I’m grateful and blessed that my in-laws, each late 70’s are healthy and vibrant. Well enough to travel this Thanksgiving, to D.C., staying with their eldest son and his husband, my favorite brother-in-laws. I’ve mostly adored my in laws and they mostly love me. We’ve had moments, but overall they approve of me as thier daughter-in-law. I do love them dearly. They still believe thier son, the one I married, is the golden child, As his other 7 siblings would atest to. My husband was the “favorite.” I’m truly thankful they don’t know….

I’m thankful that my parents, mid sixties, are mostly well (except for her MDS) and vibrant. They are having Thanksgiving with my brother and his wife’s family. They share a fragile relationship with my brothers wife (she is superficial and very difficult, but she adores my brother and her 2 kids, my niece and nephew) and rarely are invited for holidays, birthdays etc. they were excited for the invitation, and feared they would hurt my feelings, as they traditionally spend it with my family. I truly am delighted for them.

I’m thankful that I’m hosting for a smaller group. Eight total. I’ve scaled down a few side-dishes, but Ive added roasting a second turkey; to make turkey pies for next weekend, and all of  our “Christmas tree” decorating festivities. My brother, his girlfriend, Sis (she’s like  my sister ❤️) and thier daughter, my sweetest, almost 5 year old niece! Sis know about the affair. My brother does not. He’d hate my husband forever, and probably tell,him what an asshole he thinks he is. It’s best he not know. Sis agrees. So  it will be easy enough to enjoy the day and thier company. And probably a football game!

I’m on call Wednesday-Friday overnights, so a smaller meal will be easier to manage, with potential calls the night.

I’ve made my traditional Thanksgiving menu and my shopping is done. I’ve made 3 pumpkin rolls and have a pumpkin pie in the oven now. I’ve got a blueberry and chocolate cream pie left to make. I’ve my veggies all ready to peel and chop, fresh rosemary, sage and thyme, a freshly and fully-stocked baking pantry and 2 turkeys harbored  in my very cramped-refrigerator. In my house with my things and my too many cats and dog. I’m thankful and blessed for these things, I’m too aware of the those less fortunate.

I’m thankful that my three beautiful children, are mostly thriving thru the caous and confusion of the past  almost-14 months since Dday. They seem mostly unscathed. I wonder if their adult life will reflect some childhood  scaring. But in the moment, they are doing mostly ok. I will emphasize that they each have added to the craziness, they are by no means perfect and we’ve had our share of trials! They have kept me grounded here this past year. They make my life better ❤️.

I’m thankful for my husband. He’s a charming and charismatic man. He’s the kind of guy that never forgets a name, goes out of his way to say hi, and everybody loves. He’s  a great father and our kids adore him. He’s thier buddy. He’s a terrific provider for his  family and has a successful career. He starts a new job next week, long awaited position. It’s a nice professional package for him, for us. He’s worked hard and waited a long time for this position. I’m thankful for his friendship, companionship and partnership. I’m thankful that he puts up with me and that he’s still here. I know how difficult I am.

I’m thankful that now, nearly 14 months after Dday I am slowly gaining clarity from the confusion and chaos in the wake of his affair. I have come to understand and know myself better. I’m kinder to me. I’m figuring things out and although I certainly don’t have the answers I want. I have the answers that I need. Now, with some clarity, I know that I have to ask myself a different set of questions, but not yet.

I’m thankful I’m here now and able to enjoy the holidays with my friends and family. I’m anxiously anticipating college acceptance letters and Senoir portraits, hockey season, winter formal.

I’m thankful for my fellow bloggers and commenters that remind me that I’m not loosing my mind. That I can come here, even whenit doesn’t always makes sense,  you all understand anyways.

Happy Thanksgiving.

The Best Relationship Advice I Know: Give More Than You Take

Great advice! This guy has a great blog!

Must Be This Tall To Ride

I feel certain that if one of them dropped their pretzel, the other would give them theirs. (Image/Huffington Post) I feel certain that if one of them dropped their pretzel, the other would give them theirs. (Image/Huffington Post)

There are three common reactions to my ‘An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands’ series, and I hate two of them.

