Happy Birthday Guys 

Today, my brother Bob turns 65. I can’t believe my sweet Baboo is 65.I can never be half the person he is, and he is the best.

Tomorrow my Daddy would be 95. He passed when he was 77. I miss him every day.

I told Bob today I love him. I talk to my Dad every day. I hold them both tight in my heart. 

Happy birthday- you both are always in my heart.And I miss you too, Mom.

  

Ah-choo…

We went and got flu shots this morning at our local hospital.

As usual, we turned it into a daily affair:, me, Jim, my brother and my nephew Greg.Pretty sad that is the guaranteed way we have of seeing each other in October.We have been doing this for a long while back. Jim never wanted to go for a flu shot, but for the first two years we were married, he ended up in the emergency room for the fu, so he resolves to give me a hard time every year but ends up going begrudgingly.

It is funny that I have already researched flu shots here in Undisclosed. Down here there is a drive thru flu clinic for the community. I am already anticipating giggling while I ask them if I can have fries with my shot.

If you are eligible for a flu shot, get it.It might make your fall and winter a heck of a lot nicer.

flushot

Two Years

My Mom left me two years ago today.
There is not a day that goes by that I don’t miss her and/or think of her. Perhaps it’s because my Brother Bob and I took care of her for close to five years after she slipped into dementia.

There is so much I know she experiences from a higher vantage point: her children, her Philadelphia grandsons,her sister, her family,her church.I am sad because she never got down here with Jim and me,but am taking some comfort she’s up there,watching with my Dad.

My parents always said that we’d miss them when they left us.The only thing? They didn’t tell me how badly I’d miss them.

R.I.P. Mom.

Miss you guys every day.

It’s Veterans’ Day

…and although I have no immediate member in the family who serves, there are plenty
of guys I know, who are basically sons of friends of mine.I also had my grandfather,
my Dad and uncles who have served. To those of you still serving, thank you for the
security and safety you give us and I keep you all in my prayers. To those in the
heavenly corps. I salute you.

…and it’s also my nephew Matt’s birthday. It seems as though it was only yesterday
I went with him and his dad and Zush for road trips out to Millersville for Zush to
get some serious squirrel chasing in.Now he’s got a good woman by his side, a decent
job, and hopes for a great future.Happy birthday Matthias. I have never been so proud
of you.

Sto Lat!
Bog Zaplac!

Special Day

My Brother Bob is sixty-three today and I am blessed to have him as a brother.
Without him, there would have been no taking care of Mom at home. The past four
years have worn us down, but with God’s help, we are both here. I love him
to the ends of the earth and wished him this morning in Polish,”Sto Lat”,
meaning may you live a hundred years.

My sister from another mother..lol..Cynthia is turning the speed limit today,
and after the year she has had, she deserves to put the petal to the metal and
go.She endured chemo, radiation and surgery and I was blessed before this to
have her in my life, but now I am doubly blessed to still have her.

Happy birthday kids! I love you both.

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An August 15 years ago

Saturday marks 15 years since my Dad passed away at home. My Aunt and Mom took care of him while I was at work: I had him from 4PM until 6:30am.

I knew I was losing my Dad 8 months earlier. My Dad, who loved to drive, stopped-end of story.
I knew something was wrong.

My Dad was diagnosed with Non-alcoholic stenotic hepatitis.The disease took him away after 8 months.In a way, it was the best and worst time of my life.I was always tight with my Dad,and when someone hands you a full urinal at 2am, well, we would talk until we fell back asleep.
It was a terrible time because my Dad didn’t want to go to the hospital to get drained, which had accompanied the disease.We couldn’t even get him downstairs, he was so blown up. We managed to get him down, and I promised him that if he went that one time, he’d never have to go again.

We kept him home in hospice care from the V.A., and I was glad that we did.I know it gave him some peace that he was home. Roughly 18 months ago, my Mom left from the same house,but her disease was Dementia. I was glad my brother Bob and I kept her in her home.I know she, too, had some peace.

There is not a day, especially of late, that I don’t miss them both. I am grateful they brought me up with a faith that is firm and believes that I will see them again one day.They are both wagging their fingers down at me and my life from heaven….I know I will see them again some day and they’ll still be doing the same thing…lol.

I miss you guys-sleep well.

