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Ice Cream Day- Remembering Kyle

Awhile back I posted Kyle’s Story. About a little boy that was a friend of ours who passed away from a very merciless childhood cancer. Please read his story when you get the chance.

Today would’ve been Kyle’s 12th birthday. On Kyle’s last birthday on earth, 4 years ago, he asked his mom if he could have ice cream all day. And he did. Kyle passed away a few short weeks afterwards from a Diffuse Pontine Intrinsic Glioma. A very rare, very deadly brain cancer.

We keep our friend Kyle alive in spirit with doing the things he loved. Remembering to find the joys in those we have with us.

So pick your flavor and dig in!

 

The following is the story Kyle’s mom posted to her blog after he passed away. Neither of us wrote it, so you know. But it captures loss and grief so clearly.

 

Waterbugs and Dragonflies

Down below the surface of a quiet pond lived a little colony of water bugs. They were a happy colony, living far away from the sun. For many months they were very busy, scurrying over the soft mud on the bottom of the pond. They did notice that every once in awhile one of their colony seemed to lose interest in going about. Clinging to the stem of a pond lily it gradually moved out of sight and was seen no more.
“Look!” said one of the water bugs to another. “One of our colony is climbing up the lily stalk. Where do you think she is going?” Up, up, up it slowly went….Even as they watched, the water bug disappeared from sight. Its friends waited and waited but it didn’t return…

“That’s funny!” said one water bug to another. “Wasn’t she happy here?” asked a second… “Where do you suppose she went?” wondered a third.
No one had an answer. They were greatly puzzled. Finally one of the water bugs, a leader in the colony, gathered its friends together. “I have an idea”. The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk must promise to come back and tell us where he or she went and why.” “We promise”, they said solemnly.

One spring day, not long after, the very water bug who had suggested the plan found himself climbing up the lily stalk. Up, up, up, he went. Before he knew what was happening, he had broke through the surface of the water and fallen onto the broad, green lily pad above.

When he awoke, he looked about with surprise. He couldn’t believe what he saw. A startling change had come to his old body. His movement revealed four silver wings and a long tail. Even as he struggled, he felt an impulse to move his wings…The warmth of the sun soon dried the moisture from the new body. He moved his wings again and suddenly found himself up above the water. He had become a dragonfly!!

Swooping and dipping in great curves, he flew through the air. He felt exhilarated in the new atmosphere. By and by the new dragonfly lighted happily on a lily pad to rest. Then it was that he chanced to look below to the bottom of the pond. Why, he was right above his old friends, the water bugs! There they were scurrying around, just as he had been doing some time before.

The dragonfly remembered the promise: “The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk will come back and tell where he or she went and why.” Without thinking, the dragonfly darted down. Suddenly he hit the surface of the water and bounced away. Now that he was a dragonfly, he could no longer go into the water…

“I can’t return!” he said in dismay. “At least, I tried. But I can’t keep my promise. Even if I could go back, not one of the water bugs would know me in my new body. I guess I’ll just have to wait until they become dragonflies too. Then they’ll understand what has happened to me, and where I went.”

And the dragonfly winged off happily into its wonderful new world of sun and air…….

Reason to Live Friday #29 I am ______ Who are you?

I am ____________ Who are you?

 

 

I’m stealing this idea from my friend Tara and her blog You Know It Happens At Your House Too, who took inspiration from the Self Worth Action Project from the blog Craughing– “Here is what I want you to do today.  Sit down for five minutes.  I know that is not always easy, but this could be the best five minutes you have spent on yourself in a really long time.  Open your computer, grab a pen and a piece of paper (ACK!  What is that???), open up an app on your phone. It doesn’t matter what you use, just use something that you can save.  This is NOT a mental exercise.  You must put this on paper (either real or virtual) so that you can refer back to it on those bad days.  Set a timer for five minutes and write.  Write using the prompt I AM ______________________.  Don’t edit, don’t proofread, don’t change it.  You are not required to share it with anyone, even though I hope you do, but keep it close by so that on those days when you are feeling really horrible about yourself (we all know that we have those days), you can look back and remember all the things that make you wonderful.  I will start, here is my list;” (text quoted from YKIHAYHT)

I am Rebecca

I am a daughter, sister, mom and wife

I am proud of the little people I made and their lives thus far.

