Milestones

It’s Been A Year

It’s been a year since I got the midday call from my dad on a Monday, that Mum was on her way back to the hospital.  This time for trouble breathing and subsequent low blood pressure and low heart  rate.

It’s been a year since the last time we laughed together. Watching Wheel of Fortune in the ICU, and laughing over her insistence that Nurse Steve was Doctor Steve, but if you asked him, he would say that he usually cleans the floors.  I went to the hospital after work, like I usually would do when she was admitted. Didn’t matter if it was Lawrence General or Brigham and Womens,  I would head in after work.  It got to be the norm, even if it was just for a half hour.  The plan was to get her temporary pace maker put in until they could stabilize her for the permanent pace maker the next day.

It’s been a year since my mother had to have her temporary pace maker put in . I went to the hospital after work as usual.  She was sedated when I got there from the surgery and the nurse said he was going to make sure she was comfortable .  We thought things were good, so we left for the night.

Its been a year since my sister Rachel and I went to dinner  after the hospital.  We went to Burtons in North Andover. We both got some sort of Thai bowl and substituted chicken instead of some sort of Tofu type product.  It was quite delish.  We ate, dinner was uneventful and we said our goodbyes for the evening .

It’s been a year since I got the call on rt 93 south right before the 128 split.  Rach said we needed to get back to the hospital now.  I flew off the highway and turned around and drove like a madwoman back to the hospital.  I remember I kept telling myself = ” As long as I am not there yet, she is still alive” Like it was a Schrodingers cat situation.  I just kept repeating it.

It’s been a year since I arrived at the hospital and found my dad in the parking lot.  We made our way inside to the ER since that was the only door that was open.  I was greeted by our friend/sister Andrea .  I will never forget the hug she gave me.  She wrapped herself around me and we held hands as we were escorted to the ICU.

It’s been a year since I felt the stinging of my tears as I walked the hall to the ICU to find my mother in shock.  I cannot shake the memory of it.  I remember her face and the events like it happened 10 minutes ago. I remember crouching down at the foot of her bed and sobbing and thinking how can this be real?

It’s been a year since the family assembled , rallied in hopes of a positive out come.  It is a real testament to my mother and what an amazing family we have .   Sitting together outside the cardiac cath lab as they tried to save her.

It’s been a year since the doctor came out and told us our only hope is to send her to Boston since she coded for 10 minutes and there was not much else they could do for her there. My dad would of moved mountains if it meant for a chance for Mum to live.

It’s been a year since the group of us held each other as we waited for her to be returned to her room so we could see her.  Our group was 11 strong so we could not all wait in the ICU, we were relegated to the waiting room outside of ICU.

It’s been almost a year since the nurse came down to get my dad and inform us that she keeps coding.

It’s been almost a year since we made the decision that she had had enough.  And the next time she coded we would let her rest.

It’s been almost a year since we told her it was okay to go .  And that we would be okay. It was  the hardest thing my heart has had to do , telling her it was okay to go when all I wanted was for her to stay.

It’s been almost a year since I held her hand and kissed her head and told her how much I love her.

It’s been almost a year since it was August 2nd, 2017 at 12:15 am , when she left that body that jailed her for over 30 years , and became the best guardian angel any of us could ever hope for.

It’s been almost a year since my heart was immeasurably broken .

Not a day goes by that I do not think of her and all the joy she brought to our lives.  My heart hurts and I miss her so terribly.  I only hope I made her proud and she knew how much we loved her.

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Hug your loved ones tight and make every day count.

As Mum lived by =Don’t Stop Believing !!!

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Daily Rants and Raves

Surprised on a Sunday

Today started like any other day. Woke up , sore as hell.  Exhausted even though I went to bed early.  Hubs got me a coffee, which was wonderful.

I had the thought that I wanted to go see Mum today . I haven’t been to see her in a while, which I feel terrible about. So I figured ,its warmer today than it has been, so today is the day to take a ride over to the cemetery.  I did some tidying up and asked Maddie if she wanted to go for a ride with me.

I called my dad to see if he would be around, figuring that I would stop by to see him after we stopped over to see Mum.  He told me he was on his way to Salisbury to look for some snowy owls.  You see, my parents have been birders my whole life.  When we were kids we would all reluctantly be packed into the car to go look for birds.  My parents , bribed us in their own way.  To keep us interested, different birds were worth different amounts of money.  Hawks got you $.25, Owls were $.50 and eagles, well eagles were $1.00!!  I got blessed with really good eyesight.  While,my parents and sisters have all had to wear glasses, my vision is still very good.  In fact, I acquired the nickname ” Eagle Eyes” when I was a kid.

Maddie loves animals, loves owls .  We keep talking about how Papa will take her to find some owls.  So,my dad suggested that we meet him to go see if we could see some owls or anything else we could see.  We are on our way and he calls me to say he has found a snowy owl.  Not sure if it will be there when we arrive, but we are going to try .  Maddie and I drive over to the Salisbury reservation and meet my dad.  We pull up and I can see his telescope all set up next to his car, facing the marsh.

