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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Always a Mommy



What a comedic moment I had in a Starbuck’s line on my excursion to NYC today.  While my husband was busy ordering me my usual Grande CafĂ© Mocha I slipped away to the ladies room only to find a woman stationed right in front of the Ladies room door pensively waiting her turn.  I smiled at her and commented that this must be “the line” and I could tell by the look in her eyes.  Her response to me was meant to perhaps shock me but after all I am a mom of a couple of boys Oh... I mean men so not much knocks me over.  She responded with yes, this is the line but you really do not want to be the next one after me especially after the explosion that will take place.  I know she was expecting me to be horrified and run for cover.  I grinned from ear to ear and fished out a pack of matches that I just picked up at Carmine’s, my favorite Italian Restaurant on the Upper West Side.  
 I told her it was a gift for her to use after her bathroom event and a gift for me so that I may be able to use the facilities without noticing she was ever there.   She stood wide eyed and speechless as I gave her my Blessing to christen the throne we both had to share.  I smirked my way back to where my husband was standing  and unbeknownst to me he had witnessed the exchange and wanted me NOT to recant the story to him.   
I decided to make my way across the coffee shop to share my little story with my oldest son who was eagerly waiting to leave for his second interview appointment.  I was all set to share my comedy with him when all at once I caught a glimpse of him.  I instantly became overcome with how grown up he was in his perfectly fitted suit, grown up shoes and overcoat engrossed in his notes housed in his leather portfolio.  
All the years that led to this moment in time flooded my memory and I became in awe of the grown up poised on the Starbuck’s stool.   I choked back tears as I looked into his smiling crystal blue eyes.  Those eyes spoke so much to me over the years and today they held so much hope and promise. 
 I longed for and could almost feel the baby boy I brought home from the hospital 23 years ago.  I asked myself where the time went.  How did it pass so quickly and oh how I wish I could go back in time and cuddle my baby boy just for a few more minutes.  
I came back to reality to share my bathroom story  all the while squelching back tears that kept rising with each memory  I suppressed while smiling and cheering him on for his "Second Interview".
The time came to bid him good luck as we walked out of Starbucks onto 75th St.   He put his arm around me.   I gave him a big hug and watched him walk down the street.   I noted that a confident man was casting a shadow on 75th St. ready to make his mark not as my baby boy but as the man he has grown up to be.
All the while my husband was watching this all play out and reading my thoughts.   He grabbed my hand as we walked in the opposite direction.   Gentle tears rolled down my cheeks.  We did not have to speak words because we shared the same thoughts, emotions and the little boy forever etched in our hearts.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Sept 11th, 2011

Sept 11th, 2011 is the 10th anniversary of the most tragic day in our nation’s history. It is a day that can be marked as a life changing day in so many ways.

Those life changes include some of the following: the death/s of loved ones, injuries that have had life changing effects on individuals/families, loss of business/s, higher usage of anxiety/PTSD drugs, security measures drastically changed for modes of transportation, laws changed regarding privacy, NYC landscape changed forever just to name a few.

Every US citizen regardless of where we reside has been impacted by that fateful day and its tentacles reach far beyond our borders and into our everyday lives.

Our American way of life has changed to include family evacuation plans as well as towns, city and stated hence Homeland Security.

We are constantly aware of what color our threat level is set at before we consider traveling within our region or abroad. We tell ourselves that we will not let the terrorists win and we will continue on with our lives as normal.

Normal’s definition pre 09/11/01 is completely different than what is considered normal today.

I have had to frequently fly these past few months. I have to allow extra time for the security and if I should be detained for reasons out of my control I now purchase travel insurance.

We struggle through security emptying our briefcases, handbags, taking off our shoes and belts. We would feel guilty complaining about the inconvenience of all these procedures put in place to help protect the security of our country and our lives.

When we visit museums, monuments and landmarks we go thru the same procedures to ensure the safety of ourselves and others.

Truth be told the terrorists have accomplished reminding us of their ever looming presence in the shadows merely by having all these security practices carried out every day in our lives.

We are Americans and Americans always rise to the challenges set before us. We have a new defined normal and we have woven it in our hearts and our actions.

We carry the memory of the suffering of our family, friends, neighbors and just plain Americans in our minds and our hearts post 09/11/01.

Just about 9 months from now we will gather as a nation and honor all of the 911 victims and heroes. We will painfully remember the lost, injured and sick as a result of the attack and the after effects.

