Saint

Today is the feast day of Saint Pope John Paul II.

I had the experience of being in his presence in Doylestown, Pennsylvania in 1966, when the new Polish shrine to Our Lady of Czestochowa was dedicated.

It is kind of funny, in retrospect, because I would have been six years old at the time, and they say childhood memories stay with you.This is true, because I do remember seeing Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, who was probably in his early forties at the time,and remember the moment.Funny what the mind allows you to keep.The day he was elected Pope by the College of Cardinals sticks in my memory, as I remember how happy and proud my parents were.I was wrapping my mind around the fact that someone whose presence I was in was now a Pope.Talk about mind-blowing.

I also remember being home when he was in his final illness and passed away. I was with the millions who attended the Mass on television.Large banners were sprinkled through the crowd, proclaiming “Santo Subito”, which means “Saint now” in Italian.

There has been a lot going on in my life, especially the past couple of months.I usually say my morning prayers and meditate when I walk my girls in the morning.Today I recalled that it’s about time that I direct some of my prayers to him.

After all, we go way back….***wink***

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Joauquin by Northwest

The hurricane that is coming, fading, or whatever, Joaquin, is second fiddle down here right now.

The coin of the realm here is the Nor’easter.

It was bad enough that the ferry “consolidated” boats due to lack of folks wanting to go on a Disney-esque boat ride that would probably have turned the most galvanized stomach green. I, the hourly purveyor of what my three weather apps on my phone say, well, each time I thought I was going out in drizzle, well, I forgot one thing. The formula is you have to take drizzle and multiply it by a 25 knot wind and then you have one saturated self, not to mention puppies. I went out at my lunch half hour today to try to get steps in, and the first 1.5 miles were rough. I am, although thanks to fit bit zip a bit smaller, but I am a big Polish girl and that wind was fighting me. Needless to say, the last 1.5 miles was a literal breeze, as the wind was at my back giving me a little help.

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To counter all of this storm, though, Jim and I are going for our flu shots tomorrow morning, and after we take care of the health of our bodies, I will act on the health oh Zush and Kasia and my soul, when we take our girls to our parish church, when they will be celebrating the feast of St.Francis of Assisi with the traditional blessing of the animals.

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Did I mention I’ll be working on a crock pot of chicken soup to boot?

A good day to take care of the entire family.

Ten

We have finished our first nine months of living full time here, away from the big city.

I would lie if I said I don’t miss the big city, because there are occasions that I do miss certain aspects of my prior life.We used to love close to Fairmount Park, and I miss having the ability to take the girls back there on occasion. When we lived on Rochelle, we were back there all the time.Now that it is October, I know the colors in the park will be spectacular, and although there are trees here, well, it’s not the same as where we first lived.

It is a dreary day here, as Hurricane/Tropical Storm Jauquin is working its’ way up the coast.It matches my mood here, as I am having Zush go for her second blood work today at the vet and worry is an understatement. I am just hoping to keep my girl going as long as I possibly can. There is something about being down here in stormy weather that just really brings out.After seeing, and reading, “The Perfect Storm”, weather is magnified when walking down by the bay. I would never have this atmosphere back in the city.

The first bunch of months here are in the books. I am hoping that we get through the next bunch well, and we stay happy and relatively healthy. I can’t pray and ask for more.

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Life really sucks sometimes 

The vet called me this morning with the results of Zusher’s blood work.

The good news is she isn’t diabetic-hah something I could deal with.

Liver enzymes are elevated, calcium is elevated, she may have anal sac cancer and the vet just kept throwing things at me on the phone here at work between my tears.

Prayer and good mojo desperately needed.

Thanks!

  

*Sigh*

There’s nothing like the swift kick of major disappointment, no matter what your age,to really get you low.

Best of intentions, promises, ideas are all good when it comes, but hey…you are left at square one. It wouldn’t hurt so much if you weren’t anticipating it… There is only one way around it. After all, I always read that man plans and God laughs.

just breathe and pray on it…that’s how I roll. Don’t expect anything and you won’t be disappointed.

