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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

What'd you just call me?????

My husband and I are foster parents...

Every once in a while I discuss that, but I try to keep it low key unless there's a topic worth discussing.  The "short one" is our youngest, and our foster child who we are waiting to adopt.


When she first came to us, I was Miss Jenn.  She had a mom whom she still had visitation with and I don't like to interfere in those situations.  Her mom was her mom.  With the exception of the real little ones who call me whatever they decide to call me, I'm not mom until I'm actually MOM, regardless of the role I play in their lives.

The end of last year, the short one's biological mother surrendered her parental rights to us, which put us on the path to her adoption.  In this, the short one began to try on what she'd call me, "mom, mommy, momma."  It was all very cute hearing her practice.


Anyway....  In all of this, our daughter decided to step up to the plate with what she thought needed to happen.  She told the short one that she's rather she refer to me as something other than "mommy" because that belonged to her.  I get that.  I didn't fight with her about it or correct it, because that's a sensitive issue as well.  Another kid coming around calling HER mommy... mommy.  We all talked about things and discussed how to best make everyone happy and comfortable.

A few days later, my daughter decided she was going to go in a completely different direction.  She'd decided that from here forward, she was now going to refer to me as Jennifer.

Oh really?

Her logic was that calling mom in a crowd got many head turns, but not necessarily mine -- so calling me by my first name would be much more effective. Besides - she's at the ripe old age of 11 and entirely too mature.  No need to refer to me as mommy anymore. Jennifer it will now be.

Yeah... I don't think so kid.

I'm MOM!  I earned that title!  I equate that to Dr. Smith - who spent so many years in school studying for his/her doctorate.  Go on... Call 'em Mr./Mrs. Smith - see the correction come flying.  I don't blame 'em... They earned it!  You WILL call them DOCTOR!

I am MOM.  I've earned it...  I spent 9 grueling months fighting hormones & the desire to eat whole pizzas and 5 lbs of mashed potatoes simultaneously.  I spent 3 months throwing up at the mere site of Port Wine Cheese or the smell of steak cooking....  I earned it!  I bear the stretch marks.  I can no longer wear a bikini and will forever have this extra skin from 9 lb children living inside of my body.


Have I also mentioned, my child - that I've been peed on, puked on, pooped on... I've spent countless months walking around sporting the "zombie" look as you poked me in my eyes and whipped my boobs out in public.  I'm mom.

I became the human taxi cab when you wanted to be shuffled from one side of town to the other and was awoken in the middle of the night various times for various reasons.  Many times, to be puked on.

The list goes on, shall I continue??

You call me MOMMMMMMM.....


At the end of this conversation - my daughter turned three shades of pale.  She'd already informed me that she doesn't want to have kids because she's "not shooting a baby out of her coochie."

This conversation may have sealed the deal of no grand kids for me from this child....

Or maybe, just maybe -- she will think carefully about the things I've told her and grasp the fact that I've earned my "Mommy Stripes" and will continue to do so through out all my kids' lives.

Whether your 8 or 80 - you'll always be my baby and I will ALWAYS be Mommy!  That goes for you too, Kyle!

MOMMY!
That's what you call me!

Thank you for reading my blog!!

~Jenn

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Sunday, December 1, 2013

My Husband is FAT and it's all my fault...

No - that's not my hubby...
Revised from March 15, 2012

As the morning started here, more than a year after I originally wrote this post - I'm reminded why this post was created....



Hubby and I have been dieting for over a year.
Combined, we've lost a person in weight, but here we are in the holiday season.  Although I've continued to cook healthy to keep us on track, there's fabulous food everywhere, which is so hard to resist.

The scale has been moving in the wrong direction creating this morning's conversation between rooms...

Hubby:  "Honey, I can't find the butter."
Me:        "Well, I used it last night in the Alfredo sauce"
Hubby:  "All of it?"
Me:        "Yes, ALL of it.  It was a half stick of butter."
Hubby:  "That's WHY I'm getting fat again."
Me:        "Oh yeah... THAT'S why you're getting fat again."

ALL.MY.FAULT.

Hence this re-post.

Before anyone gets all up in defense of my hubby... this post is complete sarcasm on my part.  I would NEVER call my hubby fat!  I'm not that person, and he's plenty good at calling himself fat.

This is what HE says to ME, "I'm fat, because you cook dinner.  I love what you make & I can't just have one serving.  It's your fault!"

Well thank you, sweetie!  I'm so happy that you enjoy my meals - but don't get mad at me!
Yeah, I cook, and I love to whip things up and think to myself, "hmmm, what would make this taste even better."  Not all my "concoctions" make a second round - but when they do - well, they're not necessarily low cal.  Sorry honey.


Hey, I eat too, ya know... Not like I haven't blown up like a wood tick since he bought and paid for the 120 lb package.

Hello...Fat & Happy?  Have you not heard of this?

Yeah, I'd like to drop a few lbs too.  I've got many more to go before I'm the trim slim 120 I was when we got married.  Those size 3 days are long behind me, so what the heck is he complaining about?!?

The only time in my life I was an emaciated, anorexic blonde was when I was going through my divorce with Kyle's dad & I referred to that as the "nervous breakdown diet".  Yeah, I dropped like 20 lbs - but I don't recommend the accompanying stress.

No, you're right honey, it's ALL MY FAULT!  It has absolutely nothing to do with that doughnut you're washing down with a Coke.  It's my dinner.  You just go ahead and blame me!

Personally, I like a little something extra to hold onto on my man.  Could WE (yes, WE dear) stand to drop a few pounds.  Of course!  Yes, I am working toward preplanned menus of healthy lo-cal meals - but what will the children eat??

I could see it now...  Mommy where's my Twinkies??  Miss Jenn, this tastes like crap - where's the good and greasy cheeseburger pie?  What's this green stuff?  I don't liiiiiiikkkke thisssss.  Can we have McDonald's instead?

I believe it's a trade off...The kids are "in charge" - and as long as we get to feed them - sorry baby...Cheeseburger Pie it is!  I need something to hide the vegetables in!

Want a salad with that?

Besides -- you got hit by a flippin' car and you did more damage to the car than it did to you!
 Here, have a sandwich!  I love you just the way you are!

Thank you for reading my blog!!

~Jenn

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

International Survivors of Suicide Day 2013

One of the lines I clearly remember from the 1984 movie, Gremlins, is:

"While everybody else opens up presents, they're opening up their wrists."

Yeah, I know not everyone catches those kind of lines in movies and commits them to memory.  Not everyone thinks like I do now.  I also know that's not all happy go lucky, welcome to the holidays and it sounds really unpleasant, but ya know what - it's not supposed to sound pleasant!  Suicide is not pleasant!

