Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Almost Four Years Later....

Hi All,
It's been a very long time since I've 'blogged'.  I'm not sure why, exactly.  I've found that a profound loss and being very close to someone who has also experienced that same kind of loss changes one's perspective.  I'm ashamed to admit that I've, at times, found myself being a little impatient with people....just being people...complaining about things that seem SO mundane to me, engaging in what I've often judged as self-absorption.  And so I've asked myself, 'Why would anyone want to read about MY own self-absorption?'  So I've been silent for awhile.

But as the season hovers between spring and summer each year, I now find myself being that ugly 'self-absorbed' adjective that I've been so shamedly judgmental about.  As someone who worked in public schools for 28 years, this time of year was always my very favorite time!  The school year was winding down, with summer days of rest and adventure looming ahead.  I still DO love the dawning of spring, but as spring flows into summer, I find myself flooded with memories of that gorgeous, not a cloud in the sky, springish-summerish day when the world, for me and my family, came to a crashing halt.

Time HAS marched on these past four years, and though Chad's absence overshadows all things now, life has been unimaginably good.  And there is peace....A peace that overrides my impulsive desire to shout, 'REALLY???  YOU THINK THAT A CLOGGED DRAIN OR A SINUS INFECTION IS A PROBLEM????!!!!'  A peace that made my daughter's college graduation weekend, spent with both her father (my ex-husband) AND my 'significant other' a very happy family time.   A peace that ALL of the kids that I call my children are in God's hands, and are just exactly where He needs for them to be right now.  A peace that gives me hope and reminds me that God is in control of ALL of this, and His desire for us is contentment.  BUT.....I must admit that I often DO find myself continuing to stress about clogged drains and sinus infections, etc. at times......

I hope that all of us will not take this springish-summerish transition for granted, and will enjoy the sunshine and the thunderstorms.  The cardinals are making their daily appearances to remind us that we are all here for a reason...for each other....and that life is good!

God bless us every one!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Big E


On August 26,  2011, I wrote in a blog about having just found out that one of my dearest friends was facing a difficult illness.   I'm so sad to say that today that horrible illness took him from us.  My friend fought hard, and, thankfully had many good days following his diagnosis.

Of all of my 'Cape Friends', Everett is the one that I've known the longest.  I first met him when we were on a bowling league together, and I thought that he was one of the funniest people I'd ever known.  Our paths crossed again just a couple of years later, when we were in a Supper Club together.   Eventually, I considered Everett one of my very best friends.  For me, he was a listening ear, a hug when I needed one, and ALWAYS comic relief at just the right time!  He was one of only a couple of men I can think of in my life who could chastise me for spending too much money without making me mad, for, in addition to being my friend, he was also my accountant.

Over the years, I was lucky enough to spend many hours with Everett on the golf course, on KY Lake, and just having lots of fun among friends.   Of all the things I love about Everett, I think it is his laugh that I'll miss the most.

Thanks, E, for your advice, for your shoulder, for your listening ear, and for your humor!  I'll never forget you!


Friday, December 6, 2013

The Very Quiet Snowday..

A few months ago, with the help of a very good and very wise pastor and friend, I discovered that the cocoon of shock that God had so mercifully provided me for two years had worn off.  It was time for me to enter the next stage in this annoying grief process...the time to 'feel' it without the benefit of that blissfully numbing cocoon.  Just this past week when my friend and I chatted, I expressed my impatience with this desire to just get it over with!  He assimilated this stage to a wound that, as it's healing, becomes frustratingly itchy.  A PERFECT analogy.

Today was a quiet snowday.   I've never outgrown the excitement of snowdays!  Yesterday, in anticipation of an early dismissal, I'm certain that I was no more focused on 'school' than were any of the fifth and sixth graders in my building.  And waking up this morning to realize, 'It's a snowday!!!!' was the same feeling that I've had about snowdays since I was in kindergarten.....a day with NO plans....a gift.

It WAS a good day.  But as the day progressed, I began to realize how very, VERY quiet it was.  And late this afternoon, as I watched the snowfall begin to slow, it struck me how perfectly pristine the snow looked in my front yard....completely untouched, but for a few random deer tracks.  And there was that annoying itch again as I thought about what snowdays used to be like around here.  They were NEVER quiet, and the snow only looked pristine for as long as it took to find the gloves and headbands and the sleds and the snowboards.  As someone who viewed school as a major cramp in his style, I'm sure there's never been a boy who enjoyed a snowday more than Chad!  So the perfectly snow-frosted front yard suddenly looked very wrong....very out of place. 

