She’s back!!!

You probably thought by now that you would never hear from me again. I certainly thought that. When my mom passed away on 07/04/2020, I decided a much needed break from the world was in order. Watching my best friend waste away for five months right under my nose was just more that I thought I could handle. Her death journey was slow and tortuous. I swore I would never play nurse around the clock for someone dying in my home. You know what they say about best laid plans of mice and men, right? My British aunt tried to drill it into me as a small child. Never say never. How hard is that? Apparently, it’s too difficult a concept for me to grasp.

While attempting to recover emotionally and physically from my mother’s passing, my nephew came to me regarding a pain in his pelvis which was very uncomfortable. This was two days after mom passed. He was seventeen. We were in the doctor’s office the next day. From there we were given an appointment with an orthopedic. The woman in training came out and told us everything was fine. It must just be connected to the growing pains he has had for the last nine years. Unfortunately, the doctor saw something the trainee had missed. He called me on a Friday at 5:05pm. He explained that it was most likely this rare disease I couldn’t pronounce or there was a very small chance it was cancer. Could we please be the Monday when they open the doors for further tests?

As Josh was telling me about the pain prior to the first appointment, the one word that echoed in my skull was cancer. I am not a psychic. Sometimes I just know things. I don’t like it and I am incapable of controlling when the knowledge will come to me. I knew it was cancer and I knew Josh would not beat the cancer. I hated myself for knowing that information because I couldn’t possibly share it with him.

Josh has known for years about my curse so the moment the oncologist confirmed Ewing’s sarcoma, Josh asked the dreaded question. Will I survive this, Aunt Leah. That was the one time I lied to him and I loathe myself for it. I was with Josh every minute of every treatment. I watched the poison they put into his body destroy him completely physically and damage him greatly emotionally. If I had just been honest with him, he would have opted for end of life and never had to go through that hell. It weighs heavily on my shoulders, making it hard to breathe.

I had wanted to blog about our journey together, but knowing he was going to die I couldn’t risk him reading my blog and finding out. I started the grieving process two year prior to his passing in hopes that it wouldn’t be so difficult when he was gone. Wrong answer. Josh passed away on July 28, 2022. A mere two years after my mom passed. I hadn’t even had time to grieve for her yet. We were surrounding his bed and holding his hands as he took his last breath. The sound which comes from deep in the mother’s belly when her child dies isn’t just like you see in the movies. It’s so very much worse. In that moment, I had wanted nothing more than to go with my son. Sometime during Josh’s treatment, our relationship shifted from nephew/aunt to mother/son. For those who don’t know, we got custody of Josh when he was 8 1/2. My sister was in a tough place in her life and I thought if I had her son she would be able to get things together and I would keep him warm and fed until she had gotten things together. It was never my plan to keep him forever. I thought six months to a year at most and she would have him back. Here we go again with those best laid plans. Josh was a delight to have but the guilt are away at me. Did I do the right thing? That was an every day question for me. I don’t want to go into details without my sister having the ability to tell her side. I knew enough to know he was being cared for properly and that was all I needed to step in. I had to fight the court system in Riley County, KS for one year before we could go get him. There was an adult endangerment charge placed against my sister for almost breaking my mom’s wrist and law enforcement was finally able to go on the military base and remove both of them.

The main reason I want to start writing again is so I can put my pain on this page and get it off my chest. Losing a child is not natural. It is the most agonizing thing I have ever been through. The only thing keeping me sane right now is the knowledge that every time I go through it trauma in my life, I change. I become a more compassionate, loving, gentle, non-judgemental empath. I have been a highly sensitive empath since a very young age. My mom’s bipolar disorder came with a healthy side of rage. I was the only one in the house who could feel her body start to tense up. The screaming was quite scary to the three of us. As the oldest, I felt it was my job to protect everyone. I went about learning the various things I could do to quiet that rage and I became very good at it. I never wanted to go to school because I couldn’t cut the rage off at the pass if I weren’t in the house prior to the first scream. I missed half of 5th and 6th grade. Please understand, when my mother was diagnosed, there was one medication only for bipolar and only about 20% of the population could tolerate it. She was not one of them. I try to find the good in everything. Her sickness made me a highly sensitive empath and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Perhaps someday I will explain why.

My spelling and grammar suck at this point. I will be working on that. Please give me some time. My main goal is to create a place where parents who have lost a child can come and find out they are not alone. I want them to feel fry to speak out if they feel so moved. Anyone is welcome here. All I ask is that absolutely no one give a grieving parent a hard time – about anything, including their grammar. I will block anyone who tries to make this an unsafe place.