While most of us are all caught up in the joy of the season, others just don't feel joy - no matter how hard they try.  Their closest friends and family may not even know their pain.  The inside turmoil that tells them every single day that no matter how much happiness they SHOULD feel - they don't want to be alive anymore.

I, personally, don't know that inner turmoil.  I'm not one of those who looks for the joy that they can't seem to find.  I'm not one of those who open their eyes in the morning and still see darkness.  Those who are depressed and suicidal.  For that, I'm incredibly thankful.

Sadly both my dad and brother suffered - and succumbed to their pain.  They left this earth, at their own hand, because they couldn't go on.  No one could stop them.  No one's love was enough for them.  Neither of them reached out to say, "Help."  I wonder if they knew they could.  They never said.  Neither of them left behind a note, an explanation - anything for the rest of us to make sense of the pain.

Suicide is very prevalent during times like these.  No, I'm not going to quote facts and figures - I'm not that smart.  I'm not a researcher.  I'm a survivor.  I'm someone who knows that when things are hard and you feel badly, you don't feel the need to carry on.  I know people who don't suffer from anxiety or depression, clinically, who feel defeated.  It just is.  Times are tough.  People are out of work.  Money is an issue that causes stress.  Stress breaks up families and causes more stress.  It's not rocket science.  I'm not someone who knows the details - I'm someone who's felt the loss and pain of losing someone to suicide.  I'm someone who strongly believes that no matter how bad things are -

No one needs to die.

Today, I both write for those struggling with their pain - and for those trying to make sense of their loss.  The survivors.

Today, November 23, 2013 is International Survivors of Suicide day.

There is always someone to turn to, no matter how bad things are, even for those left behind.

If you are new to the loss by suicide, or have been through it time and time again - this post is for you.  Don't suffer alone.  Reach out.  You are loved and you are not alone.  You are never alone.  There IS someone else who knows what you are going through.  There WILL be someone who can give you a comforting hug who GETS IT.  There are others, just like us.

We all know that there are some among us that will NOT have a happy holiday, no matter how hard they try.  They may put on a happy face, or not, and go through the motions.  Both my brother & dad put on the happy face.  My brother threw himself a "going away party."  No one knew.  My dad, always laughed, always smiled, always tried to help someone else who was down.  No one knew what was REALLY going on.

If you are suffering in silence, please reach out...
Someone DOES love you. Someone WILL miss you.  Someone WILL ask themselves every single day of their lives... WHY?  I know this for sure, for fact - because I am a survivor of suicide times 2.

My dad has been gone almost 30 years.  My brother has been gone 6 years.  I've never stopped questioning why.

Today, is International Survivors of Suicide Day.
If you are struggling with the loss of someone close to you, 
you are not alone.
Please click the link below to find a resource near you.


If you are feeling hopeless, please don't give up!
Someone DOES love you!  Someone WILL miss you!
Someone will ask themselves every day, WHY?

Please reach out!
1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Or visit their website:  http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

In Loving Memory of my Dad,
William R. Cooper ~ August 8, 1942 - March 28, 1984
and my brother
W. Eric Cooper ~ September 9, 1968 - August 27, 2007

Rest comfortably in the arms of angels.
May you find the peace you so desperately sought here.

Thank you for reading my blog!

~Jenn

Even if this blog post saves just one...  it's all worth it.


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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

This whole bullying thing needs to stop....What makes a bully a bully?

Who here has encountered a bully?

I'm not saying that you have been bullied, but have you been around one?  Were you one?

I've been seeing and reading so much about bullying online and in the papers and it really makes me sad - for all involved.  It really is something that touches everyone on some level.

I'm not talking about the modern day "buzz word" bullying.  I'm talking about real, actual bullying that is intentionally directed to hurt or tear someone down.

Personally, I don't deal with it.  I'm no one's victim.  If someone is trying to do something to me/against me, I WILL take my stand and then I step out of the situation.  I can't be bothered with the nonsense.  I'm not 12 and I'm not playing the game.  No matter how it ends up.  I know who I am.  If other's don't, that's their problem not mine.

I believe that to be the problem with the bullies of the world.  They don't know who they are.  If they do, they don't feel comfortable in their own skin - so they tear others down to bring people to their level.  I've seen it over and over again.

Let me ask you...  If you continually call people trash and other mean things for over a year, trying to bring them down, and then work to be top dog in that crowd - what does that make you?  Doesn't that make you top of the trash heap that you've created?  What does that really say?  As I see it, it says that "you" feel so low and like such trash that the only place you belong is in the trash pile you've created yourself.


I'm super hung up on that bullying incident in Florida where the 12 year old little girl committed suicide after being bullied by her peers, other young teens.  How could someone feel so low about themselves (or superior / entitled) at 12 and 14 to be so incredibly mean and hurtful that someone would take their life?  What are these kids being taught by their parents?  Isn't anyone building these kids up to believe that they are good?  That they deserve love?  I don't know.  I just don't understand it.

Is this what makes a bully a bully?

I'm not a bully.  I've never been a bully.  I'm the person who sits back, watches and defends the people being bullied - because it's the right thing to do.  Again, I know who I am.  I'm not afraid to stand up for what's real.

I believe bullying on the gossip (and now internet) level to be worse around girls and women.

As I see it, men and boys mostly slug it out and get over it, (though when it comes to kids - all bets are off).  Girls / women are emotional - it cuts deep.  So deep in the incident in Florida that a little girl was pushed so far that she jumped off a water tower to her death.  This is truly heart breaking and so unnecessary.

As a woman, I've always believed that we should build our friends up - not tear them down.  If someone is feeling badly about themselves, even if you agree that things really suck for them - tell them how pretty their hair looks or what nice shoes they have.  ANYTHING.

I teach my children to stand by their friends, as I do.  Be loyal.  Stand by what's right.  If someone is feeling sad or lost, tell them how great they are.  Don't be mean and don't tolerate others being mean to you.  Ignore it and find your own happy.

If you can't be happy with yourself -
you'll never truly be happy.  You will always look in the mirror and see that fat, frizzy haired kid who was picked on in high school.

Only you can change that.

Tearing someone else down repeatedly doesn't make you any better.  It also doesn't truly say anything about them or their character - it says something about you and your character.  Eventually the smoke will clear.  People will see things as they really are.  You will not be known as the popular one, or the fantastic one.  You will be known as the bully.  The mean and nasty one.  Is that what you really want?

This bullying thing NEEDS to stop!

