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Monday, June 30, 2014

"Remember that stress doesn't come from what's going on in your life. It comes from your thoughts about what's going on in your life." ~ Andrew Bernstein

I posted this as my status yesterday and it got a lot of 'likes', both here and on Facebook. I have to admit, I have been stressing myself a lot lately. I have not been dealing well with anything since my dad died last month. His passing brought out some things in my siblings that I still haven't dealt with. It's also made me think a lot about my youth and I have lots of unresolved issues with my mom, both past and present. I am not good with confrontation. I have spent my life eating my emotions. I need to learn to deal with these things in a way that is ultimately positive for me.

In the short term, that means deciding whether I will go to my sister's at the end of July and see her and one of my brothers and my mom. (My mom lives in Florida now and I don't have the opportunity to see her very often.) Do I take up my issues with each of them beforehand? Do I do it face to face? Do I let things go and see how the weekend plays out? My DD had an interesting idea. She suggested I write a letter to each of them ahead of time. Then spend time with them and at the end of the visit, decide whether I actually want to give them the letter I wrote. And if I do, give it to them when I am leaving.

For now, I have made hotel reservations for that weekend and I paid a little more so I can cancel them if needed. If we go, we will drive (5 1/2 hours each way), so there are no other things that need to be set up ahead of time. My DH says he'll do whatever I want.

I just need to figure out what that is.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEENY_BIKINI 7/4/2014 8:29PM

    I am so sorry about this stressful time. Take care of your self. I am sending big hugs and my condolences.


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CINDYSDAY 7/2/2014 3:46PM

    Hang in there is sounds as if you have a good plan and support!

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TATTER3 7/1/2014 2:56PM

    I have written those letters and often never mailed them. Take care of yourself!

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GORIANA 7/1/2014 10:00AM

    It sounds like you have a good support system. How fortunate to have these people on your side. Good luck deciding what to do.

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NEWTEXDEBBIE 7/1/2014 8:32AM

    Oh my thoughts are with you..... What ever you decide, make it what is best for you......

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    Good for you Deb for recognizing what is going on with your emotions and taking the steps to deal with your stress in a way that will be positive for you. I think DD's idea is BRILLIANT. You can really think about what you need to say and get it all out without interuption or drama. Your hubby and DD are very supportive and that will help. Let us know how everything plays out. emoticon

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    I think the letter-writing sounds like a great idea. Even if you never send them, it'll help you sort out in your mind exactly what is bothering you, and that will make it easier to let it go.

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ICECUB 7/1/2014 12:04AM


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DAWNWATERWOMAN 6/30/2014 11:15PM

    I love the idea of the writing the letters. You have plenty of time to write & rewrite until you say what you REALLY NEED to say. Then yes, see them... give it the time needed. If you choose to give the letters to them, good for you... yes, do it at the end of the visit. If you decide NOT to give the letters to them... you might try burning them after the visit. Sometimes just burning them can help to let go of the old issues.. .they just burn away into ashes & you can throw them away. I had to do that with some MOM issues.

Whatever you decide, it's wonderful that Tony is supporting you. Love you my friend.

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BARBARAROSE54 6/30/2014 11:12PM

    good luck in your decision. I know my own family just fell apart after we lost dad and nothing has ever been resolved and now mom is in nursing home with dementia so can't turn to her. emoticon

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WOUBBIE 6/30/2014 10:44PM

    Kudos to DD for a great suggestion! You know, Deb, sometimes just writing it out AS IF you were going to give it to them has the same effect in your mind and spirit as if you actually DID hand it to them, but without all the stress and potential hard feelings and conflict.

I did that once with my cousin, whom I sorely despise. I realized that she had absolutely no idea how deeply I resented her snarkiness all these years, how many times she had hurt my feelings when I was young and vulnerable, and she would be shocked, and maybe even a little apologetic, if I pointed it out. Once I realized that, I also realized that I wouldn't need to actually guilt-trip her with my feelings. If she ever gave me grief again I would be ready with a response, but it wasn't worth even thinking about her anymore. Bye bye, Cookie!

