Good night Sweet Prince.

A native son from my hometown of Roxborough went missing on the morning of Thanksgiving.

His name was Shane Montgomery and he was a 21-year-old college student.

He had seemed to disappear into mid-air and there had been a search in the area until January 3, 2015, when they found his body in the river in the area.No foul play: the death had been ruled an accident.

An accident.

I have three nephews who are now over 21 and I can not begin to fathom the pain and grief that Shane’s parents and family are going through.What is touching me even deeper is that I grew up two blocks from the mom’s family and know them from the neighborhood.When Jim and I got married and joined our parish, we became friendly with Shane’s Aunt Maryann and Uncle Fred.

An accident.

They found Shane the morning after I retired.I am now 100 miles away from my hometown and was unable to get there for the viewing and funeral.I was there is spirit, though.Tonight on Facebook, there was an even to light a candle for Shane. Yes, I did participate.To honor Shane’s memory, not to light his way to heaven because I truly believe he is there, and to send the candle flame to the Montgomery and Verbrugghe families.

Your son has become my nephew, and my heart is broken, as is yours.My candle is lit and my prayers are continuing for your family.

And Shane?

“Good night, Sweet Prince.”



Saint John Paul II

I was fortunate enough to meet him in 1966, when I was in first grade. The Polish band of missionaries, called the Pauline fathers, we building a giant shrine in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, called the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, home of the Czarna Madonna in America.He was only Karol Cardinal Wojtyla then.

As I was brought up Catholic and am of Polish heritage, when they made him the Pope, I rejoiced with all Polonia when The Holy Father was installed.I avidly followed his travels,prayed with concern during his attempted assassination, prayed with him as he failed with Parkinson’s disease. I Cried as I was up early watching his funeral.

It goes without saying that I was up at 3 am yesterday morning watching “my” Pope declared Saint.I had a little tear in my eye thinking of my family who would be watching the proceedings in heaven, My dad was five months younger than the Pope so it goes without saying he followed his papacy with interest, and for all I know, he can be rubbing shoulders with him in heaven now.

Saint John Paul II, ora pro nobis.


Goodbye my friend.

I do sick calls for the Church.

I see three, maybe four people.One of them is my pal Sue.

After getting off the phone now, I have mixed emotions.Her secondary caregiver informed me they started her on hospice yesterday. She is getting morphine for pain every four hours.


Sue and I have talked about dying and pain and how she wants to see her Mom again, and the two of us believe she will.Being Catholic, it’s one strong belief we both share.She could talk about it to me, because we know we could always talk about anything.We even kind of laughed about it, because the last time we talked about it, we chuckled that she would have the last laugh and one day I’d come down to see her and she won’t be there.

So I’ll go see her today, and Jim and the girls will go with me.I know in my heart that she wants to go, but as I type this, I know the emotions I have will be rough. I don’t even know if she’ll be awake from the morphine.

She has been a major part of my married life. She was a friend I could talk husbands with, talk dogs with, joke about weather girls with.

I always joked that when she goes to heaven, to help me out while I am down here.I’ll miss her, but she will always be in my heart.


I am dreading today and am glad to be working .

Yes, it is Christmas Eve, but being of Polish descent, it’s when we ” did” the holiday .

So this is life after Mom’s death.

No Christmas pin can make it right. No Mom= loss. My heart is in my gut thinking of past Christmases.Dad was gone and now so is she.

It’s going to be a long day.
Hold a good thought, ok?
I need it.

Merry Christmas!


Happy birthday in Heaven

It’s been a year, Mom.
A year since I got to sing Happy Birthday to you.
A year since I gave you some chocolates, fuzzy socks you always liked, and sang Sto Lat.

Well, you didn’t make one hundred . You hit eighty- nine. I was blessed to have you for fifty-two of them. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t miss you. I miss those blue eyes, that soft touch, that smile.

Happy birthday in Heaven, Mom. I know Dad made the pound cake for you , not our favorite 1-2-3-4 cake. I’m glad Dad is with you to get you your first heavenly birthday card.

Our December birthdays won’t be the same without you.



Getting a bit close..

…to my Mom’s birthday.

She would be 90 this Tuesday and it is rough.

We were mother and daughter and occasionally we were partners in crime back in the early days, but this month was the one bond we both had in common-DECEMBER. You see her birthday was the 18th, my nephew Gregory turns 23 on the 19th and I round it up on the 22nd.

I remember how I was watching Mom during one of last year’s hurricane threats and it had turned out that there was actually a tornado watch in the area. What was I going to do? Stay in a closet and watch Mom and her hospital bed get sucked out the window? I made up my mind, and despite whatever the level of the threat was, I sat on the kitchen chair that we kept by her bed and held her hand and talked to her in Polish. I remember thinking to myself that if I were to be hit by lightning or something else happening, it was appropriate, as I was holding the hand of the woman who brought me into this world. How fitting would it be if we left this world together. In short, I was as calm as could be because I was with Mom and knew whatever would happen, we were together.

I know how people always will tell you the first year is the hardest, and I can vouch for a fact that it is. If I can get through the birthday week, however, I’d like to think it’ll be ok. I know she’s with Dad and they are having the 1234 cake that she used to make, and it’ll be a good, heavenly birthday for her.

I just wish it didn’t hurt so much.





So awfully glad..

There were times in my life that I was sorry I couldn’t bear children. I guess, that would have been through my early forties.

