Posted in Death, Friendships, Grief, Life

The Startling Death Of My Son’s Best Friend

My beautiful ocean scene with the words an unexpected death
Canva

Sometimes, we just don’t have any good answers for our children, especially when death is concerned. Sometimes, we just cannot make the pain go away. I had to fight myself against issuing generic platitudes to my grieving son because no answers were sufficient for the questions that he had when he lost his best friend suddenly.

Don’t be dismayed by good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends.

Richard Bach

I have four kids and two stepchildren that are the center of my universe. My youngest son, and third child, has suffered a tremendous loss at only the tender age of 13. His best friend and sidekick died. For the sake of his family’s privacy, I will call this young man Daryl in this article. Daryl will be remembered by more than his family. My son is going to make sure of that.

Daryl was a bright thirteen year old boy that liked to play video games online and basketball outside of my house with the local neighborhood boys. My son, Nolan bonded with him quickly over their mutual love for Kobe Bryant, dark humor, video games, and attitudes.

Daryl had fought and overcome cancer three times in his short little life. He had most recently gotten the stats to indicate he was beating it again.

You never heard him complain, but he had a life filled with pain. He would be missing in action during the worst parts, but continually stayed in contact with my son via online messaging. My son was not one to talk about it. Like many boys are apt to be when it comes to emotions, he dealt with it in his own way and still does.

When COVID came around, Daryl was confined to his room. His immune system was already battered so his parents weren’t taking any chances by not issuing a strict quarantine. They spent the summer playing video games online and plaguing each other with dark jokes and pranks. They were showing their love as boys will.

School

Three days before school was to be let back in session, Daryl’s mom went to wake him and found that he had passed away in his bed. Though he was beating the cancer, he had passed away from a sudden aneurism.

Nolan found out later on that day and came to tell me right away. They had played on the X-box the night before and he seemed fine, my son told me in shock.

As grief tends to do, it had a delayed reaction on Nolan. He would forget for a moment and then he would go to text him and remember. He would get online and remember.

I believe the grief took a toll on his immune system because within days he was fighting a huge swollen gland from a sudden bout of mono and strep throat. Days after getting on antibiotics, he developed a mono rash. He ended up missing the first two weeks back to school.

I didn’t realize how deep the friendship had gone until I took him to school on his first day. Signing him in, the office staff all gathered around and hugged him and told him how sorry they were. It seemed that the boys were something of a duo at the school.

A beautiful art general

Art

A few weeks later, I came home from work and went to greet all of the kids, which is my routine when I come in the door. After I greet the animals, of course.

I found Nolan in his room thumbing through a journal. He told me that for art class they all had to keep an art journal with drawings, thoughts, and the such. He said that after class the art teacher had given Daryl’s art journal to him.

Without me even telling him, he told me that he wanted to make a copy for himself and carry the original to Daryl’s mother. The image of the young boy’s self painted image in the journal made tears well up in my own eyes. Not to mention the fact that my teenager, famous for no empathy towards anyone but himself within our household, was showing empathy towards Daryl’s family.

I took the journal to work and made the copy. It was filled with what you would expect from a thirteen year old boy being forced to journal, but I knew the gift would be a priceless artifact given to a grieving mother. Another link to a love like no other.

This will not be the last time my son experiences a tragedy. I am proud of the way he has handled this loss and the way he continues to keep Daryl’s memory alive by talking about him. All too often, people try and drown pain away by ignoring it. Only by dealing with our emotions will we ever truly heal from any heartbreak or pain.

There is no explanation for a life cut that short. I won’t lie and say it’s part of a plan I’m not privy to. The only thing I can say for sure is that where he went has to be so much better than what he went through here during his short, pain filled existence.

Hold your loved ones tight. We never know when a moment will be the last.


I know this was a depressing article so if you would like to laugh now, here is a link to my latest Medium article about being a Golddigger!


Posted in Art, Health, Ideas, Life

Finding Peace In Art

As I am going through some health/mental issues, I have been surprised with how much art has helped me.

I have never been very good at it, but it can be learned just as any other skill. for the time being, I am just using art to cope with all the changes in my life.

Achicken painted with acrylic paint
A chicken
A heart shaped mosaic  To help my friend with the passing of her mother
Mosaic heart made for my friend
Digital art
A flower made with digital art on an app
Digital Art from Author

I have every faith that I will be OK, but when I get nervous I will continue to use this as an outlet. I also welcome any other suggestions!


Posted in animals, Humor, Life

What The F**k Is Happening?

Questions I need the answers to

What is happening? Eight Questions Nobody Is Asking

The older I get, the more confused I get. What the f@@k is happening? Is the world going to shit? Or am I old enough now to start to notice what has always been visible to everyone else?

