Tuesday, December 9, 2008


How many times have you thought you were losing your mind? I do every day. I recently started thinking about what all I try to balance. Work, personal life, school, family. Sometimes it gets a little wacky. I never seem to have enough time for anything. That isn't quite right though. I think it's just a perception I have. During this time, I have managed to paint my livng room, decorate for Christmas, and I cooked Thanksgiving dinner. I think that means most people have the perception they are just slammed to the wall and it may not be the correct assumption. Take time to enjoy the little things that every day brings. Not every thing, every day is bad.
Right now I'm trying to get through College Algebra. Now I keep hearing "Oooohhh" every time I tell someone I'm in that class. Does that tell you how hard it is to get any help with it? I think I'm one of those people that needs to sit in a class in order to get it. I did fairly well in high school when I took Algebra. I guess the years have worn away my brain cells. I think that's why I feel so stressed. I should take my own advice and enjoy the little things!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Another Thank You!

I have a friend who is always being goofy but always seems to know when he should call. I don't know how he does it, but we must be on the same wavelength most of the time. Since I decided to go back to school, I've had a fairly easy time of it, but the class that started today has me really freaked out. (Imagine not having been in school for almost 30 years and having to take an algebra class after all that time.) I've been rather uneasy about it. We email fairly regularly but not much on the phone. Yesterday he called. How great was that?

Monday, October 13, 2008


I was reminded yesterday that grief is a process. A friend of mine has been having a hard time lately with a lot of things in her life. I don't think most people really understand grief.

I lost my daughter, Amanda, to cancer almost 5 years ago. The overwhelming grief that followed nearly swallowed me whole. I went to bed for over a year. I really didn't have much in the way of emotional support during that time either. My brothers and my mom called regularly, but they don't live here. They are more than 400 miles away. There wasn't much they could do for me from that distance. So I was left with the people I lived with. That was my husband and my kids. My husband shut down and my kids were not responsible for my emotional well-being. So I fell in the hole.

One of the things I realized after I "recovered" was that during the worst of it, my judgment of others was seriously off. I became friends with someone who thought they could help me. At least, that's what she said. I didn't find this out until it was almost too late. My husband and I had separated and I had gone to my mom's to help her with her mom because G'ma was dying. Right before that, I moved into this person's house as I had nowhere else to go. My kids still lived here so I didn't want to move away. She resented the fact that I went to my mom's house and to G'ma's funeral. All of this pushed me farther down the hole. A few months later, I reconciled with my husband and left that house. Getting out of there was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Although that's been almost 3 years ago and I am much better, the grief is still just under the surface. I will be going along with life as I know it and I feel pretty good, but there are moments when the rush of emotion will get the better of me. Yesterday, the need to hide and cry was so overwhelming I almost felt as though it could swallow me. I don't know what set it off, I just know it was bad. I think this is normal for anyone who has experienced a major loss in their life.

For those of you who think I'm just talking about the loss of a child, I am not. It could be the loss of a best friend, spouse, or family member. Those losses can be very profound and I would never assume that the grief would be easier than I had it. I don't know everyone else's experiences in life so I can't say that.

What I can tell you is this. If you let the grief so overwhelm you that you can't see the way out of the hole, it will swallow you. What helped me was a simple thought that ran through my head one day. I realized that by keeping myself from living and experiencing life, I was doing a great disservice to Amanda. She was so full of life and love that I was negating what she gave us. She taught us to enjoy life no matter the circumstances and accept the little things as precious. I wish everyone could see and accept that.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Let's Debate!!!

