Ta(l)king f(l)ight

When Angel found out the news that her grandma passed away, she was on tour with her college choir. Then she came down with the stomach flu the next day.

I thought that maybe she wouldn’t want the lifestyle of being on the road after all of this happened, but she seems to want it more than ever.

Then there was this guy who took compassion on her while she was down when many of her other friends turned away….he bought her ginger ale when she was sick..he listened while she was crying…

Angel’s boyfriend Mitch was out at the movies with friends when Angel needed to talk…

Just like that, a 3 year relationship over..

I feel like the last thread of Angel’s childhood had been severed when she broke up with Mitch. It is really hard to let go because I miss her being my little girl.

Without tethers, she is soaring away like a songbird in flight. It will be exciting to see where her dreams will take her. It makes it easier to let go, although it leaves an empty place in my nest, to see her fly so high.

Mitch and Angel were going in different directions anyway. Perhaps it is for the best. Angel eventually wants to be an opera singer in a big city or preferably in Europe. Mitch wants to be a teacher in a small town.

This weekend Angel is performing in her first opera. Mitch bought tickets before they broke up to surprise her and still intends to go. He wants to get back together.

There is some talk of a confrontation between the new guy that Angel is not dating but likes and Mitch.

Once again, it seems like there is more drama off stage than on.

For a moment it took me back to ’91 when I was 16. At that time I was going out with this guy named Timmy T. Ironically, ‘our song’ was One More Try by Timmy T. It was a warm night in June when Timmy T and I gave it our last one more try. I picked him up and took him out to teen night at a local club. Once his friends showed up, he left me sitting in the corner alone.

That was the night I met Bobby. When I told him what happened with Timmy T, Bobby took him out to the parking lot to fight. They reminded me of a nature show when the young bucks would ram their antlers into each other. It was nerve wracking yet exciting that someone would fight over me, the damsel in distress. Oh please! Timmy T’s friends talked to me and asked me what was happening as if I knew a lot about boxing.

After the fight, Bobby and I went for a long walk and talked in the park. When I went back to pick up Timmy T, he had already left. The next day he called upset saying that his mom was going to buy me a promise ring from him. How could I ignore him?? Blah blah blah..he wasn’t half as nice as Mitch…and now my daughter is going through it..

I do remember Bobby asking me why I was hanging around Timmy T’s friends while he was fighting for me. Hello, I just met you and didn’t know your friends.

So I sit around and wonder…will there be a guy in costume with full makeup fighting in front of the school cathedral with Mitch over my daughter? Whose side will I take?? Is that how I will meet the new guy for the first time??

I certainly hope there isn’t any off stage fighting or drama.

Who knows? Maybe the whole weekend will be uneventful.

But if not, I’m sure you will be hearing all about it..

 

Forever 21?

It has been a rough month. If only I could wipe February off the calendar this year.

There were a few good things that happened though.

The most difficult thing that happened this month was burying my MIL who fought death and wasn’t ready to go.

That was followed by the break up of my daughter Angel with her boyfriend of 3 years, Mitch.

Let’s just say I would rather think about the possibility of planning a wedding instead of a funeral…

It wasn’t in the cards I guess.

Talking about cards… Guess who got carded??

There is someone living out there that thinks I could possibly be under 21.

I went to the grocery store and bought a 6 pack of Madtown Nut Brown Ale. Great beer, by the way. The lady looked at my driver’s license which clearly stated 1974 and glanced at my face several times. I am hoping that she couldn’t believe I looked so young for my age versus she was visually impaired in some way.

Just for a quick comparison…the picture on the left was taken a few days after I turned 21. I remember the night well.

After sipping (not slipping) on mudslides, I decided to highlight my own hair.

Great! Now I’m thinking of songs…slip sliding in the rain…singing in the rain…what a glorious…anyway, back to my hair…

Highlighting my hair was a royal pain. Come to think of it, I don’t know of anyone else that did it besides hairdressers with their own hair.

Highlighting…I remember putting what was like a swimming cap on my head. Then I had to pull through small strands of hair out of tiny holes in the cap with what looked like a knitting needle.

I would not be considered a person that has a lot of patience to sit down and do crafts like knitting.

In fact, the only crafts I like is craft beer.

So, I said screw it, pulled the cap off, and highlighted all of my hair. Kind of gave me the grunge Kurt Cobain hair that was so wicked in the 90’s anyway. Who says that anymore?? That is so wicked.

