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Trying to Stay Strong - June 18, 2018

I have always tried to be optimistic. I try to see the good things in life and make lemonade from the bad. I am forever grateful for a compassionate and loving God. I cannot even comprehend how people can live without a sense of God in their lives. It's just beyond my brain capability. This past week has been harder than most. I've been through so much over the years with my own illnesses, Dave's illness and subsequent death and now my daughter's many problems that I sometimes wonder if I know what life is without some significant challenge in the midst. It is so hard as a parent to watch your child go through things that you can do nothing about. I lay awake at night and ponder over the mountain of worry and thank God for His presence. Always there to see me through, to carry me if necessary. As Father's Day approached I felt a very real ache for my dad and Dave. A strenuous situation with my daughter, Angela, that tugs at every piece of my heart has made taking one step after another quite a task. I crave simplicity. But then, there in the rubble, I see the smiling face of my grandson. What a precious miracle he is in our lives. And there then lies the reason to perservere. Thank you again, Lord!

There is No Winner - November 10, 2016

Today is two days past an emotional election for the USA. I am what I call the black sheep in a liberal family. I am the one who loves my faith and my God. I feel that my faith is the absolute core of my being, my soul. My Catholic faith was a gift from my parents when I was an infant. I was nurtured in the faith and I grew in the faith. So, consequently, I live in the faith. My goal in life is to be the best person I can be in this life and to hopefully find my way to heaven to be with so many people I love and miss so much.

Over the past several months I have struggled and prayed over this election process, how is would affect those in my family and how it would affect me. I found myself trying to do whatever would help everyone, but there was not an option out there that could that. I asked God some very direct questions and I clearly heard some very clear responses. I heard that I am not God (nowhere close), that life is sacred and I was to put that as a priority, particularly when it comes to the unborn. I heard that I was to stay true to my faith. I kept hearing that to be true in your faith you have to be willing to accept the fact that there may be times when you will be head to head in conflict with those who you love in order to do that. It's not out of spite, it's not out of prejudice. I love my family, but I also need to love myself.

I just saw a post by one of my family members, slamming those of us who voted for Trump with innuendoes of prejudice and ignorance. That is just the kind of stuff that is killing this country...the generalizations and accusations that bear no truth to what is really the motivation. As far as my reason for voting as I did, it started with the fear of actions that would interfere with my religious freedoms. My second was abortion. I'm not just the zealot Catholic who is pushing my morality on the country. I am a sinner who because I was too weak to face the consequences of my actions, chose to kill my child. The summer after I graduated from high school I became pregnant and rather than face my parents I panicked and chose the abortion route. And I kept that secret until a few years ago when I told a select few people and since that time, since I've told my kids, and since I've seen my daughter struggle with infertility I have lived with the heartache of that child that I never got to know because I was too much of a coward. I can't stand by and let other women go through that. It may seem like the answer at the time, but trust me, it is a deep hole that is in your being forever. God creates each being for a purpose.

Yesterday morning when I woke up to find that Donald Trump had one, I was stunned, I cried because I knew that the things that are important to me would be hurting those I care for. And I AM sorry for that, but I can't deny who I am and I can't make everyone happy. I love people, all people no matter where they are coming from. I try to understand their struggles and pray that we can all become a communal people that just try to be good to each other and stop the name calling and the finger pointing and just work together for a solution. We can't continue to be so drastically divided. We must meet somehow in the middle. And until there is someone out there willing to represent us all in the middle, I suppose this is how it will be.

A Love Story - April 27, 2016

It was a beautiful, sunny day on October 11, 1970. I was a mere 14 years old, basking in the thrills of my first Homecoming at Mercy High School. As I cheered on our Bulldogs at the football game that afternoon, I could never have guessed that in just a few short hours, my life would change forever.

I remember getting ready for the dance and waiting for my girlfriend's dad to take us. It was there that I met my one true love, Dave. I remember him asking me to dance and the tingle I got at being so close. I went home on a cloud, dizzy in love...love at first sight! I was hoping that when I got to school on Monday that I would recognize him and when I saw him, my heart pattered. We were together from that day on. We never broke up, we were always true to each other.

In 1978, after 4 years of high school and Dave's 4 years away at college, we were married. In 1981, God blessed us with our first child, Angela. We were so thrilled with our little girl. In 1982, we were once again blessed with a daughter, Joanne. In 1984, we had JD. Our family was complete.

As family life and work does, life became the monotonous rut that happens with so many things going on, a vicious cycle. We fell into that rut and although we didn't have the "romance" emanating from us, we did have each other, we knew that if something came up that needed our attention, we would be there to get each other through.

At some point, in the late 1990's, early 2000's Dave started having health issues. We struggled with many different problems that escalated and compounded as time went on. Along with that, our daughter, Angela, was diagnosed with endstage renal disease and started dialysis in 2006. Then right after her 30th birthday, she was found to have a pseudotumor (fluid on the brain) on the left side of her head. This left her optic nerves scarred and her legally blind. She was also diagnosed with an actual brain tumor on the right side of her brain. Needless to say, these were tense years, but we hung in there and hung on to the strength of our relationship, our love, to endure the challenges.

In August, 2014, Dave's illnesses began to get the best of him. He struggled so hard to overcome the hurdles, but ultimately they overpowered him. As he struggled in the hospital and rehab, I spent as much time as I could with him. We would talk and just be present to each other. As the days drew closer to the end, our love bloomed again. In hindsight, I found myself regretting that so much time was spent in monotony and that when we were connecting again, he had to leave.

Today, it's one year since he left. Life is different, I still go about my daily responsibilities, but I miss his smile and his silly jokes and just being there. Love you, Dave! Waiting anxiously until the day we will be together again.
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