Obituary writing

Who knew writing an obituary could be so difficult? I spent over a week agonizing over it, ignoring it, postponing it. I had written his daughter (from a previous marriage) and gotten some memories/thoughts from her to include. I had his work history, his military history, his family history. I knew the story of him meeting my mom. Part of me thought I should just write your typical, generic life story…his job, his family, when he was born and when he died…and call it a day. Just a small part of me thought that, though. The rest of me knew he needed something more. Actually, I think everyone needs something more. The problem is, I only write one way. My style is my style. If I try to change it, it reads fake. My voice is all I have. So, I was nervous that my writing style might not be appropriate for such serious subject matter.  The thing is, my stepfather wasn’t all that serious. Sure, to the novice eye, he probably came across as a silent curmudgeon, but to those lucky enough to glimpse the real person…well, all they needed was one of his dry, witty comments to get it.  He just wasn’t typical and generic.

So, I asked my mom. And my sister. And I asked so hesitantly, almost like I was worried they might judge me for how I wanted to write it. God, I can’t believe how insecure I was about writing this damn thing! Anyway, they thought it sounded perfect, and my mom’s smile was all I needed….

Larry Allen Hobgood, of South Yarmouth, Massachusetts, passed away at home on May 10, 2017, after a lengthy and determined battle with cancer. He had beat it two out of three times, so his self-description of being “tough as nails” is fitting and worthy.

Larry was born on March 10, 1939, in Evansville, Indiana to Morton and Frances Hobgood. He was predeceased by his parents, his loving first wife Barbara, his son Larry Jr, his daughter Christine, his sister Charlotte, and his grandson Michael. He is surely enjoying being surrounded by that much love on the other side.  He is survived by his adoring and devoted wife, Gwendolyn; his loving daughter Barbara, her husband, Brad and grandson James; his loving brother, Douglas and his loving uncle, Billy. His quick wit and sense of humor will be missed by his step children, Jami Carder, John and Allison Viola, Cathy and Stephen Taylor, as well as their children Jason, Jessica, Rachael, Rebecca, Jack, Eric and especially Justin.

As a child, Larry was known for loving the outdoors…swimming, camping, flying kites and especially fostering strays. A natural musician, he learned to play the guitar by ear, mastering both 6 and 12 string acoustic. He dreamed of owning an airplane and spent many hours building and flying model planes. He enjoyed playing cards and checkers, but rumor has it that he was terrible at chess. However, he did find his niche in the sport of golf, winning several tournaments, trophies and awards. Who cares about chess, anyway?

Following his childhood love of airplanes, Larry joined the United States Air Force in 1956, rising to the rank of Technical Sergeant. He served in the Vietnam War, receiving multiple letters of recognition for his outstanding work ethic.  He was honorably discharged in March, 1976…a full 20 years of devoted service to our nation. There is no doubt about it… Larry Allen Hobgood loved the United States of America.

After his military career, Larry settled down in Racine, WI with his wife Barbara, and raised his family. He worked at Krones, Inc. for many years, as well as the city of Racine, until his retirement. He was an extremely loving and devoted caregiver to his wife Barbara, right up until her passing. He understood empathy. His daughter describes him as an observer of life, having a philosophical internalism with an externalism approach. Not an easy thing to figure out about someone, so when his daughter Barbara was finally able to, it brought them a deeper connection… one that surely is of comfort to her now.

After his wife’s passing, Larry happened to stumble across Gwen via a mutual friend who shared email addresses between them. Larry was instantly smitten with the online stories of Gwen’s tenacity for performing home improvement projects. One thing led to another, and before long, Gwen was visiting Wisconsin to meet Larry in person.  Just a few months later, Larry married Gwen, right in her Tulsa backyard… paying no mind to having to wear the casual denim jeans and checkered shirt he’d been in for two days, due to the airline losing his luggage. And thus began a union of love, laughter and many trips to Home Depot. Larry was happy to live in the world of never-ending projects. When Gwen needed a tool, he’d go out and buy her two…one for each floor of the house, just to save her trips up and down the stairs. That’s true love, right there.