The picture on the right was taken after I turned 21 for the second time.

I don’t look a day older from picture to picture, right??

Okay, maybe a couple of years**cough**cough**decades..

Forever 21?? Ah, who am I kidding??

It was fun while it lasted though…I chuckled in wicked mad laughter at the thought as I sipped my Madtown Nut Brown…slipped down…sliding…singing in the rain..Great!

 

 

Walking in a winter wonderland

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It’s snowing again in Wisconsin.

Or maybe I should say that it’s a raining, sleeting, windy, thundering, freezing rain kind of snow.

We’ve had it good the last couple of days with warm temperatures in the 50’s even up to 60. People wore shorts with a smile on their faces. People were out in droves on walks, runs, bikes, and motorcycles. People were out on drives with their windows down. I hung out my laundry on the line.

I can’t remember a February that was ever this warm..

Then this happened..

I awoke at 4:30 AM to the tapping on my window. It announced that winter was back in town. When winter left, it took the snow with him. Big ice chunks flowed down the river washing what remained of winter away.

For a few days, I was happy to see the sun.

Last Saturday I went on a 21 mile run with my friend Lisa. I felt great afterwards. Neither one of us were sore. I thought maybe it was because we took breaks after every 5 miles to stretch and re-hydrate. Or maybe it was because I took some time off from running for the funeral.

Then it occurred to me that this was the first long run that I’ve probably had outside without a heat advisory.

It boosted my confidence.

I think I can do a Half Iron now. I feel motivated.

Next week, I will start my swimming lessons.

I also booked the trip to Michigan to visit my cousin and run 18 miles on a trail race with him. We decided to take the train for this trip. It is something Paul and I have never done before. It has been such a long time since we got away that my credit card declined the Amtrak purchase due to a fraud alert.

For now I’ll be walking in a winter wonderland. But it won’t be long until I am outrunning again..

Parenting from my horse and buggy

A few weeks ago, I received a text from another parent regarding my son.

Surprisingly, it was not a late Friday night knock on the door.

She told me that my son was driving 15 mph over the speed limit on the highway with her son in the car. She knew this from an app and suggested that I get the app too.

I decided not to.

When I confronted my son about his driving, he became upset.

His friend got a ride with him to the band concert because his parents didn’t want to attend. No one bothered to show up on his behalf. But they complained about my son’s driving.

My son said that if they have a problem with the way he drives, then maybe they should take their son and be involved in his life.

I don’t want my son to speed on the highway, but I have to agree with him. What good is constant nagging without being an involved parent??

I already have the app that tracks my children. I know where they are at all times.

I have the app that tracks their grades. I know about every missing assignment, every time they were a few minutes late to class, and every bad grade.

Every night could be a nag fest.

Did you turn in that assignment yet??

How is it going to make them responsible for their own lives if they constantly have mom and dad telling them what they need to do?? How can they think for themselves if we already have a solution for every problem??

Sometimes I think parenting was a lot easier when parents didn’t know so much.

I remember bringing my report cards home and the screaming and threatening only lasted a day or two. Sometimes I was even surprised by my grades.

I remember going to the library (where people smoked cigarettes) if I needed answers to questions. Shocking, I know. This comment should almost give my blog an R rating. The librarians had all the answers or knew where to find them, kind of like Siri.

I remember my parents saying that I had it made in my day because a bus picked us up for school. They had to walk uphill both ways to a one room schoolhouse that didn’t have indoor plumbing.

Every generation seems to think that the next generation has it so much easier. But is it really true with this generation?

When I was a kid, I spent my summers riding my bike around town from morning to night. Sometimes the chain fell off or I got a flat tire. Sometimes there was a storm.

I didn’t have a phone to call someone to pick me up. I had to solve my own problems.

I feel like some of that is missing in today’s world.

I wonder when we convinced ourselves that it wasn’t safe for our kids to ride their bikes around all day.

Parents worry about sexual predators, but somehow we convince ourselves that having our kids inside on the internet is safer than riding a bike around town.

To think we didn’t even wear helmets. That would be considered bad parenting today.

Now my kids can’t live without their phones. My daughter called me from her friend’s phone this morning saying that she forgot her phone at home and asked if I could bring it to school for her. I said ‘no’. I told her that I lived my first 18 years without a phone. I’m certain that she could survive for one day.

