Sjs59's Blog

compositions from my heart

Uh Oh, It’s Finally Happened

It’s only taken me thirty six days to wake up this morning and not even know what day of the week it is.  I got up honestly believing that it was Monday and yet feeling quite surely that I was mistaken.  Crazy huh?

My brother, (he retired June 30), and I were talking just yesterday  about this on the phone and he told me that it had already happened to him.  I thought it was funny.

To tell you the truth, I never really believed it to be true when other people told me that they woke up not knowing what day of the week it is.  At the time it didn’t make sense to me how that could happen to anyone.  If you go to bed knowing what day of the week that it is, how is it possible to wake up and not know what the day is?  Well folks I’m here to tell you, it happens.

Anywho, as far as my retirement goes, I am loving it so far.  I enjoy so much that I do not have to set an alarm clock except when I have to get to an appointment somewhere.  Other than that, I am allowing my internal alarm clock to do what it does.  So far, the latest I have slept until is 7:10 AM.  I know that for some that is still quite early but for me, it’s late.

On most mornings, even my dog Etta doesn’t wake up until I’ve had at least one cup of coffee and that is an excellent thing!  She’s not a dog that’s too demanding anyway and I am happy that she enjoys sleeping in, but then again, she is twelve years old and older dogs sleep a little more than puppies do usually.

This morning after finally figuring out which day of the week it actually was, and doing all the routine things that me and Etta do in the mornings I was able to get outside while it was cooler and do some transplanting in my flower garden.  Afterwards, I cooked some eggs and now here I am sitting down and writing to post on my blog.  I have to tell you, it feels so nice to be able to do the things that I enjoy doing and having the time to do it. 

Well everyone, that’s it for now.  Hope you all have a great, relaxing Sunday.

Thank you for reading.


Bread is NOT my Friend!!!

I love bread.  Unfortunately, bread does not love me.  The more I eat, the more I want to eat.  I am like an alcoholic with a drink.  One slice leads to another and another and so on and so forth.  So I am better off not having any bread at all.

I will be doing great with what I’m eating for a while and then I know I’m in trouble with my eating habits when I start to crave bread.  The trick for me is to make it through the craving period without buying the bread but so far, I haven’t been able to do that.

My latest bread to love is the white Italian bread that I’ve been getting at my local Stop & Shop….toasted, for breakfast, with lots of creamery butter, an egg, sprinkled with some pepper and onion powder and slabs of sharp cheddar cheese all together in one delicious bite and eaten while it is still warm.

Now I ask you, doesn’t that sound delicious?  Makes your mouth water, doesn’t it?

Well, it is delicious but it is extremely fattening and one of these a day, every day until the loaf of bread is gone can pack on the pounds quicker than you can say holy crap!

Story of my life.  It all boils down to my loving the taste of food.  It is not a case for me of not ever feeling full enough, I simply want to taste more of the tastes that I love no matter how much I’ve had so far.

I was born with great hearing, a great sense of smell and super taste buds and if I didn’t make a conscious decision to stop eating when I do, I’d probably be twice the size that I am right now which, by the way until recently when I took off almost 20 lbs., was considered by my Dr. to be morbidly obese.

I had no idea until I saw the words morbidly obese printed on my Dr.’s visit summary paper, yikes!.  I always thought that people who weighed 300 lbs. or more were considered morbidly obese but not so.  All it takes is for your mass body index to be over a certain percentage for you to qualify.

There used to be a time when I used to compare myself to other people.  I always thought that if I didn’t look as big as they do that I wasn’t as bad as them or as fat as them.  

The truth of the matter is that fat is fat.  If you eat fat, which butter and cheese have in them, it is fat, and bread which is a carbohydrate which burns down to a sugar and gets stored as fat if it doesn’t get used as energy, is still a fat.

I know that understanding how the body works does not make it easier to eat any different.  Losing weight is real work and it’s hard work.  I think that for me, I have to make a conscious decision every single minute of every single day to either eat the foods that will help me to lose weight or eat the foods to maintain my weight and always be a fat person.  It is my choice.

Life is short.  Resist the bread!