I get confused by the hatred that is generated by adults. I get confused by violence and hate and racism and misogyny. I get confused and angry about animal abuse and elder abuse and child abuse. But, I think these are things we all get confused and angry about. We all should anyways.

This article is about some other things I have been confused about recently. These things probably aren’t what most of you normal people even think about. I just assumed normal people thought about cream of wheat and Jeopardy. And the weather, obviously.

But, if I have pondered about these odd things, I know at least one other person has as well. I can’t be the only one noticing these things. If I’m not though, why is nobody talking about this?

Image for post
Juja Han Via Unsplash

Foot fetishes: What in the ever loving f&@k?

What happened during these peoples formative years to make them turn out like this? At what point did they decide a foot was a sexualized object? Beyond that, do they fantasize about marrying a foot? Do they want to date the foot? Or is it just another thing to assault with a penis?

And what part of the foot is it that is sexy? The hammertoes with the toe jam. Or the crusty ass heels. I am just saying that I have seen some nasty feet and I have no desire to ever get sexual with a foot.

Do they want a clean foot? Or do they want one that smells like feet? How does one make love to a foot? No, I don’t want to look and watch a video. I want someone to tell me. I’ll be less traumatized that way.

Where did roly polys go?

When I was a kid they were everywhere, chilling with their pals the earthworms. Why is nobody talking about this? They are both GONE.

Please bring back the roly poly.

My roly poly was the only pet I had for the first 11 years of my life. Besides the pet rock, but I don’t count that anymore.

I think he probably died every day and my mom just got me a new one from out in the yard. Because he was always on the counter only at 4 o’clock until my bedtime.

Did I really not have any pet? Was that the most genius get my kid a pet move in the history of parenting? I don’t wanna know if that was a different Roly Poly every day. Because I loved one roly-poly whose name was Ronald.

And yes, I named him after the greatest leader this country has ever seen. The clown that runs McDonald’s.

Reagan was the greatest President

I really named my Ronald after the greatest president of all time, Ronald Reagan. I don’t normally like to talk about politics, but I am completely flabbergasted that we have elected this person to run our country.

I think we all can agree that it worked out once having a movie star as a president but, after this latest debacle, I think we should make a rule that anybody in the entertainment industry cannot be president.

Image for post
Unsplash

What happened to long distance and collect calling?

I miss calling people collect. It would be cool if we were notified when we did something that it would be the last time we would ever do it. I didn’t know the last time I played outside it would be the last time.

I didn’t know the last time my son got in bed to watch a movie with me it would be the last time. I didn’t know when I talked to my father it would be the last time.

I’m gonna need somebody to start giving us some warning.

I definitely would have ran some charges up if I had known the last time I was making a collect call. I would’ve made it count.

Why is it good to keep your enemies closer than your friends?

Wouldn’t you get them confused? I don’t want my friends and my enemies all willy-nilly together. They would just all blend together eventually.

I like to keep my enemies strictly over there with the assholes. By over there I mean in a corner or a ditch. Just kidding. I’m a super nice person.

Image for post
Photo by Claudio Swartz via Unsplash

Why would you want in one hand and shit in the other and see which one fills up faster?

My mom used to say this all the time and I still don’t understand what in the hell it means.

Why would you shit in one hand and see if it filled up faster if you wanted in the other hand? That doesn’t even make any sense.

However, my mama is not the type of mama you can argue with or even ask what something means. All of that is considered backtalk and is punishable by an ass whooping.

So if I asked for something and she didn’t wanna give it to me she would just tell me that saying that made no sense at all.

I vowed I would never do that to my kids. That was the first of many lies I would tell myself.



Calling All Plant Parents

Posted in Family, Friendships, Ideas, Life, life lessons, Relationships

What In The World Is An Empath?

Is is just someone who listens to their instinct?

An adult hand reaching down with love to hold the hand of a young child.
Canva

I am a very straight-laced, down to earth person with gypsy tendencies. I can also be described as a redneck with an affinity for leopard print. Also, as a tomboy who loves long, dangly earrings. Or an uptight prude, if you’re listening to my children. So, I’ve always scoffed at those who labeled themselves as empaths.

According to the dictionary, an empath is a person with the paranormal ability to apprehend the mental or emotional state of another individual. However, I don’t think most of us that use the word think of it as paranormal activity. It’s almost as if our souls sense the other person’s soul. Our souls communicate nonverbally.

I just thought I was sensitive and/or paranoid.

