Graduation Trip (part 2)

Weeeell, After what felt like a near death experience with the flu which I thought I’d never get over, I did and none too soon because my oldest “child” was graduating college at 51 years of age!!

Tina got married at 17,

and traveled with her hubby some. Knowing he would one day inherit the bicycle business started by his father, he learned German and Italian, since those were the primary manufacturing locations of their products. So, of course they got to go to Europe several times. Not having children yet, she was able to accompany him on these trips.  For some time, we never thought she’d ever start her family.

When she was in her late 20’s, the business was sold and they did begin their family. At age 29 her firstborn child was born, on the same date my eldest boy was  born. After that came son number two…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and sometime after that came son number three.  It appeared that once the ball started to roll, they couldn’t get it stopped.  Suddenly, she found herself pregnant once again.  I asked her if she wished for a girl, but she said, No! “B—‘s only make boys,  (her brother in law has four boys) besides if I had a girl, I don’t know what I’d do with her,  I know what to do with boys.”  Guess what? OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

She had a girl.

Unfortunately, it didn’t go well for her.  Postpartum depression set in and sadly ruined the momentous occasion.  When she confided in me how she believed she should be happy, but wasn’t, I suggested she see her doctor.  Fortunately, I wasn’t the first person to tell her that.  Her mid-wife gave her a referral and in time, she improved.

By now she was 38.

Five years ago, she decided to finish school and go to college.  I shouldn’t have been surprised that she chose nursing  given  her own previous experience, but I was.  Her whole life, she had been more into holistic healing and the organic approach to health. Yet nursing it was.

Little by little other pieces as to why have fallen into place, giving me clues as to how she came to her decision.

You see her goal is to eventually become a travel nurse.  Her kids are all but gone and she’s seen the need in her travels. She’d been to Nepal for a mission trip some years back, so yes, there is definitely a need. She just returned from Tahiti with her father (a graduation gift) and she was told there was a need there.  There’s always a need, regardless of her age anywhere in the world.


First came the pinning and everyone was there.  Little Ally was in a wheelchair and on pain meds still since her trampoline accident had just occurred a few days earlier.

With her family’s support she completed her schooling, so of course her family was thereto support and cheer her on, with the exception of one brother.  He came out earlier for his grandfather’s funeral, which took place during Spring break while his wife was on hers from teaching.  As foster parents, getting away doesn’t come easy, so it was the best they could do. He did bring his oldest son with him, so it was a good visit.

We get to meet her classmates and some “bestie’s” she made while there.  She made a point of not giving away her age at first, not that it ended up mattering. They loved her.

And finally graduation day:


And more family –

And then it finished off with a party at her house, which for some reason was just us… at first.  It seems the graduates make a circuit run of all their friends and stopped in later.  For some reason, probably because it was way past my bedtime, I didn’t get pictures. Oooops!   Yea!!! She graduated with honors and much thanks to the whole family for their support.


A Scenic Route On to Grand Junction, Colorado – Grad trip. part 1

When I drive alone, I seldom stop to smell the roses, mostly because I am alone.  Alone, I drive with purpose.  Unless I’m with Ferguson, I stop little.  Hotels and restaurants that take pets are rare, add to that the heat or how hot a car can get, it is difficult to leave him behind.

I do take a playpen with me and on a previous occasion I had to avail myself of complete strangers to dog sit. I was desperate, so I sized up the vendors of this produce place in Green River and asked if I could leave him in the shade beside them so I could run in and do my business. (Once you’ve worked at a health department, you become a fair judge of character.)  Besides he’s so dang cute, they of course had no problem saying yes. How could you say ‘No’ to this face?

I knew too,Ferg they weren’t likely to pick up the produce and produce stand before I was done to make off with him if they even wanted to, so we were both safe.  I think.

This trip however, we did get my brother in law to sit for us.  He loves Ferguson and Ferguson likes him well enough… or did.  Oh dear, I just thought of something.  I made the mistake of telling him the neighbor said, that our yard was so private you could sun bathe in the nude if you wanted to and I believe he might have. No wonder Ferguson was so happy to see us.  Poor Ferguson. Well, as my husband always says, I am his deity, and that’s true enough.  I found him all those years ago and he has not forgotten.

