Tag Archives: family

Sigh of Relief

I made it.

The year of firsts is finally over, and I got through it. The night of the 12th was the hardest, although yesterday was rough too. I cried a lot, lit a candle, and wished all the voice mails I’d saved hadn’t been lost when I got a new phone last weekend. I heard from all of the kids except my oldest son, who hasn’t adjusted well to the loss of his father and is doubtless deep in his own funk. Neither did I hear from my sister. But otherwise, I feel very much loved, and my mood has remained steady throughout…thank God for good drugs.

What a relief it is to be done with this year. It doesn’t mean that future anniversaries won’t be difficult—I’ve got our wedding anniversary coming up and I know it will be a difficult day—but maybe it’ll be just a little less difficult than the first one was. Or not. The key is, I’ve proven to myself that I can make it through these tough times and come out stronger. It’s what Will would have wanted, and I comfort myself with the idea that he’s watching over me and is proud of me.

I miss him so much. Sometimes when I wake up in the morning, I half-expect him to come in with a nice strong cup of coffee and a loving smile. He was an early-morning person and was always cheerful because he’d been up for hours; this caused some friction in the early days of our marriage because I am definitely NOT a morning person. But over the years I came to appreciate his sunny outlook and tried to emulate it (with very little success, I might add). This was only one of the countless ways he loved me, and he made me a better person. I will always be grateful to him for that.



“Remember why you came and while you’re alive to experience the warmth before you go” – Incubus “The Warmth” I struggle on most days with my responsibilities at home. Parenthood is very difficult for me and something I feel like I’m getting worse at with each passing day. There are times when I get unreasonably […]

One Shutterbug: Point of View – A Poetic Blog, for Father’s Day

Shutterbug’s delight: Doncaster, 2016ish

This poem was written for my father. I hope he likes it. In its own way, this is one of the most personal things I’ve ever posted.

One Shutterbug: Point of View

shutterbug (n) – “an amateur photographer, especially one who is greatly devoted to the hobby” First recorded in 1940 – 1945

Picture the shutterbug.

For certainly, he’ll picture you:

in a group, in a crowd,

singing out loud,

in chapel, in temple,

in church and up steeple,

on dunes, and on hills,

after bicycle spills,

in the piney, reminiscing,

quite possibly, kissing.

Up steeple – St George’s, Doncaster

And the trumpet does sound

from a blue stereo.

Where to begin?

After taking it

on the chin,

a glider disaster,

international plasters,

that first picture:

why, it’s him!

The gift of an uncle:

a “unchi” says,

Johnny, Ionel,

here, take this:

may it give you

great joy, it is more

than a toy: it’s an eye,

a way of looking,

a history book,

for each picture took

tells a story, or three.

And a white flower blooms

from a blue stereo.

A puff of fresh smoke

from a trusty old pipe,

a friend in common,

and indeed, a first

dazzling meeting

with the beauty

with the smile:

they chat

for awhile.

No points for guessing

how these things proceed.

And a September song croons

from a blue stereo.

A wedding in white,

two different families,

polite, where next

from here?

There’s no chance

of a beer, a dance,

or some wine, til

after the cake, why,

it’s honeymoon time.

And the hammiest voice

in all Michigan

speaks of a brave steamshovel.

Family times

are the shutterbug’s dream:

like a cat with some cream,

the albums fill quickly

with children crying,

and crawling,

laughing, and bawling:

it’s slide shows, and sodas,

pancakes, and stew,

colac, corn bread, too.

And the hammiest voice

in all Christendom

tells of bunnies: flopsy, and true.

The shutterbug’s collection

grows with those kids

who he packs into a car

10 days each year: going

there, travelling here,

in a brown Meteor

with toys, books galore,

the beauty she reads

as the shutterbug drives,

whilst the youngest melts crayons

on the the back of the car,

and America unfurls,

like a flag filled with stars.

Sorry about the crayons – 1960s

And the hammiest voice

in all Michigan

goes down a Hobbit hole.