The kids of today have phone separation anxiety. They are bored or antsy when they have to be without the internet or their phones for more than a few minutes. They run up huge amounts of data on long car rides. They don’t know how to get anywhere because they never look out the window, yet they are lost without their phones.

What kind of life is that?

I think that my kids are wasting their young years watching everyone else live online. But yet they need to stay up to date on technology if they want to have a good career. We’re damned if we do. We’re damned if we don’t. We struggle with them and ourselves over limits.

We don’t know what to do. We can’t relate. We never had this. More often then not, we need our kids help to make technology work. It can be very frustrating.

There is such a huge technology gap between what I know and what my kids know. I would need them to set up the parental controls. Why bother? They are always 10 steps ahead of me. How can I adequately monitor them?

It will be interesting to see how the next generation of parents respond to these issues. I think it will be much easier for them since there won’t be as much of a technology gap between the generations.

Forget helicopter parenting! I feel like I am parenting from my horse and buggy. Meanwhile, my kids are driving the fast snazzy automobile of technology. I can never keep up.

For the first time in history, I think that our children are teaching us more than they are learning from us. This scares me..

 

Getting personal

A couple of weeks ago, I asked my husband if what I post bothers him because the content is so personal. Frankly, sometimes it bothers me.

I really enjoy reading personal blogs, but sometimes I am disappointed by the posts in that category. There are always a few people that post about switching coffee brands or ask which shade of lipstick looks better or post about movies which isn’t my idea of personal at all.

My idea of personal is talking about watching my mother-in-law die from cancer. It is talking about growing up with a violently autistic brother. It is about the issues I am having with my teenagers. Or feelings of depression, anxiety, and anger.

Paul, does it bother you when I talked about your mother dying??

Sometimes I don’t want him to read it, although the personal things I write about seem to bother me more than him.

He said that expressing my feelings is good. He said that if I didn’t blog he wouldn’t really know me as well.

I haven’t determined whether his response is good or bad.

The person that I am closest to in the world doesn’t think that he would know me as well if I didn’t blog??

All I know is that writing makes me feel better.

The last thing I want is for people to feel sorry for me. I want other people to relate and maybe feel like they aren’t alone on this journey.

I want to be real when I talk about life. I want to talk about the good along with the bad.

I don’t want to hear about perfection. I want to hear personal stories. I want deep conversation. I want honest reflection.

Tell me about the time when things went wrong.

Getting personal is what I want in a blog and that is what I’m trying to give.

Martha’s eulogy

When I first met my mother-in-law Martha, she was only a few years older than I am now. She was taking care of her mother in Paul’s childhood home on the highway.

Time has been slipping by fast since then. The seconds turned to minutes to hours then years past and a few decades slipped away as well.

This will be the 20th year since Martha’s mom left us. I was glad I could meet her and see Martha’s kind and compassionate care for her.

Paul’s childhood house is gone too. A gas station stands where the house on the highway used to sit.

And now he lost his mother too.

I have to be honest that the last few weeks have been totally heartbreaking. Martha became someone I didn’t recognize anymore. I want to forget the last couple of weeks and only remember the good times. I want to remember her laughter and not our tears.

Martha always had a way of taking the negatives and turning them into positives. I remember taking her in for her biopsy right before her diagnosis of breast cancer many years back. She wasn’t even worried. She had a good attitude saying things like ‘it wasn’t so bad’ and ‘I can handle doing this again’. She fought the first battle courageously and won.  Little did we know at the time that she would be facing this fight again. But she battled it courageously with optimism and hope.

Most people would describe Martha as a lot of fun. We spent a lot of our time together laughing. I will miss her laughter. Although she was one of the nicest ladies you would ever meet, it was in your best interest not to get her mad.  She was afflicted with the family temper, which believe me, I have learned quite a bit about. If something was bothering her, you would be sure to hear about it. But once she spoke her mind, it was forgotten. She was never one to hold a grudge. She was never one to judge either. She accepted people with open arms and made them feel welcome.

Unlike me, Martha never spent her time worrying. She was carefree. We needed her to bring the fun and excitement to the room. She didn’t worry about time, structure, or routine. She got there when she got there. This is the one time that she showed up to heaven’s gates too early.

She was happy with what she had. She didn’t need the newest fashions or glitzy bling.