So, off we go unencumbered.  I missed the pets, true, but it was a nice change.

Unlike me, my hubby does not drive through to anywhere, he’s an explorer by heart, so first stop to Vegas was down route 66. We stop at some antique stores and a bottle park.Rt 66

We get a hotel and walk around.  Russ has not been in some time and got us a room at Circus Circus, thinking that was still cool. It was only okay.  However, we had lots of time and did a great deal of walking.  Saw some incredible sights.  You do know, you go to Vegas to people watch right?

Girl in black

The best picture was one I couldn’t get because I’d totally lost my cool and I was too close to the desired victim, um uh subject to do so gracefully.  I’m sorry, it’s not funny to laugh at other people but…  Okay here’s what happened…

I got into the elevator at Circus Circus and I should have waited for the next one, but I didn’t.  There was a woman already in it with a younger man, only I think they were lovers, but she looked like his grandmother.  She was dressed almost exactly like the young girl above with probably a tad more tattoos all over, less clothes and gaunt, like someone on meth, which could account for how she old looked.

Sad to say, it suddenly hit me as comical and if you’ve ever had to laugh with a mouthful of coke, you know how I was feeling.  It was sad, yet ridiculous.  I wondered what she may have thought she looked like?  Anyway, I was NOT cool at all!  When I finally couldn’t hold it in any longer, I turned to face Russ and burst out with, ” What do you think Becca will do?”   Then I buried my face in his chest…  Suddenly the elevator opened and they went out.  The door closed and he says, “What do you think Becca will do?”

I asked a co-worker once, when a woman came to our counter and leaned over with boobs that just about landed in our laps, if people ever look in the mirror before they go out?  Her reply was, “Of course they do.  They look in the mirror and say, ‘Yup, that’s the look I was going for’, and off they go.”

Not one of my finer moments, I will say.  Perhaps people were people watching me as well. I will say, the trip back was equally colorful.

Utah was having a gloomy day, but even so it was still beautiful as you can see.

70H70red rock

Red rock and A steep grade.hwy70 steeppottery

At one of the rest stops the Native Americans, sell their wares.  Beautiful pottery and jewelry.

Almost there and more to come.

hwy 70-2

The Grands, the Great Grands and a Son

Time to finish my belated trip account to Salt Lake in February, my daughters graduation in May and other summer travel and travails.  LOL


I’m spending time with the grand and great grands and a son right now and what a ride it’s been. I visit them from time to time but not for as long as this trip has been.  In part it is (was) because my son who lives with my grand daughter Becca (his niece), had an unusual seizure and was ill for awhile. With all that she does, he was in no position to help her with their usual routine.  Caring for him and everything else she does was really more than the poor girl could take on alone as you will see as this story progresses.

Normally, I wouldn’t have been there at all as I was scheduled to see them in a May for my other daughter, her aunt’s graduation.  More on that in the sequel.

While I’m there I see that he is on the mend.  Still weak but better.  Apparently his new medication compounded with two jobs triggered something.

After a few days, he and my granddaughter are dancing to some MTV video.

Ian an Becca

It may seem odd, but these two are like brother and sister as their ages are fairly close.  This was their form of exercise and they had a hard time keeping up with the dancers in the video.

Each morning begins with feeding 5 dogs (the three puppies are fed by mommy) followed by putting them out to do their business, yes there’s a grand total of eight!

three labsThree labs, one long hair Chihuahua and  a Pom-chi with three puppies.  The sweet dog with the grey muzzle has since passed away.


My hubby and I still have a dog and cat. Like us they are getting old but we hope they go before either of us does. For two reasons:  One: the thought of them having to be traumatized by new owners at their old age would be devastating to them. As it is we left them with a relative for a week and although they did well, they were clingy when we returned.  It would be akin to abandoning a child or putting them up for adoption. Two:  We want to travel and do other things once my hubby retires and you just can’t take them everywhere, period. At 16, Chloe doesn’t travel well anymore anyway.


