Saturday, January 30, 2010

Peace Out

For the second weekend in a row, Marc and Eric were supposed to go upstate snowmobiling with “the guys.”


They love it.

I love it.

Another win/win.

They were looking for some rugged manly adventure and I was looking for some peace and quiet. Well, peace is out for this weekend. Last weekend there wasn’t enough snow and this weekend it’s 2 below.

Change of plans.

Instead of a quiet weekend to myself, a very large poker game is ensuing bringing with it high levels of testosterone and talks of anything with a motor.


Jena and I would balance that out with trips to Barnes & Noble, a good ‘chick flick’ or at the very least making fun of those ‘dirty’ boys. But life’s sucker-punch left me to fend for myself among the world of men. I’m sure she is laughing at me from heaven.

It’s crazy in this house now with college boys in and out all hours of the day and wee hours of the night.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s all good.  I think it’s great that Eric is surrounded by his friends and it’s kind of nice they all call me “Mom.”

But peace…well, that’s not happening here and certainly not tonight.

Life as I knew it is over.  I don’t have my baby girl to even out the odds.  I don’t have the life that I thought I signed up for either.  And now, I don’t even have the quiet weekend I was looking forward to.  The reality is that life is constantly changing and I have to learn to change with it.

I hear them dealing the cards, the chips falling on the poker table, and they’re calling my name.  Guess it’s time to show those boys how to play Texas Hold ‘Em.  I take a deep sigh, smile and grab my wallet.  Sometimes when life throws you curves, you just have to adjust and find a new adventure…

...and besides, I have an angel up my sleeve.

Peace out!

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Serendipity is the effect by which one accidentally stumbles upon something fortunate, especially while looking for something entirely unrelated.

Kind of like:

Silly Putty by James Wright, which was created while trying to find a rubber substitute for the United States during World War II.


Good ‘ol boy Chris Columbus who was looking for a new way to India in 1492 and wound up landing in The Americas.  I’m guessing he didn’t stop and ask for directions either.

And even

Yes, that little blue pill that has changed the smiles on middle-aged women everywhere.  It was originally directed for use in hypertension and angina pectoris-- who knew the claim to fame it would have?
(...everyone should enjoy a giggle now and again...)

Back to the blog...
Serendipity, for me, came by way of life.

After Jena passed away from cystic fibrosis, I was certain I was on track for depression and grief.  Everything I had once known about life was ripped out from underneath me and I was left completely and utterly lost.

Somehow while on this path of death and destruction, I found life.

While writing in despair, I found an optimistic voice.  I found the more I wrote, the more life seemed hopeful, dare I say, beautiful.  I had found a way to carry on in life… totally accidental.

I found a way to immortalize my baby girl who was, for all intense purposes, gone from this earth.  I found an outlet for my depression which created huge awareness for cystic fibrosis, the very thing that put me in the state of misery.  And, fortunately for you, I have now found a new way to express my sad, and pathetic sense of humor while hoping I make a point at times.

My point?

You just never know where the road you are on will take you.

Don’t give up.

Keep the faith.

What fortune will you unexpectedly come across?

To Serendipity Baby!

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Breathing directions:


Seems straight forward enough, right? 

For most of us breathing is involuntary, a non-issue, basically…easy.

I mean really, how many times does breathing cross your mind?

When you’re scared?

When it’s your 83th birthday? 

Or when you sat too close next to someone who just couldn’t hold it in.

Most of the time we take breathing for granted, I mean why wouldn’t you? Between everything else you have going on in life, thank God breathing’s not something you have to concern yourself with.

And then there are those who fight for each breath.  

Each moment. 

Their whole life.

My daughter Jena most certainly did.

She was born knowing each breath she took was precious.

I’ll never forget one day Jena was feeling really, really good.  Her whole face smiled as she said excitedly, “Mommy, Mommy…wow! I feel great.  I can’t believe how easy it is to breathe today!”  She kissed me on the cheek and ran off to play. 

To her breathing was special.

Like many others that have a lung disease, Jena did all she could to add a year, a month or even a day to her life.

I know I treasured each breath she took.  I knew there were very few that were ever wasted.  She would rock climb, ride 4-wheelers, and do all she could to keep up with her older brother. Jena ran full tilt when she could and enjoyed each day to its fullest.

Time is like oxygen. You’ll never notice until it is gone. 

There's no time to kill between the cradle and the grave
Father Time still takes a toll on every minute that you save
Legal tender's never gonna change the number on your days
The highest cost of livin's dyin', that's one everybody pays
So have it spent before you get the bill, there's no time to kill 
(Clint Black)

When time runs out, will you have made the most of your breath?

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Oh my God we are going to crash!

Okay, maybe that's a bit melodramatic but tell me you haven’t had that thought cross your mind 30,000 feet above the ground?  

Right now I am sitting on a plane headed south for Florida.

This time it's not to run away from myself and my feelings of grief but to celebrate my 19th wedding anniversary with Marc and that is a good thing.  

By now you know I don't believe in coincidences so the universe sat me next to a lovely woman who lost her husband of 25 years just 3 months ago. 

Normally when I fly, I politely say, "Hello" to my 2 hour neighbor, listen to my iPod and work on my laptop while Marc watches the news. However, this time I met a friend. Why was this time different?  I don't know but I am sure John (her husband) and Jena worked that out in heaven. 

Karen told me about his struggle with leukemia, his many hospital stays and how her days now seem empty and without purpose. Boy, I get that. We exchanged smiles of memories and tears of grief.
It's amazing who God puts in your life at particular times, isn't it? Somehow He just knows who needs a shoulder, an understanding ear and a new package of tissues.

As I sit here eating my bag of sweet potato chips, I remember how fearful I used to be of flying.  Marc was way worse. His hands would be all sweaty and regardless of the time, he’d have a cocktail or two during the flight. A few years ago, Marc would have actually preferred to be flying the plane instead of sitting here in 4B; naively believing he could control all aspects his life, his outcome, and his fate. 

Control is something we all seek out of fear.  Fear of what we can’t control.  Fear…well,…Jena took all our fear with her when she left.  Just like the Serenity Prayer, we have learned to know the difference between what we can control and what we have to let go. I now trust in God to get me to my destination, and I trust the captain to fly us to where we want to go.

Marc and I have learned to take responsibility of what we can control like our marriage, our careers and our little romantic getaway weekends.  The stuff we can't, like losing Jena, we have learned to leave to God, the universe or whatever it is that seems to be in control of it all.

So this flight is a win-win.

We win and land in Orlando, chillin poolside sippin something tropical or we win and get to meet God face to face knowing Jena is sitting right beside Him. I really don’t see a downside.

I trust the pilot and I trust God to get me where I need to be.
I bought the ticket to Florida and I expect to get to where I am going.
I bought the plan that I will enjoy the journey that I call 'life' and I expect to get there too.

Life is good and no matter how you look at it, it's a win-win.

Do you know where you are going?