Wednesday, November 26, 2014

When You See Me

It is 5 a.m.

I just woke up and for the first time in a long time, I felt "normal".  No stomach pain, no nausea.
It's been a rough couple of months (yep-even with all the wonderful adventures in the last few months).

This time of year is the hardest for me for obvious reasons.  I am reclusive and avoid anything that resembles a celebration.

Once again, all I could think of the last couple days is "I just want to be better.  I want to put up the Christmas tree.  Some lights.  I want to cook.  I want to EAT."  I know that it is Melissa saying "Wake up mom.  Enjoy your life while you have it!"

So anyway, I woke up this morning and this was in my head:

When You See Me

If what you see
When you see me
Is a shell of what I used to be

Remember this…

I lost my daughter
Then two friends
Will it EVER end?

If you haven’t called or
Seen me in awhile
You might be surprised
I DO smile

You might have noticed
I was getting “better”
(Although I was not sick)
At Christmas time
I trimmed the tree
I sent Christmas cards
I baked cookies

A light was finally shining through
Life was feeling good, not filled with dread

Then on a tragic day in January
We found my sister dead.

So if what you see
When you look at me
Is a shell of what
I used to be

Remember this

YOU could be ME

Makes me think of Melissa's favorite saying
"No matter how bad you have it, there is always someone who would love to be in your shoes"

That goes for me too.  I think about that all the time.  WHO would want to be in my shoes?  Then I think of my high school friend who lost her son.  Her ONLY child.  SHE would love to be in my shoes.


First of all, I am so blessed for the friends that have stuck around.  There are a few that I stay in touch with on a regular basis.  I am so thankful for them, especially on days like the ones I have been having lately.

I guess this poem is just a reminder that when you post things like "only surround yourself with happy people" people like me get a little paranoid.  Because, as hard as I try, my life is not always happy.  Oh, I have had some great days (and I want you to know THAT was a hard thing for me to say for a long time) but I have a lot of baggage.  Thankfully I have a wonderful husband who understands and accepts the ups and downs.

Just remember, during the holidays, there are a lot of people who are missing loved ones in their lives. They need you more than ever during the holidays.  Hard as it may be to be around people that are depressed, they need you.  Reach out.  They'll be happy you did.  YOU'LL be happy you did.

(Thanks Marianne, Jennifer, Roxy, Leanne)


And just to prove that I am trying…I will post pictures of our little tree and lights when I'm up to putting them up.  


Monday, November 24, 2014

Six years...

Six years ago today, Melissa went into the hospital.  Wow.  It still seems like yesterday.

She was having lots of pain a couple weeks before.  I remember getting up one morning to get ready for work an I was packing a bag.  Donny asked me what I was doing.  I told him that Melissa wasn't feeling great and if she called, I was going to go down to Cincinnati to help take care of her.  Not five minutes later the phone rang…she was calling to say she was in extreme pain.  I told her I was on my way.  John had already left for work, and she didn't want him to have to come home.  So I drove to Finneytown.  When I got there I told her I was taking her to Kettering Hospital in Dayton because that's where all her doctors were.  In the ER, I remember her telling the nurses that her chest was hurting.  She ended up being admitted and they put her on the Cardiac Floor.  That's where she met Mary, the nurse that made her the CD mix of songs.  (Viva La Vida being one of them!)  They ended up doing a thorosentesis to remove fluid from around her lungs.  She had been scheduled for a PET Scan that week, but they wouldn't do it because it was scheduled as an outpatient and she was and Inpatient.  Stupid.  She even volunteered to be released and she would just go right to have the PET Scan.  No go.  After about three days, she begged to be released because she and John were having their annual Chili Cook-Off that weekend.

The cook-off went as planned, and she promised me that John would do everything.  She was really too sick to host this event, but of course nothing stopped her from doing whatever she wanted to do (she got that from my dad).

A week later she was in the hospital again.  This time, for the final time.

To be honest I can't remember if we went to Dr. Romer's office first, or if we went right to the ER.  But she was admitted again.  I also recall that since she hadn't been feeling well, I had ordered our Thanksgiving Dinner at Kroger.  I knew I wouldn't have the energy to cook.  That never happened.  Ate Thanksgiving Dinner in the hospital with Melissa & John.

The fluid was back in her lungs, and they needed to do the thorosentesis again.  If you go back to November 2008 in the archives (down the right side of this page) she explains in detail the events of each day.

Too hard for me to read right now.  What I remember is about all I can handle.


This is a tough time of year.  I guess it's a good thing all of traveling is done for awhile.   We've done a lot in just a few months - starting with three visits to my dad in Florida, then the cruise (Turks & Caicos, Dominican Republic, Curacao, Aruba) then California (Disney, San Diego, Ellen Show), then a weekend with our Portsmouth friends at Hocking Hills, then Memphis, New Orleans and Ryan's last game.

All good things.

Here's a few of the pics from the last couple of weeks..

I've had a few issues with this lately…anytime we're out of town.  Donny wanted to buy this t-shirt for me. I told him I'd NEVER wear it. But I would take a picture of it. I must not be the only one with this problem!

Where we stayed in the French Quarter

Donny's cousin Jim happened to be in New Orleans the same weekend we were…so were the Bengals!

Stopped in the bar Tropical Isle - owned by a Pam Fortner.  Got the most popular drink in the south, the Hand Grenade. Invented by Pam Fortner.  Pretty good.

And getting me through these rough months - Andrew & Max.  Thank God for them.

Windmill Farms


Nick & Max @ Max's Thanksgiving Feast

Pamma & Max

Happy Thanksgiving