I am a loyal friend and try to smile any chance I get. Unless it’s before my first cup of tea in the morning.

I am unassuming and will trust you unless you prove me not to.

I am generous and charitable. If you need it, I will get it to you.

I am a sucker for a cute furball. Even the uncute ones. I have rescued countless lost dogs and have even driven across county lines to get a stray cat to a shelter.

I am happy of the life I have made with my husband. Making that first phone call to him so he would finally ask me out was the smartest thing I ever did.

I am never getting into politics despite what my mom thinks I should do.

I am grateful and honored for the life my parents gave me and the people they are.

I am fiesty and proud of it. I annoy people I’m sure, but I’m pretty happy with my gumption.

I am proud of this blog and the people it’s brought me to and the possibilities to come.

That was fun! Now you try. I took five minutes is all and ignored the oven timer and the dog barking. Just kidding! I did this after the kids went to bed.

 

And you know the cool part? I could’ve added more. Yep, I guess I’m cooler than I thought.

Now share with me yours if you’d like. You can put the link of your blog in comments, but only after you’ve done the exercise. You can email me at frugalistablog@gmail.com or message me through my Facebook page.

I want us to feel our worth. Not get hung up on resolutions and shortcomings. But be happy today with the person we are. Right now.

No resolutions for this girl. Okay, maybe a few.

Here’s to 2013. It feels surprisingly just like 2012 did. Kind of like when I turned 40 and it felt a lot like 39. Except when I tried the pogo stick on Christmas day. Then I felt like I was 60. Old and unbalanced.

I have some promises I’ve made myself this year. It’s pretty much like last year. Get more fit. End world hunger. Bring peace to the land.

Buy my first unicorn.

Okay, those are very much like everyone’s resolutions, right? Except maybe the unicorn one.

But I also am including these resolutions I’ve listed below. And goshdangit. They’re pretty good.

So won’t you join me too? Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all did these? I think so.

I was going to put on there, “Make sweet love to McSweetie more often”, but that just didn’t seem very ‘pinterest’ing.

Tell me what you’re going to do this year for YOU and the ones you love that will make you happy. And are do-able. Not that losing weight isn’t do-able, but we’ll just go with baby steps, shall we?

 

Reason To Live Friday #26 – Still trying to find happy

There’s a lot of folks out there that are sad. Sometimes I’m one of them. But my sadness comes and goes. I’ll watch news coverage of a young child’s funeral in Connecticut and burst into tears. I’ll look at my children and think how lucky I am that they are in front of me, and burst into tears. I’m lucky enough to be distracted away from my sadness. Unlike some people’s sadness that’s like a smudge that is stained on their skin. It will need to be washed again and again to start to fade.

I can be gripped with anxiety that makes me think irrational thoughts about my children’s safety. I can start to panic and feel my skin get that cold prickly feeling.

But I can also try to remember that if I don’t get my happy back, I can fall down a rabbit hole of never ending sadness.

When something awful happens to someone else, it brings up our feelings of grief and despair. I know people who have lost a loved one tragically, by their own hand even. I know people missing loved ones from cancer. Little loved ones. I worry about them at times like this. The holidays are bad enough. But to have constant images of grief and tragedy. Motorcades and balloon memorials.

Maybe they feel there is no point for them to go on living. That they too could just leave this earth, and things would go on, and the pain would be over. But that would just cause more pain for others.

Pain and sadness can be contagious. They can be a viscous cycle that doesn’t yield. The dark can keep creeping until the light has been snuffed out permanently.

Don’t let that happen.