Thank you for reading my blog!

~Jenn


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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Pet Peeve.... The Glorification of Suicide on Television

Ya know what I have an issue with??

The glorification of suicide on television.

Does anyone else see this?

Does anyone else notice that there's more and more of this on TV?

Or is it just me?

I know that there are plenty of things people have issues with on television; too much sex, too much violence, too many naughty words - I get it and totally agree with all of it.  It's all just too much.

I don't understand WHY that would be a big review grabber for people that it needs to be shown.

Suicide is a super sensitive subject to me.  I've lost two family members to suicide... my dad and my brother.

I don't want to see it on television.  I don't want to see it in movies.  I don't want to see it.

For me it's a "false memory" that plays out in my mind on a regular basis - reliving what must have been the most awful moments of my brother and father's lives.  The end of their lives, playing out on a TV or movie screen.

Why does this need to be shown?

I don't want or need to see anyone holding a gun to their head or to their throat or anything on that level.


Preventing suicide is a difficult thing.  Depression runs rampant, especially in a day and age where the economy sucks and bullying has become the norm, where many parents don't accept responsibility for the actions of their children & where people feeling lost don't always ask for help.

It's almost as if TV is playing it all out for them...  making it an easy choice.

"Hey, life is hard... let me just go get the gun or the pills or the razor -- I saw it on TV, it doesn't look that hard, and I'M suffering WAY more than that person on TV was...  this is what I need to do."

This is what scares me.  The desensitization.  The acceptance.
The total disregard for human life, across the board.

Maybe I'm over reacting.  Maybe.

But what if I'm not.

It is my very strong opinion that television, movies and the video gaming industry has largely desensitized modern day youth against violence.  For them, it's the norm.  They see it all the time.  It's no big deal.  For the younger, less developed mind - characters get shot or shoot themselves all the time and then they are right back on the show / game / movie the next day.  It's not real.

But it is.

And I have a huge problem with it.

I know my little voice won't mean much in any of this... but it's out there.

Maybe someone will hear it.

Thank you for reading my blog!

~Jenn

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If you are in crisis, call1-800-273-TALK (8255)National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Forever friends.... my touch stones

It's funny the way things work out in life.

I've had some eye opening experiences with regard to friendships over the past year.
Heck over the past few months!


Even though I've always known that everyone who smiles at me isn't necessarily my friend, or someone I can trust, it still catches me off guard when things I don't expect come to light.

It's this type of thing that makes me appreciate my forever friends so much more.

I, in no way, mean to take away from my other close friendships with this post.  I am a person who has many "old" friends, some my very close "forever friends" and a few very close newer friends.  Real friends.  People I trust.  People who have come through my life during different seasons, for different reasons and people I love deeply.

This post, however, is about two very specific friends...  Pam and Jill.

This past weekend, I helped Pam say good bye to her brother.  Alongside me was one of my other forever friends, Jill.

Pam, Jill and I spent quite a bit of time together during our younger years.  Adolescence through teens, to twenty something years...to now.


These women know me.
They know more about me than most anyone else on the planet, even my husband, even my closest family.  The three of us lived through things together that would very possibly leave people's jaws hanging - should we ever tell.  We wouldn't.  We know each other. To the core, well beyond what anyone else sees.  We don't talk to each other every day, every week or every month. We sometimes go years without even seeing each other - but if one of us needs - day or night. We're there for each other.  No questions asked.

Again, I say - I take nothing away from my other very close friends - because I know for a fact that I have this in my other friendships.  These friendships are just different.

There are no walls. There's no insecurity or holding back words, wondering what the other would think if we said what we really thought. We say what we need to say.  Period - and we still love each other.

Jill and I already know the pain of losing a brother.  Even though Jimmy was the "older brother", he was only 51 and he was Pam's brother.  Jill and I understand that feeling of the "hole in your heart and soul" when a sibling dies.  It's just one more thing the three of us have together.  Good or bad, we get each other and now there's that.

I hadn't seen Pam since my brother died, six years ago.  I can't even remember.  We only talk via Facebook - or an occasional phone call.  Jill and recently I just started meeting up once a week, if we are able.  She meets me down the street from where my daughter does cheer - because she knows I'd get lost in a paper bag.  :)

Yet when the three of us got together, even in a really crappy situation - time just melted away.  None of us shut up from the second we sat together until the second we left, as if we'd never been apart.  There was no struggling for what to talk about, no weirdness.

...And it was then that all of the silliness that had been going on in my life melted into the nothing.

It didn't matter at all.

The realization that real friendship defies time and space.  There are no walls.  No tip toeing around each other.  No secrets, no lies - no nonsense.  Just love.

THAT is friendship.  Real, true friendship.  No bullshit - no silliness.  Just love.

In touching back with my friends, I was able to see things more clearly.

Sometimes you need to touch back - to those who know you to your core - to see what things really are.

To realize - that if it's too hard - it's not worth it.  Those who know you, know you.  Those who love you, love you.

No walls, no bullshit, no games, no nonsense...  period, end of story.

The real and true friends you can touch back to - bring you back to you.

Thank you for reading my blog!

~Jenn


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Monday, September 16, 2013

The things I want to be sure my kids learn....

To my children:

There were a lot of things in my life I wish I'd been taught.  Ways I wish I were guided properly.  I will do all that I can to give you all the guidance, love and support for as long as I'm around - and in case you forget, I've put it here in writing...

Life is entirely too short to be so serious all the time!  Lighten up - let your freak flag fly!

Hate, anger, jealousy - WASTED emotions...  There's no point ever in perpetuating negativity or surrounding yourselves with negative people.  It only lingers & sucks you into a dark hole of ick!

Be happy - really happy!  And be weird - who the heck cares what anyone else thinks?  This will take some skill on your part - because not caring about what people think doesn't truly kick in until after 40 - that's when you realize that this is who you are... Love me as I am or don't love me at all.

As goofy as mommy may be rockin' out to air guitar in the kitchen or singing goofy songs and calling you silly names -- I ASSURE you that when he thinks no one's looking or listening, Daddy is doing the same thing.  No matter how big & tough Daddy is - you WILL catch him rocking out to air guitar & singing MOMMY'S silly songs, trust me!  Never be "too cool" to have fun!

Be YOURSELF!  You are the best you that you can be!  Don't waste your time trying to twist yourself in a knot to please someone else - because you are still you and the truth always floats to the surface.

What works for one person won't necessarily work for you...  If you're all about jeans & sneakers - but your bff is a stilettos kinda chick - well good for her and her aching feet...Stick with what works for YOU!

