Why I'm here....

Since I've always been quick with an opinion an old friend once lost and again found suggested that perhaps I should share with more people my commentary. Never being one to pass on a challenge I thought I'd give it a whirl.

Sunday, December 23, 2012


As I count down and look back on the year I guess the thing that comes to the foremost inner thoughts in my mind is that I am just happy that I’m still among the living.  It seems we have lost so many to this year that will be known as 2012.  It will be known as a year when school children lost their lives to a terrible shooting, when a president who was not so popular but the known went back into office and when we watched a president cry on television.  It will be known as a year of last as in there will not be in my lifetime again a date such as 12/12/12.  This year will be known for so many things by so many.  I lost an uncle.  I have cousins who’ve lost their husbands, schoolmates who blessed us with their presence this time last year that we shall never enjoy their company in this life again, and children that lost their parents and parents that lost their children.  It was a year when a beautiful voice, Whitney Houston, went silent and the New Year Count down king, Dick Clark, took his final count.  No one has to wonder who shot JR, but one has to wonder at the great talents laid to rest in Andy Griffith, Sherman Hemsley, Richard Dawson, Donna Summers, Kitty Wells and of course Andy Williams. It was a year the world was thought to end just because some Mayan got tired of making a calendar that went well beyond his life expectancy.  It’s been a year when I’ve seen the Christmas spirit very much so alive in the giving nature and in the decorations that are all around us.  All years have great meaning to them for we have lived them.  We have loved in them and cried in them. We have welcomed new life and laid life to rest.  We have made new friends and lost friends to stupid ignorance.  I have faced my troubles in 2012, but I have lived through them to this point. I know there is still a week left so no one’s guaranteed a new year.  Of all the things in this year I know though I have been assured over and over that I have been blessed by good friends like Joe, Vincent, Karen, Jackie, Ida and Chris who’ve stood the test of time over and over.  I have renewed friendships from days gone by. I have welcomed new friends with open arms like Melissa, Bean, Joe L, Dalia and Stephanie.  I have been reminded what a wonderful brother I have in Ritchie and how lucky I am to have had two loving parents such as my mom and dad.  My mom and dad celebrated fifty years of marriage in this year of 2012.  There are so many things to be grateful for even within the sorrows that befell us. There were babies born, such as the one to my cousin Anna, Ms. Holly.  There is another baby that may or may not bless us with his presence before 2013 for my cousin Matt and his wife Tracy.  Life is definitely a balancing act of good and bad and we must somehow learn to live in the middle for our own sanity.  It would be easy I think at this time of year to get depressed and fall into a black cloud of pity and pain.  It’s a season where we miss so many people that have gone on.  I know I’ve been a little melancholy myself as my friend Rob was here visiting this time last year and I feel him everywhere around me.    What I would want is for each of you to hold onto each other.  Find a way to make this the best Christmas you can with the best memories you can because who knows if you will get the chance again next year.   2012 epic in its own right. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Sometimes One Simply Wants to Scream….

So I thought I would take a moment and do an update on my health and where I’m at and what I’m thinking.  It’s easy I think to come to an opinion on what you would do with a certain medical condition if you’ve never been faced with it.  I mean I know I was pretty adamant about what I thought I would do when faced with certain choices until today when I actually was.  It’s not that I plan on having a baby because I’m not really sure that would be wise at my age.  It’s just that right now it’s my choice and I’m not sure how I feel about the choice being so completely taken away from me.  I had a biopsy done last week of my cervix.  Nothing life threatening for the moment there but they don’t want to take the chance of it turning into something life threatening so the doctor is recommending that I have a hysterectomy.  I have mild dysplasia going on and some benign places on my cervix.  I asked what probably seemed like a million questions to the doctor. I need to be sure I have all the facts before I decide.  So my decision is I’d like to try the L. E. E. P. procedure one more time before I go to such a radical choice as having the hysterectomy.  This procedure takes a blade made of electricity and cuts out all the bad spots.  Then in six months you repeat the test and see if there are any new places.  The problem is though that the last one I had done they took so much of my cervix they are not sure they can go with this option for me so I have to go in Monday and have an ultrasound done to see for certain.  If it can be done it’s been scheduled for the 17Th of December.  So we’ll see.  Work has been great about working with me where they can.  I’m hoping they can do the L. E. E. P. again but if they can’t then I will have to decide how long to wait and if I can afford to wait to have they hysterectomy and then I also have to decide on what course of hormone therapy to have after it.  It’s stressful so it really wasn’t a surprise between that and other life stress and work stress that the doctors also put me on medicines to help with stress levels.    So in a nut shell this is pretty much where I’m at.  Doctor appointments are killing me.  The cure is worse than the disease.  Whatever line you want to use after over a year of dealing with this I sometimes simply want to scream!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Time Takes It's Toll...

Time takes its toll on everything.  I grew up in a trailer park.  I never felt any less or more than anyone else though.  I know the astigmatism associated with trailer parks but back in the day there were actually some very nice people that lived in there.  They didn’t fit the “trailer park trash” scenario.  Oh, don’t get me wrong I knew a few, hell I know a few people now that live in very nice houses I would classify as trailer park trash because of their behaviors and the association with the title.  Yeah I know judge not. 
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Some of them have earned my feelings on this though, trust me, eh or don’t.   I have some very fond memories of growing up on the Sandpoint Road in that little trailer park.  Playing for hours outside doing cops and robbers or going to the open field they had and playing baseball.  I got beamed with the ball more than once in my lifetime.  It was fun though and all the neighbors sort of watched out for each other and for all the children.  We actually knew who our neighbors were.  They would come and sit in lawn chairs and talk with us on many occasions. The memories are good ones but there is an old saying and in this case that you can’t ever go home appear to be spot on. A lot of those old neighbors I knew are long gone.  They are a distant memory.  There are still however a couple of their trailers standing yet in that park.  It’s funny as I write this how vivid the memories of how it looked and how I felt at that time are coming back in a mass flood to my mind.  It brings a tear because they are days that are gone forever except in my memory.  I drove through that park the other day for a trip down memory lane and it’s nothing like it was when I lived there. The beauty that it did have has faded and it now lives up to the expectations people have of trailer parks.  It’s dirty and dingy and to tell you the truth I could not help but wonder why the city had not shut it down.  I took a few photos that I’ll share here of what it looks like now.  Perhaps someday down the line I will take pictures of what it once looked like.  Time though does take its toll on everything.  The human body, the human spirit and all things material bend to its will.  How it is the song says it?  To everything there is a season and a time.  Ah, I believe life has its seasons as well.  In our childhood we are living in our springtime.  In our twenties and thirties we have our summer. 
 Our fall comes with our forties and fifties which lead into the cold winter of the sixties and seventies.  If you’re lucky you see past that time. It’s amazing to me how many people watch the seasons change every year and can’t see that it’s just earths own metaphor for their own lives.  So yes time takes its toll on everything and we have nothing we can do but sit back and weather the storm. We seek shelter in the love and companionship of our friends and family.  We learn life lessons too late sometimes and in other cases we relish the knowledge when it saves us from traveling down an abandoned road again. Life is what we make of it.  There are things that are beyond our control, but for the most part our happiness and our wellness is in our own control.  The park that I once lived in didn’t have to be allowed to decay and become what it is today.  It was lack of caring and lack of pride perhaps.  It saddens me to see it the way it is; however, the memories are always with me.  They are and always will be forever in my mind. 

