Friday, September 28, 2012


In April, 2013 Grammy's Gang will become 7 instead of 6!  That's right everybody, baby #7 is on its way thanks to the efforts of Kristy and Todd.  I couldn't be happier; being blessed with another child is the greatest gift anyone can be given.  All of my six grandchildren are healthy, happy and have the potential to change the world.  I know #7 will be no different.

Forty years ago I would never have imagined the kind of family I now enjoy.  When Joy and Barry were babies, I had a hard time seeing myself someday as the mother of 8 and 9 year olds. Yet, not only was I that mother, but was then pregnant with Kristy.  Those child-rearing years were tough. There were many, many happy times; there were probably as many stressful, conflicting times as well.  There were days when I loved those kids to death; there were days when I was ready to kill them.  Of course I speak figuratively here, but I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.

Despite all the highs and lows and everything in between, my three children grew to be healthy and happy, and realized their potential as they became responsible, productive adults.  Though their techniques may be different, I know they will continue to raise their children to reach for success, use their talents to better themselves, and take active measures to make their world better.

As you might surmise, I am definitely proud of my children and grandchildren.  I believe family to be the most important aspect of everyone's existence. Unfortunately it takes we humans so long to realize this truth.  Most of our adult lives are spent pursuing careers, fortunes, and power.  If only we could see that being a parent is the greatest of careers; if only we could see our children as the greatest fortune we could ever hope to discover; if only we could see the great power we have in the kind of productive adults are children become, perhaps we would be blessed with a peace of mind and spirit that would more than satisfy those fleeting, unfulfilling aspirations we so earnestly entertain throughout a good deal of our lives.

Indeed, I am truly blessed with the coming of baby #7!  He or she will add greatly to my peace of mind and spirit.  He or she, along with the other members of my Gang fulfill all of my aspirations beyond any career, fortune, or power I've had in my lifetime.  I am happy, healthy and complete.

I will be happier, healthier, and more complete when baby #7 arrives!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Calling All Bloggers

Hey Fellow Bloggers,

Where the hell are you?  I've been blogging for a while now and can't get anyone to hop on board.  Hey, I'll show you mine if you show me yours!

Let's get a dialogue going.  The one regret we all have when someone passes is that we can't ask them the questions we wanted to when they were with us.  That's because we've become a society of "doers" rather than people who take the time to communicate with other people face to face.  Now, I know blogging isn't face to face, but at least we're communicating on a deeper level instead of texting each other with "yeah", "where r u" and such inane comments.  They call that "communicating"!

To communicate effectively we must become thinkers.  So many of us move thru life just existing giving little thought to anything of real importance.  Just look at the state of our families, government, the world.  Is what we find the result of responsible thought?  Don't think so!

Let's challenge each other to think more so we can be more!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Thoughts on Death

Today is my mom's 7th death anniversary.  She lived to be 93.  During that time, she had 4 brothers and sisters, one of which died shortly after birth.  She married and had me and my brother.  Five years later she endured the tragic death of my dad at age 37.  He was killed in an accident on the job at US Steel in Homestead, PA.  My mom was shopping with her mom, my grandmother, when baba slipped, hit her head on a telephone pole and died shortly thereafter.  My mom's dad died a few years earlier from diabetes complications.  All of her brothers and sisters, mom was the oldest, died many years before.  All of her aunts and uncles and most of her friends were taken before mom's passing, too.

So basically my mom had only her children and grandchildren and one great-grandchild remaining when she died.  Her second grandchild was born one month after she passed.

Recounting these deaths may seem depressing, but death is simply the end of the beginning.  We all have a beginning and an end.  On a continum, birth is on the extreme left; death, on the extreme right.
Everything in between is called life.  Individually we have no control of the extremes, they happen to us.  But, life is within our control, it happens under our direction.  We make choices and then reap the benefits of those choices.  We also suffer the consequences for the bad choices we  make.

In yesterday's paper, the obit section, I was shocked to see the name of a young man I taught in kindergarten in Trafford, PA.  Cameron was only 31 and died from a horrendous fight with cancer.
He leaves behind 4 little girls, a wife, mom, dad, brother, in-laws and many, many friends. He would have gladly lived a long life, but he couldn't determine the time of his death.  That was out of his control.  But he made choices throughout his time on earth that I'm sure benefitted himself as well as everyone he held dear.  And he suffered the consequences of his bad choices, too.  I was very sad to read about his passing.  He and his family are in my prayers.

Death is natural.  It's very hard to embrace this concept when those who die are close to us, too young to leave this world, or have a devastating impact on us personally.  We seem to be able to accept death more when those who leave us have lived long lives, have reached many of their goals, or are in such great pain that death is perceived as a blessing.  Perhaps we need to spend more time contemplating the idea of death as the end of all living things.  Perhaps we need to be more open to the beauty of death as the culmination of life lived as well as could be expected. And then perhaps we won't be shocked when death comes knocking no matter the day or time.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Botox, Grammy, really?

It's not what you think.  I'm not receiving botox injections to make me look ten years younger.  Hey, I earned this face, wrinkles and all, and I would never change its character. However, I do get botox injections every three months to temper a condition I've had for over twenty some years.  It's called cervical dystonia with tremor.  Without treatment, my head and neck would constantly pull to the right.  The muscles that control these areas would constantly contract involuntarily making it difficult for me to retain balance, concentrate, and perform even the simplest of daily activities.  There is a high level of pain involved as well.

With said treatment, all the involuntary contractions are eliminated and the pain is virtually non-existent.  Since the muscles are relaxed, some of the tremor is also gone.  Yet some remains.  My grandchildren often ask why I go like this... shaking their heads from side to side mimicing me. I tell them I always hear music and my head is simply keeping the beat. They find that to be an acceptable answer and think it's cool to have a grammy who hears things they don't! Of course, as they get older I will educate them about cervical dystonia, answer their questions as honestly as I can, and assure them that research is being done that will eventually find out the causes and cures for this ailment.

I searched for years to get answers to exactly what I was suffering from.  I went from doctor to doctor and none of them could explain what my condition was let alone offer any viable treatment.  Then I decided that I had to be my own advocate.  I went on the internet and researched until I found answers.  I ended up at the Cleveland Clinic where a fellow by the name of Dr. Benjamin Walters had been treating cervical dystonia with positive results.  That was five years ago.  I now receive my injections at UPMC in Pittsburgh.  Dr. Valerie Suski has taken over where Dr. Walters left off; she's just as capable and a lot closer to my home so that treatment is both effective and convenient.

Whatever ailments you may have or might be in your future, remember doctors are only human!  You know your body better than anyone.  You must become your own advocate!  Take the bull by the horns and change your own destiny.  I did.