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More on the Roller Coaster

I was reading a story recently about a man who had lost his wife to STUPID cancer.  He said it wasn’t so much the anniversary days (day of death, her birthday, etc) that he had the most emotions at.  He expected those days, he could “plan” for them.  But rather, it was the random things, that thru him on an intense emotional ride.
I can totally relate.   Some of the toys that were Alexander’s have his name on it.  Some because it was just fun to have stickers with his name on it.  But others, many of them, have a hand written name, and it was only because it was a toy we would bring to the hospital.  We wanted to be keep it separate from the hospital toys, and if we left it behind by mistake, someone could get it to us.  There are days I come across one of those toys, and I am brought right back to those days, so many many days, in the hospital.

When Alexander was sick, I followed several other kids who had neuroblastoma.  Sadly, one by one they died.  When the last one died, I decided that I just couldn’t follow any new kids. I would of course keep in touch with my friends from the hospital, but I wouldn’t follow new kids I didn’t know, because I just couldn’t get that emotionally involved anymore.    Well, “thanks” to Facebook, that hasn’t always happened.  I have followed some new kids, I have become Facebook friends with the parents. Some have died, some are doing awesome.    My heart breaks for the parents of the kids that have died.  I feel their pain, I am angry at cancer with them.   I pray for peace for them.

And when I read about kids that are doing great, I rejoice with the parents!   But, then the emotional roller coaster also hits me.  And I get jealous.  I wonder why THAT child, why not Alexander?  Why was there a new treatment available for that child, and not my Alexander or all the other children that died before him??   I guess it is really more anger than anything, because how can I be angry at a child that is WELL.   Of COURSE I am happy for that child and parents!

Then there are days like today.  Ones where I wake up, and find out that another beautiful child has lost her battle against the STUPID cancer beast.  We first met Shelbie in 2010 just after she was diagnosed with STUPID cancer.  4 years ago this month.  She fought so very hard, but the beast was stronger.  She earned her angel wings last night.   It makes me so angry that these children fight so hard, and still die. It is so unfair.    My heart aches for her mom. (I did not know her dad well, but my heart is heavy for him too)

As you run around crazy these last few days before Christmas (if that is what you celebrate) please take a moment, send up a prayer, positive thought or good vibe for those that are broken-hearted this Christmas.  Don’t worry about getting “everything finished”  know that what you have done IS enough, and that Children will remember LOVE more than they will remember the STUFF.


Christmas 2


Holiday Season

So the holiday season is upon us.  Yes, I said HOLIDAY season. So sorry if that “offends” anyone!   Yesterday was Thanksgiving, soon it will be Hanukkah , the Christmas, then the New Year. So yes, it is a HOLIDAY season.  I have seen a lot of things online, how we should ONLY say Merry Christmas, and not Happy Holidays.  I don’t get that – because, well, not everyone celebrates Christmas!  I saw someone else say, that it is the ADVENT season, and we shouldn’t say Christmas, because the “Christmas” season, doesn’t actually start until December 25th..

Wikipedia has this to say:
Christmas or Christmas Day (Old English: Crīstesmæsse, meaning “Christ‘s Mass“) is an annual religious and cultural holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ,[6][7] celebrated generally on December 25[8][4][9] by billions of people around the world.[10][2][11] A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it closes the Advent season and initiates the twelve days of Christmastide, which ends after the twelfth night.[12] Christmas is a civil holiday in many of the world’s nations,[13][14][15] is celebrated culturally by an increasing number of non-Christians,[1][16][17] and is an integral part of the Christmas and holiday season.

Call it whatever you want, I really don’t care, just be happy and kind to one another!   I have seen a lot of people say “Put the CHRIST back in Christmas”. Well, if that is how YOU celebrate then yes.  And be sure to do something CHRIST like this season!  There are so many people in need, kids in the hospital, the homeless, those that need just an extra hand.  Do SOMETHING for them, and stop complaining about how people don’t SAY the right thing!!!  have your ACTIONS show what Christmas really means to you.