Thank you for reading.


Ah, Here it is, My First Day of Retirement

Last night I got rid of all the alarms on my phone before I went to bed.  I wanted to see how life is when you wake up “naturally”.  Unfortunately for me, my first wake up was at 1:10 AM.

I rolled over and told myself to go back to sleep. 

My next wake up was at about 4:20 AM but that’s not so unusual for me because generally, that was about the time that I ordinarily would be crawling out of bed.  

At first I thought about just staying up but I decided against it because I wanted to see how late I could actually sleep for if I simply satisfied my nature call and went back to bed.

6:20 AM was the last time that I awoke.  It was the latest I could stay in bed.  I tried to go back to sleep but it wasn’t going to happen so I got up out of bed and got going.

Usually, after I have taken my medicine and made my coffee, I sit on the couch reading my news until I’m allowed to have anything to eat or drink after I’ve taken my meds.  Usually a half hour.  I like having an idea of what’s going on in the world, negative or not, “it is what it is”.

Anyway, this morning I decided I was going to start Etta, (my dog), on her new routine as well.  You see Etta is a very bossy dog and very competitive as well.  She likes to think that she is in charge of me, especially when we are outdoors.

I don’t know if it’s because she was a stray before she was picked up by the shelter and before she came to live with me but when we’re outside, she really likes to take advantage of the fact that there are so many people around and behaves quite badly pulling against her leash, choking herself and breathing labored, lunging at people and other dogs, whining, shrieking and squealing and she seems to “know” that I feel very much that I do not have any control over her at all.

Of course, she is right!  That is exactly how I feel.  I know that I lack confidence because I’m always feeling afraid that I will have to deal with her behavior every single time I see someone coming, especially when they have another dog with them and I know that I can not get her to stop behaving badly.  I hate it!  It is so embarrassing to take your dog somewhere and have her behaving like a ridiculous fool and nothing you do stops her from doing it.  I am so tired of it. 

As a matter of fact, I’ve been tired of it since the first time that she did it but I’ve never really had the time to actually give her the time to train as I would have liked.  So now I have the time and hopefully Etta will become the dog that I know that she can become.  She is, other than all of her baloney, a sweet, loyal, loving, really great dog.  I want her to be calm and to have her come anywhere with me and have her do what I tell her to do, that’s all.  I don’t think that’s too much to ask, do you?

Our walk this morning started pretty much the way it does every morning with all of Etta’s attitudes, noises and antics.  The leash however was shorter and a bit tighter so that she had less freedom but all along our walk, she fought to try and stay ahead of me.

Etta kept pulling and trudging ahead of me but I kept giving tugs to her leash and stepping in front of her path, taking over her territory or what she perceived to be her territory.  With dogs, it’s all about the territory.  The “leader of the pack” and all.  It wasn’t until we were on our way back home that I noticed that she seemed to notice that I was there and she was a bit calmer. 

Usually, she is oblivious to anyone or anything being anywhere near her.  She generally just plows ahead with her wild eyed, crazed, frantic look on her face and panting heavily, not caring who’s ahead of her or what’s behind her.  

It’s only the first day of a different way of doing things but I believe that Etta will come around to being the dog that I know she can be and I will be able to take her anywhere with me.  At least I can hope, right?

As for me, my first day of retirement, so far, has been relaxing.  I did a little bit of housework, a bit of real cooking, a bit of rearranging, a bit of writing and I also received a call from my cousin Jackie in England who called to wish me well on the “first day of the rest of my life”.

All in all, I had a great first day of retirement.

Thank you for reading.


But, what are you going to do????

That is the most asked question to me when I tell someone that I am going to retire in 2 days.

At first I didn’t really think anything of the question but every time I get asked, I feel a sort of urgency to have a definite plan or at least a satisfactory answer to the question for the person who is asking, what am I going to do once I am retired and have all this extra time on my hand?

I doubt that it is anyone’s intention to have me feel any anxiety or to have a definite plan in mind when they ask but rather they have a curiosity as to what anyone would actually do to keep busy after they do not have to go to work any longer.  After all, work is the majority of one’s life, right? 