I am really excited about the debate tonight. I am really hoping to see some sparks. The first debate was rather sedate (ha!ha!). This one should be good. Sen. Biden has been known to have some zingers and we'll see if he holds out on Gov. Palin. We'll also see if Gov. Palin can keep a solid train of thought. Don't get me wrong. No matter what happens in November, we will have a first for our country. Women have been on the VP ticket before but none were ever voted in. This year we will have either a woman in the white house or our first Afican American as president. How cool is that? It is awesome! I just can't wait. Make sure you tune in!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Our Future (and Past)

Is anyone else confused about the whole bailout deal? Yesterday I was rather concerned about the fact that it didn't pass. Now I'm really not sure what to think. Are we all supposed to go to school for a serious economic degree so we know what we want our congress to do? Who was watching the people who got us this far? Aren't there laws regarding how money is handled? I just don't understand how we got to yesterday. It may mean I can't finish school and that really irks me. I raised my kids and did what I was supposed to do for Amanda (my daughter). Now I may not be able to do what I started out to do. I've always heard that "you can do anything you want to do" and "it's never too late". It actually may be now.

You have the right to disconnect - CNN.com

You have the right to disconnect - CNN.com

Monday, September 29, 2008


How does Pres. Bush feel about his fellow Republicans on Capitol Hill? If I were him, I would be seriously worried. So should John McCain. Their own party defeated this bill. I saw a clip from the Repubs claiming Nancy Pelosi caused the failure to pass. Are they all children? Is that what we have elected to our Congress? How can someone take office as a Senator or Representative of the United States, get mad on the playground and say, "if you don't play by my rules, I'll take my ball and go home". Does anyone else think that sounds like a playground fight? Who do they think they are? They aren't the ones who get hurt in the meantime. They need to GROW UP!!!!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


One of the classes I take had as the assignment to share a positive writing experience you've had. Here's mine!
In 1992, Amanda (my angel), had a craniotomy to remove a malignant brain tumor at LeBonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis TN. She was a patient at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital also in Memphis. LeBonheur has the best medical care for children. I think I'd be hard pressed to find better. In 1992, however, their ICU was not very parent-friendly. The rules were that all parents and visitors were to be removed when a child was being taken in or out for surgery, during shift change, or during an emergency. Mondays and Fridays were the scheduled surgery days. That meant many hours of not seeing your child. One day in particular, it was over 12 hours. She was in the ICU for two weeks because she developed pneumonia. It was rough with those kind of visitation rules. She was only four. After all that, she had radiation therapy at St. Jude.
We had been home about a month when I received the satisfaction survey in the mail from the hospital. I couldn't fill it out. I kept looking at it and getting angry all over again. This went on for six months. At first, I thought it was the emotions of the moment, but after that long I knew it was because I really felt as though we had been wronged. So I decided to write a letter. I knew it wouldn't do any good except make me feel better. I would have expressed my own thoughts not what was on a piece of standard junk mail. (That's how I feel about those surveys).
The letter started out with how much faith I had in their medical care. I told them I would not hesitate to take my daughter there again because I felt they had the best medical staff and facility for her. Then I told them how I felt about their visitation policies. I explained how even after six months I was just as upset as I was at the time. I also said that I would have expected it to subside. I felt that the emotional welfare of my child had not even been considered. After all, don't most people heal faster with a positive mental attitude? How scary was it for her at the age of four? I then signed my name, address, and phone number. I mailed it and forgot about it.
I received a call from the hospital's head of ICU about a month later. She called to tell me that she had been forwarded the letter from the office. After she read it, she contacted fifty other parents at random to ask them about the concerns I raised. To a parent, they agreed with me 100%. She also told me that because of the results, they had changed their policies in the ICU. She said it was because I wrote such an eloquent letter. I wasn't accusing or negative about their medical abilities. She was quite taken aback. She thanked me again and we hung up. I knew no other parents would have to go through a forced separation from their child again.
When Amanda needed the last surgery before she died, that's where she had it. I still feel the same way about the hospital and staff as I did in 1992. I had forgotten how much that meant to me until I wrote for the class. Writing is a wonderful thing. Even if you're the only one who sees it. Then again, an email to a friend can make the friend feel special and lift their spirits when they need it most.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Real Age

What is your real age? I think mine is still pretty young. Of course I don't go out like I did when I was younger but does that mean I'm getting old? NO!!! It means that I have figured out what makes me tick. It isn't the social scene because I realized that I like myself and spending time with myself is not a bad thing. I do what I want when I'm alone and not what everyone else wants. I'm not being drug from one bar to the next and I'm not being forced to talk to someone I don't have anything in common with. It isn't that I don't like to be with others, it's just that I do that all day at work. Then I'm on someone else's time. After work, it's my time. What is wrong with that?

