Saturday, January 30, 2010


I feel the shift...................I can't quite explain it - but it is happening. Despite the joy and frolic and innocence Gracey-Blue has brought to us - the shift is still occurring. I believe Gracey-Blue is providing purpose and balance amidst the presence of movement. No matter what the shift Gracey-Blue's needs remain consistent. There is comfort in that.

I do know when the shift started. It was January 2nd 2010 - when my Sis had the heart attack and had to have two arteries cleared and stinted. I have not got my feet planted on solid ground since. Add to that my BP meds needing to be changed, again and I started to spin a bit with wonder and whys and what ifs. Oh I know how out of tune with the universe that type of thinking is and how it does not give way to staying in the moment, blah, blah, blah. It is a restless feeling and I believe that restless means change in coming. I feel it moving within me, sort of under me and through me all at once. The earth is moving under my feet as I try to stand firm.

And so I realize - I am doing all I can to manage my own health - both the MS and my blood pressure. I trust my PCP and he will get the right blend and dosage. He is NOT worried. And for the most part I do not live in the limits of MS but rather the freedoms. So what is this shift, movement, momentum with a force of it's own that I am feeling - and how do I go for the ride with faith and trust that all is exactly as it should be. At times I do just that and at times i scream "Whoa - I want to get off". Today, so far, I feel balanced. The rumble of the movement is slow and barely noticeable - I know it is there but it is calmed. And as I write this post I also realize that there is so much spinning wonderfully around me - Skipp's unyielding love, my beautiful Mom's love and faith and promise, my sis is doing better, my son is aspiring and happy with his life, my girls, for today are dealing with their crisis's, I am up and about and doing all good things for myself - exercise, healthy food with restricted salt, vitamins, fresh fruit and veggies, lean everything, whole grains and portion control - and Gracey-Blue sweet Gracey-Blue.

So as I feel the shift I must blindly not resist it's intent. It is happening around me. I am in charge of what I am in charge - and nothing more. The world will do as it will regardless of my joy or sadness, fear or courage, faith or doubt. I will 'arrive' on solid ground again - with both feet. The shift will finish and I will know....................

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Gracey-Blue is 'home'.

This is the transport truck. A converted horse trailer, climate controlled - Gracey-Blue smelled like stale biscuits from the long ride with all the dogs. We didn't care though because she is so adorable and was SO happy to go with us. See below!! :-)

Skipp is SO proud and SO happy to be holding her in his arms. Wow!! :-) Gracey-Blue is thrilled.

On the ride home!! Enlarge to see her blue eyes!!!

Here she is playing with her toys. Spoiled? ya think? :-)

Here is Gracey-Blue settling in nicely- asleep under the table on my feet. Perfect.

Here is Gracey-Blue upstairs with us - quite happy - so long as she is near us. :-) She is adjusting well to the house rules. Phew.

Just a brief blog to let you all know we are doing well - very busy showing Gracey who is in charge - and the "Dog Whisperer" has wonderful techniques we are incorporating so Gracey 'listens' and follows our commands. Lots fo work, lots of love, lots of energy - Please know I am around reading and visitng your blogs but I don't have a lot of energy left over to comment too much. I am redefining my schedule. so to speak.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


I heard this song on the telethon for Haiti. I have heard it before and was always moved by the tempo, the words, the thoughts that stirred in me. Perhaps it was the emotion I was feeling while listening to the song with a back drop of destruction and despair that amplified the mystery of the song. I can't get it out of my mind. I see myself in the song at different times, perhaps even moments in my life. I am the singer, the woman on the roof, one or the other of the two who are darkly intimate, and so forth. And so, as I take a bit of a hiatus from blogging I would SO appreciate you taking the time to listen to this haunting song and share, if you could, which of the characters or theme was you, is you, you wish were you, you hated was you.....................

I will post again once I/we have Gracey-Blue on a schedule. Phew. She is a beautiful handful. When she rests her trusting soft body on mine I am in heaven. Everything slows, and we feel only love and contentment.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Patchwork Quilt for "Gracey-Blue"

This patchwork quilt has quite a story to tell - a history if you will.