Love with all your heart.  Love is as much for you as it is for the other person.  Yeah, you may get your heart broken from time to time, but no love is wasted.  It feels good to have that butterfly feeling in your tummy.  Don't waste the chance at feeling that by being to afraid to go for it!

By the same token, not all love is reciprocated & that's ok.  Being a stalker is not Ok - as a matter of fact, there are laws against it & it's really just not cool.

Don't care about what other people have to say about you.  If someone is dragging you down it's only because they are feeling badly about them self in some way and want to drag you down to their level.  Don't go there.

Never let the words, "I can't" leave your lips.  Once you've said it, you've already set yourself up for failure.  You CAN, and you will!  I can't is a cop out for I'm scared, I don't want to and I won't.  Just do it!

There's no shame in asking for help.  Some things are just to big for one person to handle & that's Ok.

Follow the rules.  Yeah, some of the rules are dumb - but they will make sense as you get older.  (or not)

Yes, you will get older.  There will come a point in time when you look in the mirror and say - hey, who the heck is that old person looking at me... and my love, that old person will be you.

Don't be shocked at 40 something if you mentally still think you can go head to head with a 20 year old.  Your brain has not figured out that the body ain't quite what it used to be...  Ya know when it kicks in??  When you're jumping on the trampoline with your kids & see them jumping up and landing on their butts & think I wanna do that too -- THEN your brain will kick in with the "what are you CRAZY?" and you will stop.  Trust me ... Mentally, I think I can still do cartwheels and round offs into a back hand spring...  but the sensible part of my brain laughs at me and flashes a mental picture of me in traction...  This day will come.

This should have been up closer to the top -
Love God - He is there.  Really!  Don't ever forget to pray and thank Him daily.  One day, you will see that He really is there and He really is looking out for you.

Do what you say you're going to do & be where you say you're going to be.  Honesty & trust are two of the biggest things in every relationship.

Lies are a waste of time and energy.  The truth may get you in a boat load of trouble, but at least you will always remember what the truth is.

Don't waste your time trying to reform someone or trying to make someone love you. If the gears don't fit, the gears don't fit.... Move on.  Not everyone is meant to be your forever person & that's Ok.

Be VERY careful of the person who you set yourself up with as your forever person.  Keep your eyes open & use good judgement - because I assure you, if you have babies together & this is the wrong relationship - you are stuck with this person FOREVER.  Like it or not!

That goes for your friends too.  People aren't always what they seem and sometimes looking beyond what you see can hurt you.

Surround yourself with people who like to have fun.  Honest and trustworthy people who will be there for you - in sickness & health - just like marriage.  There's nothing more healing than a true friend in your darkest hour or more amazing to share things with in your brightest hour!

Don't lose touch with your friends!  This is one thing I try to live by... If too much time has gone by since you've seen or spoken to a friend - change that!  You never know what a call can do for either of you.

When things get hard, and they will at some point - keep moving forward.  If you don't climb the mountain, you'll never know how great the view is from the top - or the treasures on the other side.

That which does not kill you, will make you stronger.  Don't be afraid.

Smile big - Laugh loud.  Even if you feel like crap - it's amazing what a smile & a good hearty laugh can do!

Always remember that this Momma will always love you truly, deeply to the moon & back - forever & ever - and I know that God has an amazing plan for you... Go get it!

... and in typical Jenn fashion, Spin around in circles until you get dizzy and fall down.  Then get up and do it again!

Thank you for reading my blog!

~Jenn

Originally written and posted in January 2012

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Whispers & Conversational 'isms from the children

I've said it before... I love my neighbors and our neighborhood.

During the summer we routinely get together for whatever reason... BBQ's, swimming, bonfires or just to hang out.  Very impromptu.

As the summer wound down and work, school and sports programs started back up, it's been hard to find the time (and energy) to get together.

Summer's last hurrah had kicked in.  We are a tired group of moms and dads - BUT we did want to have a neighborhood "last hurrah" while we still had decent weather.

My husband REALLY wanted to have another bonfire.  He mentioned this to one of our little friends, who was very excited for a bonfire, so it HAD to happen.  I texted everyone and set a time.  We had an earlier engagement, so we decided between 7:30 and 8 PM would be the perfect time.

Well, we were detained...  Things happen.

I again texted all to let them know that the festivities would begin about a half hour later.


Once we got home, hubby got the bonfire going.  I got snacks and music rolling and we waited for our big and little friends to arrive.

I sat down by the fire with my lovely Blue Moon Pumpkin Harvest and when my one of my little friends arrived he sat beside me.

"Miss Jenn," he said.  "I just want you to know that I was aggravated that I had to wait for this bonfire to start."

I immediately got a chuckle.

"Aggravated, really?  Are you sure that's the word you're looking for?  Do you maybe mean impatient?"

"Yes, Miss Jenn.  Impatient.  I was getting impatient.  You said 7:30-8 and now it's almost 9:00."

"Well, yes I did.. but I texted that I'd be a little late.  Besides, I waited a WHOLE 20 minutes for you to get here."

He continued...

"Yes... Well I was impatient.  I saw you come home and I wanted to leave to come here by myself, but my MOM made me wait...and THEN my mom had to change her clothes and her shoes and that took FOREVER.  That's what took me so long."

Of course at this point, I'm cracking up - I love the viewpoint of the short ones....

I've taken note to never again aggravate my young friend and I promise to work on my promptness.

A few hours later, I went inside to check on the other shorter ones who lost interest in the fire.  After all, the s'mores were done... What's the point in hanging out with the old people if they're not making s'mores?


As I crept in to check on them - the "let's pretend" conversations that I over heard made my jaw hit the floor.....

"OK, let's pretend we're in the 10th grade and we're pregnant"

Before I go on, let me state - they are 7 years old - 10th grade seems REALLY old to them.

I jumped in - shocked, of course...
"UM... No one here is going to be pregnant in the 10th grade!"

"Well, ......... isn't pregnant anymore, mommy.  She had her baby.  I WAS pregnant, but MY baby died in my stomach."

WHAT???

Holy heck!!   These are not the kinds of conversations that normally fly around our house.

I assure you - there were plenty of conversations had the next day!

(On the "dead baby" note, the girls heard discussion of their teacher losing her baby, so this is how they processed the situation.)

I also must add that in the boys' pretend world...one one was a professional wrestler, another a college educated life guard, his little brother was the life guard assistant.  None claimed rights to any of the babies and stated... EWWWWW, that's gross.

All is well in boy world.

Now to explain to my short one that there will be no babies, pregnancies or heaven forbid "dead babies"  until after high school, college and an established career or 75 years of age.  Whichever comes first.