I think that if most people were to learn what makes them tick and what makes them content earlier in life, they would have a much more satisfying personal life. I still think as young as I was at 18. I just don't feel I have as much to prove. Maybe only to myself. That's ok too. It means I'm still challenging myself to be better. Right now the focus is on school. I raised the kids and lost one to cancer. After the serious depression with that I came out with an attitude that tells me anything is possible. I was always getting by either financially or emotionally. With the education, I'll be able to improve both. It will allow me to travel where I want and have more personal time for myself. Both of those things have been lacking in my life so far.

I guess the lesson everyone should take is this: Learn to like yourself and you will enjoy the things in life that make you happy.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


I would like to know how our gas prices got so high. No, really. I watched a few minutes of the Senate hearings when they were grilling the oil company bigwigs and I am just flabbergasted. How can someone justify a $12 million dollar bonus on top of what is likely an exhorbitant salary? What I don't understand is that they aren't just screwing with the general public, they are ripping food right out of their own employee's mouths. There is no way they give all their employees breaks on the gas they have to buy to go work for them. I realize it isn't cheap to get from the crude to the gas form, but why do they get to make a fortune in one year while the rest of us can't afford health care? What about the kids out there that need food or clothing?

I'm not saying we should not let people get rich in this country, but when there is such a discrepancy between the classes, there should be some accountability to these extremely rich people not helping more than they are. I can barely pay my taxes every year between the federal, state and local and I do without a lot of things because of it. I can't visit my family now because there isn't any money and with gas prices as high as they are, I can't even think about it. I'm not asking for myself. I realize there are a lot of people worse off than me. But that means there are very hard-working people out there that don't even have as much as I do. That's scary. Somebody should sit up and take notice and do something.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


What does it take to make someone's day? It's relatively simple. Just smile at them. I mean a real smile. How hard is that to do? Apparently, it can be very difficult as I was reminded today.

I was leaving the grocery store and almost ran into someone. I smiled at her and said excuse me even though she was coming in the exit. I didn't think anything about that. Her response was this, "At least you smiled. The other lady just frowned at me." How many of us have gone in the wrong door? Iknow I have. What's the big deal? And why do we have to make the other person feel bad about it?

Think about how it makes you feel when someone smiles at you. I know it makes me feel better no matter what kind of day I'm having. It means someone noticed me. I made enough of an impression for someone to appreciate seeing me. I know that may sound corny, but think about the cashier you notice is having a bad day. I've done this and it works. I smile at her and she smiles back. It gets you into a conversation with her and she seems to perk right up. How many people had been rude or inconsiderate to her that day? What does your smile do for her? It gets her out the funk she may have been in most of the day. If not for the rest of the day, but at least for a while. How hard was that to do? Not very.

Remember everyone needs a pick-me-up once in a while. Why not make it a great part of your day, and make it happen.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Thank You

Today I was reminded that I have a friend outide of my family. That's really cool. He's having a bad time these days, but he took the time to listen to me and let me know he's there for me. Once in a while you need to have someone like that to give you the emotional boost that gets you through the day.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Trust is a big word. It also has a big meaning. It encompasses a large group of different meanings to different people. To children, it means the inner circle of their lives. To younger people, it means "I've known you for a while and you've never done anything bad to me so I trust you". As we grow older, however, it becomes a very complicated word. It changes with life experience.