Come Appalachians,

come DC, come Boston,

and Nashville! Summon

crowds of great aunties,

and uncles, with photos,

through crick, hill

and churches, and always,

reminiscing, with y’alls,

and kissing.

Come Smokey bears

begging, early morning

petrol stations, with the kids,

and the wife, waiting.

On return, the shutterbug’s

sorting, collating, a bin

by his side, once the vacation

has ended,

but never the journey:

with all America,

waiting, always

still waiting.

And black-red-and-white dances

on an old stereo.

He once crossed an ocean:

the skies, the ship’s motion,

ending with the Lady

his parents saw before him.

Now travelling in mind,

in photos, and time,

he’s weathered the longest.

The last leaf,

or the strongest?

And the tenderest voice

in all Christendom

reads through her Bible,

and sings their old hymns.

With his lady – 1970s

I love you, Daddy.

June 2017

Tagged: America, children's books, family, Father's Day, Frank Sinatra, Handel, music, nostalgia, photography, Romania

Monkey’s Big Adventure!

Moving to our new place has been great for three out of four of our family. My Hubby has a shorter commute to work, I feel less isolated where we live, and our dog, Violet, has a nice big off … Continue reading

My Babies Aren’t Babies

I’m 36. I just finished reading an article from a woman that is 45 to the 30 something mothers of young children. I read that article and I have read many more like it. They are wonderful and most of the time spot on. What you don’t here about much is the 30 somethings will grown or almost grown kids. 

I had my oldest a month after I turned 18. So if you can do math he is now 18. And graduated and going to college(in town here, but still). Then I have a 13 and 12 year old. I’m not done parenting by any stretch but it’s definitely a vastly different world than having toddlers or infants. My sister, who will be 35 in July had a 10 y/o, a 3y/o, and a 6 month old. We are at completely seperate ends of the parenting cycle. 

While there’s nothing wrong with that I do often feel alone. In a world where people are waiting later and later to have children. I had mine early. My daughter will graduate when I am 42. While it’s exciting to think my husband and I will finally be able to do more together without anyone else. It isn’t something that I know anything about. 

I have always been a mother. I have never been an adult person without children. And while kids growing up and moving out of has different so many emotions balled up together. For me it just kind of makes me paralyzed. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to act. I don’t even know how to think without  kids being involved. Every decision that’s made includes them. 

I am that 45 year old woman looking at people my own age and saying. You WILL miss this. It WILL get better. It will change and the things driving you mad right now will change into being terrified of your kids making decisions for themselves. I know so many things about kids. About how they act and the things they do. And I try to share as much as I can. I see the mother with three kids in the back of her van and feel compelled to say “you’re gonna make it. It will be ok.”

Not that any of this is wrong or bad but it’s very different. I also have a step daughter who is grown with her own kids. Not to many people my age know what it’s like to try to love and help someone who is already adult with their own children. So I know things. I know that your children will make decisions that break your heart. I know that parenting a grown up is vastly different and requires a lot of thought and consciousness of what you say and do. I know that teenagers will get mad at you, and stay mad at you no matter how much you do for them. I know that sometimes you have to make very difficult choices in order to protect your child from him or her self. And I know that as you start to realize you are getting your life back. You carry around in the pit of your stomach a fear and worry that never completely goes away. 

I’m 36. I don’t have a lot of people my age that can relate because they all have young children. I am 36 and know things that Mommas in their 40’s know. I am 36 and my sister, who’s 18 months younger than me, can’t really relate to anything that is happening in my life right now. I’m 36 and I feel like I have already lived a lifetime. A lifetime of love and of laughter. A lifetime of pain and anguish. A lifetime of trying to help teach and guide my children into being the people that they should be. A lifetime of putting myself in the back burner to the point that I woke up one day and there was no you left for me to use that back burner. So it’s my time or our time. And I don’t know what to do with it. Because I still have 2 that have several years to go I still don’t know the feeling of not having someone know where I am or what I am doing. But they are old enough that I can do things without them. And that means that there is more time for me. I find myself wondering what that means. I don’t really know what to do with my time. For the most part every minute or of everyday has been full of others wants and needs. I wasn’t able to sit and watch a movie because someone always needed something. Or they were fighting or any number of other things. When you start being a Mom before your ever really an adult you don’t get to decide what you want to do. You don’t get to do things and not worry about someone else. You can’t just decide to pick up and go somewhere or do something. I didn’t go to my first real concert until I was late 20’s. Not because I didn’t have someone to watch my kids but because they are my kids. And while all parents need a break from time to time I never felt right asking others to watch my kids on a regular basis. 

