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 :)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Friday Fragments:

Well I have no idea where this week went but here we are at Friday again. Thank you to Mrs. 4444 for hosting the 105th Friday Fragments. Scroll down and you will find the link to Half Past Kissing Time so you can join us.
I like Friday's now because I used to work weekends and now I don't. Sort of makes me feel normal to be home on a Saturday and Sunday.
I do have great news; Michael was moved to another hospital; he was in a trauma center and now he is in a hospital that specializes in rehab. He was doing great for 2 days, he even stood up and he can have water and juice and a little jello. He still cannot talk because of the respirator and we thought that would come out today but he got a fever again. They hooked him up on antibiotics right away and are pretty sure it is just what is left of the pneumonia. He is able to write a bit and that is so much less frustrating than trying to read his lips.
Dominic is doing better. He still has a lot of pain; but he is healing. The summer camp had planned to take the kids to the zoo on Tuesday and the counselors came over to my daughter's house and asked if they could take Dom. She says she knows it was just a freak accident and her son nearly lost his foot but he wanted to go so she said yes. They surprised him with an electric wheel chair and when he got home declared the crutches just were not working and he needed an electric chair. We all got a kick out of that but their house is just too small, he would only be able to ride in circles.
Since the 2 accidents I have not done much writing. I am so behind. I haven't done much of anything. My house is a disaster. I can only take that for so long and then I will start cleaning like crazy. I feel one of those days coming on. I need a whole day to clean and then a whole day to write. I still have sand in my car from our vacation in June..yuk!
I received another award this week and I am very appreciative to Ciss B. from Journaling my life away.
I got an idea when I read Brandy's post from Happily Blended. It was a post about getting ready to go back to school. (It really freaks me out to even be talking about school already). Anyway; I always get my grand kids their book bags and I fill them with stuff they may or may not need. Well I think I am going to give them all note cards, pens and stamps and tell them I want them to mail me a note once a week for the whole school year. Kind of a Friday Fragments for kids. I love getting texts from the 4 year old and e-mails from the others but I really do not think they teach kids how to write letters anymore. I will let you all know how the little project goes.
Baby Peyton Elizabeth will be 2 month's old on the 1st. She is still really tiny. My daughter Jillian has been working on her room and I am planning to go see them on Sunday and of course will bring a few more things for the nursery.
I have been enjoying meeting a lot of people from Over 40 Bloggers Friday Follow and if you fit into that category you may want to scroll down and find their link too!
So how many of you watched our President on 'The View'? Just curious..

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Another Award:)

Thank you so much to Ciss B. from journaling my life away; this is very much appreciated. Now I must share 7 things about myself..that you may not here I go:
1) I smoke and I hate it; I want to quit so badly. I do not smoke a lot, a couple a day and I hate that the stupid dirty things have control over me.
2) I believe in miracles. I have witnessed 14 babies being born and there is no one that can see the wonder of new life and not believe.
3) My husband has 6 older sisters. This can be good and it can be very, very bad!
4) I admittedly have bathroom phobia. I will hold it for hours before I will use a public restroom or pee outside.
5) I have 2 dogs. Lance and Louie; they are silky terriers and 2 little terrorists!
6) I have an 83 year old homeless woman living in my house. My husband found her on the sidewalk on a cold and rainy night 18 months ago.
7) I love blog awards. Seems silly.. I know, but I put my heart and soul into the books I have written and I try very hard to be a good blog friend, so I get all emotional when someone notices.
Now I must bestow this honor onto 15 newly discovered blogs and they must share 7 things about them selves and pass it on. So because I think you are quite versatile I pass this award onto:
1) Plain Upon Tablets (Just because I LOVE her!!)
2) A few Clowns short..Uplifting for sure..
3) Beginning a life at 50 (what could be more versatile than that)?
4) Eternal Lizdom..very smart..
5) Happily Blended..because I too am happily blended..
6) Unknown Mami..just because I LOVE her!
7) Wanna buy a about versatile..
8) Velvet over Steel..because Coreen is versatile and so smart!
9) Dropped Stitches 72..because her comment made me teary..
10) Li-Bear-y Corner..because her comments made me smile..
11)Traci @ 38 and growing..very versatile..
12) Kathy from Edshunnybunny..because she could use a smile..
13) Kate@ Some things I think..The queen of versatile..and oh so funny!
14) Vivianne's Vista..because her comment made me smile..
15) Deanna @ Almost Perfect Woman
If you have not been to visit these folks; please do; you will not be disappointed!
Their links can be found on 'My complete profile page'
Now I must go visit all of the above..