Tomorrow, I will go out and disturb that perfect snow.  Though I probably will leave the sleds and snowboards in the garage, I think I just might build a snowman!  And I'll look for those three cardinals I saw perched in my pear tree today.  I have a feeling they'll be back tomorrow!  :)

Life is good......even if it itches sometimes!


Sunday, September 29, 2013


I had a dream about my friend, Eric, last night.  I don't know where we were, but we were in a very crowded place, and I suddenly saw Eric across the room, sitting beside his mother, and my heart leaped.  I began running across the room to hug him, but I lost sight of him, and then he was gone.

Eric was one of my very best friends.   His parents were like my parents, and mine were like his.  When we met, he was 12 and I was 14, and I, of course, thought he was just a kid.  I don't remember when Eric first gave me 'zingers' (like butterflies in your stomach, only more like fireworks), but one day he did.  And no boy before or since has given me zingers like the ones that Eric gave me!  By the time that happened, though, Eric and I had begun to think of each other as a brother and sister.  We did go out on a real date once, but when we kissed each other goodnight, we both began to laugh, and Eric made some sarcastic remark about incest.  His sense of humor was just one of the things I so loved about him. 

I also loved Eric's wisdom and depth.  Though he was a full year and 364 days younger than me, I always thought of him as an older brother, rather than a younger least after I had stopped thinking of him as a kid!  His perspective, to me, always seemed so beyond our years, and I remember wondering then how he could possibly know so much about life.

Today would be Eric's 48th birthday, but 22 years ago this past May, a car wreck took Eric away much too soon.  Just as Eric's life had a profound affect upon mine, his death impacted me as nothing had before, leaving a very large hole in my heart.  I never could have dreamed that, in his leaving, Eric was preparing me for  something unimaginable.  Though Chad was, at that time, a mere wish in my heart, without my conscious knowledge, God was using Eric's life and death to teach me to deal with events that wouldn't occur until 20 years later.  I don't remember the exact date of Eric's passing, for the date that he entered this world seems much more important than the date that he left it, but I know that it was very nearly 20 years to the date  from the day that Chad left us.  Who could have known that as I was watching the faith and the grace that Eric's parents displayed during those terrible days, they were teaching me how to endure the death of my own unborn son?  Though they were  already like a second set of parents to me, having learned those important lessons from them has cemented that bond.

More than once during his life, I told Chad that I truly believed that he was channeling my friend Eric, because their senses of humor were so similar...and, hearing me make that statement would make both of them roll their eyes and say that I'm being dramatic.  But it is true that there were many similarities.  Chad, too, seemed to know more about life than I would have expected him to know at a young age.  Perhaps when one's life is destined to be so short, God implants an extraordinary amount of wisdom.

 Knowing that Eric and Chad...the two boys that I've loved most...have finally met gives me peace.  I imagine that Eric is teaching Chad to like baseball, and Chad is teaching Eric to like soccer, and I know for certain that they've become great friends.

I sure wish that, in my dream, I'd made it across that room to hug Eric...his hugs were some of the best ones!

Happy birthday, Eric....I sure do miss you!


Sunday, July 7, 2013


Good Morning, Friends--

There was a period in my life a few years the years leading up to my son's which I felt like I was living under a very dark, and very heavy cloud.  During that time, my office was located in the Central Junior High School building, right next door to the classroom of Kimberly Adelson.  Kimmie was one of only a very small handful of people who knew some of what was going on in my life back then.  Nearly everyday, we had lunch together with Kelly and Di.  And if I wasn't able to schedule my lunch back at the Junior High, Kimmie and I generally found at least a moment to sit down for a chat at some point during the day.  I SO loved those talks!  Sometimes we talked about 'my cloud', but usually we just talked about everything else!  I'm not sure that I've ever fully expressed to Kimmie how much those talks meant to me then....and still mean to me these  years later.  Those talks helped me to forget 'my cloud', and made me feel 'normal' for a little awhile.  But, most importantly, Kimmie never failed....NEVER make me laugh.  Laughing is, I think, my most favorite thing to do, so if someone can make me laugh, they instantly are given a special part of my heart.  Kimmie most definitely has one of those parts!

During my last year at the Junior High, Kimmie began to experience health issues.  After many, many, MANY procedures and misdiagnoses, a very rare form of cancer was discovered.  Kimmie fought and beat not one, but two rounds of that crappy cancer, and survived a stem cell transplant.  Kimmie's fight was fierce, but, through it all, she never lost her spirit or her sense of humor, and was a living testament of faith, strength, and resilience.....AND survival.  She just recently celebrated her one year post-transplant birthday, and was preparing to settle into her new home near her mom and step-dad in sunny Arizona, where everyday is the perfect golf day!

