Sunday, January 31, 2010

somebody loved

I was listening to my iPod at work the other day and pulled up my Weepies playlist.  I love the Weepies.  Countrymouse does not.  He has even gone on to self-label all the music I like and he doesn't most of my music collection as "Weepie Girl music".   I've got thick-skin (and better taste in music) so it doesn't bother me.

Listening to them made me remember a photo montage I had put together for my myspace page. (Egads... you know that was a while ago.  I had/have teenagers.  I was just being a nosy watchful mother.)  After 3 failed attempts, and fearing I'd lock myself out of my own account, I was able to return to myspace-topia.  (I have to admit that I was kinda relieved that the last comment was from November 2008.)

The montage contains assorted (now pretty old) pictures of my great big crazy family.  But what makes this montage all warm and fuzzy is the music.  It's The Weepies song, "Somebody Loved".  Even now I can hardly watch it and not cry.

I am not a crafty computer type.  This montage took a little work on my part and because of that (and because it really does express my heart), I'd like to share it here for posterity (and because, Lord knows if I'll remember my myspace password next time I want to see it.)


Saturday, January 30, 2010

signs... or i am really getting old

Do you remember this song?  I do.  I was 7 when it hit the airwaves in 1970.  I could not have told you it was sung by Five Man Electrical Band, but I bet I can still sing most of the lyrics. Remember... in 1970, radio was still king and this song was all over the place.

I'm not just reminiscing.  This thought has a beginning.  It actually started with a Facebook post by Pup #3 that went something like this: 
PUP #3: And the sign said 'long haired freaky people, need not apply
Baby Brother: "So I took off my hat I said imagine that"
PUP #3: Uncle John, you just have no idea how cool you are.          
This exchange led to a conversation between The Love of His Life and myself. She mentioned that her son (my nephew) was doubly impressed by their uncle because he knew the lyrics from a "obscure Fat Boy Slim song".  What?!  

TLoHL told him he was wrong because the lyric was really from the Tesla song, "Signs".  What?!  (BTW, my response to her comment was, "Wasn't he a scientist?" There was a band called Tesla?  Um, for the record... yes and they have sold over 16 million albums in the US.  How did I miss them?)  

(And yes, Tesla *jazzed up* some of the lyrics.)

Needless to say,Google is my friend.  And needless to say, my nephew was right.

(Sorry for the boring "video". The one Fat Boy Slim's put out tells a story about racism.  I hate racism and on that level, I am good with the video.  However, I take offense that he portrays the racist as a middle aged white man.  I also hate promulgating stereotypes, thus this version will work.)

So... three people and three different takes on the same song. Mine from 1970. TLoHL's from 1990. My nephew's from 2005. Each of us only knew about "our" version.  Baby brother's?  I'm not sure. The world may never know just how cool he is. 

Thursday, January 28, 2010

four little bits of randomness

Here's some things happening right now that you really need to know about... right now.  Well, not really... but they are happening and I feel the urge to share my randomness with you.
  • So, as you know, I had my little visit with The Joint Commission today.  It actually went well, except remember how I said they always change things on you?  Apparently some time last year they added the word "all" to one of the Standards.  Three little letters and all of a sudden I'm non-compliant.  So the thing I had previously been able to use my own discretion and judgement on now needed to be done every time. (Are you following this?) I'll admit, my personal judgement can sometimes be questionable, but my professional sense is solid. In their defense, I am sure it was published somewhere, it just didn't trickle down to me.  Sh*t may roll downhill, but Standard updates, not so much.  All in all, it was a successful visit... so much so, the surveyor insisted I attend the lunch session he was having with our physician leaders.  Not too shabby.
  • Countrymouse called me this afternoon at work.  Apparently, he was not too happy with my blog post about manscaping. He felt like I had outed him.  I was like, "Really?  Really?!" (For the record (although this may get me in even more hot water) he just keeps things neat.)  That wasn't the worst part, though.  He absolutely did not like me saying manscaping (or anything, for that matter) made him feel "sexy".  He said I made him sound like a *girl*.  I was like, "Really?  Really?!"  Don't men feel sexy?  Apparently not.  I said, "Well, how do men feel then?"  To which he replied, "Well, not sexy... more like Ron Jeremy."  I almost choked.  I asked him if would have rather I had said, "I think it makes him feel like Ron Jeremy... and there's nuthin' wrong with that sista!"  The short answer is YES...he thinks that's better than feeling "sexy".  I was like, "Really?  Really?!" Take a gander... I ask you??  Really?  Really?!  (In full disclosure, Ron Jeremy is known for his 9.75 inch... um... little Jeremy.)
Ron Jeremy in his glory days. (Judging from the mustache, I'd say mid-70s.)                              