Besides the dogs, we had the kids, well there are only two,  who have to be fed and dressed or made sure they are appropriately attired for school. Ally kept donning on her princess or ballerina clothes and combing her hair amid loud protestations was a fete in itself,  not to mention a significant amount of cajoling to even get them to leave the house. Most of that was my fault, as staying at home to be with “Grandma Jo” was their preferred choice. So, we compromised and Grandma Jo went to school for Grandparents day!


(BIG MISTAKE!!!  You do know that small children are petri dishes of bacteria, right? It hit me when I got home and lasted a TWO months!!)

I silently praise God that those days of hustling kids off to school are done, while at the same time, periodic moments of nostalgia with my kids would swoosh over me, remembering those days.  I am sure many a mom reminisces the good times, the hugs and story time.


Then there are Thursdays, Becca calls it the trifecta schedule.

Off to ballet for Ally while Kash takes guitar lessons across the street. While they are in their classes, mommy runs to McDonald’s to grab “dinner” before H.O.C.K.E.Y!!!

A week into my visit, it snowed.  I leave the following Friday, so I was a bit anxious. Is it going to do it again?  I’m not used to driving in that white stuff anymore and visions of me sliding all over the highway haunt my sleep.

snow covered car



My grand daughter lost some days of work when Ian was ill but tonight she had a late shift, so before she leaves I want to clear the driveway for her. Kash helped for all of a minute pushing snow around before he finally sat on a drift and watched grandma do the work.  In all fairness, a shovel full of snow is quite heavy for a seven year old.

In the meantime, Becca wasn’t looking forward to work that day.  She works at a high end hotel Spa as a massage therapist.  Flights had been cancelled the previous day due to the “storm”, which meant they would be busy.  She didn’t mind busy, but she noticed her two last appointments were male and she groaned.  I immediately got the picture. She’s a beautiful girl so I wondered and asked if it happened often that she was propositioned and she said “it happens”. She is a lovely girl, so I wasn’t surprised.Becca

Unfortunately, there is still the stigma that goes with her job.  Massages at this hotel are pricey and she has served many luminaries during their stay. However, these guests on her schedule were not stars or anyone whose names she recognized. As it turns out, it generally went fine.  One gentleman asked her if she dated and she said, “No”, which may have been a veiled invite, but it was not obviously so. Thanks to all the “Me Too” media coverage of sexual harassment, it has been much better, she says.  The second client did not ask her anything so personal but was by nature just plain “obnoxious”. My granddaughter is her own person and quite forthright, only once has she had to turn a client in for misbehaving.  Apparently, he had overstepped his bounds with one of the other girls before and she was afraid to say anything.  Not Becca. Fortunately the hotel backs their staff  to the point of even banning some  very wealthy repeat customers that are discourteous to their staff.  Her co-workers are both male and female and all are treated with equal consideration.

Shortly after I left, besides me getting deathly ill, the kids too got sick.

Before graduation, Ally fell off the trampoline and broke her leg. The trampoline does have a surround netting, so it was unclear what happened.

For a child, whose bones are referred to as “green”, hers was a clean break (?) and such that it required surgery and pins placed.  It was, as you can well imagine, quite traumatic.

I asked her if she’d be getting on the trampoline again.  She said, ” next time, (I guessed that was a yes) I will remember to zip it up better”.  Apparently, she hadn’t zipped it all the way up and fell out the only spot open. She just turned 5.

To be continued…



The Why of Makeup

I know a while back when I had intruders, I’d gotten a bit flustered and overly rattled. In an earlier blog I mentioned all that transpired and not wanting to leave the house without makeup despite how frightened I was.  Let me elaborate.  (For you guys that follow my blog, bear with me – Intruder update at the end.)

Despite my fear, it disturbed me more that in a time sensitive situation, I actually debated whether or not to go to my husbands place of work without makeup. You laugh, but I did spend a few seconds pacing while pondering if I should dab a little something on or by golly, just go.  I’d just gotten out of the shower and was fortunately dressed, though my hair was still damp.  So I did look a bit frayed. I had to laugh about it later of course at how ridiculous that line of thought was in the first place.  For Pete’s sake, what if they’d been at the door or in the house, would I have held my finger up, begging a moment to put my face on before they kill me?  Self: “Come on now” and yes, that was my momentary line of thought.