Monday, November 12, 2012


Now there is a word for you.  Stress is something most often I can handle and adjust too.  Everyone has it in their daily lives in some form or another.  When it's inflicted on you personally as if in an attack or your very being though it's a little harder than every day woes.  I know mine isn't near as bad as others though and I try to keep it in perspective.  One day at a time, one breath at a time is all one can do.  I'm a person that is stressed out more by attacks on my family than by myself.  Again I doubt that is out of the norm.  My poor niece and nephew at such young ages probably could write a book about stress and sadness and dismay.  That saddens my heart.  It saddens my heart that my ex-sister-in-law is so completely destroying all bits and pieces of her life.  One day she may find herself all alone with no one and yet she will have no one to blame except the person she sees in the mirror.  I love her, but there are some things one can not tolerate even from those they love.   I will grant you that there are issues that are out of her control, but most of them she's responsible for although you'll probably never hear her admit it.  I won't go into a lot of details.  It's personal family stuff.  I will say it's sad that a woman who is old enough in her life to know better is stirring up crap and basically picking on an eleven year old though.  As for my health it also is causing me grief.  Still not out of the woods, still waiting and wondering but hey it's not gonna get me down.  I have friends and family that support me and love me and I have fun with them. I guess on some levels I can be a needy friend.  I need to feel cared about, but then hey don't we all.  So with the holidays coming here's hoping everyone enjoys good times with family and lots of wonderful food.  I know I plan to make the best of mine.  I plan to continue to act as adult as I can and not look at what I can't change in dismay but in hope that it will get better and we will move forward .  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  May the upcoming new year bring us all joy.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Foods In My House - Now VS Then....

So I'm back in diet mode and trying to get myself healthy again.  I know when I found out about my cervical cancer last fall I slacked off quiet a bit.  I pulled out some comfort foods and although I tried to still exercise as I could and watch a lot of my foods, I fell short by a long shot.  Now that I'm recovering and getting healthy again I am loving it.  I'm all ready seeing the inches go away and feeling better as I eat healthier.  I'm not saying it's easy because it's not.  Just like any addiction food is something I have to watch.  I have to tell myself in the store when going through certain isles that if I buy it I will eat it and if I eat it I will feel bad emotionally and physically.  Isn't it odd that foods that taste so good often make us feel lousy?  I've learned to stock better foods in my house for me.  Some of the foods you use to find in my house I no longer stock are cookies, ice cream, frozen burritos, cake icing and chocolate milk.  Oh don't worry about me.  I still indulge now and then and I still stock wine in the fridge.  A glass here and there is relaxing.  What might you ask are the foods I've learned to stock to help me feel better about me and help me feel satisfied hunger wise and still lose weight?  OK.  I'll share.  If you're at my house a few of the items you might find include:  low sodium V8 juice, cashews, bananas, apples, peanut butter (oh yeah and I do get the peanut butter and jelly sometimes), cheese, pickles, egg rolls, eggs, , soups, bread (although I rarely eat it toast will do in a pinch if you're hungry), raisin bread, cereals, soy milk, Pringles (yeah I know they are not diet, but I don't eat em much), Dannon Light Fit Greek Yogurt and Jimmy Deans Turkey Griddle French Toast breakfast sandwiches.  I don't go out to eat very often, but when I do I eat what I want.  I think one of the major thing people do wrong when trying to get healthy and diet is they deprive themselves, which sets them up for failure at long term success and I want long term success. It's hard not to turn to comfort foods, but like I said with any addiction you just take it one day at a time and put one foot in front of the other.  It's been a rough couple of years with a lot of loss from Jeff, to Robb, to old friends, and family.  It's also been a couple of years of growing and succeeding on so many levels.  My attitude towards life and people has improved and my days are spent mostly happy and mostly feeling well.  I had a spell yesterday where I didn't feel great, but I pulled through it and ended the day on a positive with friends sitting around a fire listening to stories and laughing.  So tell me what is in your fridge and how do the foods you eat make you feel?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Until We Meet Again

It's funny the things we choose to remember from our childhood and the times we choose to remember them.  Some memories are bright and vivid and full of color, so much so that one could almost reach out and find themselves fully seated in the past.  Other memories sit so far back that even when we want to pull them forward they are slightly out of focus for us.  My uncle Harvey was laid to rest today.  I loved him; although I didn't know him well.  It's unfortunate that we live so far from family and that life keeps us so busy we don't get to be near our families like we would like to be.  The few memories I do have of my uncle though are very pleasant.  It's rare for one to have no ill or bad memories of any relative, but I honestly have nothing negative to say and no bad memories of him.  I remember a time when lots of family were at his and my aunt Gertie's home and my cousin Dwayne was about two and he was dancing for uncle Harvey.  I remember him laughing and laughing at how cute he thought it was.  I have other memories but that one stands most vivid in my mind on this day.  I think it's important when we look back on someones life to be able to remember them smiling and happy.  It's never easy to think of a piece of our past or a portion or our present as being gone and no longer obtainable.  I know his family all loved him.  I know this will be hard on them. I can't even imagine how hard it will be when the day comes for me to say goodbye for that final time to my mom or my dad.  I know it's coming; I watch as they slip further and further but it's still not something I'm ready to face as much as I think I'm strong when it comes to facing death.  I have seen death many times and lost many that I long to see again some day.  I still, even knowing that death is not an end, don't wish to say good bye and not have my loved ones here to hold.  I know when I do have to face it though I have many who love me and who will be there to support me.  I am lucky in that respect.  For all my family and friends, whether I see you daily or only speak with you occasionally or even only connect on face book.  I love you.  To uncle Harvey I hope you're smiling and laughing and waiting on those you left behind until we all can meet again.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Sin's of Being Human...

