My Tribute to Reckless Ryan

MT
Dear Reckless Ryan MTfosho, beloved son, brother, father and fiancee,

You’re gone. Gone too young. Gone too soon. Damn. From what I have seen this week, with the swelling number of cars every night at Boots, many people are missing you. I know your parents, brother, Shannon, and your buddies are gonna miss you like crazy in this life. But I believe there is a heaven, and I bet you have started your own Monkey Tactics club up there in Paradise, and are riding to your hearts content. You can be as reckless as you want up there. Think of the stunts you can pull off! No limits, dude.

I remember hearing something about heaven once, that the little children grow older, and the older folks become young again. In their prime. Like around 25 years old. You won’t have to change a bit to fit in.

But now the reality. I can’t say that I know you as well as I wished I did right now.   I do know that the past few years our two families have come together to love our precious Brianna.  I think, in all honesty, that she is the best thing that has ever happened to all of us.

You and Shannon have had your ups and downs, but have loved each other for the past 10 years.  That’s a long time.  I think becoming engaged and living like a family on sleepover nights etc. made you and Shannon better parents, and better people as a result.  The love you had for each other and for Brianna showed through in so many ways.  I loved going to Bri’s birthday parties the past few years at Boots, it was always so fun.  She loved the blow-up houses so much, and got so much attention from everyone.  It was so apparent how much your family and all the Boots people  loved Bri, and it made my heart feel so good.

Shannon loved you so much, and as you guys got older, I really enjoyed the few times we got to hang out together and have a drink and a few laughs.  I know you loved your girls.  You and I had a long talk about that one night at Captains, and I felt I got to really know your true feelings then.  I was glad we had that talk.  Wish we could have a few more.

Your mom and dad have been the best grandparents.  They love Bri so much, and Bri loves her Nana and Papa so very much.  I can see it with my own eyes, every time I go to Boots.  We brought her to Boots a couple of Sundays ago for breakfast, and she had a pancake and lots of loving from everyone there.  I’m sure we will continue our tradition of Sunday morning breakfast there, it’s a real treat for all of us.  Your family and everyone there treats us so well.

You are the second person that Bri has lost in the past 9 months.  Important people.  People she loved and saw almost every day.  Her mommy’s Papa, and now you, her daddy.  Bri is so smart.  So strong.  She talks to Papa’s star every night.  Now she will talk to your star, too.  We will all keep your memory alive, up in the heavenly skies.

Your job now is keep your star bright, and wink at her every night.  Bring her peace and comfort, if you can.  Little children are so much more open to spirits, and I hope she can feel wrapped in the light of your love, and know it is her Daddy.  She said some amazing things to our family after Papa died, and I just know that he was talking to her in some way.  So it gives me hope that you can talk to her too, and give her comfort.  And, in turn, she will give comfort to Shannon and your family.  She is wise beyond her years.

I know Shannon will stay just as close to your family, and Bri will grow up knowing how much her Daddy loved her.  Nana and Papa and Uncle Jimi will keep you alive.  Crikey, all we have to do is look at her little face, and we can see you!  I loved seeing all of your pictures when you were little, and seeing your features on Bri.  She took the best from both you and Shannon and is a beautiful, smart, funny, and brave little girl. She is fearless. I wonder where she got that from 😉

Our time here on earth is just a blink of the eye, compared to eternity.  One day you will be reunited with all your loved ones, and then the real party starts.  For eternity.

Stay Forever Young, Aunt Janet

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Silent Support

support

I cannot begin to tell you all how many people have come up to me recently telling me how wonderful I look, how they have been following my journey on Facebook and my blog, and how much my courage in the face of adversity has impacted them.  They love my Positive Thoughts for the Day and say I am an inspiration.
Who, me?  Wow.  Well.  I do know that I had great positive relationships with all my nurses and therapists in the hospital, rehab, and home health care.  And my doctor just shakes his head time and time again and asks how I can keep smiling through all these ups and downs (most downs).  I guess having a chronic incurable disease (Crohn’s) has prepared me for the worst case scenarios in the past, and that is why I wasn’t too surprised to have all these issues and extra surgeries and PICC lines and infections and meds etc. with this hip replacement.  Been there, done that, alone most of the time.  This time I had the support of my family and friends, so many visitors, cards, phone calls etc., which really made the difference.  I would not have made it without them. Especially my little 3-year-old niece, who loved all the blood and guts aspect, and kept me laughing through it all.

Sometimes you don’t realize the impact you have on people, positive or negative.  That’s why I always try to have a smile on my face, and be friendly and courteous to people.  It just might make their day a little brighter.  So thank you, everyone, for your support, silent or otherwise.  It encourages me to keep on going, knowing that you are reading and rooting for me.  And it really makes my day when one of you comes up and hugs me and tells me that!