I certainly had no idea where it would end up over the years. It is over nine years ago that she sat in my office. A young frail woman, smiling cautiously as she prepared to leave treatment - having successfully completed 2o days of in-patient treatment for substance abuse. My office, always welcoming, safe, peaceful, a haven for those who sought refuge and understanding, love and new life. My office was a gathering place - for clients and co-workers. There were times at lunch that folks had to stand because there wasn't enough space. We hid for a while in huddled love and shared food to gain balance and strength to continue our work of serving those in need. Some days I would run small therapy groups in my office and the "work" they did in the intimate peaceful setting always left me humbled by their courage.

This day,in late 2000, she sat in the high backed chair - holding the patchwork quilt close to her. She shared that her grandmother made it for her and that she took it with her every where. As she moved on from the treatment setting she would be going to a "Sober House" for women. She feared that the quilt would get stolen. She asked if she could leave it with me and that in time, less than a year she was sure, she would have her own place and then bring her quilt she loved so much "home".

That was over nine years ago. Unfortunately she is one of the casualties of the devastating disease of addiction and a cold statistic representing so many who die from this disease. Her quilt was draped over that high-backed chair where she once sat holding it. And there it stayed as a comfort and security for thousands of other people choosing to be in treatment and who sat on that very quilt sharing their "truths" their "it's" with me. That quilt has heard it all- it holds their pain, their joy, their hope and courage, their faith, their love, their losses, their struggles and their successes - their lives are in the very fiber of the quilt you see pictured above.

As my life changed and I was in my office less and less due to my illness I brought the quilt home. I have it draped over my vanity chair as a cushion of sorts and comfort as I primp in the morning with my hair and make-up. And then we came to know of "Gracey-Blue" - our new adorable puppy. A rescue pup -on a transport bus from Arkansas today!. She was abandoned in the woods with her litter-mates and found wet and cold and raw with flea bites she scratched. She has been nurtured by a wonderful foster family along with her litter mates. They called her "ICY", we re-named her, "Gracey-Blue".

This is a picture of "Gracey-Blue" formerly known as "Icy"....... how cute is she? And so the patchwork quilt is being bestowed to Gracey-Blue to comfort her and keep her warm and snugly here, in her forever home. She is a golden retriever and husky mix and is three months old and she has beautiful bright ice- blue eyes. We are meeting her at the 'drop off' on Saturday morning with lots of other folks who are adopting rescue dogs. We are SO excited. Every time Skipp and I look at her pictures we both fill up with tears of joy. :-) I will post next week after she arrives and include pictures of her here, happy, with us. "YAY!!!!

Who ever knew that the patchwork quilt would become a warm comfort for an abandoned puppy - seems it's purpose and meaning hasn't changed all that much over the years. It is still providing safety and comfort, warmth and security and is being given with love.......yes, LOVE

Sunday, January 17, 2010

In The Arms Of The Angels

Sometimes my intuitiveness is both a gift and a curse. I know things, see things, feel things and history has proven that these intuitions are often accurate. I don't tell you this to brag because quite the opposite is true. I am humbled and often scared by these insights and intuitions and always challenged about what to do with the 'information'. Do I tell the person what I "see" or do I step away in silence - which can be deafening. The simple answer is both options are possible - it depends on the situation, the person and the intuition/information I am holding. Some awareness's are greater than others in regards to their potential liability.

For the most part, I say what I am feeling, seeing, aware of and why. The closer the relationship the harder it gets some times. And those relationships that I am not particularly secure in are the most difficult to approach with my intuitions and warnings. I try my best to approach these heart to heart conversations openly and with no attachment to the outcome since the outcome is not about me. I would be dishonest if I said that were always true - I am more often than not very attached to the outcome because I am 'warning' someone I love about impending doom or tragedy and I want them to "heed my words". Oh my I sound lie a dictator. :-) I trust you get what i am saying. phew.......

