It’s funny how during all of the darkness over the past month, we have been able to see some light. A glimmer here a glimmer there help the heart heal.
We are both very big believers in noticing the signs that are sent our way, and we were not blind to them even during the darkest of times. Hope comes in all shapes and sizes, the key is recognizing it.
The day after the nightmare began, I went with my daughter to see my husband at the hospital. While walking through the lobby we were greeted by a very friendly face. Sister Kate. The world is so small.
I know Sister Kate from my job, and I haven’t seen her in a couple of years. Our relationship is she is a patient and I’m in shock that this nice, warm, funny person is a Catholic nun. Where the hell were YOU when I was in school is ALWAYS my thought when I see her.
Sister Kate immediately knew from my haggard look that something was wrong. This was the first time I uttered the words “My husband tried to take his life” and the flood-gates opened. Her warm kind hug is just what I needed before heading to face my reality. Never underestimate the power of fate.
We walked into the room to find my husband under 24hr guard by none other than an Italian grandmother from South Philly. There isn’t a pill on the planet that can compare to the healing powers of this woman.
The room was stark, nothing but a bed. My husband was stripped of anything that could possibly hurt him, and yet this woman made that room feel like home. I was waiting for her to pull a portable oven out of her purse.
Lena was just what this doctor ordered…. a mothers’ love. Never underestimate the power of an Italian woman who gets joy from taking care of a man.
During this visit is when we learned that my husband had ZERO memory of the past 12 hours. If only the rest of us had that pleasure.
The following day my son came with me. This time the guard on duty was Lorraine, a very feisty black woman. She was definitely sent for me.
This day was very heavy as we sat patiently waiting for information on the next hospital setting. The silence was deafening. Except for Lorraine’s gum cracking which was no doubt echoing throughout the halls.
My son was saved by a friend who called insisting on taking him out to lunch. Perfect timing!
As we sat in awkward silence listening to that poor piece of gum being assaulted in Lorraine’s mouth, we heard the words “who are you all voting for?” Of all the questions on the planet to ask, this was the one she chose to ask the man on suicide watch.
This is when the unexpected public service announcement was made. Lorraine would be voting for Trump. Why do you ask? Well, because she was tired of her neighbors collecting free money for their 5 children that she named Uno, Dos, Tres, Cuatro & Cinco. Fast forward to 11/9 … yep, this is one reason why.
On that Sunday I went to see my husband at the next facility. No one could have prepared me for this step of the journey. I’m not sure who decided that people with depression should be dehumanized to feel better, but they need to be fired.
I left this visit defeated, broken and wondering where is that place Dr. Drew sends his patients and do they take Blue Cross? The lack of life in this place could make even the happiest of people second guessing the existence of rainbows. WTF!
When I returned home I was flat. There was just nothing left to feel. I was done. With a weak smile for the sake of the kids of course.
As my son was about to head back to school, he decided to raid my change jar to feed the parking meter in town. He took out a huge pile of coins searching for quarters.
Next thing I hear is “mom, didn’t you loose a ring?” I had lost my wedding band on Thanksgiving 2015.
I have torn this house apart more than once searching for it. Trust me when I tell you I put the FBI to shame with my search efforts.
Sure enough, there was my ring, on the floor, with a dime stuck in the center. My eyes could just about register what they were seeing. The dam broke, and 4 days of emotion exploded into the room.
If ever there was going to be a sign that everything was going to be ok, this friends, was it.
Still dodging potholes while Enjoying the Ride!
Three wise men walked into a Podiatrist office. No, this is not the beginning of a joke about aging feet, it’s the story of one of the best days I’ve had at work in a long time.
Let me introduce you to Harry, Norman & Robert. Three interesting, intelligent and inspiring men who walked into the office, dropped some wisdom and went about their day.
Harry -83 years young: Harry is a recent surgery patient with a wonderful sense of humor.
When he came in for his first post-op appointment he said, and I quote: “I want to thank Lisa for answering all of my questions, she is a fountain of knowledge.” I asked him to call my children to inform them of that fact, he thought I was kidding … I was not.
Believe it or not, the accurate conclusion that Harry made about me was not what captured my heart. But, it certainly didn’t hurt.
Harry told me that he volunteers in a first-grade classroom, and has been doing it for years. He was so happy that the teacher had the class send him Get Well wishes after his surgery, but there was a catch, they had to include a joke. Laughter is the best medicine.
