Good Morning! Decision made~

A fully coherent Father made his choice, clearly and verbally, “I will do the feeding tube in the stomach and rehab.” I know that this elongates the process, but we were so relieved that the choice was taken out of our hands and put into the hands of the main participant. Today, after coffee, I will work with the people who will help my Mother stay in their (Mom and Dad’s) home.

All this has made me think….I have no children, I need to make these plans ahead of time for myself. I cannot wait. (But, it cannot be done today…)

Have a Lovely Morning!

But if he goes…I am going to miss him fiercely.

I am afraid that I am going to babble to you the next few days. It’s my way of pushing through and letting off steam.  This release helps minimize my explosion of upset emotions about Dad. The meltdown will come, the good news is that you will probably be in India by then~

Airline ticket – check ($400)
Dial 7 – check ($29)
Rental Car – check ($97)

I feel like I won’t know anything until I see Dad with my own two eyes.
Maybe I was born in Missouri instead of Illinois~

I know I’ve said this, but I NEED to say it, again.
I have amazing friends. You included. I don’t feel alone.

Well, here we go.
He could live or he could die and I don’t have any control over the results.
Let me be calm and breathe.

This is why I kept going back so many times, I have nothing left to say – it has all been said.

My Dad knows I love him and I know he loves me.

But if he goes…I am going to miss him fiercely.

who else will give me hell and tell me that I am out of the will? d.

Luminaria – NYC style

Traditional Christmas Eve luminarias are said to originate from the merchants of Spain. They were impressed with Chinese paper lanterns and decided to make their own version when they returned to New Spain; particularly during the Christmas season.

Luminarias are made from brown paper bags partially filled with sand to weigh them down and hold a candle.  The bags are then illuminated from within by a lit candle. The bags are sometimes arranged in rows to create large and elaborate displays. Sometimes they line the sides of  a driveway or sidewalk. The hope among Roman Catholics is that the lights will guide the spirit of the Christ child to one’s home.

Every year, dievca and her Dad would battle the Midwest snow, wind, rain, etc. to put the luminarias down the driveway. Some years it was gorgeous and worked well and others ~ a messy disaster. It was always attempted to make dievca’s Mother happy. “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t no ‘body happy.”

I guess dievca could line her fire escape with the luminaria, but it wouldn’t be the safest thing — falling through the slats… Instead, she will light her candles to welcome Christmas with about 10 friends. Buddhist, Jewish, Agnostic, Catholic – doesn’t matter – its sharing. Some friends will stop for a drink, others will stay until they head out to Midnight Mass – but all are without Family on Christmas Eve – so we make our own.
You are welcome to join us.
Just look for dievca’s candlelight to guide your way.


On my Mind~

Hello, how are you doing?  I hope my choice of blog reposts these past two weeks were semi-interesting.  If nothing else, I had fun going back to read them and revisit the memories.

I didn’t get a chance to read blogs like I thought I would. I ended up researching a graduate program (3rd Master’s degree anyone? We will see), working extra to allow me to travel down South.

The traveling included visiting Families and Friends, learning about myself and watching people react:

  • How does one deal with chemo after getting a great check-up with a Doctor who can only give a lukewarm delivery. How many times had that Doctor put their heart on the line, to be shut down?
  • Or watching the robust couple who lost (or gained) everything with a brain tumor? The frank discussion of choosing not to do radiation the next time it’s needed.
  • I have a tendency to see something in a home that needs done and doing it….it’s invasive, yet, needed. So, I pray that my minor moments of help are seen as a “break” not an offense.
  • Talking to college students about their hopes, dreams and drinking across Europe is very entertaining.
  • Cuddling with immense dogs is messy and healing.
  • All done while eating a whole lot of BBQ and butter~ everything is better with butter.


This watchfulness and self-reflection of family relationships, relationships and friendships triggered a review of what I want for the future, what I want for my Life and why I want things. I know that I am not in need, but what would fulfill me?

I don’t have any hard conclusions, but I’d like to share information I’ve pondered.