Today I had to share one of my intuitions with one of my daughters. I was quite frightened because no one really wants to hear the truth, or in this case, my intuition of the truth. I was very happy she listened - and she also agreed with much of what I felt and thought AND she is aware from within her own intuitive self of one particularly tragic possible scenario happening if interventions are not initiated and put in motion. Her struggle is that she feels her hands are tied and that she has done all she can do to "run interference" and that t he "system" is such that until tragedy strikes her shared concerns are dismissed. Regardless of her position, truthful or not, I spoke from my heart. I put my intuitive fears out on the table and offered to be part of any further initiation for interventions she chooses.

That is the best and the most I can do. Meanwhile - I will hold her close and pray she moves forward knowing that she is not alone. And So I place her as well

In The Arms Of The Angels"


Thursday, January 14, 2010


I heard her say, "I Love You". She had no idea how my heart sang, soared, lightened when I heard her say those words to her sister. Those words speak volumes to a Mother's heart.

They were planning their upcoming visit - Jen is driving to upstate NY today with her son to spend a few days with Kristie and her kids. Each of my girls is in their own despair and hurt. Kristie is pregnant, and the baby's father is gone. It was not a good ending and caused much harm. Kristie has to go to court today to speak to the prosecutor where he is appearing before the judge to answer to the 'charges'. I stayed as close to Kristie and the kids as I could given the distance. She pays a price for her decision to live so far away from 'home'. Her feeling alone during this very difficult time is especially costly. :-( Truly, everything does have a price,

Jen is in pain because the man she loves is "confused" and unsure if he wants to be with her. Her heart is broken. He is chipping away at her as he tries to justify why he doesn't love her - (truth be told, he simply is an irresponsible jerk and wants to live with his Mommy and Daddy - he is 32), - and he had the cowardly balls to say to her it is because "it annoys me that you can't spell and you make up words"!! - that hurt me so much to hear her crying over his insults - her "funny words" and unique way of spelling are precious. He is such an idiot and I feel so badly for her. Good Lord. anyway,

It warms my heart that my daughters are going to be together for a few days to give each other hope, support and love as only sisters can. To know that they are close is a gift to me - to know that they are 'there' for each other is a gift to me. To know that in good times and bad they will find their way to one another is a gift to me. To know, to hear, to see to feel that they love one another is a gift to me. HUGE gift. :-)

I can only do so much - listen, love, pray, advise if asked, offer suggestions, remind them of their strength and worth and beauty - and do nothing to control - give the reigns over to them as I stand on the side line cheering and shouting "this way!, that way! watch out!, be careful! I love you"!!!!!!!! "I love you, I love you, I love you................................"

I sang this song to all of my children and grandchildren - they all know it quite well. In fact, there were times when their babies were fussy and they woud say to me, "Mom, sing the "Walk in the rain" song to _________", and it worked like a charm every time. :-) Enjoy. (I have posted this song before).

Sunday, January 10, 2010


I am not sure why the picture fixed itself to the snow scene but it did. I tried to undo it and reposition it, but it wont separate. Oh well. My wishes for YOU EILEEN are heartfelt and true - that this day, January 14th I celebrate you - your birth and your life!! So many lives have been inspired and given hope and known love because of you. YOU are writing chapters of your grand children's lives that are SO precious and so life-giving. YOU are a gift to the world. I feel SO honored to be part of that world and to receive the gift of you in blog land and in friendship.


Saturday, January 9, 2010


We are in to the deep freeze here in Connecticut with wind chills temperatures below zero. Brrrrrrrrrrrr....................
I am much better today than yesterday - the "icks" are still icky but I am not feeling them so much. I am back in balance. :-) This is just a brief post to say "THANK YOU ALL" for your love, shared wisdom, support and understanding. I feel so blessed that so many of you take the time to show you care. It is such a gift to know that "I am worth your while". That is a line from the movie "Bucket List". Jack Nicholson is in awe that Morgan Freeman found him to be, "worth his while". It was a real tribute to friendship and simple human kindness as is offered here, in blog land, so lovingly. I feel so blessed to have each and every one of you in my life.