Needless to say, the question in question has given me plenty of food for thought.  What exactly will I be filling up all my extra time with?

At first I thought that my writing would keep me busy enough but as much as the writing does take quite a bit of time, I don’t know if I want to be doing it every single day.

Then I thought about how much I enjoy making over old things so that they are interesting and purposeful again but I really don’t know if I want to be doing that all the time either.

What I’ve decided that I will be doing once I do not have to go to work anymore and what I’ve decided to tell people when they ask is, I will be doing anything that I want whenever I want.  Simple as that.

To tell you the truth, I think I’m already in a state of retirement in my head and the next couple of days are merely a formality and a fulfillment of a commitment that I’ve made to the company that I work for.

I am so ready to move on to the next phase of my life.  I’m not worried about having enough to do with all my time.  As much as I love the work that I do and I love the people that I work with, I can not keep doing what I do for much longer without it breaking my body and my spirit.  I only have this one body and I want it to still work when I’m not at work.  If I could have done it sooner, I would have. 

Don’t worry folks, not having to go to work anymore doesn’t seem like the worst thing that could ever happen to a person.  I think it all depends on one’s attitude.  If you have nothing but work in your life, you will probably have a real problem having so much time on your hands but if you see retirement as a “freeing up” of your time so that you can do more of the things that you enjoy doing, you’ll probably have no problem and that is what my attitude is and I can not wait!

Thank you for reading.



“The Walk”

On the 28th of this month it will be ten months since my sister Christine died. 

Some days it seems like forever since I last saw her and talked to her.

Christine is still the first person that I think of to call when I want to share a story with or some news with or just have a chat with and then I remember, I can not call her and a sadness comes over me.  She had always been in my life, all of my life and now she’s not there anymore and I miss her so much.

Growing up I never knew how much I would come to appreciate having my sisters and brothers.  I’m not really sure how all the rest of my siblings feel about this but I know that when I was a kid, like many other kids with siblings, I sometimes felt like they were bothersome.  At times they could really aggravate me and we got into plenty of disagreements and fights and not just with words either.

 At times some of us could get downright brutal when we really wanted something.  All of us had tempers and could explode given the right amount of provocation.  A few times it got pretty scarey and Ma had to interfere and save the kid that was being attacked.  As a matter of fact, I could probably even describe our sometimes, unruly ways by saying we could be “little animals” if push came to shove, (literally) if you get my drift.

Mine and Christine’s relationship wasn’t any better or worse than our relationships with any of our other brothers and sisters.  Our relationship only improved and grew to be a friendship as we grew up and got older. 

For the longest time, she was more annoyed with me always wanting to tag along with her where ever she went when she wanted to be doing something all by herself and with her own friends.  The only time she really didn’t mind me being along was when she didn’t have anything better going on with someone else or when she needed someone to go along with whatever scheme she had on her mind.  It was times like that that she would even actually invite me to go along with her.

Perfect example of a time that she invited me along with her was the day she asked me out of the blue, “did I want to go for a walk with her?”  We must have been about 11 and 12 years old at the time and I asked her “where to?” and she never really gave me a specific answer but asked, “did I want to go or not?”  Of course I said yes and we started to walk.

When I think about it now, if my kids had just taken off like that and not told me where they were going, I would have gone apeshit for sure. 

However, back then times really were different.  Or maybe it was just the people who were different.  In most cases, children really were much safer and most people we met were not predators looking to maim, abuse or kill us.  Adults really did care and looked out for kids that seemed to be getting into a bit of trouble.

So Christine and I walked and walked and walked and walked, up one street, down another and along the way we poked into people’s trash cans that we happened along and pulled things out that we might be able to use at a later day or time and things that interested us. 

I kept asking her where we were going and she finally said she was going to visit Aunt Cecile and that’s when I started to get nervous because Aunt Cecile lived clear across the city and I doubt that Christine ever told my mother that.

I have to say that we did finally make it to Aunt Cecile’s house but the visit was short.  We no sooner got there and she told us that we better get going back home, so we left. 