  

Optimism 

It is incredible what the flip of a calendar page brings.

September is here and my heart is wide open to all new experiences coming down the pike. Change is in the wind, be it good, bad or indifferent…the key element here is change. Change is movement-at least you aren’t wallowing and stagnant!

It is a blessing to get up in the morning and get my two feet on the ground. It’s a blessing to see Jim ok and the furgirls ok. When I take them out in the morning, I say my prayers and talk to family in heaven. I get to walk in a natural area surrounded by beauty. When times are rough, all I have to do is remember that.

If only all were as fortunate as I am. 

 

Censoring Myself

For many years now, I have been writing posts to this blog.

Usually I write about something that has come across my mind, life, whatever, during the day.

On occasion,I have had things that I would have written about, but I pulled back at the last moment,because I just don’t feel like fighting with people or explaining myself. I feel that my writing pretty much speaks my mind.

Right now, I am asking for prayers and good thoughts. I am going through some rough emotional waters right now and need to get through it.

Thanks.

Dropping in

So today was Mother’s day.

We went to the city to spend time with Jim’s 96-year-old Mom. She is wonderful and was really in great spirits while we were there.

Then we went to see my Mom and Babcis.

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This gravestone marker always served as our guide where my Mom’s Mom, or my Babci was buried nearby. My parents are buried by my Dad’s Mom, or my other Babci. There is something surreal as you get older and have no one left to see: everyone has left you behind.Sure, I get exercise getting to the graves, and since we travel a while to get there, I walk the girls on the road so we can get some steps in.But still, you become enveloped in loss. Not only do you realize your immediate family is gone but you recognize names on the gravestones around you. If you don’t realize that you ARE the adult now and the circle of life.

It was still something of a comfort to be at my Mom’s grave, and not just talking and praying for her from a distance. I believe she is always with me.

Packing it up

The problem with weekends is that they are too short.

We have gotten the car packed up and probably will try to hit the road around 1:30p.m.-2p.m.,as we would like to get back down to home before sunset.It is incredible when you try to bypass a major urban area and plot for back roads,well, you see the mileage decrease but the time is somewhat comparable.We actually are planning to try a new route home, so it would be so nice to see where we are going.

It has been a blast hanging out with Juls and Tim, and the bonus is that the fit bit zip daily goals have been met, thanks to being on the side of a mountain. If anything, they should add more kudos on because you are actually hiking up the side of a mountain when you are coming back up to the house.After fifty plus years of being in the city, and being used to the background noise to the point of it being white noise, well,between Undisclosed and here, the quiet with an occasional passing car really rocks.I get to pray, meditate, clear my thoughts, and generally be at peace.

After all, life is too short.

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.”

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Keep it clean!

I came home from work tonight to find out our Zush got her bandage off. Jim let me know, and as Dr./Nurse Mom, it’s my job to clean her up. I washed the area and cleaned it up, put Neosporin on it and tried self stick adhesive bandage over non stick gauze.**fingers crossed**

Kasia is keeping her sister on her toes, as it’s Halloween week, Kasia doesn’t care for kids.They probably teased or hurt her when she was younger, but kids are running up and down the street looking at Halloween decorations. Zush is just being a puppy: the pain-killer makes her feel that good. In the meantime, Kasia is ready to pull me into the street to get away from kids.

In the grand scheme of things, keep the prayers coming.They are appreciated by all of us.Trust us, we are sending them back up for you!

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**sigh**

It’s been that kind of day.

To top it off, I came home and Zush is hurting again.The yelp is back, albeit it very sporadic.The Zusher needs to be monitored constantly. Unfortunately, I have to be at work and Jim is busy during the day.When I left her this morning there was no yelp. This afternoon, I cam through the door and it’s almost being back at square 3.She isn’t constantly yelping. I wish she wasn’t yelping, period.