Ron Jeremy's current "look".

Men think women are hard to figure out.. 
Really?  Really?!

  • Take a little visit over to Lets Have a Cocktail (with a name like that, I know you aren't surprised to find out it's a blog I follow...).  Miss JennyMac (all dressed in black, black, black...does anyone else remember that game?) is celebrating her blog birthday and everyone is invited! (Yay!)  I love parties but I especially love killer purses.  JennyMac is giving a Jimmy Choo Ramona bag to one lucky girl (or guy, as the case may be).  Check out the link above to have your turn at the pinata  a chance to win.

  • My friend, Mike-G is participating in a very cool (literally) event, the 14th annual Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge.  Plungers (aka participants) take a quick dip in the Chesapeake Bay to raise funds for Special Olympics Maryland. For those of you who live in truly cold climes, you might think Maryland is in the South.  Au contraire! Saturday's high is supposed to be 26 with a 50% chance of snow.  I don't want to even be outside on days like that... never mind being barely dressed and jumping in the Bay. No. Thank. You. Special Olympics Maryland is the largest year-round organization devoted to sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.  They're the good guys.  Mike-G is a good guy too.  If you have a extra $5.00 or so tucked in your coat pocket somewhere (or maybe you're willing to skip a trip to Starbucks to support a good cause), please consider pledging it.  You can do it online by going here. I know times are challenging but the these folks lives are challenging every single day. Besides, how can you say no to a handsome viking?  (Makes me wonder what this year's plunge outfit will be?)

On behalf of Mike-G and the folks of Special Olympics, thanks for even the smallest gift.


I like hairy guys.  My father always had various versions facial hair when I was growing up and I think it must have really influenced me.  My mother was not a big fan of the 'tache (or the mutton chops, or the Fu Manchu, or especially the Grizzly Adams style beard) that my father sported.  His facial hair was a virtual canvas.  

(Just some of the foolishness my poor mother endured. December 2004.  Some things never change.)

When I met Countrymouse, he had a simple mustache. His facial hair has come and gone over the years but mostly he's worn the now ever-popular goatee and mustache combo that many men favor.  (I have to admit, it's my favorite.)

My penchant for hairy guys doesn't stop on the face.  (TMI, I know... sorry.)  Countrymouse shaves his head, trims his facial hair and, let's just say, keeps all other hair *under control*.  He thinks he does the last part for me.. but I think it's mostly for him.  (I like him just fine either way.)  I think it makes him feel sexy... and there's nuthin' wrong that that sista!

I don't think Countrymouse is alone and I don't think this practice is new.  I just think we're talking about it more now.  It even has a name... manscaping.  (The person who thought that one up needs to go into marketing.)  In one of my mindless clicking through Blogger moments, I came across this blog post, thus the source of my own post.  Here is Jimmy Farley's 13 MANscaping Tips as found on his Monkwater, a Thirsty Pastor blog.

  1. Trim your hairy chest, arms and legs. Shaving them is metrosexual, trimming is manscaping
  2. Wax your back, it's gross 
  3. Keep armpit hair in your armpit
  4. No one should ever see hair coming out of your nose or ears
  5. If you're going bald, shave it. You're not fooling anyone and Agassi's hair was a wig
  6. Never give yourself a haircut and if no one has ever complimented you after your wife's attempt she must stop too
  7. Shave your neck line between haircut appointments
  8. Uni-brows are still out so pluck and shape but don't over do it Alice
  9. Eyebrows should have a length limit. How come you don't notice that 2 inch wild hair?
  10. Cut your sideburns parallel to your jaw bone and cut facial hair symmetrically
  11. Don't miss a patch of hair while shaving. We notice the left over stubble under your nose and around your moles
  12. Trimming some areas make objects appear larger than they are!
  13. Knuckle hair shouldn't cover your wedding ring

Kudos to Jimmy for being so funny while being so honest.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

joint commisson in da house

Can I get a "woot" "woot" while you raise your hands?