So here I sit at 36. With the knowledge of people much older than me and people around me that don’t necessarily believe me when I tell them things. I have already been through the years where I thought I was a bad Mom, ALL THE TIME!!!! I have come out in the other side and as I watched my son walk across that stage this year and get his high school diploma. I knew that I did good. I knew that if I never do anything else I made an actual real impact on his life. I knew then that it doesn’t matter how old you are. Or how you choose to raise your kids. It’s the love and life lessons you help them learn that ultimately leave an imprint on everything that they do. Ya I started young. Yes, there were those who I’m sure believed I would fail. At raising my son. At staying married. At being the person I need to be for my step daughter. But I have done ALL those things. They aren’t in the future they are RIGHT NOW!! And I get to be proud and I get to let a little bit of that fear go because I know that if the only thing they ever learned from me is love. That’s enough. So even though I’m 36 and once again hitting a milestone long before this around me. I KNOW that I have something to give. And I know that I have living proof that I made a difference. 

So to the 30 something moms. Please know that there will be a day when you too can say “I made a difference”. When you can say the love my children learned came from me. When you too will know that while it’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done, it’s also the very best thing you have done. And that is true for everyone of us that chooses  our kids and puts in the time it takes to love them. And to teach them that if they know nothing else they know their mother loves them. 

Thanks for reading. Be blessed! And kiss those babies!!

No Creativity

I am feeling the urge to create. Usually I do this with painting or creating dimensions in Rift but my mind is completely blank!

My mood has been better lately, not the best today but still better than it has been in the past. I suppose my meds are working somewhat. That’s a good thing. However I am stuck in the worst possible rut and feel like saying meh every time I come up with a thought to do something. It’s annoying.

I thought maybe I could at least write but even now as I am writing the words are struggling to come out.

It’s really pissing me off.

I’m listening to music hoping it will help, it’s not doing much so far except I am enjoying some of my favorite songs so I guess that is something.

It’s so hard to describe how I am feeling, honestly I feel like I’m on the treadmill of life, it doesn’t go anywhere but at least I’m moving.

I suppose it is all better than being so depressed I can’t get out of bed and I should be grateful for the positive things that are going on in my life. I mean I’m blessed. I have a wonderful supportive husband, I got some great family and I have a gorgeous grandson that is almost a year old. Sadly I’ve never met him. I collect pictures and videos my daughter sends me though.

anyhow I apparently have nothing to write so I give up for now.

When The Shoe Is On The Other Foot

My Hubby has been my rock for our 16 years of marriage and the five or so years before that. Even when times were at their worst (and they were), and he wanted to pack it in, he didn’t. He … Continue reading


We all know that dealing with mental illness is hard. That sometimes you have emotions and reactions that you don’t want to have. It isn’t something that we wouldn’t choose to change if we could, so we just do our best to manage it and do the least amount of damage. 

We walk through our days determining whether we have failed succeeded or ,a year a little of both. And it’s hard to explain to people what it’s like. There really aren’t any good analogies, but every once in a while I get close to describing what is going on inside me. I think the longer I am medicated, or maybe it’s the older I get, I start to see patterns. I start to know what I can handle and what is going to be tremendously hard. I know I am constantly trying to tell people what I can and can’t do and what will happen should certain events present themselves. 