I use to Love Christmas time.  I loved all the movies on TV, the gift buying, the decorating.   But when Alexander was diagnosed with STUPID cancer, I didn’t care much  about it, and even less so since he died.  He spent Thanksgiving and Christmas in the hospital in 2010. He was VERY sick on Thanksgiving and we were alone (some day I will get over being bitter about that one!)  We made Christmas as nice as we could, but really, it was in the hospital so how nice can that be!?  He was little enough to not notice, but of course we did.  After he died, I REALLY didn’t care any more!  I am starting to get a bit of the Joy back now that we have Julia and Elizabeth.  Julia has some books about Christmas that she likes to read (and we have been reading since September!) and she has a Curious George Special that she likes to watch (over and over and over again!) When we were putting up Gold decorations in September for Childhood Cancer Awareness month, she kept saying “Christmas time!”.  It is fun now with her, and I am sure next year Elizabeth will be into the season too.

It is still hard though to be truly happy.  A lot of my Angel Parent friends say the same thing.  Life is never the same after you lose a child.  You go thru the motions for your family, but really you just want to curl up in a ball and cry, because you will never have a perfect holiday again. Sending out Christmas cards becomes a conundrum for a bereaved parent. You want to some how include your child that has died, yet, figuring out the best way is very hard.  Some people hold a picture of their child that has died, some leave that child out all together.  Last year, I added a butterfly with Alexander’s name on it that was written in the sand.  Another time, I included a family photo that we had taken in front of a picture of him at a Road Race we took part in.

As you go about the next few weeks of the HOLIDAY season, remember, you never know what someone else is going thru.  This could be a hard time for them for many reasons. Loss of a loved one, sickness, or any number of things.  Be kind to those around you.

alexander (2)


Roller Coaster Ride

Last night I had a dream that I was on a roller coaster.  It was a crazy ride, but the scary part was that the roller coaster was falling apart as we were riding it!  I often feel like my life is like that.   A crazy roller coaster ride that is sometimes falling apart.

We have returned once again from a wonderful weekend at Camp Sunshine .  I have written about our time here before:

This was our 4th time there, although the first time we had a chance to go in November.  The main difference about the November session is that you have a chance to make a Quilt out of your children’s clothing.  Some people make a large quilt, some a smaller one, and some just a pillow case.  Anything is okay.  I had saved many of Alexander’s outfits for this activity.  Before we went to camp, I told Richard that I was going to need his help with the quilt.  I didn’t really have any idea of what I wanted to do.  As we drove up to camp however, I started having a panic attack about cutting up Alexander’s clothes!  I realized I was not going to be able to do that!  When we got to camp, Richard started to talk with one of the quilters, her name is Ruth.  He told her his idea for the quilt. He wanted to do a big letter “A” and use the clothes in small pieces to fill out the “A”.  The next day he brought up the clothing and he and Ruth started to go thru it.  They noticed that there was a lot of clothing with Animals on it.  They also noticed that the clothing had “patches”.  Ruth suggested that she cut squares around the patches and work with them.  She told us she had never done anything like this before (although she has been quilting for many many years!!)  As we worked on the quilt, we decided to add a few of Alexander’s favorite things to it – a Picture of his Seahorse, Curious George and of Course Oreo Cookies!  They were able to print out photos for us and using a very special transfer paper/machine get them onto fabric.    Ruth worked very hard all weekend.  I put a few stitches into the binding


Back to the roller coaster ride.  Throughout the weekend, we have parent groups.  We talk about our children that have died during this time and how we are dealing with that.  Everyone has a different and special story. Some parents had only lost their children a few months ago, some many years ago.  It is hard to hear these stories, but it is also nice to know that we are not alone in our grief.

At one point during the weekend, I couldn’t find the baby wipes I had been using in the dinning hall.  I went into a panic.  Now, I know what many of you are thinking “a panic? over WIPES?!”  Yes, that is what happens when you lose a child/  Even the smallest of things can send you into a full blow panic attack!!!!   Honestly, I don’t remember being THAT much in a panic when Elizabeth was having her open heart surgery!