I am SO blessed….

What’s a good Catholic girl like me doing in a place like this?

sybarisYes, you are correct.  That is a picture of the Sybaris.  Complete with whirlpool tub, fireplace, plush robes on top of a king sized bed.  And is that…gulp…chains hanging down over the bed?

Oh my.  Maybe this is really the red room of pain from 50 Shades of Grey!  I wonder if it comes complete with Christian Grey?  Bet that costs extra…..

I will be able to tell you all about it next week.  Yes, you are correct.  I am going there.  Me.  Good Catholic Girl.  Going to a sex motel.  To meet a man.  A Mike.  Not telling which one.  Guess.  I wonder if I could call him Christian?  Probably hasn’t read the book….don’t know a man who has.

Sounds so decadent…so dirty. Although according to their website they clean and sanitize after every visit.  Even just the afternoon delight visits.  Yes, you can go for a four hour visit.  Me, I’m staying the night.

I WILL tell you that there will be no activity regarding chains, or baskets, or swings, or anything else hanging from the ceiling.  Not even a pair of undies spinning around on the ceiling fan.  I’m past all that.  I fully expect I’ll spend more time sleeping than anything else, lol.

I WILL fully enjoy the whirlpool though, especially since my hot tub has been drained all summer.  The whirlpool will be very therapeutic for my hip.  Yeah, that’s it, therapeutic.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Until next week.  Stay tuned for updates.

Take your life back

suicide

Yet another young actor has taken his own life.  It seems to be pandemic lately.  Drug overdose, hanging, self-inflicted gunshot wound.  Any way you look at it, it means a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Is something or someone worth paying the ultimate price?  I must be honest here.  I have had thoughts on the subject myself, especially when my husband cheated on me and left me.  I think everyone has had those thoughts.  Luckily, most of us get help or work our way out of situation.

I’m not necessarily talking about teenagers, who sometimes are impulsive and don’t realize that their attempt may be successful.  They may be seeking attention more than they are seeking death.

It’s the recent headlines of young adults, in their 20’s/30’s, that are most concerning right now.  From the drug overdoses of Heath Ledger and Michael Jackson and Cory Monteith (which I believe were accidental but playing with drugs is playing with fire), to the most recent deaths of Gia from the Bachelor and former Disney star Lee Thompson Young, who had a promising career on Rizzoli and Isles.

From the outside it seemed these people had everything to live for.  On the inside it must have been a different story.  To be desperate enough, in that much pain, to think you must end it all, that is serious business.  If only they gave themselves one more chance.  If they only knew how much they were loved, or how many people would mourn them.  The loss of a life is always hard to deal with.  How does a family reconcile that death with it’s suicide? The Catholic Church used to state that suicide was a sin, and that persons committing suicide could not have a Catholic service and burial. However, the Church has since changed this point of view, especially if the person was not in their right mind.  But for the family, there is shame, there is guilt, feelings of what more could they have done?  If the suicidee intended to make a statement with their death, well they sure do, with emotions that live on when they don’t.  The parents, the spouses, the children….how do they deal with the fact that their loved one purposely left them?  Is that REALLY what the person intended?  It almost seems selfish, in a weird way, but then again suicide is not a normal thing.  It’s the ones left behind that suffer the most.

I wish that before every important decision in life is made, you must pass a test or have a waiting period.  Too many things are done on impulse, whether it be shopping, marriage, divorce, cheating, stealing, murder, and death.  Too bad we can’t stop the world for a few minutes to rethink our actions.  So many times we have buyers /sellers remorse.  We could use a grace period for everything, especially suicide.  If you make a bad purchase, it is eventually paid off.  If you take your own life, it is forever.

The Tale of Two Many Mikes

magic mike

Mike.  A simple name.  An old fashioned name that has never gone out of style.  There are a lot of Mike’s in this world.

My first Mike, who I still secretly love to this day.  My last Mike, who I wish I could love someday.  My BFF Mike, who I chat with almost every day and can’t live without (he knows all my secrets).  My old school Mike, who viewing a Hawks game without is not an option.  My boss Mike, who has become my friend besides, and has some hot dance moves.  Thank goodness most of them have nicknames.

Best I Ever Had Mike.  Best I Never Had Mike.  Russian Mike.  Hockey Mike.  Magic Mike/Mai Tai Mike.  Hunt Club Mike.  Green Bay Mike.  Miscellaneous Mikes.

I see most of these Mikes regularly.  I guess Mike is a popular name, but geez, I’m surrounded by them!  Even my favorite bottle drink is Mike’s Light!

