They say every face in a crowd has a story to tell, this is my story..

The news shows and newspapers all called it 'Road Rage'. To me that sounded like a disease, an affliction that can make you kill. A sorry excuse to take the claw end of a hammer and slam it repeatedly into the skull of a human being. In April of 1999 my little brother passed away. Doesn't passed away sound so gentle, even normal? David's death was neither. It was murder. He was found lying in a strangers driveway in a pool of blood. He had been punched, stomped and beaten over his entire body. I still have so many questions. I wrote this book at first for therapy and then for answers. I have found a few. I mainly realized l lost a brother tragically and senselessly. Like every other face in the crowd I have a story..and I want to share my story with you! PUBLICATION DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED LATE SUMMER/EARLY FALL :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Favorite things...Pantry Edition..

Having just returned from a most fabulous weekend at the beach with my husbands entire family as well as our own; I have to admit my pantry is quite empty. Except for of course my favorite things:
Golden Grahams Cereal-I do not drink milk so I just snack on them
Hunts Pasta Sauce(Four Cheese) in a can
Whole Grain angel hair
Betty Crocker cake mix, frosting and brownie mix
Lemon and Pepper Spice (have to have it for steak and chicken)
White albacore tuna (one can)
Arnold's whole grain protein bread (1/2 loaf yikes)
Smucker's Peanut Butter (not crunchy) and Smucker's grape jelly..
I need to go shopping..but for now I can live on these things..
Thank you Mrs. 4444 for providing this fun and easy Monday Morning blog hop; I am so sad I missed the 100th edition of Friday Fragments but I will double fragment for 101!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Friday Fragments

Does any one remember Fraggle Rock? The song from that show just popped into my head and it won't go away!
I usually try to refrain from politics on my blog; usually..but the couple that crashed the White House Party did get their own Bravo reality show; that is just wrong. And this oil that is just gushing into our Gulf of Mexico..are you telling me there is no one smart enough to plug a stupid hole. This is America; okay so we did not build pyramids here but the Empire State Building was built in what a year in the 1930's? We have sent men to the moon! Plug the stupid hole already! Does anyone else realize no one is asking what caused the explosion? And why was our head of homeland security the first 'on the scene' I would have thought the head of the environment. 11 men where killed! Things do not just blow up...I believe our government has turned into a reality show..okay enough of that and please excuse me but I just had to get rid of that fragment.
So I am so excited I am finally getting really close to 100 followers; thank you to all that follow, I really appreciate you!
My daughter Jillian and brand new baby Peyton Elizabeth have settled in at home. She is a really good baby and only gets up once during the night to eat. I got to babysit once already. She slept the whole time and I just watched her sleep. Can I just tell you all that have not reached the grandmother milestone yet, there is nothing in this world more amazing than watching your babies baby sleep. If you have little ones, seriously do not blink, they grow up so fast. I do not have a new picture yet but if you scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page you can take a peek at Peyton and her cousin Adriana. You will also see the link for FF down there. Thank you Mrs.4444, you are fragtastic! How about that another new word; I also learned blog slapping this week. I hope it never happens to me because I am very sensitive..
I have a little book news this week..I did my first interview at "Say Anything" and it will be posted June 21st. I am a little bummed because I will be at the beach for a week and I am just crossing my fingers someone has a laptop so I can see it. Of course I am happy to be going to the beach for a week with 200 other family members I am sure I will come back well rested (yeah ok; maybe not). I also promise to learn how to put links and photo's in posts. I am just way to fragmented this week to learn anything. My button thingy nearly fried me! My husband and I celebrated our 3rd anniversary yesterday. We have been through so much in 3 years. If you want to read the amazing story of how we came together check out the next post down.
We never did find anyone to stay with our homeless lady and the little dogs but 2 neighbors and my son's friend said they will check on them every day. Should I be nervous? I'm not I wrote like 30 lists for each of them. I feel so much better now thank you all for letting me vent and Happy Weekend! Don't forget to scroll down and look and the princesses.....Your next..

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I just wanted to say this again..Happy Anniversary John..