We all need to find our happy. We feel guilty laughing. We feel guilty enjoying Christmas movies and cookies and presents. We feel guilty getting to have loved ones to spend these times with.

We need to stop feeling guilty. We deserve to be happy. We deserve to share the happy. Spreading kindness randomly. Sharing joy with others gives them more reason to share it to someone else.

And then it’s okay to be sad again too sometimes. Feelings are good. To feel pain, means that you will feel relief eventually. To feel grief, you will feel joy soon. See the pain as a window, a perspective. Tell yourself, I will look out this window, but only a short time. And then I will close it to open the door of happy once more.

Thankfully, children seem to have the best recipe for finding their happy. If we let them, they seem to flourish in their own lost thoughts. Thank heavens in times like this, their little brains can have the attention span of a flea.

Owen only gets sad if I remind him of sad things. His heart is naturally happy. He has given me plenty to laugh at this week in the area of farts, penis love and boogers. Yes, the Owen trifecta.

At a shop in the mall with all kinds of weird, crazy things like squirrel underpants, and bacon flavored gum, he sees a magnet that reads, I <3 my Penis.  He whispers to me so no one else can hear, “I do love my penis actually. It’s there for me when I’m bored.” Dear heavens son, only in the privacy of your bedroom please. He assures me, only in privacy.

Also this week, in a parking lot, Emma somehow was compelled by the power of song, and decided to belt out at the top of her lungs, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”. I admit, I laughed and tinkled. I had to be careful not to literally pee my pants. She was skipping and singing, and on key too, as a matter of fact. Who says (almost) teenagers are self conscious?

I laughed heartily at the recent Saturday Night Live episode with Martin Short. I’m sure it was a little bit funny, but I seem to laugh harder when I desperately need it.

I’ll leave you the link to my favorite skit and you can check it out for your amusement. You’re a Rat Bastard Charlie Brown.

I heard the song on the radio “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, and thought it was Will Ferrell singing. But it was actually Robert Goulet. Which is funny because Will Ferrell impersonates Robert Goulet singing that song and apparently he does a good job. Or I’m just hard of hearing.

Just remember that there will always be light. We have to focus on that. On the giggles and the belly laughs. The sunshine and the snowflakes. That there is a tomorrow.

Peace to all of you my friends. Be safe. And shine your light.

 

Thankful for boogers and dribbles on the seat

Yep. I’m going to say it. I know, it’s a complete change of heart. Especially after all the complaining I do and when I threaten to go on strike. You guys know that’s just hyperbole right? (what a big juicy word, ‘hyperbole’)

Every day a child is taken too soon from this world. It’s the sad fact of life. Childhood cancer, bike accidents, car accidents happen every day. Children by the hundreds die in the  Sudan because of starvation and disease. Why did the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy make such a difference for me? I don’t know. Maybe because it’s relatable to me based on the victims’ ages and location and its absolute randomness. It could happen anywhere.

So I’m still my snarky self. Trust me. But I decided first to remember before I gripe at my kids ONE MORE TIME about the clothes that needed picking up and the wrappers left randomly around the house, to take a breath, to speak calmly, and not let the little things bother me.

Will I still parent and make them hate me from time to time because I put my foot down on setting boundaries? You betcha. Will I do it with respect for them and their dignity? Absolutely.

This weekend I told McSweetie I’m not going to nag. He probably thought it was a Christmas miracle that came early. I will kindly ask him to remove his toenail clippings from the bathroom floor and whiskers from the sink. And then I’ll flash him my boobs when the kids aren’t around. It’s a win-win situation for both of us. He might start doing more chores, more often.

I will remember not to roll my eyes (it’s hard for me). I roll my eyes and see my brain sometimes. I will try not to get exasperated when Owen asks for the bajillionth time questions like this- “how tall is Marshawn Lynch from the Seahawks?” “How much money did Steve Jobs make before he died?” “Is the White House the biggest house in America?” “What kind of car am I going to drive when I get my license?” “Does Dad make more money than so and so’s dad?”