This gesture filled Harry’s heart. He told me that he enjoys volunteering in the First Grade classroom because it gives him the joy to see these children enter the door not certain what to expect and leave with confidence.
He went on to explain that he has a special bond with this teacher. Harry lost his son years ago in November, just when this teacher was getting married. One young life ending as one began.
Shortly after the teacher was married she found out she was expecting and 3 months into the pregnancy her new husband died suddenly. Grief, let me introduce you to grief.
Their losses brought them together and they are wonderful friends who helped each other heal. He’s been volunteering ever since.
83 years old, still thinking, still living and still making a mark in this world.
Norman-86 years young: He came to us a few months ago via his family doctor, which is never good, and let’s just say that “the little piggy that went to the market” never came back.
When he called the other day he was very nervous that “the little piggy that stayed home” was on its way out too so we made room on the schedule. Podiatry office humor.
Norman came in as if he was the guest of honor at a celebration, not someone with a potential gangrenous toe.
He was wearing a Villanova cap to “make the doctor happy” since his daughter is a student and it was the day of the championship game. Well played Norman, well-played indeed.
Norman was excited to reveal he had recently written a paper on aging. When I took him to the exam room I had to inquire about the paper. I was very curious.
I was thinking he wrote it for the AARP magazine. Nope, he said, “I wrote it for my family, I want them to know how quickly it comes up on you.” A warning of sorts.
The title of the paper is “Getting Old Is Not For Sissies.” Norman told me he stole that line from Bette Davis, an actress I wouldn’t know because, and I quote “you’re too young to remember her.” He had me at “too young.”
Norman still can’t believe he is 86. He doesn’t recognize the person in the mirror. Still has a lot to share with this world. Has an incredible sense of humor, and wants nothing more than for his family to be happy.
Norman is going to drop off a copy of the paper for me to read. No worries, I will share.
Robert-91 years young: Robert came in for a routine appointment. As soon as he came to the window he showed my co-worker a photo of him and his wife from 1941. They looked like movie stars.
Robert is a tall man, but frail. No doubt more so since he lost the love of his life. He told my co-worker a story that left them both with watery eyes.
Later I asked her about it and of course, I too was left with watery eyes. We’re so sappy sometimes.
Robert explained that he and his wife were sitting at the kitchen table and she asked: “How long have we been married?” Robert responded with “65 years dear.” Her response was “I have not regretted one day in 65 years.” Robert explained that even though she is gone, he is still stunned by her words. He is a walking, talking broken heart.
I was also taken back by my co-worker’s response to Robert which was “It was nice to be able to hear that Robert.” Indeed, it was.
I must say, it was a pleasure to pick-up these three men while I … Enjoy the Ride!
What a week!
We celebrated our 25th Anniversary a/k/a the Silver Anniversary on Valentine’s Day. Getting married on the one day when everyone comes together to celebrate love seemed like a good idea at the time. Not so much every year since when we try to get a dinner reservation.
Our son turned 21 on Wednesday and I turned my legal age on Friday. My mental age varies from 17 to 35.
My husband surprised me with a weekend in NYC, knowing there is a strong possibility that I might adore this town more than him. He was a NYC virgin, so he wanted to check out his competition.
As you have probably heard by now, last weekend was the coldest on record. On RECORD!
These two lovebirds grabbed a big suitcase, loaded it as if we we heading to the Antarctic and hit the road. Nothing says sexy like a pair of long johns, said no one ever.
We arrived Friday afternoon when the weather was tolerable. After a nice meal at Sardi’s, followed by cocktails and dessert, we headed out to explore all the tourist spots. I do believe my boots earned travel miles.
It was spectacular! Watching my husband love it as much as me was priceless.
The next day we bundled up for a walk to The Chelsea Market. Walking allowed us to take in some of the world-class architecture that makes this section so special. I could see the hubby’s wheels turning with every piece of wrought iron.
We spent hours in the Market experiencing everything edible. Breakfast at Sarabeth’s, Halva at Seed & Mill, and a little something sweet for later from Li-Lac Chocolates. There are no calories when you’re celebrating love.
When we stepped outside Jack Frost was there nipping at everything nipable. TAXI!
Greg wanted to go to Ground Zero, I could have passed on this stop, but I strapped my loved goggles on a little tighter and made the best of it. It was just a little too somber for me.
This part of town sits right on the Hudson River, which is not exactly a warm spot. There are no words to describe the wind and cold. Wait .. I can think of two, and they both start with F!