If you understand the title of this blog... then you feel my pain.  If you don't, let me enlighten you.  I work in a hospital.  I am not a clinical person. I am not a nurse or a doctor and I don't play one on TV.  I work in administration... sorta what would be the equivalent of middle management, I suppose.  The Joint Commission is the agency responsible for granting accreditation to hospitals and other healthcare facilities.  Blah blah blah... I know.  This is important because it directly ties into reimbursement, which keeps the hospital in business, which keeps me employed.  The Joint Commission does unannounced nailing-biting inspections surveys on a triennial cycle.  It just so happens I started my hospital career right after the last survey, so I haven't had the pleasure of enduring  participating in a survey yet.

Well... I can scratch that off my list of things to do.  They showed up bright and early on Tuesday morning.  (Man, was I thankful I carpooled with Countrymouse that day.  With all whip cracking he does in the morning, I am usually on time when I ride with him... that is except for the days I am feverishly trying to get *just one more thing done* before we leave.)  

Having "The Joint" in your hospital is kinda like having the IRS over for dinner, except instead of just looking at your receipts and tax forms and giving you a kiss goodbye, The Joint wants to see all sorts of various and sundry documents, have a nice meet and greet with your physicians and leadership, peek under the tables and on top of the shelves for dust bunnies and generally shake the place up, smiling and being pleasant all the while.  The Joint Commission has these pesky things they call Standards. These Standards might as well be written in Sanskrit. They are notorious for being hard to follow and interpret.  (I think that's part of the plan.  They give you just enough room to hang yourself.) Of course, the cherry on top is once you think you are finally compliant, they go and change them on you! 

My direct portion of the survey will be tomorrow (oh joy).  I spoke with my surveyor late this afternoon and went over what he wants available to review.  I pulled files and ran reports and copied policies and bylaws.  Of course, not anticipating having to stay late, I rode to work with Countrymouse again today.  He was a sweetie though and went home, fed the pups and came back for me. (We both work in the same town, which is 20 miles away from the town in which we live.)  He even indulged me in a couple of Blue Moons and boneless Buffalo wings at Applebees.  (That's my guy mouse.)  

On the way home we had an animated conversation about religion, politics, business, children, family and random hospital gossip. (Probably due, in part, to my two Brewtus Blue Moons.)  That's a lot for a 30 minute car ride.  When I am animated, I am very animated and can't talk without my hands. (I was born in New York, afterall.) This was the result tonight...

No, Countrymouse didn't sock me.  (Although, I told him I was gonna say that.  I can be evil sometimes.)  I actually stabbed myself with my thumbnail.  Can you believe it?  (Well, I can hardly believe I've stopped biting my nails long enough that they have grown to the point where they could be considered a dangerous weapon.)  I don't even want to think about the dirt, germs and Buffalo sauce that may have been hiding on my hands.  While small, my boo boo hurt like the Dickens and I bled like I had really been shanked (as the pups would say).  Who knew?

So now that I am sufficiently bandaged up, here I am chillaxing in my bed, nursing a wounded chin, wondering how hot the coals will be tomorrow.  Hope tomorrow brings a shorter, less bloody, more family-filled day.

say aah

My musical appetite takes me all over the place.  Sometimes that's a good thing and sometimes... well, not so much. Recently I stumbled upon Eric Stanley.  I love that this young man puts a whole new spin on Trey Songz' "Say Aah".  How cool is this?? 

Makes me want more.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

gives me hope

Apparently there are a bunch of websites out there that collect these little one liners and publish them.  (Who knew?)  My niece was bored the other night and posted that as her status on Facebook.  Baby sister replied that her hubby suggested that our niece check out the site Texts From Last Night.   She has been engrossed ever since.  Even after she had read me a few, I wasn't interested.  Tonight, while getting my thoughts together for this post, I went there.  
The first post on the site was"I wiped a tear off her cheek with my boner. It cheered her up." 
Yeah.... ewww and no thanks.  Now my niece is barely 21 and has an off-kilter sense of humor.  I'm a middle-aged mother of five.  