Continuing on the emotional roller coaster is the constant fear that Julia or Elizabeth will get cancer.   You might think “no, that couldn’t happen again”, but sadly you would be  very wrong.  On the Angel Quilt there are THREE sets of siblings that have died from cancer.  I recently met a family that had lost THREE daughters to cancer!!!  Even in my own family – my dad died from cancer and two of his brothers also died this year from cancer!    I TRY not to worry, and I TRY to stay off “Dr. Google”, but sometimes, a bruise, a cold and even a little constipation can get my mind spinning to that place.  The place where I would hear once again “I am sorry but your child had cancer”

I continue to be told by others that they are “inspired” by me.  I am not sure why. I guess it is because they wonder how THEY would be if their child die.  I suggest though that you don’t think about that, because, you don’t know how you would be, and I don’t ever want anyone to know!   What I would like, is to INSPIRE people to DO good things in life.  If you are going to look at me, see that I am not in a puddle on the floor (although there are many days I WOULD like to be!!!)  There are so many ways to help those in need, and not just kids fighting cancer!   I know many families that have started foundations, organize blood drives and hold huge fundraisers. That is wonderful, but to me that is VERY overwhelming!  If you have the time and energy to do a big event, then GREAT!  But if not, think on a smaller level.  Maybe, instead of giving gifts to the adults this year at Christmas, consider donating that money to charity.  After I turned 40, I decided I didn’t want Birthday Presents anymore, instead, if someone wanted to do something for me, I asked for donations to be made to Birthday Wishes. Birthday Wishes is a group that holds birthday parties for children that are homeless.

Okay – I think I am going to get off the Roller Coaster ride for tonight and maybe actually go to bed early!


This shouldn’t be Normal

Julia was having a rough time this morning. One that only a 2 year old can understand!  There was nothing “wrong” with her, she wasn’t hurt or hungry. Her diaper was fine.  Maybe she was just tired?  Maybe she was upset because I was going upstairs and leaving her to play with all her toys?  I don’t know.  But what I do know, was that she was crying many tears, and was just really sad.  I thought about what it would be like if she was sick, really sick, like Alexander had been.  How hard it would have been to hear her say “no” to the shots, the lines, the chemo, the x-rays.

Alexander was only 8 months old when he was diagnosed.  The day he was diagnosed he recived an IV, and his arm was tapped to a board so the line wouldn’t come out.  He had monitors attached to him, and he had people poking at him day and night.  He would eventually get an NG tube shoved down his nose.  When the doctor first told us about it, he said “It only hurts for a minute”.  I said to him “oh, so you have had one?”  I think the doctor knew right then and there that we were not ones to be messed with or told some fake words of “comfort” to get us thru!  We wanted to know the truth when it came to what would happen to our son.

Alexander  never said no to anything we did to him. He never said why me mommy?  He didn’t say anything because he never talked.  Not one word – not even mama or dada.  Before he was diagnosed he did do some babbling, but after, it stopped.  We never knew why.  Maybe it was the tumor? Maybe it was the feeding tube?   I am sure he would have cried and screamed if he could have.

But, really, he just accepted things. He did fight me when I had to drop the NG tube, but other than that he really just did what needed to be done.  I actually find it sad really.  At one point, he was having x-rays 2-3 times a DAY to check on the status of fluid in his belly.  He had to sit on a little block, and I had to hold his hands up over his head.  He just let me do it.  He didn’t fight me.  He had multiple ultrasounds. Again, he didn’t fight it.   I had to give him daily shots after chemo.  He cried, but didn’t try to run away from it.   It was all just normal to him.  It was part of his life and he seemed to have learned to have accepted it.

As hard as it is to hear Julia and Elizabeth Cry and fight me when they are sad, or need medication, I will gladly take it.  Because to them, it is an unusual not normal thing.  I pray that they will NEVER have to have medicine, x-rays, or shots become “normal” to them.


