how did i get here?

my husband, my beautiful Dragon, died suddenly at 12:03 AM on 9 February 2009. there was a cold, lovely full moon and 3 feet of snow on the ground. i "slept" for the following 10 months and "woke" to the physical and emotional pain and torments of deep grief. i "woke" to find i had moved the day of his funeral and that i am lost. i am looking for me while i figure out the abstract, unanswerable questions that follow behind any death. my art has evolved. his death changed that as well because i am forever changed and will forever bear the mark of losing the only man i can ever love.
there is alive and there is dead and there is a place in between. i am here wholly in my heart for my children, but i feel empty inside at this time. i miss him. i have not gotten very far in my grief journey. i make no apologies for this.
this is my place, my blog, where i write to tell the universe that i am still here.

Monday, December 31, 2012

the closing of the year & silver linings

"if i cannot bring you comfort, then at least i bring you hope for nothing is more precious than the time we have and so we all must learn from small misfortunes, count the blessings that are real.  ring out the bells for Christmas and the closing of the year."

it's been a rough 8 months.  new position that brought with it hard and exhausting dilemmas from people whose arrogance and self-entitlement rode over their common sense.  silver lining?  "i'm still here you bastards." ~ Steve McQueen

the VA wants their money back.  they made a mistake, they say, way back in April of 2011, and so they want all their money back; all of it; as in all of it.  going to ask for a waiver based on it's their effing mistake.  hardship on my part.  as in, i don't effing have almost $13,000.  silver lining?  i will fight this.

my hands hurt.  my knees hurt.  the doctor said that i have moderate to severe arthritis.  it will get worse.  try to keep moving and, basically, good luck with that.  i'm not sure which is harder to accept, seeing something on the table that would work but cannot afford it, or having the doctor say that there is really nothing he can do.  the meds he scripted for me raise my blood pressure too much so i am off them and going to just "keep moving."  silver lining?  giving up is not an option.

my rent went up but not too awful.  hopefully i get a cost of living raise in Feb. or Mar. or whenever.  i don't eat as much anymore due to the fact that i need to pay my bills first.  silver lining?  i've lost more weight.  you can never be too rich or too thin, right?  well, since i will never be even just okay financially by default i'll go for the too thin part.

i miss him.  i miss him badly.  i could really use his advice.  a hug.  someone who will sit and listen to me.  i like looking into his eyes when we talked.  he really did listen to me.  i watch my co-workers' faces and unless it's all about them, they don't listen.  they have these micro-expressions that range from annoyance to boredom.  i know when to shut up; right after i say, "no, i'm fine.   silver lining?  i feel as mysterious as Greta Garbo.

but i miss him and i've been thinking about my grief lately and wondering again if i am normal.  i found this poem in a book.

"what is a ghost.
a tragedy condemned to repeat itself time and again?
a moment of pain, perhaps something dead
which still seems to be alive.
an emotion suspended in time
like a blurred photograph,
like an insect trapped in amber.
a ghost.  that's what i am."

i feel like a ghost.  i am there but i am suffering over the death of my husband and all the unresolved questions and emotions.  it's an unfinished love story.

a man i've known for a very long time died recently.  he was my maths teacher in junior high school.  he and i and the school librarian, Miss Stiles, had something in common ~ books and more specifically Shakespeare.  i have volunteered in libraries my entire life.  i love books.  not Kindle because you cannot dog ear a Kindle or write in the margins, but books.  i found Miss Stiles and Hal when i was 13 and she was in her 60's and he was in his late 20's or early 30's.  they wrote hall passes for me to meet them twice a month for lunches in the library with them for all of 7th, 8th, and 9th grades.  we'd talk books.  we'd share ideas.  i listened so intently to them and their own philosophies, points of view, their own personal life stories that were so parallel.  i learned a great deal about books, and people, from these two teachers.

Miss Stiles had become engaged at 19 but her fiancee had gone off to fight in WWII.  he died.  she never took off her engagement ring, never dated, never loved anyone but him.  she died when i was in high school of a stroke.  Hal called my mother to tell her and asked if he could come over and be the one to tell me.  he sat with me and my mother, telling me of how Miss Stiles wasn't in pain and that she was with her beloved now.  i remember asking him if he was jealous.  my mother was shocked at my question but Hal just smiled and shushed my mother.  i vividly remembering him saying to her, "your daughter has an acute understanding of the human condition."  to me he said, "thank you for asking and yes, i am a little bit, but it isn't my time to go.  there's still a lot for us to talk about." 

Hal had married when he was about 26 or 27.  they married a week before Christmas.  she was killed in a car accident when they had been married for only 3 days.  he never got to spend Christmas with her.  Hal loved Christmas.  he cherished all of it.  reindeer.  tinsel.  Santa Claus.  he kept the religious aspect out of school but he was deeply religious.  his faith was, as he said, all he had to hang onto now that she was gone.  he deeply believed she was with him always.  he claimed he could feel her hand on his shoulder.  he loved her with all his heart.  and we kept up with each other off and on over all this time.  he did have a lot to share with me.  more books.  more stories of how he felt about the way parenting and society was evolving and the sadness he felt over it.  he felt we had gotten away from the true definition of the word family.

he died a few days ago after celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary alone.  i know he got to spend his first Christmas together with his wife.  he'd waited so long for it.  no one, especially not God, would deny him his eternity with his beloved wife.  am i jealous?  a little bit, but it's not my time to go.  i've got my two children and they aren't ready for me to die.  {i know Hal and Miss Stiles are up there talking books.}

silver lining on these stories of these two people?  i got to meet them and be part of their lives.  i got to listen to what they had to say.  i had the rare opportunity to be a listener to someone's grief long before i knew what grief was.

life is rough for me but i have a small place.  i have a job.  i have my dogs and my children.  i cry a lot still.  i miss him always.  i wish i had a moment to have a friend.  my medical problems seem endless.  my anxiety and frustrations are high, but i do have all those things i just listed.

so if i cannot bring you comfort, then at least i bring you hope.  hope for silver linings.  hope for a net to catch you if you fall.  hope for peace.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Christmas night is here.  i had my to children with me today.  my son got here on the evening of the 23rd.  spent all Christmas eve with him and my daughter, and all Christmas day.  my two babies together.  the Three Musketeers.

she left after supper to go back to her place with her husband.  he is leaving tomorrow on a plane.  hard to see him go.  so hard to see the sun set and know that this time of togetherness is over.

they are the lights of my life - fun, funny, decent, kind, sensitive, strong, protective, helpful, caring - i adore them both.  i need them so much.

i wish this Christmas would never end; that the clock had broken and we were just sitting there talking and laughing forever.

i think that that is how i will always remember them; us; laughing and talking and just being together in that moment.

the best gifts do not come in wrapping paper.  they come in cars and on airplanes and they wear clothes and they smile and talk and they call you "mom."

i wish he were here.  i miss him so much when the children return to their lives.  this "empty nest" would be a tad easier if i had his arms to turn to.  but i will cuddle down in bed with the dogs and think about one day at a time.  worry about one day.  that's all i can handle.