It would be easy to look at someones life from the outside and see it as perfect, for one fleeting moment to forget that they are human.  You may see someone who has a fancy car, a fancy house, the idea job and the perfect looking family and be green with envy.  Things are often not what they seem though.  That person may be fighting alcoholism or may have cancer.  That person may hate their job or be hiding their true desire to run and do nothing more than flip burgers. They may be spending so much time at work that they have no time to enjoy their car, their home or their family.  The old saying the grass is always greener on the other side was formed for a reason.  I had a customer once tell me the grass is always greener on the other side because it's covered in manure.  It could also be because that is where the bodies are hidden.  We all as humans have preconceived notions of where we should be at certain ages, what we should have accomplished and even things we should or should have known better than to not do or to do.  The truth is there is no perfect path for anyone.  Some people may find money easily, while others may struggle.  Some people may find love early while others come to it late in life.  As for doing stupid things I'm willing to bet even Donald Trump would tell you he's done more than his share of things he wanted to kick himself for after having done them.  I look at my life and I know some would judge me, but in truth I am no more or less important for not having become a mother or for not being married at this point in my life.  I am happier than I have been in my entire life and I made some horrific decisions early on in life and I'm willing to bet I'll make some not so great decisions in the future.  Would I like to have found this inner peace earlier.  Hell yes, but it is what it is.  A person should not be judged for the possessions they own, the family the have or the items they can or can not purchase, but rather for the soul that they enlighten, the company they give and the love and light that they shine and share.  No matter where you are at in your life just remember it's a phase, and it could be better or it could be worse.  The thing to remember is no matter what put you where you are, you have the ability to change it one direction or the other and even if you pick the wrong options, it's OK to be human as long as you give it your best and if it was a mistake learn from it and never repeat it.  The sins of being human is the price we pay for the rights to choose our direction and our life.  So enjoy it, embrace it and learn from it. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Reflection Time

It's that time of year that I reflect on my life and where I'm at again.  I know most people do that at New Years butt I do it each year as I approach my birthday.  I'll be 45 this year.  Seems like I should be sixteen.  Would I trade it back?  Only if I could be the person I am today inside and emotionally.  It's been a hard year.  I still miss my friend Rob a lot.  I have family that I somehow doubt will be with us this time next year.  I have aging parents and thoughts of when they are gone how much I will miss them; yet I intend to enjoy them while they are here.  In reality all we can do is live each day and try never to waste a moment that we have to live.  In reflection comes cleaning.  I am at a point in my life where I hate clutter and I live in a very tiny apartment so I'm into purging things right now and trying to figure out how I'm going to get down to that hotel like living.  As I clean I see things that bring memories.  Some of them pleasant, some not so much.  I also see things and wonder when they hell I bought that.  I don't remember it, having seen it since I bought it probably and wonder what was going through my mind when I did cause it sure wasn't anything rational.  It's a good day for me to clean cause I really am in a throw it out mood.  Anyone else need it cleaned up?  We really have gotten to be a society of people who want "STUFF".  We may never use the stuff and we may never see it, but we have to have it come hell or high water.  Not me.  Now I just wish I had more free time.  I have been spending a lot of time in Indy because it's fun for me.  I have a couple of wonderful friends there and it's a get away for me from my life and the reality of day to day.  I love my parents, but living next door to them is difficult at times.  It doesn't give me much privacy and yet I wouldn't trade my time I have gotten to spend with them for anything.  What will the next year bring?  Hopefully better health and happiness for all my family and friends.  The year started out rough so it should be better now, I would hope.  My health is what it is.  Hopefully in November everything will be thumbs up.  Meanwhile I'm getting back to the gym.  I'm getting back to walking and working on eating healthier and I'm working on making me the best I can.  In the end that is all we can do.  Reflection is good for the soul.  Walking and cleaning are my best two ways to have that inner reflection.  Well, this was just a short break, no pun intended, from cleaning.  Time for more purging.  Happy Fathers day to all the dads out there.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

4000 Women Will Likely Die this Year from Cervical Cancer

That is a lot of women that could potentially die and I know it's an estimated statistic from past years.  The good news is that over the last fifty years death rates have decreased by over 74% from this disease.  The main reason for that is early detection thanks to yearly exams.  If it's found early there is every reason to believe your life will be just as long and healthy as it was before it was found.  Sounds good to me.  It's all conjecture in a way though.  You hear these odds and you think great,but what happens when you fall in the percentage that die?  Sad thing is a lot of the women who are dying are probably not getting tested and the cells that cause this horrible cancer are present in most men and women.  Yes I know men don't have a cervix,  but from what I've read prostate cancer can be caused from these same cells.  Until I was diagnosed with "abnormal" cells I wasn't aware of just how huge of a problem this was.  I've talked to tons of women about their issues they have had with Displaysia of the cervix.  Some who had just mild cases, some who had moderate and some with severe. Some had precancerous cells, some did not.  Some went through what I went through with the freezing of my cervix, which hurt like hell, to then getting a Leep procedure, to then eventually having a hysterectomy.  If you recall I was told that freezing the cervix takes care of the issue in 92% of the cases.  Well, lucky me I fell into the 8% mark.  Then on this one I was told 80% success rate and if it's a no go then hysterectomy.  So I'm nervous about my November 5th appointment to see what will happen.  I did go back to see the doctor last week and she did say everything looked good.  It was worse than they had initially thought.  There was more swelling and more cells and you get it right... They are fairly sure they did though.  I am on folic acid to help keep it at bay.  Yeah vitamin I knew basically nothing about but it boost your metabolism, helps with your immune system and ladies if you want to try to avoid this it's a good idea to take it.  It also helps your energy level and most people are depleted of it. Wish I had known that earlier.  Men it's good for you too.  I feel better than I have in a long long time.  I'm pleased to say between the thyroid medications and the folic acid I'm starting to drop the weight again and feel better about me.  It was severely depressing to be watching what you eat and still gain weight.  Not fun and something to remember.  Not everyone over weight is that way because of what they eat.  I literally for two weeks ate nothing but Chicken, boiled eggs, veggies an fruits and gained 15 pounds.  It seems that when your thyroid isn't working your body has a tendency to store everything you eat so good thing I wasn't pounding down donuts I guess but geesh.  Hopefully though this summer I will have some time to write some fun posts on here.  I just thought I would throw out some stats in hopes that all my female friends will go get their yearly exams.  It's important.  I want to keep you all around for a while and what I'm finding is this is very very very very common.  It's been a long year for many reasons.  Lots of death all around us everywhere.  Don't be one of them.  Get checked.  I know it's scary.  It's scary to think about, and to worry about and when you're going through it you always fear the worst but stay positive.  If anyone out there has any questions or wants to know anything or just wants support because you're going through it feel free to email me and we'll arrange a time to talk.  Sheilavz@frontier.com 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Whispers In The Morning