I have always told my son, and am now starting with the younger two, that I don’t want to get a phone call saying he’s in the hospital when he was supposed to be somewhere else. It’s not that I wouldn’t be glad he’s alive. It’s that I don’t typically have the ability to handle spur of the moment change. And I know I would show up at the hospital spitting nails because that would be my first emotion. I HATE liars. I get that most people lie or omit things from time to time. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about when someone tells me one thing and then turns around and does the exact opposite. I don’t have time for that. And I don’t really have the time to try to figure out and, at least for me, I am so open minded that if you feel the need to lie to me it makes me wonder if you should even be in my life. I have listened to people tell me some outrageous things and I just look at them. Or I tell them I don’t agree but that it’s their life.  After all the things I believe and hold dear aren’t the same things that others do. 

Having said all that, the last month has been absolutely horrible. There have been too many things that have gone wrong. There have been several seperate situations where I have been lied to and overlooked. While I know that there’s nothing I can do and that ultimately others have to make their own mistakes and learn their own lessons. That doesn’t mean I’m not angry about it. And the thing is there have been several instances where I have said something over and over again and it’s like it was just ignored. While I know it likely is not a directed slight that’s what it feels like to me. I have also learned that it takes me a while, usually days, sometimes more to recover from those initial emotions and sadness and anger. In hose cases I find myself doing my best just to not say anything, or very little. Because if I start talking it could go really bad really fast. I don’t like that. I don’t like that I can’t be rational and appropriately emotional. The rational and logical part of me is always there. It’s like I can stand outside my body and say what I know I SHOULD say, but when I try to talk about it I just get more hurt and angry. When these issues come up your kids it’s that much harder. Because you don’t want to be mad. You know that they have to live their lives and make their own mistakes and figure out how to get themselves out if they make the choice. But that doesn’t really matter. Especially when you have consciously made decision about what you want your relationship to be like with them. When you are their friend and their greatest cheerleader and they do something to just crap all over it. And THEN they want to make it out like it’s your fault, or you aren’t loving enough, or you didn’t say the right thing. When they make bad choices and want to act like you shouldn’t care so much, or they are fine, or whatever. 

Well it’s become painfully obvious that all the time, thought, and attention I have paid to creating loving lasting relationships was in vain. Because now they have made their own choice and they never even stop to consider what you might feel like. And they definitely don’t take any time to sit down and talk to you and explain things. It doesn’t occur to them that they have hurt you. I often think about how my Mom must have felt at times. But first my Mom is very different from me. And second my Mom has been my best friend since I was like 16. I don’t necessarily talk about everything. But I don’t hold back either. I have told her my mistakes. I have asked her guidance and advice and I have followed that advice because I knew even if I didn’t feel like it, or it wasn’t what I wanted to do, that she was right. And just one time it would be nice if I was on the receiving end of that. Instead of kids that don’t ever think about me and even if they do, don’t have the strength to come talk to me. And then they wonder what MY problem is. Well, it’s not my job to chase you. It breaks my heart that you don’t place any time or value on what I have done or that fact that I have always been there and always been supportive. None of that matters because on this one issue I don’t agree and I let you know about it. I am tired. I’m tired of putting so much thought and energy into relationships that are obviously going to be vastly different than what I hoped they would be. I’m tired of being the one that is always there and always loving. It didn’t used to bother me so much because I just did my thing. But you can only be lied to and cast aside so many times before you just run out of caring. 

Right now, and for the last several weeks, I give up. I don’t care what you do. I’m not going to chase you to try to make you understand how much I love you. And how much I want you in my life in an open and honest way. I’m angry, like blood boiling angry, and so far days and weeks haven’t really helped to make it receded to back where it belongs. I can only conclude from that that I need to make a change. That I have to start doing something different because obviously being the loving, come to me for anything Mom clearly isn’t working. I have had completely outrageous thoughts that for most people I know would seem like totally off script. But you know what?? If what I say and do doesn’t matter to those people then I really have no need for them. My husband loves me and even when we don’t like each other he is still there. We figure it out, we work it out. There was a time when that wasn’t always true. So I will hold onto and cherish that. I will be thankful that even when we fight I know that HE cares about me enough to be concerned with how I feel and what I need. And I think I will make the decision to leave my children right where they are. They aren’t my friends. They don’t need me. So they can come to me. And if they only come on holidays and family events that’s how it’s supposed to work anyway. People see their family when they have to and they pretend and be nice and never really get any deeper into anything. Maybe it’s easier that way. That way I don’t have this anger, resentment, and hurt to carry around with me. Because I never thought it would be there in the first place. 