In 2009, Larry felt it was time for Gwen to return to Massachusetts to be near her family. He selflessly sold almost everything and moved to Cape Cod, where he became semi-famous for his pulled pork, gourmet breakfasts and other culinary specialties. Unfortunately, his initial cancer diagnosis occurred shortly after his arrival to the east coast, and prohibited Larry from enjoying all the fishing he had planned to do. However, that initial cancer did not realize it had chosen someone as “tough as nails” to reside in, and Larry showed it who’s boss. He did not want to quit anything. Referred to by one of his physicians as “a pleasant challenge”, he fought right up to the end, 7 long years, and did not leave this Earth until he was damn good and ready. His mission in life was to make sure Gwen, his “Tiger”, was happy. Well, Larry Allen Hobgood…mission accomplished.

Our family would like to thank all of Larry’s medical team members, without whom the last seven years of Larry’s subtle sarcasm and dry sense of humor would not have been experienced. We would also like to extend heartfelt gratitude for his caregivers over the last two months, with a special thank you to Cindy Mancini, RN of VNA Hospice and Palliative Care of Cape Cod, for being a shining example of what hospice nursing is all about.

A memorial service will be held to honor the memory of this one of a kind soul on Saturday, June 3rd at 11am at Cape Cod Covenant Church, 11 Satucket Road, Brewster, MA.





Self Care…It’s All or Nothing

It’s all or nothing. That’s how things seem to be going around here. Just two months ago, I had nothing to write about. I had a lot of time on my hands. Things were peaceful in my soul. Then, life happened. My stepfather died last week. Yesterday, I found my mom on the floor of her living room. After spending the day in the ER, I took her home with me, nursing her vertigo and nausea. Caregiver stress is real, people. Be careful. My dryer vent must be clogged, because it smells like burned rubber when it’s running. I’m sure I can take the vent apart and clean it, but just haven’t had the time or energy, between caring for my mom and driving the boys around. I finally wrote my stepfather’s obituary last night, and ordered his funeral cards this evening. I’ve made his funeral arrangements. I need new tires on my car, but have to work all week, so not sure when I’m going to get them put on. I’m tired.

Sounds overwhelming, doesn’t it? Well, believe it or not…it isn’t. My soul is still at peace. How? I can’t say for sure, but I’d like to think it’s from my “practice”.  I’ve been committed to my mediation practice, to therapy, to eating healthier, to Reiki, to enjoying purposeful interactions with my loving and nurturing friends, to learning how to play my drums, to prayer… all the things I do to nurture and love myself. My yoga teacher always tells us we can’t keep pouring water out for everyone else in our lives if we don’t refill the pitcher… meaning, if you give all your love and energy away, it will run out. So, I do these things to fill my pitcher up. This allowed me to care for my stepfather, to care for my mother, to care for my children, to care for my patients…because I care for myself right along with them. I fully commit to my practice, because I want to be the best caregiver I can for those I love. I don’t want to care for them just a little bit, so I don’t let me care for myself just a little bit. Self care… it’s all or nothing. It doesn’t fix everything, but it fixes enough. Give it a try… a peaceful soul is definitely as good as it sounds…



The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS May 20/17



Writer’s Block

I have my first case of writer’s block. I’m pretty sure it’s because this is the first writing I’ve ever felt I had to do. My posts on here all flow out of me naturally. I witness significant things and want to share them. There’s no pressure. It’s easy.

I have to write my stepfather’s obituary. I offered to. It made sense, at the time, because I’m “the writer”. I thought it would be a piece of cake, just like all my essays on here. It’s not. I’m holding back from even starting, and I can’t figure out why.

I gathered information and personal details from his daughter and my mom.  Turns out, a lot of his life wasn’t filled with happiness. I have to figure out how to omit those things without feeling like I’m falsifying his life. I’ve never written fiction before, and don’t want to start now, with this. I also don’t want to minimize anything about this man, his life, his feelings…or his memory. I’m nervous I might tarnish it if I put too much in, yet also worried about not sharing enough to let the world know how great he was.  I witnessed some pretty significant things during my time caring for this man, so this is an important job.

I can see the obituary floating around, in various pieces, in my mind. I know if I just start writing things down, it will probably start to form on its own. So…why can’t I start?


Versatile Blogger Award

I started this blog on a whim last October, not having a clue as to what was in store for me. Little did I know, I would end up making amazing, real connections on here. I found a new tribe, and though we only know each other through our writings, I often feel these relationships are more substantial and real than some of my face to face ones.