In order to thaw, we blew across the street to Brookfield Place, where I was greeted by a dog wearing beautiful leather boots and a Burberry coat. All I’m going to say about this place is, if it weren’t for my soul, I would really enjoy living like the 1%.
Still shivering, we sat down in PJ Clarke’s to enjoy a bowl of soup, sip a cocktail or two, and admire Lady Liberty in the harbor. My poor girl out there in a dress with no coat!
We ended this weekend sipping champagne, singing along with The Jersey Boys, eating cupcakes in bed and enjoying each other’s company. My cupcake never tasted so good.
The celebrations continue today with a birthday dinner for Zachary and mwah. We are looking forward to breaking with our offspring and their significant others. I’m sure they’re looking forward to us picking up the check!
Cheers to the last 7 days! The brightest spot of winter so far!
Enjoy the Ride!
Originally Posted On: Uncle Spike’s Adventures
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke
Here’s how to add your support to our message of peace:
1) Publish the following statement on your own blog
2) Post a link to Twitter (#BloggersUniteForPeace) and/or Facebook
3) Reblog this post or any post that replicates this statement
4) Request to be added to the signatory list below by adding a comment or mailing email@example.com
5) Add an image Widget using this image URL and link to this post
Out in the real world I try my best to spread this message everywhere I go via my license plate. Some days are easier than others.
Driving around with this message on a daily basis carries a huge responsibility. It forces me to control my urge to get angry at other drivers, even when they deserve it. It reminds me to be courteous; mindful and respectful of those around me.
Believe me when I tell you these are not easy tasks to accomplish! Living in a world where everything is moving at the speed of light, patience are sparse and tempers run high make it challenging at best, but I try and that is a start. Trying and succeeding are not the same.
“True peace cannot be dictated, it can only be built in co-operation between all peoples. None of us, no nation, no citizen, is free from some responsibility for this.” Quakers in Britain in 1943
So fellow bloggers stand together for Peace and … Enjoy the Ride!
It’s been a while since I’ve paused to do what I love so much, but better late than never folks. I bet you’re all wondering what the hell I’ve been up to over these past few months. Sadly the answer is NOT traveling the world with my lottery winnings in tow.
The biggest thing that has happened to us over the past few months is we have broken our ties with CABLE TELEVISION. That’s right people I am living the Antenna Life a/k/a Clean Livin’. Yes, I did say “no cable” and “antenna” in November of 2105.
This relationship came to erupt end when my son accidentally changed our plan via the remote when he was trying to order a movie. You know what prevents this from happening …. wearing your GLASSES.
Within minutes, I called our new server Verizon Fios to alert them of the accident. Of course, I acted as if my son were a toddler playing with the remote opposed to the 20-year old ordering some god forsaken movie in the middle of the day, but that didn’t seem to matter. He could have been legally blind, randomly hitting buttons and zero fucks would still be given!
This is when I was informed that our plan was no longer available. In less than an hour our plan disappeared? Yes. Apparently that’s how our plan rolled. I had no idea we had the playah of cable plans, the plan that jumped from one customer to the next without looking back.
After several calls to rectify this is a civil manner we were calmly told “there is NOTHING we can do.” Really? In 2015, there is N O T H I N G that can be done? Not a single button could be pushed to rectify an accidental incident for a new customer … nada! Alrighty then ….
Have you ever gone from calm, cool and collected to cursing like Tony Montana? I have.
scare the crap out of you bore you with the ugly details of these negotiations, just know they ended with more money in my pocket each month and a new pair of boots on my feet to prove it!
Leaving the 21st century wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be … for us. My son’s response was “Whew! I got out just in time!” and my daughter responded with “I think I just saw a dinosaur walk by.” They think we have lost our minds, but they weren’t paying the bill so we don’t care.
No fears people we do have a Smart TV that allows us an occasional re-entry into the current century via Netflix. But I must say, we’ve been enjoying the calmness of outdated sitcoms much much more than anything from this century. Less violence goes a long way, especially at bedtime.
I’ve been hooked on the original reality show The Munsters for weeks now. The Kardashians have nothing on this story line! Lilly and Herman recently had an awful argument, but no worries Grandpa and that hideous character Marilyn worked diligently to get them to make up. Do you see how deep I’m in? I’ll leave my other addiction, My Favorite Martian, for another post. I’m crushing hard on Bill Bixby … really hard.