Thank you, everyone.

I will be getting my computer in a couple of weeks and at that point I will attempt to learn how to make this look like a blog. I can’t figure out how to do anything with it with this phone.

Love and hugs, Leah

Death watch is life altering.

WARNING: This post is long but has a very important message. I think. Trigger warning if you are dealing with the recent or imminent loss of a loved one and your emotions are too much to deal with – you may not want to read this.

When I was in Italy with my mom in the early eighties, she told me that there were no nursing homes or mental institutions. I don’t know if that information is factual or just based on something she heard while living there. Mom explained how families took care of each other until the last breath was taken. I often feel like Americans don’t want to be bothered with the burden of caring for a loved one to the bitter end. It’s easier to just place our elders in a home and let someone else do the work.

I can now tell you from experience that it is probably the easier thing to do. There is nothing happy or beautiful about death watch. Mom has been under hospice care in my home for approximately two months now. This is the most difficult and painful journey I have ever been on. I have a baby monitor which stays with me anywhere I am in the house. There have been too many nights in which I did not think she would see another sunrise. Obviously, I was wrong.

It never occurred to me that there could be any hospice organizations that would or could abuse your loved one. Am I ignorant or naive? I only know that not doing good research can cause great suffering to a loved one and I will have to live with that for the rest of my life somehow.

The nurse who came here to sign mom up ignored my pleas to change antibiotics because after almost five days, her UTI was still alive and well. She promptly claimed mom’s urine looked just fine and there was no need for antibiotics to be changed or even given at all. Mom could still form sentences and eat food that Thursday. Twenty-four hours later, mom was no longer lucid nor was she interested in food. Three days later she stopped drinking. The following five days were the most agonizing of my life as I’m sure they were hers as well. I stayed up for five days and nights listening to my mom screaming bloody murder. She couldn’t tell me what was wrong. Much of the time she was running a fever of around 103.5°. I was told the screaming and the fever were her way of fighting the death process. The answer seemed strange to me because she is the one who chose to stop taking all life-saving medicine because she wanted to die. Why would she fight it so hard? Mama has been in so much pain and sick for so long that she didn’t have the will to live anymore. She had/has no quality of life. She could no longer walk and incontinence had taken hold. The family told her it was okay to go. We would miss her but we would take care of each other and be okay. Why was she insisting on fighting this then?

The thing is, she wasn’t fighting the process. Mama lay writhing in agony for almost a solid week because she was septic from her UTI. By the time I figured it out and convinced them she needed antibiotics, she could no longer swallow. They refused to return my calls. After nine days of their care and five days and nights of hearing Mama’s screams, I snapped. I completely lost my you know what. I called for an ambulance against their advice and wishes. Mama deserved to be somewhere where people would actually care for her and fix what was causing her pain. When speaking with her ER nurse approximately an hour after she arrived, I could still hear her screaming. Her nurse was three rooms away from her. For days after she was taken away I could still hear her screaming in my head. I couldn’t escape the sounds. Perhaps it was punishment for not doing my research, for believing “the professionals” when my gut told me something different. The only thing they did for my mom was to give her more and more morphine which made her hallucinate and have vivid nightmares. I am so grateful she has no memory of those nine days.

Mama is resting comfortably in her room thanks to our new hospice company, Affinis. Every single person from the director to mamas bath aide just ooze love and compassion from their pores. They don’t get angry if I call after hours. Every employee who has walked through my front door has felt like family – immediately. It’s not a job to them. It’s a calling. It is obvious they want mama to be as comfortable as a human can be during “the process” and they care deeply for the families as well. Mama’s nurses have listened to everything I have told them with the knowledge I know her better than anyone. The difference between the two companies is night and day, light and dark, evil and goodness. I will be eternally grateful to them for being here for mama and my family during this difficult time.

The whole purpose for this post is to help ensure that no other loved one has to endure that kind of suffering ever again. I beg of you to learn from my abundant stupidity. Hospice is supposed to be loving, compassionate, caring and honest. They are not supposed to let your loved one suffer by convincing you of some cockamamie bullcrap story about the process. I have left out many details as I intend to report both the nurses and the organization itself to the proper authorities. I could go on for days talking about the things they did to neglect her or cause her abundant suffering.