To abused children, it becomes a very muddled and complicated thing to figure out. (And, yes, I know what I'm talking about). You know the person who abused you, but generally speaking, the other people in your life know nothing about the abuse and don't understand certain changes in your personality. They don't know why you withdraw from some things and not others. As a child, you think others will be able to figure it out just by looking at you. Throw in the guilt aspect of it, and trust becomes a difficult thing to do. This just sets up the rest of their muddled life.

For some, it depends on their friends they've had. How did that person respond to a situation where you had an emotional upheaval? If they weren't supportive, you no longer trust your own emotions. You may think you are the one with all the problems. If they tell others of your feelings, you no longer feel you will be able to trust anyone as a friend again. That means you really don't have many friends if any. You can't let your gaurd down.

For others, trust in a romantic relationship is almost impossible. Most of us have had a relationship where the other person cheated on us. I don't know too many of us that haven't had that happen. (I realize that most people have no boundaries which makes them hurt the rest of us). Most people who have a real hard time trusting again are the ones who had a more emotional childhood upheaval. The lack of trust permeates the rest of our love life. Sometimes we figure it out, but most often not.

Learned behavior is also a huge portion of our trust. If we have a parent who always goes at life as though everyone is out to get them, we will have the same issues. We will not trust others to have our best interests at heart. We will always feel that our partners only have bad intentions in store. That can affect having a real conversation, because we won't really listen to what they have to say. That means we will never be truly close, because we won't truly know them.

Trust is a BIG deal. CWITGO

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Moving Forward

If you dwell on the past, you can never move forward. That is my philosphy. Everyone has gone or will go through something traumatic in their life. I went through the loss of a child. Others have been through abuse, a life-threatening illness (themselves or a loved one), or a serious accident. Whatever it may be, it is extremely difficult to get through. The thing that makes us better is how we deal with it. Do we sit back and say "Oh woe is me", or do we say "Okay, now that I went through this, it wasn't as bad as I thought and I'm still breathing"? I truly believe that if you take the second path, you will be much happier with your life. It doesn't matter if you struggle financially everyday. It is recognizing what you need for contentment that makes the difference. What is REALLY important to you?

I am often struck by the people who want to go over and over the events of the past. I am talking about those people who want to use that to make themselves feel better. Those are the ones who feel sorry for themselves 24/7 and don't really understand that they have an extremely negative effect on those around them. I knew someone who was like that. She had not had a very good childhood and then was diagnosed with MS in her 30's. She wasn't having serious symptoms yet. And before anyone says I'm being disrespectful to anyone with MS, remember I lost a child to cancer and have great empathy for people with chronic or terminal illnesses. The problem I had with her was that she had a very mild case of it for the first several years of diagnosis. In other words, she was not suffering anywhere close to some people I know with it. But you would think listening to her, she was in the mid to final stages of it. I found that quite offensive in that I know there are a lot more people out there in much worse pain and discomfort than she was at the time and she could never see past her own nose.

When we became friends, I had just lost my daughter and was in such a hole emotionally that I was almost numb. I didn't really feel much for a long time. That's when she pounced. I say that because she pursued the friendship. After about 2 years, I woke up from my depression and decided to return to the real world and be human again. She couldn't handle that. Every time we would have a talk about anything, she really didn't listen to me. I started realizing that she would start the conversation about me. It wouldn't be long before it turned to her. It was always that she had a bad day. This was every day. Without fail. The negativity permeated her whole being. This was her constant state of being. After we had a major falling out, we didn't talk for a couple of months. When we did, she kept trying to go back and talk about what went wrong. For normal people, that's actually healthy because you can see what needed to be addressed. For her, it was a way of turning it into my fault. I mean, it was never a real discussion, it was a way for her to say, she was wronged and someone else was responsible. I found out later that she was telling other people that I was not a very good person. It doesn't bother me because I know I'm not and I'm not in that hole of an emotional drain I was in.