Kids, gotta love 'em.

Ya just never know what the next jaw dropping moment will be.

Thank you for reading my blog!!

~Jenn

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Friday, August 30, 2013

The Normal One?

In most every family, there's a sibling claiming to be the "Normal One".

Admittedly, once upon a time - I staked that claim as well.  I thought because my (baby) brother did things differently, that I had it ALL over him.  Then I got older (I won't say grew up) and talked to him more as an adult, not as my "baby brother" and realized, hmmmm... maybe he's got it together more than I think I do.

The "normal" one?  HA!  Me?  I think not.

Let's face it...I'm just fine NOT being "normal".  Normal's just a setting on the dryer.

I don't believe anyone's really "normal."  I think we all have our very own special issues that we work around to feel "normal."

Many of my friends read my blog.  Those who have known me for a really long time know most of the stuff in my life.  I don't hide anything, it's all there.  They just nod their heads like, "yep, that's Jenn."  Others who haven't known me that long often read and ask me, "How did you turn out so normal?"  HA!  I don't feel normal at all.

For me, it was about tucking it all in and functioning.

I had a lot of crap growing up.  Even though you get through and mostly over come, it's still there.  You don't forget, and the older I got, the more mistakes I made - the more crap piled up. It wasn't so much about being or appearing normal.  It was about staying alive and staying the hell out of trouble.  It's about taking responsibility for yourself and doing what's right.

I'm not unique or special.
Heck, I know there are MANY others who look at what I've been through and think,  "Pffft, that's it?  That's all you've got?"

For certain, it was all I could handle - or hide - or get beyond.

A few years back I mentioned to my friend, Karen, that she was my hero. She kindly asked me to NOT put that kind of pressure on her.  I didn't understand where she was coming from at the time, but honored her request.

She's been through some stuff.  She is one of the strongest women I know. The things that I KNOW I would have cracked under, she steam rolls over like it's nothing.  She fights for every single moment in her life & though it's not been easy - she comes out on top.  She was just functioning the best way she knew how.

I admire her strength.

I know, deep down, that I am NOT the "normal one" and I'm good with that.

I don't need to be normal, or the belle of the ball, or the one everyone looks up to, or whatever.  I just need to be me.  I need to do what I need to do to function in a proper manner and provide the most kind, loving and nurturing environment for my kids.

If that looks normal.  Great!

Thank you for reading my blog!

~Jenn

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Some people will make you remember them - whether they're here or not!

(written on July 31, 2013 published August 27, 2013)

Today I was doing my elliptical work out, as I do every morning.

I have an incredibly eclectic mix on my "work out" play list.  I never know what's coming out...

I could go from Buck Cherry to John Cougar (yes COUGAR) to A/C D/C to JLo to Kid Rock in seconds.  Mostly the music that comes out is loud, angry, up beat or whatever it takes to get me through my morning workout...

There is no sweet or quiet music scheduled to play on this play list.

I realized during my work out that it was the anniversary of Gary's death.  When people I love, who've died, pop into my head - I say a little prayer.  I ask God to wrap His arms around them and keep them close by His side.  The next thing I knew "My Immortal" began to play.  If you don't know that song, or it's words - please click on the song title above.

THIS song.... reminds me of my brother.  No one else.

Of any death that I'd experienced in my life, the death of my brother has changed me forever.

I am truly not the same, nor will I ever be.  I'm forever changed.

Many years ago...

 "When you cried I'd wipe away all of your tears
When you'd scream I'd fight away all of your fears
And I held your hand through all of these years
But you still have
All of me"

When I was younger, I was the main caretaker of the family.  I was the oldest sibling, my parents worked and well.. whatever - I didn't lead a positive childhood.  I was in charge.  I cared for both of my brothers.  I helped them with whatever they needed.  I was their mom & dad - their disciplinarian from the time I was 7 years old.  I often resented that.  "My Immortal" captures all of that for me.

This song caught me completely off guard.

It is NOT in the "work out" play list!

The next thing I knew a stream of tears ran down my face.  Tears of sadness, of loss, of regret for not repairing our relationship and plain old missing my brother.  Unplanned tears that came on suddenly, like someone smacked me in the head - and when the song was over, the tears stopped.  Just like that.

It was at that moment that I realized my brother must have felt left out & wanted my attention.  It brought a smile to my face.  The pain lifted and a flood of love came through my heart, and I realized that my brother may be gone - but he's still around.

It was almost as if he were saying... Yeah... Um, you're praying for Gary today on his anniversary in heaven, but YA KNOW... mine is coming too -- how about a little something for your bro????

THIS is totally something Eric would do to me.  As my younger brother and the middle kid - he was a total pain in my ass.  If I looked him over even slightly in any regard - he was always right up in my face letting me know what I'd forgotten.  Especially if it was intentional...

We may have fought, we may have screamed and yelled and said things that could never be taken back - but ya know what... I'd never trade any second of any of those days.

I'm truly blessed to have had whatever time I had with my brother, and things like that song sneaking into my "work out" play list - may bring tears, but it also brings on the comfort of knowing ... he's still around.

This month has been filled with many tributes to those I've lost... I hope you can trek through all that.

In this tribute, I'd also like to reach out to those who may be struggling.

HOLD ON!
Don't let go!
My brother, Eric, decided this day 6 years ago that life just wasn't worth it.  If he'd have reached out to me, I'd have done all I could to help him.
He didn't reach out.

Please reach out....

Someone, somewhere will be devastated.  You will be missed.  You DO matter and you ARE loved.  Reach out!  Don't give up... EVER.

Life is worth it!  YOU are worth it!

Thank you for reading my tribute to my brother.

 ~Jenn

In memory of my brother Eric


Monday, August 12, 2013

The Road to Self Acceptance.... Some trip, huh?

Tis the time of the year where lots of skin is showing.

I just got back from our annual down the shore trip...

Sadly, it's just a weekend down the shore.

This particular shore point is a three hour drive and it's a combination trip to both go to my absolute favorite New Jersey short point and to see a dear friend who lives in that area.

In any case - we crammed as much fun in those few days as humanly possible and those days contained as much beach time as we could get in.

I'm a people watcher.  I observe and take things in around me.  I love the beach.  I love the sound of the ocean, the squawk of the seagulls flying over head and the feel of the sand between my toes, but I'm afraid of the ocean (a story for another day).  So while my husband took the girls into the water, I sat in the sun and watched the people around me.


I've personally been dieting and exercising - trying to get healthy and in some sort of shape over the past several months.  I've lost a ton of weight and lost three pants sizes, BUT - I am still not comfortable with what I see in the mirror.