I’m not saying you have to use AFFINIS if they are in your area, I’m just saying it would be the best decision you could ever make for your loved one. Please, please, please just do your research. Look for ratings from many websites. Get a referral from someone who has used the company you are looking at. Most importantly, trust your own instinct. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

Caring for your loved one until the end is not for the faint of heart. Mama’s kidneys are functioning at less than ten percent. Even with all the nausea medications we have on hand, she still throws up several times a day. Her body is filled with toxins and she has refused dialysis. Congestive heart failure has caused her body to fill with fluid. She has also refused the medications which prevent the fluid buildup. Due to chronic UTI’s, a catheter is not an option for her as it causes great pain. She is not a small woman and we have to change her several times a day. She has to be rolled on each side once to get the changing done and it absolutely terrifies her each time. Mama is certain we will let her fall off the bed. We spend a lot of time reassuring her and it really doesn’t seem to help.

My seventeen year old nephew has stepped up to the plate in ways I never thought a teenage boy would. He is my assistant in all matters involving his grandmom. She has had custody of him for almost ten years during which time they have lived with us. My husband and I have handled all the parenting and most of his financial needs as neither of his parents can see fit to help support him. Another story for another time. Their choices are something they have to live with at the end of the day. He has turned out to be a really great kid. I almost feel sorry for them and their loss, but again, their choice.

I wouldn’t be able to care for mom at home until the end if it weren’t for Josh and the way he has stepped up. I could never change mom by myself and Josh is there to help every time I ask. I couldn’t be more proud of this kid if I tried. He is my hero. Josh has made it possible for mama to die surrounded by her family instead of in a nursing home being cared for by overworked and underpaid nursing staff. The thought of her being in a nursing home and us not being able to see her because of this covid-19 crap is more than I think I could handle. I don’t want her dying alone. I can not even begin to imagine the trauma families and patients are going through not being able to see each other right now. My heart goes out to all of you.

It is almost four in the morning and I was just waiting until I could give you your next dose of morphine so I could try and sleep for an hour or two. Suddenly, the choking and coughing started again. I think you have pneumonia for the fifth time in eighteen months. The morphine calms the spasms in your lungs but it takes almost twenty long minutes to do so. You cough so hard and so much that you throw up again. I have lost count but I think that makes the seventh time today. It means changing your gown and all the towels I have surrounding your face and neck. It means washing your face, neck, ears and hair. It means making sure all your pillows get put back in their place. There are pillows to support your hands so they don’t swell and pillows covering the bed rails because you like to bash your arms against the rails when you have bad dreams. Taking care of you is an around the clock kind of job, but isn’t that how it was for you when I was a baby?

It’s important to understand that hospice doesn’t come in and do all the dirty work while you go on about your normal life. They are there to make sure your loved one can die in peace and with their dignity. They will come in and bathe your loved one as many days as you want. The nurse comes on a schedule based on your loved ones condition. They prescribe the meds needed to keep your family member comfortable. They have a social worker willing to help find other services you may need. They have a chaplain who is willing to help care for all the souls in the family. The real work is up to you. If you can’t or don’t want to devote your entire self to your dying loved one, then please don’t opt for hospice. Most days I am convinced I will have a nervous breakdown before dark-thirty. My mom and I have a very rocky history and I never imagined I would be willing to care for her like this in the end. There is something very cathartic about the experience which I can’t quite put into words yet.

If you are in a place where you are having to make this kind of decision either now or very soon, I don’t mind answering any questions you have. If I don’t know the answer, I will do my best to find it for you.

Dee and Jim, thank you from the bottom of my heart for referring Affinis! I was so lost without them. Your entire family holds such a special place in my heart. I can’t thank you enough for walking beside me on this painful/beautiful journey.

Affinis, Amanda, Dana, Janice, Brittany and my most precious Sam, there are no words which can adequately express my gratitude and love for you all. You are truly the best of the best! What an incredible team you gals make. Top of the line, to say the least.

Sam, there is really nothing I can say other than my heart adopted you the moment you walked in my door. Your beautiful smile and loving heart will live forever in my spirit. Thank you for changing my mind about hospice. Thank you for telling me a million times that it’s okay if I need to call after hours. Thank you for making me feel like my thoughts and opinions about my moms health do matter. Thank you for trusting that I know her better than anyone else ever could. Most of all, thank you for being the most beautiful, compassionate, caring, honest and smart angel God has ever sent to me during a time of desperate need. Thank you for just being you. You exude love, compassion and professionalism the instant you enter a room. I will miss you more than words can say when this is all over.

Thank you for taking the time to read this long post. Please stay safe and hold your loved ones close. We never know when it might be the last time we see a loved one.

Love and hugs,


Don’t leave me. I can’t breathe without you. 