$12,380 is what the VA wants paid back.  it's their fault.  i wrote to them.  they admit it in their letter.  my son and daughter got together to read the letter today.  we are fighting it.  we are going to file for a waiver.  financial hardship.  can't pay that back.  not my fault if they kept sending me money.

my fingers are crossed.  i hope they see reason and let one widow just slide on by.  just let me go, please.

i wish all who read a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  i wish all who read peace in their hearts and minds and rest for their weary spirits.

i am headed to bed to thank my lucky stars for my two children and this one Christmas that we got to have together.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

the end of the world / the Dragon returns

it's happened.  the Veteran's Administration has risen up to keep me in the teeth, the stomach, and when i am doubled over, they are crushing my back.

i wrote to them all along telling them about my job, how much i am making with each raise.  i have never lied to them or kept them in the dark.

i got my response from them tonight in my mail.

dated Nov. 28, 2012, they have written that they have been overpaying me since..............

April of 2011.

19 months ago.

they have just now figured out, or are ready to implement their new edict.  no more death pension for Bunny.

oh, but wait.  they have been overpaying me as far as they are concerned.  their words:
"We have created an overpayment in your account."

and now they want me to pay it back.  they will let me know in a separate letter how much they have overpaid me, and how i can "repay this debt."

i am terrified, devastated, in shock, worried, so many emotions and feelings.  i am crying and laughing at the same time.  crying in terror at paying back 19 months of pension.  laughing at the fact that it has taken them 19 effing months to put this together, get the letter written, and set this in motion.

how am i going to live?  this was my rent money?  who can i make it? eat?  diabetes medicine?  gas for work? high blood pressure meds? food?  car payment?  car insurance? 

i am falling into an abyss.  what do i do?


oh, my God, my love!  my sweet wife!  please hold on.  please don't let go.  keep yourself safe.  take care of yourself.  somehow you will survive this.  somehow it will be okay.  {my son and daughter} said they will help you work it out.  lean on them if you feel yourself wanting to give up.  please, Baby, please don't give up.  please, don't let this scare you.  you and the kids will get this worked out.

oh, Christ, why did i have to die and leave her?  she needs me!  she NEEDS ME!!

Honey, hang on.  just close your eyes and feel me.  i'm here.  i really am still here.  oh, Baby.  don't let this ruin your Christmas with the kids.  breathe, Bunny Love.  breathe.  oh, please, just keep breathing.  you deserve to breathe free.  God, i wish i could take this all away from you.  you deserve an easier time.  you work so hard and now, to have them do this.  Shit.  oh, honey.  please just hang on.  i'm here.  talk to me.  


i don't know what i'll do, but i'll have to do something.  they want their money back even though it is their mistake.  i wish he were here to talk to .  i need him to hold me and tell me it's going to be okay.  i really don't know if i can do it anymore.  i feel myself breaking apart inside; like i've burned up inside with this hot fear that has scorched my insides.  i feel myself flaking off piece by piece and blowing away in the breeze.  i am losing my humor, my spirit, my energy, my desire to anything other than to just survive.  
find a friend?  i'm too wiped out with work and worry.
take a class maybe?  i'm too wiped out with work and worry.
breathe free and embrace what i have accomplished?  i'm too wiped out with work and worry.

and Christmas with my children?  i am going to embrace it and them and take as much peace and love and absorb the memories from it as i can.  it might be my last one.

i am shattered into a billion pieces.  i feel gone inside; like a flame has gone out and the wick has been cut off to that it will never be able to catch again.

how do i eat?  how do i live?  how do i pay this back?  their mistake.  my debt.  i think i need to go throw up.

i think i will go to bed and have a stroke.  


oh, Babe.  suffering.  why do this to her now?  why do this to her?  stop the pension, okay, but tell her to pay them back?  that is wrong!  i need to go back.  i need to just go back for a little while and help her with this.  please, God.  let me just help her..................


my new mantra.  "don't lose hope.  try not to lose hope. you used to be loved.  the kids love you.  somehow you will find a way.  don't lose hope." 

i wish you were here.


i am here.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

2 deaths ~ 1 old. 1 new.

today it has been 26 years since my father died.

today, Buddy, my humidifier that helps me breathe at night, died.

i am affected by both in similar ways.

1. i felt safe with my father being around.  i felt safe trying to fall asleep with Buddy pumping out warm, misty air for me to suck into my scarred lungs.

2. neither asked much of me.  my father only wanted me to love him and be a good girl.  Buddy only wanted me to clean him out occasionally so his motor could run for me.

3. both gave me a clue that they were on their final days, but, like a fool, i thought i had more time.

4. i got to see my father before he died to say goodbye but i was still at a loss.  i still am.  i feel like i failed my father; like i wasn't good enough as a daughter for him to hang around longer for.  Buddy quit on me this morning and i am at a loss tonight.  i feel like i failed him.  did not not take care of him good enough?  he's no longer able to talk to me.

5. i did not ever get another father.  i will get another humidifier.  {i have to.}

i think i will name my new humidifier after my father.  Johnny.  i have no explanation why that comforts me.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

make me a child again just for tonight

i've been sick with pneumonia.  pretty bad this time.  i had to take off work; use up a paid vacation day.  each time it seems like it brings me down more and more.  takes longer and longer to get over it.  right now, it's been two weeks of coughing, feverish nights, feverish days for that matter, too.  run down.  feeling like i have water in my lungs.  it's nerve racking to be sound asleep and startle awake to gasping for air.