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Fragments:

What a difference a week can make. Last night Michael moved from ICU to Step down! He still has a long recovery ahead but this was one giant step forward and such a relief for all of us!
Little Dominic is doing well also; as well as can be expected for an 8 year old boy who is trapped on the sofa with pillows under his leg in July. He is actually going to the zoo today with his summer camp in a wheel chair. My daughter is a nervous wreck but I'm sure those counselors feel so bad about the accident they will be extra careful with him.
I feel like I have lost the whole month of July. I am expecting the release date for my book soon and I am supposed to have the second one completely finished by the time I get the date. The second book is about Michael; so I have an awful lot to add. I also have to plan a release party and although I have always dreamed of being a writer and that dream has come true I feel bad celebrating because I am realizing my dream because my brother died. Any ideas?
Do you know how tragedies and deaths bring out the worst in some people? Well Michael's step father called my husband and basically told him I did some things that I never did. I am one that avoids confrontation at all cost but I was so angry not that he lied about me but that he upset my husband at such a difficult time. Well I called him in front of my husband (on speakerphone) and made him admit he lied. It felt good to stand up for myself for a change but I am harboring resentment and having trouble forgiving him. I need to work on that. There was also someone else from my husband's family that made some ignorant comments to me. I ignored her and my husband brought it up later and told me he heard them and he was angry. I told him we should just let it go and concentrate on Michael. I am also harboring that resentment and don't know if I should forgive and forget or confront?
On a much happier note I stopped by yesterday for a quick visit with brand new grand baby Peyton and her sisters. She is still so tiny but I got a smile from her and that will get me through the week..
I had a talk with my doggies and told them why we have been gone so much and asked them to stop peeing in the house. Strangely since the 'talk' they haven't peed in the house. Do you think I could have a new career as a dog whisperer?
Friday fragments are brought to us by the famous Mrs.4444 over at half past kissing time and Follow Friday from Java at Over 40 bloggers; please scroll down and grab those links and start hopping.
I have made so many new friends this past week, I cannot help but smile!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Fragments

Where do I start? Michael (my stepson) was in a motorcycle accident 3 weeks ago and continues to be in critical condition in ICU. The good news is he woke up yesterday and recognizes everyone and can shake his head yes or no. Because of the ventilator he still cannot speak. Thank you to all who have sent good thoughts and prayers his way..they are to just get out of ICU would really put my mind at ease!
Yesterday my family had yet another trauma; my 8 year old grandson Dominic had a 50 pound pole go through his leg..Miraculously no bones were broken and 80+ stitches later; he will be okay. He is in a lot of pain and very scared but he will be fine! I put a photo of him and Michael all the way down and while you are scrolling down there you will see the link to the wonderful Mrs.4444 who hosts Friday Fragments every week and also a link for over 40 bloggers!
While my husband and I have been occasionally going to work and spending every other second at the hospital; our 2 dogs are being terrible. They have a doggy door and our homeless lady to make sure they have food and water but they have now peed on every pair of shoes I own and all over the house. Do you think they want me to stay home? LOL!
I am so behind in my writing and blogging and am so sorry I will be back to visit all of you real soon; I promise..
My garden is growing like crazy and I have barely had 2 minutes to give it any attention..the rotten squirrels are eating my tomatoes and I do not have any time to go get anything to keep them away..maybe this weekend I can send someone..
Baby Peyton is already 6 weeks old and Adriana is walking..My sweet daughter brought her to the hospital so I could see her walk just when I needed a smile the most..

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Update on Michael and from "Bristol Stomp"

Last Monday night the subject of my second book, my stepson Michael, was in a motorcycle accident. The book I have been writing involves the story of Michael finding his 17 year old brother hung at the age of 15. His life spiraled out of control and through the grace of God and the love of his Mom and Dad and his large family he was brought back. In August he will be celebrating 5 years of sobriety. He is a skilled carpenter, a title holding kick boxer and a home owner. His story, to me was miraculous. This young man battled back from the darkness of hell. As I find myself spending nights in the ICU just praying and waiting for his recovery..I can not help being brought back to the story of David and my many nights in the ICU praying for his survival.
Michael will survive. It has been a week of steps forward and three steps back. He is still in critical condition and has not woken up. He is facing his 7th surgery in ten days tomorrow. Watching the man I love, my husband John, and Michael's mother's devastation is breaking my heart. I know what they are feeling. But I know in my heart God will not take another child from them.