One of my biggest goals this year was to wear a bikini top to the beach. My waist has always been on the small side.  I was truly hopeful.  As much weight as I lost, as many pants sizes as I lost - I couldn't do it.

I could not bring myself to go out of the house in my bikini top.

I looked in the mirror and I didn't like what was looking back at me.  There was no way I could leave my house and be in front of people comfortably. This killed me.  All the work I've done and continue to do and I could not fulfill my goal.

Shortly after, I read a Facebook status of one of my friends stating how people should look in the mirror before they leave their houses.  How these "fat girls" need to put their sh*t away.  It was incredibly offensive. This status really upset me and I addressed it with the upset that I felt.  Sadly, I allowed her status to feed my own personal insecurities of how I felt about myself.  I believe that if she didn't know me or my story & I actually were brave and confident enough to go out in my bikini top - I would be one of the people she was referring to.

Good for her!  Rock it Girl!
While I was on the beach this weekend, I saw a woman who was much, much larger than I.

...and she was wearing a leopard print bikini.

I was NOT horrified by how she looked.  I was NOT shocked by her appearance.

I WAS in awe of her strength of character and her self confidence.

She strutted her stuff as if she were Miss America.

She laughed and enjoyed her time with her friends, family, kids - whomever the people were she was with and she rocked her leopard bikini.

I so admire that.

In a world full of judgement of outer beauty - the world continually forgets about inner beauty and strength of character. This woman clearly did not give a flying shit what anyone thought of her.  She felt good about herself - so good that she put on that leopard print bikini and strutted her stuff on the beach.

...and I, couldn't even bring myself to put mine on.

I envy that woman's strength and positive self image and wish for even a minute that I could put on that bikini top and feel like Miss America, or even just sort of OK with the way I looked.

Because it's really about how we feel about ourselves....

I guess I've still got a long way to go in the self acceptance department.

You too?

You're not alone.

Right now, I want to be that big girl in a leopard print bikini laughing and dancing and strutting my stuff along the beach.

...as if nothing else in the world matters.

Thank you for reading my blog!

~Jenn

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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Memories of the Man Who Loved Me Best

When ever I smell Brut cologne, I stop dead in my tracks - thinking he's here.

Of course, he's not.  He's been gone for almost 30 years, but that scent lingers in the corridors of my mind, if no where else.  So much so that if I should happen to smell it, I immediately think of my dad and for a second look to see if he's here.

Like most dads, my dad worked hard.  We weren't rich.  He wasn't a college graduate, or a skilled laborer.  By day he was a microfilm technician, by night a furniture upholsterer at our down stairs neighbor's business.  Both trades now long gone by the wayside.

Even after all these years, I can close my eyes and smell my daddy.  I can feel him kiss my forehead and tap his finger gently on the bridge of my nose when saying good night to me, trying not to wake me.  I can see him sitting in the wing back chair that he re-upholstered in black & white snake skin naugahyde.  It was his favorite possession, his design - a creation he was incredibly proud of.  Our living room was very 70's with my dad's works of art, including an antique red velvet Victorian style chair and foot stool, adorning the room.  He took such great joy in taking a chair someone thought of as trash - and restoring it to it's former splendor.

He could look straight through the mess to see the inner beauty in anything.  That was my dad.

Every morning he was out the door by 7 am, every night he dragged his butt back out the door for job #2 by 6:30 pm.  Sunday was family time.  I remember sitting beside him on the high pile shag living room floor watching Creature Features or funny cars and NASCAR on Howard Cosell's Wide World of Sports.

As busy as my dad was running between jobs - he was always sure to have quality time with us.

This was it!  Very big deal! TV AND Record Player!
I know that TV time doesn't seem like quality time... but "back in the day" TV was a very BIG DEAL!

My early childhood took place in the 70's.  TV hadn't been in every household for all that long.  There were 7 channels & UHF - black & white.  Watching TV with daddy on Sunday afternoon was a big treat!


...and I smelled his Brut cologne as he lie on the floor beside me.  Giggling as he tried to scare me.

For my brother, they went on hikes.  They packed day packs and walked the Appalachian Trail.  These are my memories.  The things that just a whiff of Brut cologne bring to mind.

They're both gone - he and my brother, but the memories linger.

Every single time I get a whiff of Brut cologne, a smile stretches across my face.

I close my eyes, and for just a second my daddy is with me.

Happy Birthday in Heaven, Daddy!

Thank you for reading my blog!

~Jenn

In loving memory of my dad
Forever in my heart



Thursday, August 1, 2013

Yup, we've got some thick skin - but the band aid still hurts coming off...

(Repost from 2011)

When it comes to being a foster parent, I've been asked may times, "How do you do it??  How do you let go?"  I've also been given many, way too kind words about how saintly we are.  

Thank you so much, but I don't feel much like a saint.  I actually feel a bit selfish.  I love the little ones.  Quite frankly, most times I'd rather hang out with the little ones than adults. They're more fun, they call 'em exactly how they see them (like it or not, lol) and all they want is to be loved.  That's easy.

We foster parent folks are definitely a different breed.  We take a lot & the reward is in the hope that we've been able to make a positive difference in the lives of these kids - and that the good doesn't get undone by the idiots that wrecked them to begin with!  I know that's strong, but we see a lot. 

For a while, I stood by my little mantra "It's like ripping off a band aid.  It hurts less & less every time you take it off."

I officially take that back.  

We've had about 7 kids come through our house.  Little "E" wormed her way deep into our hearts.  I cried for weeks after she left & I'm not sure Wag has ever gotten over her.  There were others.  Some a little older, some a little younger, but none we really allowed ourselves to get too attached to.  We loved them up, helped them as much as humanly possible and let them go without too many tears or heartache.  Hoping we've made even a small positive difference in their lives.

THAT was how I came up with my little "band aid scenario", by the OTHER kids that came through.  The ones who did not get under our skin.  

Then, two beautiful sisters came into our lives.  
My "little chicken" at 5 months old, all full of smiles and her sister "AM" at 2, full of attitude and spunk.  
The first few months with these kids were rough!  One had major separation anxiety & a complete and total mini Puerto Rican attitude.  The baby had Salmonella, vomited at every feeding & could not sleep lying down.  So every night, I'd do my running with my kids; Kyle's wrestling schedule, CC's cheering schedule, then bathe the little ones, do my best to get "AM" comfortably down to sleep with as few tears as possible and then hit the couch with "my little chicken" on my belly.  Most nights I slept on the couch with my hand on her car carrier, where she slept, rocking the carrier if she started to fuss in the middle of the night.  Other nights, she just slept on my belly all night long.  We did this every single night for 7 months.  Needless to say she and I formed an extremely close bond.  I loved every second of it.