Dear Alexander

5 Years ago, you and I were spending our last night together.  You would be born the next day, and I would have to share you with Daddy and the rest of the world.  But for one last night you were all mine.   I don’t remember if I slept well that night or not.  But, I do remember calling to find out if they had room for me at the hospital, and having to call back after “change of shift” time.   Daddy made me scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast, and we headed into the hospital at about 8am.   They set me up in a room, and got the medicine started that was suppose to help you come out faster.  We played cards, listed to Bill Cosby’s thoughts on Natural Childbirth, watched “My Cousin Vinny” and I got my lovely epidural.   Nana came to hang out with us in the hospital too, although she spent a lot of the time in the waiting room.   At about 4pm, the nurse told me I could start to push, and I would be pushing for “about 2 hours”.  Well, 2 hours came and went and you had not arrived yet!  Our first lesson, that you would not do what you were “suppose” to do!  At 7pm I got a new nurse. She was wonderful (she would later help me with your sister Julia too!)   I was getting very tired, and just wanted to meet you!!  I got sick a lot, and they kept putting me in crazy positions, and one of the male doctors told me I wasn’t “being very effective” with my pushing!!.   My regular Doctor, had to go home when her shift ended, but she told them to call her when I was really close!  She came back a bit after 8pm.  Finally, at 8:49pm you arrived into the world!!!   You did NOT come out crying however!!   Mommy was a bit scared, but I kept telling myself that I heard your heart beat on the monitor, so you were okay.   They cleaned you up, and got you talking and then I finally got to hold you on the outside!!
Daddy had his turn next, and then Nana came in too!!

While, I had to wait ALL DAY for you to arrive, it ended up working out great – and I got an extra day in the hospital!   I know you spent a LOT of time in the hospital and you might not think that is a good thing, but it was!

So he we are 5 years later.  And we are without you.   You are living with God now.  There are so many things I wonder!  I wonder what kind of games you would be playing, if you would like sports, what kind of big brother you would be.  What you would look like.  And right now, I have been mostly wondering if you would be exciting about starting kindergarten in the fall.   I imagine you would be excited. I think you would have liked school and liked learning new things.

I wish we were having a birthday party for you tomorrow.   5 is an exciting age to be.   But, since you aren’t here for that, we gave another 5 year old boy a birthday party. (   I think you would have like that.  We bought him Legos and cars.   You liked Legos (well, yours were BIG Mega Blocks!) and I don’t remember if you had any cars you played with, but I am sure you would have liked them.

I miss you so much Alexander!  You were the one that made me a mommy.  I will always be your mommy, and I will always miss you!!



Holding Alexander for the First time


2 Years Old

When we wake up tomorrow, we will have a two-year old.   Wow 2.  As I mentioned in a previous post, Julia became older than Alexander on March 26.(  and now she will be 2.

I didn’t plan a party at all for her this year. She had a lovely little party last year.  But this year, I don’t know why – I just didn’t plan one.  We had things planned on different days during this weekend as well as last weekend.  And there just didn’t seem like a good “time” to have one.  I wanted to get her a Curious George themed party, because she really likes to watch that show.  I had to go online to buy things, as none of the party stores near me carried them (which I find very odd)  I checked with a couple of bakeries in the supermarkets and they didn’t have a Curious George cake, although they did say I could bring a picture in and they would put it on for me, but that just wasn’t what I wanted.    I ended up making my own cake, which came out pretty good I think!

We go to a Down syndrome Play group ( and I knew there would be a lot of kids there, so I decided to bring the cake to that.  Since Julia is so little, I knew she wouldn’t realize it isn’t a party JUST for her (although I imagine when she is a crazy teenager she will bring it up more than once!) so I figured that would be okay.

But, then I did start to think about just WHY I didn’t have a party for her.  Was it really because we were too busy to have one? Or was it because Alexander never had a second birthday party.   Or because he would have been 5 in a week?  I don’t know….maybe……

Now, what do I do with a 2-year-old?!!?  She is already perfecting the temper tantrum!  And we are finding it hard to get her to eat anything beyond plain pasta.  (I don’t want to get her into the Kraft Mac and Cheese habit that so many kids have!!)  She does eat fruit, so at least that is healthy right???