Enjoy the Ride! Even if it’s in reverse, way back to the 70’s when we enjoyed life at a slower pace and weren’t polarized by fear, negativity and Donald Trump on a daily basis.
Over the weekend, we took a trip to The Philadelphia Auto Show … why? Well, because sometimes you do things in the name of love. There is a song all about it.
I knew my husband really wanted to go so I made the plans. Feel free to let out a big old awe!
I presented the plans to my husband, whom I thought would be over the moon, however that was not the case. No balloons or confetti to be found!
This is what happened next:
Me: I thought you wanted to go to the car show?
Husband: Yea, I do.
Me: So why do you look as if I just asked you to split an atom?
Husband: Because I can’t believe you want to go.
Me: Well, I really don’t want to go but I’m always dragging you places, so I thought why not.
Husband: Are you going to have “the face”?
Me: What face?
Husband: The Williamsburg Virginia face?
Me: Hahahahaha! You remember a face from 24 years ago, but no recollection if our son is currently in the house?
Husband: Well that face was memorable.
Me: Silence. Can’t argue that truth bomb!
I roamed the streets of Williamsburg VA., dreaming of all the other things I could be doing while the husband looked at EVERY SINGLE artifact in awe. Omg! The flashback is too much!
Don’t even get me started on the women making candles …. I can’t!
So, what does a good wife do? She promises not to have the Williamsburg face, but will not guarantee a lesser state of boredom face. Win win.
We went. We looked. We left. Oh and we overpaid for a soft pretzel that should have been made of gold dough!
On the way home I couldn’t wait to ask the million dollar question:
Me: How was my face?
Me: Come on I thought I did really well.
Husband: Yea, I guess it wasn’t too bad.
Me: “Wasn’t too bad!” I thought I held it in pretty well.
Husband: Yea, you did better than Virginia.
Me: In my defense I don’t care about new cars. In fact, the smell makes me sick. I just care that my car starts and gets me to my destination. Although I did like the speedometer on that Mini Cooper and the red seats in the Jaguar were cool, but I was much more interested in the people.
Husband: In that case you were very happy.
Me: Did you see the empty Gatorade bottle in the Mercedes?
Me: Did you see that guy with the gauges in his earlobes down to his shoulders.
Me: How about the pack of Newports in the Lexus?
Me: Umm … the guy with the tear drop tattoos on his face taking selfies in the Hummer?
Me: Were we at the same show?
Husband: Apparently not.
It doesn’t matter where we were or what we were doing that day, we still had a great time just being together … Enjoying the Ride!
This morning as I was trolling on Facebook I noticed that one of my friends posted an adorable photo of her two puppies Cosmo and Emma, but this time it was different. She included a well wishes to someone named Anthony. Hmm … further investigation was necessary.
After a few clicks I found out that her photos were actually part of a wonderful event Photo Doggies for Anthony. Anthony is a 16-year-old boy who is currently undergoing chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
As I was reading his story I found out that Anthony is a firm believer in the power of pet therapy and animal healing. I know my Peanut has wonderful nursing skills, so I can’t argue with that thought.
Therapy dogs are just not available every day for every patient, so some wonderful people in Anthony’s life came up with this incredible idea to have people send him pictures and videos of their dogs and some cats as well to cheer him up. Genius!
As I was scrolling through the photos, on this dreary Sunday morning, I found I was smiling. I’m not sure if it was from the photos of all the adorable doggies, the outpouring of love for this stranger or the confirmation that humanity is alive and well in this world, as long as you’re willing to recognize it.
Please take a moment to join in on this event. It will only take a nano second to click on the link above to send Anthony some love by posting a picture of the pet in your life.
Oh, wait what you don’t have a pet?
Poleze! You don’t have friends with pets? I’m sure you all have someone in your life willing to share their furry friend for a goo cause. That’s what I thought… umm hmm.
What the heck are you waiting for? Anthony is ready to Enjoy the Ride!
Yesterday I had the pleasure of participating in the Rocky Run here in Philly. It was a 5k or a 10k run or Ralk. I just made that up because that’s what I did. The festivities started where else but at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where Rocky ran those beautiful steps giving everyone hope that the underdog can make it to the top with nothing more than determination.
My dear partner in crime a/k/a the Lucy to my Ethel signed us up for this event for several reasons, the first being the big fat medal you get when it’s over. Sad, but true. Little did we know we would be getting so much more out of this experience.