One of these connections is RhapsodyBoheme. I think I came across her when I searched for the tag, “Spiritual Awakening”, and I was not disappointed. If you are looking for an example of someone who has found a connection to the universe, and shares it in a beautifully descriptive way, check her out here. Thanks for nominating me, my friend…


What is the Versatile Blogger Award?

It is a way for bloggers to nominate other bloggers who they believe deserve recognition for their high-quality standard of writing, the uniqueness of content, passion, and love displayed throughout the site and to top it off, amazing photos! It is a way to  introduce newcomers, welcoming and showing our support in their new endeavor of finding their voice and audience. We share the same passion on how we got started and in the end the reason remains similar, as we all have something to say and to contribute.

Rules of the Versatile Blogger Award:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and share their link.

2. Nominate up to 10 bloggers for the award and provide links to their blogs. Also, inform them about the nomination.

3. Reveal 7 facts about yourself that your readers may not know.

Turns out, I was also nominated for the One Lovely Blog award by my new friend, LittleBirdFlies . You can check her super supportive and helpful page out here.  We are new friends on here, but I can tell we have a journey between us. We both have similar things to process and both do said processing with God….along with amazing connections to birds and nature. God IS the universe! Thank you so much for nominating me.

Both awards have the same criteria for participating, so if I nominated you, pick which one you want to use. If you even want to use one. No pressure at all to participate, I just wanted to share a few of the connections that have helped me along the way. I really could have listed about 30 of them….

So here we go and here is my list….

1.  I am 45 years old and just started drum lessons. I bought a used set 2 summers ago, and hid it in my mother’s basement because I thought my husband would make fun of me. He’s gone now, and the drums are in his room:)

2. I bought a boat last year and learned how to trailer it, back it down a ramp, drive it and anchor it…solo. One of the most empowering things I’ve done.

3. I’ve never had a cup of coffee.

4.  I enjoy picking up litter.

5. I wake up exhausted every single day, yet can NOT for the life of me go to bed early. I must struggle to stay up until my eyes can’t stay open anymore…and each morning, I swear “I’m going to bed early tonight”. Nope. Liar.

6. My intuition is on FIRE lately. Not anything I can choose to predict, but random knowings occurring on their own. Weird, but kind of cool. It started with synchronicity and evolved into whatever it is “this” is. All part of my spiritual awakening. Amazing:)

7.  I never thought I would have kids. I always wanted them, even from when I was a child, I knew I wanted them badly. I just never thought there would ever be anyone who would love me in order to get them. I didn’t feel it was something I deserved. Not because I had done anything bad, but just an inherent sense of “other people get those things, not me”.  I sometimes feel like I pulled a fast one on the Universe, by having these two amazing boys. It must have been distracted by something else. I’ll never lose the gratefulness I have for that happening. I seriously still look at them and think, “I’m not even supposed to have these boys” and feel so freaking lucky.

Here are my nominees:

There is no particular order here and it is impossible to mention everybody. My goal was to shed some light onto a few newcomers and people who continue to amaze me with their talent. But I also wanted to include a few who need our support and who face such tough adversity we can’t even begin to imagine. And if I didn’t mention you, please don’t think that I have forgotten you. You know you rock and I think the world of you. Love to everybody and remember that there is no obligation to participate here. Just know that you are thought of very highly and you deserve recognition. (I stole this paragraph from RhapsodyBoeheme. Sorry)

Linda       for inspiring me to write each week, and for demonstrating things I want to see in myself, as I slowly realize my aspirations for being a writer. You are quite a talent and I’m grateful to have crossed paths on here with you.

Susan      for being my first cheerleader on here. Check her out for some great insight on connections to the universe.

Bethany     for being my long lost twin, who really gets me. Check her out for some raw, honest, powerful essays on dealing with almost all the same issues I have to deal with.

Grace       who also gets me, for the same reasons listed above. It’s a shame any of us have to deal with these things, but I’m grateful to know I’m not alone.

Deborah     who writes the most honest, real thoughts about herself, situations and life. She truly understands the power of therapeutic writing and I’ve so enjoyed watching her grow.

Lesley    who inspires in such a pure way.


Enjoy and have fun with this…..