There is a 911 Memorial Museum being built to honor the lost and YOU can contribute by visiting the Memorial Website  http://bit.ly/911MEMDnte  Sponsor a cobblestone that will be placed on the Memorial Plaza and receive a cobblestone membership card with your identifying cobblestone number. You will also be acknowledged on their website and in the World Trade Center Memorial kiosk.

View my 9 Months & 11 Days Post   http://rosesofdistinction.wordpress.com/

Posted from on the road in Las Vegas Nevada today.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Extra Shorty Contest, Special Edition: "10"

Extra Shorty Contest, Special Edition: "10"


Extra Shorty Contest, Special Edition: “10″

Penned by Chick Lit Shorties 


Mirror mirror, on the wall, who’s the – um, “Ten”ist – one of all? The judges are huddling to crown all the Ten lucky winners…Wanna a teaser?
Yup, thought so! Okay, you talked us into it. Our first winners in the Winner’s Decagon (ya know, a circle, just with – can you guess? – ten sides!)

Winner’s Decagon
Congratulations, Top 2 Voted Stories!
1. kathleen decosmo, #442!
2. Gail Zahtz, #82!
Earn some good karma, stop by our Facebook page and congratulate our winners! We know they’ll really appreciate it. C’mon, you know you would, too. Plus who knows, you might be next!

Saturday, August 14, 2010





 

    Artist Twitter List
  

 

    Kathleen DeCosmo
    is
    on the Twibes Artist Twitter List.
  





Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"Sitting" with Peter Damian Bellis Author of "The Conjure Man"




“Too many writers do not sit long enough with their books and so miss the opportunity to capture the echoes, anchor the emotional impact, make their book what they see in their mind and feel in their soul, but rarely capture on the page. Then again how easy for me to say sit with your book a little while longer; I sat with The Conjure Man for 23 years, and for a variety of reasons, not just because I was sitting with the book (more about that in a later post). But even when I was not sitting with The Conjure Man, I was sitting with it. “  
Peter Damian Bellis  http://threecentsoflimeandiron.com/

“ Sitting” has dominated my thoughts for over a week since I first read my friend Peter’s post.   

“Sitting” is the perfect description of what I do as a designer and what I have yet been capable of conveying to my non artistic friends, family etc.

I “sat” with my roses for a few years encouraged by my friend Shea not to give up and to keep on keeping on.  Hence the name KatieSheaDesigns since without Shea’s encouragement I would not have kept designing.

My very first Rose Design was inspired from a beautiful image of a baby named Amelia Marie.
My first “Rose of Distinction”  http://bit.ly/weliot
was inspired by my friendship with 
Winslow Eliot http://winsloweliot.com/  
Author of “Heaven Falls” and “The Bright Face of Danger”. 

Last weekend we had a Tweet-up In New York  http://winsloweliot.com/2010/05/tweet-up-in-new-york/ 
and I experienced some very interesting and stimulating conversation with all of my friends attending.

My conversation With Peter Damian Bellis last Saturday evening clarified and validated all I have been feeling for the past few years.   He explained to me the sitting process he mentioned in his post last week.   I totally identified with his description of a writer is always writing even when he is not typing or physically writing as well as the importance of “sitting” with a piece until you feel it has been nurtured to your satisfaction and even then…
While Peter was speaking so many thoughts were racing through my mind.    The countless ideas in my idea book I started years ago, the writing pieces sitting on my computer finished, unfinished and the bolts of fabric adorning my office/studio.

To the naked eye I can come across as a scatterbrain, eccentric and unproductive versus the overachieving steam roller from years gone by. 
I am currently reviewing everything I have been “sitting with” and am choosing which designs to produce and pieces to post or publish.  I feel such a sense of peace and validation from finally being able to feel like I can express correctly what others perceive as a lack of productivity.

I have been asked over and over “When are you going to get serious and start pumping out those roses”?    I have tried to communicate that I have not felt it was time yet for me to enter into the marketplace with my roses.   My answer is “I am sitting with them”!
I am currently designing several “Roses of Distinction” and Peter Damian Bellis’s Novel   “The Conjure Man“  
 http://www.conjureman.net/   is one of my inspired designs.

I have begun reading “The Conjure Man“ and can understand why I quote  “One early reviewer said this book might be the best book to come out since Huck Finn“!



Monday, May 31, 2010

Brooklyn ....Memorial Day Weekend Surrounded by Family, Friends, Food and Wine!