All 7,000 participants were broken down into corals based on their run time. The folks in the front of the line were hardcore wearing all the proper running gear, that they no doubt wear every single day of their lives. Let’s just say things started to look differently as we headed to our coral at the back of the line.
We went from a sea of Nike logos to a middle-aged man dressed as “Hulk Hogan” holding a model of Rocky made of balloons in a few small steps. I seriously debated having my corneas burned after this site.
I was suddenly back in grade school when our math groups divided us by using the names of flowers. Row one was filled with roses, while me and the rest of the dandelions sat in row six. Those Catholic schools really knew how to make us feel like shit! I think it’s safe to say that Sister Mary Make Me Feel Like Shit underestimated the resilience of a dandelion …. just try to get rid on one in your yard, I dare ya!
We stood in our coral of racing misfits eyeing up our “competition” and confirmed that there was NO WAY the Louie Anderson look-alike was crossing that finish line before Lucy & Ethel. Game on!
The Eye of the Tiger was playing over the speakers and we were off running, only to be stopped in our tracks by a huge crack on the running path …. oh yes, the crack of Hulk Hogan’s ASS was right, dare I say…. in FRONT of us! Once the nausea passed we blew past him determined to leave him in our dust.
You can all thank Lucy for this photo. It wasn’t easy for her to capture the essence of the moment while moving in a crowd of running people. All in the name of “what NOT to wear” for a list a mile freaking long!
Once we left that crack in the road behind us we were able to see the true beauty of our city. The race went along Boathouse Row, which just happens to be one of my favorite city landmarks. It is located on the east bank of the Schuykill River and home of social and rowing clubs, each having their own history. They are gorgeous day and night.
This entire area oozes with architecture genius that put the skyscrapers in the background to shame. Structures such as the Fairmount Water Works and The Philadelphia Art Museum are certainly a thing of the past. Another reminder that change is everywhere.
We finished in less than an hour and that included several stops along the way for pictures, laughing and of course … trying not to pee our pants on this very cold morning. 50 year-old female problems.
We celebrated with free protein bars and water before heading over to tackle those famous museum steps like Rocky! When in Rome ….
It was a morning filled with a bit of everything, especially some much-needed soul feeding.
- Belly laughter with a friend
- Ralking among the beauty of my city
- 15,000 steps on my Garmin before 10:00 a.m.; and
- Feeling like a CHAMPION were the perfect way to Enjoy the Ride!
This quote has resonated with me with a force that I could not longer ignore. Why? Because it’s truth on paper, or in this case … Pinterest. I’ve kept my distance on my Blog for reasons that were just not genuine and this little reminder brought me here today. I know… I know … I know.
I haven’t been “too busy” to write. Lamest excuse evah! Seriously! I’m not out solving world peace, I’m walking dogs and washing dishes. Just doing my thang.
The truth is I’ve been away because old habits really do die-hard, especially those from our childhood. Those Mother Efers are like the Michael Myers of behaviors! Just when you think you’ve beat them down, stabbed, shot, drowned, suffocated and tied them to a train track before dropping them into a 10 foot grave, someone comes along; lets out one little comment that resurrects these assholes into spring chickens! Once again proving the power of our Words.
That’s right folks, I let the words of a small group of naysayers bring me back to a place I thought was out of my life for good. Obviously that was not the case. Apparently there are a few people in my world who read this Blog anonymously. Meaning they are not included in the 712 out and about followers.
This handful of naysayers, who prefer to lurk in the shadows of my business and later zap me with my own words when the opportunity strikes are the real story tellers. That’s right folks, because every time they open their mouths to undermine my dreams, criticize or predict my doom they are letting the world know their story, not mine. So from this moment on not one more fuck will be given about their “opinion.”
My blog was born as a therapy session outside of my therapy session, not a NY Times best seller. It’s just a little speck out in the world that allows me to dump some long overdue baggage out the window and let shit go. So if a handful of people can’t deal with that the solution is simple …. stop reading it. That friends is not rocket science.
Letting go of some baggage over time has enabled me to start growing into my own badass self and I AM NOT APOLOGIZING for being ME just because a certain crew of negative people can’t seem to handle that truth.
I have spent 2 and a half years writing 180 essays on top of 3 years of counseling trying to bring my genuine self to the surface and it’s going to take more than a few mean-spirited naysayers to bring me down. Snap!
Now let me go dig into a nice big bowl of diamonds for dinner so I can continue to SHINE ON and Enjoy the Ride!