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A Big Hit in West Virginia

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Well, I ended my vacation with a bang - literally. The short story is that I tripped over my niece in the parking lot at the Tamarack in Beckley, WV and landed on my head on the pavement.

The longer story is that both my sister and I got a stomach virus and were very sick our last day of vacation, unable to eat or hold anything down. The morning we had to head north, neither of us had any appetite. We drove to North Carolina where we spent a pleasant evening with a wonderful friend of ours before heading north for the longer leg of our journey.

I was very thirsty after we got started on the trip. Mike was finally able to pull over at the Tamarack in Beckley so we could stop for water - they were out of bottled water at the rest area, and the fountains aren't great for really getting hydrated. So, I think when I got out of the car, I was both dehydrated and hypoglycemic. I didn't pass out, I just tripped and then totally lost my balance. I came down smack on my head hitting the pavement so hard people came running because they heard my head hit and saw my head bounce. Then when I sat up, I was pouring blood from my forehead. I think Mike was terrified, as we lost his mother to a blow to the head almost exactly a month ago.

A bystander called 911, and an ambulance arrived within minutes. One lucky thing was that the hospital was only 6 miles away, another lucky thing was that while I had a head injury, I did not have a concussion. The ER nurse was able to glue my cut so I did not need stitches. After making great time on the highway and thinking we would get home early, it took 2 hours in the hospital getting evaluated and glued back together. emoticon

Once we got on the road, we made good time until we hit Charleston, WV. Then the car started wildly wobbling. Mike pulled off at the first possible exit. Again we lucked out. Right off the exit was this tiny, filthy auto garage with a couple of men in it playing cards. At first they ignored us, but when Mike told them what was going on with the car they put the car up on the lift and checked it out. It turned out the steel belt had broken loose - we were just about to have a blow out. So he changed the front tire with the full sized spare we had and refused payment. Yes - there are still lovely people out there. Mike slipped him a $20 anyway, and we were back on the road safe and sound.

That was yesterday.

Two more lucky events: Both my massage therapist and chiropractor were able to fit me into their schedules today, so I was able to have cranial-sacral work done and also get adjusted. Aside from that, today I am laying low, icing my many injuries, taking Traumeel and Rescue Remedy, and soaking in Epsom salts.

On the way to recovery! emoticon

Barring the stomach virus, we actually had a wonderful vacation in Myrtle Beach. I will write about it and post some pics when my headache abates.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BIRDBRAIN222 7/25/2010 3:02PM

    OWWW! Glad you didn't get a concussion!
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Comment edited on: 7/25/2010 3:03:52 PM

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CLEVAGAL 7/24/2010 2:50AM

    Shes a breath of fresh air even when shes sick and injured.....what a woman!!!!! Love Cleva xxx

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DJS-DEBBIE 7/23/2010 10:23PM

    Wow, what a trip! I am glad you got back in one piece.

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    Well, it certainly was memorable!

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MARY1313 7/23/2010 12:04AM

    Goodness! black eye too. I imagine you are very sore. Glad things weren't worse. Hope you feel better tomorrow cutie pie!


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    I'm sure Mike was terrified. Thankfully, if you are going to hit your head, the forehead can take impact much better than the back of the head. I'm glad you did not have a concussion and did not require stitches. Feel better soon!

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KASEYCOFF 7/22/2010 6:57AM

    Don't you just love it when you meet really nice people - and at just the right time! Angels, indeed, lol... After reading your 'exciting trip' about stomach bugs, falls, trips to the ER, it occurs to me - you don't do anything by half-measures, do you, kiddo? emoticon

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AQUAJANE 7/21/2010 12:13PM

    Your post brought back memories for me. A couple of years ago, I had a blowout on I95 because I couldn't see a tire problem after checking out comparable thumps and attributing them to a badly paved road. And a decade plus ago, I fell on my face hiking in Spain and got the similar ER treatment for my nose and forehead (and was splinted for a crushed bone in my elbow). I remember most my embarrassment while waiting several days to return to the US for treatment), for I looked like I'd been mugged! In fact, I found the Navarrese as friendly and helpful as your West Virginia mechanics, both at the time, and on my return trip to complete the hike in the fall when healed.

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VALERIEMAHA 7/21/2010 11:42AM

    YIKES! Poor Mike...but mostly Poor YOU! I'm so sorry about all the unforeseen events that ended your lovely Mytle Beach getaway. I'm SO GLAD you came out with minor injuries!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND...with the massage therapist, the chiropractor, and "I am laying low, icing my many injuries, taking Traumeel and Rescue Remedy, and soaking in Epsom salts" you've GOT IT GOIN'!!!