Reaction 1:“Atta boy! Good for you for owning up to your part in the divorce and trying to help others.”

I agree because it’s true. I accept praise for my efforts to accept responsibility for the mistakes I’ve made. Mistakes without consequence rarely teach us anything useful.

Reaction 2:“You take on too much, Matt! It takes two to tango! It’s not all your fault! Stop being so hard on yourself!”

I disagree with that one because I’m not being hard on myself. I’m telling you the truth: If I had behaved daily—in good times and in bad—as a husband must to love his wife and thoughtfully tend to…

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Revive me

Speakers unspoken volumes ❤️

try not to cry on my rainbow


I would say I am a spiritual person, but not a religious one. Today, however, I saw this prayer and it spoke to me. I believe in me, and I know being a happy, healthy functioning member of a much bigger world than the one that revolves inside me alone is a gift I can give. I don’t want to be broken anymore.

I want there to be light in me

I want to be strong

I want to be whole

I want to be healthy

I want to feel enveloped in peace and love.

I wish these things for everyone.

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There is a drive to not only survive but to thrive: coming back from trauma

Good video on trauma…

A few of us should listen and learn from it!
If you think this is for you, it probably is!

Everything Matters

Sharing this post again as it contains such a profound message and truth.

There is a drive to not only survive but to thrive.

What gets called mental illness, is, in large part, a reaction to trauma. It’s quite simple really. When we start listening to people’s stories of pain rather than numbing them out and effectively silencing them with neurotoxic drugs we will start healing them. Until then people will remain broken. One of the most basic needs for a wounded human being to heal is to be seen. Recognized. Validated. Yes.

A very beautiful and profound talk and message.

Trauma can be incurred in many different ways. This is only now becoming understood. Our culture has trauma and abuse that is often not recognized. There is, of course, too, the sort that is obviously heinous and ugly. It can all impact the general well-being of those subjected…

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“When actions betray our loved ones, we also betray ourselves” …….from Judas Gate, a mystery novel of fiction

Good perspective on betrayal! Nicely written!

Roads, Paths, & Trails

I read this sentence several times (Judas Gate is an excellent “read,” by the way) and thought the phrase, “You always hurt the one you love” seems to say the same thing in a different way.  What do you think?  Were the Mills Brothers on to something with their mega-hit Jazz song and title of the same name?

I kind of, sort of think so.  What threw me off, though, was the line in the song that justified the hurt by saying, “…it’s because I love you most of all.”

I got to thinking (digging deep; most of you know what I mean), because it’s has been said that “Love is a hurting thing.”  The late, great Lou Rawls added his two-cents to the truth of these words with his 1966 hit song with that same title.  And remember the recently departed Mr. Percy Sledge and his soulful lament; “When…

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Life Happens and then you Die.

I am an Registered Nurse. It’s more than that though. It’s part of who I am.

So because it’s Nurse’s Week I’ll start like this…

I graduated with a BSN in 1996. Before I became an RN I was a flight medic in the USAFR and worked as a CNA. I grew up knowing I wanted to be a nurse.  I waffled with being a teacher at few times but regardless, A professional caregiver.

I’m pretty sure I’ve just always know my purpose in life was and is to be a caregiver. I’m the oldest and only girl with a brother, a step-brother and a long lost-half brother. I’ve always taken care of people. I love what I do professionally. Truly. But it does wear on me. I’ve always been a more “heightened and aware.” And I’m a worrier. Toss in what I know And do because of my role of mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, colleague  and sometimes it feels like too much caring.

I’ve worked in multiple work settings and specialities. I’ve worked in level one trauma rooms and seen combat trauma. That’s only to say that I’ve seen a lot of blood and guts. I’m not too squeamish. I’m a pretty tough nut, most of the time… But every nut cracks.

For the past 4 years I have worked in Home Hospice Care. Last night I was on call. I went to bed early, feeling edgy and irritable. About 1:30 a.m. My work phone rang, from the answering service.

I got up and synced the patient’s chart and returned the call, to the oldest son of the 64 year-old patient.

I was familiar with the patient and aware that he was “actively dying,” which generally means hours a day.

