Skipping Ahead!

I always wanted a family!

Me, Abby, Mike & Riley/Christmas ’17

I wanted a family of my very own from the time I could remember. Probably, since our young family split apart. I hate to make a big deal of it, because I don’t want to hurt my Dad’s feelings as my last living parent. But, it really has nothing to do with him. It’s all me. I have a strong drive to belong to an intimate core of people belonging to me, a family! Mom, Dad a kid and a dog in our case. I’m well aware families come in all shapes and sizes!

One of my favorite families is my girlfriend since Jr. High: Debi and her daughter Jillayne and the favorite nurse they have on duty for Jillayne that shift, if she or he is a fave. Otherwise, it’s Debi and Jillayne. Jillayne has a myriad of health problems that require 24/7 nursing care and Debi takes at least one of the shifts. Sometimes more. Sometimes all. Debi is indomitable and funny. She has an incredible sense of humor, is full of caffeine and faith, and sometimes relies on sheer force of will to carry her through. Jillayne is positive, upbeat and tirelessly optimistic, who has been through way too much for her young lifetime… late twenties, I think. Their attitude and humor, their love sustains them. Basically, they ROCK!

I went through a lot getting my family pictured above ~ 1 divorce, deaths of 2 children from my 1st marriage. One stillborn baby girl. One sweet boy, Davey who lived almost one year with serious heart defects and we discovered after death ~ no spleen. Miss him every day. And the hope of my baby girl, Shirley.

When I had Davey, at 9 months old, I was diagnosed with bipolar one disorder brought in by post-partum. It hit me hard. I was hospitalized. My ex came back into town to watch after Davey. Tragically, Davey died while I was still in the hospital. That settled it for my ex. No more separation, he was filing for divorce. I was too ill to process it completely, in all its ramifications. But, I knew he was gone, and my attempt at fulfilling my dream for a family had died with my son.

The good news? I did get better. My father. My best friend Cooley, my maternal grandmother Meme were stalwart visitors, as were darling friends Dona and Molly. My sister Suzy had just had a baby, my brothers were in school out of state, and my Mom was working and came when she could. She also had Suzy to help with firstborn, Andy.

My doctor had me on a strict regimen of exercise and medication, once he brought me back from the abyss using every tool in a psychiatrist’s arsenal, to pull me out of the deep depression once the manic phase loosed its hold.

The ultimate good news: I survived! I lived to tell the tale. I emerged stronger, skinnier and wiser… much wiser! Within a year or so I was celebrating my first anniversary of my divorce with my new boyfriend who became my new fiancee and now husband of 39 years this summer and my very best friend, love of my life: Mike ~

Thank you dear Lord for never leaving us, and that in our darkest hour, you are there!

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