Archive for the ‘Mother’ Category

I posted on a MamaKats Writer’s Workshop about my best friend and about how his mother, in a way, saved my life. The way I meant it was that my life could have gone in a very different direction than it did and I could have been one of those kids who hung out at the handball courts after, and even during, school with crazy long hair and smoking medicinal cigarettes <wink>. Nowadays, it may not mean the same thing but back in my day, the kids on the handball courts were the burnouts and smoked both legal (age restrictions to purchase cigarettes did not exist when I was in High School) and illegal substances.

Mom Miller kept me in line from that. I honestly do not think that was her plan, but it worked anyway. I think her plan was that I was her son’s best friend and the only one of his friends she liked and never banned from going over there… ever.

Anyway, she treated me loosely like one of her own. If you have been reading my posts, you know that my mother passed away almost 8 years ago from cancer. It took me a while to deal with everything and blogging helped a lot with that. No one read those posts, except for my one close friend from downstate. My thought was that if I am going through something like this, someone else is probably going through the same and if I help even one person then I would be glad I helped.

Well, about a week and a half ago Mom Miller passed away from Cancer. Oh Cancer, how I hate thee! I received the text from Mark at 6:32am. I had no idea he was even going down to Florida to see her. If I had I think I would have done what I could to get down there. Not only to say goodbye, but to also be there for the best friend any guy could ever hope for.

I think I feel a little worse than normal because she was up in mid-May. I had pneumonia, but Mark put together a little BBQ for mother’s day, even though it wasn’t mothers day. When he told me I told Erica that I wanted us to go. We went but she was not feeling well enough to go. I wanted to go see her, but they said she was leaving on Thursday but she actually left on Wednesday morning… the day I was going to see her. So I didn’t see her.

Now she is gone. She was tough. She was VERY tough on Mark but I think it was because her and he was very similar and neither wanted to admit it. They had a funeral service in Florida but it sounds like they are having a service and burial service here in New York. She lived here in NY for most of her life. Her two sons and daughter-in-laws are here. Mark’s older brother is in FL, but her sisters and mainly the entire family is here on Long Island.

I feel bad I didn’t go more out of my way to see her when she was here over a month ago. I will definitely be there for the funeral showings and be there for Mark in any way I can. I called him but he didn’t know what was going on at the time and said he would call me later. That was a few days ago. It’s going to be a difficult for Mark and his family, but this process is difficult for anyone.

What did you do to help with loss of a close loved one?


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This week I decided to write about a time I was tricked.

At first I thought, “This is going to be difficult!” but then, after only a few minutes I had my post in my head and just needed to put it on wordpress! I think it’s pretty bad that it only took me a few minutes for this to pop into my head. Apparently I was a very gullible kid… but it always backfires in the end!

It was a LOOOONG time ago… in a town not so far away.

I think I was about 11 or 12. I used to love to ride my bicycle EVERYWHERE! I rode distances at 12 years old that some people can’t even do in the 20’s or 30’s! But Long Island was different back then.

Anyway, I had just arrived home from a very long ride. My Aunt Cathy was over and her and my mom was in the kitchen having coffee or whatever relatives do. I walked in, said hello and then went directly upstairs to take a nap. My annoying brother was in the living room watching TV.

I remember lying down and hearing my mother and Aunt talking and then my mother called in to the living room for my brother…


Mother: I need you to go to the store for me.

IDIOT BROTHER: I just got back from going to the store for you!

Mom: Yeah, but I forgot some things. Can’t you go for me please?

IDIOT BROTHER: No. You should not have forgotten anything. It’s faster if you drive anyway.

Mom: You’re an idiot. At least your brother is nice and I can count on him to go for me. Jim!

Me: What?

Mom: I know you will go to the store for me unlike your brother!

Me: OK. What do you need?

I still remember the smirk on my Aunts face as I had not yet realized I had been duped into going to the store for my mother. I didn’t realize it until I was halfway there that she was just buttering me up so I would go for her.

When I got to the store, I remember what she wanted was on sale so I used the extra money to play Pac-Man for over an hour. When I arrived home my mom was upset that it took me so long.

My answer? “You asked me to go but you never said you needed me to come back right away!”

Ha ha. Sometimes the things we remember without thinking about it.

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Dear Mom,

It’s been 7 years now. So much has changed in those 7 years… and I REALLY wish you were here to talk to and share everything.

Both myself and Erica wish you were here to talk to. There have been times she has told me she wished she could have met you and talked to you especially at times before our wedding and, with her parents being so far away in Maine, to help with the wedding plans. But that was over 2 years ago.