The conversations were heartwarming, diversified and comedic.  My husband even had one of the guests prank phone call our daughter asking her just one more time “Is it All about Trendz” a jewelry store in Manhattan that we all could not get straight in our heads.   Maybe it was the sun or the wine or just both.  We laughed so hard we could not breathe as our daughter called us all jerks and hung up for the third time!

My husband’s family have their roots in Brooklyn so many of the guests were from “The Neighborhood” and there was a lot of reminiscing.
Our cousin Big Art joined in and the conversations ranged from how his hearing became impaired by the gunshots that were fired by his ears during his career as a NYC Transit cop to the POW bracelet he wears on his wrist. 
We all examined the copper looking piece and discussed the names and inscriptions.  Big Art can appear to be rough and tumble but is in fact a kind and deeply caring man.  The bracelet has been worn by him since the late 60’s.  The POW represented on the bracelet was dated as missing since 1965.  My husband, myself and a few others recalled our grammar school years during the Vietnam War there were many bracelets worn with names inscribed representing men serving and missing in Vietnam.  Upon further inspection we became aware of another name inscribed more recently.  Big Art explained it was one of “His” that perished 9/11.  We all fell silent out of respect for the fallen.  My heart was silently breaking for him.  Big Art is immersed in taking care of “His own” meaning the families of the 9/11 fallen.  He is extremely proactive in preserving the memories of the men and honoring them.
Big Art, although retired for many years was one of the first responders arriving at the BIG Hole and piles of rubble hoping to rescue any survivors.
All of us briefly flashed back at the mention of the fallen man represented on Big Art’s bracelet to that day of horrifying tragedy, loss and uncertainty. 
My mind flooded with the images of the second plane hitting the second tower and then both towers imploding shortly thereafter!

My husband and I had the longest phone call that day since he was blessed with one of the only working telephone lines.  He was awaiting his assignment from the Hospital he works for.  There were thousands of body bags arriving throughout the city hospitals and all were bracing for a rising death toll and injuries galore.  He was mandated to stay and work for however long it took to take care of the injured.  Phone service in NYC was at a minimum if any, so I was the conduit from the hospital staff to family members informing them of their loved ones safety.  We kept the line open for hours as I dialed on my cell phone and even put the cell phone to the receiver so people could connect and be comforted by the sound of the live voices. 
Hours went by and finally my husband said we had to free the line.  I was deeply troubled since I did not know if this was going to be the last time I would ever hear his voice.  I became immobilized and kept repeating myself in an effort to keep him on the line.  Hanging up with him was like letting go of a drowning man.  I told myself I had to keep it together since we have 3 children and if I looked worried they would be worried.  I left them in school while all this was going on because I needed to collect myself to present to them a calm, confident mother.

Our drive home from Brooklyn brought us right past the World Trade Center site.
I usually do everything I can to avoid that whole area and today of all days we HAD to pass by because of Holland Tunnel traffic.  This time I forced myself to face the Big Hole and the beginnings of rebuilding. 
Our friends James and Shea were snoozing in the back of the Van unaware that they were in the presence of a sacred ground.  All of my senses became heightened and I became acutely aware of utterances, murmurings and physical pain just being in close proximity to this tragic parcel of land.
I feel sad and guilty at the same time.  Sad for all the loss that is still being felt throughout our surrounding area and guilty because I was not in the midst of the first responders. 

I want to do something of significance in remembrance of all those that were lost in the 9/11 attacks.

This Memorial Day let us remember the Men, Women and Children that have FALLEN on our own Soil.




Saturday, April 10, 2010

Grannie Annie Episode 1 million




The other day I received yet another demanding phone call from Grannie Annie, the matriarch of the family.  Grannie Annie is my grandmother and as I have mentioned in previous posts a tough, strong, demanding survivor.  Gazing upon this 92 year old you would be in awe of her beauty and how she is so smartly dressed even at her age.   My grandmother is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  More cunning and manipulating than you could ever give one credit for.

My Aunt and I have made countless trips to the Emergency room the last four months with Grannie Annie crying wolf.  The last time my husband and I received a phone call at 11:30 pm From Grannie Annie telling me she was dying and I needed to get over there so she wouldn’t die alone. 

So my husband and I threw ourselves together and off we went.  I knew this was either the real deal or a setup as I put the keys in the door only to NOT find the regular barricading of her front door in place.  We always ask her NOT to do this because it just complicates getting into her home when we get calls like this.
We find Grannie Annie in bed lying very still.  My husband a real softie when it comes to Grannie Annie rushes to her bedside.  I, on the other hand have the job of interrogating this incorrigible drama queen again.  Grannie Annie captures my husband’s emotions upon impact and I see now I will have to do battle with both of them to sort out the reality. 