Channeling intimacy

I’ve spent the past two months helping my mom take care of her dying husband. Being a nurse, it wasn’t hard. I’ve done it a hundred times. I kept him comfortable…keeping his lips moist, re-positioning him, administering medications, talking, listening…and getting to know him.  You can’t help but bond with someone during this process. It’s intimate.

The other day, as I was brushing his hair, I thought of a dear, old friend of mine. We have a lot of parallels in our lives. The details are different, but similar themes. We both were sexually abused as children by family members, and we both ended up telling our families, once we got older. She told hers a long time ago. I told mine last summer. I can remember talking to her when I was thinking about telling.  Well, I honestly wasn’t just thinking about telling. I knew I was going to tell, and was just figuring out how to get up the courage to do so. It’s hard to put into words, but it’s almost like the universe had its own plans for my journey, and I just had to figure out how to let it all unfold. Anyway, she filled me in on the fallout she endured after telling her family. She wasn’t trying to talk me out of it, but wanted me to know of all the possibilities. Telling her story resulted in a divide in her family. It sounds crazy, but really…many families just can not handle hearing this kind of thing, and end up putting it back on the victim, as they don’t have the tools to deal with such subject matter. That’s what happened to my friend. So, when the time came for her father to near the end of his journey, she was basically excluded. God, it was so sad to hear her tell this story. My heart ached for her, and I felt uncomfortable imagining it happening to me. Yet still…I told. I told because even though she felt pain from the backlash, she was free of her story. I won’t explain it more than that, because if you haven’t been there, you just won’t get it.  There’s always a price for freedom.

At first, my family was extremely supportive. Well, most of my family. You see, I too have people in my life who just don’t have the tools required to process this heavy information. I get it. Hell, even I didn’t have the tools up until last year. It’s some heavy shit. Anyway, as time passed, and I finally started caring about myself and not letting the people in my life who cause me pain be involved with me anymore, the shift started. Because, some of those people just happen to be my family members.  And just like my dear, old friend… I felt the distance start to grow between me and my dad.  I can’t say it’s intentional. I think it’s just a byproduct of familial abuse, unfortunately.  He loves me, but his tool box is empty. I think in order for him to truly process this story, he would crumble. As my dad, he was supposed to be my protector. I can’t even imagine how it must feel to find out this kind of thing happened to your daughter in your own home.  Don’t get me wrong…just because I get it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt.

So, as I’m nurturing my stepfather, I’m thinking of my friend and her father, and then of me and my father. Our stories run back and forth through my mind, intertwined,  as I wipe his face and rub lotion on his lips. I think of her, wishing she could have done this for her father, and I start doing it for her.  I picture her running the comb though her father’s hair as he lies in bed, talking softly and smiling…enjoying the last intimate moments together. I turned into her, and my stepfather into her father. Then I think of me, and how I’ll most likely be right where my friend was,  and I looked down and saw my own dad.  I channeled all of us as I cared for him…all three men blending in and out of my dreams and wishes. It was sad, yet beautiful. I let my mind run with the imagination and for a few moments, it seemed real. I truly felt as though I was caring for my own dad, and that came as a comfort to me, knowing that this may very well be as close as I ever get to actually doing that.

My stepfather died last night. I was right with him as he took his last breath, and I cried. I cried for him. I cried for my mom. I cried for my friend and for her dad, and I cried for me and my dad. I mourned the loss of my dad, just in case I’m not there to do it when the time comes… and it felt real, I think. It hurt. I wondered if I would choose to tell, had I the chance for a do-over. Would it be worth it to not risk losing him? The pain I felt mourning a father who is still here was palpable, but yes.. I know things would go the same way in my do-over. Like I said, the universe has its plan and it’s my job to let it unfold. Plus, I have to keep reminding myself…it hasn’t finished unfolding yet…




An interesting closeness

It’s interesting how close you can get to someone when they’re dying.  In the 13 years I’ve been nursing, I’ve spent my fair share of time keeping people company as they transition to the next chapter. In the hospital, I’d come to know them by listening to their families reminisce. I always told the children, “your dedication now is a testament to how good your parents were“, which always made them smile…and often cry. In the home setting it was better. I could see their decorating style, look at family photos, know what type of car they drove…it was more personal. I got to know them on a closer level. I always enjoyed looking at the photos the most. Obviously, they looked completely different from the person lying in the bed next to me. Healthy skin, smiles, holding grandchildren, serving their country, dancing…it all paints a picture of how they lived and how they loved.