Yes,  I admit leaving the house without makeup may not be a big deal for most but it’s a big no-no for me. I do make exceptions however because I don’t wear makeup when I go to the gym and work out.  No, No, No. I can’t risk having makeup seep into my now open pores from a lengthy workout.

Years ago, I remember one of my friends stating and she had a way of stating things as fact,  that when you leave your home, you are a reflection of your relationship with your spouse. It didn’t necessarily have to include make up but it was an integral part.  My best friend at the time was very looks conscious, so we were always dressed well and in those days I was married to someone with money, which made it easy to do. So, I got into the habit.

It wasn’t always like that and I don’t think I ever wore much in school either. I know I didn’t wear lipstick. I think my senior picture was touched up by the photographer, even adding a mole I don’t have. JO 033

But after that, keep in mind, all my jobs required that I wear makeup all the time.  This was the late 60’s and image was everything. In those days, I even wore hairpieces despite the fact that I had a ton of hair and I often wore fake eyelashes. Granted, I was a flight attendant and hairpieces were crucial to throwing yourself together on a quick turnaround, fog in or any major event when you didn’t even have time to get to a hotel to freshen up, yet still had to look amazing.

My husband? He could care less. When we first started dating, he said I was the foo-fooiest “girl” he’d ever dated.  He thinks I’m gorgeous no matter what I do and says so all the time, so he’s never been a part of my decision.

I tell you why I do it now.  It makes me feel good and it protects my skin which is even more important now that I’m older.

I wear makeup regardless of what I do. Even when I went rock climbing or skiing and yeah, I’m posed but not intentionally, it just came out that way, I wore makeup.

Years ago, when I started climbing with my hubby, I’d take my little kit with me and slather on sunscreen and foundation and some lip stuff. Well, all of Russ’ lady friends (I came later), all part of our mountain group, would go without. They were barefaced ladies.  It was some time, before Russ said something to me about it. It was never because I held up the show putting the stuff on and I didn’t, but only because I had makeup on and no one else did. I told him it protected my skin, but if he’d like I’d just do the bare thing. I gave it a try and went out with only sunscreen protection. The weather and sun intensity on a 14,000 foot mountain can be quite harsh.

Well, it only took a few trips before I started splotching, which is an olive skin thing anyway.  Brown patches comes with age, but the more sun exposure you get then the worse it gets. After awhile you can also get white splotches, I get both.  Add to that wrinkles.  Let’s face it, sun is good for you but bad for your skin. After awhile, I was getting as wrinkled as the rest of the “girls” in the group.  Nope!  Back it came on.  As it was I was at least ten years younger than them but some looked as old if not older than me because they were so neglectful. My husband couldn’t deny that.

I tell you, I know what I’m doing and I’ve been doing it for years.  I have a skin program for night and day.  My sweet grand daughter put me on a strict face regimen and surprisingly enough it works. I’ve been on it for about four months now and I see a difference.  It’s more than I care to do, but it’s now becoming a habit and I feel naked without it.

So here goes.

First of all.  NEVER GO TO SLEEP WITH YOUR MAKEUP ON, no matter how drunk or tired you may be.  ALWAYS WASH YOUR FACE.

This is me with a clean, washed face and the second photo after my nightly regimen.

Becca has me doing a wash-three-times routine. Once with a cleansing oil (to break up the makeup), the second a foaming wash (rinse after both and pat dry) and the third a dry scrub (to exfoliate dead skin), which doesn’t have to be done each time, then rinse. Then I apply at night Retin-A for the brown spots and a Vitamin C oil followed by a moisturizer. (I’m currently using a toner because I still had some left, but it’s not required) I use a combination of olive oil, coconut and argan.  I generally make my own using a store bought generic (organic) base and just add those aforementioned ingredients.  I play around with all kinds of stuff and I change things out. I mix product all the time, so it keeps my face guessing.

Well, I didn’t intend to do a beauty spot, but as you can see me already made up, I don’t really look that different, but I know I’m protected and if you notice, for my age (72) I don’t have a lot of chicken skin.