Thanksgiving is coming up.  my daughter and her husband have to drive 2.5 hours away for that day.  i cannot go because i really don't feel up to it.  her husband's side of the family is hosting and they won't be eating until around 7 PM.  i need to be going to bed close to around that time because i need to be up and out of the apartment for Black Friday by 4:30 AM.  it would be too tough, especially feeling as rough as i do.

i'm working on a quilt project on the side for a very old woman.  doing it for free.  going to try and get it put together and quilted before Christmas.  tall order but she's waited most of her life to find someone to do it for "just the right price."  can't get better than free.  {i couldn't charge her.  she's 89 years old.  how could i look into her faded blue eyes filled with such wistful hope that someone would help her put her grandmother's quilt together?}

i lost a "friend."  she just disappeared.  won't respond to explain why.  it makes me feel hollow.  i shouldn't have believed her words.  my fault for being gullible.

backward turn backward o time in your flight
make me a child again just for tonight
mother come back from the echoless shore
take me again into your arms as of yore.

and there were a couple of occasions where she had done that.  she held me while i cried.  i wonder if she knew me now, if we could be friends?  maybe she still wouldn't want me for her daughter, but maybe just a casual friendship?

the idea of someone who cares for you unconditionally - mother, sister, husband........  someone you can talk to about things you would never speak about unless it was to them.

do you ever think of me
do you say my name
if i were 'never there again'
would you 'never be the same?' 

he told me once that he had to die first because he would not be able to live without me?  i would not want to think that he would just die if i had died first but i do wonder if he would have been as miserable?  if what he said was true.  the further i get away from the last time i talked to him, the more i wonder if what i believed about our love was true.  and then i get a feeling.  it washes over me.  a warmth i cannot explain.  it sometimes makes me sleepy and i want to go to bed. 

those nights, after those doubts, that warm feeling wraps itself around me like a flannel blanket.  and i usually have a fairly good night's sleep. 

i'm yawning now.  i've managed to stay up late enough - 8 PM.  i think it will be okay for me to take my last pills tonight, walk the dogs one last time, and then curl up in bed...............
and wait to see if that warm blanket of the memories of what we shared will help me sleep better tonight.

you're all i ever wanted and my arms are open wide

Monday, November 12, 2012

i will follow you into the dark

i watched the movie, "Hachi," the other evening.  i knew in advance what it was about but i chose to continue on that path of plot awareness.  i needed to see loyalty.  i needed to be reminded that my dogs are probably {not} going to miss me like that, be that devoted to me, should i pass away before them.  {but i do pamper my soul; tell myself that they will sit and wait for me just like Hachi.

dogs can sense when death is approaching.  it is a natural thing for them.  they are not complicated like humans.  they accept what cannot be changed.

i accept, but i do cry over it.

in all the reading i've done since he died, i have not really fond one that explores the fear, wonder, worry, curiosity of what happens when we die, after we die.  where do we go?  it is based on faith or lack of it but really, i have been thinking of this off and on ever since i saw the life leave him.  doing CPR ocer someone, knowing you are losing, seeing/feeling them "go" marks you.  well, it marked me.

what is he doing right now?  what is he thinking?  is he happy?  is there an ocean?  is he on some cloud?  can he see me?  does he know that i am sobbing as i type this?  he is alert?  cognizant?  did he keep any memories of me?  is he with his dog?  has he told my dogs i still love them?

has he met my son who died?

is there light where he is?

or dark?  just dark and empty?

i believe in God.  but.

i don't know where he is or where i will go or if i will get to be with him and eventually my two beloved children.

will i lose myself when i die; the stuff that makes me me and so irritating to the masses, yet so interesting?  {<~ that interesting part is sarcasm}  but will the thoughts i think vanish when i die?  will i know him?  will he still like me and want to hang out with me?  will will we be able to find each other?

or will it be dark?

as a child i was never afraid of the dark.  i was afraid of what was in the dark.  i was afraid of my mother.  i was afraid of my brother.  i was afraid of Voldemort.  i was afraid of all the evil that lurks out there; like the DMV if they think you filled out a paper wrong.  {got a $50 for filling out a paper in correctly so when i went tot he DMV to pay the fine the woman said, "effing ridiculous.  most people ignore that paper and you tried.  so you checked a box wrong.  no, i'm not taking the fine.  here's a receipt.  keep it in your car."  i feel like a rebel.  i feel like an outlaw.  are they looking for me?  will they find me driving down 485 some night after work and pull me over; arrest me?  see?  i worry.}

i don't mind the dark.  you can see the stars at night.  you can see the moon.  the night breeze can be soft or wildly blowing leaves that crinkle and sound crisp, much like potato chips on a plate.

when i die, will i be okay, finally?  after all i've been through, will i be okay?  will i be safe?

when i die will there be that light and will i hear his voice?  will i feel that old familiar calloused roughness of his hand clasping mine, pulling me towards him, towards an eternity of love and safeness {i don't think that's a word but i'm crying and i don't care}?

i have written 3 books.  a friend of my daughter's is an English professor at a university.  she sent him a burned CD of one of my books.  he said he despised my ability to write as i do.  he told her he has tried to write like that all his life.  he also said i was, and i quote, "a shining golden god in a kingdom of mice, who is afraid of the mice."  he told her to tell me to get off my shy butt and start searching for a literary agent.  i don't know where to start searching or how to do it that my work won't get stolen.

so question, forget this life, what about the next?  will i lose my mind when i die?  will i lose everything?  will i close my eyes and there will be nothing?  will God forget me?  abandon me?  send me to Hell for the things i've thought?  wanted to do ~ the bad things like tell someone off?

there are times, God forgive me, when i sleep in on Sundays.  i hurt physically so badly, am so exhausted that i stay in bed.  i pray every day, but is that enough?  will He really accept my excuses?

or will He, seeing as i am not an entirely heinous person, just leave me to fumble around in the dark?

as long as i don't run into my mother, or my ex, or threats from the DMV, or people from work, maybe walking around an empty landscape in the dark for eternity will be my own kind of peace.

