Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Tragedy is not a big enough word...

My cousin Sherri, shown above here EXACTLY as she always was--HAPPY and FULL OF JOY and LAUGHING OUT LOUD--has died.
And I can't believe it. I can't get over it! I cannot understand it AT ALL!
When I tell people that she passed (through my two weeks of endless tears), they ask, "Was she sick?"
Nope. In fact, you've never seen a healthier person. Turbo kick boxer, avid walker, watched everything she ate so she could be slim and healthy!
Or they ask, "Was she in an accident?"
Nope. She was in her bathroom getting ready for work and told her husband she had a headache.
She collapsed a few minutes later.
And that was it.
Five brain aneurysms. Surgery didn't help.
She laid in the hospital for a week as people prayed and hoped and all solutions were exhausted.
She passed away a week ago today. December 16, 2014.
I was in New York City when I got the ultimate and inevitable news.
There I stood--in Central Park--staring at the Bethesda Fountain angel--sobbing.
Life all around me literally stood still.
With all the sadness of this past year--of my whole life, truly--this is perhaps the most devastated I have ever felt. I am having trouble thinking clearly. I forget what I am doing at work. I am overcome with sadness and QUESTIONS and I truly cannot figure this one out.
Sherri and I grew up down the street from each other. We went to St. Catherine's together. We liked boys together. We worked at Coco's together. We were closer than most sisters...
Sherri was a pilot and had her own plane. She was mother to Nathan, and in fact she and I were pregnant together with our sons. She was happily married to Mike--who is 25 years older than her and whose MOTHER just turned 100--for 25 years. They traveled and rode motorcycles and went to Nascar races and LOVED baseball! We went to DOZENS of baseball games together.
She had come to both of my mom's funeral events.
Sherri comforted ME as she sobbed for her Aunt Donas at the burial of my mom's ashes on November 29.
Who knew--WHO KNEW--that she would be GONE 10 days later?
I loved this woman and her kindness was a TRUE beacon of light for everyone who EVER met her.
Happy and loving and friendly and thoughtful and tender and OH so full of life.
The life is gone. And I cannot--ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT--figure this out.
No fair.
I guess the goal is to realize you will NEVER figure this out. Or get over it.
And, perhaps, it's a lesson for me--and you--
We're all terminal. Whether it's an illness or an accident or an aneurysm--we are all on our way out.
What we do between now and that final day is up to us.
I hope to be like Sherri--full of life and laughter every day between now and my final moment.
I am not sure I'll be laughing much today. I can't seem to stop crying.
Yes, I am sure it's a culmination of grief...
And confusion.
Why oh why...
I will miss you, Sweet Sherri.
I already do

Thursday, December 11, 2014

December 11, 2014

Today would have been my Grandpa John's 100th birthday! 
He died in February 2007--at 93 wonderful years old!
Seriously...I truly miss him nearly every day.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Birthday SWEET Lu!

Though we went to high school together, Lorraine Jacobs and I really didn't know each other. However, through a series of unfortunate events, our paths crossed about five years ago right now!
And OH how much LIFE and LAUGHTER and LOVE we have packed into these past five FABULOUS years! Paris and Rome and Palm Springs and Santa Anita and Ostrich Land and Temecula and Cinque Terre and NEW YORK CITY and Nice and Florence and Sienna...
From the top of the Eiffel Tower to the top of the Empire State Building...to the TOP of my life-long friendship!
I love you SWEET LU! Here's to MANY more years of ADVENTURE and EXPLORATION and FRIENDSHIP!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Weight for it...

 This is me. Well, not really me, but a GREAT visual of my thoughts and my relationship with my weight...and with the scale: total frustration.
I have had an ongoing battle with my weight since childhood. My love affair with POP TARTS and Ding Dongs was to blame at that time...and, perhaps, my family's favorite recreational activity--TV watching.
The thing is, I truly had my weight under control prior to this last year and a half or so. I stopped eating carbs about six years ago--and that worked like a charm to keep me at MY preferred weight--130 pounds. I was VERY  happy and didn't mind getting on the scale each day.
But, at what seemed to be EXACTLY my 50th birthday, the weight began to creep back on.
I would get on the scale--as I had every single morning for 10 years--and I would SCREAM when I saw the number...the every increasing number!
Last week, after watching everything I ate very diligently, after repeating the word "discipline" to myself as I made my plate in the cafeteria...after walking and playing tennis very faithfully, I got on the scale again.
I had not lost one pound. In fact, it had gone up again.
I was so upset and angry and frustrated...I began to cry.
Not a great way to start the day...for me OR for Dave.
After nearly two years of hearing my daily anger at the scale, my frustration with food and the lack there of...AND the tears and cussing day after day...
I came home one day last week and the scale was gone.
I must admit I went crazy looking for it--under the bed, in the garage, in the back of our closet...
But then I realized that even HE had had enough.
It's been nearly two weeks now since I stepped on the scale...and, I have to admit, I've been in a better mood in the mornings. Which lasts throughout the day. And makes for an easier work day...and a nicer Julie
I don't start the mornings with disappointment and despair...and defeat any more and, I must confess, that is a nice thing.
I've been watching what I eat and walking and playing tennis and drinking lots of water...
and hoping that things fit better rather than hoping to see the "score" of my efforts.
I suppose at this time of year, I should choose to be grateful for my health and the good life I have and focus more on the positives rather than the negatives.
I'm thinking the scale needs to make a comeback on January 1st--just for a check up. We'll see.
I am hoping that 2015 is the year I get a handle on the balance of habits and happiness, hope and health.
Scaling down...?
It's worth weighting for.

Friday, November 21, 2014

I can't get caught up.
If I had more time right now...I'd write more.
But I am truly overwhelmed.
Admitting it is the first step, right...?