Where would she be going this time of night? It was after midnight and Birna was backing out of her driveway. I got one of those horrible feelings. Was something wrong with the baby? I convinced myself it was something as simple as a late night snack. I pulled up beside her and rolled down my window. “David got into a fight and I have to go to the hospital and pick him up”, she said. This really confused me. David involved in a fight? David does not fight. David hates fighting. I told her I would drive her. She got into my car and I headed to Lower Bucks Hospital. Birna told me she had no idea what had happened, other than David went to band practice. I told her about my night out with the girls and she told me about a special dinner she had cooked for Dave. She told me she was getting irritated with him because he was not home yet.
When we were close to the hospital she asked me where I was going. Lower Bucks, I answered. I assumed David’s band practice was in Bristol and the hospital is in Bristol. “They took him to Frankford/Torresdale”, she told me. My stomach dropped. I felt like I could not breathe. Frankford is a trauma center; it is in Northeast Philadelphia. They only take you there, from Bristol, if you are seriously hurt and you usually go in an ambulance. I was panicking and at the same time trying to appear calm. I did not want Birna to panic. The ride to the hospital was long. I do not know how I knew where it was, I just drove. I tried to come up with conversation to keep my mind from imagining the worst. I asked her if she was sure it had been a fight. Could they have said it was an accident? Yes a car accident would make more sense. They would take him to the trauma center as a precaution. No, she said, they said it was a fight and it happened in Bristol. That was what she knew.
I walked up to the desk and told the receptionist I was there to pick up David Albert. She told me there was no patient there by that name. A wave of relief came over me. I asked Birna who had called her. I was tired, it was late and I just wanted to pick Dave up and get home. “The police”, she answered and she was quite sure they said Frankford/Torresdale. I explained this to the receptionist and asked her to please check again. The news was not good. A nurse came out and told us Dave was unresponsive; he had been beaten very badly and needed surgery immediately to relieve pressure on his brain because of a head injury. No, we could not see him. She told us to have a seat in the waiting room. I could not think in full sentences.
The word brain surgery kept rolling around in my head. This is scary, I kept thinking. It was getting really difficult to remain rational. Nothing was making sense. I needed to call somebody. Birna did not want me to call the family until we knew more. I called my daughter, Jill. I told her where we were and asked her if she would try to call the guy’s from Dave’s band and find out what happened. I also asked her to call my mother and my brothers, Frank and Nick and my sister. Brain surgery just sounded so serious and I was not sure how much longer I could keep it together. Even if it did turn out to be not so serious; I just thought they should know.
A nurse took Birna and me into another waiting room on the second floor. It was a large room and there was no one else in there. It was so quiet. Birna and I just sat there. I was afraid to speak and absolutely terrified to think. I just kept imagining the nurse coming in and saying we have stitched him up and you can take him home.
Family members started to arrive at 3:00 in the morning. We still had no idea what had happened. There were just voices and then silence and voices. I have no idea what we were talking about. It was like one of those crazy dreams where you are straining to hear what is being said but you really do not care. The surgery went on all through the night. Dave had been with Joey and Anthony, band mates, and there was a fight. That was all we knew and it made no sense what so ever.
Why is David always the one who scares me? Early in the morning, Dave was wheeled out of surgery. We were able to see him for a minute. It was awful. He was so bruised I did not recognize him. The doctor explained he had suffered several very serious head injuries. A shunt was placed in his brain to relieve pressure. He was placed in a medically induced coma. She also explained that there where many other injuries, a shattered kidney, broken bones and deep cuts. These would have to wait, she said, because the head injuries were critical. She was not optimistic. In her opinion, David would not make it. I could not believe she came right out and said that. She was old. That’s what I thought. Maybe around 64, she was totally grey and her hair was a mess. Straggly I thought. A woman brain doctor, strange I was thinking. Was she in medical school forty years ago? She must have been smart. I did not like her, not one bit. Her words echoed in my head. I was going numb. He is still alive, I just kept saying that.
I needed to know how this happened. Who did this to my baby brother and why? I knew whatever happened it had happened in Bristol. I knew Randy Morris the police detective there. When I managed the Pizza Hut Delivery I used to give him and the other cops pizzas. I called him. He had no idea Dave was in critical condition. He said there had been a fight and he
was still trying to sort out the facts. He told me he was at an arraignment and would come to the hospital when he was through. I needed to talk to Anthony and Joey. They were nowhere to be found. There was no way they did this to Dave. Or did they? They were the best of friends, they were all fathers and they always got along. They were grown-ups. I could not think of one reason they would want to beat Dave up. I did not really think that was the answer but they were the ones that were with him. And where were they now? What was I supposed to think?
I went into David’s room. We had to take turns. A machine breathed for him. Wires hanging and that awful beep, beep sound of monitors. I told him I loved him and that I would never leave him. He was covered in dry crusty blood. I wanted to wash him. The nurse said that was not a good idea right then. It was important for his brain to rest. He had pieces of glass stuck in his face and on his hands. I found that strange. Why had they not removed that glass from him? It must hurt. How did he get glass all over him? Was he in a car accident? A car accident most certainly made more sense. There had to be some confusion here.
I wanted my son. He was away, in Army boot camp. David was his best friend. My heart sank. I did not want to give him this news but I needed him. I called the Red Cross. The woman told me she would have to speak to David’s doctor. I thought, damn does she really think I would make something like this up?
I gave her the phone number for the hospital. It felt good to be thinking of something else, to be working on something. After speaking with the doctor the woman from the Red Cross told me they would indeed arrange to have Jimmy sent home. This is really bad, I thought. If they were sending Jimmy home from the Army, it is bad. I did not know what else to do. I was so tired. I thought of my job. It was still early but I thought I better call my boss. I worked in Advertising at the Bucks County Courier Times. The news paper, I thought, one of the reporters may know what happened. I would have my boss check with the news room to see if they knew what had happened. Then I remembered it was Saturday. I went back into the waiting room, sat down and closed my eyes. I wanted to go to sleep and wake up from this horrendous nightmare.
Scroll all the way down to see pictures Michael, my stepson,who is fighting for his life.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Friday Fragments x2