You now have another grandchild. We had our first baby, a girl, on June 22nd. Believe it or not, Erica came up with the perfect name for her. Probably because when we were thinking of names for her all I could think of is that I wished I could have talked to you and received your input. But Erica came through, as always, and we named her Megan. Remember you wanted to make Kelly’s name Megan but dad and Aunt Joanie convinced you otherwise. Well, this was our tribute to you. We also named her after Aunt Joanie and I think you would really happy since you and Aunt Joanie were so close.

I never told you this when you were alive but I thank you for being the mother you were to me when you were alive. I know I made things difficult at times, but that’s what middle children do J! I know we had many differences and issues along the way, but I am glad things came together when they did and that we did become close many years before the end.

I am REALLY sorry Mom. I almost forgot today was the 7th year of you being gone. Erica reminded me and I am VERY glad she did. I don’t ever want to forget you, but I am starting to and it makes me a little upset. It’s difficult and I really wish you were here to show Megan what it’s like to have a Grandmother like you were to Katie and Kenneth. I know Erica and I are doing things right because she is a snugger and is ALWAYS smiling… except when she is in the sleepy zone and then she just sort of stares at you, and then a few seconds later she is asleep.

Kelly also had another boy who is 2 months older than Megan. He is such a cutie and her and Rob are doing well. They are happy and I talk to her weekly, sometimes daily. I am sure she is getting sick of hearing from me, but she is the closest thing we have to you and some things she says when I need advice – I have to stop for a second to realize I am not talking to you because her advice sounds a lot like something you would say at times.

Kenny is still an idiot. Ha ha. I am not going to get into everything that has happened to him this year, but now he is doing better. He always seems to land on his feet, and this was no exception.

I am getting worried about Dad. He is starting to sound more and more distant and, well, sad. He was doing very well for a long time and lately it’s changed. Kelly and I noticed it as did Erica, but when I talked to him he said all was ok. He misses you, but you know that as he stops up at your grave every day. Except when the weather is too bad, but otherwise he is there every day.

School did not work out as I planned, but I am not giving up. I hope I am doing the right thing that would make you happy, but right now I REALLY wish I could hear your voice and receive your input because I really need it. I am making this last effort and if this doesn’t work out, well, then we will have to rethink what I want to do… but I know I want to be in this field. I know I want to be a Nurse VERY much. I want to help people and fell like I actually make a difference.

I am sorry that I forget sometimes what your voice sounds like and what you look like, except when I look at the few pictures we have of you. I wish you didn’t hide yourself whenever we took pictures when you were here. But the few I have I am glad we have. I have these to show our daughter when she is old enough and tell her about her grandmother. I hope its ok, but I won’t draw you as a Saint to you like some people do with people who have passed. I will honest about everything, but teach her how great a mother you were and that you were an even better grandmother. She will know you did the best you could and were a great mother/wife/grandmother/friend and everything else.

I miss you, Mom. And, although there are now some days I don’t think of you, I do miss you a LOT and try to make sure to not do anything that will make you proud of me.

Now if only Kenny would feel the same maybe he wouldn’t be such a moron! LOL.

Rest in Peace mom. We love you!

Your Baby Boy,


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So today is the first day back to work for my wife after maternity leave… and we she is not happy about it. I mean who can blame her? She hung out with the cutest kid ever and received all the hugs, smiles and kisses a 3 month old could muster.

I mean sure, there was the daily refuse to nap time because she didn’t want to miss anything. She also dealt with the daily melt-down time between 5p-8p because she was overtired. There are also all those sesame street cartoons she played trying to soothe her when she had a melt-down and now all those songs are stuck in her head! I mean, Yo gabba gabba? Really? Was someone high when they decided on that name?

But she is REALLY not happy about going back to work. I have to admit, I agree with her 1000%. I am the one who has to drop her off at the babysitters house (whom we interviewed with and checked references on extensively before choosing her) and I REALLY want to call in sick to work, use some of my 140 hours of sick time and keep her home. But I can’t. Because then tomorrow will come and I will feel the same way. I know it will be easier on Tuesday when I drop her off, but I keep telling myself. It’s only 3 hours a day, 4 times a week! I get her the one day during the week I am off and she has us both on weekends all day for my wife and every other weekend for me.

Knowing my wife was going to be really upset in the morning, I had to do something. I looked up all I could and realized that there are absolutely ZERO greeting cards for an upset mother returning back from maternity leave! So I decided to make one myself.

I put one of our favorite pictures of our daughter on the cover of a generic greeting card and changed it to read:

“One of my favorite things for us to do….”

And I put another picture of myself and MJ inside and it reads:

“is to sit and relax and think about you!”