You get my point.

He is one inquisitive kid. But hey, what a blessing, right?

Then there’s Emma’s fits of absolute dissolve over something minor. But never tell a pre-teen girl ‘it’s not a big deal’. Because guess what? It’s a pretty big fucking deal I didn’t wash the socks she was planning to wear today.

I will remind her, without screaming at her, that I am not a mind reader. That I’m happy to wash her socks with the rest of the laundry after she gathers it up off her floor and into her hamper. But then I will smile, and hug her (but only when she’s ready, because hugging a pre-hormonal adolescent girl before she’s ready is as dangerous as wrangling an alligator.) I will smooth her hair and wipe her tears and offer her a snack.

Most often kids are cranky when they are hungry, so I will make sure she doesn’t need anything to eat.

So I think this will be a good plan. When Owen hands me a booger, the size of his thumb and announces, “I was digging for gold!” I will smile and tell him that his gold needs to be put in a kleenex treasure chest.

Those little stinkers!!

I love them and their boogers, and their tears, and their farts. And McSweetie’s toenails. I kinda love them. Sort of.

 

 

 

 

 

Reason to Live Friday #25- Feed the World

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Reason to Live Friday- so for today, I’m dedicating it to making the world better, one woman at a time.

 

Some of you may flinch at the memory of the 80s hit song- ‘Do they know it’s Christmas?’.  Personally, I love it. I do. It was created by Bob Geldof. Not Gandalf. Gandalf is the wizard in the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings books who has a long gray beard and carries a staff. Bob Geldof is a song writer and humanitarian. Sometimes it’s easy to confuse the two.

Okay, back to the song. There’s a few reasons I love listening to it. The bells and chords in it are pretty cool. Then there’s the game you play to identify which 80s British singer you are listening to when they sing their part. I’ll be in my car going, “oh, that’s Boy George.” Or “is that Simon LeBon?” George Michael and Bono are so easy to identify.

But the words about ‘there’s no snow in Africa’ and ‘thank God it’s them, instead of you’, rips my heart out. The last thing Africa needs is snow. But maybe some rain would be nice. And honestly, aren’t you all glad it’s them and not you?

There’s poor everywhere in the world. But Africa is poor and war torn. The Sally Struthers commercials with the kids covered in flies and their distended bellies always is etched in my mind. She would say, ‘for just the cost of a cup of coffee, you can clothe and feed a child.’ Amazing how far a dollar goes.

Sorry to bum you out. That’s not my point. My point is just to plant a seed of thought in your head.

Have you heard of Women for Women International? It’s this amazing company that teaches women in war torn 3rd world countries how to run their own business to support their families. Every 6 months I receive a new ‘sister’s’ profile and all about her situation. I’ve had women in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Rwanda.

My current sister, Yvonne, is in Rwanda, she is in her 20s and is married but has no children. Rwanda? Can you believe it! Can you imagine living there? No.

I’ve received Easter cards, Christmas cards and photos from my sponsored sisters. Some come with photos. I usually burst into tears because they write that I’m such a blessing and I’ve done this amazing thing for them and their family and they pray for me and my family…. Oh my gosh!!

Yeah. Of course the Christmas card comes at Easter, and the Easter card comes at Christmas because I think they still operate by Pony Express in 3rd world countries. Okay, sorry, bad joke.

Well, I know there’s poor everywhere. There’s poor here in my own neighborhood and hungry children at my kids’ schools. And yes, I do what I can to help them too. But the idea of a woman, who has to fight to survive whether it’s war, rape, famine, drought; who doesn’t know how to read or write; who is treated like property instead of a person; I need to be a part of that change.

I got a message from them to hope I could spread the word this holiday time with the hopes that some of you could do some gift giving through  their program. You know buy some chicks or a goat for a family that needs it. Forget iPads and Prada handbags, these women want a goat for Christmas.

