Monthly Archives: January 2016

Fat …… or in Pain ……

…… that seems to be my choice now.

I know I’m not the only person who has to face this choice.
I’m not the only person who has to choose being miserable …… over being miserable.
And it stinks.

Almost a year and a half ago I found another doctor to see for my inflammatory arthritis. The first doctor I went to for a couple of years didn’t accomplish much except to pump my body full of toxins that didn’t help with my pain level.
At all.

So I went elsewhere.
And found a new doctor who couldn’t believe the treatments I’d previously had.
He tried something else.
Something way less toxic.
Something that helped take my daily pain level from a 7 or 8 down to a 4 or 5 most of the time.
I’ve been on this medication ever since.

But while my pain started to lessen, my weight started to increase.
No matter what I did …… or didn’t do.
No matter how many barre classes I pushed through.
Or how many calories I didn’t eat or drink.

It just kept, and keeps, going up.

Some of you know that for me, gaining weight is a scary concept.
It’s taken me a while to realize that I’m not crazy, and to find the reason that I can’t control my body.
It was a relief to find the cause.
Sort of.

Once I knew it was the medication, I had a choice.
Stop taking it so that maybe I can lose the weight.
And be in more pain again …… and miserable.

Or keep taking it to keep the pain at bay.
And be miserable.

It seems like a lose-lose situation.

I did go off of the meds for a little over a week.
I mean, I have a wedding coming up and the thought of being in pictures makes my pulse race and my blood pressure rise.
I don’t want people who haven’t seen me in a long time to see me now.
I know, that to a lot of people, this sounds more than stupid.
But for me, it is what it is.
I am not happy with my body.
That’s not true.
I hate my body.

But my body did not like being off of the meds.
I tried to tough it out, but after about 10 days or so I gave in.
And started taking the meds again.
Which doesn’t make me happy …… but it makes me feel better physically.

Why am I telling you this?
Because I know that I’m not the only person who faces this fight.
Yes, there are worse things that could be happening.
And yes, there are people out there going through truly horrible things in their lives.
I get that.

But I also get that this is my reality.
But not just mine.
So I’m doing the same thing that I do when I write about missing Jim, and the effect that grief has on me.
I’m admitting to it and letting people know that they’re not alone.

It’s beyond miserable.
Be in pain, but more “fit”.
Or control the pain, and hate looking at yourself in the mirror.
And not fitting into your clothes.
And …… being terrified that the weight gain is not going to stop.

So for those of you who think it’s incredibly stupid that I’m admitting to this …… I’m sorry.
And to those of you who understand because you’re going through the same thing …… I’m sorry.

Living the Vida Loca ……

…… in Waco, Texas.

Well, I’m not all that sure that it’s the “vida loca”, but it’s been interesting.
I went house hunting for two days. I found a couple of houses that I like very much.
But I need to sell one or two homes before I acquire another. I mean …… I’m not all that into real estate.
And I do NOT want to own more houses than I do right now.
At all.

So we shall see what happens.
The lake house goes on the market tomorrow.
I have mixed emotions about selling it, but not as many as I would’ve thought.

The last weekend of Jim’s life was spent there.
With our three sons.
We had a wonderful time.
The weekend before Christmas.
I’ll never forget it.
It’s engraved in my memory.

Jim loved that lake house.
I did, too.
Not so much since.
It’s just not the same.

And now the kids are older and further away.
So there are no more weekends at the lake.
It hasn’t become what we dreamed it would.
And that’s OK.
That actually makes it easier to part with.

I don’t particularly enjoy spending time there now.
It’s not the same.
It was supposed to be for us.
And now there is no us.

So it’s time to sell it to another family.
A family who can make the kind of fun memories we made.
It’s a great house.
On a great piece of property.
Right on the lake.
It’s beautiful.
I’ll miss it.

But then, I’ve been missing it for 8 years.
Because it’s not what it was.
But I hope it will be for another family.

In other news …… I’ve been on Gigi Duty for the last 24+ hours.
Daughter #2 had a conference to attend, so I’m here taking care of Little Man.
Boy, am I glad that I’m a Gigi and not a mom to a 15 month old.
Don’t get me wrong …… he is amazing.
And I love him more than I can put into words.
But holy cow …… 15 month olds take a lot of energy.
Which is why God designed us to have them at a much earlier age than I am now.