Keep taking good care of your lovely self!

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LITERARY_CHICK 7/21/2010 11:33AM

    Wow, that sounded like a National Lampoon's Vacation. Glad you did manage to have some fun.

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GRACEC29 7/21/2010 10:25AM

    Wow! And Ow! And bummer about the teeth...glad you're ok, though. What a way to wrap up a vacation! Yeow!! emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/21/2010 10:25:38 AM

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MCSNYDER1 7/21/2010 8:09AM

    Kinda makes you just want to stay at home, huh?

Take time to recover!

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JUST_TRI_IT 7/21/2010 1:51AM

    OH dear... Man I am glad you are ok. WHAT A SCARE! emoticon

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KATIEGLEN012 7/20/2010 11:14PM

    emoticon What an end to a vacation! Glad you are ok.

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HOPERISING 7/20/2010 9:57PM

    oh my gosh! i want to cry for you! What a rough end to your beautiful vacation. I am sooo glad you are okay. Get some rest, and feel better!

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MCGS62 7/20/2010 8:23PM

    I'm glad you are ok. I saw your status yesterday and was going to contact you today because sometimes things, like neck muscles, don't start hurting until the next day.
Once again we're on a parallel course with cars I had a front tire blow out on my way to morgantown. the spare had a bad valve stem so I rolled it 1.25 miles to a muffler place. they put a stem in and said dont worry about it. I only gave them a $5.00 bill . So you are still nicer people than me..
take care I have lots of stuff to talk about soon.

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REVJVH 7/20/2010 8:23PM

    Those scalp wounds sure know how to bleed, don't they? Glad you're okay!

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OLDERDANDRT 7/20/2010 8:11PM

    Wow. I am familiar with the Tamarack at Beckley, W.Va. It's such a big parking lot and busy, busy. I'm just glad that your fall wasn't followed by a bump by a car! You poor dear! Sorry about that tummy trouble, too. I hope you are feeling better!
So, Myrtle, huh? Did you see any signs for HIckory on your way through NC? That's where I am! And, this past weekend my dgd was at Myrtle, too!! Her other Grandma and Pop Pop and Aunts and Uncles were there for the weekend and had a mimi family reunion! Small world!!!
Glad you did manage to have a nice time in Myrtle Beach.
Glad to have you back and hope you're feeling right as rain real soon!!!

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MARYMAC45 7/20/2010 8:02PM

    Well that was a vacation to remember! I am sorry you had so many problems but overall it was good. Take care of yourself & get healthy.

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LMB-ESQ 7/20/2010 7:58PM

    Well, that's one way to end a vacation! I'm glad you're okay!!

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WATERMELLEN 7/20/2010 7:51PM

    Oh, my. So sorry about your injury.

All best for a swift recovery.

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PENNYAN45 7/20/2010 7:24PM

    Glad you are back home again -- and that the damage is not ALL that BAD!

Rest up and take good care of yourself.. Feel better soon!

Soothing music for you....

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RAINBOWZLPN 7/20/2010 6:27PM

    Glad you didn't need stitches or staples! Feel better soon! emoticon emoticon

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APATRICIAO521 7/20/2010 6:09PM

    Glad you are okay!

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MEOWMAMA3 7/20/2010 6:08PM

    Yikes!!! I know how scary looking a head blow that bleeds can be. I got hit on my browbone in 1981 by a line drive foul ball at a Triple A game in Scottsdale. I bled like crazy....I remember blood splatters all over a lady with an enormous beehive hairdo in front of me. Thankfully you have no concussion or broken teeth. Sometimes being hard-headed is a blessing! Glad you enjoyed most of your trip! Rest and Feel better.

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FATROCKSTAR 7/20/2010 6:00PM

    Well, I'm sorry that you had so many bad things happen this trip, we'll hope you get feeling better soon! Normandy

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IUHRYTR 7/20/2010 5:54PM

    Here's a emoticon for your head. I hope you'll feel better soon. Missed your blogs but glad you had a mostly good time emoticon. -- Lou

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And the Beat Goes On

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

This has been today's meditation. I could only fit a small part of this quote on my status page, so I am entering the whole quote here.

"One of the best ways to begin familiarizing ourselves with the virtue of patience is to reflect systematically on its benefits. It is the source of forgiveness. It has no equal in protecting our concern for others, however they behave towards us. When patience is combined with the ability to discriminate between the action and the one who does it, forgiveness arises naturally."

-The Dalai Lama

The last sentence is so important! So many people bear grudges and long lasting hatred which solves nothing and only serves to keep the anger or hatred alive.

I have been spending some time regrouping, finding my center, and physically catching up with things that need to get done, so I have been a little absent from Spark, blogging, and with checking in with others.

