Goodbye Pop Pop

With a heavy sad heart, I convey the news that last night, Mark’s Dad passed away while in hospice care. He was released from his tired body and has moved on to his soul’s next purpose. His passing was at the end of a gradual decline as we watched congestive heart failure take him day by day. To know that he is no longer suffering is an immense relief to his loved ones although it’s hard to explain to a 9 year-old what that means. Wanting someone to die to have them no longer be in pain.

Pop Pop and Fiona

Pop Pop was dear, funny, and generous with his love and care. Two miracle granddaughters were born last year and I never saw him happier than when he was gitchy-gooing a grandbaby.

Pop Pop's paper quilt

My son was asked to do a project in school on a family member who had served in the military. Pop Pop served on a destroyer for four years during the Korean War, starting at age 17. So this is the paper quilt that Eamon made to commemorate him.

Pop Pop's paper quilt

The pieces are different scenes from the story of Pop Pop’s ship and how he was feeling about serving his country. I retrieved the art piece today from Eamon’s school so that we can put it on display at the funeral parlor.

Pop Pop's paper quilt

Pop Pop’s and Eamon’s birthdays were so close together in April that we often had joint parties for them.  This photo below was just 5 years ago. It was and wasn’t so long ago, you know?


These will be the memories I will hold of him. Him loving on Eamon and Fiona. His cheering Eamon on at soccer and baseball games. And that incident where Eamon threw up on himself at the McDonald’s inside the Wal-mart in Easton, Maryland, and Pop Pop stripped him down on the tailgate of the SUV in January to put him in clean clothing. He was a take care of it kind of guy and I am immensely grateful that my husband is much of the man I love because of him. We will miss you Terry. Say hi to Uncle Dick for us.

Cut Your Losses

I felt frustrated at the way things weren’t going. Why was I not out lunching with my multitude of friends? Why wasn’t I progressing on that project? Why did I have nothing to show for all the work and hours I felt I’d invested in that… writing piece…garden…friendship? It all made me feel bad.

And then I started to think, what was that all about? Why was I expecting people to communicate with me in ways they couldn’t? Or expecting a garden or blog following to grow that I had not cultivated? Why was I so intent on having things a certain way or no way at all? The dead ends were of my construction and my head was beginning to hurt from banging into them.


There’s something I like to refer to as the “point of diminishing returns”. When your total investment plus expectations are not paid back or the effort has outweighed the payback, you need to be done. I am aware that letting go of hope for a change can be extremely hard. Especially in instances like marriage when you value the concept and paper that the union stands on. Having already invested so much, you are unwilling to admit it was never worth it.  That was how I felt in my first marriage. But finally, I admitted defeat and left.


Being done can seem like admitting to failure and to being human. Yet cutting your losses can also be the most compassionate thing you can do for yourself, your friend, your career, your siblings, and your marriage partner. A chance to stop expecting stuff they and you can’t deliver. To set all free from unreasonable expectations without blame. To simply say, this isn’t working for me if that is what you have discovered. No blame or shame in that game. It’s life. Perhaps the beginning to the life you’ve not allowed yourself to have thus far.

Losing It

Today, again, I found myself obsessing over the things that I have lost. Actual stuff, not conceptual stuff. I‘m still perplexed and vexed over the disappearance of my “new” camera. I owned it for year and then I think I must have hidden it from myself thinking someone could walk in the door and steal it. I created my destiny on the way to avoiding it. My house is pretty neat so who the f*** knows where it went.

Also on the loss casualty list was the new pair of shoes I bought for my son for school this year. I let him wear them before school and, Bam, they disappeared. I couldn’t buy another pair because I was sure I’d find them. For two months, my kid looked like a sad case. Finally I went back to K-mart and bought something, anything, else.

It all came to a head when I came home today and couldn’t find the clock battery I’d just bought. I dug through the trash looking for the cash receipt to see if I’d even bought it. My mood had become foul. I was obsessing on loss. And I had to stop myself.

I cajoled myself as I cleaned my kitchen sink, “Let it go, nothing is worth this kind of upset of my peace”. When something keeps reoccurring and upsets me a little too much, I tend to think there’s an indication of something bigger going on. I’m in a time of my life for loss to begin to happen. And this is the pre-qualify test period that I’m apparently failing.

I need to let go of the two times I’ve been overcharged recently. And let go of the youth I’ll never get back. I need to know that the longer I’m alive, the more likely I am to lose stuff and that it’s not personal, it’s just the law of averages. And then I need to make a loss list, stick it on the fridge, and expect to regularly post things to it. Next to it, I’m going to make a list of things I’ve gained. And see what list fills first. Perspective will be the first item on that gained list.



Life’ll trip you up

Buddy Buddy Butthead

My life took an off road adventure as of September 12. I am not sure what normal would look like if I were there. Not to worry, I’m petitioning for just OK. We’ll start there.

Four days before my birthday, I paid a very competent doctor $90 to find out I have low self-esteem and am a control freak. AHA. And then I turn 45, have family descend, go camping in the rain, and am just beginning to read the 6 books I checked out of the library on self-esteem when, Wham, my cat is shanghaied and disappears.

I have spent the past week doing everything possible to find him and trying to find a place where I can pass the grief and accept the not knowing. Tonight, I get a call from some girls who are petting him. And I am happy to say, Butthead is home. I am so relieved for me, my husband, and my kid so that we can rest and not want to start weeping when I see storm clouds. Butthead hates rain. Or feel sad when he’s not there to wait for the school bus with us like a dog. Or stop ourselves when we start the what ifs all over again.

Family is family. Whether they’re your cat named Butthead who doesn’t like being picked up and jumps up and down like popping corn when he wants to get in, or your weird uncle Joe. They’re what you’ve got.

So I’m back to working on myself, my self-esteem, and my blog again. I am thinking destiny owes me a little break here. I am feeling immensely grateful and will be looking hard at the personal reason why this happened. And the stupid is getting a collar.