Here is my "thank you" song - please listen and enjoy -

Friday, January 8, 2010


I visited with Nancy yesterday, :-) , my Mom too. :-) She liked the fruit and the flowers and other stuff I brought. Jen drove me - it was good to be with her too. I am feeling a bit sad and lonely and scared even. Ick.

The possibilities, outcomes are so 'in my face'....listening to my Sis talk about what she went through and what she is afraid of and why penetrated me like broken glass. I still feel its raw edges in my heart. It is not often that I am uncomfortable in my own skin, well, not for a long time anyway, there was a time when I was always uncomfortable in my own skin - today is one of those rare days. Certainly stirs up a lot of sludge. Ick.

I spent some time on the Wll Fit Balance board doing my routine. I was quite distracted - not really in to it today. My virtual trainer told me my balance was way off and my right side is weak and the board groaned when I stepped on it. Ick.

Then I decided to transfer the information from my old address book in to my new one that Skipp gave me for Christmas. It is a really nice one with hopeful quotes and pretty pictures and so forth. :-) As I was transferring information I realized how things have changed - some people have died, another is no longer in my life for other reasons so this task was anything but uplifting. Ick.

I am wearing my lovely new lounging outfit Skipp gave me for Christmas - it is lavender and gray, lite flannel, and so soft and snugly on this snowy day. I put on some make up and fussed with my hair a bit and did some other "girlie" things to make myself feel pretty. I looked in the mirror and I see worry, and wear, sad eyes and a frown. Ick.

And, I wrote to a dear friend - as something transpired that has weighed heavy on me for a couple of weeks. The details are not important but the fact that the wonder and concern didn't just go away is. So I wrote, a long email, that I wrote and re-wrote and adjusted to be sure every word was written with love. I sent it at eight last night, and nothing has come back. I am really struggling with waiting. It feels awful. What was I thinking, during an already difficult time, to add this concern to myself??? HUGE ICK!!!!

I guess I thought if I got a quick answer that the wonders/concerns about what transpired between us would then be alleviated. I learned not to take a risk when I am so fragile. Good Lord and Ick.

I need a tangible Pied Piper, I think - other than Skipp or God or the sun or the universe, blah, blah, blah. I need to 'Step-In-Line' and stop tripping. And definitely stop saying/writing "Ick".

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Less Is More

January is a long, cold month, huh? And it has begun particularly harsh given the recent events. When I say that please don't think that I am not filled with gratitude for the outcomes to my sister's unexpected heart attack and having two blocked arteries requiring clearing and stents. Her recovery is miraculous and her life is so precious. Her voice, like I wrote the other day, was like music from heaven when we spoke. And her reaching to the frightened and angry woman and sharing of similar loss and understanding is yet another phenomenon to behold, embrace, and sing praise.

Please allow me to delve deeper now - to share about the uncertainties, the harshness at times, the difficult realities and the challenge to move forward gracefully, faithfully, with peace and hope and promise. That outlook is not a given, it is strived for, designed, often fought for and sometimes it feel unattainable. My sister said she has nothing left with which to cope as she recovers so to get back to "her life" which is upside down at best. She has been tired for years since her son died - she has held her family together during their deepest grief and her husband too who leaned on her every day. And then he became ill and she cared for him right up until he took his last breath - made sure he saw his last sunrise - his favorite music sending him off and beyond - and she carried on. Until last Saturday when her heart said, "Enough".

As I watch, and embrace, and feel, and experience her in all of this I am profoundly effected. We carry each others lives in our own - when I was being diagnosed, she was me, I was her - there is no dividing line at times, not any we can see or feel anyway. I feel a bit weakened this go-round as my own health can not sustain her or hold her up as I have in times of need before my diagnosis. I have been wrestling with this since Saturday. And then I realized that she is weakened too, should I, God forbid, ever need her again for some traumatic event in my life. And then I thought, what does weakened really mean? Less love? No way. Less hope? No way. Less understanding? No way. Less kindness? No way. I guess my point is, less is more, or less is enough. We will adjust and be appreciative of whatever we each can and cannot do for one another knowing that the best we give is the most we have. Yes, the best we give is the most we have. I am not a good 'Bible/scripture' quoter but there is a story about a person who gave his or her last few coins to Jesus and because this person gave all of what they had it was worth more than the richest who gave much more in monetary value but far less in sacrificial giving. Jesus was way more impressed with the sacrifice.