Mom's last pic
Mom’s last pic

Friday five

On this Friday after Thanksgiving, I had better do a Friday five, as there are always tons to be thankful for.

Shingleman & I started juicing back on Veterans’ Day. I can’t believe how much better I feel just doing one juice a day. I am grateful we are experiencing this together, and we’re working on ourselves.

I am constantly surprised at the amount of ” genuine ” people. I had a nice chat with a guy who reaffirmed my judgement of his character.Nice to know I can still call it on the button sometimes.

The girls and I walked up to spend some time with Bob and the family. It was a truly bittersweet day with Mom being gone: it was good to be together.

My neighbors down the street watched me grow up. Their oldest boy was in my class – they are now in their 80’s and we stopped to see them yesterday. I got to taste-test stuffing**yummo-just like Mom’s** and we had some apple pie. Always good to learn from elders: you get some valuable lessons!

Having family doesn’t always rock, but usually does. I am so thankful for the years of memories I have experienced, which allow me the hope of having many, many more memories to come.

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My brother’s birthday!

My brother Bob, who was a caregiver of my Mom alongside me, turns 62 today.

62.

I remember my Bob riding me on his bicycle on the driveway of our house on Mitchell St. Bobby who would go out back and make a snow fort for me to play in, Bobby who was always there for me.

I’m blessed to have him in my life.

I am happy that he sees 62 today, as I know that his health often has me worried for him. I know the bittersweet quality to today~it’s his first birthday without Mom. We were on the phone this morning and talked about that. We are glad she is gone and we know where she is at, but still, you miss the person who brought you into the world.

Everyday I have my Bob, I am blessed. He is a great guy and I am thankful he is my brother.

Sto Lat, Bob!

 

Below-a shot of Bob and his oldest son, Matt, when he got his Master’s degree this past summer at Millersville University

 

Another Friday Five

With this being a really, really rough week for me, I had to dig deep for this week’s five things I am thankful for.

1. In thinking back to Mom’s last four years, I am thankful I still have my mind, although I know there are friends of mine who would argue that fact…lol. Watching someone you love and care about slip into dementia is a horrible thing. I thank God for every day that I can sit at this computer and put thoughts together in my head and they make it out to the screen in front of me.

2.I am thankful for (almost) all the men in my life, past and present. Shingleman leads the way, but my brother Bob, nephews Matt and Greg,” Mr.Mel”, my honorary father-in-law,JP, who became a friend from the moment I met him professionally but look forward to holding our friendship as we get a little older, Jamie Moyer, who although he is in Colorado, I had the pleasure of talking to him once on a corner in Center City and he really, really put class in the definition of athlete, and the guys I have loved and lost, or they have loved  and lost me….either way, I am wiser and stronger person for having the experience of knowing them, …I could go on and on…you get my drift, right?

3. I am thankful that I have a clean, made bed upstairs waiting for me to go to sleep in. Some folks don’t.

4. I am thankful for you all who read this blog: it is so uplifting to know someone is actually reading this and so far, almost all of you seem to think this is pretty good sometimes and I am not totally losing my mind yet….just kidding.

5.Butter krak and butter creme, hell, even coconut creme Easter eggs…after all, doesn’t chocolate solve all the worlds problems?  😉

 

Have a wonderful weekend!

Marian

Wishing it were over…

…and I could wake up on Monday.

One holiday that always was tied in to my upbringing and childhood was Easter. There was always the Holy Week services, walking down the hill with two or three of my classmates on Good Friday and we would go to all five of the parishes in the area and say a prayer. As I got older, I helped a few friends decorate the altar for Easter Sunday and pin the grave that the crucified Jesus would lay in on Good Friday and get the side altar for exposition on Holy Thursday and through the weekend.

On the secular front, when nephews were younger, I would go to the local confectioner in town and get everyone an Easter egg, including my Mom, who was a coconut creme girl.I would always buy my Mom a white hyacinth for Easter, kind of in homage to all the Easter processions I walked in as a kid. My brother Bob would always get her a grape one. My Dad, when he was around, always got her an Easter lily. When I was in high school, my brother would bring home a horseradish root which was divine. See, it was as if it were homeopathic we would take turns with the grater and a bowl while sitting on a stool on the front porch and we would grind our own horseradish. Who needed decongestant? Bobby and I both still have Philadelphia sinuses, so we didn’t mind.