My questions seem cold and to the point.  I seem clinical in my approach as I have my husband sit her up for me to take her blood pressure and heart rate. I examined her mouth, tongue and elasticity of her skin.  I watched her heart rate and observed her respiration.  All while she was recounting to my husband how she arrived in this condition from only a few hours before.   My grandmother had expressed all year that she wanted to die since my other Aunt had passed away earlier in the 2009.  My grandmother took a physical and mental dive after the death of her youngest daughter.

My observations brought me to the conclusion that she was in respiratory failure and dehydrated.  This was maybe the fourth time I have observed Grannie Annie in this physical state these past several months. 

I felt it appropriate to tell Grannie Annie my findings and see how she wanted to proceed especially since she said she wanted to die.  My husband was furious that I concurred that she was indeed dying and was letting her know the facts. 

What my husband had failed to realize was that because I have dealt with prior emergencies with my grandmother, I have already reconciled her death.  I expect to one day walk in her home to find her passed on.  Roll back several years and Grannie Annie had lived in our home recuperating from a triple by-pass heart surgery.  Every day I would wait for the children to be off to school before I checked on her.  I did not want to find a dead grandmother with my children home.  

So pretty much I have been in boot camp for this situation.
I also felt the need to call my Aunt and Uncle and let them know the very serious side of this scenario.  They needed to take control of this situation being the elders. 

As my husband coddled and held my grandmother’s hand I walked around the house only to find all the medicine she has stashed that she decided NOT to take.   I brought it all to her and showed her.    She coldly stared at me and told me NOT to tell my aunt.  I refused to agree with her request.  I told her that she was sabotaging her health and she was probably in this situation because of it.

Well to shorten the story my Aunt and Uncle arrived and it was decided not to grant her desire to die in her bed that night.  She was transported to the hospital.  It was validated that her oxygen level was in the critical zone and she was dehydrated.  She would have indeed died without intervention.

Well Grannie Annie refuses to give her consent to go in a nursing home and I refuse to respond to her demanding phone calls.  I know for her own protection she needs to be taken care of.  My Aunt continues to honor Grannie Annie’s wishes and I have decided on the next hospital run I will call in intervention to help my Aunt truly see what the right thing to do is.

 Since Grannie Annie told me that night that she could not eat,   
I told my grandmother she better not demand a turkey sandwich when we arrive at the hospital as she has had the past three times.  
Inside of an hour she sent my husband and Uncle to a diner for her turkey sandwich!

I love my grandmother and recognize that she has an innate drive to truly live.

 The hardest decision loved ones have to make is to help a loved one see that 24 hours assistance is what is needed to sustain a life that is so compromised. 






Sunday, March 14, 2010

Mom I am a Man! Ya Know....

Yesterday was one of the longest days of my life as a mom.  I have had numerous other days that my chosen fulltime occupation has impeded my thoughts and my ability to function to my fullest capacity and yesterday truly was one of them.

I awoke around 4:45 in the morning to my oldest son looming near my bedside, tentatively deciding IF he should kiss me goodbye or slither out the front door without having to listen to my adult perception of what he should Not be doing in addition to starting my concern clock this early.

Roll back to our conversation the previous evening. It went something like this:  Mom can you help me rearrange the cars so my car is in last? I look at him a little surprised he is inferring that he needs to get up early on a Saturday especially after the hell week he had at College this week.  I look at him puzzled and ask why is he getting up early on Saturday and if he realized that we would be receiving a huge storm that will have winds up until 70 MPH and 2-3 inches of rain.   His response irritated me because I think its cruel to mess with my mind this late on a Friday night.  My son informs me he is driving to Pennsylvania with his College Paintball team.  I responded with "I know You are Kidding"  its not nice to get me upset just to bust me.  He then informs me he is in fact competing in the "Battle of Stalingrad" a scenario competition that he was 2nd in command of last year and is Team Captain and one of the facilitators of all things on the East Coast Paintball Community.   He must be present. 

Now as a mother I cannot wrap my head around anything being as important as my child NOT putting himself in harm's way.   While reading this you might by now say ...what is she kidding her son plays paintball thats a harms way situation right there.  Well my answer is ..I put him out of my head the minute he drives away until he returns.   It is the only way I can get thru his competitions. 

