Sneaking in while she’s not looking

Last week was hairy, stressful, and fraught with challenges.

I’ve had a difficult relationship with my dad since he disowned me a few years ago. That sounds weird, right? Why am I spending time with someone who disowned me? That’s a long story about my son’s pace maker, and my controlling step mother who wanted attention over the situation. It was the final straw of a long string of narcissistic behavior, and I put my foot down. So now I’m out of the family.

My dad and I talk on the phone occasionally. But that’s been the extent of our contact for the last few years except one brief visit in February of 2017.

He’s in declining health. His wife was needing a break from taking care of him, and my brother was going in for a few days and asked if I wanted to visit while she was away.

When I got in town, I was instructed to go to the main gate of the community where he lives to pick up a gate pass. When I pulled up, the attendant was adorable and was so excited that I was there as a “surprise” for my dad. I got my gate pass and headed to his condo. I parked in the driveway and called my brother to make sure it was ok to go up.

The last time I saw my dad was over a year ago, and his wife would only give me 30 minutes with him, and hovered without giving us a chance to speak without her in the room. It was a terrible visit.

As I got to the stairs to his 2nd story unit, my brother came out on the porch so exited. “Dad, look who’s here!”

My dad made his way to the porch, way too thin, a little too shaky, but happy to see me.

A surreal moment. He cried, and kept staring at me. He kept calling me beautiful, and apologizing for staring. He also kept saying ‘I’m so happy for how you’ve turned out’. I’m not sure what that means to him, and I really didn’t want to ask. I just held his hand and asked about him.

I cried, my brother cried, I think the neighbors cried. It was a weepy community by the end of the day.

My dad is suffering from dementia and Parkinson’s, but mostly I think he suffers from boredom, inactivity, and a controlling wife.

We ate, laughed, reminisced, but he got tired quite often, and he would nap. We tried not to wear him out.

When his wife called on Wednesday night, he covered for me, and didn’t tell her I was there. That shocked me.

The Jig was up on Thursday, and he didn’t remember to keep my presence from her. The trouble was soon on, and my brother did a magnificent tap dance session to calm her down.

I left on Friday happy to have had some time with him. I may have to continue to sneak in, and it might be more difficult next time, but I’m up to it.

An old Polaroid from 1979.

Tony-Good Guy. “Good Guy” because my dad has always been a very snappy dresser. He always had on his Gucci. Gucci shoes and belt had the GG on them. If anyone ever asked what the GG stood for, he never said Gucci, he said it meant “Good Guy”. He will always be Tony-Good Guy to me.

Coming up on an anniversary

It’s been 3 years since my mother passed at the end of this month.  

Do I remember if it was the 28th, 29th, 30th.  No. My brother does.  It was harder on him. 

I had a difficult relationship with my mom. As often as I would try to reconcile, she would change the rules.

Her message to me was that I was never enough.  She had expectations, and I could never fill them.  She was the ultimate victim, utterly disappointed.

I came across a passage in an article about Narcissitic Aging. It hit home with me, and all I could feel was sympathy.

She missed out on so much……Especially with her grandsons.  Her last night on earth, She was surrounded by her last two friends from tennis, a well meaning, but co-dependent couple. Their role as her care giver/martyr was everything they wanted. It was what she wanted too. 

The very last time I left her prestigious gated community and saw it fading in my rear view mirror, I never went back. A door that needed closing clicked shut, and it was good. 

I did my best.  In the grand scheme of things, I can live with that. When I read this passage, it made me sad for her, but she ultimately made her choices.  I believe she’s in a better place, and free from the torment of nothing ever being enough. 

‘An ironic twist of fate…

Their enemy will be their memories.

They can never undo what they’ve done.

They can’t escape their thoughts

When they find themselves alone

Unloved and abandoned.

When their evil has been uncovered,

The truth will pursue them,

Wherever they go.’

 Anne McCrea


Foggy days-daze

Ever have one of those ‘foggy’ days, when thoughts are fleeting and lost?

Yesterday I was in a foggy daze.

I got lost.

I got found.

I messed up every time I turned around.

It’s not me.  That’s not who I am.

Who is it then?

Shaking off the fog, I was watching myself as if I was someone else.

I had to laugh at myself to keep from a dark and sinister condemnation.

What is worse then tearing your own self down?

My big challenge:  to speak to myself, about myself, in caring and supportive tones.

That’s not easy.

But…..(don’t you just cringe at the but?)

BUT!  I am sharp, well thought out, decisive, articulate, funny, resourceful, practical, forgiving, and kind.  I am confident, capable, well able to get from point A to point B without getting lost.  I see detail, and have a great memory.  I don’t fail, I learn.  I can do this, even when it’s foggy.