"if heaven and hell decide that they both are satisfied, illuminate the NO's on their vacancy signs.  if there is no one beside you when your soul embarks, i will follow you into the dark."

 i'd like there to be light.  i'd like there to be snow in the Winter and warm Summer breezes.  i'd like the crinkly, potato chip sound of leaves falling in the Fall, and the smell of flowers and fresh cut grass in the Spring.  i'd like there to be an ocean with the water swelling over stones that sounds like the rattling of bones.

but if that is not what i have earned, then i will follow him.  into the light.  into the dark.  i will close my eyes here and start my search for him there.  and if that search takes an eternity, searching for my dogs, waiting for my children, calling out to him, i will at least be spending my eternity doing something.  my soul has a calling.  i want to be with my family and my dogs.

the scenes in the movie of Hachi's face as he aged, the whiteness of his fur as he got older and older, so magnificent.  the intentness in his eyes as he heard the whistle of the train and his steadfast gaze on the door as people spilled out.  and his sadness, his loneliness as he settled back down to wait for the man who would never come back was gut wrenchingly, poignantly beautiful.

people move on.  dogs can grieve forever.  the other day i called out for Carl.  and both my dogs leap off the bed and raced to the door of the apartment.  Carl has never been in this apartment, but they ran to meet him because i called out for him.  i felt like a dick.  they came racing back to bed and cuddled around me.  they laid across my legs as if to say, "we'll lay on top of her so she won't go away."

i don't want to suffer anymore.  i don't want any more pain.  i would like the afterlife to be peaceful and calm and surround by my children {eventually} and my dogs, and in his arms.  i want to hear his laugh again.  i want to walk with him again.

i want to die and then my soul soar to him and a few fuzzy faces who dance and race to meet me.  who lick my face and rub their noses against my skin.

i want to be met.  greeted.  even if i do follow everyone into the dark, at least we will all be together.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

far too tired ~ part 2 ~ the search for peace

i am struggling.  worries and fears overwhelm me at this time.  i've got things going on at work.  things going on in my personal life.  too much and i am so very tired.

sleep, when it comes, does nothing for me.

personal life:  i've written the VA about my new position, the raise, and i've heard nothing.  i called late last summer and was told that since i wrote the letter, they will process and send me a letter letting me know of any adjustments.  i've still heard nothing and suffer severe anxiety each month, waiting to see if they send me my stipend.  it's going to end.  i know it.  but living in limbo is crushing me.  i struggle and do nothing ~ I DO NOTHING extra.  no movies.  no clothes.  nothing that is not absolutely crucial to my existence.  and i miss fun.

personal life:  i wouldn't mind a friend but the alternative to that is being afraid to find a friend.  haven't had any luck down here with friends.  i'm too poor.  i'm now too busy.  i'm too exhausted to be any good to anyone.  

personal life:  i'm lonely.  i miss him.  i haven't taken off my wedding rings.  i see men coming into the store and i feel nothing.  they are not attractive.  they are not interesting.  nothing stirs inside me.  i miss HIM.  i love him.  i trusted him.  he knew everything about me.  he was too much of everything my heart desired.  he was, flawed as he was, he was too perfect.

personal life:  still working on that quilt.  so much work.  i need to get up the courage to ask her for more money laying out the amount of work she has added to this.  i call this quilt Sisyphus.  i thought i was close and it came rolling back down over the top of me.  so much more work  

work:  i've got a girl who is a part time manager who has become arrogant and a finger-pointer when anything goes wrong.  and it's all her.  at the core of every drama, it's her.  when i speak to her she instantly becomes overly agitated and loud.  she paints herself as a victim and i hate that.  we're going to have a BIG meeting with my boss and my boss's boss, and my other two managers.  it's going to be a meeting of whose going to throw everyone under the bus as far and as fast as she can.  in other words, i think i might have my first drink of alcohol since my diabetes diagnosis immediately after this meeting.

work:  long drive.  longer hours.  young people who have no work ethic.  it's disheartening.

and i am not ungrateful for my job.  i love it.  but this are thorns on roses.  puppies nip.  to make those beautiful flowers grow it must rain.  life is good but people can suck.  love is great and then they die.

i search for peace.  i take too heart too much what people say to me.  i'm not complaining.  i'm relating here what i would curl up beside my beloved husband and say.  i have no other recourse.  it's a way to talk it out and see it.  i read back over what i've written and i can say, "okay, it's out there.  someone knows.  he knows.  i'll find my way.  i'll find guidance, support, my path."

death is an artist.  i wrote this on someone's blog or on Facebook somewhere.  but i think of death now as an artist.  it is a sculptor changing our minds, our way of thinking, molding us into different people than we were before that horrible moment when we turned about and went home alone.

death is a whittler.  it shaves off and out of our lives the people who have closed minds.  it whittles away the people who refuse to understand, or who refuse to stay beside us even while they admit they don't know what we're feeling.  not being able to feel what we are feeling is fine.  admit that and stay with me.  listen to me.  hold my hand.

bring me a cup of hot tea and be silent with me because, as long winded as i can be,

sometimes it still hurts to much to talk.  or worse, i don't know how to put in into words.

would that i had a place where i could go, a shrine or altar that i had created that was simple and profoundly sacred.  i could go there and sit and just be.  not think.  or think.  pray.  sigh.  not read so much as remember poems, psalms, words of wisdom drawn from the myriad of places i've gotten them from.  but i have a place i go to.  that room up there is in my head.  when i close my eyes for even a moment, if i need this place, it's there for me.  i pretend it's all mine in my fantasy house.  i go downstairs and look out the windows at the ocean.  then i turn and light the candles and i contemplate peace.  i try to empty my mind of all the anguish and just focus on the good.  him.  my children.  my dogs.  what i am thankful for.  i try to re-center myself to face all the drama and the worries of THIS world.  

one foot here in this world but my eyes on the later.  i read a book i won't speak to here. it has changed me.  changed my opinion of a few things.  me mostly.  i'll write about it some other time, after my thoughts about it are more cohesive.  

for now, the search for peace continues.  

i wish it for all of you.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

far too tired

“it’s probably my job to tell you life isn’t fair, but i figure you already know that. so instead, i’ll tell you that hope is precious, and you’re right not to give up.”
― C.J. Redwine, Defiance

but my God, in between the not fair and the fight hanging on to hope and not giving up, there is a lot of tired; the kind of tired that a good night's sleep cannot take care of. 
the Bun is very tired.

Monday, October 22, 2012

i hope so........