When I was a younger, the Polish tradition dictated that we are up early Holy Saturday morning, as the priest would be coming to your house to bless your Easter table. You would have a carved butter lamb on it, Easter basket, your kielbasa, babka, which is Polish cake/bread ,your horseradish, farmers cheese,hard-boiled eggs, salt and pepper, wine and oil and vinegar on the table. All had some significance for the Risen Lord. As we got older, we took the baskets, and my brother still does, down to church to have the food blessed.

For six of the past ten years, I would have an Easter brunch here for my family, and then go to Jersey to one of Shingleman’s sister’s for Easter. The past four years were quiet for me, as I was watching Mom with Bob. It was the best, and saddest time with her, as her faith was steadfast, but you knew there was an expiration date that you just couldn’t see yet.

I really don’t know how I am going to get through Sunday. Yes, I have the memories of my Mom, but when you go with other people, they really don’t care HOW you are feeling. For all they care, your grief stopped when you put your Mother in the ground, It’s not that easy. Somehow, I guess I am going to have to try to get through it, wishing instead I could be alone with memories of Mom. I just hope people will leave me alone, as things have been on the edge for both Shingleman and myself, and we are shot. We are good actors, because when people see us, they don’t figure it out. Our smile goes off as quickly as it goes on. We have both been through a ton since the holiday, and, quite frankly, we are still going through it.

I would happily trade places with the younger me who walked in Easter procession in 1967. The current me is so deep in emotional loss that it almost takes my breath away, as it is that intense.

“You can’t go home again.”……if only I could.

Just one of those days..

…which wasn’t helped by my brother Bob and I going up to Mom’s after work yesterday to start going through some stuff. Past of you just wishes you could blink an eye and it would all be taken care of. Part of you feels like going in and yelling ” Mom, I’m home.” Part of you, after four years, looks for her laying or sitting up in the hospital bed and giving you a little smile or acknowledgement that she knows you are there. And them there’s the part that realizes she is physically gone but she will always be with you.

I don’t know what was more painful: watching her go through that terrible decline over four long years, or the pain that is coming now, that the memories have to surface when you go through belongings.It will be hard on Bob, I know. But as I spent all but the last nine years with Mom on a pretty much daily basis, I’ll be remembering what was worn for senior citizens, what was worn for church, what was worn to hang up clothes on the line…and so on. It’s kind of like you put a band-aid on when you bury a loved one, but then, to handle everything left behind, you have to rip the band-aid off to let the wound heal,

It just sucks. I hope to get down to Undisclosed with Jim and the girls this weekend, and catch a sunset as pictured above, and hopefully, the sting of going through Mom’s belongings won’t be so painful.

 

Save the Drama for your Momma..

…Well, since Mom isn’t here, I have been trying to help my brother Bob get seen at Pennsylvania for his knee, which is killing him. He didn’t realize that when, God forbid, it would come to a chance of surgery, the Doctor wouldn’t touch you until  you lose the weight. Bob is morbidly obese. “How am I going to lose 100 pounds in a month?” I told him you aren’t necessarily having surgery, and at least they would get you started on the road to healing your knee. Stay tuned for this one.

…On the other hand, there was NOTHING worth blanking out my brain on Sunday night more than the Kardashians. Having gone through the week I went through, I could only snicker at their drama. It’s making public television look like the only way to go.

Here’s hoping we all have a little less drama this week………( outside of the beauty of this dramatic picture)

 

Pausing

Today was a day of action, and also a day to collect my thoughts.

Started with Bob and I going to the undertaker and Church. We are still working on the post funeral reception.

Then, the girls and I have been walking, and wash has been done. Jim’s boss sent us lunch down, which was great.

Most of all, we’re breathing… All in all, a good thing.

My pal Mr. Moon

 

Taking comfort where ever I can get it from, I met up with my old pal, Mr. Moon, this morning, as I walked up to the SEPTA bus from Mom’s.

I thought about something that is always there, in one way, shape or form. I thought about when my Philadelphia nephews were small, and it would be told to them by my brother, Bob, that the last quarter moon was the north wind’s cookie. The full moon was the cookie, and as the lunar cycle went on, it was the north wind taking bites of the cookie. It warmed me momentarily to go mentally back to that simple time.

The Creator sure knows what he’s doing, doesn’t he?