I hear whispers in the morning when I wake.  Quiet echo’s of dreams, the prior day events gone past and fears.  Always every morning a replay of the day before and a thought that perhaps today will repeat or change dramatically.  I often wonder how many people wake like this.  At the close of each night I try to wipe everything from my thoughts.  I try to think of each new day as a new slate and a new beginning.  I spoke recently with a friend that said he never sleeps more than four hours a night and then it’s broken sleep.  He said his events of the day and things that he could get or should get done yet keeps playing through his mind and no matter how hard he tries he can’t get to sleep. I recommended to him that he perhaps should try meditation or some tea before bed and explained to him that he needs to remind himself that there is nothing that can be done about any of these things in the middle of the night.  I feel for him because the body does really need it’s rest to function properly.  I don’t think I’m reaching to say all my friends probably think my mind is warped.  I say some of the most off the wall things and something someone says can have the most strange effect on where it sends my mind.  I’m always forever more hearing songs from something someone will say.  An example of this is a girl at work said something the other day about her boy and the old song “Let’s Hear It for the Boy” started playing through my head.  Just like that with one little word a whole song and me trying to get it out were stuck up there.  I also often wonder who is feeling exactly the same way I am at any given moment or who has thought the same thoughts or felt the same way.  Did you ever wonder when you were a kid if you were the only person on the planet that was human?  Think Aliens had abducted you and were living all around you because you felt so different from everyone else?  I’ve never quiet felt like I belonged much of anywhere which is why I’m glad for my multi-colored, multi-talented and much loving set of friends fell into my life.  If we’re going to play one of these things isn’t like the others I want to play to win.  Just kidding but they do help me with their diversity I feel to grow as a human being.  They help me to see that differences are not a threat but a good thing.  I was listening to the Pat Miller Program the other day and he said he thought Dick Clark should have stopped being on television and stepped aside after his stroke because it made him feel uncomfortable.  Not because he disrespected Dick Clark.  I have no doubt from the way he spoke he had great respect for the man, but because he remembered him the way he was.  I think Dick Clark did exactly what he should have.  I tried to call the show but held for too long and gave up.  By doing what he did Dick Clark showed the world that he wasn’t going to let life pass him by handicapped or not.  He wasn’t going to sit on that rocker and just give into life.  He wasn’t going to let people see him whipped by a circumstance he had little control over.  He wasn’t going to hide in shame or cower in the corner or just give up.  I think he did step aside for the most part, but no Pat I think he did as he should.  Perhaps our kids won’t remember, unless we help them, the Dick Clark we knew when we were young but what they will have seen is a man who didn’t shy away from the camera because he made people feel uncomfortable.  He didn’t let life beat him and he didn’t let people who might mock him stop him.  So I’ve felt the odd one in the crowd before for many reasons and I wanted to hide.  He gave strength in his way of handling it to many and he will be missed.  Good night Dick Clark until you count us down again.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Step By Step and I'm a Science Project

Step by step.  Baby steps.  Walking through it all in my mind.  Last week the nurse practitioner told me if it takes more than 48 hours for the test results to come back the results are probably not good.  She looked at me and said I really don't know why.  I looked at her and said maybe they want to recheck them before they tell someone their life is f***.  I called this morning.  It had been a week today.  They acted almost annoyed that I was calling again.  Said they had me on their planner to call just as soon as the results came in.  So what were the results.  Same as they were before I ever got my cervix frozen in the first place.  Still bad old cells that really need to get the heck out of my body to ensure my long life.  So what is next is a procedure called "LEEP" or Loop electrical excision procedure.  It basically means they are going to take a knife sharp looped tool and go in with a special scope find the cancerous or bad cells and use the tool to cut them out.  They will go well below the places to ensure they get all of it.  This all takes place with a local anesthetic and it all takes place in the doctors office not a hospital.  I will go in and have the procedure and an hour later I'll be at my desk at work.  Some bleeding and probable lots of pain.  In and out.  Just like that and I'm just suppose to take it with a grain of salt.  Then more wait time, retest an go from there.  In and out just like that.  It's nerve racking at best, and today I found myself half wishing no one knew cause then I could bury my head and pretend it isn't happening.  That isn't me though.  I tell my stories, what happens to me and what I go through for several reasons.  One to get it out so it doesn't drive me insane and two to help others who may go through this.  I have had an enormous amount of support and women who have had the same thing happen to them and they give me encouragement.  It's scary being a female and going to the gynecologists office. You just never know what they are going to say and each time I go I am more nervous than the last these days because all I want to do is have it all done and it just keeps going and going and going.  I think my doctor can afford that new BMW now since I keep going in.  Well that was just a quick update.  I'll keep chugging along and I appreciate every one's support.  Right now though I just want to get the next step done and go from there and forget it as much as possible.  We'll see what happens.  It's making me feel like a high school science experiment though.  You know lets see what happens if we do this? 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Customer Service and Kindness

For the last several months it seems all I have gotten when I go to places is tacky at best customer service.  I think most of these companies have forgotten that the customers experience will decide whether they return or continue to do business with them or not.  I know most of these companies have also forgotten that your customers experience good or bad comes from how the employee feels about their job. An example of poor service?  Well I have several.  I think other than the occasional shake I'll go get I've given up on the Wendy's in Fort Wayne. They are never really very friendly.  They also assume things like that I would want a spoon rather than a straw with my shake.  Yep.  Last 4 times and they looked at me like I had three heads when I asked for a straw.  To me it's like DUH Shake here.  Then you almost have to beg them for napkins.  I guess they are figuring that is what your sleeve is for.  Now I say Fort Wayne because I have been to the Wendy's in Indy several times and it's like evasion of the body snatchers, they are friendly, polite, give you a spoon and a straw and OMG napkins!  Your service in most of these places is not much better.  I really think they need to think about their service before they act and whether that customer will ever return.  I do most of my shopping at Meijer.  Not because they have lower prices but because they are more helpful and friendlier than their competitor.  I shop Target because their people are ALWAYS friendly to me no matter what and I know their prices are not the lowest.  No matter how good a product is the service is what sells it in the end.  I always use to tell a friend of mine that liked Ford's that I wouldn't have one.  He said why they are gorgeous cars.  I was like yeah but I like my car running.  If you have a Ford and it works good my appologies but I have had nothing but trouble from them and don't know anyone else who's had good luck including this guy whose vehicle was in the shop (brand new vehicle) every time he looked around.  I don't care if it's comfortable and gorgeous.  The service on it sucks if it's constantly broken even if friendly people are saying sorry it's down again.  It's just a fact in my life. One exception here is Ford Trucks now those suckers run and they run very well.  Cars not so much.  So as of late I've been watching my own avoidance of places from their customer service and getting discouraged because I just assumed there was no where left where you got good service.  This past week I found a service center and employee that cared.  I went to Midas on North Coliseum out by Kmart.  I went in there at 5pm on Friday to have them check my brakes which were rubbing or pulsating.  I expected hundred of dollars of work and prepared for the worst.  Scott the guy behind the counter apologized and said they could check them but if they needed work it would have to be on another day since they close at six.  His guy came out and said there is nothing wrong with them.  Specs are fine.  I said I know there's something wrong with them.  Scott then went for a drive with me in my car so he could figure out what I was talking about. He said he'd learned the customer knew their car and if they said something was wrong it was.  so it didn't take him long to agree with me.  They just need reconditioned and cleaned.  Old man winter had rust in there and it was making it hard for things to maneuver.  So Saturday morning he fit me in, knew I had to be to work at 10:30 and promised to get it done in time.  He gave me the remote to the television to flip through the channels and kept me updated on my car.  While I was in there a homeless man came in and needed money.  He gave the guy a couple of bucks.  I was awed.  Great, honest and friendly service and my work was completed just as promised on schedule.  If this guy could bottle up what he has going for him and his shop and sell it to companies the economy would be booming and business would be back to giving good customer service.  I don't wow easy.  So for me this was a great experience.  It was also a pleasant surprise to have great customer service and kindness all in one spot.  Made for a nice start of a Saturday morning.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Deep Breath IN, Deeper Breath OUT!