That’s where emotions get tough. I literally do not have the ability to reason with myself once the emotions have started. And when I am surprised out of no where with life changing information it’s even worse. I would love to be able to force my emotions to fall in line with my logic. But sometimes that’s literally not possible. I tell myself all the logical and rational thoughts about a specific situation and then as soon as I open my mouth the anger and hurt want to come out. Currently I am on about a month of feelings this way. I have to learn to do better so that I can take care of myself and make sure that I don’t go off the deep end. I’m not doing so hot with that right now. But having made some decisions about how I will act and what I will say in the future has made me feel a little better. I don’t have to be there for people who don’t want me, or worse never even gave me a thought in the first place. So here’s to changing things up and taking care of myself. It’s been long long overdo. 
Thanks for reading!! Have a blessed day!! And remember all those who have given their life to protect us and the greatest country in the world!! Gone but not forgotten!!

Chronic Illness + Moving = Humility

I know I haven’t written anything in quite awhile. Actually, I have written, just nothing that was ready for posting – thoughts, happenings, and other things I didn’t want to forget. The last three weeks have been a real lesson … Continue reading

Round And Round

…What goes around, comes around and so on. Or so claimed the song by Ratt, way back in the ’80s when music still made sense. (Well, it did to me. But then again, Will and I were smoking a lot of weed in those days.)

Spring has at long last arrived, and with it comes some much-welcomed energy. I’ve been out a lot lately for shopping trips in preparation for our big vacation in December, but I haven’t quite gone beyond what I call pre-hypomania despite what my Psych Central mood tracker says. I do sorta feel like I’m chasing my tail though. My attention flits from subject to subject and I haven’t been able to write, hence the lengthy interval since my last blog post. We also had a few days of tension in the house which, for reasons best left unexplained, sent my anxiety through the roof and I’m still a little shaky…thank the Lord for Klonopin!

But, I’m writing this piece now and I was able to pay attention to a whole movie this afternoon. It was the final Pirates of the Caribbean movie, Dead Men Tell No Tales. I don’t want to include spoilers; suffice it to say that for fans of the series, the ending is highly satisfying. It also brought to mind the ride at Disneyland, which is a lot of fun. I can’t WAIT to go to Disney World though. My son-in-law Clark has this great idea of having all the family wear Disney T-shirts on our first day there, so I bought the first Mickey Mouse shirt I’ve owned since I was in high school. Who says you can’t be a kid again?

Clark certainly can. He is a dyed-in-the-wool Disney fan and it’s so much fun to watch his eyes light up whenever he talks about it. He owns all manner of Disney souvenirs, clothes, even a very large (and expensive!) Mickey Mouse watch. He even loves the cartoons, like Lilo and Stitch and The Little Mermaid. You can’t help but love a guy like this…especially when he can almost make crusty ol’ bpnurse believe in magic again. Who knows? Maybe this trip will prove he’s been right all along.

Another exciting development is the big promotion my son Ethan got at work. He’s still an LPN but has been elevated to a management position complete with his own office, computer, and a Monday-thru-Friday schedule. He will be occupying the same position I’ve held at a couple of different points in my own career, and getting paid more per hour than I ever made as an RN. And this is only the beginning: he starts his RN program this summer. He’s doing it online, which makes it possible to work full-time while going to school at his own pace. Amazing what nursing students can do these days.

So that’s what’s going on in mi vida loca. Life can be overwhelming at times, and I’m still grieving for my dear Will. I miss him more every day he’s gone. We’re coming up on the first anniversary of his death in July and I am NOT looking forward to it; the only good thing I can say about it is that the “year of firsts” will at last be over. But with God’s beautiful warm sun shining down on me, I can make it through just about anything.

OK, good—on review, this post reads better than I thought it would when I sat down to write it. Hmmm…maybe what I need in order to focus is simply to WRITE and see what the hell comes of it. As long as there’s something to write about, that is. 🙂