I have participated in competitive sports and did my best to never let my team down but in my mother colored glasses all I could see was my son driving from NJ to Pennsylvania with wind whipping his car all over I80 with rain drowning his windshield.  I tried to reason with him Friday night and came to a stalemate.  My last words were if the weather is as bad as they say Saturday morning you would be irresponsible as the captain to allow your team to travel to compete. He smiled at me and told me we would talk in the morning.  My stomach sank because I know my son and that was him appeasing me.

So when I awoke to GI Joe Son kissing me so long I made my last stab at trying to make sense of why he needed not to lead his team into possible harm's way on the highway. 

My son is a steam roller and nothing gets in his way when he wants something or when he is responsible to complete anything he is tasked with.   I am told that the reason WHY my son and I get into conflicts is because he is just like ME.  

Well as I begin to lay out my case he stops me cold with:  Mom!! I am a Man ya know!!!  I told you I will make my own decisions because I know my abilities and limitations.  I also do not fear death because I know where I am going when I die.  It a win win situation for me either way mom and I love you.  You do not need to worry at all I am told by my oldest son.

What could I say to refute anything he said to me.  We did raise him to be independent, to appraise decisions based on his strengths and his weaknesses.  We also instilled in him not to be fearful because fear holds you back from living and God did not give us the spirit of fear.  Checkmate ...I kissed him and wished him well.

I stayed in bed which is unusual for me since I regularly rise early to begin my reading and writing.  I prayed for my son during the time he was traveling and trusted that he would arrive at his destination safely. I felt the wind whipping against the brick of my house and heard the rain pelleting my windows.  I felt suspended in time for the 2 hours he was traveling on the highway. 

The phone rang and my heart stopped.  My heart resumed beating when I heard his happy carefree voice on the other end declaring his safe, victorious arrival. His teammates all the while shouting hellos to me in the background.  I thanked God for yet another blessing of a safe arrival. 

When I got up to face the day I became aware that my property was a mess with objects strewn all over.  I had to Not think of my son competing in this weather and the possibilities of trees breaking, tree limbs flying etc.

The weather during the course of the day was getting worse.  My husband told me to text my son's phone and inform him that his father would be putting him and his team up in a hotel so do not leave Pennsylvania until he speaks with his father.  I know my husband thru all of this was doing his best to allow my son to be the man that he raised him to be and not interfere.   My husband did not consider this hotel offer an interference.

My son called and thanked us for the offer but he and his team decided to drive home. 

Based on the morning conversation and my son's convictions I had to trust that he was making the correct decision.

The weather was really hitting hard and the house was shaking.  Our neighbor's new gutters ripped off of his house and his large barbecue flew thru the air.  My husband and younger son went outside to help the neighbor rescue the flying objects.   I prayed more for my son and his teammates.

My husband kept looking at the clock and reaching for his cell phone.  I kept talking him out of calling our son.  I told my husband it would be a distraction from the road if our son answered his call and that if our son was able to call he would.  No news was good news.  Quietly, My anxiety was mounting  and I could not have both of us climbinbg the walls.

Well it seems men do think they are invincible at any age.  My husband, while being concerned for our son decided that he was going to drive to blockbuster to rent 2012 in Blue-Ray since we only had a regular DVD version.  Our youngest son,  (before I could even reply to my husband) chastised him for considering driving while the sirens were going off and tree limbs flying. 

Our oldest son finally arrives.  He recounts the woes of his drive and to quote" Nobody should be out if they do not HAVE to be"  as my husband was heading out the door.... 

Oh how the roles do reverse  LOL.  Our two sons step in front of their father and tell him that he is not going to blockbuster to get a stupid movie in Blue-Ray.  Its not worth his life.  They want their Dad alive.

Chuckle chuckle chuckle.......

Monday, January 25, 2010

Lethal People By John Locke


Donovan Creed , the main Character, has tremendous endurance for physical pain along with extreme mental control in his occupation of a hired assassin. The attributes and occupation would conclude that the character Donovan Creed is emotionally unapproachable.

The crime that is the premise of the book draws the reader to come alongside Donovan Creed in his quest to extract revenge for the victims.


Donovan Creed, horrifies, surprises, humbles and vindicates throughout this nonstop action novel.


The story is well told and gives the reader closure for the victims of the original opening crime.


What the author does is leave the reader with lots of questions regarding the origin of Donovan Creed the person. The reader is introduced to Donovan Creed at what seems to be midpoint in his life.