The patient was having difficulty breathing and having pain. He’d given everything he could for medications. I instructed him to give 10 mg of morphine. I told him he could repeat that in 15 minutes, “if your dad is still in distress.” Our call ended so I could call the doctor to get orders his meds liberalized. It was 1:59 a.m.

Anticipating a visit I went and got dressed, then brewed a k cup in my favorite to-go mug.

I sat down to read the patient’s chart while I waited for the doctor to return my call.

After 30 minutes passed, I had the doctor paged again.

About 15 minutes later I received another call from Josh, the night shifter at the answering service, has been forever. He and I exchange friendly banter and he pokes fun at having to waking me up, from years of professional familiarity.

He also happens to be person trying to reach the doctor for me.

“Hey, I got another one for you.”

And I still haven’t heard from Dr. N., I playfully responded.

“You may not have to. This message is regarding the same patient, this time from “Bernie.”

I knew this was his wife.

The message is: “She was calling to report his death at 2:20.”

“Wow, that was really quick. Thank God.” I said, not completely, surprised, but feeling a sense of empathy and urgency reach out to this new widow.

Adrenaline starts to flow.

His chart told me that 24 days, he was diagnosed with “aggressive” metastatic pancreatic cancer.

That just six weeks ago he had a routine scheduled surgery. His pre-op work up and exams were normal, down a few pounds. At his post-op appointment 2 weeks later, they noted a significant weight loss. Concerning, he was sent for lab work, and then further non-invasive diagnostics. His prognosis was grave… 3-4 weeks. He lived just 24 days. Dr was pretty spot on with him.

Prior to this diagnosis he lived a reasonably health life and managed quite well, but was disabled. I learned while was there that he and Bernie were married for 25 years, this past August.together for 30. That their family was blended, with 5 between them; 4 sons and a daughter. “Lots of grandkids.” I wondered about the details of their courtship. Wondered if he ever cheated.

I learned that Greg Jr, their oldest son was here from North Carolina. The other 4 are local. He came home for the family meeting that was requested by his parents. They gathered together with their 5 kids told them the grave prognosis.

I learned that Greg Jr’s oldest child, almost 14, is battling leukemia after a 3 year remission, but has had it since he was 2 years old.

Josh told me that he had called the doctor on her personal number, but wasn’t able reach her.

“I guess I don’t need to reach her for orders now. But when you reach her please give the message the Patient died at 2:20.”

“Will do. Good-night”

“Thanks, I said. Night.”

I packed up and punched in Bernie’s address in my GPS. 9.3 miles. 23 minutes.

On my drive over, I calculated how much sleep I got…I’d only been asleep for a couple of hours, and it was restless. We went to bed early to watch a video that’s part of Day 1 Bootcamp. We watched 2 quick videos taking less than 10 minutes, then started a 20 min video.. I made a few comments, my husband per usual remained silent. I could hear him breathing… Then he started snoring.

I arrived and was greeted on the porch by Greg Jr. I walked in the front door to a living room, where the hospital bed was set up for the patient. Bernie was sitting in a recliner beside the bed. She was tearful and tried to get up as I came in. I noticed that someone had covered the patient, including his face, with several blankets. Unusual, I thought. I scanned the room and the faces as I made and accepted introductions.

The walls and their tears told a thousand stories. All stories you and I know or have heard, or can at least relate to.

Greg Jr followed me in and proceeded to apologize that the patient was in “this condition” but he and his brothers cleaned him up “as best they could” but just couldn’t do it anymore. He explained that nobody wanted to see him like that so they covered him with the blankets.

My wise and colorful imagination quickly drew an image, as I pulled down the covers to check his pulse. There was no need. He was clearly dead. That image is captured in my mind. Horrified. I was appalled that the family had to see their beloved man exit such a beautiful life in such a gory style. Not his choice I promise you. Nobody would want their loved one or themselves to go in such gory exit plan.

Not appalled at anyone or anything, because nothing could have changed this situation. He was home were he and his family agreed he would die. He was offered hospitalization yesterday as it became evident that death was near. That he had transitioned. They all lovingly declined, agreeing to maintain his wishes to die in his home. They loved and cared for him thru his last breath. Pam S. His hospice case manager was spot on with her assessment, care and teaching yesterday during her extended visit. Exceeding the standards of care for comfort measures only.