"i picture Death as being millions of years old but only looking about forty."
~ anonymous 

i've been trying very hard to ignore what i am feeling.  i'm tired.  i think i've been too outside myself of late.  i've given too much of myself away and i am drained.
i'm tired.
i would really like to talk to him.  i just want to hear his voice.
i want to hear the love in his voice.
i'd like to see his eyes when he smiles at me.
i'm tired.
i've got stuff going on i wish i could write about but it would be a
"oh, my good Lord, she is complaining again."

i don't want to be thought of as a complainer and yet i think i give that impression here.
but this the only place where i can talk about what hurts.
where else can i go?
i have no one to "complain" to.
is what i do complaining?  i always that that a horrid word.
it was a word that i thought was used as an insult.
it feels like a person who is not grateful for what they have.
i am grateful.  i am grateful for my little place, my dogs, my children,
and the life i had with him.
and yes, i am scared, lonely, alone, worried, exhausted.
so if i talk about it here, know that here is all i have.
oh, i hope i do not ever feel stifled by the worry of that word being thrown at my doorstep.
i need the freedom of being able to speak my mind here.

otherwise, i'll really and truly have no place to go.

"the most important thing any of us can do to comfort the grieving is to listen when they want to talk - and to accept their silence if they are unable to speak about their loss." 
~ Susan Jacoby

i work and function at a high level.  i keep thousands of details in my head about what needs to be done, what is coming up, who is doing what, how can i make the store run more smoothly, and then i get a feeling of being so terribly alone in the world.
i wish i could see my children more than i do.
i miss him terribly.  i have my moments when it hurts so badly that i don't think i've made any progress at all.
is there even such a thing as "progress" or am i making progress and don't realize it?
am i being to hard on myself considering how much i love him and how fast he died,
how unexpectedly?

 "love is the only thing that we carry with us when we go...."
~ Louisa May Alcott

{i can hardly wait until Friday, my next day off.  i am going to see my daughter.  won't talk too much about what i feel but i get to be with someone who loves me and cares about what happens to me.}

i'd like to live in bed in a drafty old house.  just a handful of rooms.  kitchen, bathroom, porch, and a big-assed living room that would double as my library/bedroom.  there'd be a fireplace or a wood stove that i could keep going.  i'd hop in and out of bed and work, read, write, and most of all

of course there's that money thing.

"i think God has planned the strength and beauty of youth to be physical.  but the strength and beauty of age is spiritual.  we gradually lose the strength and beauty that is temporary so we'll be sure to concentrate on the strength and beauty which is forever."

"hope means to keep living
amid desperation
and to keep humming
in the darkness."
~ Henri Nouwen

i promise i'm not complaining.  i'm just down.  i've been down again for a bit.
i need to go back to the doctor.  diabetes and high blood pressure doing okay.  it's the foot that is hurting.  i am having a hard time walking but walking and standing on my feet all day is all i do.
i think being in pain and only having 1 day a week off now is wearing on me.

and this last quilt i've been working on?  she has added weeks worth of embroidery work to it.
i cried after her phone call.  i want this one to be done.
 but she is a widow and this is her quilt.  she wants what she wants and all i could say was,

"the Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
~ Psalm 34:18

i hope so.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

because i love Halloween.....

i've written a book.  it's quite dark and i love it.  it's the dark side of the moon that is me.  my Dragon loved being my proofreader.  he kept begging for the next chapter.

well, in honor of him, and of Halloween, here is the first paragraph and the last two of one of the chapters.  i hope you enjoy.  and then i hope it keeps you up at night.  just for while.

As soon as he realized he was losing his mind, and quite possibly his life, it seemed ironically apropos to Ryan that he would lose it all in the cemetery of an insane asylum though he wasn’t sure if he was technically still in the cemetery any longer.  He thought about what constituted sanity; whether or not the realization of one's predicament was a criteria, and then those thoughts segued for him into wondering if anyone would ever find his body.

Late that summer workers eventually came again to work on the asylum committee’s memorial to their long dead patients.  Their stash of clean granite stones for etching was still at the bottom of the hill off to the side, still under the tree.  It was down in the oldest part of the cemetery and in an area that none of the workers really liked.  It gave them all the creeps.  The air was different down there; it was different all over the cemetery, but it was truly stifling down there.  It felt like no breath of a breeze had ever blown across that part.  One of the men had just finished mowing the grass and the silence after the mower was deafening.  Two of the other workmen were sitting in the shade to take a break after taking three of the stones off the pallet for names to be engraved on them.  Drinking from bottles of water, both the men froze listening.  The man who’d mowed walked up to join them and was hushed by the other two.  Tilting their heads they looked off into the woods.  Sunlight tried to work its way through the heavy summer foliage causing a riot of shadow, light green, darker green, and the deep brown of the tree trunks.  They men listened and all three heard it this time.  A cell phone was ringing not too far off in the woods.  It stopped suddenly and they heard a voice say, “Ryan, it’s your mother again.  What should I tell her?”

And then the giggling started.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

dead like me

i've heard and always known, "what you do matters.  what you don't do matters."  i try to make every moment count.  i work hard.  i keep a million things in my head.  multi-task.  i come back here to the apartment and i work.   and then i fall into the mattress on the floor. 

i think:  someday i'll save up and get a new mattress. 

i think:  someday i'll take a day or two and go over to the ocean.

i think:  someday i'll find a friend.

and then the pragmatic part of me reminds me that i need to make a car payment, car insurance payment, my lease will be up and my rent will be raised, and i need that surgery.  this isn't Canada and my insurance is only for 80%.  i hurt physically a lot. 

but i also hurt emotionally.  really wish i could find a friend, but when will i have the time?  or the balls to take the risk?  i'm a nothing little nobody and i am tired.


my boss came into the store and was on a rampage.  "why did you put that double-sided tape under the velcro rolls?  we don't fucking use the velcro rolls as often as we use the fucking double-sided tape?" 
me:  sorry.  me in my head:  "are you fucking serious about being upset that you have to reach under something that weighs once ounce?"

she was pissed that i had put some bears on the counter while i cleaned the bin.  "why are all these fucking bears on the counter?  didn't i tell you to keep the counter clean?"
me:  sorry.  me in my head:  "are you fucking serious giving me shit about putting bears on the counter for less that 5 minutes while i clean a bin you told me to clean?  how the fuck do i clean the bin with the bears in there?  my levitation skills suck."

and more of the same.  i went to the bathroom and sobbed.  i put my head down on my hands on the sink and sobbed.

what we do matters.  what we don't do matters. 

i try so very hard.  i know i do good work.  i never am told though.  i do get shit for stuff like that up there.  and it's lame stuff.  just another way of doing the same thing.  it all comes out the same in the end.  i kept telling myself she was mad at someone else/something else that she couldn't yell out; so she gave me hell.