Then I wrote a message to my wife from my daughter:

To Mommy,

We just want you to know that you are the Best Mommy EVER!! I love that you are the first face I see in the morning (since Daddy is a sleepy head… but I love giving him morning smiles too!) and it makes me sooo happy to see you and lay next to you. You do SO much for us and I love my singing time (especially “I’m a little tea pot” because you look so happy when you sing it to me) and our walk time and our reading time.

I am growing and you and Daddy will be there for all the important stuff like crawling and walking (I can’t want to walk because I think I can catch that cat and give her a bath!) and giggling. You will help me grow up to be the kind of person I want to be… and that is to be just like you! J Just maybe with a few less quirks. I mean I don’t want to check the cat dishes EVERY time I walk past them!

Anyway, I want to thank you for doing all you are so we can everything we need!


MJ (Oh and Daddy)

P.S.-Don’t feel bad. Daddy is going to cry like a little girl when he drops me off. He already told me he wants to call in sick to work but I told him I will be fine!

I can only imagine the difficulty it is for women to return back to work after carry a baby for 9+ months and then bonding with it over the next 3 months or so. I mean I have a slight idea because I was happy when we found out we were having a baby but I never knew I would feel this happy to have her in our lives!

The sad part is life on Long Island is CRAZY expensive and two incomes are really needed in order to pay all the bills comfortably. She knows it’s only a matter of time before I find a job so we can move off Long Island and she can stay home.

In the meantime we are taking things one day at a time and doing everything we need to do to provide the best we can for our little growing family!


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Earlier this month my wife and I went up to Maine to visit her parents, my in-laws. To arrive at their house we have to drive from Long Island, NY, through Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and then finally Maine. It takes usually about 8 ½ hours. In that time there is a LOT of talking going on.

Now if you know my wife, you would know that she is a VERY quiet individual. She is awesome and amazing, pretty and caring but she is EXTREMELY quiet. There are times we are laying in bed and she will say something but I will have to ask her two sometimes three times to repeat herself because she can be so quiet.

One of the reasons I LOVE road trips with her is because somewhere along the route she becomes giddy and she just starts talking and talking and she will go for hours talking about everything and anything. Work, future, kids, jobs, music, TV shows, friends, family, once we even had a discussion about poop!

Well, on our trip I remembered something which made me think about my family and remember how awesome and amazing my family is.

Growing up, my father was a really good father. He had flaws but he did his best to do right by us and teach us to be respectful to elders as well as women.

On the block I grew up on there was this one house, everyone has a house like this, the “troublemakers house”. The family always had their yard looking like a junk yard and they were mean to everyone and everything… unless they were afraid of you. They were afraid of my father so they were VERY nice and respectful to him. Thinking back now, I am not sure if it was my father per se they were afraid of or the fact that 3 of his brothers lived within 6 blocks of us. My one uncle’s house made our street a dead end and my other uncles house was in direct line with our house, one block over so I could literally see the back of his house from my front yard.

Anyway, they had this daughter who must have been 4 or 5 years older than I was. She was mean and ugly, both physically and personality wise, and no matter how nice I was to her, she was always mean especially to me. I mean I never did anything to her and I was, and still am, a really nice person.

Well, she would start an argument with me and when I argued back she would punch me or slap me and since I was brought up to not hit girls, I would not fight back. I have no idea how long this went on for before my mother found out about it. Now I was not a small kid. I was kind of a bruiser, but I was a yeller not a hitter. So no matter how much my mother and father would tell me that hitting her back would be ok, I wouldn’t do it.

SO here is where you would think my mother would have gone over and gone ape shit all over the family and get them to stop, but she didn’t. She did something sneakier and SO much better. She told my cousin Tammy about it.

Well, my cousin Tammy did not take anything from anyone. She was nice to everyone, has a great sense of humor, is pretty and very fair in all things. Well, no sooner did the words leave my mothers mouth than did she take off out of the house, run around the corner to our street and find her. She chased all the way to the end of the road, cornered her and screamed something fierce at her. Basically, she never laid a hand on her but did tell her that if she even looked at me the wrong way she would beat snot out of her.

Not only did I NEVER have a problem with her again but she went out of her way to try and be my friend.

Family is the one of the BEST things we can all have!

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I remember before our daughter was born, my wife would become upset and, well, complain that she would not be a good mother… she was Very far off. She is an amazing mother. She is an even better wife, as soon as she realizes that it’s normal for spouses to have fights from time to time and things do not have to be (and probably will never be) perfect.

We decided to go away and visit her family up in Maine. Her family is great, in their way, and we love them, but my wife has changed so much from when she was younger.