Another site I am aware of that has a similar format is  After reading some of the posts, I can only assume the "f" in the title stands for the f-bomb. 
The first post there tonight is:"Today, I was ecstatic after spending the night with my longtime crush, when he told me he felt something. I poured my heart and soul out to him, confessing my love for him too. Unfortunately, he was referring to a lump in my left breast, which I now need to get checked out. FML" 
The posts only get more depressing from there.  Do people feel better about themselves after reading about how someone else's life is falling apart?  I know what it's like to have things crumble around you. You would have to be pretty f-ed up to console yourself in someone else's pain.  

I can offer you a positive site, however.  Gives Me Hope has short posts about real-life things that inspire others. 
Here is their first post tonight: "An elderly lady come to my register and was buying milk and bread.  She didn't have enough $$ and had no way of paying. There was a 12 yr old boy buying a video game and a toy. He handed me his gift card to buy her items. He said that she needs food more than he needs a video game.  Boys like him GMH."  
The truth is, I could sit and read these tiny testimonies all night.  My world is a little fragile at the moment and it really is a comfort to know people can be giving and kind. 

Proverbs 11:25 (NIV) tells us: A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. Selfless giving is alway godly and God honors that.  Isn't it better to fill your head (and heart) with positive things instead of things that usher in a bunch of negatives?  Even if you think it's funny or all in good fun, I think that kind of dribble just erodes the protective layer around your heart.  I'll be back to GMH and I am looking forward to posting my own Gives Me Hope story.  I invite you to join me.  

Monday, January 25, 2010


I really like words. I like their power and their ability to paint pictures.  I started college as a journalism major because I wanted to get paid to write and I knew I didn't enjoy writing fiction. Print journalism seemed like my only other avenue.  I soon found out journalism wasn't a good fit either... I felt suffocated.  Journalism was writing but it didn't fulfill my need to be creative.  I make no claims about my writing talents but I do enjoy it immensely. Blogging has been a good outlet for me (especially since I've allowed myself to write about whatever rumbles through my heart or head).

I appreciate others who can use words to connect with people. Songwriters amaze me.  To put words to music and still preserve your message is truly a skill.  Of course there are those who just make up words like Mike Doughty or string them together in nonsensical ways like Michael Stipe.  I adore both of these men. (I am currently obsessing over Sad Man Happy Man.  The lyric "My guitar is très bizarre" always tickles me for some unknown reason.)

I am the kind of person who keeps a little book to record things that strike me.  I know I'll never remember them but really want to, so I write them down.  I'm not talking about events or observations (that's what I have my blog for).  I mean written words that move me.  

This is just a random slice of my little book. Just on these small pages I have captured the words of Menicus, Sir Thomas Browne, the Bible, John Vance Cheney, T.S. Eliot, Albert Camus, Somerset Maugham, Edgar Allan Poe, Abraham Lincoln, Bertrand Russell.  All words that have struck a chord in me somewhere on a given day at some point in my life.  Words I want to remember.  

The more we contemplate other's words, the more words we ourselves will have.  The computer term "Garbage In Garbage Out" can easily be applied to our minds.  A quote I had heard years ago and was recently motivated to find again (because I didn't write it down... thank God for Google) is sometimes attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt and sometimes to Admiral Hyman Rickover, the Father of the Nuclear Navy, both of whom quoted it but probably neither of them gave birth to it...

Great minds discuss ideas
Average minds discuss events
Small minds discuss people

Sometimes my mind is small... very small, but I take some comfort in knowing there are days that it is great (and of course average gets it's fair share of my days too).  I want great words to be like my favorite worn-out pair of yoga pants (um, not that I do yoga... I just like the pants). The thing I am most comfortable in and turn to again and again.  

Sunday, January 24, 2010

things i've learned this week

"The real voyage of discovery consists in not seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes."
                                                                                                                  - Marcel Proust

Things I Have Learned This Week
(In no particular order of importance)

1. Even simple meals are much more fun when shared with those you love (aka you don't have to fuss and rush to make a good memory)
2. I am a closet Colts fan (even after they skulked away from Baltimore in the still of the night.  How can you not like Peyton Manning?  Really?)
3. Sandra Bullock is 45 and Fat Boy Slim is 46.
4. Never use Gold Bond Ultimate Lotion as a *personal lubricant* (I could explain, but why bother?  Just take my word on this.)
5. Even when thousands of miles away, people you love can still rescue you.
6. There are only 55 more days left of winter (or 54 or 53, you get it.  The first day of Spring is March 20, 2010. Yipee.)
7. Atwater Vanilla Java Porter is scrumptious.  Try it.  You won't regret it.
8. I really want a DSLR camera.  (This isn't a "new" item, but I've really had it on my mind this week.  Read one of the cutest posts I have ever read.  The Anti-Supermom also gets double credit for being so crafty.)
9. I really miss when the pups were little.  I don't know if life was harder then or now but the bumps in the road were more manageable.