I remember the days when Martha drove around a puke green 1970’s model station wagon. We were quite the sight driving around town. People stared. She would just laugh and say something like, “It is not much, but it gets me where I need to go.” She really didn’t care what people thought of her. I really liked that about her because that mind set is so freeing. She was herself.

Some might have said, at the time, that her biggest mistake was having a child at a young age without a husband. But I would have to say that her biggest mistake has been my greatest blessing in life. It is the reason I am here now with a wonderful husband and these beautiful grandchildren of hers. I will always appreciate the sacrifice that she made to raise Paul on her own. She held down a job. She put her life on hold for him. She always told him that he could do whatever he put his mind to. She was a great mother and thankfully Paul had the opportunity to tell her that.

A few weeks ago, she shared that the biggest regret in her life was that she didn’t meet Darryl sooner. Darryl was the love of her life. They shared many wonderful years together in their house in the woods.

She loved the time she spent with her family and we will miss her.

Our cancer journey (what to expect)

I found myself crying, anxiously waiting by the phone, and having far more questions than answers after getting the initial phone call that a loved one may have cancer. I received that call from my own mother, but she had surgery and survived. We received the call from my mother-in-law twice, the first round she won the fight against breast cancer. The second battle she courageously fought and lost.

I found myself trying to find answers regarding cancer online. I found a few totally factual sites. This is what happens in stage I, etc.. I learned everything I needed to know, but really didn’t know what to expect.

My mother-in-law Martha passed away last week from lung cancer.

For the first year and a half before diagnosis, Martha was ill. She had this cough that wouldn’t go away. At first the doctor thought it was a side effect from her medication. Then she was put on round after round of antibiotics for sinus infections or bronchitis. Eventually, she coughed more, seemed short of breath, and was wheezing. We told her to see her doctor who gave her another round of antibiotics. The day after the doctor visit her doctor called her up and said he couldn’t sleep all night because something seemed off. He wanted her to go in for more testing.

The tests revealed two masses, one in her stomach and one in her lungs. They did a biopsy of the mass in her stomach as it was a lot easier than doing a lung biopsy. They found an easily treatable form of cancer and started treatment assuming that the lung mass was also the same.

There was some relief that she was going to be okay.

But after treating the stomach mass which shrunk, they realized that the lung mass grew. After doing more testing and a lung biopsy, they discovered that she had stage 4 lung cancer. She had two different types of cancer at the same time.

We went from easily treatable right to no cure within a couple of months.

This is the time we wanted to make memories with her while she was up to traveling and doing things. We talked about flying to Vegas or a road trip to Chicago to see relatives. Martha didn’t want to do it though.

This is also the time to encourage your loved one to plan out their will or grant the power of attorney to someone trusted. But at that stage, it is hard to look death in the eye.

Then the Chemo started. Martha had to go in every 3 weeks. The first week after Chemo, she was the sickest. She couldn’t eat and threw up a lot. She was too sick to go anywhere. She needed someone to drive her to appointments and take care of her.

She also had to quit her job and had more medical bills which put upon them a huge unexpected financial burden.

After the first couple rounds of Chemo, they did more testing and found that the cancer moved to her brain which they treated with radiation. Martha had beautiful dark brown curly hair that was down to her waist. Her hair started falling out in clumps.

We started doing last things with her. We celebrated her last birthday, her last Mother’s Day..

Every time that we visited she got weaker and weaker. She lost more weight. Sometimes she was afraid that being around us would make her sicker. Sometimes she didn’t want us to leave.

Then there were days when she would eat and you could almost trick your mind into believing she was getting better.

What I remember the most now was the end days. The cancer starved her body. She lost about 100 lbs. It is hard to see someone down to skin and bones. After she could no longer have any more treatments, her hair grew back in wiry mismatched patches.

She collapsed on her way to the doctor appointment. The rescue squad took her to the hospital ICU. We had to wear gloves and gowns to visit. All of her dignity was stripped away.

She started getting blood transfusions. Afterwards, she almost seemed like herself. She looked better.

Then she moved from the hospital to a nursing home.

She could no longer walk. Sometimes when we would take her out of her room in her wheelchair, she would throw up.

At times she seemed agitated or anxious. Other times she was confused and would call us by the wrong names. At the end, she was not able to stay awake for our whole visit.

The visits were difficult. They typically ended with feelings of anger, sadness, or guilt.