In the morning, I just freshen with toner and Vitamin C oil, a small dot of eye creme, moisturizer and a light coat of foundation and a dot of blush.  I may add eyeliner on special occasions, but I don’t usually have to because I had my eyeliner/brows tattooed years ago even though it has faded some. I don’t wear mascara or eyelashes. Too much trouble. So really all the make up does is just even out the skin tone some.

Both photos are un-retouched and the one on the right is before I started her prescribed workout. As you can see my skin appears brighter.  My hair was darker on the right as well but I started highlighting to camouflage the grey.  I know I should embrace it but when you’re married to a much younger guy, it’s hard to give way to that yet.

FYI, The reason I chose highlights over dark color is because there are carcinogenic ingredients in dark color and none in the lighteners.  After my lumpectomy and the high incidences of cancer in our family, I opted for the light.  I noticed recently that my grey is taking over and in a few years I’ll let it. I’m not ashamed of being old.  Heck!  I wouldn’t have given away my age if it was a big deal.


Update on the “homeless” intruders.  We had another a week later.  My husband was home and yelled at him to not trespass. The young man said there were others after him. If these are outlaws as the police surmised then who knows what is transpiring there. We got a better look at them through binoculars and they are not your typical “homeless”.  These guys are not only wanted by the law but the police say their camps are booby trapped and it is common knowledge that it could be a drug outlet.  Because these guys are well groomed, I’m inclined to believe that they may actually live elsewhere but do their “business” down there. Purely speculation though. The police do nothing but roust them from time to time and have been ordered not to go there at night.

The police told us that we have the second highest number of homeless in the county because of the many hand outs and outreach programs available to them here.  He also stated that many are coming in from other states because of that.  Again, those at the bottom of my hill, in the canyon are different, so I’m not talking about what you imagine homeless are.

I have no problem helping those who have hit on hard times.  In the old days that’s what close knit churches and communities did.  Today, it’s rare that people even know one another that well. Sad but true.

In any case, this blog was a departure of my norm, so I hope you enjoyed it.


I Want a Happy Ending

I know y’all will think I’m silly, but I just finished (binge watched) two popular series, and I don’t know, maybe I’m done with series.

Is it me or are the sad endings a reflection of the mood of the people or mankind in general?  I mean, this has been going on for quite some time, so don’t blame this on Trump because all these series ended pre-Trump.  I had to add that because I just know there’s someone out there thinking it. LOL

Anyway, I find that as I peruse Netflix and Hulu or Starz, all I find is prolific offerings of horror and dark themed fare.   I remember telling my husband that very thing several years ago when Blockbuster was still around.  There would be rows and rows of horror and mayhem and very few uplifting films out there.

I WANT THE HAPPY ENDING and like Vivian says in Pretty Woman: “I WANT THE FAIRY TALE”!!!!

I was happy Vivian at least got her chance for the fairy tale and glad it ended like that.

I want you to know I cried when Merlin couldn’t save King Arthur!!!!

And… how sad I was when the brothers Damon and Stefan in Vampire Diaries couldn’t get their happy endings together.  WHY? WHY? WHY?

These are fairy tales to begin with for Pete’s sake, so why can’t they end happily ever after?


Is it because we no longer believe in them?  Have we lost all faith that happiness is beyond our grasp?

Is that why the dark is always winning and overshadowing good?  Are films a reflection of our true mood?  On The Walking Dead, they go from one disastrous event to overcome another. At first it was enjoyable because it showed the tenacity of the human spirit to bond and overcome, but not anymore.  Now it is a series of futile events, one after another.  That anyone wants to live is beyond me.  Is that how people view our world today?  Do they really feel there is no hope?  Is it really always going to be about people fighting for a presumed right over another?  Everyone thinking they are right and everyone else wrong?

Isn’t that really what The Walking Dead is about and saying?  My favorite scene was in one of the earlier seasons when they work together to clear out the prison.

The later the people work together to survive planting crops.  What’s wrong with that?  They still had problems, like when the contaminated pig caused an outbreak and people began to turn.  But, I guess no one really wants to see a “people working together” in a series, that might be too boring.

Instead it becomes true to life.  Reality check, it is “man ruling man to their detriment”.