On the way home, Christine decided all of a sudden to stop in at the First National grocery store.  I remember I kept asking her what we were getting there and did she have any money but she wouldn’t answer me except to keep telling me to shut up!

I started to get a really bad feeling about our little adventure and I told Christine I just wanted to go back home, now, but she kept walking up and down the aisles until she came to the candy.  I thought, “Oh no” and I said to her, “you better not take that or I’m gonna tell Ma” , and again she just told me to shut up.  As we approached the exit door she told me to just keep walking and keep quiet so I did what I was told.

Next thing we knew, there was a man standing at the door waiting for us.  Ugh.  I was mortified.  He asked Christine if she had something in her bag and eventually Christine said “yes” and he told us to come with him.  At this point I was scared to death.  I didn’t have a clue what was going to happen to us next.  But not only was I scared, I was really pissed too that she had gotten me into a mess like this.

Unfortunately for us, getting stopped at the door and brought back to the office by the store detective was not the worst thing to happen to us that day on our little walk.  The worst wasn’t even after the detective called Ma and she had to call Grandpa to come and get us at the store because my father was working and couldn’t be reached out on the road.

What turned out to be the worst part of that whole day was waiting for my father to get home from work to find out what kind of punishment he was going to bestow upon us once he found out what we had done and of course, he was going to find out because, of course, Ma was going to tell him, the same way she always told him everything wrong that we ever did on her watch. 

I once asked her why she had to tell Dad everything we did and she told me that he was our father and just because he couldn’t be there all the time was no reason for him to not know what we were doing and “besides”, she said, “if he found out later and I didn’t tell him, he’d be mad at me.”  So there you are, bottom line, self preservation.

Waiting that day for my Dad to get home was pure torture.  I can remember my stomach feeling like it was in knots and like I was going to be sick but for the life of me, I can not even remember now what the actual punishment was.  That’s how important it was compared to the actual event that caused me to feel that way.  That “lesson in life” was an important lesson for both of us and we never did anything like that again.

That day I do not know if Ma worried about where we were or not because I don’t remember her saying so after we got back home but then again, by the time we got back home she was probably so pissed about the way our walk ended up that she may have forgotten about if she was worried or not.

Thank you for reading.


I’m sitting here waiting for my butter and croissant dough……..

to get to what the recipe directions call a “cool room temperature” so that I can begin the process of rolling and folding my dough.

This is only my second attempt at making butter croissants at home.  I absolutely love the smell, taste, feel and texture of butter croissants, completely, like nothing else in my entire life.  Anyone who has worked with me and has paid attention knows this about me if they do not know one other thing about me.  

Unfortunately, my first attempt was a few years ago and it was a total disaster.  I almost swore off baking all together afterwards but here I am back at it again.  If nothing else, I persist until I succeed at something that I wish to accomplish.

For me, I just sort of feel a compulsion, a drive inside of me that keeps pushing me forward until I finally get it done.  Kind of like what a train engine or caboose does to push or pull what is in between to get it to where it needs to go.

As many of you know, I will be retiring this year and that has given me much food for thought about what I will be doing with all the newly acquired time that I will be gaining.  My boss puts it as, “needing a plan”  and she is exactly right.

I like to think that I will have no problem filling that time because I look around me at my apartment and I can see that there is so much for me to be doing that needs to be done.  However, what I see that needs to be done isn’t anything really that I want to be doing.

I know that many of you know exactly what I am talking about.  That’s right!  Housework! ugh!  

Don’t get me wrong, I love living in a clean apartment and I do do what needs to be done, (for the most part, that is) but my expectations are totally unrealistic because I always expect that once I’ve done something, I want it to stay that way,  forever because I don’t want to have to do it again, ever and knowing how ridiculous that sounds doesn’t change the fact that that’s how I feel.

Realistically speaking though, I already know that not much more housework than I have been doing is really going to get done just because I’ll be home and have the time to do it.  Getting really honest here, I know me!  Simple as that.  I have always spent any free time that I’ve had pursuing things that I have a great amount of interest in.  Life is too short and like my Mom used to say, “the dishes are always going to be there”, but my plan is to budget so I can afford to have help keeping my home in a livable state.