I'm not expert but I'd be willing to bet that stress is a number one killer of people.  It can do so much damage in such a short amount of time. I know I've had one killer headache since yesterday afternoon.  I've waited four months for my test to see if my cervical cancer is gone.  I'm hoping it is.  I've found though that it is very common among women and I've met a couple that my treatment worked for and a couple it didn't.  The ones it didn't had their cervix removed and were fine then.  I've heard no horror stories of women dying although I'm sure there are a few who have.  I also know there are worse things in life happening to people all the time.  I try to keep that in perspective although again I'll tell you that what affects your life and soul no matter how small to someone else is huge in your own world. It didn't help that the woman told me that test results usually take 24 hours to come back if normal and 48 if not and no call today.  I'm sure I'm on a list to call somewhere and all will be fine though.  STRESS HAS BEEN ADDED.  It is what it is though.  Work has been less stressful, my personal life has been a little stressed.  Over all though I'm good though.  I'm looking forward to a great summer.  I started walking again and I've been watching my diet.  They started me on a thyroid medicine to hopefully help and I'm looking forward to seeing friends at the Elmhurst gathering on the 14th.  I miss Rob.  I remember him saying when I found out I had cervical cancer cells that we would get through this, he'd be here for me.  I'm sure he meant it.  I just wish he were here.  I'm sure on some level in spirit he is.  Hopefully the doctors will call tomorrow and I can move on with the next chapter.  I know I'm strong though and with everything that happens in my life like this I grow stronger.  I have great friends and family.  I'm luckier than most.   Well that is it on the update front for now.  For now it's deep breath in and deep breath out and walk knowing God is with me either way. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Count Down to April 9th, UH or Whenever...

So made it through another health issue.  Seems like I've had more than my fair share lately, but I do realise there are others that have had it much more worse than myself.  Our own issues are serious for us though and in my own I struggle not to worry myself sick and to just face each item as it comes along.  So much fun comes with age.  As my grandmother Lula use to say life is only good as long as one's health allows them to enjoy it.  I felt human today.  I know that may sound odd but I actually had a day where most of the day I felt really good.  My last scare turned out to be a thin uterine lining.  Mine was a bit thin.  The fix was to give me some estrogen patches and raise my estrogen levels which trust me has me having hot flashes but it's not all bad.  Now I'm just waiting for the next test.  No cancer in my Uterus, but did the freezing of my Cervix kill the cancer cells there?  I go in on April 9th for that test which means I swill probably know the week after that.  I have a new diet they have me following and I'm having to try to cut out a lot of carbohydrates, breads, caffeine.  They want me to do three days on, two off four on, two off three on two off and so on.  Lots of fruits and veggies in this new diet.  I like fruits and veggies though and summer is coming so walking is going to be my thing again this year.  Be ready to see lots of pictures and posts on my walking journey.  I can finally go back to the gym again too so I hope to be toning and getting back in better shape.  As with each summer I want to make as many happy memories as I can with my friends and family.  I love being outside so it's going to be a great one I think.  Who doesn't love 78 and higher temps in March?  I am loving it myself.  Well this is a short to the point and sweet update, but I wanted to put one out here.   Enjoy the weekend, it's going to be a great one I'm certain. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

My Health Update...

So as you all may or may not remember I had my cervix frozen in November two days before Thanksgiving.  I don't actually go back and get the test retaken for that until April 9th to see if it killed the cancer or not, but it has definately had me somewhat nervous.  I have had to go to my gyno again though.  I started my cycle on January 24th and it just never went away.  It's still here.  Yeah.  Fun eah? So I went to the doctors last Wednesday after giving up that it was going to go away on it's own.  What do they tell me?  Basically it's a crap shoot and they don't know why it's happening.  It's not menepause.  Not enough symptoms and I know yeah I'm getting there in age, but that just isn't it.  They drew 8 tubes of blood that they are going to test my blood count, test for anemia, check my thyroid and I forget what else.  I go next Wednesday to have an Ultra sound done on my Uterus next Wednesday and to get my test results from my blood work.  What do they say could be the problem?  Well they say it could be an under active thyroid, or my uterus lining may have thinned from birth control pills or yeah they said it, it could be uteran cancer.  As usual though they assured me that probably isn't the case and even if it is we can just take the plumbing out.  Somehow that isn't real reassuring to me.  I think Doctors and Nurses and Nurse practioners all take a course in how to freak you out.  Am I right?  I know I have lots of family out here on Facebook that are medical.  Is it a lets freak you out so you'll be prepared for he worst and if not April fools?  I feel ok for the most part except for the constant bloating, cramps, back ache and headaches and lack of energy...  Yeah I know but you either have to laugh or cry.  I just hope next week we get some resolution to this.  It's been going on too long and in the end maybe it's just stress.  Good Lord knows I've had enough of that in the last four months or so.  My cousin lost her husband today.  My heart breaks for her so I know my worries are small and it could be worse, but I would appreciate prayers.  Never hurts to have others speaking to the Man up stairs on your behalf.  God Bless everyone.  Have a great weekend.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Stay Strong

There are times when I feel deep inside my soul the pool to just give into self pity.  It seems to me that life has just never been that easy for me.  Sometimes it feels as if someone up there is continually testing me to see how much I can take and if I can pull myself through.  I can no matter what.  I know that.  I've had to be tough.  I've never been allowed to be soft the way a woman is suppose to be.  I've never had that shoulder I could lean on and depend on.  I have friends sure and they would be here if I asked, but it's in those dark hours of the night when you're all alone and not feeling well that it would be nice just to have someone in the house with you. I find myself wondering if this is a common struggle for many.  No matter how hard it is and how much I understand deep in my soul what drives people to commit suicide there are no worries here.  I would never do that.  I would never take my own life for many reason, but for one I do not believe it is my own to take and God has chosen this path for me and this life for me for a reason.  I just have to continue to trust in it and move forward.  It's been harder this hear so far, as little of it as there has been, because it seems there have been so many bad things happen.  A friend with heart troubles, a friend who's sister was given some very bad news about cancer, a friends best friend dying, one of mine dying and I just cant seem to stay well.  All of this around my nephew continuing to have struggles and there is nothing I can do but sit back and watch.  Poor kid has had it rougher than most adults so if I look at my life in comparrison to his I know I'm better off.  I love him and I hope he learns only he can choose his path and he can't make his mother be a mother no matter how badly he wants her to be.  Here's the rub though.  It's true life could always be worse and it's true there is always someone in worse shape, but it doesn't make the pain of ones own situation any less or anymore than anyone elses.  In our lives it's what affects us that shapes us, our present and our future.  It's what drives us to be who we are and what gives us the strength to move on.  I know God has blessed me with loving parents, an awesome brother and a beautiful niece and nephew.  My life is not over so I still hold the key to how my future is shapped.  I have loved and I have been loved so I suppose what it comes down to is that when one is in their darkest hour they have to draw from within the light in their own soul and remember that they are not really alone ever.  God is there.  Friends are there.  our life may not be what we want, but it is what we need if we believe in ourselves.  Here's hoping each of you have a good Valentines Day this week and that you remember love doesn't have to be about a signifcant other, it can be the love you feel for friends.  Oh, so you know I like yellow roses and M&M's.. lol 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Laid to Rest: January 21, 2012