Although I have to tell you …… that I’m very proud of myself.
For teaching him/getting him to finally say …… mama.
The kid has refused to say “mama”.
In fact, he’s made a game out of it.
I’ll say, “Say Mama”, and he grins and says, “Dada”.
Every single time.
But two nights ago, for the first time, he uttered the word, “Mama”, after I put him to bed.
Of course he did that without me being able to capture it on video.
And I have no doubt that he did it on purpose.
The stinker.

Daughter #2 left last night around 6:00.
So I fed him dinner, cleaned him up and put him to bed.
And he may, or may have not, uttered the word, “Mama”.
Once or twice.

Tonight, after I put up with a couple of tantrums, fed him, cleaned him up, put his pjs on him, brushed his teeth, and finally put him in his crib, he decided to stand back up and chat with me.

So I got my phone out and started recording him, knowing that I could eventually get him to say, “Mama”.
And I did.
I was very proud of him, and of me.
And I immediately sent the video to Daughter #2.

I think it might have made her day.
Which probably wasn’t all that hard to do since she’s at a work conference.
But I think she was pretty happy with the video.

Gigi duty has gone pretty well.
Last night he went to bed very easily for me.
As he had done the night before when Daughter #2 went out to dinner with a friend.
Evidently he gives her a harder time.
As they are prone to do.

Last night he was out cold by 7:20.
He cried out at around 10:00, I patted him on the back, and he went back to sleep.
At 2:00 a.m. he woke up and cried. He could not be consoled enough to go back to sleep so I took him out of the crib and put him in bed with me.
Which, I have to admit, was the same horrible experience it was when my kids were small and I would let them in bed with me when Jim was out on an Indian Princess/Indian Guides weekend.
Meaning that he rolled all over that bed and did indeed kick me in the face more than once.
But hey …… instead of carrying each child into bed so that we could all get at least half a night’s sleep …… I just put up with his feet being in my face.
And so he slept.
Until 6:00 a.m.

Have I told you lately that I am NOT a morning person?
If you know me well, or even kind of well, you know that.
But heck, he was up so it was easier to get up than to fight it.

Which meant that I could fix him breakfast, make his lunch and drive him to day care by 8:00 a.m.
And then come back to get some much needed rest.

Yeah, maybe I’m not such a good Gigi.
Or maybe I am because I’m a Gigi who knows that she needs some down time in order to be the best Gigi she can be.
Thank God for day care.

Little Man is creeping up on his Terrible Twos. Which actually start around 18 months, but he seems to be ahead of the pack.
He was pretty bratty tonight …… until I got him set up for dinner.
The boy loves to eat.
No kidding.
He lives to eat.
And if you’ve seen a picture of him …… you understand.

Daughter #2 Face Timed us tonight, before dinner, but it didn’t go as well as we’d hoped. He was right in the middle of a bratty Terrible Two’s episode.
He totally loved seeing her on my lap top, but only for a couple of minutes or so.
After that he was off to bite me or scream because I wouldn’t let him take a bite out of one of the dogs or my toes.
He’s not very discriminating when it comes to biting someone/something.

But he did calm down once I changed his diaper, put his pjs on him and coated him in some kind of Johnson’s Baby Bedtime Lotion.
I’m not sure what that really is, but I was told to put it on him, and so I did.

The funny thing is …… he goes to bed much easier for me than he does for D#2.
I need to preface this with the fact that they are living in a one room, studio apartment. The whole thing is smaller than my bedroom (in Texas).
So when she puts him to bed she turns off all of the lights, the TV and anything else that might shine a light into their space. And then she sits in the dark while working on her computer or whatever else she can do in the dark.

Now me? Not so much.
He’s gone to bed three nights in a row with not only a light, but also the TV on.
And he’s had no problems with it.
I put him to bed, tell him “Night Night”, say his good night prayer (Now I lay me down to sleep …) and he lies down and goes to sleep.
Tonight he stood back up and chatted with me for a bit …… thus, I captured the “Mama” moment …… but he soon lay down and fell asleep.

I’m loving this Gigi stuff.

Which brings us back to the reason that I’m deciding to sell my home(s) and move to Waco.
I want to be close to Daughter #2 so that I can help out when she needs it.
Plus it puts me closer to Daughter #3, Son #1 and Son #2.

I still plan to divide my time between NY and TX, but we shall see which place I decide to spend the most time in.

So there you go …… the Vida Loca.



Life Moves Forward ……

…… and stops.