It is how we are today where so many groups and factions who think they have the answers on how I should live my life and/or find fault with my choices or me insisting my “choice” should take precedence over yours, is my right?  Entitlement!!!

I don’t know about you but I get tired of people deciding for me how I should think and say things.  I am tired of political correctness.  I don’t even know how to refer to my own ethnicity anymore, afraid I might be offending someone.  Is it okay for me to say, Mexican or am I Latina or Hispanic and since I’m not all one thing or another what am I?  You know what?

STOP THE WORLD, I WANT TO GET OFF!!!  I’m just a person.

Is happiness a brief moment before it is torn from us?

Definition of happy ending: “a happy ending mainly consists of their survival and successful completion of the quest or mission”  Soooooo, did Merlin succeed? He was there to help King Arthur be the great king that he was. That’s not how I imagined it. I saw Camelot …

He didn’t win there either.

But, I want this:


Perhaps, I too need an escape. I keep scrolling through my preferred streaming subscriptions and finally settle. I like the fairy tale. For every win there’s a loss.

And, yes, I do know not all fairy tales ended happily ever after.


When is it too late for therapy or is it ever too late?

For me, a lot of resolution has occurred, not only from therapy but also from sharing it on my blog universe. Therapy can be helpful, it was for me.


I’m just sorry that I was in my mid 40’s before I got help for the first time. When the events of my second divorce crashed down on me, I was a mess.  You don’t realize how sometimes the horribleness of your past can affect your present if you don’t have the right tools to deal with it.  Those events had tainted my perceptions and reactions.  At first my therapy sent me over the edge, because there was so much there. I didn’t realize it though and quit seeing the counselor.  I had opened the wound but never finished cleaning, disinfecting and dressing it.  Yes, I wanted to die, but I knew I could not do so directly.  One evening, in my darkest hour, I was fortunate that a group of young people saw my state of mind and would not leave my side. I was on top of a mountain trail in Colorado where one “accidental” step would have been all there was to ending it. I sat on the edge contemplating it for some time. I told them I was okay, but they stopped their partying to help me, a stranger.  One young man in particular, stayed by my side and talked to me at great length. En force, they would not let me drive my own car off the mountain, but in a caravan, drove it to a coworkers home who they verified would take me in. He was someone I always felt it easy to talk to.  You can imagine his surprise when I called and landed on his doorstep with my entourage.  These young people, half my age, made sure I was safe and confirmed he was okay taking me in.  My startled workmate/friend had no clue what to do with or for me but agreed to, if nothing else, just be there.  I’m sure it terrified the hell out of him. The next day, I made an appointment.

It would be years later that a different form of therapy unexpectedly dug down even further.  It was then that I was able to purge all that gunk.

It was frightening for a time. I had mixed feelings about it, somewhere between that of butterflies inside, a feeling of impending doom or dread.  I was even a bit nauseous at times or ramped up like I’d had too many Red Bulls (which I never drink but did once), but I got over it. Digging deep is not for the feint of heart.


A friend and I share the commonality of abuse but it was something we never talked about, ever. It has been vaguely alluded to on occasion but never formally. To be honest, even then I might not have picked up on it at all if a third party had not told me it existed.  Now, I see it and because I now see it, I wonder if it still haunts him.  This friend is amazing , but perhaps for some reason prefers to let sleeping dogs lie. What’s past is past and can’t be changed, and it can’t.

What can change is how it affects you and your relationship with others.

One of my sisters only now is questioning therapy. She’ll be 70 this year. I told her it was never too late for resolution. Was I right in saying so?  I was in my 60’s the last time I saw a therapist and quite frankly, I didn’t feel the need to keep digging further after that.  What we found was ugly enough and sapped every bit of strength I had in me. When I blogged about it a few years back, it was as if the rawness had been cauterized.  I wept passionately with every word I put down but it was healing.  I was terrified as I hit “publish” not knowing how it would be received but comments and support poured in from all directions, it was phenomenal. After that, it was, as if with their help, the weight was lifted. I realized then I don’t need to go there anymore.


I was talking to someone recently and saw how bogged down she was with her past.  She is drowning in it.  She see’s a therapist who medicates and there is no improvement, in fact after she “doses”, she seems worse.  Yes, meds may help, but if they aren’t working, try something else.  Tell your therapist and if you have and this is what you get then I think you need a new therapist.