If you’d like, we can all pitch in. Message me if you want to contribute a few dollars and we’ll get some goats and chicks for these remarkable women!

If you are interested in sponsoring a sister, it’s a monthly commitment of $25 here’s the link – Women for Women Int’l Sponsorship

The good news is that this organization rates very highly on Charity Navigator. See here.

So in answer to the 80s song, I think they do know it’s Christmas time. Hopefully some of them do anyway.

Reason To Live Friday #24

This annoying dang holiday season. Are you wondering if I’m giving you whiplash? Do I spin a 180 turn each and every post? First complain, then gush? I know. I know. Try living with me.

Last year I wrote about how the holidays suck for some of you if you’ve lost a loved one. Holidays are like a trigger of emotions. They make you ponder on Christmases past and when life has changed permanently, it can be hard.

But then I thought of something. Maybe those little reminders are like the loved ones past speaking to us. Bear with me.

When my friend Reshma lost her daughter to Siona from Leukemia, she woke up one morning with a pressure point on her chest over her heart in the shape of a butterfly. You know when you sleep hard and the pillow case leaves an imprint on your face? Like that. I know, weird. But butterflies were a favorite of 6 year old Siona and this silhoutte of one was perfectly formed. It lasted several hours before it just faded. Reshma cherished her little butterfly form she had over her heart for the few hours it was there. Like Siona had given her a kiss.

Now don’t get all weird on me. I’m not saying that there’s messages from beyond. I’m not going into paranormal stuff here. You can think that or not. I’m cool with it.

I’m saying that the holidays hold so much hope and joy. That I’m going to hold on to the parts that are dear to me. I’m thinking about my dear, dear old friends who are living through their first holiday without their mom, sister and daughter after she took her own life in May. Their grief is palpable. Their grief is ripped open anew with each box of ornaments.

So here’s my list of what to do to get through:

Ready? Take a deep breath and go into downward dog yoga pose. Just kidding.

But breathe deeply anyway.

Hug the ones that are with you. Yep, just do it. Even if they piss you off. Stephen Stills was right with his song, “Love the one you’re with”.

When you see a reminder of a loved one gone- smile at it. Close your eyes and hold it to your heart. Say, “I miss you and I love you and I know you’re still here with me.”

Take last year’s coat or boots that don’t fit anymore or are hardly used and bring them to a charity. Someone needs those more than you.

Write down your feelings. If you blog or not, write that stuff down. You don’t ever have to read it again, but getting it on paper is helpful.

And one more time, love the ones you’re with. Dang it. Hug them, smush them and tell them you are happy they are with you.

Well, I’m not Dr. Phil. I’m not a trained professional. I’m just trying to lend a hug, and let you know I’m here for you. We can do this together.

Wife Confession: I enjoy the hubs away on business trips. Short ones, of course.

I think the further into marriage and kids you delve, the more you realize how much you like to be alone. Or is that just me?

I love my kids, I love my husband. Blah blah blah. You know this to be true. But come on. I love being alone. I’m the Greta Garbo of my peers. Leave me alone to bask in the glow of the reality TV show from my flat screen. Let me nap with the dog on the couch. Let me go poop by myself and change my maxi pad without interruption.

So when McSweetie had a business trip this week, I felt more sense of me time than just when he’s at work. Why? Maybe because after the kids go to bed, I rule the family room and the remote. Okay, I rule the remote most nights anyway. BUT. I got to sit around, pass gas, drink wine and watch all the Lifetime movies a girl could want. And they were holiday Lifetime movies. Even better.

So hubs comes home in the evening from the airport, kids are happy to see him, yada yada, and I’m moaning on the couch  before it’s time to tuck in the boy. I’ve heated up the hot pad twice and stuffed it in my pajama pants. This my friends, is a clear signal that Aunt Flo has come to town and she’s brought her suitcase. Did McSweetie notice this? Not so much. He asks what’s wrong. I mouth ‘cramps’ and give that all knowing look like, ‘poor me, I has armageddon uterus.’ What does he do? He gives me the exasperated look like, ‘didn’t you just have your period’, and says to me “that’s not what I was expecting.”