He tells us where the owl is , its pretty far out, but he tells me where to look, and I can see the little white spot without the binoculars or telescope. I look with the binoculars and there he is, a snowy owl sitting on top of a wooden structure in the marsh.  I show Maddie where to look and it takes a little bit, but finally she sees her first Snowy Owl. The look on her face was so precious. It was exciting for me too, when I was a kid, I had only seen 1 snowy owl.

Its low tide and we decide to check out the seals.  The seals are always on these rocks in the mouth of the river right before it goes out to the ocean.  You can usually catch them lying around with their big fat bellies . Excited due to low tide and the fact we have not only binoculars , but the telescope, its going to be awesome to see all the seals.

The seals were my favorite part of the birding trips when I was a kid.  I wanted to be a marine biologist . I wanted to be the person swimming with the killer whales at SeaWorld.  I gave up that dream a long time ago, but I was horrified to learn of the gruesome conditions the whales were subjected to at SeaWorld. Check out the Blackfish documentary if you don’t know what I am referring to .  However, my boys have reminded me that I could still be a marine biologist , I could still go back to school.

We head over to see the seals, and what the hell -there are NO fricken seals!!!  Never had I gone in the winter to see the seals and there has been none. It was such a let down.  Honestly, it was very strange.

We then traveled over to the Parker River Refuge on Plum Island to see if we might be able to see some more birds.    One of the tell tale signs of something to see is when you see a bunch of cars and they are not in a parking lot.  Sometimes they are lined up on the side of the road or parked in a weird way.  We find one of these spots.  We pull up and ask a man with binoculars if there is something to see.  He says there are 2 snowy owls.  One on a post near us and one on an Osprey post further away.  The closer one was pretty easy to see .  Maddie was able to see it.

 

Maddie checking out the owl
Maddie checking out the owl

We then went to see the other owl we were told about and lo and behold, sitting atop of the Osprey post was the owl.  It was pretty cool.  We decide to drive to the end of the island and see if there is anything else.  My dad spys a little white spot in the marsh, I take a look and to me it looks a blob of snow.Dad takes a look and says yup its an owl, I can see it eyes. I couldn’t.  But when it started to fly that kinda sealed the deal that it was an owl, lol.

We saw a total of 4 Snowy Owls today.  It was really special for me and I know it was for Maddie.   After we left Salisbury we stopped at Dunkins before heading to Plum Island.  While waiting, my dad turned and said to me ” you said you wanted to see Mum today, and you did”  I hadn’t looked at it like that but he is totally right.  My whole life looking for birds, I have only ever seen 1 Snowy Owl, and today we see 4.  Call it what you want, but I think it was a sign from her. A really great surprise today .

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Things to Think About

You May Say I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one …. 

Momma was too . 


My mother was probably the biggest dreamer I know . Always having hope that her dreams would come true . I’d like to think that all her dreams came true , but I’m sure they didn’t . I mean if her dream was to be the bestest momma ever and the bestest nana ever and just the greatest human to ever live – then mission accomplished! 

Sunday we started the process of going through Mums things . Gut wrenching doesn’t even describe it . It was fucking awful . It would of been no matter if it was a month since she has been gone or 10 years . I hated it . 

As long as I can remember my mother was always dreaming of a better way , dreaming of her own business so she could contribute. She did the usual , you know the home party route , Princess House , Party Lites , she did Avon . In fact , it was when my mother was canvassing the neighborhood selling Avon that friendships were forged with our neighbors . Now , 34 years later , we are still friends . That’s magic . 

My mother had a cross stitch business for a large part of my life as her health would allow . She would sew these amazing samplers and then she would stain them to look antique. I would go with her to craft fairs . She was so talented , it blows my mind . She had done an after school program that I helped her with . She made cross stitch kits for these kids . They all loved it . Honestly I had forgotten about it until I was looking for a cross stitch kit for my daughter and I to do together . I , myself haven’t done it for probably 20-25 years, but I want to give it a whirl . And my daughter wants too a lot . So the search continues for a kit . 

Amongst my mothers things were a plethora of crafting items . From frames to jewelry making tools and beads to jewelry she wanted to sell , and as I think of it , it makes me so sad . She had all these ideas , probably thousands of ideas and she never really got to see them through .  

It just breaks my heart that her body would  not allow her to fulfill her dreams . I hope she didn’t look at it that way , but I can’t help but think of it like that . 

All of this has me really thinking about my dreams and what I want out of my life . What am I passionate about ? What do I want to do in my life ? I mean I got very lucky with 3 healthy kids , but what do I want ? For me ? To fulfill me ? I think as parents we get so caught up in our kids that we forget about ourselves and what made us who we are to begin with . 

So , for me , I want to get back into writing . I have story ideas that I need to bring to life.


I love writing . I always have and it’s something I have been going over and over . In another moment when Mum sent me a sign , I was watching the Simpson’s last night ( yes , I watch the Simpson’s , don’t be hatin’) and it was the episode where Moe becomes a writer and gets to go to Word Loaf . Check it out below : 

Moe N Lisa Simpsons
I looked at it as it’s an episode about writing . And I have been searching to find myself and how I honor my mother . So , I took it as a sign . 

I think the way to honor her the best is to just be me and not stop dreaming . 

And now that I’ve got some star power up there , maybe some of these dreams will come true . 

Don’t stop dreaming 

Don’t stop Believing 

Don’t stop Swimming