One of the bloggers that wrote me shortly after I posted my earlier blog is stuck.  I can’t fix that.  For years before, I felt like I had to pour out all the details of my past and share my brokenness with each new person I met.  You don’t. If you’re smart, you stay away from toxic people and I was toxic. It took the first therapist to teach me I don’t need to share my life history.  Its nobody’s business.  At this stage of my life at 45, I thought I was not “young”, though when I look back now, I was still young.

A person can sometimes choose to wallow or drown in their own mire of “stuff” or find a fresh current to take a ride on.  Choose to choose your path.


When I say that, I’m not talking about anyone who suffers from acute or chronic depression.  The last thing a person who is truly depressed needs is to be told to “get over it.”  I hate that.  How insensitive. My ex didn’t get it. I asked him at one point, “what if I had cancer?”  He said, “it’s not cancer”.  Cancer is an illness of the body. Depression is a form of mental illness.  The reality of it is, it’s not that easy to get over and a person who is depressed must sometimes use every ounce of their being to will themselves to get help. Some never do.

Getting someone to help you, a support system that does not judge you is important.  People will and can get frustrated when you appear stuck or not making any progress to help yourself. They aren’t on that road with you so it’s hard for them to understand. There are many people who may want to help but they just don’t know what to do. In general, people don’t want to meddle or make an enemy of you if they did. Most folks are generally at a loss, they care but recognize they can’t “fix” you or your problems.


Tools and how to use them can come from therapy.  I learned that we all have triggers.  I had to take note of my triggers.  Yes, there are triggers.  People can be triggers. I will admit that when my mother passed away, I was able to thrive. I loved mother but she was mentally ill and I grew up thinking that having my buttons pushed and being in a state of emotional turmoil was “normal”.  But deep down inside I longed for peace. Some days with her were better than others but even knowing she had schizophrenia didn’t help me to not react to her jabs.  Knowing only allowed me to put away the hurt and love her despite her broken state and to care for her in the end. I consoled myself knowing God would fix her. It also helped me to help my sister to shelve the hurt in order to take care of her. At times it was extremely painful, but we did it.  After living apart most of our adult life, we healed and bonded together helping our mom.  Learn the tools and what works for you.

Things, like food, alcohol  and places can be triggers. People consuming them when you can’t can be a trigger. Avoid them until you are stronger. For some it can be as simple as that.  Drugs may not be “triggers” per se, but they can be if they are not doing what is intended. If I eat too many sweets or drink alcohol, it can cause me to dive the following day. In that state I might be more sensitive, irritable or emotional and/or it can affect how I deal with things. If I get this overwhelming sadness, I have to think what it was I ate too much of the day before that may have thrown my body off.  I am fortunate that I’ve not had a downer like I did that one time.


Seeing a doctor in addition to a therapist can help as well.  I came to find out that part of my issues were due to my being pre-menopausal. HORMONES, ick!  Not only did I have this gunk to clear out but I had hormone issues as well that were hindering my ability to keep those things buried as they’d always been.  You heard right, buried.  Just because you talk about things doesn’t mean they aren’t buried.  They keep coming up because they haven’t been faced or dealt with, hence they are still buried. When you hear someone babbling,  they’ve got issues.

I want to add, I’m not a therapist, licensed or otherwise, I can only make suggestions based on my own experiences and observations of my track record. Did I benefit from therapy?  Absolutely!  Any symptoms of depression related to my abuse is no longer a burden. I know it’s there but it does not define me.  Today, I am healthy, sane?, unburdened and happy.  Do I get depressed? Sometimes. I’m a seasonal depressive which is deal-able.  If the sun is shining, you know I’m happy. If it’s not, I’m probably in front of the TV, binge watching The Vampire Diaries or some such while eating bon bons.(do they even make them anymore?)


Was this blog written because of the two celebrities who committed suicide recently?  No, I started this some time ago but never completed it. I finished it today because some one dear to me, told me yesterday, she wanted to die and I felt helpless.

And yes, I will be proactive, but more importantly I intend to “be there” for her.