I’ve spent most of the last week at my stepfather’s bedside, letting my mom get some rest. I come over every evening after work and stay till around midnight, when the aide she finally let us arrange arrives. I’ve never really been that close to him. Not that I didn’t like him or anything…we just never bonded. He’s kind of an introvert and tended to avoid social family gatherings. He moved here so she could be near her family when the time came for him to move on. He didn’t want her to grow old all alone, halfway across the country from her kids… where she’s been since I was 9. He’s been chronically ill since I met him. I always felt sort of bad for my mom, not being able to go out and do things…travel, make friends, whatever… ever since they moved here.  I thought she was tied down by him, and I thought that was a shitty deal for her. At the same time, I figured she knew what she was getting in to with him, so sort of washed my hands of it. This past week, though…I got to know him. No, we didn’t have any heart to heart conversations. He’s well past having that ability. It’s hard to understand much of what he says now. I got to know him by watching my mom.

My mom spent the past 10 years slowly transitioning into his caregiver, and it kicked into high gear last month when he fell and broke his hip. The cancer had made his bones so brittle…that was the beginning of the end. He came home in a hospital bed and has been lying in it, in the middle of the living room, ever since…with my mom doting on him. For the first 6 weeks or so, she wouldn’t let us hire any help for him (other than to use the daily aide the hospice provides for an hour). She was devoted. She managed his medications. She re positioned him. She helped him with his urinal. She fed him. As he began to progress through this process, his needs became more frequent. He was ringing the bell for her every half hour during the night. “Please, Mom…let me hire some help”, I pleaded. She was exhausted, but refused. We set up a cot next to his bed so she could lie with him during the night. So, instead of ringing the bell every half hour, he reached over and patted her on the head. She was happy with that. Seeing the two of them, lying side by side in that living room, holding hands through the rails of the hospital bed…that’s when it clicked. God, how could I have not seen this all these years? She doesn’t have a shitty deal at all. She’s one of the lucky ones…she has true love. Something I’ve struggled my entire life to believe even exists, and it’s been right here all along.

His journey is so close to ending. He’s being visited by relatives already on the other side. Or hallucinating. One never knows. Yesterday, as my mom napped, I sat on the side of his bed, holding his hand as he processed whatever crazy shit he was seeing in the corner of the room. I looked at him and thought about how I never know if this is going to be the last time I see him awake or not, and I know my mom must feel that feeling in a much more painful way. I realized I’d never acknowledged his act of love for my mom…moving out here for her. I rubbed his hand. “Hey, Larry. I never did thank you for bringing my mom back here to us. Thank you.” My eyes were stinging, and I swallowed hard to keep from crying. He looked at me, and just gave a slight nod. I wondered if he knew how I resented her all those years for not being here. I never would have been able to let all that go, to create this budding new relationship with her this past year, if he hadn’t moved her here. He rubbed my hand. I think he knew enough.

My heart aches for what my mom is going through. I hate that I used to think her life would be so much easier once she didn’t have to take care of him.

I once was blind, but now I see…





This post was written in response to Linda G Hill’s Stream of Social Consciousness Saturday prompt

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS May 6/17



Today’s sermon

My stepfather is dying. He’s on his third round of cancer. I can’t believe he even beat it the first two times, which is a testament to his tough, stubborn, ornery character.

I can’t say I’m particularly close to him. I like him enough, but he’s introverted and suffers from depression. He’s a Vietnam veteran, and  I can’t even begin to imagine what he’s been through…what type of things have formed his personality and views on life. I can say, without a doubt…he loves my mother. He moved her here around 8 years ago, or so. He knew he wouldn’t last forever, and wanted her to be around her kids so she wouldn’t have to be alone and struggling. He’s lasted longer than he thought he would, so has kind of just been existing here, blending into the scenery.

He fell around 6 weeks ago, and due to the metastatic tumor in his hip, shattered his pelvis. He’s been home on hospice, in a hospital bed, ever since. My mom is exhausted. She’s his 24 hour caregiver, other than the daily hospice aide who bathes him. I try to talk her into hiring help to give her a break, but she’s devoted. All these years of them being married, and I never noticed the love. I see it now, so clearly. Like a veil has been lifted. I think my vision was blurred because of the resentment I’d held on to, regarding me and my mom’s history. We’ve grown so close during these last 6 weeks, and I’m seeing her from a different perspective now. I am finally at peace with her.

