Memorial Day is a time to pray for all the soldiers who have passed away

These markers are placed in remembrance for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. How often do people walk by without looking at the name of the soldier thinking it is someone from so long ago they are not so relevant….. well this is not always the case. My parents fought for this corner street stone to remember my brother (and my father always planted flowers there). A small but critical conflict in Grenada in 1983 where Rangers were deployed to secure the island and ultimately extract the medical students studying there.

1983…. it wasn’t that long ago..I was in high school…it was a conflict that is often overlooked with little recognition but to those that were along side my brother, it seems like just yesterday and a moment in time that should not be forgotten. These men are so amazing and humble they are a completely different breed and deserve all of our thanks, every day; far more than the very few holidays we afford them in ‘remembrance of their duties’.

There was only a handful of soldiers who died that day and more wounded.

Always remember those that have fallen and their families who tried to move forward with a piece of their heart missing.

Witness Protection Please

 

This is “Chester” – I had to change his name to protect him from the cartel he was running on the Texas/Mexican boarder. He had just arrived a week before from the mean streets of Texas and staying in the day care system until a foster (temporary witness protection) or an adoption (full blown witness protection).

When the rescue agency tells you that this tiny brown boy not only was the head of the Chihuahua gang on the streets but also again in their day care too, you know he is the real deal. I didn’t make this up!

I haven’t asked about what brought him to New England and why he needed to hide out and he hasn’t offered any hints so I think it best to just ignore it. So far, he loves the area and the people.

It may be a while before he puts his past behind him and stops looking over his shoulder to see if someone recognizes him, but I have assured him, say the word and decorative outfits will be bought to disguise him. He came to the right house; no snitches here. Whatever it was, I think he was framed. 

The price of no vacations

I have not been ‘inspired’ to write anything these last many months as they have been tumultuous and heartbreaking; a fractured nose complete with concussion, the passing of my father (leaving me an orphan), my 9 year relationship dissolved, and facing the holidays for the first time without parents.

It is time to heal, push forward and grasp the limited time I have here – so no more sadness, time for the vacation updates….

It is no surprise to any one who knows me that I love to travel. I am proud to say that I am not a ‘tourist’ but rather a ‘traveler’ blending in with the locals as best I can by researching the area and culture, food and fun. The latest and greatest was a 10-day Christmas extravaGANZA to Paris with Goose.

We had both been to Paris before, me with my parents just out of high school and she with her high school french class, but this trip together was amazing.

 

We did hit the hot spots, Eiffel Tower (where we had our Christmas dinner complete with an out of this world bottle of Champagne! Merry Christmas to us!) Arc d’Triumph, and Notre Dame (where I lost my phone on the bus and had to spend half the afternoon tracking it down and explaining that the case that holds the phone says “don’t touch my phone” could be considered ironic…let’s ask Alanis…)

     

The Louvre was a bit disappointing as it was overcrowded with pushy souvenir sales people. They are hard to ignore and completely take away from the magic that surrounded us. We also walked to the Moulin Rouge – did not attend a performance as there was much more interesting things to do, see, and eat!

           

YUM – Charcuterie at Le Chat Noir – made a meal of it! and dessert oh my!

          

Have to get the selfies in – in front of Sacre Coeur and Notre Dame.      

Simply an amazing trip to add to the collection of travels and adventures we have had together… and always more to come, much more.

So to get to the title of this post – the price of no vacations — it is the stolen memories… the laughs, the adventures, the awkward conversations in broken languages, the bond created during the fantastic experience… this is the price of no vacations because it never happened.

Love – the motivation for bail money

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If this doesn’t sum up the love we all have for our partner and yet… no one really wants to talk about it (especially Disney). We deserve to be told the truth about love when we are growing up, why is it such a secret? It only creates disappointment by not being prepared.

One day you can’t stop smiling, can’t stop laughing, can’t stop thinking about that getaway you are planning, and either later that day or the next, your thoughts turn to – how to make it look like an accident – but you don’t, nor would you, follow through. Why? because that is what love is.