and the worst part is i expected it.  i expect to be treated like that because ........... it's all i know.  and i allow it.

yeah, Eleanor Roosevelt,  the whole people walk on your if you lie down, but i have to lie down.  i am only an assistant manager.  and shit rolls uphill.  if one of my part time managers makes a mistake, i get hell for it because they are my responsibility.  i can't just pass the blame.  "on, {insert name} did or didn't to that."  that's stupid to do and i refuse to be stupid.  i am, however, quite quick to lay down and get walked on, stomped on, if only to get it fucking over with.

i feel dead inside still and i don't know if that's a bad thing or normal, or just a me thing that will be from now on.  have i accepted that his death, the fact that i will never be loved again, never be seen as a real person with depth and feelings, accepted grief to the point that i am used to it and this is what acceptance feels like, or am i so fucked up from all the abuse over the course of my life that i have had my behavior and thought processes modified to the extent that i cringe when someone calls my name, or forgets i exist?  that i accept more abuse? 

i feel dead inside.  i was so excited to see my son in Florida.  and then i came back here.  reality sucks.  i was excited to start hitting golf balls at the driving range but i haven't had another day off since that one day and i won't have another day off until next Tuesday.  and that day i have to go to the doctor fasting for some more tests.  and to see about that damn surgery which i fucking refuse to have.

i do sometimes wonder if anyone else feels dead like me or if this is, like grief, my own personal, lonely journey.

what's crazy is that my daughter says i am a delightful person who has wonderful stories and a great sense of humor, if only someone would take the time to really get to know me.  i can be a fun girl.

i really can.

i can be interesting.  maybe it's revulsion at my physical appearance.  i've lost so much weight. i'm not slim but i'm better looking that i was a year and a half ago.  maybe contacts.  lose the specs.  makeup?  streak my hair? 

that would all be fake.  it wouldn't be me.  and it would take away from my new mattress fund.

my mother got mad at me once; she was always mad at me for something.  she pinched my throat and yelled at me that i was ugly and not a girly girl like guys like and that i would die alone.

as a child i was so afraid of her and i used to think she was a little crazy,

but i guess she was also a prophet.

what you do matters.  what you don't do matters.

i try to do the best i can.  i don't have a lot to offer anyone so i don't expect to have a friend during the rest of my life.

i miss you, Dragon.  more than you'll ever know.  i like to believe/remember that you liked me and that, to you, i wasn't ugly.  you're dead.  i'm dead inside.  i guess we still have a lot in common.  {pssst. Dragon.  am i depressed or is it normal to be this down?  are you there?  }

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

end of an era

i made a huge decision tonight.  i did not discuss it with anyone really though my children have been coaxing me to make it.  i made it ~ the decision.

fall is here; as much as it can be here this far south.  not like where i know it so well.
 come September 1st, summer quickly bows out and Fall with a capital 
comes in with wide open arms. it embraces the earth and us with the coolness
and change of color, the pumpkins and the mums, and the anticipation
of the much colder time approaching.
 Fall was always my favorite time.  i aired out the house before shutting my children and i inside for the frigid cold that creeped up.
i took countless photos of the farm stands and the trees, 
the decorations for Halloween and Thanksgiving.
it was a time where i felt brave and alive for reasons that are not important to you or to this blog.

just know that Fall was a time for change; in the seasons, the air, and in me.
 and i made an enormous decision.

i shut down my creative website.
i received another email asking for prices for my quilts and demanding that all of her requests be completed before Christmas.  i wrote that i work a 40 hour a week job and that i have a quilt commission that i am working on at present, that she would have to wait.
i got chewed out.
so i sent her an email stating that i could not do business with her, and blocked her address from emailing me again. 
and then i went and deleted my creative website.
renaissanceartist no longer exists.
i will finish the commission i have and then......
no more.
 i am tired of working so hard for so little.  i set the prices and then, well, add this, add that, and i ask for a bit more money, but i feel guilty and no way do i charge for the labor intensive work that i am asked to do.  hours and hours.
i make mere dimes for each one of my hours of work.
so no more.
i have projects of my own i want to work on that have been sitting there as sketches.

and i have my beloved children for whom i want to leave a legacy for.
i selfishly want to sew for me now.
i work so hard for the money i make.  so far i am breaking even.  not saving but not going hungry.
i made my first car payment and i have some food. 
my rent is paid and i have gas in my new lil Seanaroonie car to get me to work.
i don't need much and i certainly don't need more work and people who do not understand the time it takes to embroider by hand.  

so it's the end of an era.
renaissanceartist has died.  she died from lack of understanding.
she died from overwork.
she died from the loss of being allowed to breathe.
from the ashes is just little Bunny.
mom to two.
wife to........

the end of an era.
am i a little misty about it?
Bunny will never tell.

Friday, October 5, 2012

2 things i've never done before

"death is a wild ride and a new road."

it hit me and i finally said it out loud.  it echoed a little bit.  and now i'm writing it.

of all the things i've written since i started this blog over 3 years ago,
this is the first time i've written this.

now i've said it.  now i've written it down.  2 things i've never done before.


he left me.

Monday, September 24, 2012

the time of my life

i waited a long time for a chance to do something fun; to go somewhere.   for the last 3 years i've read about people having trips and going places to get away; to be with friends and/or family.
and now it was my turn.

i made a Bunny for my son and took it with me.  she watched the flight trip screen on the plane the whole trip.  that's how excited we were.
 when he picked me up, he wasn't just at the pickup lane waiting in the car.  he had parked and was waiting inside just outside the security checkpoint.  i saw him as i was walking out.  and i got teary a little bit.  he is my son, my baby; my6'4" little boy who is the man of the house, so to speak.  he has done things for me, been there, given me money, yelled at people; he has helped me so much.  just like i did for him when he was little and vulnerable.

so he took me to Universal Studios first to have some crazy fun.  we rode rides where we when fast and ones where we got really soaked.  and then we got off, ran around, and rode them again.
 he showed me what he does at work and how he does it.  it is fascinating.  his work is on the Golf Channel and we sat and watched it come across the screen.  it was so cool to see that.
 the next day he took me to play golf.  i haven't played in 25 years.  and i kept up nicely, thank you very much.  i used to be a 3 handicap.  not anymore, but i can still drive the ball 130 yards.  with practice i'll get it back.
 my son and i had such a good time together.  we rode in a cart and played the entire 18 holes got in under the wire of an late afternoon thunderstorm.  we saw the changing of seasons together ~ summer to fall.
 our last full day together we went to a zoo and paddled kayaks around the park with a guide who talked of the animals and their habitats.  i took hundreds of photos there. 