Please hold a good thought or say a little prayer for the Zush, and hold a good thought for Mom, i.e.,me.It’s rough when you don’t know what’s wrong with the baby!

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9/11

Tomorrow is the thirteenth anniversary of the 9/11 disaster.

I am back where I was then.

9/11 happened eleven months before we were married. I was here as a single living with Mom. I was at work that Tuesday morning and remembered seeing the image on computer news feeds, thinking, is it a new simulated game or what? I wasn’t used to seeing pictures and news feeds back then.We all went home, and I called Mom to make sure she was all right and to let her know I was on my way.

When I got home, my neighbor from across the street, KJ and I met and had prayers on the front lawn, and we later had prayer with my Mom.Such a terrible day, and such tragedy for so many people.

All I can do is pray that we all manage to stay safe, and the souls of 9/11 are in eternal rest.

God bless America.

End of the Summer Season

Yup, I know Fall doesn’t start until late September.

As I sit here and type this, I am looking out the window and looking at the late summer lawn and garden.Part of me is genuinely sad, as I am sitting in the room where both my parents passed away in 1998 and 2012.That thought and looking at the outside really makes me feel the passage of time.Part of me laments the fact that I used to go swimming in the summer with Zush, and the fact that we are both getting a little older, well, Zush goes in and I keep her company going up to my mid-calves.

I feel depressed.

The hope I have is for the future.

The hope to finish out my time here in the city and pray that the future is kind to us all.To actually live in a house with my husband that is ours and with our furniture and belongings and things that are ours is something that I am patiently waiting for. I hear Jim say about how is going to miss his job, and yet, I am leaving mine to move as is he, and this was the first time I heard him express that.Wow…something else to mull over in my mind,

I mull these things over in my head, and although I know I am more than ready to leave, I can only pray that we all survive the transition.

In the crispness of fall, hopefully, things will be comforting to us and we all will be alright.

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Eye-eye!

I am to have a procedure tomorrow morning.

On my lower right eye-lid, I have a growth right by the tear duct.They say they “think” it isn’t cancer. I said let’s make sure.

The office is a two bus ride away from the house. In a lot of cases today, physicians have surgery suites right in the building where their offices are.I’ll get myself over and Jim will have to bring me back.I have been told that I’ll have to take it easy over the weekend, and my eye will possibly be patched up to keep foreign bodies out of it.

It’s nothing that I haven’t been through before, in one form or another. You always are a lithe scared, and usually I pray, a lot, to help me mentally get through.So if you miss a post or two, well , it’ll be because it’s rough being a one-eyed pirate.

I’ll catch you when I am a little better in post-op.

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Dreary…

It’s a rainy Friday and my bones are feeling it.

Arthritis is a really crappy thing. It cripples a lot of folks, and fortunately I am not one of their number yet.Yet it is really hard for me to complain knowing the pain I have seen this week.What I go through is nothing next to people who are so far gone that they are terminal.
Their bravery and emotion is astounding.

It’s enough to make me stop complaining and be thankful for the fact that I am up this morning, Jim is up, the girls are up and we have two feet and/or four paws on the ground.It goes without saying that I am feeling blessed to be here this morning, and know I can still sit on my own to type this when others are in bed, just waiting.

If you are of the praying mind, or even just the good thought mind, please think of Sue this weekend.She’d appreciate it as would I.

Thanks.

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Rough

I make sick calls for my Church, bringing Communion to those who can’t make it to Mass.

Last night I stopped first and saw my buddy Sue. What a rough visit.

Her condition is going downhill.Her husband, although he probably knows it, doesn’t say it.
So when he is out of the room talking to my husband, Sue and I talk about a lot of things.
Basically we talk about dying.

Her quality of life is getting poorer by the day. She was speaking of how she can’t get in
the car and ride any more.She can’t walk Eby, her dog.As ahe speaks to me, the tears fall
from her eyes. Her degenerative brain disease obviously hasn’t gotten to her emotions
yet, although she told me yesterday her eyes are starting to fail.