There is definitely many a backstory begging to be told here.


“Lethal People” is a book that once you pick it up you Just need to finish it!


John Locke’s Books can be purchased :


@ http://www.lethalbooks.com/index.php?page_id=269


@ http://bit.ly/lethalpeopleamazon


You can also find John Locke on Twitter @DonovanCreed.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Last Surgeon By Michael Palmer


I received a few books written by Michael Palmer as Christmas presents this year.

I was eagerly awaiting the ARC copy of “The Last Surgeon”. While I was waiting for it to be delivered I picked up “ The Fifth Vial” and could not put it down and so I knew that when My copy of “the Last Surgeon” arrived I needed to carve out time to have the ability to read it start to finish.

“The Last Surgeon” is based on quite a bit of research ranging from the politics of Veterans Benefits, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), neurological /psychiatric conditions, and electronic medical records/billing systems just to name a few.

This books opens the readers eyes to some cold hard realities of what the Veterans of today can go thru after serving our country. Although this book is based on fictional characters there is always an element of truth in a fiction story I believe.

Dr. Nick Garrity represents a man with a heart for Veterans who tries in his daily life to obtain care for all he can come in contact with. All this while battling PTSD and his own demons after serving his country.

As the story unfolds the reader gets to feel the dark cruel cold presence of a hired killer who actually enjoys his job and hungers for his kills.

The character Jillian is a woman who honors her instincts and beliefs. Jillian begins to investigate her loved one’s death and gets introduced to a world she never knew operated in our society. I personally identified with Jillian’s drive to make all the puzzle pieces fit together.

The book educates the reader as well as entertains.

Michael Palmer once again has written a novel of distinction!

"The Last Surgeon" will be officially released February 16th, 2010 and can be preordered  @ http://www.michaelpalmerbooks.com/ 

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sudden Death By Michael Balkind


    Sudden Death is not in my normal genre of book selection .  I  decided to read Michael Balkind’s books because of his warm and engaging presence on twitter.

    Needless to say I was not disappointed! Michael gives so much in this book that you do not expect in a golf thriller.  I have a far better understanding of golf, fine wine and dining. There is a lot of attention to detail which makes this book extremely approachable for the non golfing reader.


    You will find while reading this book that the main character Reid Clark can be found in every sport and corporate scenario. So you do not have to be into golf or even a golfer to appreciate “Sudden Death”.


    I can clearly see why James Patterson and Clive Cussler recommended this book!

    You can find it :  Amazon @ http://bit.ly/7udtzD or  http://www.balkindbooks.com/

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Claddagh Earrings

It was Christmas 2004 and I was getting asked the usual questions by my family as to what I wanted for Christmas. I was told by my family that responses of “World Peace” or “All my family together and healthy” were not what they wanted to hear. They wanted me to tell them something substantial and tangible. Needless to say I am always told I am the worst person to try to purchase a gift for. On the contrary I feeI I am the easiest person to select a gift for. I have all I want because I want all I have, which is just plain and simple to me.


So the badgering of soliciting my “Christmas List” continued until the one day I folded and handed my husband my short list. I knew it was not going to satisfy his desire to adorn me with diamonds and furs but he asked what I wanted and he needed to respect my wishes.


The very first item on my list was a pair of gold Claddagh Earrings. I had admired them for sometime quietly and I knew that my husband did not have any idea or I would have already been wearing them already. I had a few other odds and ends on the list but I was really stretching with this list directive.


I really could not ask or put on a list my heart’s desire. I knew giving my husband the unattainable was cruel and unfair because my heart’s desire was not within his reach or mine. We already had spent years striving to attain what would make my heart and his hearts sing with joy.


Our daughter was 19 years old and for the most part had spent the last 2 and half years in and out of bed. She had always been tall and slender but this Celiac Sprue disease was truly affecting her weight, her ability to go beyond our home to social settings and College.


Our daughter, only daughter, as well as our 2 beautiful sons were and still are the center of our universe. We did, and always will do until our last breath, whatever we have to that is best for them.


My husband and I were able to bring her to the best doctors on the east coast and now we were taking her the Mayo Clinic. I already scheduled an appointment with the Mayo Clinic but there were several weeks to wait for that. We were desperate as each pound dropped from her very emaciated body as it was. So needless to say writing on my “Christmas List” our daughter’s cure was definitely not happening. I continued to go directly to God with that request.