As I grew older, I noticed my ability to read the vibes and intentions of others got better and better. Suddenly, I felt the bad vibes of the people I had been friends with for years. I tried to ignore it and told myself I was being paranoid. But, after my vibes turned out to be correct on two back to back occasions, I started paying attention.

The first example was when I started thinking my first husband was cheating on me. I ignored my instinct. I called myself paranoid. I would’ve saved myself a lot of heartache if I had paid attention.

The second time was when I felt a sudden coldness between myself and someone I had considered to be a best friend. She just stopped calling me. I knew instantly she wasn’t my friend anymore, I just didn’t know why. I found out just weeks later that she was badmouthing me to other friends. I realized that I had felt this coming. The reason didn’t matter anymore. I didn’t need people like that in my circle.

I can read the vibes of most people around me and once I focused on that, my sales at work far surpassed the quota I had always worked hard to barely meet. I started paying attention to all of my intuition. It has not led me astray yet, that I’m aware of.

A hand holding a card that says — Let your intuition guide you. You are what you’ve been looking for.
Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash

I have found that when I go with my instinct I never regret it. And I don’t second-guess myself constantly. When I make that decision, I do it with confidence.

I have found myself being right so often now that it’s almost creepy.

I only wish that I had learned to listen to me forty years ago.


Newly Launched: Mila Air Purifiers

Posted in Ideas, Life, life lessons

6 Simple Ways To Boost The Immune System

Tips to boost your immune system
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I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at the age of 22. What started out as just weight, bowel, and digestive issues have now progressed to include joint pain and little to no immune system. I catch every bug my six kids bring around me. I worry constantly that the next virus will be my last one. But, I still have stuff to do here before I go home. I have spent countless hours of my life trying to boost my immune system.

I have employed every method known to man to rev my immune system up. I have spent hours of my life hoping and praying I couldone day function like other people seem to do.

I know I am not alone in this battle, so I am noting things that finally seemed to help me. If I listed the items that were worthless and did nothing but take my money, then you would be here for days reading this.

Vitamin C is no joke

I noticed an improvement within eight weeks once I started taking Vitamin C on a daily basis. Especially, through last winter. At my sisters surgeon, I started taking the 500 mg supplement one can purchase at the drugstore. I definitely could tell a difference.

It is always more beneficial if you are able to absorb your vitamins and nutrition through your diet. But as I work 60 hours a week, and have several kids who eat almost only chicken nuggets, it is easier said than done. So, don’t feel guilty about supplements. Anything is better than nothing, said someone once.

Sunlight makes you look and feel good

Most have heard of the sun’s benefits to both physical and mental health, but a lot aren’t aware that, back in the 1800s and since, many hospitals and physicians recommended fresh air and sunshine for almost everything. Of course, they also prescribed slug treatment, cocaine, and heroin, so maybe this wasn’t the best point to go with.

Regardless, every time I get sick, I will go sit outside for at least 30 minutes per day in the fresh air and sunlight. I can almost feel my body soaking up the vitamins and giving my immune system a boost.

Exercise is terrible but it does work

Exercise is the bane of my existence. I hate it. People that run for fun, especially early in the morning, apparently have never, ever had fun in their entire life. Don’t get angry with me, I do realize that it is some sort of addiction or mental illness. So, I generally keep my mouth shut.

Hatred of physical exertion aside, I am still aware that it’s healthy for you. So in desperation, I do try to combine exercising and housework. I love to multitask! especially when I’m doing two activities I hate.

As much as I hate both of them, these sadistic rituals are good for my immune system. I always feel better after I exercise. And I have felt good the few times I have seen my house totally clean.

Diets do not have to be torture

It is true. Everything we have been told growing up by the FDA, seems to be the truth. I still am confused as to how people are able to an entire food pyramid in one day. I feel amazing if I can do it in a week or two. So, I do count my intake on a weekly basis.

Vegetables, fruits, and chicken soup are essential, especially when you are struggling physically. I also swear by chicken pho. I eat it every time I feel bad. It always helps. I almost feel like it would heal a broken bone, but I will not test that theory out.

Elderberry is the fruit we never knew we needed

I am still skeptical, but the elderberry came to my attention in 2018. That year was a particularly rough flu season and I just knew it was a matter of time before I caught it.

I ordered these supplements online and began taking them daily. I started with the syrup and then I progressed to the more advanced gummy version. I have not gotten the flu since then. I know that’s not a terribly long time, but I accredit this to the power of the elderberry.

Water tastes like nothing

I have spent half of my life hating water and avoiding it. It tastes like nothing and one sip will have you urinating 49 times in a row. I would rather be dehydrated than urinate myself to death. but I’m not 12 anymore, so I realized it was time for me to grow up and enjoy the taste of cool tasteless fluid. Can you tell that I will do anything to boost my immune system?