I did manage to make her laugh though.

We talked about her leaving and eventually seeing her family again, as is the belief or
the faith we share.I told her that one day I would come to see her and she wouldn’t be
there.I looked at her straight in the eye and asked her who’d have the last laugh?

She said she would, of course….and we both started laughing.

Hold a good thought , or say a prayer for Sue if you would, please.
It’s rough,leaving one spot behind.

Thanks…appreciate it!

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Wednesday Update

The girls and I are hanging around trying to get our day started.

We had a good night and morning, with the advent of the cool front,or Zush off her meds, or a combination of both. Now if I could only get the weather to cooperate, well, the grey in my hair would cut down considerably.

It is a good week to be on vacation. We are enjoying the quiet of the neighborhood, and will probably return back to Undisclosed De

ux later today.It’s kind of funny though, because,you really don’t mind the city when the weather cools and the kids are back in school.

It is a little rough getting started though, because behind the Candelabra is on HBO again. It’s so funny, knowing Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones are separated now: as I mentioned in a previous blog-Douglas does such a convincing Liberace, in my opinion, that I’d be wondering about him when he came home if I was his spouse….loll

A Happy New Year to my Jewish friends and to all of you, thanks for good thoughts and prayers for the Zusher. I appreciate it!

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Packing it all up.

Today is my last day in the office for the week.

The grand move has commenced.

Jim and our neighbor have started moving some of the stuff. They threw a few random
calls to me along the way, as I have to work until 5PM. I am sure the fur children
are just waiting for me to get home and see what’s up. There are so many factors
going on at the same time, that if I get through this without getting an ulcer,
I would consider my self blessed.

I’ll be blogging along the way, and ask for your good vibe and prayers, ’cause
Lord knows I need them.

Thanks, Gentle Reader.

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Is it November yet?

What was the old saying? These are the times that try men’s souls….. Or in this case, mine.

I truly believe that if God brings you to it, He’ll get you through it. So I have me faith on getting me through this change,successfully, and by His grace Jim, myself and the fur girls will make out ok.

Of course this weather is of no help,and the fact that Jim is running around like a madman makes me more nervous. Somehow sleep and a meal have lost meaning to him .i told him I want him around….

I have always hated drama and yet it’s amazing how life throws it at you. So on behalf of Jim, the fur girls and myself….keep the prayers and good karma going this way- it sure is needed

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Through my own little window

I love my platform rocker. It’s in my living room and, while sitting here, I can lay back and take everything in.

In my prior post, I mentioned that the weather this morning was overcast. Well, a front came through, and the light coming in through these stained glass windows is spectacular. It makes it the spot I like to say my prayers in. It’s also the last spot , when Mom was well, that she was here with me.

With light coming through like this, I feel her with me.

Have a good week!

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Time, time, time….

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…to see what’s become of me, while I look around, at my possibilities….

I always loved Simon and Garfunkel, and Jim and I both listen to them once in a while in the car.

I thought the lyrics were relevant, as here we are again, waiting and wondering, as Jim likes to say,
” What’s gonna be..” A million other old chestnuts run through my mind too, like patience is a virtue
…but when the rest of your life depends on the outcome of what comes out, well, it’s hard not to stomp
your foot on the floor while you wait.

Still burning the wires with prayer….stay tuned!

This Friday’s five…

This Friday five starts with my appreciation of prayer. I do it every day, my friends ask me to pray for them and their families. I am a firm believer
In it. ‘Enough said!

I am appreciative of my friendship with Sue Harmer.She is a good friend who is suffering from a degenerative brain disease. Today is her 62nd birthday and I spent the morning with her. I cherish each day I have with her.

I am grateful my friends come to me and let me know when they hear things about me. It’s incredible how stupid people think others are.

Modern medicine gets my thanks: Jim is hacking his lungs out and I know cough medicine with codeine will save the weekend,

I am grateful Zush made it through the heat. The thanks only God knows!