I stayed quiet, popped some Aleve and reheated my heat pad. I waited for him to fall asleep on the couch while I concocted this entire speech in my head.

Here goes:

“THAT’S NOT WHAT YOU WERE EXPECTING? REALLY? Yeah, well, newsflash bucko, it’s been 25 days since the last one. I’m sorry I wasn’t greeting you at the door wearing nothing but a trench coat and had the kiddos already tucked in bed sleeping soundly so we could have wild monkey sex on the dining room table. Which if you hadn’t noticed already was cleared off of its crap from the last several months.

Yeah, and another thing. You probably thought, ‘oh bummer, looks like the wifey isn’t up for some lovin’ tonight. Whoa is me, I won’t get some.’ But did you ever think- ‘Awww, poor thing. Look at her. She’s done all the chores and even scrubbed the base boards (I did actually, can you believe it?!) and she has an achy uterus and feels poorly.’

But did you think that? Hmm, did you?? NO. Of course you didn’t.

You don’t care that the pain I feel in my baby box slightly resembles that of the first few hours of labor. Where my endometrial lining is screaming at me and I have pain spasms all the way down my butt. Yeah. So there.

Don’t mind me. I just dropped off your dry cleaning, kept the children alive, washed the sheets, scrubbed the base boards (Did I mention I scrubbed the baseboards?) and cleaned up some crap from forever ago, and am sitting here being miserable in my female-ness that I have NO CONTROL over!

So yeah. Go fall asleep on the couch. No nookie for you.

Men.

Guest Post- A brave friend

Today’s post was not written by me. This is a true account of a friend of mine and her fight to keep her friend alive. You see, I know of suicide. I know children of parents that have committed suicide. It’s an ugly bitch. It leaves the people behind confused, angry and grieved. When my friend asked if she could use my blog as a space to share her story, I didn’t hesitate. I want her story to be shared without any worry of identities being discovered.
If this story speaks to you, then message me or her and we can get you help.