She started gasping more for breath despite the oxygen. She stopped drinking, but had an IV in to hydrate her. The CNA’s had to come into the room every 2 hours to re position her because she could no longer move. She started sleeping more and more of our visits. She slept more than she was alert.

The last few days, her words were slurred and they didn’t make a lot of sense. She seemed restless and agitated. Her body started to get bruised and swollen.

The last visit, she didn’t wake up at all. She didn’t open her eyes. She tried to turn her head and open her mouth when we spoke to her, but didn’t seem able to.

The next day, she was gone.

We thought that there would be relief when her suffering came to an end. But it was really hard to get the last couple weeks out of our minds. My husband said he felt like he had post traumatic stress from watching his mother suffer. We saw her age 30 years in 3 weeks. She dropped a lot of weight in the last couple weeks too.

There was no hope that she was going to get better and that was hard.

It seems with each day that passes, we are able to let go a little more of the bad days and hold on to the good times.

 

This mourning

I was supposed to be sailing around the Caribbean with my husband and new friends this week. We were invited several months back, but declined due to my mother-in-law’s failing health.

I should’ve been dark tanned, bikini clad, beach bumming, having the time of my life with a boat drink in hand. I could really use a break right now.

Instead, I can’t seem to escape the four walls of my mind. It has been one of the roughest weeks in years. I can’t wait for tomorrow to come so this week will finally be over. Wiped away.

Today marks the 9th anniversary of my Aunt Grace passing away. It is also Darryl’s first wedding anniversary without his wife that he buried this week.

I can’t seem to escape the loss and sadness that surrounds me.

The week has been rough enough after burying my mother-in-law and driving 18 hours.

The rest of the week has not been much better.

Yesterday started with an unexpected trip to the doctor’s office. My son has another sore throat and thought he was exposed to strep again. He is currently on antibiotics to clear up an intestinal bacteria he picked up from his grandma at the nursing home while on antibiotics for strep.

We were faced with the prospect of him needing to be treated with an additional antibiotic. If we treated the strep, then the other bacteria could get worse. If we didn’t treat the strep, other family members could catch it making them vulnerable to a worse bug, the intestinal bacteria.

Thankfully, the strep test came back negative. It relieved a lot of my stress, but for the first few hours of my day I was very anxious. I awoke before my alarm went off with this growing paranoia that I accidentally gave my son something with alcohol in it which could make him violently ill on the medication. I was worried when I gave him cough drops, but it was cough syrup I needed to avoid. I also have this strange paranoia that I am going to take his medication by mistake. I am going insane!

After the doctor’s visit, I went to work and faced wave after wave of problems. Things were really busy and stressful. I felt I had to get away for awhile or else I would go nuts. I came home for an extended lunch and cleaned my house from top to bottom. Maybe I am crazy?!?

When I got home from work, Angel called to tell me that she broke up with Mitch her boyfriend of almost 3 1/2 years. I felt another loss. We really like Mitch and think he is a great guy. We have to break up with him too. Angel felt like Mitch wasn’t very supportive to her when her grandma died.

Then I spent the evening with my youngest daughter who says she hates me. She said that I don’t care about her. She said that she wished she was never born. Her despair and anger towards me is almost more than I can handle. She has been having a hard time since her grandma was really sick and dying.

What can I say?? Sometimes life does suck.

It’s strange, although Martha has passed the rumbles of her existence are still felt. I feel it in the sickness my son got from her. I feel it in the ending of a long term relationship. I feel it in Arabella’s anger and sadness.

When will life be fun again? When will we laugh and mean it? When will this weight be lifted?

Oh, this mourning…

The funeral

The last time we spoke, I was feeling really overwhelmed. My mother-in-law just passed away. My kids were sick. Really, what else could go wrong?

I was trying really hard to be supportive of my family by doing whatever I could to cheer them up. It was the hug while crying. I found their feelings of anger and despair incredibly hard to deal with.

Saturday after posting, I took my daughter Arabella shopping to get a dress for her grandma’s funeral. We also went to get our nails done. I never took her in to get a manicure before and thought that it might bring her a little joy. She was having a hard time with a lot of tears and anger.

While I was running errands with my daughter, the doctor’s office was trying to get a hold of me about my son’s test results. I had to take him to the doctor on Friday instead of going along to plan the funeral. A few weeks ago, my son was on antibiotics for Strep while visiting his grandma in the nursing home a lot. With Martha’s weakened immune system, she came down with an intestinal bacteria that my son ended up contracting while on antibiotics which weakened his immune system. I’ll save you all of the gory details, but it is treatable with anther round of antibiotics.