There's probably a lot more (gee, at least I hope there is) but this is a good start.  Did you learn anything this week?

simple little pleasures

"I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string."

-Anne Shirley, Anne of Avonlea

Saturday, January 23, 2010

going home

Whos Afraid Of Thomas Wolfe

Okay... in full disclosure, I had heard of Thomas Wolfe but it was this song by Josh Joplin that made me want to find out more.  (I did in fact read some Thomas Wolfe eventually. While considered a literary great, I must say, his writings tend to make me sad.) In the 10 years or so since I first heard this song, I have been mildly fascinated by the notion that you can never go home again.  What did that mean?

Countrymouse and I have been talking a lot about family lately. Sometimes mine (this could include those of mouse house fame, but I'm really thinking of the one I grew up in) can really get under my skin, but I love them desperately.  Having lost two of them in under six months just makes each of the others that much more precious to me.

There's lots written about *home*...

“A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams.” (unknown)

“Home is not where you live, but where they understand you” (Christian Morganstern)

“Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to” (John Ed Pearce)

“He is the happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home” (Johann Wolfgang van Goethe)

“I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.” (Maya Angelou)

“Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” (Robert Frost)

“There's nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.” (Margaret Elizabeth Sangster)

Yet, I really did get what Thomas Wolfe meant when he wrote, "You Can't Go Home Again".  But did I believe it?  Did it apply to me?

During one of my conversations with Countrymouse, it dawned on me that I had never really left home.  Funny realization for the girl who moved (kicking and screaming and crying) from New York City to BFE Maryland at age (almost) 14 and swore she was getting The Hell Out of Dodge the minute she graduated from high school (but didn't).  

I've learned that home really isn't a building.  I've also learned that home is not the same for everyone.  For me it's always been where my parents were.  That was easier when I was young and hadn't traveled that far from my full-time life under their roof.  Of course I went "home" during college breaks, etc... where was I supposed to go?  Even when I was newly married, we came "home" all the way from Cleveland (almost 400 miles away) every chance we got.  Most of my siblings were still there, as well as my parents and extended family. At first it just made sense and maybe I still saw it as coming to a physical location, but as time went on, I realized it was because my parents represented the heart and therefore, the home, of our family.  We continued to come "home" even when there was no one else around.

What I realized is that all the decisions I've made in my life have kept me tethered to my family.  I chose to go to two different colleges just under an hour away from home.  When applying for a residency, Countrymouse selected ones in Maryland first.  When needing to decide where to ultimately practice, we chose a town 20 miles away from "home". (We even moved to my hometown for a few years when we first came back.)  And the Pièce de résistance... buying my parents house 3 years ago, leaving a nearby town that we all loved but knowing this would be good on so many deeper levels.  

It's just my dad now, and to be honest, things aren't exactly the same.  My mom, for good or bad, truly defined what our family was/is.  But his heart is big and though it's taken a few blows recently, is still wide and giving.  And in spite of all his romanticism about living in Europe and in spite of our wanderlust and growing disappointment with living in Maryland, Countrymouse and I know we'll be here as long as he is because he is home.  

Leo Tolstoy (another bring-me-down author) wrote, "I know which is the road that leads home and if I weave like a drunken man as I go down it that does not mean the road is the wrong one."  (Of course, this is probably closer to my own life than any of the quotes above.)  So dear, dear Mr. Wolfe, I think maybe you couldn't go home again, but don't pin that on me. 