We do enjoy watching her grow and learn, and to be silly.   But for me at least, it is still so hard to see her as the oldest child we have, when really she is a middle child.

I am sure I have more thoughts on this….but that is all that is coming out right now…..



Some thoughts….

We were off once again to Camp Sunshine last weekend!  (see my previous posts for more details about camp)

During the Moms only discussion group, the leader pointed something out – that is just how MUCH we have been thru in the last 3 years.

1.  Alexander Died

2.  Julia was born

3.  Elizabeth was born (and my friend pointed out to the group how Julia broke he foot when she was just two weeks old and still in the hospital)

4.  Elizabeth had open heart surgery at 6 weeks old

Whew!  Any ONE of those things would be a lot to handle – and I have had ALL of them in just three years.  How I have done it?!?!  Honestly I have no clue at times!

There are many days, I wish I could just stay in bed all day and ignore the world.  I love my girls, but there are many days, I wish I didn’t have to take care of them – that I could just crawl into a hole and be alone.   But, on the other hand, the do give me a reason to get out of bed each day!  It is wonderful to see them smile and being happy (although I am not so sure about the temper tantrums that Julia is getting so good at throwing!)

I have written before about my love/hate relationship with technology  (

Right about now I am in one of the “hate” modes.  Facebook can be wonderful – but it can be very hard at times for those of us living without our children.  Kids are starting to finish school for the summer, and September will be here before we know it, so there have been a LOT of postings about school.

I have been seeing a lot of “Oh my baby is going to kindergarten!  Oh, why does he/she have to grow up so fast!?”   That one has been the hardest for me, because I should be saying that about Alexander.  He would be going to kindergarten in the fall if he were alive.  (and I happen to have a LOT of friends whose children are going off to kindergarten in the fall!)  Deep down I know that my friends are just being poetic about life and how fast it can go sometimes.  I am sure had I not lost Alexander, I would have been doing the same thing.

But for me, right now, I am just waiting for Julia makes it to her SECOND birthday.  From there I will be so HAPPY when she reaches all her milestones that she is “suppose” to be doing!



Time and Milestones

Yesterday, was the 4th anniversary of the day we heard those horrible words “I am sorry but….”   The day that the world of STUPID childhood cancer entered our lives.  Much of the day is a blur, but there are some images that are still so vivid.  Meeting the oncologist for the first time, walking up to the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit  the place Alexander would spent most of the next year.  Watching him being sedated for his first of many MRI’s. Having Richard break down in tears as we left him in the MRI.   Yesterday we participated in a Blood Drive in memory of Alexander and several other children whose lives were cut short by STUPID cancer.  It is run by another couple whose Daughter, Alexandra, died 6 years ago.  163 pints of blood were collected.  This couple organizes 2 blood drives a year, and so far they have helped collect 1,912 pints of blood!  It seemed appropriate that on the anniversary of Alexanders diagnosis, we would be at a blood drive, as he received over 35 BLOOD transfusions ( I may have lost count of some of them!) and over 58 Platelet Transfusions.

Last night we attended a fundraiser called Cure Me I’m Irish.  It is run by a group called BeatNB  Its purpose is to raise money for Neuroblastoma Research. Thanks to this group, as well as some other PARENT led groups, they have been able to fund a trial for a new drug for neuroblastoma. This drug has been having some excellent results.  The doctor leading the research was there and spoke to some of us prior to the event.  Thanks to these groups, they have been able to open up the next phase of the study in just 1.5 MONTHS, rather than 1.5+ YEARS.  It is sad really, they only needed about $200,000.  Sure, to you and me, that is a heck of a lot of money. But if you think about it – that is also about 5 seconds work of a commercial for the Super Bowl.   Really not a lot of money then.   Again, it seemed only appropriate that on the anniversary, we would be at a fundraiser for the very disease that took his beautiful life.