The rest of this blog will be an update.

On Sunday, Jeanie went into the hospital with complications of her chemo and cancer. She had gotten an infection, and alo had a lot of fluid in her lung lining that had to be drained. She is in good spirits, and returned home on Tuesday.

On Monday, Stella had her teeth cleaned at the vet - she had to have anesthesia for the procedure. The vet rechecked her for Lyme disease since she had a slight positive on her last test. Fortunately, the test was negative for Lyme disease. I had blood work done to see if perhaps I have a folic acid deficiency. I take supplements and eat food with folic acid, but some people don't digest the folic acid and can end up with neuropathy. This is one of the screenings to find out what is causing the pain and numbness in my feet.

On Tuesday, I had an MRI of my lower lumbar area to determine if disc compression might be causing the neuropathy. I had to fill out questionnaires galore, including the question of whether I am claustrophobic. I put no. I had an MRI when I was having gall bladder issues and was fine with it. Something was different this time though. I opened my eyes inside the machine and had a major claustrophobic reaction. I hit the little panic button the technician gave me, and she rolled me back out for a minute. When I went back in, I kept my eyes closed and all was fine. I used the time to meditate, and actually came out feeling better than I did going in.

I also picked up my friend's dogs to dog sit while she is out of town for a couple of days. Chris's Summer Camp for Dogs is back in session.

Today, I took Stella to get groomed. Here she is sporting her new St. Tropez (or Miami) cut.

That should be quite a bit cooler for her in this heat wave. That Stella certainly does like to cheese for a camera!

Tomorrow, my brother will visit with the oncologist and find out what his treatment options are for his prostate cancer. His test results looked good; there was no spread of cancer showing on the bone scan or the CT scan. He is hoping he can just get treated with the radioactive seed treatment. Me, too!

Then on Saturday, my sister and niece will arrive from Alaska. We will all go on a road trip to Myrtle Beach the following week for a reunion of as many children from Hannah's orphanage as can get there.

This photo is from the reunion 2 years ago (they occur every two years) at Virginia Beach.
We are all looking forward to a much needed vacation!

Getting my bike was perfectly timed in terms of the difficulties I've been having with my feet, but poorly timed in terms of how busy I became and how hot it has been this past week. No worries, I am getting physical workouts packing boxes at Glenna's house to take home or to Goodwill depending on the contents, moving furniture, unloading boxes at my house, reorganizing the house, and deep cleaning at Glenna's house, Jeanie's house, and my house.

Then there are the three dogs to walk several times a day. After Daisy attacked and nearly killed my favorite chicken, Eleanor, the last time I took care of her, there is a new policy at my house. Daisy and Shadow need to be walked on leashes when the chickens are out. So, for all but the early morning and late evening romps, the visiting dogs have to be walked with their leashes. Chickens are happier, I'm happier, I get several good walks in, and the dogs get confused..."Hey, we never had to do this before!"

"When patience is combined with the ability to discriminate between the action and the one who does it, forgiveness arises naturally."

When practicing patience and forgiveness, don't forget to include yourself. So many of us are self critical and unforgiving of our own lapses. Kindness to one's self then easily expands to kindness to others.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLEVAGAL 7/11/2010 10:56PM

    Chris, things are tough your end at the moment aye....I will be planting a patch of flowers in your honour this season I will tend them lovingly in your honour and for the sickness around you and send out healing energy to you. By the way, I took pics of my suncatchers that I have been making but the pics arent really working out. I will have to get Ez's sister Krak to take some on her fandangled camera. Love Cleva xxx

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SOON2BEFITSLP 7/11/2010 1:05AM

    Thanks for the wonderful advice and words. Patience is definitely something I strive to have. Hopefully all the things in your life are working out!

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MCGS62 7/8/2010 11:12PM

    I don't know how you do it. As crazy as life is right now you still find a peaceful thought to share with everyone.
The open mri was really noisy when I had mine. I can't imagine being inside the tube with all of that noise. The would have to knock me out for that..
good luck and best wishes on everything


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LMB-ESQ 7/8/2010 10:32AM

    Boy, you sure do live a busy life. Love the patience quote.... I have too little of that these days.

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MARYMAC45 7/8/2010 10:17AM

    Chris you lead such an active life and the beat goes on. Enjoy your vacation, I hope you get some down time. Stella looks beautiful. Dog sitting cam be hectic. Take care of yourself and don't overdo it.