Even as of late whenever I do things for my Mom or Sis they are so appreciative because they know it is not without effort and sacrifice. I started this post with the word 'harsh' to describe how this month, the first month of 2010 began - and perhaps that is still true - my sister's reality is quite harsh. I also believe this first month of 2010 is an 'awakening' that reminds us that less is more - only if we allow it to be so. As with most else, it is up to us.

The song below is sung by one of Clayton's favorite artists - Clayton is my sister's son who died.

I love you all

Monday, January 4, 2010

Nancy - her voice was like heavenly music

I want to thank ALL of you for your comforting and supportive and loving comments to me and for all the prayers for my sister, and for us all.

............................and so she laid quiet in ICU - doctors orders. After such a procedure one has to be still and lay flat. She had two blockages, which they cleared and they put in two stints to keep those effected areas open. I spoke to her - she shared of her fear going in for the procedure - of dieing, of her sons and all they have already lost, for our Mom and for me - my heart wrenched and ached listening - and at the same time I was soothed by the sound of her voice - my sister's voice. Despite the content - her voice was heavenly music - and then she paused, and began to tell of a woman they brought into her room - a patient, who was struggling with shortness of breath. Nancy could hear the family talking, a daughter, a husband, perhaps a brother as well and all of them trying to be supportive of their frightened loved one. Now I will "quote" my sister as best as I can recall. "I could hear the woman crying - she was saying why did I live and my son had to die , I shouldn't be here and he should - I don't understand. Her family tried to comfort her but she was so angry. Her family eventually left and I knew that I had to speak to her and share of my son's untimely death and I wondered, is this why this happened now, did God want me to be here for this hurting woman? And so my sister got out of her bed and went and sat by the woman's bed side - she told her of Clayton and her same questions about why did her son have to die - and why wasn't it her and on and on. She also told the woman that she has two other sons that need her and that she has a daughter that needs her too and they both cried together for their children still living that need them..................there is more to the miracle and love of this story but the details aren't important - but rather the message of hope, faith, and love. It brought to life, in real time, what I believe about our "truth". That all we hve to give, to offer one anotheris our truths - and here is my sister, in her own fear and pain - reaching out to this woman to share her truth - and there it is again, the miracle of Eucharist - to be broken and poured out so others can have hope.

As my sister was sharing this miracle I could feel my heart fill with love and hope, my faith and understanding surrendered and opened - what, for a brief time I lost returned ten fold - and her voice, oh her voice, it was heavenly music to my ears and to my heart.

My sister will be home soon - needing time to heal and adjust some of her life habits. She will be referred to a cardiologist for follow-ups and rebuild her heart strength under his/her supervision. We are ALL relieved and hopeful and exhausted - sometimes the after shock is quite an emotional fall.

"THANK YOU" ALL FOR YOUR LOVE, SUPPORT AND PRAYERS. And remember, that your truth shared could save someone's life.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Nancy - My Sis -

You all recognize her, right? That's my sister, Nancy. She is holding the bag of greens from Chatfield Hollow - the day the three of us trekked along to gather the greens for the beautiful Christmas decorations for the grave head stones for our Dad, her son and her husband..

And this is of me and my Sis this past Mother's day. She is older!!! :-)

How do I write what is heavy on me today - SO heavy. I just wrote 10 comments back to some of my wonderful blog friends - and I thought, as much as what I am writing is true, I am not being honest because something critical is unfolding right now. And so I will ask for your prayers now - and tell you what is overwhelming me and causing much concern.