i took hundreds of photos throughout the whole trip.  when i left there, my heart was sinking a bit.  i relaxed for the first time in years.  i felt good for the first time in years.  my son was the lead, taking care of everything.  if i mentioned i was hungry, i had food in short order.  he asked if i was thirsty while handing me a bottle of cold water he'd brought.  i felt safe and loved.  my son is so much fun to be with.  we had long conversations and laughed so much.  we played games on his XBox, the kind where you stand in front of it and are part of the game.  it was hysterical.

and when i left there, i immediately started missing him.  i miss him so very much.  my children and my dogs are my heart and soul.  they always were, and my husband was my breath.  now that he is gone, it is all about my children.  i hid my tears when he took me to the airport.  he parked and walked me in.  he saw me to the security point.  i had to watch him walk away and it damn near killed me.  but i had to get back to the life i have here.

i left a bunny behind to sit with the golf bear i made him when he got the job at the Golf Channel.  they both sit in a place of honor in his home.
i had forgotten how to have fun.  i do not have faith in other people.  lost it along the way somewhere between being forgotten and being left behind.  but with my children i see that i can play.  i can have fun.  i just need to feel safe to let go a bit.  

i wish he lived closer.  he wishes it, too.  i always have a home with him.  he said that.  he will always make sure i am safe.  and i do, feel safe.  seeing his face when he said it to me, his eyes, the seriousness, the dedication and love he has for me.  i know i can always turn to him.

i love you, my handsome little boy.  i accept that you're all grown up and i am so very proud of you.
~ love, mom

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Bunny is going on a trip.....

...... and she'll be back with stories and photos.  her son sent her plane tickets and has a nice, long weekend for her packed with plans for fun, frivolity, and smiles.

what i'm telling Bunny {aka me}:

breathe, Bunny.  just breathe.  relax.  smell the air.  feel the sun on your little body.  sleep.   laugh.  talk.  just take it all in.

it is a wonderful world.  go enjoy the next 4 days.

no one can begrudge you a small vacation.  enjoy being with your son.

Bunny in her vaca clothes.

Friday, September 14, 2012

i dream in color

this is me at 4 months out.  soft little face.  yet so scared. 

this is me 3 and a half years out.
see that furry face?  little bit more careworn.
see those eyes?  "so much pain my dazzled eyes refused to see."
reality hits me ~ again and again and again.........

it's hard doing this sort of alone.  i'm not alone alone.  i have my two children.  i do hold close to my broken spirit every comment written here.  but i am still thinking it might be a good idea to try again to find someone to talk to.  you know, try again for a grief counselor.  but what would she say to me?

"girl, it's been 3 years and you're just now getting around to finding some help with this?"

i'd have to say, "ma'am, it's bee 3 plus years of searching for someone who will effing listen to me and not bleed me dry of something i have, something i can do.  to simply do the job of a grief counselor and not let me down.  please, just listen to me.

i don't know if i'll ever have that.  looking into the money aspect of it.

i seem to whine a lot, but this blog is my only outlet to whine. otherwise i keep it inside.  i have to do the "primal scream" thing to get some of it out.  here, i can.  i'm so closed off from the world.  i do not reveal anything to anyone who knows me simply because they are not friends.  the only people i know are the people i work with.

i try to help myself.  i look to my dogs for the way to enjoy life.  

 like Scootie Wootums enjoying sniffing all the sniffs that cram into his nose while his head is stuck out the window. 
 i dream/create fantasies of a different life.  my happy place.  my serene calm place where i am not here.  i am somewhere else, with him, my children, all together truly living each day and reveling in all that the world has.
 i remember all the places i did live where i felt home.  i developed an attachment to a place and will never forget living there.  i can go there in my mind and breathe.
 i am so much more fragile than i ever was.  is it age?  or grief?  is it feeling so vulnerable, or so adrift?  and yet, i feel surges of strength when i am threatened.
"how dare you try and hurt me?"  "how dare you try and take what little i have left?"

i dream in color.  my things are old and solid and loyal and enduring.

i dream in color.   i value and respect the things that last like love and memories.

i dream in color.  i do not seek more material possessions but only add things like books {words}, moments of calmness, and the continued search for peace in this life.
i may see things in black and white; facing the reality that life shoves down my throat day-after-day,
but i dream in color.

Friday, September 7, 2012

fair / unfair / c'est la vie

c'est la vie.  isn't that what they say when life hands you troubles?  

such is life.  life isn't fair.

we learned that in kindergarten.  someone takes your sandwich.  someone tears up your drawing.  someone makes fun of you when you fall down and skin your knee.

and no one does anything about it.

such is life.  life isn't fair.

i've had a run of bad luck, or just a run of "life."  some good things have happened.  some bad things have happened.  a lot of bad things.

is it fair that i have a part time manager who lies on her time sheet; who gets paid for upwards of 15 - 20 minutes of work when she wasn't there yet?  how does she do it?  when she opens, she is there at the last minute.  2 minutes before the store opens.  when the next manager doing the close shift comes in, she claims she didn't get clocked in and would we do it.  i've called more than once, 20 minutes before, 15, 10, and finally 3 minutes before and she doesn't answer.  or she has called me a few minutes after open asking for computer help opening the store.  by the time the doors are open, those registers should be open.  the other part time manager asked me if i was suspicious.  we both just nodded our heads in agreement.  she's cheating.  nothing we can do about it without causing a HUGE deal over it.  very political stuff involved with her and who this girl is dating.

is this fair?  no.

i was deathly afraid of my mother and father all my growing up years.  

is this fair?  no, but my childhood could have been worse.  much worse.  

i was afraid of my first husband.  is this fair?  no.  but they don't have "and they lived happily ever after" in the marriage vows.  and vows, for some people, mean nothing.

i retreat sometimes to my mind.  i go to a place in my mind where i create an environment that makes me calm and at peace.