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MEOWMAMA3 7/8/2010 9:49AM

    Your beat certainly does go on! I'm glad you have something to look forward to and great news about your brother! Miss Stella looks stunning in her summer style, she is such a ham! You'll have plenty of riding time eventually! Love the quotes about patience and thoughts on forgiveness. emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/8/2010 9:50:25 AM

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    Stella is beatiful.
Dog sitting. It is so difficult to sit on all those dogs at the same time!

Enjoy your family visit!

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PENNYAN45 7/8/2010 5:09AM

    Wishing you well. Enjoy your vacation.


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    Stella's new look is great! I'm certain she will enjoy the short hair during the heat wave. I'm glad Eleanor is OK.

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KJE_3001 7/7/2010 10:35PM

    Keeping you, your friend and your brother in my thoughts. I hope the best for you all!

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0309COOKIE 7/7/2010 7:04PM

    Don't get me wrong, I love my Punky. But I would love an afternoon to romp around with Stella. She looks so cool with her new cut! And she is such a ham! Lol.

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MARY1313 7/7/2010 6:58PM

    hey pretty lady. sorry no caps, but i have a poodle in one arm. sounds like your life is plenty busy without the bike. glad there is no spread for your brother. hugs to you.


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IUHRYTR 7/7/2010 6:18PM

    Hate the sin, love the sinner. -- Lou

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WATERMELLEN 7/7/2010 6:12PM

    Kindness to one's self then easily expands to kindness to others.

I think that this is so true: and moreover, if one is NOT kind to oneself, it's almost impossible to sustain kindness to others.

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SUNNY332 7/7/2010 6:04PM

    Stella looks GREAT. You sound busy but happy. All is well.

Enjoy your vacation.


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STARLASUE 7/7/2010 5:38PM


Hey I like Stella's cut. Showed it to hubby. I think that is a nice compromise to keep her looking like a poodle yet short for summer outside playing.

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KASEYCOFF 7/7/2010 5:37PM

    You've been busy! Good thing you're getting a vacation - I think you're probably ready for one! :-)

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ETWOLIE 7/7/2010 5:06PM

    I'm tired for you. Enjoy your vacation - you've certainly earned it!

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OLDERDANDRT 7/7/2010 4:57PM

    Chris, I don't know how you keep on top of so many things all at once.!!! You bring new meaning to the term "multitasking"!
A little patience goes along way. Thanks for sharing that quote.



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Friday, July 02, 2010

I had to share this with you; it is so glorious! When I went out to feed the chickens this morning, I got a whiff of a sweet perfume in the air. It wasn't until I was headed back to the house that I saw what it was. My first moonflower of the summer bloomed last night. It looks gorgeous with the sunlight shining through it.

I wish I could send you a sample of its aroma.

Have a lovely Friday!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARYMAC45 7/7/2010 7:01PM

    This is a beauty! Thanks for sharing!

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MEOWMAMA3 7/6/2010 11:13PM

    Very pretty! I've never seen one either!

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OLDERDANDRT 7/4/2010 4:00PM

    Oh my!!!!! What a beauty!!! I always thought moonflower would be a great one to plant! I'll have to research it to see if I may have a good spot to plant it! Is it perennial? I can almost smell it from the fantastic close up!!!

Hugs and have a great 4th of July!


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CATHYGETSFIT 7/4/2010 2:10PM

    I love flowers and this is beautiful!!

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DJS-DEBBIE 7/3/2010 9:21PM


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MARY1313 7/2/2010 8:43PM

    oh I love moon flowers! and four o'clocks too!!!

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LADYNETTIE 7/2/2010 1:47PM

    LOVELY!! Thanks so much for sharing emoticon

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    I have never seen a moonflower. It is very pretty.

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MCSNYDER1 7/2/2010 10:01AM

    Isn't that something? A little gift to remind us that there is beauty in this world! Thanks for sharing it. emoticon

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IUHRYTR 7/2/2010 9:56AM

    emoticon picture. emoticon -- Lou

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SUNNY332 7/2/2010 9:53AM

    I love Moon Flowers. Thanks so much for sharing them with us and I thank you for the Birthday Wishes this morning.

Hope you have a Fabulous Friday....

Hugs, Sunny

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MAWRTIAN 7/2/2010 9:42AM

    Love it!!! So pretty!!

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PLAYBLUES22 7/2/2010 9:32AM

    Simply lovely flower emoticon

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KASEYCOFF 7/2/2010 9:30AM

    I love moonflowers - I used to grow them every summer, and had some at just about every house in which we lived. I don't believe there are any here (England) - I haven't seen any, nor any seeds for them. Wishing you a good Friday as well. :-)

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Lilee's Birthday: Warning - Very Sad

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Today is one of particular poignancy. My granddaughter, Lilee, would be five years old on this day.