Do you ever have to stop internal dialogue?  How do you turn it around?IMG_2216

image from Pinterest.


A Jane Austin Saturday Afternoon

In the early nineties I found the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice on TV.  I immediately got the VHS 5 tape book set of the movie.

Photo: A&E Pride and Prejudice

It’s my go to stay-at-home-alone company.

I did upgrade to the 10th anniversary DVD version.  I’ve almost worn it out.

I’ve tried other versions. They have their charm.  It’s just the time limitations that keep them just blah for me.  I gravitate back to the 1995 A&E because it takes the time to explore so much more of the story.  I love Lidia.  I love Mrs. Bennet.  I am enamored with the relationship between Lizzie and Darcy.  Kittie, Mary, Jane, and Lidia are given more emphasis.  Mr. Collins, The Colonel, Lady De Berg, Miss Bingly and her attraction to Mr. Darcy!  There is so much witty dialogue that has come to life within this movie that I didn’t get reading the book.

The drama, the social tension, the weak characters that appear to succeed while you are pulling for the plucky ones.  Poor Kittie..she is a mess, and so far behind Lidia, poor dear.  

My favorite scene is when Darcy finds Elizabeth at his home taking a tour (I don’t get that, but I digress).  When she leaves in the carriage, and turns to look at him….I could only gasp.  To have the man you love look at you with such intensity, why wouldn’t you jump out of the carriage?  That look.  That look.  I wouldn’t have left, ever.

Photo:  A&E Pride and Prejudice. 

Today…I’m grateful for time to cook, and enjoy my favorite movie version of Pride and Prejudice.

I’m grateful enough for time, just time to be just me.

Do you have a favorite version?  A favorite character?  Do you ever recite a witty line from Jane Austen and get a weird stare?
Share please!


Is there a place?

Is there a time?

How to express the righteous anger of WTF?

I’m not sure I’m up to another manipulation.


What do you do?

How do you cope?

What do you feel?

How do you overcome?

Please share….I need your input.

Sometimes, we just don’t think. Kintsukuroi


The last 60, no the last 360 days have handed me hurdle upon hurdle. Break upon break. I’m not saying others don’t have it worse than I. I’m just dealing with what has past, and looking forward thinking of what it has taught me.

When I saw this on Pinterest it spoke to me like nothing has in a while.

Instead of looking at the wounds as ugly scars to be hidden, I now look at them as the wounds that have created a more beautiful soul.

One who is more thoughtful. One who is more choosy in phrasing a request, or a correction. One who isn’t ashamed of what I’ve gone through.

I’ve thought about the power of my words to uplift and heal, or tear down and harm.

Sorry isn’t enough, neither is holding a grudge. But The One who put us together can, through the beauty of forgiveness make us more beautiful for being broken.

What are you doing to let go and be put back together in a more beautiful way?

Facing forward

One step at a time, cleaning up and getting prepared for tomorrow.


There is much to do. To leave the business of death, and move forward into life, living, loving, jobs, and those who care for me.

Tomorrow, I take a few minutes for me. Rebuild my base, and look forward to the future.

Today I am grateful for progress, my loving husband, half a cleaned house, a plan for the estate sale, and a new view on life.

I’m also grateful for simple things, and the plans to make our life simple and easy.

As you go forward into your week, hug up everyone you love. Give someone a smile. You never know what they are going through.

My rear view mirror.


The thing about organized religion, and religious people, they mean well, they just don’t always have all the facts.

As Paul Harvey used to say….”now for the rest of the story.”

The funeral today for my mother was filled with the “dereguerre” of songs, scripture, tears, and well wishes.

I should have known that there was a final “shoe” left to drop. It dropped at the graveside.

My mother left this world with her dissatisfaction, criticism, and complaints of me on her lips. Not just to her friends, but to her pastor in her directions to him regarding her funeral.

I had rationalized as a cancer patient tends to lash out at those they care for at the end. My mothers issues have always been consistent for the last 35 years. I should have known better than to join the rationalization party.

The final good bye at the gravesite, and the preacher decides to “interfere” (yes, that was his word) and preach at me on why my mother didn’t want me around her. He was full of rhetoric of my mother’s loving spirit, generosity, tenacity, and joy. He was tearful as he talked about how she cared so much for her caregivers and concern over their ability to work after she passed. What would they do when she was gone?

He never said a word about how much she loved her family. He never said a word about her grandchildren, siblings, nieces, nephews, or children.