One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life is bite my tongue.  It’s not in my nature and definitely not something my friends would characterize me for, but I did it today out of respect for two men.  One man still here and one man no longer with us, but both very deserving of respect.  I knew it would be hard.  I don’t say goodbye to those I love easily no matter how they may go.  I drove up to the church wondering what to expect, I half expect that is normal, as I walked up the walk way I felt light headed and a knot grew in the pit of my stomach.  A beautiful young girl, Rob’s Niece answered my walk by opening the door for me and welcoming me to his memorial.  Canvassing the room I found the faces that were familiar to me out of Rob’s family and saw a few tables that had flowers and pictures on them.  I decided to hang up my coat before greeting anyone.  As I was hanging up my coat a frail looking old man came towards me.  “Are you Sheila?”  He asked me.  Before he said it I knew exactly who he was from a photo I’d seen online.  “I’m Rob, Mikes dad, I mean I’m Rob’s dad.”  I replied by sticking out my hand and he grabbed me and hugged me.  I wasn’t at all certain how I felt about that but I didn’t pull away.  He thanked me again for all I had done for Rob and all I had done for Steve.  He then went on to say a child shouldn’t go first, who would have thought it.  I simply replied with as sickly as he was it had to be almost expected.  He again went on to talk to me about how badly Rob had not been taking his medications and how much medication he had in his apartment that he had to throw away.  His manor of saying it was almost accusatory as to say it was Rob’s fault he wasn’t here.  I saw no reason to inform him or correct him on the fact that doctors had asked Rob to stop taking some of the medications for a while so they could get him regulated again or to go from my own experience and say they often fill more than you need.  I have a ton of medications at home that would take me forever to take because the doctors order it in 30 day supplies yet have me taking it every other day.  You still fill it every month.  It accumulates.  I still found it an odd thing to think but dismissed it as possible unease due to the circumstances and perhaps even some lower level of guilt of his own on the way he had treated his son.  As soon as I walked away from him and back into the open room I was approached by Rob’s brother and given a hug and thanks for coming.  It was nice because it was sort of for a moment like Rob was there.  I feel the worst for Rob’s brother.  Those two genuinely loved each other with all their hearts.  I then looked over all the photos on the table and came across the box with Rob’s ashes in it.  For a moment my heart stopped as I looked down at the label that stated that inside this box are the remains of Robert M. Hogg.  I looked over the ribbons and his work badge and I signed the guest register then walked over and found a place to stand and wait.  Rob’s brother had told me that the family would be sitting on the right but that I could sit on that side with them or on the left with his dad and his dad’s wife.  I dismissed that out of my mind for a bit, finding it odd that they couldn’t put aside whatever differences for one day to all sit together as a family.  At this point a nice looking little old lady who I had noticed crying the whole time we were there came up to me and asked if I was Sheila.  It was Rob’s mom.  She hugged me.  I had been watching this woman and yes she was so wrong on so many levels for not having seen her son at Christmas and she was wrong for going all those years and not trying to add her son back into her life, but I couldn’t be angry at her.  The hurt and pain in her eyes was genuine.  I found myself liking her but still wishing she had talked with Rob before he died.  She said she hadn’t had the strength to look at the pictures and things on the table yet.  I simply told her “lets look at them together.”   I could have stood at that table forever because Rob’s ashes were there so somehow it was like he was there but I knew that would have been off.  After looking over the pictures and discussing them with his mom I excused myself to find the ladies room.  While in there I heard voices.  The one older woman was telling the younger one she appreciated her coming with her because she really didn’t want to be here.  I thought that an odd statement for anyone since no one liked being at memorials but it’s a respect issue and something you only do once for someone.  I was washing my hands when the ladies came out of their stalls.  The older one grabbed me and hugged me and said she was Rob’s step mom.  I said nice to meet you, pulled away and left immediately.  She looked exactly like I would have expected her to look.  The difference in the looks of the mom and the step mom were amazing.  The mom looked like a mom.  The step mom didn’t look like anyone I wanted to know, but I did know her for some reason.  I just can’t think of where I’ve seen her before yet but it will come to me I’m sure.  I walked into the chapel to take a seat and as I walked towards the alter there was a picture of Rob in uniform that made me start crying.  I  sat down three rows back on the right, behind where his family would be sitting.   Everyone was asked to stand and Scottish bagpipes started playing.  Rob’s brother carried the box with him in it down the isle and placed it on the table with his photo.  The speakers at Rob’s funeral were all men.  They were assembled from friends from his childhood, his brother and the minister.  They all told stories of childhood and playing games or of college times.  His brother told how Rob had wanted children but that at forty he had given up because he had never found the right woman, the one.  I knew that wasn’t right because Rob had told me Carrie was the one.  He thought about children with her but was afraid to have them because he was afraid they would be inflicted with his illness and he didn’t want to do that to a child.  Rob did love children very much.  He was hoping to be a part of a child's life that was just born to a woman friend of his back in late October or Early November.  It would have given him the time to be there for someone and nurture them which he loved to do as well.  I wonder if she knows he passed away or just thinks he abandoned the promise he made to be there for her.  I hope she would know he would never do that.  I cried a lot during those services for Rob.  I will miss him a lot.  I do miss him a lot.  He was a good friend who accepted me for who I was.  He accepted that friendship was what I had to offer and if more grew fine if it didn’t then we would still be there for each other.  Talking to several people though I realize Rob had deeper feelings for me than I knew, although I suspected.  I was told I had made his last few months happy and that he cherished time with me whether on the phone or computer or in person.  That made me smile.  At the end of the services Rob’s brother gave me a bag with the Net book I had let Rob borrow back in it, two pictures of Rob and I together and a card sighed with love from Sheila.  I wasn’t the Sheila who gave it to him.  Rob had told me about that Sheila.  He cared about her but wasn’t sure on some levels but she had hurt him.  They had filed for a marriage licence and they had a wedding date set but her mother didn’t like him.  He wondered what it was with mothers and why they didn’t like him.  My mother liked him just fine and said she was saddened by his death.  Her mother came between them and they broke up.  That had hurt Rob.  If she had loved him she would have chosen him.  I’m sure Rob’s brother had thought the card from me or he wouldn’t have given it to me.  The fact that Rob had held on to it meant it was special to him I believe.   The things I gave Rob were friendship and over the months of getting to know each other I had given him a colts bear and blanket for his birthday. Colts seat covers, a computer microphone, A Colts watch, a Star Trek book of remembrances and cologne.  Yes there was a theme.  Rob loved his Colts and he loved Star Trek.  It saddens me to think he’s not around to enjoy those things.  They are only material things though and it made me happy to see him smile when I gave them to him.  Rob didn’t smile much.  I was always telling him to smile.  I don’t think he felt well very often and I think he knew his time was winding down.  I just think he thought he had months to go, not days.  I have a lot of wonderful memories of him.  I still say he was a big kid in a grown mans body and that was part of the charm I loved about him.  He was so excited to show me Houston and Galveston.  That time will always be precious to me.  I can still see him grinning from ear to ear when I bought him a root beer float in Galveston when we stopped to take a breather and cool down.    That shop was fascinating and they had tons of old fashioned candies an ice creams, all of which of course Rob offered to buy me if I wanted but I knew money was tight and I didn’t need it so I bought him a float and myself an ice cream and we sat and enjoyed the break.    Rob also took me to see the gulf coast and we parked on the beach.  It was very windy that day and the waters were a little wild, but it was beautiful to see.  On that day we also went over to this aquarium to look at fish and sea lions.  Rob really seemed to be fascinated by these.  I noticed he had to sit and rest every little bit though.  It was hard for him I could tell and I know he probably pushed himself for me.    I learned a lot in those couple of days I spent with him.  He was lonely.  He missed Carrie and he missed his family but this is where his life was and where his work was. He was a proud man and he wanted to make it on his own.  I think he was courageous on so many levels.  I think a lot of people in the shape he was in with his heart would have been staying with someone or on disability and not trying to make it on their own.  I know it was hard for him.  He was looking forward to seeing his family but he so hoped his mom would see him.  He wanted to be welcomed into his dads home.  Neither of these really happened for him.  He stayed at the Days Inn off Washington when his dad and step mom had extra bedrooms.  I will never understand that one.  I only have one bedroom or I would have let him stay with me even though it would not have looked appropriate.  His mom never saw him.  His dad did please him by calling him out of the blue one morning and asking him to come over and they spent the day together.  I was all day cooking a special meal for Rob but he text and asked if I’d be hurt or upset if he stayed with his dad because he’d been invited to dinner.   He wanted to feel a part of his family so badly I could never have said I was even if I had of been.  Being with his dad was making him happy and being invited to dinner was an amazing thing to him.  I love that I got the time I did with him and I will cherish those memories.  It will haunt me forever though the memory of watching him drive away that morning on the 1st of January.  I heard from him all day.  He would give me updates on which airport and if it was on time.  He updated me when he landed in Houston and that he was awaiting a shuttle to take him home and he let me know when he got home and that he’d fed the boys.  His boys is what he called his cats.  It saddens me to think that at least two and maybe all three were put to sleep because that would have killed Rob.  So he’s been laid to rest at the foot of his great grandfathers grave in Goshen.  I wasn’t family so I wasn’t allowed to go to the grave site.  Another thing I think would have killed Rob but then it is what it is.  I have his “pig” collectibles that I will clean up and try to EBay for his brother.  One I’ll buy myself because he and I talked about it when I was in Houston and I found it amusing that a big guy like him would have a Miss Piggy on a Harley.  I have it on my desk at work, along with a picture of Rob and I and the paper from his funeral.   I know time will make things easier but for now it’s just hard not hearing from him and not being able to tell him about my day.  I suppose by writing this I am no really holding my tongue all that much, but I needed to write it down and get it out.  I needed to tell his story and mine.  I just know the hardest thing I ever did was say nothing when so many things went through my mind.  I’d rather have Rob back than any belongings.  I could sit through service with Satin sitting on my lap if it were for someone I loved.   I can’t imagine separating yourself out of old pettiness or worrying about what he did or didn’t do or what he did or did not leave to you.  Rob’s brother loved him.  After seeing his mother cry so hard and so much I believe she loved him although she should have told him.  His dad I have no clue.  I want to believe he did and on some levels I think he did but I’m not sure his son believed he did.  Hopefully he’ll do better by Rob’s brother over the years.  I will miss my friend Rob, but I will never forget him. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Life Can Change On A Dime - Rob Hogg