Just a few years ago, I did not believe in anything anymore. I was hanging on to faith by a thread, a very thin thread. I was pretending to have fun. I joined some dating sights and was dating a lot. I was pretending to be writing a book. Typing a few thoughts and sentences each night. Inside though; I was wallowing in self pity. I was fighting a fight for justice and I was losing. I hate to lose! Then this photo popped up in my in box. The guy was wearing a tank top (yeah, one of those wife beater ones) and he was leaning against a motorcycle. My first thought was "oh Lord". He sold cars for a living. Ugh! I was distracted for a few moments and when I got back to my computer the photo was still there. Usually the screen saving fish would have appeared. I wondered what happened to them. There was this man looking at me. His eyes were talking to me. I answered his e-mail. Our first meeting was like most first on line dating meetings. We met at a restaurant. I was not uncomfortable the way I was on most of these 'first meetings'. There were those annoying red flags that I swore to myself I would listen too. He was a recovering alcoholic. Huge red flag. 16 years sober; the flag faded. After finishing our conversation and our chicken salads, he asked me to go to the beach with him. I scared myself and agreed. I still have no idea how that okay just popped out of my mouth. He had a stuffed Winnie the Pooh on his dashboard. I love Pooh. From the moment I entered his truck I had the strangest feeling. Not an ut-oh you are about to be axe murdered feeling; more like an out of body experience. The songs softly coming from the radio were every one of my sentimental favorites. I never talked about my brother's murder on a date. Especially on a first date. This man started telling me how he lost his seventeen year old son. Then he mentioned the date his son died. I gave him what I am sure was the strangest look. My brother died on the same date. We arrived at the beach. It was totally deserted. We sat there talking, I told him about David. It seems silly but I swear I had never seen so many stars in the sky in my life. I should have been freezing. I'm always cold. Conversation continued; his father's name was Francis John. My father's name is Francis John. They both lived in the same town in Florida. We both had sisters named Dee. He told me we were sitting were he scattered his son's ashes. At that moment fireworks filled the sky. We had no idea where they came from as the town was literally deserted. Yes it started with him sending me an e-mail and me answering. What happened from that moment on I believe was a force much greater than the two of us. Some force decided two lost, sad souls needed to find one another. Thirteen months later I married that man on the very spot on the beach where we had our first date. There are no coincidences in God's world. I believe in fate.

Monday, June 14, 2010

More from Bristol Stomp...Grief?

David’s birthday was July 3rd. My mother wanted to have a birthday party for him. I thought that was really weird. We all showed up anyway and it was really weird. Was I the only one bothered by having a birthday party for a dead person? I guess we do celebrate the birthdays of a lot of dead people. We celebrate President’s Day, Martin Luther King Day and of course let’s not forget Jesus.
I remembered learning in psychology class that everybody handles grief differently. I did not want to handle grief I just wanted to wake up from this nightmare and have David here with us.
I started to feel very disconnected from my family. Not from my kids but from my mother, sister and brothers. I wondered why. Had I done something wrong? On the other hand maybe it was because I was doing nothing. I just slept. I wanted to see a ghost. I wanted Dave to be in my dreams and I wanted him talking to me. Just like on that day after the funeral when he tickled my toes and asked me to get up and make coffee. I wanted him to tell me what actually happened and why. I believed in ghosts and angels and thought because I believed I would see.
Jimmy Galione was out on bail. I hoped I would not run into him. I was so confused because I thought if you were charged with murder there was no bail. I had a lot to learn about our justice system. I kept wondering when the others would be charged. Randy just kept saying be patient. I had no other choice, so I trusted him.
I woke up one morning and dreaded the thought of getting out of bed. That was everyday, but this day I felt so heavy. I realized it was Saturday. Saturday was always the day I slept late. I laid there in my bed for a long time, thinking. I thought about my family. What was going to happen to us? Would we ever be close again? How in the world will we ever get past this horror? I wanted a cup of tea so I forced myself to get up. I made it half way down the steps and sat down. I heard voices. It was my kids. They were talking about me and wondering what they could do for me. What could they do to help me get through the loss of my brother? I heard Jill saying she could not even imagine losing her brother. I started to cry. I always thought I was a good mother. Really I was a fake. Oh I loved them so much it hurt. But I could have done so much more for them.
Maybe I should have worked things out with their father and stayed with him. I should have sacrificed my happiness for theirs. I had been in relationships that were not always healthy. That was not a good example. My financial situation was always up and down. Sometimes I did really well and at other times we were down right poor. Every thing I ever wanted to be for them I was not. Now here I was sitting on a step feeling so sorry for myself I could not even function. They were so young to have something this horrific happen in their lives. They still had their grandmother, grandfather and great-grandmother. This was the first time they ever had to face death.
I felt so guilty. I should be there for them. I sat on that step and decided that I would pull myself together and some how, I would be a role model for these kids. I would find some way to make something good come out of this horror. I had no idea what I would do but I would figure something out. I went back upstairs and took a shower. I did not cry but I thought I would just wash all the sorrow off and let it go down the drain. I talked to God. This is a very bad thing that happened. I’m not angry with you, but I would like to understand. I asked God to help me. My kids were still here. I had Birna and baby Michael. I thanked God for them. I needed to think about my grand babies Allyson and Kyle.
I never thought about being angry with God and I found that strange. I was angry with the murderers. I wondered why I was not angry with God. That I would figure out some other day; not today.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Friday Fragments:

Thank you Mrs.4444 for hosting Friday Fragments. And thank you for the awesome go girl and the book; both will be heading to the beach with me next week..
Yes next Saturday we head to the beach along with my husbands 6 sisters, one brother and all of their spouses, kids and grand kids as well as our own kids, their spouses and grand kids. It is not really a vacation it is a lot of work. Okay there is a lot of fun involved too. And who can complain about laying on the beach everyday with a good book or catching up with family. The smiles on the little ones faces make it all worth while.
The homeless lady and dog sitter we have had lined up since February bailed out yesterday. So now I have to find someone to watch a crazy old lady and 2 spoiled little doggies, and work the entire week. My sister-in-law from Florida arrives with her 15 yr. old daughter on Friday. They stay with us for 6 weeks. I am really looking forward to seeing them!
I actually did some writing this week; very little but I did some. Tomorrow I work taking care of 2 other people's old people then head off to grand daughter Allyson's (14)1st Softball playoff game; and after the game back to her house for her 7 year old brother Dominic's 8th birthday. This will be brand new baby Peyton's first family get together she is one week and one day old. I babysat her the other day and she slept the whole time. I enjoyed just watching her sleep. If you scroll all the way down you will find Mrs. 4444's link and a little further and you can take a peek at Adriana's first birthday and Peyton. I promise to have new pictures up next week; I need a new camera card!
I hope you all have a great weekend and a powerful and positive week. God Bless you all!

Monday, June 7, 2010

From the book "Bristol Stomp" It is all about me..

I was still involved in such an unhealthy relationship. After I counted all the horrible things I had done in my life and all the awful things that happened to me, I would try to plan my escape. How could I do it with the least amount of confrontation and angst?
Yeah it was pretty obvious I was a nut case. Now I had this traumatic stress thing too. I wasn’t the only one suffering with this illness or disorder. Most of my family had the thing too. If someone slammed a door I jumped out of my skin. If a car followed me too closely I had to pull over. It was such a release to talk about these episodes in my homicide survivors group. I was also educating myself on the disorder and working on getting it under control. I did not want to be on medication for one minute longer than I had to be.
Towards the end of the summer my symptoms started to lesson. Unfortunately as my mental symptoms became more infrequent my physical ones seemed to be getting worse. I decided I needed to take better care of myself. I bought vitamins that were supposed to help with energy. I took vitamin C and E. I bought calcium supplements. They were like chocolate, caramel candy so I enjoyed taking them. I became obsessive about washing my hands. Germs were the enemy. I was so tired of the sinus infections. Two weeks after starting my new health regime I got sick to my stomach. I had pains in my sides. I took some Advil and went to bed. When I got up in the morning I had a rash all over my body. My throat and chest felt like it was on fire. My face was swollen and I had a fever. I was admitted to St. Mary’s Hospital.
After six days on IV liquids and antibiotics I finally got a diagnosis. The rash was caused by a turtle virus. I had recently bought my grand daughter Allyson a turtle and had helped her clean the cage. The virus had a very long name but apparently there is no cure for it other than antibiotics and cream for the rash. I would have it for life. It could remain dormant for years or become chronic. Great I thought, now I am scared to death of turtles.
The burning pain in my throat and stomach was caused by an allergic reaction to those calcium supplements I loved so much. They were made with shellfish, which I am very allergic too. My intestines had been burned so badly I was unable to eat for two weeks. Those Burger King commercials were killing me. I was starving. They also told me my appendix was slightly swollen and I had diverticulitis. I remained in the hospital for another week. The whole experience was scary but honestly I was relieved that there was a physical cause and not a mental one.
By early September I was feeling so much better, mentally and physically. I tried to enjoy my job again and spent as much time as possible with the kids. My counseling was going really well and I actually felt like I was helping the newer members of the group. I continued my classes because there was no doubt in my mind I wanted to help victims and survivors. I wanted to become a counselor.