Comment edited on: 6/30/2014 10:46:40 PM

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Getting to know you (from my friend Connie)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Your go-to chewing gum flavor… Peppermint

Best time of the year… Fall

If you were a toe nail polish what color would you be…. OPI Samoan Sand

Favorite pie... Eat’n’Park Strawberry Pie

First record you ever bought… I honestly don’t remember

Current perfume you use...Clinique’s Happy Heart

Do you have any trophies or awards…all are from when I was a kid…some bowling trophies, a forensics plaque, and math and business awards

Worst day of your life…Mother’s Day 2014 – my dad died

Do you cuss and swear...Unfortunately…

Celebrity crush you would get a hall pass for… Robert Downey Jr.

What is the new reward if it isn’t food anymore…don’t really have one

What makes you the Zodiac sign you are... I have always thought I did not fit Aries at all until I found this – “Arians are highly devoted to their children, even to the point of laying down their own lives, so that they might live. You will not find a more defensive and loving parent in all the zodiac.”

What is your goal weight.... 170 pounds

Do you think you are a giver or a taker… my detriment

Beach house or Mountain cabin... Beach house

If you monogrammed your towels...... DJS

Someone offers you free plastic surgery, what do you do…. say ‘no thanks’

I might be tempted to time travel back to… do it all differently (if I knew then what I know now)

Nick name in high school... I think I have blocked it out

Now cut and paste this but I want to see your answers...or feel free to post your own blog.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CINDYSDAY 7/2/2014 4:04PM

    I love it and I added it to my page!

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    I love it Deb!

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ICECUB 6/30/2014 10:02PM


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    Your go-to chewing gum flavor… Don't chew gum, but if I had to pick it would be Juicy Fruit...

Best time of the year… Autumn

If you were a toe nail polish what color would you be…. OPI Push and Pur-pull

Favorite pie... Coconut cream

First record you ever bought… Had to be Elvis...couldn't tell you which one...

Current perfume you use...Coconut Vanilla lotion by Bath & Body Works, nothing more.

Do you have any trophies or awards…some bowling trophies, and a bunch of real estate/ business awards

Worst day of your life…I refuse to have one!

Do you cuss and swear...Not usually...why the *&^%$ would you ask? (Just kidding!)

Celebrity crush you would get a hall pass for… well, back when I needed a hall pass: Patrick Swayze...

What is the new reward if it isn’t food anymore…For now, I'm holding out for a pedicure or a massage (daughter is a Massage Therapist in training)...once I get enough weight off, it could be clothes...

What makes you the Zodiac sign you are... I really don't involve myself with the zodiac and horoscopes etc...

What is your goal weight.... 145 pounds

Do you think you are a giver or a taker… GIVER.

Beach house or Mountain cabin... How about a mountain cabin in the woods on a big lake with a beach?

If you monogrammed your towels...... well, if the last name initial is in the middle, LOS.

Someone offers you free plastic surgery, what do you do….AFTER I lose ALL the weight I might need a little bit of that to get rid of that extra belly skin, you know? That might be the only reason I'd think of saying yes.

I might be tempted to time travel back to… well, not TOO far back, maybe back to the 50's before this country started on its downward moral spiral by taking prayer out of the schools...if it weren't for the lack of indoor plumbing, I'd maybe consider something a bit more colonial...

Nick name in high school... LeeLee

Comment edited on: 6/30/2014 6:13:32 PM

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HMBROWN1 6/29/2014 10:08PM

    our go-to chewing gum flavor… Spearmint

Best time of the year… Summer

If you were a toe nail polish what color would you be…. Hmm - something crimson

Favorite pie... PECAN!

First record you ever bought… Dating myself here but I believe it was Deep Purple

Current perfume you use...Vanilla Body Spray

Do you have any trophies or awards…all are from when I was a kid…Except bowling trophies - lol!

Worst day of your life…When dr said I likely had ovarian cancer - luckily, he was wrong

Do you cuss and swear...Unfortunately… also

Celebrity crush you would get a hall pass for… hmmm, tough call but I will go with Channing Tatum

What is the new reward if it isn’t food anymore…more time out walking and swimming and outside with my dog

What makes you the Zodiac sign you are... I know little to nothing about zodiac - sorry!

What is your goal weight.... 170 - 180 pounds

Do you think you are a giver or a taker… GIVER - it goes with being a mom!

Beach house or Mountain cabin... Beach house

If you monogrammed your towels...... HMB

Someone offers you free plastic surgery, what do you do…. RUN!