Taste aside, I admit nothing makes me feel better faster than being hydrated. It makes a huge and immediate difference in the way I feel. I believe it also powers up our immune systems. It literally is the magic cure for everything.


Whether you are sickly or just wanting to power up your immune system, I hope these tips are as effective for you as they have been for me.

I pray that anyone reading this, and everyone else also, is blessed with good health as we head into another season of doubt and uncertainty.


Newly Launched: Winix Purifiers and Humidifiers

Posted in Ideas, Life, life lessons, love, Marriage, Relationships, tips

Ways To Find A Person Worthy Of Your Love

How I met an amazing man after two awful marriages

A young couple enjoying romance and true love on a beautiful beach.
Art By Author using www.canva.com

After two horrible marriages, I was absolutely determined never to fall in love again. My heart was battered and bruised and I had my children to raise alone. I was also financially devastated since neither one of my husbands had ever opted to pay child-support.

People with similar values, lifestyles, and goals will find each other. It is as if our hearts are radars that search each other out in the dark. This works for the bad as well, I would think.As much as this is true, it is hard to find people that have the same exact beliefs as someone else does. It is even harder to find someone that is worthy of your love. It seems to get harder the older you get. Or maybe you just put up with less.

After dating and marrying two men that could not have been much worse for me, I finally found a love worthy of my heart. I just got remarried for the third and final time. I found a man that treats me like a Queen. He puts up with enormous amounts of my shenanigans. He is everything that I never thought really existed. He is stable and responsible. He is the peace to my flame.

I was not looking for love. I wasn’t trying to find him or anyone else. I was not dating at all. I was focusing on myself, my children, and my future after a traumatizing second marriage. It turns out things can go from bad to worse, as I learned in that second marriage.

People ask me all the time how I got so lucky to meet such a good man. They obviously don’t know about my first marriage or my second. This made me think about what I had done differently this time. I also took a closer look at some of the other people I knew that were lucky enough to find true love.

Social events can serve a purpose

As for my happy ending, I met my amazing husband through my neighbor at a cookout. My neighbor had been trying for a while to set me up with this friend of his, but I just wasn’t interested in dating at the time. I actually had no intentions of ever dating again much less getting married.

I went to the cookout, at my next door neighbor’s house, more out of boredom than anything. I knew some friends would be there and needed an excuse to socialize with some wine. Suddenly, my neighbor walks up alongside this tall man and I knew instantly what was going on. I was not interested, but I wasn’t rude. We chatted for a moment and then it was time to eat. He wandered inside to get his plate.

A few minutes later, he reappeared and I was shocked to see that he had made me a plate and had brought it to me along with a chair. He had even buttered my corn. Fast forward to now. We are married, I am madly in love, and we still say he won me by buttering my corn.

Not all people online are creeps

Believe it or not, two of my favorite married couples both met on Match.com. This really surprised me. I had always thought online dating or apps like Tinder were for just hook ups. I was wrong. I was told most people that are serious about finding love go to the paid sites. The people that are just looking for hook ups go to the free sites such as Tinder. Don’t kill the messenger, that’s just what I was told.

Schools and dog parks have plenty of similarities

90% of the couples I questioned met in school. They either met in high school or in their college years. They all have been together ever since. Personally, I am glad I did not meet my soul mate that early because I was able to have a little bit of fun before my life turned into a total disaster.

One couple I interviewed met at a dog park. Their dogs actually connected first. This is my favorite story of the people I asked. It reminds me of something straight out of a romantic comedy. Once they started talking, they bonded immediately and exchanged phone numbers. He called her that night. They have seen each other every day since then. Only six months later, they were engaged. Eighteen months later, they were married. And ten years later, they are still married.

Weddings don’t have to suck

Going to a wedding does not always have to be awful and soul crushing. One couple that I questioned met at a wedding of a mutual friend. They both contemplated seriously not attending. They are still astounded about how one tiny decision affected their entire life and how close they came to missing it. Remember that the next time you are sitting in your underwear, eating a bag of chips and thinking about skipping that invitation.

It seems to me that the happiest couples found love when they were not looking. They were happy and satisfied with their lives alone. And then, right when they least expected it, the right person came into their lives.

Be kind to others, work on improving yourself and be open to trying new experiences. You just may find the love you have given up on.


This made me curious though. I knew that I played a part in my meeting of them in before him. I was determined that I would do things differently after those marriages, but I never got around to that.I started looking at my group of friends that were married or in love. I asked the seemingly happiest couples about the circumstances surrounding their meetings.