Assess your friend network

Research shows that having a strong network of relationships is vital to our health.

It’s harder to make friends as we get older. 

Tereasa Jones, who has a master’s degree in counseling and is a certified life coach who specializes in friendship coaching, had suggestions about how to make new friends as an adult..

According to Jones, we all move through a variety of interpersonal relationships on a daily basis.

  • “Intimates” are the lifelines you can call at 3 a.m. with an emergency.
  • “Friends” you spend time with, but maybe don’t share every detail of your life
  • “Friendly acquaintances” are people you know you like and whom you see on a regular basis in a particular setting, like work or the yoga studio. They’re the ones you’ve considered inviting out for coffee, but never have.
  • “Acquaintances” are people you’re friendly with in passing, at the store, the gym, in the elevator.

I asked myself which of these categories am I missing in my life?

None, but changes can be considered.

I have a lot of  “friendly acquaintances” and “friends” by default – there is always someone I can ask to meet for coffee, a movie, a museum, talk about an issue, ask advice.  And I do have a core set of “intimate friends” whom I connect with consistently, but most of them live in different states/countries….

That might be the group I need to address, locally.

It’s tough as an adult to find the time, desire and say “yes” to the odd activity, but as Amy Silverstein suggests:

Sometimes friendship is just about showing up

“Don’t be afraid to show up….Push yourself a little bit, when you sense that you’re needed. Show up with an open mind to be there in any way that your friend needs: to let her yell, cry, not say anything at all, [or to] just hold her hand.”

I’m well aware that in most cases you receive what you give.

Yes, there are the odd circumstances where you get taken advantage of….but if you keep your eyes, ears and heart open. You should be o.k.

If I keep my eyes, ears and heart open. I should be o.k.

Wish me Luck!

How is your friend situation looking?  Any way you can push away from the BBQ and butter to meet someone new?  Let me know about it!


Thank you to Annaliese Griffin from Well & Good 
And an interesting read from a Guy's Viewpoint.

Just say, “No”.

If a family member offers you one…

Just say, “No, I’m Good – Thanks.”
(and laugh like heck!)

As good as it gets~against the odds. (Father’s Day)

Photo: Reddit, Trevor3999 – His Grandma and her Dad

Look, dievca’s Dad is older.  He had a stroke/heart attack a few years ago and they determined they couldn’t operate.  Blood flow efficiency was increased from 20% to 38% with drugs. His handwriting got better, he is walking/cleaning house/gardening/driving to the hardware store/taking care of Mom — doing really well.

Dad took a “header” last summer from the heat and perhaps a little bit of medications needing adjustment.  A mess with a bleed out, broken neck and nose, etc.  He got through it.

We went for his annual heart check-up:

Weight – the same
Blood work – good
Concerns with breathing/dizziness – none
range of motion – better
Heart efficiency – 45% (up a smidgen beyond the margins for error…)

The Doctor thought about it, looked at us and said, “just keep doing what you are doing..”

I think my Dad made his day.

In the end, what dievca is learning from her Dad is that no matter how bad it gets — we know that the act of trying to work through problems may not always be successful, but sometimes it is…
And that is a beautiful thing.
So keep trying, against the odds.

and Happy Father’s Day. XO

Aww, Mom…

Mother's DaySo happy she finally had a girl
(no idea the girl was a tomboy)

Such a gap between siblings
(no idea the girl would keep her young)

A shared interest in fashion
(didn’t realize the girl would keep her up-to-date)

The girl ended up bringing a great deal of Joy to her Mother.
(And her Mother shared her Life and Wisdom with the girl)

Look, my Mom can be a pain-in-the-a**. I can be one, too.
Like Mother, Like Daughter.
She puts up with me and loves me, unconditionally.
What more do you need from someone?
Right now my Mom is 90 lbs, soaking wet and she looks at me with my extra curves and says, “You are so beautiful, so healthy and strong – it’s lovely.”
– and I look at myself with new eyes.
That is love.

Aww, Mom, I love you.