I might be tempted to time travel back to… eat less and exercise more!

Nick name in high school... I don't think we had any

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 6/29/2014 10:02PM

    On my phone, will complete & post later.

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Monday, May 12, 2014

You always think there is more time. We’ll do it another time. Tomorrow is another day.

Until it isn’t.

Your dad is going to be 80 on March 2nd. You think about going to visit, but it’s just so crazy right now. You are busy at work. Your husband is working long hours, still getting used to the new job. You learn from your stepmom that he fell right before his birthday (darned Parkinson’s) and doesn’t want to celebrate or see anyone right now. You think it’s a good thing you didn’t go and you’ll see him some time soon.

A few more weeks go by and it’s your birthday. Your stepmom texts you at work and asks if they can all now because Dad just had a nap and it’s a good time. Of course you say yes, and they call, but after just a few minutes Dad can’t hold the phone anymore and your stepmom comes on the line. She sounds exhausted. She says your dad is a bit weaker and you say you’ll see them soon.

A few more weeks go by and it’s Easter. You send cards and flowers and think you’ll make a trip as soon as things calm down.

A few more weeks go by. Your stepmom calls on a Wednesday and says your dad has been declining since he took another fall on April 28th. He is not eating much and sleeping more. (How many falls is that in the past two months…at least 4…). She has been having chest pains but put off going to the doctor because Dad can’t be left alone. She is calling to say that she has arranged for hospice to come in during the day for Dad so she can go to the doctor and if she needs to be admitted, they will bring him to their facility while she is there. She is giving them your number as an emergency contact and she wants to let you know, just in case. You say something about coming down and she says she isn’t asking you to rush down there. You agree to talk again on Thursday and in the meantime you check out flights. But it is Mother’s Day weekend and open seats to Florida are few and expensive. It’s not great timing for you or your husband as far as work goes. You decide to go next weekend instead and let your stepmother know on Thursday morning. You also email your sister and brothers, filling them in on what is going on.

On Thursday evening you get a text from your stepmother, saying she is being admitted and hospice is coming to pick up Dad. You think maybe you should go down now and visit with Dad for a few days while your stepmother is in the hospital. You spend a few hours online and since you will need to go without your husband, it’s a bit easier to make arrangements, but you still aren’t leaving until Friday at 5. You figure you’ll spend the weekend with your dad, and get a return flight for Monday. You decide to take off on Friday and run the errands you’d ordinarily do on the weekend. While you are out, hospice calls. You have a new phone, so you don’t find the message until Saturday night but you can see that someone called so you play phone tag for several hours. You finally get the nurse practitioner in charge, who tells you that your dad is very ill and it’s just a matter of days before he is gone. What?? No one said anything like this before. You tell her your flight is already booked and you decide together not to tell your stepmom yet, since her cardiac status is still unknown. Somewhere inside you think this nurse person must be mistaken.
Of course, your flight is delayed and you don’t get down to Florida until 9:30 PM and it’s after 10 when you check-in. But you came to spend time with your dad and so you head over to hospice. Dad is resting quietly…too quietly. He doesn’t open his eyes. He doesn’t visibly respond to your voice. The nurses say he can still hear you so you hold his hand and you talk to him. But it is all so surreal.

You spend the night and a new shift comes on. Your (wonderful) son leaves his pregnant wife and 20-month-old son and drives 3 hours across the state to be with you. After he arrives, the new nurse tells you that your dad is “actively dying” and it’s now probably a matter of hours, not days. Discussions ensue. You now know your step mother has to have open heart surgery. You don’t want to tell her over the phone but you promised her you would not leave your dad alone. Phone calls go back and forth between hospice and hospital. When you are sure she has a nurse with her, you call to give her the news. After a bit of anger at the situation and then tears, she asks that you put the phone up to your dad’s ear and you hear her say goodbye. When the call is finally over, you look for your son and the nurse tells you that when he heard your stepmom so upset, he decided to drive over to the hospital and be with her for a while. He comes back after a few hours and spends a bit more time with you, and then drives 3 hours back home.