Christmas day arrived and I received my beautiful gold Claddagh earrings from my husband. I loved them and would cherish them. I wore them with my Irish pride and he knew I appreciated how he respected my “Christmas List”. That was the best part of Christmas for me because things went downhill very quickly after the gift exchanges commenced.


Our daughter went straight back to bed and looked worse than ever. I had her to the Dr. twice during the week. She was having a very difficult problem that she had never had before and the meds given were not helping. My instincts were screaming for some time now that Celiac Sprue was NOT her problem although the blood tests, scans and scope all pointed to that disease I was not buying it totally.


I had joined all the support groups on the Internet for Celiac Sprue Disease and I felt that she was not reacting to the treatments like the people I talked to very regularly. That is why I decided that bringing her to the Mayo clinic and having her evaluated by a fresh group of Drs. might shed the correct light on her disease.


It was 2 days after Christmas and she was in agony and doubled over. I had not left her side and slept right next to her. I did all that the Dr. told me to do and had him on the phone constantly. I was given a last option as a course of treatment but if it did not work I was told to take her to the Emergency Room where she definitely did not want to go. I took out all the treatment apparatus and talked to her about it. She trusted me as she had all her life and told me if I felt like it was the right treatment she would allow me to administer it to her. All at once my inner voice was screaming a big NO not to proceed. I shared this with her immediately and I told her we were taking her to the hospital where someone else could decide the next step. I did not feel that I could do anymore for her at home. I was broken because I am “A fixer” and when a fixer is broken its devastating. I would give her my heart, my kidneys whatever she needed if it made her live without all this pain!


It turned out I had made the correct life or death decision not to administer the in home treatment. I was told by the ER nurse that if I had proceeded with the treatment I could have killed her. Our daughter was dying before our eyes and there was not one single thing in this world that we could do but let more Drs. Try to figure out how to intercede and prolong her life as we stood by and watched and prayed and prayed.


Almost 12 hours had passed and she was all hooked up to several lines of IV. Several non invasive tests were done and we awaited their discoveries preparing ourselves for more bad news.


The ER Dr. entered our presence with some news. She announced that our daughter’s disease was in fact Crohn’s Disease. My daughter let out with a scream of joy for this diagnosis. We all stared at her in shock as she explained that maybe NOW she will be able to grab hold of this disease and fight it with all she had. After all we followed everything to the letter with the Celiac Sprue diagnosis and all the while we both did not truly believe it was in fact Celiac Sprue all those years.


The ER Dr. explained that she was in a very bad way internally and before anything could be further done for her, they had to IV powerful meds to reduce inflammation and then decide what the next step would be. She was not allowed to eat, which she had not eaten in 2 days as it was and the hunger pangs were painful in addition to the other pain. Our daughter was tough and we would help her again thru this nightmare all the while I was suppressing my kick butt and take names qualities for the Drs. that missed this Elephant in the room. My husband gave me a knowing gaze and grabbed hold of my hand knowing full well that a war was just delivered to his doorstep.


I slept along side of her watching her breathe and holding her hand as her body convulsed in pain and hunger. Her eyes starting to plead with me to make it all stop. I begged God to give me the disease, I was tough and I could take it rather than her. I bargained with God and told him what I would give up, give back etc.


After almost 2 days of reducing the inflammation she was ready for a procedure that was going to tell us the extent of her internal damage and the how and if it could be repaired.


The young Dr. came in to discuss what his intentions for this procedure were. He and my daughter hit it off famously. Thru it all she still had a sense of humor and he was an absolute doll! I had not slept, showered or left her side for days. I became aware of my frightening appearance as they discussed her surgery. I also became aware that I had lost one of my precious Claddagh Earrings. I was for a moment truly upset. I decided to shelve the mourning process of the loss of the earring because my daughter was the priority and an earring could be replaced, a new outlook for me anyway about special gifts that I cherished.


The exploratory procedure was done delicately with pediatric instruments I was told because of the delicate condition her insides were in. We were told that there was hope of reducing all the inflammation but there were complications that maybe could be healed with a high amount of steroids combined with several antibiotics and her road of healing was not guaranteed. As the Dr. continued to explain I started to melt down from the several days of adrenaline rushing thru me nonstop and the lack of sleep and food. I had sent my husband home with the boys because I wanted to watch and question everything that went into those IVs. I wanted no mistakes! Since obviously there already had been the greatest mistake already done and which in fact was why our daughter was in this very place at this very time


My husband practically carried me out of there all the while telling me I could come back as soon as I showered, ate and had some shut eye and he had scheduled his Mom to stand watch at the hospital and after all she is a Nurse and an anal one at that. I complied with his wishes because of sheer exhaustion.