April 1 will mark 3 years since we said goodbye to Alexander.  Last year we went away for a few days.  We were thinking about doing that again this year, but now I am not so sure (partly because packing up us and two little ones is a LOT of work, plus all the things we have to bring with us!!)  So what we will do we do not know yet.  But as in the past, the time leading up to that day is becoming very difficult.  The day itself has not been too bad the last two years. But each year is different.

Our Daughter Julia was born 1 week before what would have been Alexander’s 3rd birthday.  So, as she has grown up we have seen where she was at the same time Alexander was.  I found it very hard to truly “enjoy” her until March 8th of last year.  Once she reached the age he was when he was diagnosed, I was able to breath, relax and enjoy her.  That was also when I started to learn how to be a parent to a HEALTHY child.  Our lives were not centered around visits to the hospital, she had regular visits to the pediatricians office.  Alexander never went back after his 6 months check up, so we had no clue what to expect.  She had a first birthday that was NOT followed by 27 days in the hospital (including time in the PICU  She learned to walk,  and talk. She has a ways to go with the talking, but I am sure once she gets it she won’t stop!  We are having fun watching her play make believe with her dolls and her kitchen.  We take her to the playground in the nice weather, and we recently found an indoor play place that she loves.  She loves to climb and go down the slide.  She is learning to eat with a fork and spoon and doing better every day feeding herself. She is no longer using a bottle, and has the straw down pat (when she isn’t pulling it out of course!)  And on March 26th, she will be 21 months 4 days old. She will be older than Alexander ever was.

I am not really sure how to feel about this.  I am so sad that Alexander never got to be any older.  Sad that he missed out on all these things Julia has learned. His life was cut short in a million different ways.   I have several friends whose children are now turning 5, the age he would have been this year.  Starting to make plans for kindergarten.  So many milestones that he missed out on.  But, I know I can’t dwell on that.  I have to be thankful for those 21 months 3 days that we DID have with him.  While he was so sick, he had so much to give to everyone he encountered. There isn’t a week that goes by that someone doesn’t post an Oreo Cookie story or recipe to my Facebook page.  It makes me smile every time I see them, because I know he is being thought about and not forgotten.

As we hit this final “milestone” with the age comparison between Alexander and Julia, I know it will be sad in some ways.  But, in others, it makes us smile to see all the wonderful things Julia is doing and learning each day.



What if you were hit by a bus?

Often when I hear people say, they are going to “put off” an activity until later, or make a huge financial decision (ie buying a house), I will ask them “What if you were hit by a bus tomorrow”?  I usually get stares of course, but what I am asking them, is to really THINK about the choice they are making.  Can they REALLY afford that item – do they have a “back up” plan, if they are “hit by a bus”.  What if you put that activity, trip visit off, and you are hit by a bus, and you can’t do what you had “planned” on doing?

Now you may be saying “well, I will just look both ways before crossing the street”.   Good idea of course, but what if the “bus” is being driven by a drunk driver? Or it is a sudden heart attack? Or it is STUPID cancer?

We were hit by a bus on March 8, 2010, when Alexander was diagnosed with STUPID cancer.  That was by far the last thing on our minds when we sat in that ER.  But, there we were, hearing those words “I am sorry but…”  With in the last 2 years, I have gone to 4 funerals or services for people who died unexpectedly.  They were fine one day, and the next they were gone. Their families forever changed.  I remember once I thought I saw a friends mom at Panera – I thought about going to say hello, but she with with a group of ladies, and I didn’t want to interrupt.  I thought about stopping by to visit her at home, but I never did.  She died suddenly while playing tennis.  How I wish I had stopped to say hello to her!

I have heard many people say, they “can’t” take time for family or friends because they are too busy with work.  These people are not brain surgeons, they are ordinary people, doing ordinary jobs.  They are working so hard, and are more often than not underappreciated by their workplace, yet, they just keep working hard, and giving up their own lives and familes for this “job”.  I know people HAVE to work, because you have to afford to live.  But MANY people COULD cut back on their lifestyles, and work less and enjoy their FAMILY more.  Some people, just don’t know how to say NO when they are asked to work extra – they will just go above and beyond, and really get no reward for their efforts.