You don’t leave the room except to use the bathroom. The nurses are nice and bring you tea and fruit and salad. They say his heartbeat is still strong but you can tell that his breathing has changed. You pull a chair next to his bed and doze while holding Dad’s hand. At 3 AM they come in to do a few things and you can’t fall back to sleep. You just sit and watch his breathing, which is becoming slower and more shallow. You finally fall asleep around 4:30 and when you wake up at 6, he is gone.

There are no more days, no more time, no tomorrow…

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DENRNAJ 6/29/2014 5:06AM

    I am so sorry for your loss. I am late in reading this but want to let you know how much I think of you. Prayers sent for you and your family. emoticon

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KAYWEB555 6/23/2014 9:02AM

what a blessing you had. That your stepmom told you that she was going in and she had arranged with hosipice for your dad. Interesting how things work out like that. Saw many stories like this one when I was working hospice care as a nurse myself.
Great that your son came over to be with you and your stepmom.
Am sorry for you lose, but what a wonderful way to go. God Bless you

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JUSTYNA7 6/9/2014 3:58PM

    What a gift that you were there at the end. Time is something we take for granted so often. And we lose track of what is important as we get sucked into the "world". I'm sorry for your loss. Justyna

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NO_SNOW_BODY 6/1/2014 9:32AM

    I am sorry for your loss, there are no words to express what you feel. i am glad you were with him, that Gof allowed that to happen. I lost my dad so suddenly, without forewarning and a brother in the same manner twenty years later. Time is precious, and the memories will be with you forever.

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TEDYBEAR2838 5/25/2014 7:35AM

    I just read about your dad. My thoughts & prayers are with you and your family at this time. I hope your stepmom is doing well?

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RAINWATCHERDAR 5/22/2014 11:29AM

    I love you so much and am so sorry for your loss!!! Your account is so true and a gripping reminder to us all that we know nothing of the time we have to be with one another beyond the Present. Every moment brings choices, whether we are conscious of making them or not- how often we miss opportunities in the day to day frittering away of time, swept up without thought.

God bless you

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TEENY_BIKINI 5/17/2014 10:17PM


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TANJAT88 5/17/2014 10:07PM

    My heart is sad for you and your family. My Dad has Parkinsons (been "dancing" with it for about 15 years) and his is pretty severe at this point.

I hope you realize that your Dad was an amazing man and left here on earth an incredible legacy.......... you.

May God walk with you during this time and all times.

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MEOWMAMA3 5/15/2014 9:14PM


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WISHICOULDFLY 5/15/2014 8:10PM

    Deb, I am so sorry for your loss. I know how much it hurts. I missed being with my dad by less than an hour and it still haunts me. Please take comfort in knowing that you were with him in the end. emoticon

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MACMOM57 5/14/2014 6:11AM

    So very sorry for your loss. My Gods blessings be with you always. Glad you were able to be with him.

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SERENE-BEAN 5/14/2014 2:38AM

    I'm so sorry. May his memory always be a blessing to you.

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ANAKIE 5/13/2014 7:16PM


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ICECUB 5/13/2014 7:10PM


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RUNNINGWILD 5/13/2014 3:30PM

    Only the biggest hugs for you!
And I agree with Goriana. You have raised a heckuva good kid.

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TATTER3 5/13/2014 3:07PM

    My heart is breaking as I read this. I'm so sorry for your loss. Prayers.

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REALLY_ROBIN 5/13/2014 12:12PM

    I am so sorry for your loss. And I'm so happy you were able to be there. Thank you for writing this blog, this is a good reminder for all of this, time is precious. I will be praying for all of you. Hugs and love to you.

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NEWTEXDEBBIE 5/13/2014 10:12AM

    BIG BIG BIG Hugs......

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CINDYSDAY 5/13/2014 8:57AM

    Praying for you and your family! So sorry for your loss! emoticon

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WOUBBIE 5/13/2014 8:19AM


I'm so sorry, Deb. What a blessing, though, that you were there for him when it was his time to leave.


Time is, indeed, precious. We take it for granted the way we take running water for granted, and mostly only think about it when it's unexpectedly shut off.

Speaking of time, though, please, please don't spend any more time feeling guilty because you didn't do this, or you should have done that. Your message to yourself and all of us is that time IS precious. Learn your life lesson from the experience of the last several months, and then let it go.