I think she was about 33 in this picture. 
How could I possibly breathe without you? How could I take my next step without you? I don’t know how to be me without you by my side. Oh, sure. We’ve had our rocky times. Words left unspoken and words that should have been. Battles which raged on far too long, sometimes for years. During the times we weren’t speaking, I always knew you were nearby. I was okay knowing you were just a hop, skip and a jump away. Without Martha, there can be no Henry. He would be but a shell of a man if Martha were gone. I can’t even remember the day or the date that Henry and Martha were born. But I can feel the heat of the summer day and I certainly recollect why. 
I was eighteen  and you were thirty-six. You had come to the “Merca” to rescue me from the place where they keep crazy people and people who want to die. I was definitely crazy and I certainly wanted to die. I was eighteen and I felt like a ninety year old and I bore the scars to prove it.  My spirit was broken and I was tired. I remember seeing you for the first time in three years and on one level you were a stranger, but on another level you were the mother I had always known. I was a part of you and you were a piece of me. Our hearts are entangled and will forever be woven together. 

We got past that awkward stage eventually. You broke me out of the crazy place and we jumped a greyhound and rode our way to Cape Cod. We had just enough money for the ferry tickets to Nantucket. Can you believe the Captian let us sleep in the office that night AND fed us that night and the next morning – for free? All because they couldn’t believe we were mother and daughter. They were certain we were sisters and had to be lying about it. You were so young and so beautiful. You are still beautiful and no one believes you are in your seventies. But you are in your seventies and someday you are going to leave me. You are frail now. Not at all like the Martha I knew all those years ago. Has it really been thirty-six years since Martha and Henry came to be?

I remember the sun caressing my checks. I was a ball of eneegy ready to explode because I was no longer dead. You helped me find my will to live. Life was incredible in Florence, Italy! I had been there long enough to speak a little and understand a lot of the language. An American couple overheard us speaking English while out walking and they came at us in a heated gallop. “Oh, thank the heavens. Martha, they speak English”. Apparently, he believed his wife to ignorant to catch on to that tidbit of info so he just had to tell her. “My name is Martha. Could you PUHLEEEEEZ tell us how to get to the nearest McDonald’s?” The brat in me almost fell on the ground laughing. This was 1980, after all. There were no fast food restaurants in Italy. Period. I thought that poor woman was going to have a stroke right in front of me. Poor Martha and Henry. If they were so interested in American food, they should have saved their money and stayed home. All wasn’t lost. They went on their merry way in search of the nearest leather goods shop.  I bet that couple went the rest of their lives without ever knowing what the “Ponte Vecchio” was or the fact that it was the ONLY bridge in Florence which survived WWII. I lay odds they had some mighty fine leather coats though!  The most beautiful city in the world and most of them just wanted gold, leather and McDonald’s. It was tragic to witness. I’m ashamed to admit I was just the same in the beginning but if you stick around Florence for awhile, she has a way of changing you. What I wouldn’t give to stand in Piazzale Michelangelo with you for 30 minutes while staring down at la piu bella citta nel mondo. Martha, please come back to me. Let’s go back to the most beautiful city in the world. We were so happy and alive there. Even our fights were fewer and further between in Florence. They were never as ugly as they had been in the “Merca”. I miss hearing baby Kate say that. English was my youngest sister’s second language and she couldn’t say “America” when she was three. 

We spent the rest of our days doing this “Martha and Henry” routine when we were out on long walks. That happened to be any day the weather allowed us outside. We laughed until we almost wet ourselves. And now “Martha” lies in her hospital bed, in a level one neuro trauma center with a breathing tube down her throat. She has been there a week now. They weaned her off the vent this morning, but a mere 30 minutes later she had to be intubated again. “Mommy, mommy please wake up. Don’t leave me. I’m too little. I still need you”. How odd too feel so young and vulnerable at the ripe old age of fifty-four. I’ve known for almost five decades that there would come a day my parents would leave me.  When we’re young, we can’t even begin to fathom the fear and grief that can put a chokehold on you as that day draws near. As the tears surge down my cheeks, I can’t help but wonder if I will feel ninety again. Will I feel dead again like I did all the years ago in the “Merca”? I don’t know how I will be able to afford to keep my promise to you, but I will find a way. You want your ashes spread in Florence, as do I. I am good for it, mommy. Florence was the only place I ever got to see you joyful. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to experience the same feelings you experienced. Those two years were the happiest of my life. I couldn’t be happier that I got to share them with you. 