Since I decided for sure that I would be retiring this year, and with everything that has been going on in my life lately, my head is chock full of thoughts about a lot of stuff.

Obviously, a good deal of my time will be spent writing this blog.  I write even if no one ever reads.  Writing is another thing that I feel a compulsion to do.  I think especially since I have lived by myself.  It’s not that I have any more thoughts than I ever used to, it’s just that now I do not have anyone here to listen to my thoughts. 

My daughter Katie was a good listener.  She told me once that she loved hearing my stories.  Katie was the one person in my entire life who acted like she liked hearing what I had to say. 

One of the greatest compliments I ever received came from Katie.  She told me about an incident that happened to her in school that day where a boy in chorus pulled the chair out from under her as she went to sit down and how embarrassed and hurt that she felt when she ended up on the floor.  My heart went out to her and I told her I knew what it was like to be targeted like that.  I shared a story of my own with her and she told me that if she had known me when I was a little girl, she would have been my friend.  How I miss her so.

I have a plaque that one of my customers gave to me for a Christmas present one year with the following written on it, [When I stand before God at the end of my life I would hope that I would have not a single bit of talent left and could say,] “I used everything you gave me.”….Erma Bombeck (an American humorist who had a syndicated newspaper column titled, “At Wit’s End” from 1965-1996

For anyone who might be interested in knowing how the croissants turned out, I will let you know in a future post.

Thank you for reading.



“The Solution is Always in the Problem”…..Dr. Wayne Dyer

So, the problem is: that a man goes to the school with the intention of causing serious physical harm and/or even death to as many people as possible that he sees.

What does anyone reading think that the solution is?  My guess would be that we need to prevent that man from being able to buy a gun that will enable him to do all that harm.

This is not rocket science here.  All I want is for this man or any man or person who has the intention to maim or kill by gun to not be able to have legal access to a gun.

How do we go about preventing these persons from being able to, legally, buy a gun?

What if we were to look at gun purchases in the same way we looked at, say, getting a driver’s license?  What if people had to take a course in gun ownership and responsibility in having a gun before they could actually buy a gun?  What about a questionnaire to try to find out if the individual is competent or stable enough to own a gun?

When you prepare for having a license to drive you do not expect to have it happen over night, do you?  Why should you expect to be able to purchase a gun any quicker than it takes for you to get a driver’s license?  Why wouldn’t you want for gun vendors to be very cautious about who they are selling guns to?  After all, having a gun takes being responsible for what happens with that gun.

Furthermore, and for anyone who buys for, gives to or allows another person to use a gun that they own should be held equally accountable, as the person actually using the gun in the event of a crime. 

I do not think that anyone wants for anyone’s right to bear arms taken away from anyone but something has to be done to stop the murderous rampages that are taking place at the hands of individuals who, most assuredly are not capable of doing the responsible thing when it comes to being a gun owner in the United States. 

We as civilized people of this world, (that is what we still are, correct?), well we need to stand up and demand that our legislatures do something NOW to end this gun violence!

Gun violence is unacceptable behavior and we should not be tolerating it anymore

If present legislatures can not do anything to make it harder for unstable individuals to buy a gun legally in the US then we need to replace them with representatives who will!

Anyone who wants to go hunting and killing other human beings anywhere on this planet, in my humble opinion, has given up their right to bear any kind of arms in the US.

Memories of Thanksgiving From the Past

Wow, it’s been so long since holidays have actually felt like holidays to me.  Since I have worked almost every single holiday since I have worked in retail, holidays are “just another day” to me. 

Actually, holidays are the money making days when you work in retail because holidays and Sundays  you get paid time and a half for working them.  Sometimes we even get paid for the holiday PLUS, get time and a half if we work that day, at least that’s how it works where I work,  so a lot of people forfeit at least part of their time with family to have a little extra cash in their pockets.  At least for us though, our store is closed Thanksgiving and we still get paid for it.

With all that my family and I have been through this year, (mainly the illnesses and deaths of my sisters Malvina and Christine), my thoughts at least, this time of year have taken me back to Thanksgiving Days of the past when we were all children far removed from the worries of adulthood.