Comment edited on: 5/13/2014 8:20:37 AM

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BARBARAROSE54 5/13/2014 7:50AM

    emoticon emoticon

a great blog with a good message. So sorry to hear about your dad.

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    So, so sorry about the loss of your dad. But like Dawn said, I'm also so glad that you were able to be there with him in his final hours. Even though he was sleeping while you were there, the comfort of having you nearby was surely felt. We are here if you need anything, even if it's just to talk and hang out. Love you. emoticon

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GORIANA 5/13/2014 12:44AM

    You are in my thoughts....and boy did you do something right with that son..and it must be because your dad did something right with you. That's quite an inheritance.

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EMMACORY 5/13/2014 12:26AM

    So sorry for your loss.. It is always a challenge when you ars at a distance to know when to go. May your memories bring you comfort and healing during this time of sorrow. emoticon

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    Such truth. emoticon

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 5/13/2014 12:09AM

    So glad that you were there. For both of your sakes...and for your stepmother. I'm sorry that you lost your dad, but glad that he has peace now. Prayers for you & your entire family. I love you.

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Great Weekend

Sunday, April 27, 2014

This weekend my DD, Angie, graduated from Pitt with her MSW. As a surprise, we flew my DS, DIL and GS, Gino, up for the weekend. I haven't seen them in person in 8 months, and it has been even longer for Angie.

This is Angie and the cake a friend of mine made for her. Angie's undergrad degree is in Psychology and the cake has a Rorschach inkblot on top. It was a big hit!

This is Angie with Gino.

Here is Gino with his mom, Deanna.

I just adore this baby boy!

This is my oldest son, Mike, my DH, Gino and his dad, my son Vinnie.

This is the shirt Gino is wearing in the last picture. This is how Vinnie and Deanna announced that I am going to be a Grandma again in December!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKINNIESOMEDAY 4/29/2014 12:35PM

wow congrats on another grand child !!! YIPEE !!

thanks for sharing !!

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SERENE-BEAN 4/29/2014 2:40AM


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    Congrats on the second lil nugget in waiting! He or she couldn't ask for a better grandma!

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CINDYSDAY 4/28/2014 8:58PM

    Congrats to you all!

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WISHICOULDFLY 4/28/2014 8:14PM

    Congrats to Angie! You must be so proud Deb!

AND congrats to you on another grand baby! I am so happy for you! Enjoy! emoticon

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STEVEN2GO2 4/28/2014 3:23PM

    A very special weekend full of joy for your family. You had an awesome accomplishment and wonderful news to celebrate!

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REALLY_ROBIN 4/28/2014 1:41PM

    Wow...what a really awesome weekend! I'm so happy for you!

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_KATHY 4/28/2014 10:55AM

    What exciting news! You are beaming with happiness. I'm very happy for you!

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MS_PERCEPTION 4/28/2014 10:04AM

    Wonderful news all around! Congrats to you and your daughter!!

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WOUBBIE 4/28/2014 8:35AM

    Woohoo!!! Congratulations! (Gino is still so adorable!!!!!)

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NEWTEXDEBBIE 4/28/2014 7:53AM

    Another grandbaby! HOW AWESOME! emoticon

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LYNNANN43 4/27/2014 11:38PM

    So many emoticon all around!!!

Congrat Angie for me! And Congrats on the next grandchild!

(Our new one is due in August:-)

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ANAKIE 4/27/2014 11:35PM

    emoticon emoticon pics

Glad you could all get together for this special time.

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 4/27/2014 11:22PM

    I LOVE the pictures! I'm so happy for you. The picture of you & Vinnie is precious. All the pictures are good. Congratulations to Angie... the cake looked awesome. Congratulations on the new grandbaby. We can share the joy. I LOVE YOU

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ICECUB 4/27/2014 9:56PM

    emoticon on angie's graduation and new baby lotd to celebrate emoticon emoticon

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    Congratulations on the pending grandbaby! Looks like a very fun time with family to celebrate the graduation!

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JERSEYGIRL24 4/27/2014 9:52PM

    Congrats on Angie's graduation!! My daughter graduated from Temple Law School last year, and I was over the moon.

Oh yeah, congratulations also on the news about the new grandchild. Lots of reasons to celebrate. What an awesome weekend.

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TATTER3 4/27/2014 9:43PM

    What a wonderful celebration!!! thanks for sharing

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