Life can change on a dime. It’s funny how a year can affect you so much more than any other year. Strange how a man can come into your life in such a whirl wind and leave in an even bigger one. Rob Hogg had definitely done that in my life. A chance he had said. I’m glad I took a chance and requested to be your friend. To tell you the truth I barely remember Rob from high school. He was two grades behind me and I didn’t particularly hold any nostalgia for the high school years. It wasn’t a happy time of my life. My grandmothers both passed away and I had my own demons I was fighting with an eating disorder. Teenagers often have eating issues. I was bone thin by the end of high school and still pretty much unhappy. I had an incorrect vision of what life should be. I say incorrect because it’s never really wrong. I mean what I expected was setup through unreal expectations that demons and evil didn’t exists and that one can find someone and live happily ever after. Rob became a very dear friend. He would yahoo message with me when he would get up and all through the evening till I went to bed. He would send me text messages and he would call nightly just to see how my day was. I told him when he asked if we could be more than friends I wasn’t sure. We live too far apart and at the time all I am feeling is friendship, but that I was willing to give it a try and get to know him. I did get to know him too and I loved him. He had become one of my best friends and always offered comfort and support. Could we have become more someday? I will never know. He and I spent hours playing Yahoo Spades and Euchre or listening to television shows together and laughing. I went out to see him back in the fall and he showed me Houston through his eyes. He also showed me Galveston. I think then I was charmed by him almost as much as he was by me. He was a big kid in a grown mans body. I had told him how much I love Road Runner, Bugs bunny, Tweety and all the old cartoons so he had made sure to buy some of those for me to watch. He took me to the Houston Zoo and insisted we see everything and that I have a souvenir to take back with me. He showed me the malls and the shopping and took me to get a view of the waters and coastline. He showed me where he worked and where all the good eating places were and he remembered everything about anything I had talked to him about food. He made sure we went for Chinese and sushi. All the time I was there he never pressured me to be more than a friend. He talked to me about Carrie the woman he’d loved and lost in 2006. He introduced me to his three cats that he loved more than life. Scotty was a long haired grey tabby who pretty much was love me or leave me type of fellow. There was BC who had a scared ear that turned back on the corner but really wanted nothing to do with anyone except Rob. BC was really named Butter cup, but had been named that before they figured out he was a boy so Rob respectfully called him BC. Then there was Rupert. Rupert was half the age of the other two, but twice their size and was a domestic short hair black and white. I loved that cat. He had so much personality. I told Rob I would have taken him in a heartbeat. He told me how Rupert was Carriers Cat. Carrie had wanted one of her own and Rob being the big teddy bear that he was couldn’t deny her. Sadly Carrie died while Rupert was still a kitten. He told me of how hard it had been going to work that night and kissing Carrie and telling her he’d see her in the morning, only to come home and find her sitting in the same place cold as ice. His living room didn’t looked like he’d moved a thing or used it at all since she had left him. During that time he told me all about his family. His estranged mother although he wished she were in his life and he loved her he wouldn’t force her to be where she didn’t want to be. He told me of the dad he wished would be proud of him, but that he also loved. He mostly told me of his brother and his brothers family. He so wanted what his brother had. What he saw when he looked at them was love and family the way he thought it should be. His brother and his brothers wife’s relationship and even their kids which Rob loved each and everyone with all his heart. He knew it wasn't perfect because no family or relationship is, but of all things I would never doubt it’s that Rob would have given his life and all he owned for his brother and his brothers family. I loved my couple of days out in Houston with Rob. He was getting healthy or appeared to be and seemed to do well. He looked good and his skin was warm the way it should be to the touch. He had taken a bad spell just a month before I was out there and had spent a week in the hospital but he seemed to be getting past that. He was also so looking forward to seeing the family over the holidays. He was coming for 9 days from the 21st of December to the 1st of January and he wanted to experience all of his family he could while he was in Fort Wayne. He sounded happy and I was happy for him. Rob ran into some bad luck before coming to Fort Wayne for the holidays. His place was robbed and he missed several days of work. Along with this he went to get his license renewed and couldn’t until he got glasses which cut into his funds for his travels. He started stressing and talked to me about it. His plans were all made and there was no way of getting refunds for the trip since it was too late, but he didn’t want to anyway because he needed to see his family. It was what had kept him going for months. I assured him I would feed him while he was here and help in any way I could. Work also stressed him out as the “dragon lady” at his job had it out for him and started making a big deal about his missing work and paper work all of which wasn’t his fault. I mean who plans to get robbed? I assured him though that it would all work out and talked him into trying to enjoy his trip and not stress so much. When he arrived at my house in Fort Wayne he looked very pale and tired to me. He said it was from all the work and stress he had been under. I told him he needed to relax. He smiled and said he would try and take my advice and not worry. He and I set about getting the week all planned. Of the things we had lined out he had a day with his dad and his dads wife, a family dinner with my family and with his brother and her wife, a game day that he couldn’t wait for (tradition), a night with old friends at a friends bar and grille and a New Years party with me at my friend Joe’s house to ring in the new year. Everything else we would do on a whim or as it came. While he was here we had a great time. We went to the mall and a book store. We saw a movie and watched television. I didn’t know people were still mining for gold, but I guess I do now. I made him my infamous Pizza Casserole which he ate on three different nights while he was here. (I did offer to make him other