I shopped and packed and filled my car to the brim and headed to the Jersey Shore for 7 days of beach fun and family time. It is very difficult to get all of our children and grand children together in one place for dinner let alone a week at the beach. We did it and it was chaotic; a lot of work and also the best family vacation ever! We celebrated 5 birthday's and a huge thank you to Mrs.4444's mother for the beautiful birthday song!:)
I will say I had computer withdrawal all week and have so much to catch up on.
On the way home last Saturday I drove the car with my 7 yr. old grand son Jimmy. My husband was in front of us on his Harley. We stopped to pay a bridge toll and the front tire of the Harley went flat. How lucky were we that it happened going 5 miles an hour and not 55? Very lucky indeed.
Sunday we were exhausted so we unpacked and chilled for the day watching the Phillie's game. We went to bed very early and on Monday it was back to work :(
We were still pretty wiped out Monday night so again we went to bed early.
Our phone rang at 1:00 am. When you have 5 kids and 11 grand kids a phone call at 1:00 am is never good news. Our first thought was something was wrong with brand new baby Peyton; she had been having some apnea and trouble with her breathing.
It was not the baby. It was the hospital and my 29 year old stepson, Michael had been in a motorcycle accident. They told us he was in surgery. The trauma center is 8 minutes from our house and for 8 minutes I prayed dear Lord please let him have had his helmet on. He did; Thank God. He had a deep gash on the back of his head that required staples to close. He was in surgery because he had internal bleeding from his spleen; a very damaged kidney, torn liver, bowel and just about every other organ. The surgery did not go well they could not even close him up, so they just packed him full of gauze to try to stop some of the bleeding until they could stabilize him. He also had an open fracture on his fore arm and broken ribs. He was critical and unstable. His mother was on a plane and on her way from Ohio.
This blog is about the book I wrote on the murder of my younger brother David. He died of massive head trauma.Today is his birthday, he would have been 38. Once I new Michael had no head trauma I was calm. I new he had terrible injuries but I also knew he is strong (a title holding kick boxer) and very healthy. He does not smoke or drink.
I found it very strange the faith I had that he would be okay. Head trauma kills people, everything else can be fixed, right? We, his father, mother, stepfather and I have not left him. 5 days and 5 surgeries he is still critical and has not opened his eyes. They will try surgery again on Sunday if he is stable. I must do a complete post at one point on the drama of the trauma center in Chester, Pa. In the mean time I will continue to fragment. Baby Adriana who is 13 month's was hospitalized yesterday with 105 temp. and dehydration. Hand, foot and mouth disease. What a stupid name for sores in your mouth and a fever. This was most likely caused by the scrumptious Atlantic Ocean water she swallowed and possibly a mouthful or two of sand. She will be fine but of course my daughter is very upset. I found myself so torn between driving an hour to be with my daughter or staying in the ICU with Michael. My son-in-law answered for me and said I was to stay put. This was their 3rd child and they would all be fine.
I went to work today for a short 3 hour shift to take care of someone else's old person. Her cat threw up the entire time I was there and the washer overflowed. Not quite the diversion I was looking for. I need another vacation. I need Michael to be okay.
Thank you for letting me empty my brain and thank you Mrs. 4444 for hosting Friday Fragments, scroll down for the link. Thank you also to all of my new friends at blogger's over 40. I am going to sleep now for a little bit and when I get up I am going to visit some of my favorite blogs hoping for a smile. Then I will go back to the hospital. If you are the praying type please send a few Michael's way and please all of you drive safely and have a nice 4th of July.