**************

First, I want to take the opportunity to thank Frugalista for allowing me to post anonymously on her blog.
You see, I am a blogger, however, given the nature of this situation, I could not post this on my blog, but I
had to get it out. I needed to get it out. For my own personal mental health and so maybe, just maybe
if you are having thoughts of ending your own life you will read my words and know you are loved and
that you are not alone. If you think you know who I am, please do not post anything about my identity
publicly. Instead, email me at youarelovedalways2012@gmail.com.
My best friend, Mary left her abusive, sociopath of a  husband earlier this year and her already precarious
mental health started to spiral downwards rather quickly after she left. She has always suffered from
depression. So this summer, when I received the first call for help, I was expecting it.
What I wasn’t expecting was to see someone so sad and so hysterical that no amount of words could get
through to her. She was convinced that her daughter would be better off without her. She convinced
herself that she was a burden to everyone and that she was worthless. She couldn’t work; she couldn’t
get out of bed. She was in a completely irrational state of mind. I tried everything I could to make her
see the devastation and destruction her daughter would face if she killed herself. It didn’t work.
Nothing worked. I have never in my life experienced someone in this state of mind, with so much raw
pain that it seemed to just emanate from her soul. It was heart-wrenching to experience and we didn’t
know what to do.
We got her to bed that night and in the morning after the pills and the booze wore off she seemed to be
okay. In her sober, rational state of mind, she knew she couldn’t kill herself, she knew it would destroy
people. She knew the pain would go away. We tried over and over to get her to seek counseling. But,
no matter what we said, she repeatedly stated that therapy wouldn’t work.
After that incident, we considered an intervention to force her to get help. It didn’t sit right. I can’t
really explain it, except to say, I knew it wasn’t the right time.
Over the next several months, we tried to brainstorm with her to figure out ways for her to make an
income, because her asshole husband refused to provide any support. We got her an attorney. Her
parents provided for her financially. She cashed in a 401K to support herself. We had a plan for her to
take some classes. Most days she felt good and positive. But it was just a mask.
Then, just a few weeks ago, she stopped returning my calls and texts.
Friday night our other friend, Carrie, called; she was the one I was with during the above episode. Mary
had called her wanting her jewelry out of the safety deposit box. Carrie was concerned and so I called
Mary and thankfully, she answered.
I asked her why she wanted her jewelry. She wanted to sell it so her daughter would be provided for.
She said she had found a place for her beloved dog and was giving up custody of her daughter to her
daughter’s father. She also stated that she was meeting with her attorney to make sure her will was
updated so that her soon to be ex-husband would not receive any of her assets, “in case something
happens.”
“What do you mean, in case something happens?” I asked, already knowing what she meant.
“Well, I’m not going to kill myself. But I just can’t do it anymore. I don’t want to burden anybody
anymore. My daughter will be fine. She doesn’t need me.”
The most terrifying and disturbing part about that conversation was the nonchalant manner in which
she was saying these things. She had a plan. She wasn’t the hysterical crying mess that she had been
previously. She was sober and serious. I knew that night that no words I could possibly say would make
a difference. I told her I loved her and I would talk to her tomorrow.
Saturday morning we got on the phone with her parents and conferenced in the suicide prevention
hotline. After repeating the conversation from the night before, he was understandably concerned and
advised us to dispatch a crisis van. He also informed us that if she didn’t go voluntarily then we could go
to the courthouse, file a petition and have her involuntarily placed in a treatment facility. We were
prepared to do that.
We met the crisis van at her house and she was pissed, angry and betrayed. It took nearly 2 hours to
convince her to go with them. We did have to threaten to file the petition, but she went.
I spoke to her that night and she said the place was miserable. She didn’t get a bed and she had to sit in
a room with 25 people, mostly men. She did not sleep.
She met with the nurse practitioner the following morning to be evaluated. She refused to say that she
was a danger to herself and they had no choice but to discharge her.
After learning this, I immediately starting searching for hospitals. I got on the phone to make payment
arrangements, as she does not have health insurance and cannot qualify for state or federal aid due to
the fact that her divorce is not final. I found one and I met our friend Carrie at the facility Mary was at
awaiting discharge. We sat down with her and a counselor and, again, tried to talk her into staying. She
refused. We then told her we found a hospital with a women’s unit. She refused. She didn’t care what
we did, she wasn’t going. She didn’t need counseling or therapy. She just needed to be left alone. She
slammed out of the room.
The counselor followed. And I have no idea what he said, but within 2 minutes she agreed to go with us.
I can only say that our prayers were answer.
We got in the car, chain smoked cigarettes, all of us nervously awaiting the next chapter. We arrived at
the hospital and began the 4 hour intake process. We stayed with her the entire time. She almost left.
She almost left again. But she didn’t.
At this point, she had been awake for nearly 30 hours. She was so tired. She agreed to stay. That’s
what matters. She is right where she needs to be to get better. To learn how to cope with what
happened to her. To deal with the ugly and the nasty. To learn how to prepare for the future.
I visited on Tuesday. It was difficult and a little awkward. But she seemed better.
I have no regrets about what I did. Nor am I concerned with the state of our friendship. I’m not sure
that she will forgive me. I’ve made peace with that.
I would rather her be angry with me than be dead.

*******
If you or anyone in your life needs help- please contact these organizations-

National Suicide Prevention Hotline

1-800-273-8255

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: Warning Signs

b POSITIVE PROJECT

Not as in B+ a blood type sillies! But BE POSITIVE. As in, your life. Don’t be a negative.

It takes work to always be happy. And actually, it’s impossible to always be happy. I allow myself some sad days too. But I try to keep those few and far between. You can feel sad, down in the dumps or melancholy, but still be positive.