The birth of my first grandchild was an extraordinarily happy day for me. I was her mommy's labor coach, breathed with her, measured contractions, and watched Lilee's heart beating on the monitor. I would have been there at the time of her birth, but Lilee was delivered C-section, so Mike and I had to wait until she was brought out into the nursery before we could meet her.

Kim and Lilee in happy days.

Lilee and her proud Grandpa.

Our German shepherd, Rudy, never left her side.

Lilee grew to be a happy, sweet baby, but just 3 days after this photo was taken she took her nap at her baby sitter's house, and never woke up. That was one of the most painful days I have ever endured. Followed by the immobilizing pain of her funeral. I didn't know if I could walk into the funeral home. I had to concentrate on my feet. Right foot up, step; left foot up, step, until I crossed the thresh hold of that door. Followed by the agony of instead of holding a warm wiggly baby, holding a very small, cold bronze box.

We buried her ashes under her own special tree in our back yard and planted lilies and forget-me-nots around the base of her tree.

Lilee's tree has grown, the loss is now believable and manageable. Lilee has a huge place in my heart and her garden has become my meditation garden which we have expanded to include a water garden with water lilies.

It is a place where I go to find serenity and to meditate on life, love, loss, and all of the things that make us human.

I downloaded SP's July De-Stress Calendar and this is today's entry.

"Reach out.

Develop a network of friends and family who you can rely on and confide in.
Call or visit them when you need to talk or vent.
By sharing and listening, they will help you calm down. "

I found it appropriate for this very hard day.

If you were brave enough to read this post, thank you. To all of you who have lost a child, may you have strength to endure the loss and go on loving.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I'm so sorry for your loss. What an adorable baby!

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LINDA! 7/6/2010 11:30PM

    Very sorry for your loss. She was a beautiful little girl. emoticon

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MEOWMAMA3 7/6/2010 11:24PM

    A beautiful and poignant blog. I hope this was both a way of paying tribute to Lillee and your family's love for her as well as a way for you to deal constructively with your tragic loss. I can't even begin to imagine how hard this particular loss must be for you. I think when we let others glimpse our most personal emotions that it helps us find the common threads that tie us all and strengthens our commitments to leading healthier lives. Thank you for sharing something so personal and close to your heart with us.
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LITERARY_CHICK 7/2/2010 4:02PM

    I'm so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful way to remember your lost loved one.

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LADYNETTIE 7/2/2010 2:11PM

    Such a beautiful little angel. I'm so sorry for your loss. I love her name and the flowers and plants you have planted in her memory. She is still in your heart and always will be emoticon

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    Thank you for sharing such a painful story with us. I know from experience that sharing something traumatic brings back raw emotions and that is very difficult. However, sharing also lessens the pain and helping others survive a similar trauma is also healing. What a beautiful garden you have created for Lilee's resting place. May it always bring you peace.

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PINETREEGIRL 7/2/2010 1:37AM

    I have not lost a child, but I have lost a sister. Loved ones live on always.
Thank you for sharing.

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    a beautiful tribute for a beautiful angel. my heart breaks for you and i pray you find comfort wrapped in the arms of God. i know someday you will have a joyous renunion in heaven !!

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MCSNYDER1 7/1/2010 9:28PM

    How incredibly brave of you to share your story. Lilee was indeed a beautiful child. She left you way to soon. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
The beginning of July carries similar feelings for me. 15 years ago tomorrow, my happy, healthy, vibrant husband left the house and never returned. He was my high school sweetheart. He was 37 years old when he died. Even though I remarried a year and a half ago, I still grieve for Bill in my own private way every day. The very day he died, I found something to be thankful for (being eternally thankful is something I am blessed with). To this day, I haven't asked "Why/". I know I'll find out when I get to heaven. Keep talking and writing about your Lilee. I'm thankful you did.

Comment edited on: 7/1/2010 9:40:23 PM

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LMB-ESQ 7/1/2010 8:08PM

    What a beautiful, beautiful baby. And what a heartbreaking story. I can't even imagine the pain that a parent or grandparent endures when a child is lost in this way. And what a beautiful memorial you've made for her. It sounds like it helps to bring you peace. And I'm sure Lilee would love it.

emoticon Keeping you and your family in my heart


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IUHRYTR 7/1/2010 6:52PM

    Please accept my condolences on your loss. Lilee was a beautiful baby and you created a thoughtful and everlasting tribute to her memory. One song I wrote had the death of a loved one in mind for one verse: "In the midst of our sadness, our memories remain, to lessen our burden and to help ease our pain." I hope your memories help you through today and forever. emoticon -- Lou

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STARLASUE 7/1/2010 5:48PM

    Oh my, Chris. Our granddaughter Eva will soon be 5 - I cannot even imagine the pain you and your family have gone through. May your special angel continue to embrace you. You sure have endured more than your share of loss.