I was there within 2 hours of their first call. Still hadn’t heard from the doctor. But Greg Jr gave him the morphine as I instructed and before I talked with the Doctor, who I have now assumed sleeps soundly. The patient did die as comfortably as we could reasonably keep him and by his wishes to die at home. So really she wasn’t there for me, but it wouldn’t have made any difference in the outcome. Shit was happening. All the right things were done, exceedingly well even. It just sucks that they had to see him like that. I wish I could take that away for them.

I’ve thought a lot about this family since getting home this morning. I think now I would tell Greg jr to pour the whole bottle of morphine down his throat and then ask everyone to quietly leave the room and close the door. Suggest that the scene is going to be graphic and gruesome and there’s no need to bear witness. That  He really wouldn’t want you to see him that way. Even if I did Though, they probably wouldn’t have left him.

So all the choices were made correctly to meet everyone’s goals, right? So in essence, it’s a perfect case scenario. Any data collection done from my charting will indicate that. And from an objective view point I know that it went smoothly. His story from diagnosis until death, although tragic went exactly as they planned. The end.

They even had a party for him last week, to celebrate his life. They pulled together quite a shindig from the stories they shared, but what stood out for me most was that they invited 35 people, but 100 showed up. Bringing more stories and memories, and assorted foods to share. That means something, right? It speaks volumes to me. This man leaves a great legacy. His story is done and but it hasn’t ended.

Much like I feel about my marriage. Its done, but the story hasn’t ended. We are just now really starting to write the next chapter. At a preschool pace.

Doctor called me as I pulled in my driveway. Apologized and explained that she was sound asleep and proceeded to explain that I should have called her again and again. Until I reached her. I listened and thought it wouldn’t make a difference. I offered no argument after she said, “I only got one call.” That was a lie. Our call ended without any flair or flavor.

Now I wish I could tell her that it’s not my job to wake her up. But anyways, done with her.

I gathered my things and dropped them as I walked in, the kids just stating to stir for school. I went to my bathroom stripped my cloths and got into the hot shower. I wanted to wash away the smell of blood that was stuck in my nostrils and rid my mouth of the metallic taste. I did not have any exposure to blood, it was just that bad…

i wrapped a towel around me and headed to dress as my husband came out of the room. He greeted me with a kiss  and commented that it was odd I showered early. He continued on to get his coffee and start his day in the kitchen.

I dressed and got the kids out the door.. Did my charting and poked away at this post all morning, all the while writing  a draft and outline for a new Standard of Care, for a future situation like I’ve been telling about. Really that’s all I can do. Right? Make a better plan than we already have, I see the things we could have done better now, in hindsight. Or maybe now I know what more to anticipate.

It took a while for my husband to recognize that I was upset. He didn’t even ask if I’d “made a visit” but acknowledged  that I showered early. I Told him a made a death visit. I tried to share what happened. But he wasn’t really listening. It was running late. He had to get going for work. I’m  too tired right now to contemplate that one right now. Maybe I just take things to personal?

Then, after he kissed me good-bye, said we exchanged “I love you’s,” he was smiling as he was rushing out the door.

It overwhelmed me again. I just don’t think he gets it…

And wonder who’s going to take care of me?

This has been a long shitty day after a shitty evening. Which ended when he fell asleep, during a 20 minute affair recovery video.

So I’m done poking away on my iPad. My wrists hurt. I’m exhausted and have smoked too much today. I’m nursing a quick beer and going to bed.

I am the only one able to take care of me and I’m not doing a great job these days. I’m going to make a daily effort to ask for help and make my needs more clear.

Right now my most basic need is sleep.

I talked to my husband. Told him I need to go to bed. That I’ve not been asleep yet. I’m Working on close to 40 hours with little sleep.

I’ll talk with him about falling asleep last night and how it has left me feeling.  Maybe after some sleep it won’t matter as much.

I’m going to run this thru spell check and try not to edit so I can get it posted and close this day.

Gonna enjoy this cold Rolling Rock on what finally feels like spring!

Cheers, Greg Sr. I suspect you lived a bold and beautiful life!