As for the startled friend?  I married him. We’ve been married 26 years now and he’s still my rock and my bestie.class reunion



Michael Kelly

Leukemia is a disease I seldom hear of anymore.

There are a number of other cancers still talked about, but I haven’t heard the word leukemia as much as it once was.   Has it been given another name? Is it still the number one cancer in children?

The answer to that is yes and no it has not been given another name, at least not according to NCI. Leukemia is still number one in addition to its variations, followed by brain cancer. See link for others listed.

When I was young, I never completely grasped what it meant.  Polio was the big thing when I was growing up. In our day we were given live polio vaccines and invariably one of my classmates would succumb to this horrible debilitating disease in varying degrees.  My friend Gloria’s little sister was confined to a wheelchair. She died at an early age, but still managed to have a somewhat fulfilling life, got married and held down a job. My friend Sally was another, she wore braces on her legs and used crutches most of the time.  As she got older, she could sometimes go without.  It always amazed me at fast she could move, stiff legged and all. Then there was Leon, a boy I dated at one time whose only sign of it was poor posture.

As I got older every now and again I’d hear the word “leukemia” spoken in hushed tones when someone’s child or a relative had come down with it, but it was usually done so furtively as not to frighten us, I guess. At times I wished I could come down with this mysterious illness or something like it so that I could be fawned over but I never did.  Little did I know.

My first experience with it was when a very dear friend of my daughter was stricken with leukemia.

I was working at the junior high school  my daughter and her friends attended at the time.  I met Michael earlier on or at least before I was assigned to work with him. Michael was actually my daughter’s best friend’s boyfriend but he became her best friend as well. Michael was also the most popular boy in school.  This kid was friendly, smart and cute to boot. Everyone loved him.  That was in 7th grade.

I always thought it odd that her best friend’s boyfriend called our home as often as he did, but she insisted there was nothing to it.  What was odder still was that it didn’t matter if my daughter was or wasn’t around because he was just as happy to just chat with me. We talked about so many things.  It tickled me. He already knew what he was going to do with his life and was so full of energy and promise.

My job at the school was to tutor kids who were seriously ill and had missed a great deal of school because of treatments, doctor appointments and such.  I kept them up with their studies. So, you can imagine my shock when his name came across my desk at the beginning of the next year.  I’d not heard he was ill.  I was told he’d gone away for the summer with his family.  Apparently, I was misinformed.

I don’t know when he first received the diagnosis but that summer, at 13, his chemo was started. He came in late the following school year. When he first showed up back to school, he was wearing a wig as was commonly done in those days. He walked through the halls keeping his head low and avoided all his friends. As much as he liked me, he didn’t want to be treated special and refused my help with his studies.  He kept up fine though. He made it clear he didn’t want anyone feeling sorry for him and because of that he avoided eye contact.  He broke off with his friends at first and pretty much kept to himself. As his health improved at the end of the school year, he looked so much better. When he learned his leukemia had gone into remission and as his hair had grown out we were starting to see a glimmer of his old self starting to get back into the groove of being himself. He let his friends back in and we began to talk again, but never as before.  It was obvious he was still considerably more subdued and the sparkle that was Michael didn’t shine as bright, but there was hope and he perked up.

Too soon it came and went. Sadly, by the end of summer he died.  His mom, God bless her, knew we were pals and gave us a call.  We and the whole school were devastated.   She’d not known how much time, he and I had talked on the phone before he was ill, only that he was friends with Tina.  I would have some lovely conversations with his mom as I shared with her our little chats.  In the end, we laughed some and we would cry more.

Over the years, I lost track of his family  so I don’t have a picture of him.

As kids do, they move on and most would eventually forget this young man who once lead the pack, made them laugh and made them cry. That was nearly 40 years ago, yet some of us didn’t forget.  Every now and then Tina and I remember.

It’s funny how some kids, some people for that matter, can leave their mark on you in just a short amount of time. I would have loved to have seen him grow up to be the man I know he would have been, yet of all of Tina’s classmates, I followed none and barely remember a few.  Except for Michael.



Places to Donate if you so choose: St. Jude, City of Hope, and the American Cancer Society