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MARYMAC45 7/1/2010 4:47PM

    How very sad, yet you made a beautiful space in her honor. I know this is a sad day, but think of the beauty she was. I believe in angels. She is by your side every day and will be awaiting your arrival when the time comes.

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JUST_TRI_IT 7/1/2010 4:34PM

    I cannot even imagine the pain that you and the entire family have gone through with this death. Your tribute to Lilee is quite special and moving. The water lily is quite touching as her name-sake. emoticon

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PUDLECRAZY 7/1/2010 4:21PM

    Perhaps when a child dies of SIDS it is one of the biggest, most horrible nightmares of all because there is an inquest and it is treated first almost like a criminal case.

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WINTERWINGS 7/1/2010 4:06PM

    What a horrible, horrible nightmare. My "baby" is three and a half and I am a new great-aunt to an eight-day old baby girl. I can't imagine how awful it had to have been. I am so sorry anyone has to endure that.

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    How sad and yet beautiful. Your retelling of her story keeps her alive in your memories. Thank you for sharing.

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ROOBYBEGONIA 7/1/2010 4:02PM

    What a poignant story. I'm sorry your family lost your beautiful Lilee. :(

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SUNNY332 7/1/2010 3:53PM

    Oh my gosh, Sweetie - this has to be such a huge pain. I am sad for you. I believe your blog here is one of the best ways to celebrate her life. I too believe you will see her again in Glory and what a day of rejoicing that will be!!!

Consider yourself cyber hugged.


Comment edited on: 7/1/2010 4:00:09 PM

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SIRIRADHA 7/1/2010 2:47PM

    I'm so sorry for your loss.

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PENNYAN45 7/1/2010 2:34PM

    A great loss - of your beautiful little granddaughter! I am so sorry.

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MAWRTIAN 7/1/2010 2:22PM

    Oh sweetie! Thank you for sharing her memory. Sending you my love dear!!

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MARY1313 7/1/2010 2:11PM

    Oh Chris, I know you are so sad today. What a beautiful little baby. I wish I had the words to take away your pain, but those kinds of words don't exist. The only words that I have for you is to know that I love you. I can't even imagine the pain of this, but I want you to know that I'll be thinking of you and praying for you to get through this day, and hoping that you have a few smiles over the beautiful pictures that you posted.

Mary emoticon emoticon

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0309COOKIE 7/1/2010 2:10PM

    This blog was very, very sad and it made me cry. I am so sorry for your loss. It was a beautiful tribute however to sweet little Lilee and I was glad I read it. I hope you find some peace in your day today.

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QUEENBME2 7/1/2010 2:02PM

    You are a very strong and courageous person! I know that this may sound like a common platitude, but your beautiful granddaughter is in the presence of God Almighty and you will one day see her again :)

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MICHNOE 7/1/2010 1:58PM

    I'm very sorry for your loss. Yesterday was the birthday of my best friend. She died in a car accident 23 years ago, but I will never forget her and her birthday seems to be especially hard to make it through.


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Okay, I Give, I'll Try Venting

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A couple of my sweet Spark Friends invited me to vent privately since I am usually so positive. I answered the best way that I know how; that I am not much of a venter. I never have been.

Then, after trying to be objective about my response to them ( I love you for your offers, by the way) I had an epiphany. Yup. Not a venter. But....

when I joined SP, it was after coming out of a 4 year depression.

What caused the 4 year depression?

(in chronological order)

My friend broke a toe, got an infection, and died.

My granddaughter went to sleep, forgot to breathe, and died.

10 days later, a student I was very fond of got hit by a car and died.

My aikido partner died of mesothelioma.

My German shepherd died of liver cancer, poisoned by his dog food when there was a melonine contamination.

Two of my good friends developed breast cancer (both are now cancer free - good ending here)

My father developed lung cancer, which metastasized to his brain.

I had painful gallbladder disease and had my gall bladder removed.

My friend died of a heart attack.

1 week later, my father died.

3 weeks later, my mother died.

I developed a hernia after lifting my father when he repeatedly fell, and had hernia surgery.

This was in the course of 3 years. My doctor reassured me that being depressed was natural under these circumstances, and I believe that was true. I worked my way out of depression, and was finding my way back into the light of life. I joined SP to begin healing my body after a few years of spending my vacations driving to NY to care for my parents and two abdominal surgeries. I was feeling better about my life.