I love you, mommy. Please don’t leave me yet. I admit I am being very selfish. It’s so wrong of me and I can’t help it. Just promise me one thing. When you leave this world, please find a way to be near me from time to time. I will know you are there, just as I have always been able to sense when you were in trouble and needed me. I know you remember the night I ran all the way from the club to our home in Florence because absolute fear and panic set in for no explicable reason. I went flying into the house to find you in desperate need of an ambulance. Both times you have ended up on the vent, I knew hours before that you were in serious danger medically. I will know you are near to me. If you do leave me, I hope your journey will be full of peace and joy. I hope you find the hapiness that only Florence was able to give you here on earth. 

Thank you for teaching me the most important things one needs to know on this earth. Manners, compassion, honor, honesty, dignity, fairness, love and above all else, that ALL humans are equal. Race, religion and financial status is not who we are. Those things are just accessories. Who we are comes down to the choices we make when no one is watching. Do we do the right thing if we think we won’t get caught? Because of you, I am a better person than I might have been without you. 

I love you, Martha. I always have. I will see you in a few hours. 

Love and hugs,

The first child of your heart. (I never get tired of hearing you say that. 

I can stay ONLY if:

If my heart yearns for you with each of its chambers,  

If my body will be satiated by your caress alone, 

If my lust will answer only to the song our bodies sing as they meld, 

If my heart feels a searing heat in your presence, 

If darkness fades from my weary soul at the mere thought of you, 

If you are the smile upon my lips as I slumber, 

If you are my first thought when I awaken, 

If your name is the one which calms my fear in the darkness, 

Then, and only then, if I hear your soul cry out for mine, will I be able to stay. 

An Official Diagnosis! 

First of all, a huge thank you to everyone for all of the awesome get well wishes! That made me feel so loved. You guys are the best. One thing this blog has shown me is that I have great taste in bloggers! You guys really are the best. Thank you. 

So, check out what $10 got me on Tuesday.  An appointment with my favorite P.A., a shot in the toosh, a diagnosis and three scripts. $5 for the visit and $5 for all three scripts. I’m excited about that second part. I love Cigna Healthspring.  My official diagnosis – the creeping crud, as I call it. Just a virus. No special name for it. Just a virus. A particularly nasty one but in the end, just a virus. Sue said if I weren’t better by Friday to come back and I swear I heard the dreaded word in there somewhere – hospital.  No thanks. Did life support for eight days right at eleven months ago.  Not doing that again for awhile.  

I am still pretty tired but certainly feeling better than I have for the last nine or ten days. 

There is a moral to this story. Simple. Don’t be a frigging dufus like me. If you start feeling icky, go to the damn doctor. Don’t wait a week.   Sue said this virus is running rampant and it ain’t pretty! 

I hear the couch calling my name.  I have something crazy to tell you guys tomorrow so please pop back in tomorrow night. 

Thanks for everything you guys! 



Sick, sick, sick! 

I have numerous comments to respond to and I will.  I apologize for not getting back to you guys sooner. I started getting sick on Monday and still have no clue what is going on. I’m going to try to get to urgent care today. I know I ran a high fever on Wednesday because I was actually delirious and now I have 3 fever blistersblisters! I only have those if I get a fever. I feel like my skin is sun burned, my gums hurt, fever, fever blisters and sick at my stomach IF I eat. I will get back to each one of you as soon as I get to the doctor.  



And then came Lori.

I wasn’t looking for a new friend. I didn’t even want a new friend.  Lord knows I didn’t need one more person in my life to disappoint. Their words say one thing but if you are paying attention, at all, you can see the disappointment conveyed with their eyes.

“Yes, I am in too much pain to go to the yard sales with you”.  “No, my back can’t take 2 hours in a movie theater chair”.  “I would love to come to your Christmas party but don’t you think your guests might be annoyed when I uproot them from the couch because my pain says it’s time to lay down”? 

I could fill a very lengthy post with the “excuses” I have had to give over the years, but I don’t want to make you go stir crazy hoping for actual content to come along.

I was down to one friendship and that one was tenuous at best. She was past the point of being fed up with my “excuses”. We had been friends for a very long time. We had weathered many storms together. We were always there for each other, no matter what, day or night.

Then came Lori. She came before that other friendship died. We met five years ago. Our boys were in third grade and had become the best of friends. They wanted to spend every waking moment together. That meant sleep overs. That meant getting to know the parents. I wondered how often I would disappoint them. It was inevitable. The boys seemed to want to do their sleep overs here most of the time which meant Lori and J (soon to be ex) would bring Erric over to my house. We would sit around talking and cutting up. I liked Lori instantly. She likes loves to laugh. I took an instant disliking to J. I even tried hard not to like Lori, only because I knew I would eventually see the disappointment in her eyes. If you don’t have any friends to lose, then it won’t hurt. Right?