During the car ride home I became aware again of my disorderly appearance and lack of one earring. I hesitated to make my husband aware of my loss because it was so insignificant in comparison to all we had been thru and him inheriting the anal qualities of his nurse mom, he would comb the hospital and retrace every step just to find my cherished earring.


I decided to tell him when we had arrived home so he would not take the route of scavenger hunt right then and there. He knew with all that had transpired this earring thing paled in comparison to what we were facing of possibly losing our daughter.


I stepped into the shower with a long list of prayers, thanks and grievances. I spoke to my Lord and Savior a long time in there. I asked for answers, cried quietly for what I considered a failure on my part as her mother not to have done more to keep her out of harm’s way. 




I needed answers only God could tell me and I needed them fast. I needed peace that surpasses all understanding that in the big picture our daughter would survive. I was finishing my shower and I heard my husband’s booming voice yell my name. All I could think was “Now what” my heart jumping! I rushed out of the shower to see my husband smiling big. He was holding my Claddagh Earring, the other Claddagh Earring. I was so confused. I knew my shower was definitely not long enough for him to run to the Jewelry store and purchase a replacement earring. Something never off the table for my husband.


He continued to smile and told me that he had begun retracing our steps of a few days ago and was planning on slipping out to the hospital to continue the retracing process when in fact he had seen a gleaming from the floor right in our upstairs hall outside our bathroom door as he was focusing on all that was around him.


All of a sudden I felt a rush of Peace and understanding. I cried and cried. My husband held onto me and just thought this was me cracking finally. I was in fact crying in joy. God had whispered to me that if I had lost my earring for days and I had in fact been to so many places in and around our house and the large hospital and my earring could be saved from a loss why would he not save my daughter who was far more precious than a golden earring. Then a Bible verse that I had recited so many times took on a whole new meaning.


Faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see. Hebrews 11:1


Was I sure that she was going to live an earthly life thru all of this, the answer was no.


What I became sure of was that God had her in the palm of his hand and He was in charge not me. As the days and weeks rolled on it became apparent that the plan was that she was going to live thru this ordeal.


The story will be continued…….. …in the next Blog

Friday, January 15, 2010

"Death of a Cure" by Steven H. Jackson




I truly understand what Steven H. Jackson was conveying with this riveting novel that hit home so very close to my heart.  It is quite evident that Mr. Jackson has done his homework and has tremendous knowledge of NFP organizations .

 

I am a mother that has had a bird’s eye view and experience with a crippling debilitating auto-immune disease that is claimed to have  “No Cure”.   My daughter has Crohn’s Disease and was misdiagnosed for years with Celiac Sprue Disease another auto immune disease which rendered her bedridden and missing most of her teen years.


I never could accept that there was “No Cure for her”.   I spent approximately 2 years pounding away on my computer seeking a  “Cure”  for my daughter.  Always feeling that there truly was something “out there” that could help my daughter and others battling this auto-immune disease other than the very deadly pharmaceuticals that were offered and used.


Mr. Jackson illustrated in this novel what myself and many others ask themselves as they enter the chemopthereapy treatment centers,  the Iron Infusion Centers, and the Remicade Infusion Centers .   Along with the Diabetics as they check their numbers several times a day only to decide how much insulin is needed so they can enjoy a meal.

The looming question is….  “Is there a Cure” and is the health care industry making too much money off of the diseases to allow the cures to become available.


Mr. Jackson set in motion in his novel thought provoking issues of Today!


I loved Thomas Briggs, and his girlfriend sexy FBI Special Agent Marilena Rigatti.  The love story that intertwined the criminal acts of many was classy and very well done.


I am looking forward to the next Thomas Briggs Novel !!




"Vigilante" By Claude Bouchard

Vigilante" opens up with a powerful scene that provoked emotions in me not felt in years!   I believe there is “Vigilante” in most people because of various circumstances in life.  Claude Bouchard ‘s ability to stir deep emotions from his reader from the jump is truly a gift as an author. “Vigilante” grabbed my attention, held my attention and had me guessing until the very end.
 I recommend reading “Vigilante” you will not be disappointed and like me will want to read the next book
"The Consultant"!!  Purchase both together!

You can find "Vigilante" and other books written
By Mr.Claude Bouchard @  his website  http://bit.ly/6HgMXU and  http://bit.ly/Vigilante