Now, I have to say, it is true that I have handled these things with as much grace and humor as humanly possible. I am indeed an optimist. And I am a strong and resilient person. But perhaps my downfall is NOT venting.

I am now weathering the loss of my ex-father in law and my mother in law, both due to falls, plus my brother's prostate cancer (no new news yet on whether or how far it's spread) and my good friend's cancer which was misdiagnosed and just re-diagnosed to ovarian cancer. From very bad to much, much worse.

So... I thank you Kim and Jim.

I think I forgot to vent.

I hope this is venting.

I HATE cancer! I HATE sudden infant death syndrome.

I do NOT understand why a baby or a teenager have to die. I miss both girls every single day.

I am scared for my brother and my friend.

I am pissed off that Gino did not know about his cancer soon enough that it wasn't already advanced, that they screwed up Jeanie's diagnosis and wasted a month with the wrong treatments, and that Glenna was so stubborn she refused to follow medical orders and ended up falling and dying before she got to enjoy renewed health after her valve replacement and pacemaker implant.

I cannot say that I feel any better now that I vented.

I do not know if it will help anything.

But I'm trying it.

And that's my vent.

Now I will go back to my normal ways of coping, with the addition of trying this out.

I think I like the other way better. I hate complaining and whining, I prefer action when necessary and seeking solace in mediation and nature.

Thank you for listening to my vent.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAINBOWZLPN 7/20/2010 6:32PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon I'm so sorry all of these things have happened to you & all these people around you. You are truly a strong woman, with a stronger spirit, it seems, to make it through. And you did an AWESOME vent. Venting can be anything you want it to be, as long as it's getting out, right? Sending loving thoughts your way.

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MEOWMAMA3 7/6/2010 11:12PM

    Wow Chris, I haven't had a chance or long enough Internet connection in the past week to have seen this...I last checked in with you after a bike ride....

Glad you gave a "vent" the old college try.... Lord knows you have had so much more than anyone should have to bear in a lifetime, all shoved into a small period of your life. I know you work very hard to stay tuned into the happy memories of all those loved ones, yet the weight of the loss and pain will sometimes linger, sometimes flare, and, thankfully, sometimes slip away and let in more sunshine than heartache.

Such is this wild ride called life.

Maybe at least listing all those hurts and strains will make you realize how strong and special you are to have pulled yourself through while still remaining an awesome teacher, wife, mom, friend and human being.

I, too, am still pulling myself out of a long period of depression brought about by too many bad things happening all at once to loved ones and to my health. It's easier now, but still often a struggle. You must continue to take life one moment at a time, noticing and savoring all those wonderful, remarkable and ordinary joys so that the sad moments don't take over. I think you do this very well and you inspire many, many people here at SP with your spirit and resilience. Hugs, Kim


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STARLASUE 7/1/2010 5:49PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JUST_TRI_IT 7/1/2010 4:45PM

    I think we each cope and live life with different styles and tools. What works for one, may not work for another. One's person's vent may not be a vent to another person. Doesn't much matter, I think. Sometimes I think venting can pull us down into a deep hole ... deeper than the reasons we are in the rut in the first place. Seems to me you know yourself well. You know what it takes to pull through... to thrive... to survive. Your blog here teaches all of us who read about strength. It teaches me that when things seem really really bad, others have different ways of coping and it is worth adding to the repertoire I have.

Hugs to you... for the life you enjoy... the the lives you grieve... for being the kind and calm soul that is you.

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PENNYAN45 7/1/2010 11:58AM

    You were one of my first friends here on SP, and I always appreciated your supportive responses on my blogs. As I read your blogs over the months - I was impressed with your high energy, your enthusiasm, and your willingness to share yourself with us on SP and with your loved ones who were having problems - mainly health problems. I feel that I have known you as a warm, caring wife, mother, sister, daughter-in-law, and teacher with boundless energy.

I am so glad that you shared this information. It gives a more complete picture of your life. It also makes me even more amazed at your energy and openness to others.
(When I am feeling down, I usually close myself off and am less open and available.)

This blog is a list of tragic losses that would be overwhelming for anyone. It is almost impossible to grasp the enormity of those losses.

And I must say, this blog doesn't sound much like a venting. I hope you have a place or a process you use to express your anger and pain and to really vent those feelings.
I believe many people would have been overcome by them - and not able to function at all (myself included).

Let me say I am so sorry for all the losses you have suffered. Now that I know about them, I admire you as a person even more. You are an extraordinarily strong woman.

emoticon emoticon

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LADYNETTIE 7/1/2010 11:23AM

    You deserve to vent. I'm so sorry that your friends and family have been hit by those terrible diseases and I hope there will be brighter days ahead. Every day is a precious gift and I plan to live on the best we can. Sending you big hugs for peace.