"AM" went back for a while ("my little chicken" stayed) & then "AM" returned a few months later, happy to be back with us.  She was much easier this time & blended right in as if she'd never left. 

Oh yeah, these little sisters TOTALLY got under our skin - especially the little one.  I became her "momma" in every sense of the word.  

We'd have adopted them in a heartbeat if they were adoptable.

After 15 months of living with us, they went with family.  We were included in family events for a while, but it was clearly too much for the baby to handle.  She never let me out of her site & cried terribly for me when I had to leave.  It was heartbreaking.  The best thing for her, is for us to fade off into the sunset.

I miss "my little chicken" every single day.

In the meantime, our home has been open for 7 months.  I've been enjoying my "free time" and taking care of myself.  Who knows what's in store in the future.  Maybe we'll get more kids, maybe not...  Only time will tell.

So back when I said it's like ripping off a band aid...  no matter how thick your skin is - you still feel it.  The only thing you can truly do is open your heart and love them up.  Do all you can to make their lives fun & easy for the time they are with you, and when it comes time to send them along - pray they're going into a good (ore even decent) situation.  After all, as parents - we already give all of ourselves for the benefit of the kids, and only good can come from giving love.

If you've considered fostering and you've got love, an open heart & mind & thick skin - please do it!  

As I always say... What's one more kid??  :)  

~ For my Foster Parent friends <3  Love you guys!! 

Thank you for reading my blog.

Foster Adoptive Family Services New Jersey Website:  http://www.fafsonline.org/



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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Happy Memories of Years Gone By....26 years

I've had quite a bit of death in my life.  It's become sort of numbing to me. There are, however, a few deaths that hit me right to my core.  Gary's death is one of those.

Today is the anniversary Gary's death.  Gary was my very first real love.....

I am NOT going to be all melancholy today.  I have been melancholy in the past.

Today, I've decided to reminisce about the silly stuff...The stuff that makes me smile when I think back.

When Gary and I dated, we were in high school.  He was a year older than me and he drove.  My parents hated that.  They hated everything about me being in a car with a boy on so many levels, but Gary was a nice guy.  He had an art of schmoozing parents and winning them over.  Whether they should have been won over or not.  When push came to shove - I was allowed to date him, but I was not allowed to ride in the car with him.

Truth be told - he was trouble and I loved every second of it...

He was fast and wild.  He had a really hot Oldsmobile Cutlass.  A total muscle car, souped up for racing and FAST.  Many a night he would call for me to come out.  I was not allowed to be in Gary's car... yeah OK.... (I was a bit rebellious as well).  No one really ever asked me where I was going when I left the house, so I'd say I was going out and walk a few blocks down where he'd pick me up.  Often times, we'd go to where he'd drag with the other guys in the area.  I'd sit up on the hill and watch.
I loved it!

Inevitably... one night, I got caught.  My uncle was at the Quick Check on Main Avenue and saw me getting into Gary's car.  He went straight to my house and told my parents.  I was grounded.  Actually, I was always grounded - but that's another story.

Gary STILL found a way to schmooze so that he could see me.  I loved that. He'd go above and beyond what needed to be done.  It was both a blessing and a curse in our relationship.

This particular time, he came to the door with Van Halen tickets and begged my parents to please let me out.  He'd spend a ton of money on these concert tickets and he really wanted me to be there.  That story would NEVER have flown if I'd told it... but sure enough, not only was I allowed out, but I was allowed to drive in his car AND go to the concert - arriving home well after my normal curfew.  All with parental approval.

I never understood how he was able to pull these things off, but I loved that he did these things for me - just to make me feel special.

Gary is gone 26 years today.  I'll never forget him or the ways he went out of his way to make me smile.  Even when I didn't want to.

Thank you, Gary.  Thank you for setting the bar high enough for me to know how I want people to treat me. Thank you for being a part of my life and a part of my heart.

Rest in sweet peace, friend...

~Jenn

Gary died tragically and suddenly.  We were not dating at the time.  We'd broken up a few years earlier, but remained close.  He is someone I will always think of with a smile.

Thank you for reading this tribute to him.

I wish you all someone who will cause you to set the bar high & make you smile when you think of them...


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Friday, July 26, 2013

My GOSH, put that thing away... Will you???

This whole Weiner's weiner thing is a bit much already...

No offense guys, but I don't want to see it.
Put it away where it belongs. 
I don't want to turn my phone on and see a penis on the screen EVER.


I mean, maybe some chicks are into that - but no thanks.  
And YES, I am straight.
Yes, I like men, as a matter of fact I LOVE men...
No, I don't ever want to see a picture of your penis.

Is that so wrong??

Honestly, that would piss me off (no pun intended.)

I feel like saying....
"Does your MOMMY know you're showing people that??
Put it away NOW!  And go stand in the corner."

Yes, I know it's a very proud item for you studly bunch.  I know that if anything ever happened to that body part, life as you know it would be over.


This was actually a joke in my household when my dad was alive.
My dad was sick, really sick, and we were taking care of him.  He had diabetes and was NOT taking care of himself properly.  We had him all fixed up and he decided to go to Florida to hide.  When my husband and I went to go see him, he was a mess.  We found Burger King wrappers, etc.  He could barely breathe.  He couldn't walk.  He was to the couch - very ill.  We tried to make him come home with us.... NO... He was going nowhere.  That was until a few days later, when he began to fill up with water.  He had severe pulmonary edema, but not nearly "sick enough" to listen to me.

THEN....  something terrible... something AWFUL happened....
He awoke to find that "the boys" were swollen to the size of grapefruits.
He could not breathe OR walk but OMG the boys..
What's wrong with the boys????  "Help me NOW!"


It was only THIS that prompted him to make an emergency call to me....  "I'm coming home.  I arranged a flight.  I need help."

Of course I was in a panic thinking he couldn't breathe, he was going to have a heart attack....  I called every doctor, took every emergency precaution from the airport to the hospital and drove off to meet him.  We found him immediately, swooped him into a wheel chair and headed to the hospital...  Only to find out that what he was really upset about...the boys.

REALLY????

Breathing... not a big deal at ALLLLLLL...the boys... super swollen?  AHHHHHHHHHHHH

I didn't care what his reasoning was at that point.  Whatever needed to happen to get him help, got him home...  As the ever dutiful daughter, I got him admitted for his PULMONARY EDEMA, not his swollen boys, and he was cared for.