The funeral director Roy asked me if we would like to stay while the grave was lowered into the ground. I said “yes”. My brother was not comfortable, but agreed to stay with me till the end. All of the family ended up staying, they weren’t happy with watching the coffin lowering into the ground.

Just the family was at the graveside service. 1 uncle, 2 cousins, 2 sons, 1 brother, my husband, other spouses for some. A small gathering of those who saw it through till the end.

As the technicians began the process of lowering the casket, I alone stood up.

The last tribute to my mother. I took my stand in respect. I let the preacher hug me before he left. I raised my hand to the sky and waived.

I know you are not in the ground.

I know what you instructed the preacher to do. He warned me that he would say what you instructed, I forgive you. The fact that I have remained in your life, and stood by your grave is a living testimony of the power of forgiveness and the love of Christ in my life.

It is amazing what most people miss….even if it is right in front of them.

Today I am grateful for the people who know me, get me, love me, correct me, and hang in there as I come off this long roller coaster ride.

Goodbye to my mother

It is the end.

The 4 year battle with leiomyosarcoma is over. Diagnosed at stage 4 with masses in the abdomen, lungs, and brain, we have finished, and my mother is home.

Radiation, chemo, surgery, and experimental studies at MD Anderson.

At 2:10 this morning, my mother let go of this earthly realm, and went home.

One thing that she and I could agree on was her winning options. “Philippians 1:22-23 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. ”

We agreed when she was diagnosed that either way; healing, testimony and ministry, or going to heaven, she wins. There is no loss when death has been defeated by Jesus finished work. Her Peace is now complete, and I can see her in my future.


So my dear friends, as I go through the social conventions of death, burial, and holidays, please send me your prayers and best thoughts, as I hold my head up amongst the wolves of convention who don’t know me, as I say “thank you” to the religious seekers, as I suffer the condemnation of those that don’t share my view on death, Jesus, or boundaries….send loving thoughts my way.

I didn’t share my mothers hobbies, habits, tastes, preferences, friends, church, or opinions on what “truth” means in communication between human beings related to one another….but she is the only human being who gave me birth and life, and taught me every important lesson on what not to do to your family, how not to treat your children, and to have standards without apology.

I chose the red dress for my mom’s final viewing. I chose the upbeat songs. I send her off with a waive of my hand to the sky, knowing that she isn’t here, she is enjoying heaven, and I will see her again someday, and we will finally have a good relationship.

Thanks mom.

Unstoppable, and unfortunate common denominator

If anyone had told me last year, “by this time next year: your father won’t speak to you, your son will have a pacemaker, your mother will blame you for everything bad in her life and hate you, your brother will abandon you, and your husband (after knowing you for 23 years) will say, I thought it was just a ‘personality’ thing between you and your mom. I would have never believed she could act this way. (That might have been the hardest.)


Now….I am just a woman looking for some peace…letting go of what I can’t control. Forgiving people who don’t believe me, don’t listen, disregard, scoff, or just rudely project their insecurities on me.

I have to keep moving. This opposition is not going to stop me, or stand between me and being me, really me, not just who they thought I was supposed to be…what they got used to being me….that doesn’t work anymore.

I have to face the facts that I am the common denominator in all things volatile in my family in standing up, not acting like I am supposed to. I am searching and searching for my part in this. I stood up and said enough. That may have been sufficient…considering how I have suppressed my need for family boundaries so long…..unleashing that anger caused damage.

Aren’t the people who are supposed to ‘love you’….aren’t they supposed to ‘know you’?  Aren’t they supposed to want the best for you?  Aren’t they supposed to believe in you?  I guess not in my situation.  The norm is my support, my belief, my encouragement, my capitulation, my hospitality, my enthusiasm.  My bank has run dry.


If you are facing anything today that stands between where you are and where you are supposed to be, regardless of the opposition…..square your shoulders, ready your fists, face your target, and keep moving.

If you can negotiate, state your terms. If not, prepare for battle and consequences.

Be ready for the change in your relations, it will be hard. You face the change, or retreat to your former situation.

I’m convinced that a part of hell consists of family dissapproval, manipulation, contempt, and all forms of pride.

Lord, keep me as I move forward, correct me if I am wrong, and bless all those who abuse me as I move forward. Expand my borders, honor the seeds I have sown in honoring my parents, and honoring you. Let me not be ashamed, according to your word, in Jesus name.

Sometimes, you have to stand up.  In doing so, accept the consequences, be authentic to who you are.

It isn’t easy.  There will be pain.  Trust God, if you make a mistake, He will Help you.

God knows, He has helped me, and I trust He will continue.


but Jesus, this does hurt.