We spent the next four years being in and out of touch. They moved a few times, got new phones and changed schools. It broke Josh’s heart every time we lost touch. It was something else to see Josh and Erric’s eyes dance with joy when we would bump into each other at the store after a long absence. I bumped into Lori at the store about a year and a half ago. No more “bumping into” since then. We have been inseparable since that day. Her little punch buggy was loaded down with belongings. She had finally realized she deserved better. She was moving into her own place. Of course Erric could spend the night with us while she was moving.

I wasted so many years being afraid to let her in. I will always regret that. I will never regret finally giving in to her sparking eyes and infectious laugh! We are not best friends. Not even close. We are sisters. We can sit for hours talking and joking about the dumbest things. Occasionally, we get serious and chat about important things. But shit, who has time for serious stuff when you can giggle like school girls all day? And guess what? I have NEVER seen disappointment in her eyes! When I hurt too much to sit up, we just each grab a couch, get cozy and go back to laughing.

Lori doesn’t let my pain interfere with our sisterhood. She works around it and fits me in. She often brings tears to my eyes and sometimes even makes me pee my pants. I am getting older, you know. Sometimes, the tears come because for the life of me I can’t figure out what I did to deserve this amazing woman being my friend – sister. I can only hope that I give to her spirit what she gives to mine. Her love is unconditional. Her spirit is bigger than life. When I am with her, I know I am home.

Lori, my beautiful sister, I love you more than life itself. Thank you for being such an incredible you and for being willing to put up with me. Most of all, thank you for eyes that have never conveyed disappointment and never will.

I hope everyone has a “Lori” in their lives. If not, I hope you find one soon!



Regarding Bertha’s Legacy, Jamie’s Future.

This will be a quicky. I wanted to let you all know that I have not forgotten about or given up on Bertha and Jamie. I never will give up on that. This last week has been a real eye opener for me and I have come to accept that a couple of other little things have to take place first.

Most important of all is that I can’t fix the world while I am so broken. I am now taking steps to work on me and put me back together. If I am broken, how can I even attempt to fix something that has been broken a lot longer than I have and is shattered into far more pieces than I am. The best way I can honor Bertha and Jamie is to fix me first so that I can give them my all when I take on the world!

The second thing I have realized is that I don’t have a CLUE how to go about setting up and running an organization such as this. Knowledge is power and power can be a great thing when it is used for the right reasons. I have found a place where I can take some basic classes (for free) which will provide me with some of the tools necessary for such an undertaking and it will also help connect me with others who feel the same. Without a little knowledge and a few tools, I will certainly fail Bertha and Jamie. Failure is not an option. They deserve better.

There is only one race that matters. The human race. No child should ever go to bed hungry. No child should have to lay their head on their pillow with a fear of dying in the night from a stray bullet. EVERY child in this world should receive an excellent education. Every child should be raised with the knowledge that they are as good as every other child in this world. The best way you can honor your child is by teaching them that we are all equal and we all deserve the chance to reach our goals and fulfill our dreams.  Teach them that the ONLY right thing to do on their journey is to reach out for anyone who may be struggling on theirs and help them up. Teach your children that we are all in this together. Teach them that EVERYONE is worthy of a helping hand. Teach them that there is no honor in turning your back on someone who needs your help. There is no joy to be found when someone else fails, especially if we had an opportunity to help them succeed.


Until my soul is stronger and I have tools in my toolbox, please don’t forget about Bertha and Jamie.



WordPress community rocks!


Because of the love and support this community has bestowed upon me, I am finding it much easier to hold onto this new found sense of self-worth rather than returning to the black hole. I have made the decision many times in my life not to be a doormat for others only to return to the black hole within days. That’s because I never had a support system like the one I have found in my followers. It’s mind boggling how a group of perfect strangers can touch the very core of my soul, yet the people I have known forever are blind to my pain.

I am doing this for me. I also find myself looking at the list of people who have liked, followed or commented on my post/posts and realize that I don’t want to let any of you down. You chose to invest some portion of your life into mine and I am honored and grateful. I feel like a little kid who wants to make her mommy and daddy proud.