I remember how it was in school, the teachers had us make art projects to decorate potatoes to look like turkeys to be used as table decorations and we had holiday parties where all the kid’s mom’s made cookies and cupcakes for all the kids to pig out on.  I can remember how I excited I felt leading up to having all that time off to celebrate the holiday and how hard it was to concentrate on the school work right in front of me.

Celebration at our house began in the wee early hours of the morning at least for my Mom.   Her first duty of the day was the prepping of the at least 20 lb. turkey that had been defrosting for the past 2-3 days, first in the refrigerator and then in the sink in a cold pan of water so that it would be ready to roast on Thanksgiving day.

All my brothers and sisters and I would eventually make our way downstairs one at a time and then my father.  My mother always felt that he worked the hardest trying to provide for all of us so she would let him sleep as long as he wanted.  In the meantime, she would stop what she was doing with the turkey and get us all situated with breakfast, with the older ones helping the little ones and so forth then she would go back to the turkey and getting it into the oven to start roasting for about the next five or so hours that it took to be ready to eat.

The stuffing for the turkey was made with potatoes, gizzards, neck and heart from the bird.  It was made the night before and put into the turkey before it was put into the oven to roast.  For anyone who doesn’t know what gizzards are, they are what the turkey uses to digest food after swallowing it, they are in the neck region of the turkey.

 All day long we smelled the turkey roasting in the oven and I for one couldn’t wait to be sitting at the table and having some of it but there was so much to be done before that was going to happen.

My parents used to buy potatoes by the 50 lb. bag and we had to peel and cut at least 10 lbs. to have mashed for the meal later that day.  Then there was turnip to get peeled, cut and boiled and believe me, that is no easy task. 

Turnips are so hard, I remember myself preparing my own Thanksgiving dinner for my kids and I, sitting on the floor in the livingroom while watching tv, newspaper spread out before me, my wooden cutting board placed on top of the paper and me striking my chef’s knife with a hammer to cut through the turnip, then, having to cut the waxed peel off of it to get to the actual vegetable to cut up and cook.  But trust me, turnip is delicious with oodles of butter and well worth the work.

I remember too of Thanksgiving day past, after my father getting up from bed, the tv being turned on, that is if we had one at the time and it actually was working that day, and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade being tuned in for us to watch.  They had far fewer commercials and more parade to actually see back then probably because the parade was actually paid for by the Macy’s store in New York and not a million other businesses like it is now.  Anyway, who even knows anymore who actually owns Macy’s anymore, right?

Later in the day, as it got closer to the time that we’d actually be able to sit down and finally eat the bird, whose roasting aroma had filled the house for the greater part of the day, we were all pretty busy setting plates and silverware at the table, cutting up dill pickles, placing them with olives, sweet pickled mini onions, (which was my mom’s favorite by the way, and sweet pickles on serving dishes along with the butter, salt and pepper.

By that time, I at least was starving because I hadn’t really had anything to eat since breakfast, saving my appetite for the turkey dinner.  I couldn’t wait to sit and eat and I can remember starting to feel annoyed and irritated that it took so long for the potatoes to be mashed and the turnip to be mashed and the gravy to be made.  There were no microwave ovens then to just heat everything already prepared by someone else to just be heated up in.  Everything was made from scratch and it took real time.

Finally everything was ready and we all sat down together with everything placed on the table so that my Mom didn’t have to keep getting up and down during dinner like she normally did.  Rarely did she ever get to complete a meal with us start to finish without some kind of interruption.

It sure didn’t take long to get through the meal once we sat down to eat.  Generally afterwards, when we all felt stuffed, we’d slowly pull ourselves away from the table and find a place to go and rest and digest before the desserts were served.  Some of us helped clear the table and start washing the dishes making space for the next round later on and this is how it went.