like the photo below.  i could lay there and listen to the water, the gulls, feel the breeze, and relax.
 is it fair that i had bought my clutch for my old car and called around only to get horrible men tell me horrible things like, "let me talk to your man."  or "lady, this is the best price around so if you want it, book it, otherwise stop wasting my time."  to "drop off the car, i'll take a look at it and let you know. Enterprise can pick you up.  they have great weekly deals.  we'll get to your car when we get to it."  

rudeness.  lots of rudeness.  lots of terrible customer service from ads of places that say, "100% customer satisfaction."  is this fair?  no.  is it done every day?  yes.

the badness i wrote about was about my dogs.  my beautiful little dogs.  my friends.

the lady downstairs complained.  she's almost 90 and she likes to sleep before she goes to bed.  when i work at night, sometimes, my dogs will bark.  they are afraid of the dark and they look outside waiting for me and will see a cat, or a person walking their dog, or hear a noise and it will scare them.  and, mostly Carmen Sophia, will bark for a bit.  it scared me so bad.  i cannot lose them.  i cannot afford to move.  even if i moved, it could be from the frying pan into the fire.  

spiral down.  i spiraled down into an abyss that was hard to get up from.
 only darkness in front of me.  my little dogs.  

i panicked.  i went into a full-fledged hyperventilating panic attack.  how could i fix this?  what could i do to save my dogs?  i put their thunder shirts on them before i left.  i kept the tv on and all the lights on.  i blocked the sliding glass window and the small window in the bedroom.  and i gave them benadryl to make them calm.  so far it has worked.

but to make sure i also ordered a dog silencer machine that puts out a sound that humans can't hear but dogs can when they bark.  it is an annoyance to them and trains them not to nuisance bark.  i feel a little bit better about it.  but i still carry the scars of the panic and i still carry the worry that it will all change back and someone will try to take my dogs away again.

i'm scarred.   was it fair?  no, but then it isn't fair that the little old lady downstairs had her sleep interrupted by two scared little scotties. 

i sometimes wonder how i can continue to live like this; live so very scared all the time.  i never really rest unless i force myself to go to that place in my mind where i know i would be happy.

it would be a stone house beside the ocean.  my two little dogs and i would be safe.  no one would/could threaten us.  i go there and design my home in my mind.  i plan the gardens.  i put up photos and lay quilts on the sofas and beds.  there are alcoves for reading and resting.  there is a warm, cozy kitchen to make small meals in.  my dogs and i would be safe.

safe is all i want.  safe with no one trying to change my life, make me give up things, take from me.

funny thing, in my dreams, i don't have any friends.  i am alone with my dogs.
but i am back with him.  or he is back with me.
and there is no fair or not fair.  there is just home.
but it's all a dream and i know it.

i need my dreams.  i need that safe place to go to where things go right.  i need my "home" and my dogs right with me.  i need the ocean and the coming Fall and Winter where we stayed close to home and took care of each other.   fire in the wood stove.  stew cooking.  mulled cider in a cup.  books to read on the sofa where we piled together.  all of us.  man.  woman.  and two little dogs.

happened once.  never to happen again.  c'est la vie.

but life cannot take the memories from me nor can it take my dreams.

if i can still shut out the world and dream, make up my fantasies, then i still have the strength to get up and fight against the bad things that happen that make me say,

"son of a bitch!  what the f***!  what more do you effing want from me!?"

and yes,

"c'est la vie."

Saturday, September 1, 2012


no where to turn.  can't talk about it yet.  it is too hard.  all i want is peace.  i just want a period of time when nothing goes wrong.  i don't want anything bad to happen, no one causing trouble for me; i just want to have a period of time, longer than 5 minutes, where i have nothing to worry about.

i just want some peace.

i want the world at large to just leave me alone.


just give me some time where nothing bad is going on.


i wish i had him here.  i wish he were here so badly.  i need him so much right now.  missing him is so much harder when things go wrong.  and things have gone wrong off and on since the day he died.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

taking a flying leap

for the last 3 months i've been having car trouble.  my clutch was slipping.  just a little bit every day. i was losing control over my car and it was scaring me.  i saved the money to buy a clutch and have been desperately trying to save the money to pay the $700 labor to get it installed before i lost my car completely.

well, i didn't make it.  all last week i struggled and panicked trying to drive to work and drive back home.  trust is hard for me.  i don't have any for really anyone.  i've seen so many people come on strong, make assurances they were there for me, we were kindred spirits, and then they disappear.

and now my beloved Midnight was leaving me.  i just could not get the money together fast enough to fix her.  it was breaking my heart.

Friday was horrible.  the clutch slipped so much i could not get it above 60 mph to get to work.  getting home was worse.  she took forever to get above 30 from sitting at a light.  i was crying when i walked in the door.  so grateful to be there and terrified at how it was going to be for Saturday.

i called my son and cried.  he said, "mom, i'm worried about you hemorrhaging money on that car.  give me some time.  i want you safe."

Saturday was harrowing.  i got to work, barely, but almost did not make it home.  10 PM sitting at a green light and she could not get herself to go.  it was sheer power of prayer that got me home.  my poor Midnight.  but during the day on Saturday my son called me to tell me that on Sunday, my day off, i was to go to a dealership and pick up my new car.  he had them down to a monthly payment i can sort of live with.  {my son said he would help me whenever i needed it.}

so today, i had to get a tow truck to haul Midnight to the dealership, spend the 3 hours doing the paperwork, etc. etc. and here he is.

this is my new car.  only 2 years old rather than 13.  less than 60K miles rather than over 200K.  and it's an automatic.  i've named the car after my son.

he's handsome and young and strong, and i believe i can trust him.

i have done the math on my new car payment and new, more expensive car insurance, but i think i can do it.  and i have my son.  and my daughter.

it was hard to shut down and let my "little boy" take charge and do best what a man does.  but i recognize that he is a man now.  my beautiful little boy is grown up and proven once again he will help take care of me.  i can call him no matter what.  he was as exhausted as i was at the end of today, but we got it done.  i have a new dependable car that gets 38 mp gallon rather than 9. 

i took a flying leap with this car payment and increased insurance payment but i need a dependable car.  and my adorable little Seanaroonie car is so great.  going into fall and then winter where the days are so short and the nights so long, and cold, {yes, my little Seanaroonie car has a HEATER!!!} it was what i needed to do.  big girl panties are on.  budget time is heavy duty, but i have my children to turn to, talk to, ask help of.  i am blessed.

peace to all who read.  peace and light {and great help/support/kids} to all who grieve.