What do I do now?

** This was originally written in March 2016 **

Last Friday, I received a call from my Grandmother telling me my brother, Jon, tried to commit suicide.

A stranger noticed Jon’s car in an isolated parking lot by the river. Upon closer inspection, the stranger noticed a tube attached to the tailpipe of the car that was extended into the back window. The car was running. He saw my brother slumped in the front seat. The stranger stayed with him until the ambulance showed up to take him to the hospital. He was unconscious but alive. I will eternally be grateful to that stranger and I wish I could thank him in person.

My brother is an addict and is mentally ill and he has been battling his demons for the majority of his life.

After his attempted suicide, Jon spent several days in ICU. He was Baker Acted and transported to a mental facility that would monitor him. A caseworker was assigned to help him and our family figure out what his options are at this point. Since Jon has no insurance, is an addict, with outstanding warrants for his arrest and is mentally ill, there really isn’t a place out there that addresses this big mess.

I know in my mind I can’t save him, but my heart, well that’s another matter. When I was younger and single, rallying to my brother’s aid was a lot easier. But now that I am older, married and have three children, it has become harder to drop everything. Sometimes, it feels so heavy to love him. I never know when the other shoe is going to drop.

It’s easy for me to have it all figured out and to know exactly what he needs to do to heal and find happiness, but I’m not an addict nor am I mentally ill. I know lecturing him does not work. I have spent way too much time trying to figure it out for him. The reality is…at the end of the day, he has got to want to do the work, nobody can do it for him.

It has been difficult to watch him sabotage his life and his relationships, the very relationships that have come to his aid time and time again. He has ripped away at the fabric of this family. He has stolen time, money, memories, health, trust with his illness, wreaking havoc on anybody in his path.

I continue to struggle between what to do and how much I can do. For now, all I can do is simply…love him.

Life is too short…

Yesterday was an emotional day. We went to a memorial for a woman who passed away suddenly at the age of 49.  We did not know her.  We only met her a couple of times but we went to her memorial to support our good friends who knew and loved her very much.

I am the same age as the woman who passed and I am also a mother. She left behind two children who are only 14 and 16. The path those young people will now have to maneuver without the one person who loves them the most is going to be long and difficult. Thankfully, the kids have a very supportive family and network of friends who will look after them and help them through the grieving process. But, my soul still aches for those young tenderhearted children. Losing their Mom at a young age is difficult and they will have to rely on memories of her to sustain and carry them through this life.

I pray that my children never have to go through this.

This loss is a stark reminder that Life is too short and you never now when your time will come. It is that gentle tap on my shoulder reminding me to live my life to the fullest, love my dear ones every day, be kind and not take anything or anyone for granted. Easier said than done….right?

I fall victim to the everyday routine which feels like a rat race sometimes.  I am often just trying to get through the day. I have to get the kids off to school, get the laundry finished and put away, go to work, finish projects before deadlines, pay the bills, help with homework, get dinner made, go grocery shopping, sports, scouts, music lessons…! And I’m fortunate, I have a wonderful husband who carries his share of the everyday tasks. But it is still overwhelming and chaotic. I often feel like I am not present and that I am just passing through this wondrous life.

I don’t have an answer or a solution…yet 🙂

But I do know how important it is for me to stop and take a few deep breaths, slow down and hug my dear ones, learn to say no and be truly grateful for the blessings right in front of me.  I hear my Grandmother’s voice whisper in my ear…

Psst…Debbie…Life is too short…Think BIG and Be happy!

Breathe Debbie! Breathe in the beauty of life! Breathe in the joy of your dear ones! Life is too short to be indifferent! Breathe in happiness!

Until next time…



Date with my Husband

I wanted to have a great date with my husband this afternoon. The sun was shining but the wind was blowing a little and I was cold.  I put a light jacket over my sweatshirt and t-shirt and we headed down the path.

I had never walked this trail but have been wanting to try it out…so why not on our monthly date. My husband and I alternate months to plan a date and also figure out childcare. January was my month and of course I waited until the last day of the month to execute the plan. My husband was already suspicious that I had not put much thought into it, but that was not exactly true. I know he is thrifty and lately he has been gently suggesting that I start exercising more so that I don’t have a heart attack or a stroke. So I thought, “hey hiking in our beautiful community would not only cost us nothing but it would get me/us out to exercise!”

I thought “leisurely short hike around the lake.”  Heck no…there were, what felt like a series of steep hills and it took us over an hour.  I found out when I got back to the car it was 3.16 miles. Great for my heart and my jiggles, but bad for my breathing and having meaningful conversations. All the blood that usually feeds my brain and helps me think and communicate was now feeding my leg muscles. Not only could I not think and talk but I had a difficult time breathing. So much for a meaningful date.

However, as I sit here on my heating pad and reflect on our date this afternoon, I have to say…it was nice. The sun was shining. I was outside. I actually warmed up and had to take off two layers. I was able to hold my husband’s hand and just be. This past week had been crazy busy and this coming week would be no different, so it was good to be silent and walking hand in hand with my love even if my breathing sounded like Darth Vader.

Have a great week!

Until next time…

This is a test!

I’ve never really written a blog but I do keep a diary. I’m guessing it is just like that…well except that I really shouldn’t share my dark little secrets. That kind of honesty might frighten some and I could get in trouble with some of you who are reading this.

# 1 Rule to Writing a Blog…Do Not share TMI for it might bite you in the tuchas!

So, here goes my first entry…

I curse a lot! So much, that when my 5 year old daughter tripped over her own feet, she responded with an enthusiastic, JESUS! Breaking our Savior’s name up into two distinct syllables and putting the emphasis on the SUS. My husband did not correct our daughter, instead he immediately turned to me as I tried to slink behind the sectional couch and accused me of tainting our child’s vocabulary.  He was right. It was my fault. She sounded just like me. My husband has his share of faults but I can honestly say cursing is not one of them.

Trying not to curse in front of my kids has been a challenge. For years I’ve tried to give myself incentives. For example, I told myself, if I don’t curse in front of the kids today, I can treat myself to a dark chocolate candy bar (Sea Salt Soiree by Ghirardelli). The treat was amazing, I just had to change the time frame. It went from not cursing a whole day, to a half day, to one hour and finally to after they went to bed.  It clearly was not working. I also tried creating a curse jar and every time a naughty word slipped out, I would have to pay a fine of 25 cents. It doesn’t sound like a lot but it sure added up quickly and it didn’t really deter me from actually cursing. The pathetic reality was, I was stealing from the jar to indulge my chocolate obsession. So it was actually counter productive.

My son recently suggested that I substitute friendly words for the naughty ones. Not only am I going to try it out while talking but also while I write.  In my diary, I use a lot of curse words but it probably wouldn’t be prudent to curse in this blog, just in case my kids decide to read it, I think it would still constitute cursing in front of them.

Stay tuned… I’ll let you know how I do this week.  It is going to be a tough week because we were out of school on Monday, January 18th for the observance of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday.  The kids went to school on Tuesday and then all heck (notice I did not use hell) broke loose!  We had Snowmageddon 2016 in Georgia and school was cancelled Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. My little cuties were hoping we would get that recorded message from the superintendent calling off school tomorrow.  We got the call alright, but only to remind us that we DID have school! Nobody was thrilled, including me. So we have to get our schedule groove back. Wish us luck…

Until next time…