All I know is that Thanksgiving Day back when I was a kid felt like a real holiday to me.  I feel so lucky now to have had that time with my family.  I think it’s too bad that some folks never really got to experience what I did, and that is knowing how family feels.

thank you for reading and I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving

Well, Another One Bites the Dust

Relationships these days sure are taking on the appearance of a dull, boring tv dramedy don’t ya think?  For those of you who don’t know, that is a combination drama and comedy.  Some people are overly dramatic and it ends up looking ridiculously funny.

I honestly don’t think many people have a clue as to what they are doing or why they are doing it and how what they’re doing is affecting the people who are around them.

Hey, got an itch?  Just scratch it.  Get that instant gratification and to hell with the consequences.

And have you noticed how some people have to post everything that’s going on with them on their Facebook page?  With my son’s most recent ex-girlfriend, I knew every single time she had a bug up her ass about something he did.  I got to the point where I was actually laughing, shaking my head and saying, “What is it now?”

Ah well, I think as long as people keep putting the cart before the horse, you will always have broken relationships.

You ask what is putting the cart before the horse?  Simply put, people sleeping together before they actually know who the person they’re sleeping with is. 

As many people know, it takes a very long time for some people to really show you who they are.  For others, you see who they are sooner but if you’ve already slept with them, it’s harder to get out of it and “it” then becomes “a relationship” to be “worked on” and sometimes, the working on the relationship is actually their way of trying to get you to conform to how they think that you should be behaving and I think we all know how that will end up, don’t we?  And what if there are children involved.  What about them?

Many people these days do not have the courage or the stamina to resist the temptation to just hop in the sack with whoever they feel attracted to.  They think that if they use their physical attributes, it will guarantee that the person will want to be with them forever and ever.  Or, they are afraid that if they do not give in to the person who wants to sleep with them, they could be alone for the rest of their lives.

Some people may think that because I am older that I am behind the times when it comes to relationships.  There may be some truth to that for sure.  Trust me, I do not wish to get naked with anyone that I do not like and it takes time, with your clothes on, to actually get to know someone.

I’m not an expert by any means but I know what makes sense to me.  I know myself well enough to know that if anything about you irritates me, we are probably not a good match and if I irritate you, it will not get any better in time.




September 10, 2003 and Collateral Damage

September 10, 2003 was the very first World Suicide Prevention Day.

I wonder now if Katie knew that when she took her own life.

Today it is fourteen years since I last saw my beautiful daughter Katie alive.  It’s hard for me to believe sometimes that so much time has passed and at other times, it still feels so recent.

That Wednesday was a beautiful, sunny, late summer day much like any other we had enjoyed before that and yet, I knew there was something different that day.  I felt it.

Since my son Adam was separated from his wife Bridget and had been living with Katie and I, naturally I thought I felt like something was going to happen with him.

It was on that morning that Bridget brought the kids by so that Adam could talk to them.  I had heard that she was planning on moving herself and the kids out to the mid-west somewhere but I never did get the entire story about that and I doubt that I ever will.  If that was true, I was concerned for my son and how he felt.

Because of everything that Bridget had done to cause so much pain, I was concerned that it might be Adam who would do harm to himself or someone else.  It never occurred to me that Katie also, was in a great amount of pain as well. 

I guess I just wasn’t paying attention to Katie as well as I should have been.  She and Adam had never both been in crisis mode at the same time before, that is, that I knew of.

God,  how I wish I had done something different that day.

I knew that Katie felt disgusted and disappointed about a lot of things in her life not happening the way that she thought that they should and she wasn’t very happy about not having enough money to be able to do some of the things that she wanted to get done but never in a million years would I have thought that she would take her own life.  Never!

When I got home from work that night and found Katie’s lifeless body, saying that my life changed forever is a huge understatement.  Something inside me broke that night and I haven’t been the same since.  I know it isn’t a break that anyone can see but it’s there, believe me. 

Here it is, fourteen years later.   My life has changed considerably.

I had only three grandchildren at the time, the oldest being four years old and the youngest probably about one.  Not too long after Katie’s death, Bridget became pregnant again and my fourth grandchild was born.  They are no longer in my life on a regular basis and I have been excluded from almost every single important event in their lives.

One granddaughter in particular wants nothing to do with me whatsoever.  She will not even acknowledge me as a person, not to mention, her grandmother.