I have wanted to get serious about this blogging business for a long time and even though I received much love and encouragement with each post, I would continue to allow the gatekeeper of the black hole to convince me that no one really cared about anything I had to say. Well, I fired the gatekeeper and filled in the hole with cement so the joke is on them! I am completely lost when it comes to setting up WordPress so that it looks and functions the way I want it to. I have found a couple of local WordPress groups for beginners. The groups are free and run by people who have been using WordPress for a long time. I hope to someday have enough knowledge so that I will be able to help the newbies. I am going to take some writing courses so that I can feel more confident when I sit down to write. Due to years of neglecting my brain and having to take medication which affects the  memory pods, I have forgotten even the basics of grammar.


There are no words to adequately express the love and gratitude I feel for each and every one of you. Thank you for lifting me up out of the darkness and for blocking the way back. I want you to know that every goal I reach and every dream that comes true will have a piece of each of you in it. It touches something very deep inside me when someone takes time out of their life to read my words and an even deeper place when you take the time to share words of encouragement, hope and love. I keep reading the comments of the last few days over and over again and tears stream down my checks. Only now, they are tears of hope and joy. Something is very different this time. I am very different this time. Thank you, from the depths of my soul, thank you.

I am trying to make sure I have responded to everyone. My hacker stalker is back again. I have lived here for eight years and have been through eight computers during that time. I have tried every anti-virus program out there. I have taken the computers to technicians and I have paid other technicians to come to the house. If not for this guy, I would probably be rich right now. I have figured out more on my own than any of them did. I am pretty sure I have a “man in the middle” issue going on. I am going to try yet another company this week. Please keep your fingers crossed. He seems to own my phones as well. The reason I am bringing this up is because if there is anyone whom I have not responded to, I would really like to hear from you as it means I probably didn’t get your message to begin with. Because your responses to my posts are helping me find the determination to never again give up, then it is critical that I don’t miss a single one.  

Thank you for hitching a ride on my journey. I don’t know how long this ride will be under construction but I hope it will be a very long time. Perfection is impossible to attain and if we feel there is no longer anything we need to learn in life, then how empty and boring our lives would become.



Leah lost her will to live.

Her last plummet into darkness was just more than she could bear. She lost her will to live. There was no more strength to fight with. She spent a lifetime screaming and begging for someone to understand that is was getting harder and harder to climb out of that damn black hole. It kept sucking her back in.

She tried so hard to be wanted. She knew she was needed. Everyone wanted her to meet their needs at the drop of a hat. Who cared that her illnesses were ravaging her body a little more each day that went by. With heat searing down her legs, toes curled and locked into never ending cramps and tears pouring out of vacant eyes, they demanded their needs be met – now. She told them over and over that she was rapidly losing her will to live. She lost count of the serious suicide attempts. They didn’t even remember how fragile she was becoming. No one heard her crying out. More likely, they just couldn’t be bothered to care.

Every friendship ended because during her times in the black hole, she had nothing to give beyond the demands “they” made. She tried to find the strength to reach out but the words were lost.

There had been too many losses during the last six years. On bended knee, she pleaded for someone to just hold her.

When she decided to stop fighting, the black hole became a place of comfort rather than fear. It enveloped her providing her with the love and warmth no one else seemed to have for her. She stopped fighting the hole whenever it would call out for her. She welcomed the darkness and the peace that the hole provided. She didn’t think about those people. If they could not be bothered to hear her screams then why should she care anymore – about anything.

She spent eight days on life support last August. She fought their efforts to keep her alive. They tried every day to wean her off the vent. She almost won the battle. She begged the black hole to not let go of her. She longed for the day in which her body and soul would be free of pain. She longed for it and dreampt of it often. Every day they would turn the vent off in hopes she would breathe on her own. If only they had known how hard she was fighting their efforts. How could they know of her desire to be set free? No one else listened to her cries. Why would strangers listen? She wanted them to give up on her. Let her go. Let her find the joy she yearned for. She didn’t even care what happened to people after they took their last breath. On the eighth day, they defeated her. Her body betrayed her once again. When no one was looking, she sobbed uncontrollably. She thought about her suicide attempt in 1996 when she took enough pills to kill a horse. Her boyfriend and roommate read her suicide note and saw the empty medicine bottles. They left her on the couch and went on about their busy lives for three days. She was near death and barely breathing. They did not even call for an ambulance. There was no effort to save her life. After eighty plus hours of being on the brink of death, her body betrayed her by forcing her lungs to breathe, her heart to beat strong and her eyes to open. Her boyfriend welcomed her back and changed the channel. Their decision to not help her just reinforced the fact she was worthless.