Taking the good days with the bad; the sheer bliss with the overwhelming desire to run as far as the dirty crumpled dollar bill, warm gummy bears, and torn tissues in your pocket will take you… the compromises, the stolen glances that still make your heart beat just a bit faster… It’s a packaged deal and there is no way that your relationship will last if you don’t know this going into it.

Love gives you more patience than you ever thought imaginable. It also gives you motivation to start a collection – also known as bail money.

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The love-hate relationship with October

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I love Halloween, it is my favorite holiday EVER, period. However, it is also the most painful month too.

Gone too soon, only 21 years old for a few months… I am reposting this because of the 33 yrs anniversary:

It is with great displeasure that I write this post. What I wouldn’t give to have my brother back these 30+ years. To see whom he would have married, his children, his choices in life. But instead he chose one of the most unselfish ways to spend his short time here among us, he joined the Army and became an elite Ranger. Consequently he was killed during the second wave in a very small town, on a very small Caribbean island called Grenada, giving coverage to many American medical students forced to return home during a hostile political event.

A devastating time for my parents; to be told you will never see your child again, to never say good bye one last time, to say I Love You one last time. It’s one of those things we take for granted I think, saying I love you, taking for granted you will see or talk to the person tomorrow and remember ‘next time we talk’. Even saying it in passing is great to hear, but not quite the same as if you knew it would be the very last time…the very last time… heart breaking, devastating, it goes beyond that. There is just no word for the amount of empty left behind.

He was just a great person, not because he is no longer here and fond memories can sometimes overshadow the bad times, he was truly one of those people who would go out of his way for you to make sure you were happy, to help if he could, a kind and gentle soul and so very funny. He loved music, was artistic, and put up with his kid sister always tagging along when he just wanted to hang with his friends.

Ah, his friends, they were bountiful and from so many different crowds; neighborhood, school, church, sports, he fit into all the groups with ease because there were so many different levels of him to love. I could go on for pages giving him accolades, and all would be true, but I won’t.

Recently I have been given the opportunity to have him, and his unit, honored for years to come as I have been requested to submit his picture (shown above) to the National Museum, United States Army for a permanent exhibit in their halls. How proud we of him, how much we miss him every day, how I would give anything to change that day and have him back.

Operation Urgent Fury

Operation Urgent Fury

#MemorialDay

Fab-u-lous at 50!

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The age of 50 may not seem ancient to all, but as my birthday to turn the big 5-0 was just last week, it feels ancient. It is a new decade. I am no longer in that 40-49 bracket (gasp!). Waking up in the morning creates the sounds of new pops, creaks, and snaps (and ouchies)…

I am trying to make the best of it, comes to terms with it, and thankfully Goose threw me a birthday party to remind me, things are not all that bad…maybe I am not as old, decrepit, and ancient as I tend to think. She rented an enormous house-6 bedrooms, 3 bath, and a third floor ballroom!! (courtesy of my Pop wish he could have attended…), I was surrounded by amazing friends (who drove upwards of two hrs to celebrate with me), laughs all weekend long (ever played the game “cards against humanity? say no more), won $$ at roulette (yes!) and danced the night away (no hokey-pokey here). I am not sure if it gets any better than that.

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What would I do without my Goose? An amazing young woman who goes above and beyond for those she loves. I would be lost without her.

cheers!

cheers!

Cheers to another year! Thanks Mom – wish you were here – you would have shown the gang a few moves, at the expense of throwing out a hip! God Bless you!

The value of time? Priceless.

There are many things we cannot put a price on; love, trust, time…especially time… The value is priceless – it is just that simple.

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My daughter’s laugh; priceless (and contagious)

There is just not enough time for us to have fun together; we always want more.

If I could pay for more time with her, I would surely rob a bank.

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We paint, we plant, we indoor skydive, we vacation, we explore, we adventure…never enough time… value of time is priceless.