even a book. It happens after enjoying a warm cup of coffee. Or delicious sweet treat.

It happens.

It comes in all shapes and forms.

And then there is the end…

The one people don’t like to talk about. It stirs up emotions stronger than most of us like to ever feel.

It is hard even when it is expected…after a long beautiful life of up’s and down’s, laughter, sadness, joy…

But sometimes I don’t finish that cup of coffee…it sits till it gets cold and I wind up dumping it out and regretting that I didn’t get to finish all of it…that I didn’t allow myself the time to embrace the moment of me and my cup of coffee.

Or even that book that I was so anxious to read…I get distracted and cannot follow all the stuff in between and jump to the end.

I shouldn’t do that.

The “stuff” in between is what creates the end. The building blocks that supports that story.

Or the cup of coffee that sometimes needs to be enjoyed quietly, reflecting on the day ahead and days passed.

Life brings the end too soon all too often. And sometimes unexpectedly.

We get caught up in the daily grind and forget about all those pages in between. I do it all the time.

My daughter’s teacher died yesterday very unexpectedly.

She as well as all of her other students and school are in absolute shock.

I didn’t know what to say to my child who lay on the floor sobbing. I knew this amazing woman, but own briefly.

She taught agriculture to my child and countless others over her many years as a teacher…

When our daughter came to us last year and said she wanted to take agriculture instead of what she had planned all along to take ( our kids attend a Technical high school where they take regular high school classes along with learning a vocation of their choice), we laughed.

No!…Why  are you changing at the last minute? You won’t even help weed our gardens or sit outside…is how the conversation kind of went.

She told us of this teacher and how much she enjoyed the way she taught and loved her students.

We caved.

And ever since the first day of school, my beautiful daughter could not bare to miss the beginning of school when she had this teacher…My daughter, as well as many of her students, were so close with her that they would call and text her…or the teacher would call them if they were sick or out to check in on them. So when the teacher didn’t show up to school yesterday and they all tried to call her and it went to voicemail, they knew something was wrong…so very wrong.

She called them all her “children” and nurtured their souls not only with teaching about how to create life through plants and how to grow beautiful flowers, but through laughter…

I believe everything happens for a reason…my daughter was meant to grow to love this teacher and learn from her. This will change our child forever, but she will learn from it and grow.

It is too soon to tell her this…I know that much to be true.

But this woman, it seems to us on the outside looking in, didn’t get a fair shot…didn’t get to finish reading that book or enjoy one more donut with her class, or even sit back and enjoy that last sip of coffee…

Maybe she did…maybe she was content with each day she was gifted with her “children” and how they made her laugh and how she got to watch their faces light up in amazement at the beauty of blossoming flowers in Spring can be…

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