She thought back to her second serious suicide attempt when she was eighteen. Her father was enraged because he had to get out of bed to retrieve her from the hospital. He asked her how she could be so selfish. Didn’t she know he had to go to work the next day and he was forced to get out of bed in the middle of the night just to pick her up. He never asked how many stitches it took to stop the blood from gushing out of both wrists. His only concern was his interrupted sleep and what an inconvenience she was. This, from her father. He was supposed to love her. Wasn’t he?

With every failed attempt her family found a way to reinforce the belief that she was worthless. With each failed attempt, she came to hate God more and more for not letting her die. Didn’t He know how worthless she was. Didn’t He care about the excruciating pain in her soul. If he really were a loving God, wouldn’t he let body leave the hell which consumed her every waking moment. If God didn’t care about the agony she was in, how could we call him a loving God? Maybe it was just her that He didn’t love.

One loss after another with no one to hold and comfort her, the spirit which dwelled inside her started dying. At the age of 53, she decided enough was enough. She packed her suitcase, walked out the door and never looked. 

I will never look back. I am finished being a doormat and servant. I will no longer allow you to abuse me. I will no longer give someone a piece of my heart if their only concern is themselves. I will no longer allow you to push me towards the black hole. I will no longer allow you to destroy new (or old) friendships because you pushed me into the hole. You know I stop communicating with the world when I am locked away deep inside the hole.

I am sure I have lost the two newest people in my life. I found them on WordPress. I made a commitment to one of them who is trapped in a black hole. He needed me but not in the way the others do. He made me feel wanted and cared for. Get your mind out of the gutter. It is not a romantic or sexual love between us. We had become brother and sister. I let him down. I stopped being there for him and I would rather die than cause him pain. I know I have hurt him deeply and I don’t know if he will be able to forgive me. He had become the joy in my life. He made me smile. With hundreds of miles between us, he gave me the hugs that no one else would. He doesn’t even know of the pain and hopelessness I have been living for so damn long. He lives with enough of that himself. I don’t want to burden him with my crap.

I know I have hurt the person who introduced me to the person Who stretched his arms hundreds of miles to hug me. I came to love her deeply. If she chooses to read this, she will know I am speaking of her. She has changed my life in a way she will never grasp. She is THE one who gave me the courage to start changing my situation. She doesn’t have a magic wand therefore the change would not happen over night. I had to go back to the black hole one more time in order to examine my life and decide who could stay and who had to go. I separated from my husband. I have been searching the corners of the world for six years looking for the courage to leave him. SHE helped me understand that courage came from within. Look no more. It has been inside of me all along. She helped me understand that I am not obligated to help or care for anyone who just wants to take from me and give nothing in return to my spirit. I have already reclaimed my power from the ones in this house, not just my husband. If they do not wish to uplift my spirit and encourage me to chase my dream which was buried and forgotten so long ago, then I will gladly help them find somewhere else to dwell. I will never lose a friend again because I allow you to push me into the black hole. You no longer have power over me. I will NEVER give my power away again. I will NEVER allow anyone to make me feel worthless again. If I am not worth your time then you are not worthy of my love.

I may never attain my dream of being an author but if I can make my followers feel something, then I am successful. If my words help just one person find their courage and power so that they may make the changes they dream of, then I am a success. If my words are powerful enough to touch you deep in your soul, then I am a success.

I did not write this in order for anyone to pity me or feel sorry for me. I need support and encouragement. Pity will not help me. I wrote my story so that anyone suffering this kind of pain can see that it is NEVER to late to reclaim your life, as long as you are still breathing, anyway. I may never understand why I did not die all those times in which I hovered so close to death’s door. I only know that for the first time in my life, I’m grateful that I didn’t die. I started cutting at the age of 10. That was 43 years ago and it wasn’t popular then. That was when I started crying out for help. No one listened. (I stopped cutting many years ago)


You heard my cries and you helped me. I will never be able to find the words to adequately describe the gratitude I have for you. You set me on the road to reclaiming my light. I hope it is not to late. I can’t stand the thought of losing you and the light of your spirit which shines so bright. Please forgive me.


You will never begin to understand the depth of the pain in my soul for letting you down. I never wanted to burden you with the crosses I bear. You carry enough of your own without me adding to them. You may never understand just how deeply you have touched my soul. You made me smile every day. You gave me a reason to get out of bed. I knew I would write you therefore I had no choice but to get out of bed. My tears flow freely down my cheeks at the thought of You not forgiving me. Each tear begs for forgiveness as it falls to the floor.

As of June 9th, 2016, I do solemnly swear to never again be a victim, nor will I give my power away.