She is now seeing all the things she had to deal with as a child and is not going to allow our daughter to have to deal with those same things. And I am glad because the things her parents hold near and dear to them and how they think kids should act are FAR different from how I was brought up.

Growing up, my parents did have the signature late-60’s 70’s era plastic on the couches, but we were allowed to play on the couches. I remember they had these round pillows that were as long as the arm rest and my brother and I would use them as punching bags and make tons of noise. As long as no one was crying and mom could sleep or talk on the phone, then it was all fine.

My wife was not allowed in her living room unless she was practicing on the piano.

Both of us agree that we will not have any rooms off limits to our kids.

Before we set everything up, they told us that if we wanted to go catch a movie one night they would be happy to watch our daughter for a couple of hours, but they changed their minds the moment we arrived, which is fine, we just take our daughter with us on our adventures such as going to Moose cave and Screw Auger Falls (who names a water fall Screw Auger?)

But then we did get a little grief because our cell phones batteries die fast up here in Maine for some reason. (Most likely because there is no service so they are ALWAYS looking for a connection) Back home my cell battery lasts about 5-7 days before I need to charge it, up here, it was fully charged when I went to bed and was beeping early this morning because the battery was dying.

So at 31 years old she is still worried and stressed that she needs to call her parents if we are running late.

I know growing up, if I was late for dinner my mother would throw a fit. I did not see the big deal. If I was late, it was up to me to make myself something to eat or just reheat dinner, but to my mom it was an atrocity. I knew back then that I would not be that way with my kids. If they are late, then they have to figure out dinner.

We learn from our parents, but as adults we have the ability to pick and choose what we want and don’t want to instill in our children. The old saying is not completely true – we don’t all grow up to be our parents.

This trip has shown my wife many things for her and to me that she has changed so much from when we first met.

We are also learning that making our own rules for OUR family is good, and as it should be.

Will we still come up and visit my in-laws? Absolutely! We just won’t stay with them at their house. We will find a place elsewhere to stay so the kids can be as loud and obnoxious as their father as they want to be! This way we can go out at 9pm or 10pm to do something like get ice cream and not worry about upsetting anyone or waking anyone up when we come back in.

Hopefully by next trip they will want to hold our daughter more and be more “hands on” with her. If not, that’s ok. We won’t mind but I know from how things were with my grandmother that they will be missing out on a LOT of things.

But for now, I am the luckiest guy in the world because I am married to the most awesome woman in the world and next week will be our 2nd anniversary together. It’s only been 2 years so far but I look forward to all the years to come!

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I know its cliché but – as a man, husband and father (soon) – our job is to protect. We are supposed to keep our family and loved ones safe and protect them from harm. We are supposed to fend off the intruder, make the area safe and sound and beat up the monsters in the closet or under the bed.

But what do we do if the monster is impossible to fight? That’s where I am at right now.

Right now I am home, worrying about my wife. Because my poor wife who had some obstacles during this pregnancy and did not complain much, if at all. Because her blood pressure was higher than it should have been and continued to rise, our doctor advised for her to go into the hospital and be induced. So that’s what we did today.

At 6pm we ate dinner and then went into the hospital by 6:30pm.

By 8pm they started to induce her and the doctor and my wife both advised that nothing would be happening tonight and that I should go home. I stayed. I stayed even though I was falling asleep because sitting in a chair while my wife is trying to relax is as much fun as watching water boil.

I stayed until about 10:30 or 11. When I left she seemed fairly comfortable. She had some minor cramping, but nothing too much and she told me to go home and sleep. I told her I will but I will come back in the morning. I didn’t want to go, but I also had a feeling that she would start becoming uncomfortable and there would be nothing I could do to help. Talking with her wasn’t helping. Usually when I hold her hand or massage her head and face, helps… but it didn’t help. She called me 3 times in about 2 hours and each phone call she sounded more and more in pain.

I knew, from my hospital rotations during my OB/GYN clinical, that the pain was going to come. I told her I would come back and she told me not to. But here it is. 3:30am and I am trying to get some rest so I can get up and be at the hospital nice and early and all I can think of is that I should not have left.

Should I have NOT listened to the doctor and nurses and my wife and stayed? I have trouble seeing my loved ones in pain, more so with my wife. I was hoping this pregnancy wouldn’t be troublesome, and it wasn’t. Until she became pre-eclampsic and needed to be induced.

So now I am going to try and get some sleep. I am going to do my best so I can be there for her tomorrow and hopefully I can make her feel better and we can get through this and we will welcome our new edition to our family by tonight and she can start to recover.

Maybe, for once, she will take it easy and relax and let me take care of her for a while… but I wouldn’t hold my breath!

I love you, honey! More and more every day!!!

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