Then it all came crashing down again…9/11 happened. I went in to the paper really early that morning with plans of catching up on some work. A friend called and asked if I had heard a plane crashed into the World Trade Center. She knew I had a friend that worked in the building. My partner had arrived, so together we walked down to the newsroom and there it was on all the televisions. When the second plane hit, we thought it was a re-play of the first. Having a father that worked in the airline business I knew immediately it was not an accident. No pilot would crash into a building. There was too much water close by.
I went back to my little cubby office and then heard the pentagon had been hit. Now I was terrified. My partner and I went out back to smoke a cigarette and watched five military jets wiz by. Our building was located right on the Delaware River and they were headed north, to New York we imagined. I had to get out of that building. I decided I would try to salvage the day and visit some clients. Glenn Beck was on the radio in my car. Sometimes I listened to talk radio other times music. Today was a news day. The more I listened the sadder I felt. Every client I visited was glued to their televisions, just stunned. I called all of my kids, I just had a need to know they were safe. I went home and lied on the sofa and watched the news all night. It was just one horror story after another.
Of course it was all about me. I had lost a brother to murder. I had an awful childhood, just a horrible life all together and now this. Now our whole country was being threatened by terrorists. All of my hard work in therapy was going down with those buildings. I wanted to crawl back into my dark hole. I felt sick again.
As I continued to watch through the night all of a sudden it wasn’t about me anymore. I watched the faces of strangers not knowing whether their loved ones had survived. The thought of all those mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and friends that lost their loved ones that day was overwhelming. Would they end up like me, afraid of their own shadows and physically sick? I prayed for them and I cried for them.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday Fragments

TGIF..what a long week..
On Saturday I attended the 1st birthday party of my 10th grand child Adriana Jean. Just a small gathering of 100 or so of her family and friends after the party I took 4 grand daughters home with me; we made a campfire, had hot dogs, smores and told scary stories. On Sunday they washed my car and the oldest cut the grass.
On Tuesday after a long emotional day at 4:28pm Peyton Elizabeth made her entrance into the world. 5lbs 11 oz and 18in long. She is perfectly healthy and so is her Mom. Great big hugs and thanks you's to all of you who thought of us and sent prayers our way. She is gorgeous and perfect. (and very loud for a tiny thing). Scroll all the way down to get a peek at her and Adriana! The rest of my week was very fragmented..grandson's baseball game(they won) grand daughters softball game they won 11-10 and ended their season undefeated (of course the playoffs will mess with at week at the shore)hospital visits to snuggle and bond with Peyton.(Heavenly) Other than that having Peyton's 4 year old sister in tow all week I did not get much writing done so I will have to catch up. Now I am off to spirit day at 7 year old grand daughters school (she is also Peyton's big sister).
The funniest thing this week..Avery the 4 year old when we were leaving the hospital the second day she said "Mom-Mom I am so so happy my sister had some close on today" Boy was it tough explaining the whole birthday suit concept! Have a positive and powerful week everyone. And thank you again Mrs. 4444. Scroll down for her link.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A very Sunny Day..

Not only did I receive the blessing of a brand new baby grand daughter I also received my first ever blogger award!! Thank you so much to Cleo from (for the link to this very sunny blog click on "view my complete profile" and scroll down)
So 5 things that bring me sunshine:
1) Gods Miracles (I have witnessed many)
2) My entire family and wonderful husband
3) Baby shoes (the really tiny ones and the feet that wear them)
4) Positive people
5) The beach with family
I would like to pass the award onto these people who have made me smile:
-Kelly Wantach@Lyrical Woodshedding (because her blog is full of sunshine's rewards)
-Judith Van Praag@Hope filled Jars (because I would not survive without hope)
-Joni@ One Voice Write Right (Because she inspires me)
-Alaine@Queen of Happy Endings (because she suffered a terrible loss and still believes in Happy Endings)
-Elaine @Blooming in Midlife (because I understand blooming in midlife)
*For the links to meet these amazing ladies click on "view my complete profile" and scroll down; you will be happy you took the time!
*For you winners post 5 things that bring you sunshine and pass the award on to 5 others!

Welcome to the world..

On June 1, 2010 at 4:28 pm my 11th grand child was born! Another addition to our baby parade. I have not held her yet; she wasn't warm enough. I am hoping to go see her in a little bit and snuggle her for a long time.
Thank you everyone for your prayers and good thoughts, they worked as she weighs 5lbs 11oz. and is healthy. She is also very loud; good lungs.
My daughter Jillian is a bit sore from the c-section but will hopefully be feeling much better in a few days. I'd like to snuggle with her too but I better not!
I don't know how to put pictures in posts so if you scroll all the way to the bottom of the page you can take a peek at Peyton Elizabeth!