This is what I mean by moving forward. If I had stayed in that frame of mind, I would have been a miserable human being that no one wanted to be around. I don't know how anyone can live that way. In my opinion, had I not gotten past the depression, I would have been disrespecting the memory of an awesome little girl. Instead of remembering the good, fun, and special moments of her life, I would have just remembered the worst part of her life. That just isn't right. Everyone should remember the reasons why you loved that person, not what took them from you. If you don't move forward, you won't enjoy those little things that actually make life worth living for. CWITGO

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

School's Out!

Today, I finished the first term of school. I'm doing the "New Age" kind of school. It's all online. After nearly 30 years of being out of school, online is a little more than I think I bargained for. Not being able to talk to an instructor in person is a bit overwhelming at times. Let's face it, I wasn't raised in the era of computers. My kids went to school and worked on computers. Part of their curriculum was a computer class! The closest I got to that was a typing class that was done on an electric. Not quite the same. I did survive though and I think that's all that counts. Of course, there are many more classes to go, so I should be really computer literate when I get done. Good luck to all those trying to do the same.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Again With The Spoiled Kids!

It never ceases to amaze me how many people think that their kids don't need rules. I almost always see the kids whose parents are divorced, the kids are moving from one house to the next every week, are the ones who feel they can order everyone else around. I often wonder if their sense of entitlement lets them down as they age. I mean, life isn't the easiest thing to survive. It is a series of disappointments. I'm not saying it isn't great. I think it is. Life is wonderful, but for those people who were given everything as children, it must be very hard. We know as they get older, they will here the word "no" on a regular basis. How do they deal with that? The ones I've known personally, have been miserable as adults. I don't see how they can appreciate the simple things in life if they expect the very best in terms of "things" or are always told "yes". Do they appreciate the smile they got from the checkout girl? Do they enjoy a really nice day? Do they feel true joy from watching their kids play in the sprinkler?

What do we owe our kids? I think we owe it to them to teach them failure. Without failure there is no sense of accomplishment when they succeed. There are no goals. There is nothing to work toward. There is no pride at having reached those goals. It is okay to fail. It is what we do with that failure that counts

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Since this my first blog, I thought I'd just give some of my background. So here it is, short and sweet. At 21, I got married and am still married to the same man. We have 4 children, one of whom we lost to cancer 4 1/2 years ago. Needless to say, life has been a series of ups and downs. During my adult life, I've observed many people and events and just thought I'd pass these along. Of course that means if you're reading this, you'll hear my opinion too. If you disagree, that's ok. Everyone's entitled.

I often wonder why some people think they have the right to be rude to others. Is there a sense of entitlement that gives that person the feeling they are superior? Is it that they do this to make themselves feel better? I am an avid supporter of the First Amendment so don't get the idea I agree with censureship. What I mean is, isn't there any sense of decency and just plain being nice to other people in them? This brings me to the next observation I have about people.

A friend of mine asked me if I thought people could really change. After some thought about that, I said no. I think that who you are as a child is who you'll be as an adult. I'm talking about the basic person. In other words, if you were the kid in school who made fun of others, you'll be the adult who is extremely critical of others. (He has a crazy girlfriend.) If you were the kid who sat on the sidelines, you will have a harder time in the confidence arena. You'll take more of a backseat instead of driving. If you are the kid who makes up stories to make yourself seem more important, you'll do the same as an adult. If you have a tough childhood, you'll be the adult who doesn't trust people.

I'm not saying this is the rule that can never be changed. I know people from all of these categories and not all of them continued the behavior as adults. They are the exceptions though. They are few and far between. What I am saying is that the vast majority of people carry these traits with them their entire lives. I do not have extremely close friends because of it. My mom is my best friend and my brother and his wife run a close second (so much so that it's kind of unfair to say they're second). I'll elaborate more on the supposed friends I've had over the years on later blogs.

Let me hear your take on people. I'm anxious to read them. Tell me how your life has brought to you this point in your life. Have you had "friends" that just tore you apart at a time when you needed support? I have. I'll share more later. cwitgo

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