Now, on the cusp of my fifty-third birthday, boy am I glad.

I was talking with my neighbors this morning and we were talking about holidays and I said about my nephews being grown. Back in the day it would be going on the train, getting to town, seeing Santa, presents, lunch, well, you know the drill. Don’t get me wrong, mind you-I love kids. The thought of this year having to go out and toy shop and all the jazz that goes with it, well, I feel like I got a break.The first year without Mom is going to be rough enough, or should I say, I know it’ll have its moments. I know she is where she wanted to be and all is good on that front. It’ll just be nice to think back on memories of the past and make my own present memories with Jim and the girls.

Friday five

My godson/nephew Greg has been my right hand this summer. From meeting me once in a while at the train, changing my flag out front, to taking care of mom’s lawn…I tell him constantly how thankful I am, and I hope he knows it!

The lousy heat has raised its’ head again. I am grateful to be employed and cashing a check that allows me an occasional iced coffee splurge.

I also am glad and thankful for my faith: my parents were with me in a dream-I know they are together and happy!

It’s August, and it is our anniversary month: I am blessed to have my Jim, even when he is freezing and I am sweating to death! 🙂

In closing , thank you, reader! I am glad you’re here.



I am a three cancer survivor. Between my second and third cancers, I lost my eighteen year old niece,Alexandra, to a mid-brain tumor. After she passed, it was funny that thoughts of her crossed my mind and a butterfly would appear,

Two of my BFFs, Duch and Jen, also shared symbolism with me. For Jen, it was her late Mom, and Duch’s late granddaughter, Leah, was a” butterfly baby”; that is , she suffered from EB.

Jim and I walked the trail at Cape May state park, and I took the shot you see in this blog. My faith has me a firm believer in life after death. It was nice to have the butterfly cross my path.

“All is well.”


Losing a bud.

I was shocked this morning when one of my best friends, Juls, texted me to say her 12-year-old golden retriever, Brinley, died in her arms. That’s Brin and Juls in the above picture with me and Zush.

As my pal Juls said of Brinley, she was a classy gal. I’d like to think Zush learned from hanging around with her. Poor Brin was hit by a UPS truck when she was six and made it through 4 surgeries and physical therapy and fought like a trooper. She got to know Zusher first, and later “tolerated” Kasia, as did Zush.**hahahaha** She took to the younger pups, suffered no fools, and was comfortable in her own skin, as is Zush.

I wish I was with my pal Juls now, as I know we’d both be quivering masses of tears.Dog moms are like that, as these guys are our kids too.As I sit here and type this, tears are filling my eyes because I loved Brin-she was a special gal. I know Zush and Kasia and I will meet up with her again, but until then, I will miss her. I never got a chance to thank her for all the love she gave, but, I think she knew it.

Rest up, Brin- you’ll need your energy for when we all catch up with you.

Genevieve, meet Veronica

Three weeks ago, Jim and I were down at the ” Undisclosed Location”, and traveled to Our Lady Star of the Sea Church for Sunday morning Mass, as  we are known to do. It is a beautiful church from the 1800’s with a gorgeous marble altar.

A good friend of ours usually is in the pew before us with his Mom, and we sit with them.

After Mass, his Mom turned to me and hugged me and gave me condolences regarding my Mom, and I had said that I am short a Mom: she said she would be happy to fill in. We laughed, kissed and said good-bye.

My second mother was found unresponsive by her son last weekend, and rushed to an area hospital. The prognosis was not good, and I was feeling so bad for my buddy, for as the old saying goes, I had been there and done that.

As I got off the train this morning to come into work, I got a call on the cell. For a moment, I thought it was a caregiver checking in for my Mom and then realized those days were gone.

It was my friend, who told me of my “second” Mother’s passing early this morning.


I was fortunate, in that I got to know “Mother Genevieve:” over this past summer in particular, as she had been ill and needed communion and I am a Eucharistic minister for my church., so I was able to bring her or send her son a host to bring to her. She had lost her dog a year ago, and Jim and I would bring the girls over and she always got her dog fix when they came with us for a visit. She had come over to the “Undisclosed Location” with her son, and I am glad she made it over to see it. We saw her over at 5 guys, coming in to order a burger. We laughed, as I poked my belly and said something to the effect that you don’t want to end up like me. She laughed and said that they were so good, it was worth it

My “two” Moms are now together in heaven…boy am I in trouble now…, strike that: I know that I have two good women up there on my side. I’ll be sleeping well tonite.


Heaven opening up

It would stand to figure it’s raining this morning.

Old school says if it’s raining for a funeral, it’s God opening up heaven to let the body in .

Well,I believe Mom is in heaven already. However, the gravesite is on the side of a hill. It’s rainy…I have a black dress on. Get the probable equation…

“Man plans, God laughs.”. 😀

Faith is…

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen..”

One of the many things I am so thankful as I begin the new era of my life without my Mom is how she brought me up.

I am no saint, but she truly worked on instilling faith into me. Hey Mom? It worked.

Three cancers I fought through: I had faith.

Losing my Dad? Now my Mom? FAITH.

I know that she has  been greeted and is safe and secure in heaven. It is so funny, as in our “black” humor,Bob and I have been talking to each other saying who has Mom tonite. Last night we said it was Paul, the undertaker…and we joked about making him tuck her in tight. Well, not to fear: God has her wrapped up tight and she’ll be secure forever.

Sleep tight Mom.