This morning, just as I’m pulling in to church, my mom calls asking for my help. My stepfather wanted to get out of bed and she needed help getting him back in, as his hospice aide couldn’t stay. (He requires a hoyer lift). She didn’t want to tell him he couldn’t get up, as he hasn’t been able to tolerate it lately. I was really looking forward to church today. I had a feeling it was going to be a good sermon. Of course, I was happy to turn around and miss it. He’s getting so close, I’m not sure how many more chances he’ll have to sit in the sun with my mom.

I arrive, and he’s sipping coffee and eating cheese. It’s beautiful out, and the warm sun is shining on him as he looks at his garden. I haven’t seen him out of his hospital bed in over a month. I say to him, “Well, well, well. Look at what we’ve got here”, smiling.  He calmly states, “What can I say? When you’ve got it, you’ve got it…and I’ve got it”. His voice is nothing but a gravelly whisper, but yeah…he’s still got it. We sit for around 45 minutes…a good 30 minutes longer than he’s ever tolerated being in the chair for, ever since this whole hospice thing started. My mom asks him how he’s doing, sitting up for so long,  as her sole purpose in life right now is to make him comfortable. In his classic Vietnam vet style, he mutters, “tough as nails”. We then carried him back to bed.

I didn’t miss today’s sermon, after all…




Better than the yard

I love the scattered pre-season warm days here on Cape Cod. Just when you think winter may never end, you get blessed with a gem of a day. We had a few this weekend, and I never take them for granted. Neither does my dog… a day at the beach beats a day in the yard, for sure!

I love living here…

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Apr. 29/17



J spells my name

Last month, I took a girls weekend to Connecticut. We specifically went to go on a river cruise to look at American Bald Eagles (which was SPECTACULAR, by the way) and ended up hiking through a couple of really cool state parks. It was dinnertime by the time we headed back to Massachusetts, so we made a spur of the moment detour into Mystic for some pizza. You know, “Mystic Pizza”…the Julia Roberts breakout film…

Mystic is a pretty cool town. It’s quaint, on the water, with a charming main street filled with various shops and eateries. Everything was named “Mystic” something or other. Mystic Pizza, Mystic Army Navy, Mystic Florist . As we neared the public parking lot, I noticed “Mystic Psychic”.  It was an unassuming little sign, tucked in between the touristy shops and bars. I normally wouldn’t have given it a second thought. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe in psychics and mediums and the like, but one called “Mystic Psychic” just sounds gimmicky, right? Well, after about 10 seconds, I just knew I was going in there. It was so weird…I had no idea we were even going to Mystic, and once we decided to go, all we had planned was pizza and maybe stopping in a few of the shops. I just could not shake the feeling of having to go in there. We parked the car and I told my girlfriends, “I have to go to that psychic”.  We rounded the corner and came upon the cutest store filled with unique trinkets and handmade items…totally up my alley. As we looked around the store, I realized it was time to go. “I’m going to that psychic now”, I told them. I was so nervous that if I waited too long, I wouldn’t get in. I ditched them in the store and headed down the road.

As I opened the door to the psychic, I felt a little confused. It was an apartment. I could see baby toys in the living room, and a kitchen off to the side. I was beginning to think I accidentally walked into someone’s home and was about to sneak back out when she came out of the room. A young girl, with dark  hair…some type of accent I can’t even begin to guess… maybe Greek? I dunno. Anyway, she takes my money for a palm reading and gets to work.