This is ok with her father, my son.   He does not see it that she is disrespecting me.  With that, he and I agree to disagree.  All I know is that if he had treated my parents the way his daughter treats me, I would have tanned his ass and he knows it.  Regardless of whether I agreed with what my parents said or did, I didn’t let anyone get away with showing them such disrespect.

For the first four or five years I walked around a great deal of the time kind of like in a fog just trying to get my head around the fact that my daughter was dead.   Gone!  One day she was here and the next, not!  Not to mention the fact that she had taken her own life. 

My life went from where I was seeing Adam and Katie daily and my grandchildren on a almost weekly basis to hardly seeing the kids at all.  Adam and Bridget didn’t even bring them to the reception after Katie’s funeral.  Every time I talked to my son, I asked him to bring them to see me and he always had a reason why he couldn’t.  After a while, I started calling my ex-daughter in law to set up times with her for the kids to visit because I got the impression that she was the one who made those decisions and what did she say?, that it was Adam’s responsibility to bring them to see me.

For a very long time I started to think that I really had done something to hurt the kids and that was why Adam and Bridget didn’t want the kids to visit me.  However, over the years, I get a little more when my son and I talk and what I surmise now is that because my grieving had changed me so much, they didn’t care much for how I acted around the children.  I guess I was acting too sad and then the reason was that I was talking down Nana even though it was okay for Nana to blatantly talk me down anytime she felt like it by telling the kids how much she hated the “word” Memere.  Now you tell me, if you were a kid of three and you heard that, what would you hate, Memere or the word Memere?

Truth of the matter.  Adam and Bridget offered for me to come and live with them after Katie died and I declined the offer.  I think that is where I made my mistake.

Yep, a couple of days after Katie died I was in shock but I had not lost my common sense.

I had not forgotten that up until the night of Katie’s death, Adam and Bridget were separated.  She was still stouping her then boyfriend/now husband.  Did she really think that I thought she and Adam would get back together because Katie died?  The first thing I thought of was that she was looking for a live-in babysitter and it was not going to be me.

I guess Adam and Bridget had forgotten that I had given up benefits and seniority at work when I quit my job to be the babysitter of my grandchildren when Autumn and Sami were toddlers and that they did not want to pay me for doing it?

Anyway, enough of the sob story of my life.  “It is what it is” is the latest most popular phrase being used these days.

All I know is, like they say in AA meetings, “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired” and it’s time for me to start taking the blame for how I am being treated.

My problem is that I keep waiting for my son to show me that he cares about me.   On Labor day all I wanted was to talk to him.  You see we usually talk to one another at least once a week.  It’s one of the crumbs that he gives to me and that I so gratefully accept from him.  So I called him.  I figured with it being a holiday, he would be able to talk and because I knew I’d be busy all week running around for my sister Malvina, that it would be a good day for us to talk.  He didn’t answer his phone and I still haven’t heard from him yet.

But this past week I had an epiphany.   According to Dr. Wayne Dyer, “we teach people how to treat us”.

That’s right.  All my kid’s lives I put them and their needs before my own.  I never treated them like they were the family pet that only got a hello smooch and then put back down on the floor when I was done.  I didn’t walk around eating my food in front of them before I thought to feed them.  I was up in the morning before they were, getting their clothes and breakfast ready.  I was there when they needed an emotional punching bag because their father had disappointed them and let them down once again.

I never expected to get back all that I have given for my kids but I did expect that they would have learned from my example of how I treated my own parents.  What I know now is that I have been too accepting, too understanding and too afraid that I would lose the people that matter the most to me and I settled for a lot less than I felt I deserved.  I thought that eventually my loved ones would wake up and realize that they needed to treat me better but I’m beginning to think that only happens in the movies and I figured it won’t matter a good GD to me when I’m dead if that’s what it took and I am not getting any younger here.

The truth of the matter is, there is nothing more to fear, I am alone and people can only give what they have inside to give.  I am living with the death of my daughter, I can live with anything else I am given.

I am ok and thank you for reading.  Still loving and missing my Katie.







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