Saturday, July 03, 2010

A Brand New Life

It's not often we get another chance at getting it right. Here I of the luckiest...I am, if I choose, able to reinvent myself AGAIN!!! Just when one believes it's almost over, one is able to start anew. How fortunate I am!

Life doesn't always give us what we want. However, it appears, that life gives us what we need. The last 18 months have been challenging but interesting. Even when I could have used less of a challenge. Here I am smiling and enjoying my new life.

I'm out working again and having a wonderful time. Retirement...for really old people...not me! Life gave me the proverbial "kick in the pants" just when I needed it. Ever one for new adventures, who am I to not rush to the fun. I am embracing the challenges, not bemoaning them. For each new day brings a new PRESENT to be unwrapped.

Each present is a new opportunity to learn, grow and discover the possibilities. How wonderful to be able to see the future with delight and optimism. For whatever happens from this day forward I am open and accepting. Bring it I am, ready and waiting.

With great anticipation,


Wednesday, March 31, 2010


On March 4, 2010 my husband, Jimmy, went to bed at 11:00 p.m. One and one-half hours later, at 12:30 a.m. March 5, 2010, I heard a "thud"! Immediately I saw Jimmy was not on the bed. An eternity passed until I got to his side of the bed. I found him on the floor. He was facing away from me. His right leg and right arm were bent at the knee and elbow respectively.

After checking that no bones were broken, I tried to lift him to a sitting position and that's when I saw his face. His lips were not straight...a classic sign of a stroke. Gently, I laid his head on a pillow and called 911.

By the time they got here (it felt like forever) I knew he not only had a stroke, but a very severe one. My eloquent husband was unable to speak coherently and his right side appeared to be paralyzed. The EMT's were able to get him onto the chaise in our bedroom and start an IV. They immediately called for transport to the hospital.

As I drove to the hospital in the early morning of March 5, I knew our lives would never be the same. A CT Scan and an MRI confirmed my worst fear. Jimmy had suffered what is called an MCA, Middle Cerebral Artery Stroke.

The middle cerebral artery is the largest branch of the internal carotid. The artery supplies a portion of the frontal lobe and the lateral surface of the temporal and parietal lobes, including the primary motor and sensory areas of the face, throat, hand and arm and in the dominant hemisphere, the areas for speech. The middle cerebral artery is the artery most often occluded in stroke.

He is paralyzed on the right side of his body and his ability to speak is severely impeded. One has no way of knowing there is an occlusion in this part of the brain. He was in good health and there was no indication that he was at risk for a stroke.

I started writing this shortly after Jimmy had his stroke. Every evening, when I would return from the hospital, my intention was to finish this. However, by the time I returned home I was exhausted and simply could not bring myself to the computer and write about what had happened. It was simply too terrible.

For 2 months Jimmy was in rehab, then ICU, back to rehab, then to hospice and finally to a skilled care facility. He was admitted on a Friday, late in the day. The following Wednesday morning, April 28, 2010, at a few minutes after 7, I received a phone call from the facility and then Jimmy's Dr. informing me that at some point during the night, he had aspirated and was now in the ER at the hospital.

I remember sleep walking to put on clothes and get in the car to race to the hospital. When I arrived, my poor husband had a very large oxygen mask on his face that was cutting into his cheeks. The straps could not be adjusted. It was evident he was having a very difficult time breathing even with the oxygen. About an hour after I arrived at the hospital a nurse from hospice came down to get some information and tell me he was being transported back to hospice.

Jimmy had very significant "advanced directives", much more than a simple DNR. Our Doctor called me and said "it is time to follow Jimmy's wishes". I didn't want to hear this and I knew his sister and daughter didn't want to hear this either. However, the Doctor was right. It was time to follow Jimmy's directions. After all, that is why we write out how we want our lives to end.

The stroke left him with no was time to give him back his dignity. On Sunday morning, May 2, 2010 at 9:10 a.m. Jimmy died in my arms listening to our song..."My One and Only Love". Just before he died, as the song began to play, he opened his eyes and looked into mine. He smiled at me and then gently slipped away.

I miss him every moment of every day. I long to hear his voice, his laugh or smell the garlic he loved to saute...He was a wonderful, kind, incredibly intelligent man. He loved his family and his life. Even though he is not physically with me, I feel his presence all around me and am so grateful that we had almost 11-1/2 years together as friends and then as husband and wife.

For the almost 5-1/2 years I was married to Jimmy and lived with him, we shared so very much. Not just cooking and entertaining our friends and family but reading to one another or listening to an Opera or Elvis. We were best friends. Selfishly I would give anything to have him with me for many more years. However, I do believe I had the best of him.

Missing Jimmy,


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Little Things

I've said it many times...don't blink! Life changes in the blink of an eye and if we are not present in our life, aware of life around us, we are going to miss many important life events. Life is too short and we must live in the now! It is an imperative.

For those with children, all one has to do is think about how many times we said to ourself "I wish he/she was walking, my life would be easier" or "if only he/she could talk and tell me what is wrong". Every time we say these things to ourselves, we are rushing time. In essence, we are rushing our life away. Our children will talk and walk much more quickly then we can imagine and ultimately walk right out of our home.

We'll stand at the window on that day and wonder "where did the years go"? We are so busy living our lives that we rarely take a moment to breathe in a particular moment and hold it in our memory forever. These little memories are what makes a life. The people whom we love, the things they do, those instances of joy they bring us are all what makes a life.

Don't be so busy that you forget to look at the little things in your life. You will be grateful later. Your memory will be filled with the is the little things that make our lives full.

Cherishing the little things,

Friday, January 01, 2010

The End Of A Decade

How is it possible that the first decade of the 21st century is already gone! I keep telling you, Life Is Short...Eat Dessert First. I hope you ate a lot of dessert during these 10 years. The pundits are all asking what we're going to call this decade. They make reference to the "roaring twenties"...Other than that, I don't recall hearing a name for a decade. I remember the 50's, the 60's, etc...

Personally, I think this decade should be known as the "The Decade of Greed and Fraud". It seems to be a good name. It started with Enron, quickly followed by Tyco and World Com. Thousands of hard working people lost their jobs, their pensions and years of loyal service because the CEO's Ken Lay, Dennis Kozlowski and Bernie Ebbers were very busy "cooking the books". As I recall Ken Lay's wife cried because she was going to have sell a couple of homes. I think they owned 5!

Dennis Kozlowski felt his $6,000.00 shower curtain was a necessity and Bernie Ebbers made the Top Ten List of Crooked CEO's! These 3 men seemed to set the stage for the rest of what happened in the first decade of the 21st century. We have watched as Freddie MAC and Fannie MAE along with all the sub-prime mortgage lenders have lent money to people who could never pay it back, to buy homes they truly could not afford!

We have fallen victim to the Bernie Madoff's and others like him who lived LARGE while they stole our money. Our government has decided that there are companies that are "too big to fail" and have therefore given them taxpayer money to keep them afloat. They took the taxpayer's money and threw themselves huge parties and paid out huge bonuses! The bonuses were to keep the employees that ruined their businesses from jumping ship.

Is it just me??? I wouldn't want to retain people who helped my company lose all that money. Nor would I have approved the government bailout. That's what bankruptcy is for! We now have AIG saying they have no intention of paying back the money so the government will own them or at least the lion's share. Chrysler has also said they are not paying anything back...

I do believe this decade has been all about greed and fraud and that's what we should call it! I just bet you'll agree with me.

Let's hope 2010 brings us all health, happiness, prosperity, joy and an abundance of love. We should pray for peace and hope the greedy get what they deserve!

Happy New Year,