While I was running around with my daughter, the doctor’s office tried calling me twice. I didn’t hear the phone ring and ended up carrying the phone in my hand while trying on dresses. When they finally got a hold of me, they chastised me saying something like a good parent stays by the phone while expecting a call from the doctor’s office. I wanted to say, “Hey lady, we have been through hell the last couple of days and I am running errands to prepare for his grandma’s funeral”. Instead, I said nothing and it added to my stress. Mark me down in your file as a bad parent, whatever…You have no idea..

Sunday Paul and I spent 8 hours driving to pick up our daughter from college. When we last spoke, she was out of state on tour with her choir. She was having a hard time hearing the news of her grandma’s loss then came down with the stomach flu the next day. I had envisioned her puking all the way home, but thankfully her fever was gone and she was feeling better when we picked her up.

Paul and I had plenty of time to talk on the way. He said that there was nothing out there that prepared him for his mother’s terminal cancer diagnosis. In the next couple of days, I am going to write something about what to expect having gone through it before I forget.

The funeral was on Monday. It was surprising how nice Martha looked. For some reason, that made things a little easier. The pastor gave a really touching sermon. He said that one time Martha heard that he was sick and said that she was praying for him. He said how humbling it was for someone with terminal cancer to be praying for someone with a cold. That was how she was. Then we buried Martha. It just didn’t seem real to me. I spent the last couple of days in a tunnel vision haze unable to think.

Then we went back to Darryl’s house with family to go through Martha’s belongings. Darryl’s sister thanked us for looking out for Darryl. We are not sure what will happen next since Darryl is Paul’s step dad. Darryl doesn’t have any family in the area and we will try to include him in our life as long as he wants to. We met his siblings for the first time at the funeral.

Then yesterday we drove Angel back to college. The real life realization was starting to sink in. Angel had a lot of homework to catch up on from being on tour and an unexpected trip home for the funeral. Paul and I were stressing about problems at work. Paul had a public speaking engagement today for work with over 100 people attending. That is an incredible amount of pressure.

I broke down on the way home. I felt like I was putting my feelings on hold to support everyone else. This time I cried. I mourned. (Not to mention being crazy from not being able to write or exercise).

We returned home last night utterly emotionally and physically exhausted from 18 total hours of driving with a funeral sandwiched in between that.

Every day it has been getting a little bit easier to deal with..

Why God? Why now?

Why God? Why now?

Paul is having a harder time than he thought he would with the death of his mother. He thought that death would be a relief because she was suffering. But all we seem to remember is the last few weeks, the suffering, and not the years leading up to this.

Today I am feeling rather angry. I have been asking God why a lot.

When my daughter Angel heard the news of her grandma’s passing, she was just starting a choir tour and was on the tour bus. It has been very hard for her to deal with this while she is on the road. She has been very anxious and emotional, yet has to put it all aside to perform. This morning she told me that she is throwing up and has a fever.

Why God?? Why now?

I am still waiting to hear the test results for my son who is sick.

Why God? Why now when we can’t handle much more?

Yet during this time, I feel the hands of Your people. Someone has offered to bring over a meal. Last night Cindy and Ted came over with food. Even though I took time off of work, I didn’t get anything done. I had to make a couple of trips to the doctor’s office. There were people to call about funeral arrangements. I still have pictures to go through for the memory board. I have to shop for clothes to wear for the funeral. I haven’t finished the eulogy yet, but there will be plenty of time on the 8 hour round trip to pick up our daughter from college tomorrow.

I just want to stay home and rest. I never thought I would be so busy.

Darryl is having a hard time losing his wife. Paul has two step-brothers that Darryl didn’t have a way of getting a hold of. Darryl’s ex-wife left him years back moving out of state taking the boys with her. His sons are drifters, both have been in and out of prison. He loves his sons and kept his land line just in case they call. He had no way of telling them that Martha had passed. Last night I was able to find one of his sons on Facebook. Today they have been reunited.

I think it is the only thing that has brought joy into Darryl’s life right now. Paul and I think that Darryl would have been a great man to have as a father. He is an excellent grandpa.

I want to bring joy into my family’s life right now. It is so hard to see them in pain and not be able to do anything about it.