It’s been an eventful week for my family. Exciting things have been happening.
But for other families …… time has stopped.

Granted, I don’t personally know these families, but I have been where they are and I know the journey that lies before them.
And my heart breaks for them.

David Bowie …… and his wife Iman.
Alan Rickman …… and his wife Rima.
Rene Angelil …… and his wife Celine.

I hate that these women are now in this “club”.
I hate what lies ahead for them.
I hope that they find the kind of support and love and acceptance that’s here for them.

And life moves forward.
Slowly. One second at a time.
And then one day at a time.

I’m feeling overwhelmed.
In a good way.

Daughter #2 has been involved in a home remodeling.
It just so happens that this remodel is being done by a very popular show on HGTV.
It’s been going on since early November.
And today was the “reveal” of the finished project.

I was on “Gigi duty”.
Meaning, I took care of Little Man while all of the filming was going on.
I watched the taping from afar.
Which was frustrating, because I would’ve loved to have seen my daughter’s face when she saw her “new” home.
But I’ll watch it on TV when everyone else does.
(Which will be some time in March or April …… I’ll keep you posted.)

I took pictures from several houses away.
I entertained Little Man and then drove him around the block a few times so that he could fall asleep for a nap.
We spent an hour or so in the car.
And then it was done and I was able to wake him up and go into the house.

I knew that the finished product would be wonderful.
I expected to be delighted with the result.
But I didn’t expect to be so overwhelmed that I would cry.
Really cry.
I was shocked.
And so grateful and thrilled for my daughter.
I felt very blessed that she has been so blessed.
The house is more beautiful than I could have imagined.

I feel honored to be a witness to this blessing.
And honored to know that so many of my friends and family have helped out with this blessing.
Daughter #3 and her very good friend (also sometimes known as Daughter #4) created a site for people to donate for this remodel.
Contrary to popular belief, HGTV does not pay for the work.
You have to pay for it yourself, and it is not cheap.
Not by a long shot.

I shared the site on Face Book.
And holy cow, my friends and family rose to the occasion.
I’m flabbergasted at the love and generosity.
It will help Daughter #2 so very much.
She’s a social worker.
She’s a single mom of a foster child (who’s now 15 months old … can you believe it?!!).
And she’s moving forward to try to adopt Little Man.
All prayers are very appreciated.

I think they’re going to keep the site open for a bit longer.
If you’d like to help …… here’s the link.
If you can’t, we’d still appreciate your prayers and positive thoughts.

They still need to finish a few things before she and Little Man can move back into the house.
Which will hopefully be in a couple of weeks.

Right now she’s living in a studio apartment.
Which is about the size of a nice walk in closet.
I don’t know how she’s done it.
But I’ll get to experience it later this week when she goes to a conference and Gracie and I move in to take care of Little Man.
Keep those prayers and positive thoughts coming!

Until then Gracie and I are staying in a hotel.
In Waco, Texas.
Which gives you a clue as to the HGTV show.
You’re welcome.

Fifty six ……

…… yep, 56 …… that’s how old you’d be today …… if you were still here.
Instead …… you are forever 47.
Not fair, Jim.
Totally not fair.


In case you’re wondering, though I don’t think that you are, I miss you.
Every single day of my life …… I miss you.

You have missed so much.
Or have you?
Do you see us?
Are you a witness to everything our kids have been through?
Do you know how far each of them has come?
If so, I know that you are bursting with pride.
For each of them.
And all that they’ve accomplished.
All while missing you.


My life is so different now.
You’d hardly recognize it.
Or would you?
Do you see me?
Are you aware of how much has changed?
Are you proud of me?


I hope so.
I hope that you see.
I hope that you’re here …… nearby. Watching and cheering me on.
I’m not sure if you are.
But I hope so.

When you died, most of me died.
I thought I would die.
I wished I’d die.
But here I am.
Eight years later.
Not only alive …… but living.
There’s a difference, you know.


I’m living.
I’m joyful.
I’m happy.
I’m content.

There are still days.
The missing of you still brings tears.
The loving of you will never end.
Not by me.
Not by your children.
Not by anyone who truly knew you.

Thank you for loving me unconditionally.
Thank you for our children.
Thank you for striving to be a godly man.
And a loving father.
And a Christ-like husband.


Thank you for wanting to grow old with me.
Even though you didn’t.
It’s the thought that counts.
And you are always in my thoughts.


I love you, Jim.
Always and forever.
And I’ll see you soon.