Late last week, Kimmie was stricken with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, which research tells me, can be every bit as crappy as cancer.  The paralysis has currently consumed Kimmie's body, and she has been admitted to the ICU at Banner Del E Webb Memorial Hospital in Arizona.   Once again, Kimmie has been given a battle
 to fight, and she needs some prayer warriors to join with her in that battle.  I feel pretty certain that most, if not all, who read this blog believe in the power of prayer, so I'm asking you to please join us in Kimmie's battle.  She needs another miracle, and I STRONGLY believe in miracles.....and so does Kimmie.  Let's please blanket her in prayer for her peace, comfort, and complete healing.  Thanks in advance, and I'll keep you posted!  In case you're a 'card person', here's the address of the hospital:  Banner Deal E Webb Memorial Hospital; 14502 W. Meeker Blvd; Sun City West, AZ  85375.

You and God have got this, Kimmie!  Love you!


Saturday, June 15, 2013

My Dad....

Tomorrow I will go to Park Hills for Father's Day.  We'll go to church and I'll stay for the day to visit, but Daddy most likely won't realize that it's Father's Day.  Mom and I will tell him, but in just a few minutes he will have forgotten.  He might ask me several times if I still live in that house on the hill.  Or he might ask me if I go to school at Mississippi State.  We're never sure what the 'conversation of the day' will be.  The day won't necessarily be sad because of that.....just different.  It's a difference that we've progressively grown accustomed to.

My father is a minister, and has been since a very young age.  I have no idea how many couples he's united, how many people he's eulogized, or how many people he's touched through his ministry....but it's LOTS.  Hes always been more of a listener, but when my dad did choose to speak, you could bet that his words would mean a great deal.  He could quote scripture that would apply perfectly to any given circumstance, and he's composed and delivered some of the most beautiful sermons I've ever heard.  And, while 'tenderness' has always been a little out of the box for him, my dad's ability to provide comfort to people has always been the thing that has made me most proud of him.

My dad has dementia.  He is no longer able to share his wisdom, his advice, his jokes.....but glimpses of the man that he is still emerge sometimes.  If we're watching an old comedy on TV, I still get to hear his wonderful laugh. And I still get to feel his hugs.   And while there IS the cruelty of the awful dementia, the blessing is that, while he knows that Chad is no longer here with us, he doesn't remember the circumstances of that.  So there always IS a blessing.

So, tomorrow will be different...just a shade different from Father's Day last year, which was a shade different from Father's Day the year before.....but still it's a blessing to be able to continue to spend time with my most favorite man in the whole world!  Despite the differences, he's still my Daddy, and I'm so glad he's here!

Friday, May 17, 2013


Hello All--

I haven't posted more news about the baby cardinals because their story became a sad one.  That unseasonable cold snap with all the rain last week wasn't good for baby cardinals as it turned out, and they didn't make it.  When I checked the nest after the rain, I saw the two lifeless babies left there.  Initially, I was a little perturbed with Momma Cardinal for abandoning her babies.  But throughout the day, I saw her visiting the nest, and when I checked the nest later, the babies were gone.  I asked her to forgive me for thinking she had deserted them, and I told her that I felt her loss.

A friend told me (and I confirmed it on Google) that cardinals (who, incidentally mate for life :) ) typically have two 'clutches' per year.  So I hoped that perhaps Momma and Daddy Cardinal wouldn't be frightened to try again to raise a family somewhere close to my house.  I had been noticing that some sprigs were appearing above an outdoor speaker on my patio...up near the eave.  Sure enough, I was able to confirm yesterday that there's a new nest!  I  And it is, in fact, a cardinal nest!!  When I figure out how to load pictures from my phone onto my computer, I'll post the VERY CUTE picture of Momma Cardinal's tail sticking out of the nest!  Sometimes you can just barely see her beak, too, but I haven't been able to get close enough to get that picture without scaring her.

Annie-Laurie asked me how I could be sure that it's the same Momma and Daddy Cardinal that built the first nest, and I told her I just know!  Because we've both experienced the loss of children, Momma Cardinal and I have become kindred spirits, so I know she would trust me enough to build another nest in my yard!!! 

Just last year, as soon as Annie-Laurie and I had gotten home from Connecticut, some wrens had built a nest in a flower pot on our patio table.  And this year, just a few feet away from that table, is the cardinal nest.  While I realize that this is the time of year when birds build nests, I have to believe that these two nests so near to my 'happy place' on the patio, and during this very pertinant time in our lives, are much more than a mere coincidence!  God and Chad are working together to remind me that the world is a good place....a place worthy of new life, and of hope.

Again, I'll keep you posted!!