stuff, it’s what he wanted) I made him cookies and cooked a roast. All the while him watching or offering to help and talking about his life or asking questions about mine. I learned a lot, but what I learned more than anything is that although Rob’s life had dealt him a lot of tough blows, he had never once allowed them to beat him down. He was working on a degree online to accompany the one he all ready had. He had plans and dreams and hopes. He talked about how he would love to work on a cruise ship some day and told me he was going to hold me to my promise that I would go on a cruise with him next year if he could manage to get us on one. He would often take my hand or touch my cheek with the back of his hand. This time his skin wasn’t warm. Most often his skin was cold and moist. He sweated a lot and he looked so tired and frail to me. I worried about him. I told him I did but he would have none of it. He just kept telling me he was fine. He talked more about funds. The trip would hit him hard financially but he would bounce back he said. He laughed and said one never knew if it would be their last so they had to take the opportunity to see family when they could. He wanted to come back in June, but didn’t know if he would be able to make it or not. Rob had wanted to go see the lights at the zoo, but somehow we never made it down there. I told him next year, now he won’t be with us next year to see them. You see life can change on a dime. Wednesday, January 4Th I had my last conversation with Rob. He text me as he always did and asked if I was home yet from work, then he called me. We talked for about 45 minutes. He was stressing out really bad. Work had sent him to a new site and he wasn’t sure if his ¾ of a tank of gas would last him until the 17Th because it was a lot farther away. His Internet wasn’t connected yet and he needed to get school work done and he had an argument with his dad. He was wound tight I could tell. I talked and talked to him though and told him that it will all work out. He was laughing when we hung up and said I was right, he knew I was that it would all work.out. He told me he was going to take a nap. He had to be to work at 10, which is 11 my time so he had a little time. He told me “I’ll call you tomorrow baby and let you know how it went. Kisses n hugs.” As I went to bed that night as always I included him in my prayers when I went to bed. The Lord probably gets tired listening because I always include everyone I think needs it and all those I love. It takes a little time but I say them nightly. It’s hard not to be angry on some level because I asked the Lord to watch over him. I guess I didn’t include a “don’t” let him die in that statement, but I thought it was self explanatory. The Lord has his own reasoning for taking Rob from us though it may be hard for us all to understand. Perhaps he knew Rob’s journey had been hard and he needed rest. Perhaps he knew Rob really needed to be with Carrie again. I’m not really sure what the reason. I just know when I was awakened by the phone ringing at 1:45A.M. on Thursday morning I wasn’t prepared for what the call entailed. It was Rob’s number. I almost didn’t answer. I thought I would just call him back in the morning but then I thought he knows I’m asleep so why is he calling. A million things went through my mind. He might be in the hospital again or maybe he was fired or in an accident, so I answered the phone. The woman on the other end of the line said “Hi, this is Candace and I have Rob’s cell phone. I’m his boss.” She kind of stopped there. I asked her why she had Rob’s phone. She goes who are you in relation to Rob. I thought it a prank at this point. I wasn’t sure what to think. I said I’m a friend he came to see over the holidays along with his dad and brother and again I asked why she had Rob’s cell phone. She goes well I hate to tell you this but Rob collapsed at work tonight and was taken to (she named some hospital off). I sighed a little because I thought taken to the hospital OK. Then she says I’m so sorry to tell you that they are saying he’s clinically dead. I think my own heart stopped for a moment at that point. I remember saying “What?” I remember asking her if she was sure and she said well I’m on my way to the hospital now to confirm it. Little did I know this was the Bi*** that had given Rob so much grief or our conversation might have gone so much worse that it did. She then asked me about his family and I told her I would call Rob’s brother and have him call her. It took me several tries to get his brother to answer, but he was just as shocked as I was when he answered the phone. About an hour after that I called Candace back. I told her someone would have to take care of Rob’s cats that they would need fed and she assured me she would take care of it. I very shakily through my tears asked her if she had confirmed Rob was dead and she said sadly yes he was and that she was so sorry for my loss and that if I needed anything to let her know. People always say that and although it’s kind what could one possibly need? Comfort I suppose. I suppose you could need someone to listen maybe too. I had family and friends for that though. I let a few of Rob’s friends I knew were awake know by calling or texting. I put a message out on Face book. I was numb. I was in a state of shock and disbelieve. He couldn’t be dead. He had just been here and he promised to call me tomorrow. He also bet me on every single game IU had this season. So far I had only lost once. He was suppose to come back to see me again. He couldn’t be gone. Suddenly he was everywhere in my house. I could see him sitting in the chair or helping himself to a water out of my refrigerator. I could see him at the sink drying dishes although I told him to sit down and relax. I could hear his words of encouragement that my test would come back OK in April and if they didn’t he was here for me. I was confused and lost at that moment. Rob was good for me and my ego you could say. He continually told me how beautiful I was and how any man who could not see my inner and outer beauty was an idiot. I’d tell him I need to lose weight and he’d say “you’re perfect just the way you are baby.” He was always there to make me smile no matter how bad my day was and no matter how I might worry about him he assured me he was more concerned for me. It isn’t fair to me. You see life can turn on a dime. He should still be here. He should be happy and smiling and healthy. He had a heart of gold and he will be missed so much by so many. I’m still having trouble adjusting to the idea of him never calling me again. Life can turn on a dime so don’t take one minute for granted. Rest in Peace Rob and know you will never be forgotten. I thank God I got to know you as well as I did. I don’t forget those who touch my heart even briefly. You will be thought of daily and held in my heart where you belong.