I’m glad I have most of these Mikes in my life.  Some make my day better, some make me sad, some annoy me, but they are all there, in some capacity.

Does anyone else have a lot of one-namers in their life?

Kids say and do the darnest thing!

kissing baby

When my niece Shannon was pregnant, I kept campaigning to name her baby Brianna, as that is my favorite name.  Luckily it was on her short list, and Brianna Nicole was born 4 years ago this past June.

When Bri was born, I loved her with all the desperation of an old childless auntie.  Her mother Shannon was also so special to me, and now her daughter was my sun, moon and stars.

I saw Bri almost every day.  I would drive there straight from work, and I would hold her, feed her, read to her.  I was there for her first steps, first words, first spitting contest!  When I came in the door, her face would light up and she would say “auntie!” and I felt so loved.

Then she turned two and everything changed.  No more kisses, no more hugs.  The more I begged, the more she would purposely turn away.  It broke my heart and made me cry.  I tried everything.  I tried too hard.  It became a game for her, I think.

When she was three, I got a new kitten, Izzy.  She was madly in love with Izzy and came over almost every day to see Ozzy and Izzy.  Then I would try to blackmail her and tell her she had to kiss me too, not just Izzy.  Blackmail doesn’t work with a three-year old.  It wasn’t that she didn’t love me.  She was just in that phase where she didn’t want to sit in laps and give out hugs and kisses.  She would rather run down to the lake or chase a kitten.  But still.

And then it happened.  It all changed.  I got more hugs and kisses than I could handle.  What changed her mind?

I think it was her compassion for and worry for sick people.  She loved her Papa so much, my sister’s husband, and when he passed away from a heart attack in December, she was the practical one, who spoke to his star in the sky every night and then comforted my sister and niece and nephew with her messages that she passed on from Papa.  I remember one time shortly after he passed, my sister was making coffee in the morning, and was very sad and sniffling a bit, as her husband had always done that.  Bri gave her a big hug and said “Papa said don’t be sad Grandma, he’s ok”.  Wow, huh?  Out of the mouth of babes…

Then I discovered I needed a hip replacement.  Bri was very worried about me, and checked my leg every day.  I got so many hugs and kisses then.  When I went in the hospital, she came to visit several times and always wanted to see my bandages and my incision and all the blood and guts.  She would pat my leg and say, “Aunt Janet, I LOVE your new leg!”  She would help me get up, and cover me up when I laid down.  She was always in attendance when I came home from the hospital for bandage changes.  She was very good at it!  I think this is her calling in life.

I don’t know if things changed because she was just growing up, or because illness triggered her heart, but whatever it was, it has continued.  She RUNS to see me every day, and hugs and kisses me as much as I want.  I LOVE it.

And I’m not going to think it’s because of all the quad rides I give her that she loves…..

Lip Service

friend

When is a friend not really a friend?  How do you tell?  What are the signs?

Sometimes it is not really apparent.  Some “friends” say all the right things, and then do all the wrong things, or just nothing. I call that lip service.

I found this out when I was in the hospital so much the past few months.  I have a lot of acquaintances, and some friends that I thought were good friends.  When it was all said and done, some of my so-called good friends turned out to be non-existent friends when the chips were down.

I was pleasantly surprised by all the phone calls, cards and visitors I had.  Conversely, I was heartbrokenly surprised by some of the people who didn’t bother to do any of the above.  Asking my sister if I was alive or dead doesn’t count.  Face to face baby.  That’s what I need.  Or Facebook to Facebook.  Many people kept up with my stories on Facebook, and gave me so much encouragement!  I love you all for that!

I am not always a good friend.  I don’t always go out of my way, or go the extra mile for a friend.  I have plenty of excuses myself.  So I don’t blame people, I really don’t.  I understand that people have their own worries, families, jobs etc.

My family really did step up to the plate and help me out, for a longggggg time, like two months, when I was pretty much helpless and could not have survived without them.  My sister especially really surprised me cause she hates hospitals and sick people, but she took really good care of me.  My little 4-year-old great niece loved the blood and guts aspect of the whole thing, and personally disposed of all the bloody bandages with glee.  I think she will grow up to be a doctor, she is so caring and compassionate, with both people and animals.  So maybe a vet, which is just as awesome.

friends

Now that I am on the mend, and don’t have to rely on people anymore, it just struck me how surprising it was overall, on who stepped up to the plate, and who didn’t.  Not that I’m keeping score or anything.  Really.  I’m not.  But I do know after all this that I will try much harder in the future to be a good friend, and not a lip service friend.

Cause isn’t that what life is all about?