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And so we start

So here it is.
Monday.
The first Monday without both of my buddies that retired.

Knowing it is going to take all I have, plus a ton of prayer and the strongest faith this side of the planet, I am going in to put my first x on the calendar . I will be offering big time prayers up that I can get out in one peace, and no it’s not a typo, for I have One gigantic heart full of peace and I would love for it to come with me.

Now if only things work out ok and my stomach un-knots, things will be ok.

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Falling apart

By looking at the picture, you wouldn’t know that Jim is falling apart.He was trying to look pleasant for the camera.

His health is suffering, the shingle nerve pain is getting to him, he isn’t sleeping well at all:how he is actually functioning on 2 feet is beyond me. I try to tell him stress aggravates shingles, yet he continues daily life as best as he can.

Keep us all, but especially Jim in your prayers or whatever-we need all the good vibes we can get. Thanks, friends!

Rare Disease Day

To call attention to rare diseases, today has been set apart as rare disease day. It is a jean wearing day and supporting the causes you believe in, and I believe it was being promoted by Facebook.

My good friend, Duch, lost her granddaughter  Leah to Epidemolysis Bullosa, a disease which people who are aware of call the poor children afflicted by it( meaning EB, for short) “Butterfly babies”, as their skin is constantly breaking down at even the most light of touches. My husband’s niece, Dawn, and her daughter Kayla, both are in hospice care suffering from Mitochondrial Disease. My good friend Ivana’s Mom is suffering from Scleroderma, which is a disease that I lost my Aunt Jennie, who was my godmother, to.

It is very easy for people to lose sight of what is good, and complain about things that “bother” them.

It’s a good day to count your blessings and support, in whatever way you can, those who are suffering from diseases that are, in a sense,  eventually killing them. Hopefully cures are being worked on to spare patients and their families the pain. Also, please take a minute to hold up a prayer  or good thought for those who are the caregivers for those suffering for those rare diseases, along with the patients. It’s a long haul for everyone.

Wish a shingle was only for a roof.

Jim’s shingles are a new experience which, quite frankly, I wish I never bought a ticket for.

I love my husband. Really.I do

Coming off of care giving for Mom, at least with Mom you could figure out how to make her comfortable. In a sense, it was basic care 101.

Shingles? Hah.

My friend Kate has been holding my hand through this and the doctor actually responded to me this morning but, **shaking my head** I just don’t know.It’s as though the Bermuda triangle has hit and we can’t seem to pull ourselves out of it. I know I can’t make his pain go away, but at the same time, I can’t seem to even help make him comfortable. It is a very frustrating situation that I find myself in. The doctor called with a basic increase in medicine this morning, and perhaps that’s the ticket. I hear from people who had relatives who had it and how badly the pain affected them and, quite frankly, I get scared. Cancer hits, you know you are losing control of your body.When possible, you do everything within your power to rid yourself of it. Dementia hits, the scariness is that your mind is going. Shingles, that damn dormant chicken pox virus, lies dormant, comes out with stress, bites you in the butt and seems to suck the life force out of you. It is truly an “E” ticket ride.

Me? Well, I’ll keep on keeping on, keep working the beads, and looking for only the “A” ticket rides.

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You’ve got to have friends…..

 

As the Bard Shakespeare himself once wrote, “Words are easy, like the wind; Faithful friends are hard to find.”

You guys know you are my faithful friends.

You have gotten me , and through prayerful extension,Bob, through the past four years. You have handed me tissues, shared lunch, walked with me, or even just shared a word or too regarding the current situation that I was in. The encouragement is what helped get me though this and I just wanted you to know that, and I am so deeply appreciative for your presence in my life.

I chose the picture for today because the sun has set on my Mom, but there are still clouds in the picture. With all your help, I know I can conquer the clouds and have some closure.

Cliche’ not with standing…thank you for being a friend.