Let me explain.

The kind folks at the b Positive Project  reached out to me. They are an apparel company that encourages the glass half full mantra. A guy quit his full time job to start this organization. They sell t-shirts and products and then send a portion of those profits to charity. But mostly, the employees and company of this gig are all about keeping on the bright side of things and spreading that message to the world.

They said I was their kind of gal who could help spread their message. Well, yeah! Don’t you love nice people who recognize nice people? I do. They sent me a t-shirt and now I wear it with pride and a smile.

Won’t you b Positive too?

I’ve said before that on the outside I must look like I live a charmed life. I brag about my kids on Facebook, I do my charity and volunteer work, I have fabulous meals at great restaurants. Heck, I’ve even been to the Grammys. I have an adorable husband. Parents who are close and dear to me, both physically and emotionally. I swoon over Daniel Craig and my husband doesn’t even flinch. I have a bathroom cabinet full of high-end beauty products, that regardless if they are doing their job, I am somewhat obsessed just by the mere having them.

So yeah- that sounds pretty dang good huh?

Well, here’s what you might not see. The husband and I have accumulated quite a bit of debt. I won’t go into this. It’s personal. What? You talk about your sex life, how can this be personal? I know. But it is. Times were tough, and they are better now. We plug on and keep swimming, doing our part and live within our means as often as we can. Minus a few treats now and then. Yeah, I know- Hawaii. Duh.  But that’s just the truth. We whittle away at the debt as we go. Sometimes life hands you some curve balls. We feel we’re still better off than most, so we just keep on, keepin’ on.

My sister is a disabled adult living with my already aging, and sometimes struggling parents. They struggle financially too. My mom lives with cancer and my dad has rheumatoid arthritis (and has recently overcome his heart episode!) and is also a cancer survivor. But hey- they are strong, fit and amazing, wonderful people. Yes, they get tired. But I remind them that old people are supposed to get tired!

The burden of my sister and her constant medical visits, pharmaceutical needs, paperwork, insurance claims, disability bureaucratic red tape, is a large anvil that weighs on my parents.  Especially my mom who is her appointed guardian. Like an ox’s yoke it can be heavy and restricting.

But our faith, our love and our spirit within, get us through. I’m there for my mom. She’s here for me. She has bailed me out of constant dilemmas. Why, we couldn’t have survived my restricted bed rest while I was on the last trimester pregnant with Emma if it wasn’t for her! My dad has fixed a flat tire on the side of the freeway for me. They are without a doubt, the definition of selfless people.

I know God gave me two healthy children because I’m already destined to be my sister’s guardian when that time comes. I don’t want to think about that time. You understand I’m sure.

So that is where positive thinking comes in my life. If we stack up each and every woe we have, it becomes a staircase of brambles and a giant hurdle no one could fathom.

If we take our problems like pebbles, putting them one by one on a garden path to cross each day as they come- it becomes a foundation, a gateway to walk on and see things laid out before us. Flat and less daunting. Not measured by what we haven’t done, but by how far we’ve come.

I think of my friends who have lost children to cancer. Children I know who have lost their mothers to suicide.

So with each warm cup of tea and dog snuggle I get each day, with each phone call from my mom and lunch out with her, and with each warm smile from the McSweetie when he comes home after an exhausting day of work; I remind myself that I am more positive than negative. I remind my children how blessed and fortunate we are. Not for the earthly comforts we have around us, but for the support and love we give to each other.

I will wear my shirt with the hopes of sharing b Positive’s message to anyone who needs it.

If you would like to order anything from their website for yourself or gifts, go on over and put in “FRUGALISTA” in the promo code box and get 20% off your order! For a limited time, so do it right away!

And also, like their Facebook page, and follow them on Twitter, so you can see all the positive they are accomplishing.

https://www.facebook.com/thebpositiveproject

https://twitter.com/bpositiveprojec

http://www.bpositiveproject.com/

Namaste my friends.