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SUNNY332 7/1/2010 8:24AM

    I am a nurse too, retired, but worked many years in Mental Health. I would say honey that
is is totally amazing that your are even functioning. I think you are right where you are suppose to be considering all that has happened.

I believe that nothing in our lives happen by accident, that God does have a plan for us and that he walks with us through all of the tragedies that come our way. We do not live in a perfect world and we all have to live with some sadness but I think you have had more than your share.

Take today as it comes and look for the silver lining in any cloud that comes your way.

Thanks so much for sharing. It gave me a little more insight into how very strong you are.

Hugs, Sunny

BTW- when my Mom has Leukemia (which did take her life), we got a dart board and named it after the illness then we took turns throwing darts at it which helped get rid of the frustrations we had. BTW - I still miss her today and leukemia claimed her 25 years ago.

Comment edited on: 7/1/2010 8:32:08 AM

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KR2165 7/1/2010 1:38AM

    Wow...again I say...wow! Amazing that you're still functioning...honestly! I'm a nurse and I've seen folks with less trauma in their lives not cope AT ALL. Thanks be to God you can honestly share and "vent" with us. We're here for you!


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MARY1313 7/1/2010 1:29AM

    Well, life has certainly been hitting you between the eyes Chris. I know at first you won't feel better by venting, but maybe you will feel better from the conversations you have with all of us after the venting.

I'm so mad with you over all this stuff.....and over all my stuff too.

I tend to be like you too. Upbeat and a total optimist. Sometimes I allow the dark edges to seep in though. You just can't help it when things keep snowballing.

I liked your vent and the ones who counseled you were exactly right. If no one knows what you are facing and what you have been through, we can't gather around you and love you as much as you need in order to still be the wonderful optimist that you are! that's how you have to do it in 2D.

when I am upset, I play my "gitfiddle" it helps!

Mary emoticon

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    Chris, You will benefit from "venting" occasionally. I, too, tend to hold things in because I don't want to "burden" anyone else with my problems. As a result of being "strong" I went through 5 years of post traumatic stress after my daughter was abducted at gunpoint on 9/11/2002 (fortunately we got her back alive). Sometimes we just need someone we can share our feelings with. I'm here for you when you need me. Sandee

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KKSTRAIT2010 7/1/2010 12:32AM

    You are a very strong individual. You did a good job of venting and know that it helps other people to know someone who has gone through what they are going through.

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KJE_3001 6/30/2010 11:53PM

    Wow. That is quite a lot to deal with in such a short time. To be continuing on, living you life, and committing to taking care of yourself is absolutely amazing to me. You are obviously one strong cookie!

One day, I hope that cancer will be a thing of the past...

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CLEVAGAL 6/30/2010 10:40PM

    WOW! That was a good vent. Some people process inwardly, some process outwardly. Just do whats comfortable to you as long as your not denying yourself the ability to process. Cleva xxx

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MCGS62 6/30/2010 9:27PM

    All of that and you still find time to save an idiot like me (and a stranger at the time) from totally wrecking himself.
I once was teasing that you could be St.PUDLECRAZY because you are just so sweet. My perception is much better than I thought.
I don't know how you do it.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
If you ever need me for anything I'm here.

How about a distraction! put together that basket wheel thing so we can see what it is emoticon
Ok I see it now cool bike I like it!!!

Comment edited on: 6/30/2010 10:11:30 PM

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LMB-ESQ 6/30/2010 9:14PM

    emoticon Not bad for a first "venting" try!

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IUHRYTR 6/30/2010 9:08PM

    emoticon emoticon -- Lou

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FICTIONRUNNER 6/30/2010 9:01PM

    You have right to feel lost right now. I'd be angry and frustrated at this missed diagnosis. Deal with it the way you know best. Some vent. Some go for a run. Some cry in the shower where no one else has to share their pain. Lean on your friends as you need them and see the inner solace of meditation when you need that. Your friends will still be there when you return to them.

I'd be surprised if a good long cuddle with that beautiful poodle doesn't help settle your nerves a bit.

emoticon emoticon

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ROOBYBEGONIA 6/30/2010 8:49PM

    You've had an awful lot to deal with in the last few years. :( I'm so sorry for all your losses, and am even more amazed at what a wonderful, positive, strong, loving person you are.

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WATERMELLEN 6/30/2010 8:47PM

    Not venting -- not really. Just setting out without a shred of self-pity the kind of life circumstances that quite naturally are overwhelming you. You would not be human if all of this were not deeply distressing. And of course -- you are so clearly and obviously and palpably human, deeply human, in all of the very best ways to be human.

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