I am not saying that you should just quit your job, and live like today is your last day, because that would be foolish. But, I am asking are you READY for this to be your last day?  Consider these things:

1.  Do you have a Will?  EVERYONE needs a will!!  If you don’t have one, that the government will get your assets first!

If someone dies without a will, what happens?

  • When a person dies without a will, the Probate court must decide how his or her assets are to be distributed. The distribution of property is governed by Massachusetts law, under which the decedent’s next of kin usually inherit the property. The major pitfalls of dying without a will are:
    • the decedent’s personal wishes regarding who receives particular property may not be fulfilled
    • the decedent did not take maximum advantage of tax-saving mechanisms.

    The same results can apply when someone has left an invalid will. In order to probate the estate of a relative who died intestate, you must generally obtain authority from the Probate Court to distribute the decedent’s property, depending on the type of property left in the estate.

see also:

2.  Who will take your children if you were to die?   Maybe you want your sister, but you would NEVER want your brother.  If both parents were to die, a judge can decide what will happen to your children. Be sure to have it in WRITING.

3.  LIFE INSURANCE – this is a NEED and not a WANT.  Unless you have medical issues, getting term life insurance is not that expensive.  You may have it with your work, but you need to have it OUTSIDE of your work too.  Again, getting “hit by the getting fired bus”.  Term is the ONLY way to go – whole life is not worth it!
See this page for an explanation :

You need to also have Life Insurance if you are a Stay at Home Parent.  If you were to die, the other parent would need to hire a cook, a nanny, a maid, a driver and a nurse.

4.  Do you have an emergency fund of 3-8 months of living expenses?   When you are hit by that bus, and can’t work, you will still have those bills to pay!  You won’t build it up overnight of course, but you can do it!

5.  If you are in debt GET OUT by taking baby steps!

6.  Get on a BUDGET!!!

(can you tell I am a Dave Ramsey Fan?)

Okay – enough of my rant for tonight!  Look both ways before crossing the street, be ready to be hit by a busy, ENJOY your life, and ALWAYS put your FAMILY first!

I will end with the final words of Cole, a boy we knew from the hospital –



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Happy New Year

Another year is upon us.   At this time, many people reflect on the year that has gone by, and make plans and promises for the year ahead.

A friend recently asked, “why does it take December for us as mankind to be collectively joyful and to act the way we are supposed to to our fellow man?”  I replied that I felt the same way with people putting out daily things they are Thankful for during the month of November.  Are they not thankful other times of year? 

I know that times can be tough for many people. Just reflecting on what my family has been through in the last 3 years is more than some people get in a lifetime.   However, despite all those things, I have tried to find things to be thankful about. When Alexander was in treatment, I was thankful we didn’t have other children to worry about at home.  We could give all of our time and attention to him.  I was thankful that Richard had a job that allowed him to work only weekends so I could have breaks from the hospital during the week.  I was thankful that we did not have to worry about losing our home.  And looking back now, I can even find things to be thankful about on the day he died.  It was a horrible day yes.  But Richard and I were able to be with him and hold him as he went to be with the Angels.  My mom and Richard’s mom were also able to be with him in his last moments.  Many families do not have the chance to be with their child when he/she dies.  They can’t be there to say goodbye.  We were able to do that.

One thing I am going to TRY to do in the new year is to move on.  There were some people that just weren’t there for us the way I would have wanted them to be and I am still very angry about that.  I am going to work on moving on from that anger, forgive, accept that, that is how they are and they will not change.  I have to focus more on those that WERE there for us, and be thankful for that.

So my challenge for all of you in this new year, is to try to find something to be THANKFUL for every day!  Years ago, Oprah had encouraged people to write out a “Grateful Journal”.  You can find nice Journals or even just a note-book many places – even the Dollar Tree!  Some days you will be able to fill up a whole page with things you are Thankful for.  Other days, it may be a struggle to find just one. But even if it is just “I was able to get out of bed and face the day” then write that.  Maybe you could have your family say one thing they are Thankful for each night at dinner.

Wishing you and your family a very happy 2014.






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