She starts by telling me I’m an old soul, that I’ve lived other lives before this one…yada yada yada. Two minutes into it and I’m thinking I’ve been had, when suddenly…her expression changes. “What does the letter J mean to you?” I tell her, “It spells my name…it’s the first letter”. I didn’t want to feed her any extra information, you know? She continues, “You do know you are creative, right?” I said, “Well, sometimes…”. I was thinking of how I’d spent a few nights at the local art bar over the past year or so, but also thinking of how the art gene sort of skipped over me. She interrupts my thoughts. “People are going to know your name. They are going to know your name in three to five years.” She kept studying my palms, almost squinting, as if there was some faint writing on them that was difficult to see. “I see these hands writing. That’s how people will know your name. You aren’t writing for money, but the money will follow. You are writing because you’ve been through an awful lot in the past few years, and writing is how you heal yourself. You will write to help heal others, and they will know your name…in three to five years”. Holy crap! I looked over at my friend, Tracy, and we just stared at each other in amazement. Anyone who knows me knows that I write, and it’s only started last year because of what I’ve been through in my healing process. My therapist suggested a journal, and things just took off from there.  I’d never written a single thing before last year…and now I’m in the process of sharing my stories in the hopes it will resonate with others and help them learn to tell their own. Damn, this girl was good.

Around two weeks later, I received a letter from the “American Journal of Nursing”. They are going to publish one of my essays on the back cover of their journal this fall. And last week, I was notified by another nursing journal, “Nursing 2017”, that they plan to publish a different essay of mine.  Needless to say, I’m pretty damn excited about this…my first publications and I’m two for two!  I can’t help but wonder, if it’s this exciting now with these two stories getting published…what will happen in “three to five years”?




The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Apr. 22/17



Good mood day

I’ve been participating in a writing group on here for quite a few months now. Linda G. Hill runs it. She’s an author, an editor and an all around pretty cool person. She gives us the prompt each Friday, and on Saturday, we write. We use the prompt and can write anything we want.  We can’t edit, (except typos)…it just has to free flow out of our brains. Pretty much like writing in my journal. I like it because sometimes I’m just lazy about writing, and the prompt gets me going. I don’t write in my journal anymore, so it’s good for me. I usually take the word and work it into whatever story I feel like telling. Anyway, this week, it’s hard! The damn prompt is “moo”. Seriously. I can’t sit here and free flow a story about cows. So, I’m going to tuck it into another word, and tell you about why today left me in a good mood. Get it? Mood. Moooood. God, I’m tired.

OK, so I worked today. My first weekend on since starting this visiting nurse job. Also, my first weekend off orientation, so I’m now allowed to pick up overtime. And seeing how it’s my first weekend on after orientation and after getting separated from my husband and learning to live with this pay cut I took, you’re damn right I picked up the overtime.  I saw 7 patients instead of the usual 5-6. As I’m finishing up the last one, my friend Paula calls me. She’s at a local shop, one of those healing places where they offer Reiki, sell stones and books and such. There was a crystal show there, and she thought of me. It closed in 30 minutes and was in the next town over, and I was tired. Also, I’m not really that into crystals. Well, that’s not true…I absolutely love going to crystal bowl meditation…I just never thought about getting my own crystal. I don’t know anything about them, so I thanked her for thinking of me and politely declined. I was yawning and needed to go home and finish my paperwork. As I hung up, I suddenly realized I wasn’t going home, but was going to this store. It wasn’t even a conscious decision. I just knew I was going.

I get there, and the crystals are pretty awesome. So beautiful and all so different from each other. Some were priced at $300 and up! I asked him how I would know which one to buy and he said to touch them and if it felt right, I would know it. So, I did. I found one that I was drawn to. I asked him about it and he said it was Green Apophyllite. It’s supposed to cleanse your heart chakra and help with psychic ability. As he said it, Paula looked at me with such a sincere, loving, warm expression and I knew this was the one for me. But, it was in the pile of expensive crystals, and really…did I want to spend my overtime money on a rock? I looked at him as I clutched it to my heart, and asked how much. He smiled and said, “twenty dollars”.  I feel like he was lying, and I let him.

I ended up buying some Animal Dream Oracle cards on a whim, while I was there. Paula had already bought me two meditation charms before I had arrived. It’s like everyone knew I was going there today, before I even knew it. I came home and held the crystal to my heart again for a bit. Wow, I just teared up a little bit writing that. My heart chakra is the only one that still makes me cry now. I guess I’m still a work in progress.

Anyway, I shuffled the cards and put the crystal on them. I knew I was only going to pick one, and I knew it was going to be perfect for either me or Paula. I was thinking of her when I drew it, but couldn’t figure out if I was drawing for her or me. Turns out, it was for me…




The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Apr. 15/17



How I escaped from my cocoon while running a business and raising two kids without completely losing my mind

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