Friday, January 22, 2010

fun theory

I have had a long week. I'm having trouble focusing at work and really just don't want to be there. This morning I woke up at 4:30 with the mo-fo of all headaches. It was so bad I was nauseous. I called in and took the day off. I really needed to have some me time, I think. Besides, I never call in sick, so I didn't feel that badly about it. The problem (at least for me) with taking a sick day is that even though I am feeling yucky, I still feel compelled to get things done at home... because we all know there are no sick days for moms. It was an okay day. I read some blogs and watched a couple of soaps. (It amazes me that I can watch them once a year or so and still know basically what is going on... but I digress.) I reigned myself in and only did two loads of laundry, but I haven't folded them yet, so they really don't count. Countrymouse and two of the pups are at a church meeting tonight and I am home with the remaining pup. I've had some challenges (aka drama) with him this evening, but I am determined to stay peaceful. (See comment above about moms not getting sick days.)

I've had a couple of blog posts rolling around my head the past few days or so but I've been so tired every evening this week I haven't gotten very far. (Last night I actually fell asleep sitting on the sofa with my laptop balancing on the arm. Countrymouse and Pup #4 were convinced my laptop was done for.) I thought about blogging earlier today but still couldn't rise to the occasion. So instead I have been be-bopping around the glorious world wide web sightseeing this evening. I came across the following video and it made me smile. A friend had sent me this in my e-mail several months ago and it made me smile then too.

This experiment is part of an initiative from the Volkswagen people. I think it's pretty awesome, actually. I think we all want to take the high road and be better people. If having fun makes it easier, all the better.

There are a few other experiments in the series that I hadn't seen. Maybe you haven't seen them yet either...

The website states that...
This site is dedicated to the thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better. Be it for yourself, for the environment, or for something entirely different, the only thing that matters is that it’s change for the better.
For some unknown reason, that whole premise makes me happy.  It makes me want to make changes in my life and make them fun. Maybe I am just feeling the need for positive change and the idea of it being fun instead of hard appeals to me??

Monday, January 18, 2010

remembering phil

We all got together this weekend to celebrate my brother's life. It was a sweet time to be with people he loved and that loved him. I had the privilege to share some of my thoughts about my brother.
 During Phil’s last days he took the time to say goodbye to some of the people in his life. I had determined that if he started to tell me goodbye, I wouldn’t let him. I was very thankful I didn’t have to have that conversation with him. I think neither of us wanted that. Goodbye seemed so final and I knew he would always be with me in my heart.
Phil had many qualities that I admired. I can say now after this ordeal that I most admire his courage, strength and ability to love. I had the opportunity to ask him in his last days if he was afraid and he told me no. He did admit that he was angry. He knew death was an enemy and he hated its effects on him and those he loved.
I was blessed to spend a good bit of time with him during the past 6 months and I will always cherish those times. I will always smile when I speak of him. I am very sad that I will not have new memories of him. Proverbs 10:7 says that “The memory of the just is blessed”. While way too few, we are all blessed by our own special memories of Phil.
Phil was a patient and kind man and he was loyal to those he loved. He always looked for the best in others and winked at our shortcomings. I encourage each of you to honor Phil by being the person he believed you to be. Take strength in the courage and love he showed all of us, even in his final days.
One last thought I’d like to share is a Hebrew proverb that says “Say not in grief 'He is no more' but live in thankfulness that he was". I am so very thankful to have had Phil in my life.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


"And did you get what you wanted
 from this life,  even so?

I did.

And what did you want?

To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth."

— Raymond Carver

Kabul, Afghanistan 2008

As the snow began to softly fall last night, my brother quietly took his last breath. I had placed my hand gently on his chest and wasn't sure if I could feel his heart beating or the raging pulse in my own palm. A very humble end to a life still filled with endless love and countless adventure.

My Associate degree graduation, May 1983 ( I was 19, he was 18.)

If our life is complete, we live a life of body, soul and spirit. Death may steal our body and cease our soul, but it cannot destroy the spirit. There is comfort and strength in knowing it is only this life that has come to an end.

circa 1966 (?)

I have very few memories of my childhood that do not include my brother somewhere. We were born only 16 1/2 months apart. I think my mother always thought of us as an unit and treated us that way. We started our adult lives about the same time and started our families together as well.

Junior Prom, May 15, 1982

It will be strange to go forward in life without him. I know that life is inherently good and time will dull the pain. Yet, I also know that life will never be the same again... Good? Probably, but always different.

While my brother knew his life would be a brief one, my love for him will endure until my last breath. He was and will always be beloved.