Oh my gosh... Yes, of course - the boys were all happy again.  The swelling did go down AND he could breathe again.

Like I said - it became the joke...Oh crap, I just cut off my arm with a chain saw - let's just wrap a towel around that bad boy and continue.  Oh NO - I've just nicked my Zippity Doo Da with the razor - CALL THE PARAMEDICS.  QUICK!

So I get it... You like your manhood.  A LOT!

But do we really need to see it??

Put it away, will ya???

Before I go call your mommy!


Thank you for reading my blog!!

~Jenn


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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

What'd she just say?


I usually try to keep my blog posts clean and free of anything that might offend people...

When it comes to kids, especially young ones, and the things they say - all bets are off.


Our short one is slated to give us a run for our money.  She's just the cutest little thing, but she's a bit on the needy side and wants to make an impression.  A BIG impression!  She's also very smart.  Always listening and always ready to use what she's learned in any situation that it will bring attention to her.  Sometimes this is wonderful.  Sometimes it's a head shaking moment for momma.

Mornings are difficult here.  Hubby leaves super early - so there are three "girls" with three very different and strong personalities, trying to get ready for the day.  I...need my coffee and am not a morning person.  The short one...needs a stick of dynamite under her to get moving, and my older girlie just rolls with it most of the time (as she's bickering with the short one.)

One particular morning before school let out, I hear them bickering at the front door.

"NO, it's MY turn to stand first in line at the door."
"There's NO LINE at the door, GOSH."

And then, what I heard - I had to mentally question before I freaked out.... Because the next phrase I heard was....

"OUCH!"  (and a falling to the floor noise)  "You just hit me in the nuts.  My NUTS ARE KILLING ME."


WHAT the heck did she just say??  

So here's where mommy questions what she heard...  Did the short one just say that she got hit... in the nuts???  REALLY??

Enter mom...  Scratch that... Enter totally ANGRY mom getting ready to address the issue of the short female speaking in that way....

What do I see, but the short one on the ground holding her crotch stating that her "nuts are killing her."  UGH.... 

Ok, party's over kid...

First of all child, you are a GIRL.  Girls do not have "nuts".  "Nuts" are a slang, not nice term to describe boy parts - which you DO NOT HAVE - Because YOU are a GIRL!

Then she launched into the entire drama on how the older was swinging her lunch box and accidentally hit her in the "nuts."

AGAIN child....  You do NOT have those.  Does your private part hurt?

"NO... my NUTS hurt."

OMG Stop saying that!!  PLEASE stop saying that.

At this point, I was really just trying to not laugh... because, ya know... she was going for the full drama of the event and taking what she learned from a boy and projecting it upon herself....

It became time for a talk.  Not THE talk, but certainly A talk so that she will fully understand that at no time will she ever be hit in the "nuts".  Nor will she ever fall to the ground in excruciating pain for being hit in the non existent set.

Yeah, this one's going to give us a run for the money.

I almost can't wait for the next, "What'd she just say?"

ALMOST.

Thank you for reading my blog!

~Jenn

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Monday, July 22, 2013

The Heroin Epidemic....

I write this post strictly as a mom...

Not someone one with a medical degree, or years of experience and knowledge on this subject, or as anyone who's ever traveled down this dark road.  I'm just a mom.

This weekend, I learned of yet ANOTHER lost life due to a heroin over dose.  A young man I only knew as a ten year old child on my son's ball team.  A young man that as a teenager occasionally came by our home to hang out with my son.  A young man who was always polite to me.  Someone I didn't know well, but knew of.

Yet his death has hit me in a way that makes my heart ache.
The heart ache of another young life LOST.  Snuffed out by addiction.
I don't know if it was his first go round or his 100th.
I do know it was his last.

20 years old and GONE.
What a damn shame!

He's not the first, nor will he be the last.  There have been many heroin related deaths in my town.  I live in a nice suburban town.  I don't live in the big city.  Apparently that doesn't matter.  There are no rules with this stuff!  It's everywhere.

I made a statement on my personal Facebook page that when I was younger, I don't remember this drug being something that was around.  I remember pot and pills.  I remember drug busts on that scale.  I also remembered that kids (at least the kids I was around) were scared of needles/shooting up scenario and scared of the notion that "once you start, you can never stop."  I may have been naive.  I don't know.  I just don't remember.

What I do know is that this particular killer is $3 a postage stamp sized bag.  It's cheap.  Very cheap!  Kids don't shoot it up.  They smoke it, they snort it.  They get caught up in the endless cycle of the cheap high.

It's terrifying.


“I’LL JUST TRY IT ONCE.”

Warning: Even a single dose of heroin can start a person on the road to addiction.

Many people experiment with heroin thinking, “I’ll try it once or twice. I can always stop.” But those who start down that road find it nearly impossible to turn back. Consider the words of Sam, a 15-year-old addict: “When you first shoot up, you will most likely puke and feel repelled, but soon you’ll try it again. It will cling to you like an obsessed lover. The rush of the hit and the way you’ll want more, as if you were being deprived of air—that’s how it will trap you.”

The threat of addiction is not the worst consequence of experimenting with heroin. Jim was 21 years old and usually spent his evenings drinking beer with friends. He had already experimented with heroin so when friends offered him a line to sniff, he accepted. Fifteen minutes after inhaling, he passed out, then dropped into a deep coma which lasted more than two months. Today, he is confined to a wheelchair, unable to write, barely able to read. Whatever dreams and aspirations he once had are gone.

There is no "trying it once."  It's a slippery slope that leads down an incredibly dark path.

According to the National Center for Disease Control's February 20, 2013 posting, drug overdose deaths have increased for the 11th consecutive year.

"38,329 people died from a drug overdose in the United States in 2010, up from 37,004 deaths in 2009. This continues the steady rise in overdose deaths seen over the past 11 years, starting with 16,849 deaths in 1999."

The former median age for over dose addiction had been 32-35 years of age.  That age has decreased to 20.2 years of age.

These are frightening statistics, and quite frankly - not something I can even wrap my head around or think of a way to "fix."

As a mom, a fixer, I feel helpless.  I don't know what to do.  I don't know how to help.  I don't know what more can be done.  I just don't.  Maybe I'm over emotional - but is that bad?

I can only thank God that my son is not around this right now, and I continue to pray that he stays away and that his other friends STAY AWAY from this stuff.

So that I don't need to attend another unnecessary funeral.

A funeral for a 20 year old young man, who didn't have to die.

Thank you for reading my blog.

~Jenn

If you are someone you love are suffering from addiction, please visit The Partnership at Drugfree.org

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