My sister Nancy had a heart attack yesterday. When my Mom called me at 12:30, crying I was so scared. They took her by ambulance to an emergency shoreline hospital and later transported her to Yale's Cardiac Wing. As I am writing this she is having a procedure because she has a blockage in an artery. The hope is that they can clear it and put in a stint. This is possible only if the tissue is not damaged - if it is, then she will require open heart surgery. I feel like I am writing a bad fiction novel - that none of this could be possible. But it is. She is justifiably afraid - and for all she has accepted this event has rocked her ability to cope - she has nothing left. PLEASE pray for her strength and balance and for my Mom - who is quite fragile - I stayed with her until eleven last night - we prayed together, laughed and cried. ANd for me too that I have the strength and endurance to 'be' there for my Sis and my Mom and my sister's two sons. God have mercy.

My sister has an all time favorite song - quite ironic, huh? But enjoy.

I love you Sis.......

Saturday, January 2, 2010


FREEDOM'S JUST ANOTHER WORD FOR NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE - Great line from the song 'Bobby McGee' - Did you folks know that Kris Kristoferson wrote that song? As I begin to reflect on the word "FREEDOM" - my focus word for 2010 I am reminded that freedom is founded in truth - often fact - acceptance and surrender - and so in honor of that I am re-posting an earlier piece titled "The Journey From Acceptance To Surrender".

The journey from acceptance to surrender. It can be long or short, depending on what it is one is dealing with. Winning the lotto? Pretty quick journey! Being betrayed by someone you love? A diagnosis of a life-changing illness?? etc..... These are a longer and more difficult journey. Agreed?

For the sake of this writing let's all agree that acceptance happens in our heads. It is a conflict of thoughts; bargaining, arguing, angering, resisting, denying, fighting, wishing, praying, begging, raging - getting the picture? It is pure chaos!

So what of surrender then? It happens deep inside. It is a total experience and captures our essence and core. It is: a relief, peaceful, hopeful, freeing, pure, cleansing, and has a new direction. New direction? Yes. A new direction. Stay with me here.

So what is the problem?

ANGER AND FEAR are the blocks that keep people stuck in the chaos of acceptance. It is so hard to break through those two emotions and on to surrender. Anger at whomever or whatever. Fear of the unknown. And so people run, from themselves, going to great lengths to separate themselves from themselves, up to and including death. Yes death. I see it all the time. Sad huh? Very sad, indeed.

So okay, you stop running, you face "IT", whatever it is and you stand naked right in "IT". Now what? It is you and "IT", the very "IT" or "IT's" you have spent a life time hiding.
Guess what? "It" never goes away. "IT" is part of you, part of the fabric of your design, that which defines you. Hah! It is yours to hold on to, not let go of. And how do you respond? You can never change the meaning of your "it's" but you CAN add another meaning to "IT".

For example: MADD - do you think the horror and tragedy for those Mom's and Dad's that lost their children to drunk drivers will ever go away? Never. not in a million years. And so they created MADD to add another meaning to their tragic losses. Never ever disregarding the original horror, if they did there would be no MADD, right?

And so the challenge for all of us is to honor our truths for what they are and then add another meaning to them to bring purpose and light to our truths, our "It's" never possible had these IT's not occurred.

As I begin my exploration of freedom I am reminded that my truth is the foundation upon which my freedom must be realized - otherwise I will be fighting my own reality and spin until I fall. Not happening. I am beginning to 'test' the waters some - to see what I can successfully do with M S. For example - I know I will not be in a dance competition but I sure can dance. - If only for a few minutes I CAN DANCE!! I can drive, not at night or on the highway but I can get around during the day to do errands or visit my Mom or a friend. I can walk- I need support with a friendly arm or my cane or my rollator - but I can walk - not all that far but I can walk. Thank God I can walk. Freedom has some new meanings for me folks - I am not the same nor is my life before this diagnosis. That is simply the truth. That's not to say that within these changes I cannot be free - and it is that new meaning of freedom I am defining. Yes, Yes I am!! :-)

And since I started with a line from 'Bobby McGee', yup, I will leave you with the song.

Enjoy, appreciate and honor ALL your freedoms.