Thursday, December 28, 2017

The Going On's

I had CPR Re-Certification Training this morning. It is a requirement of work so every two years I attend a re-certification class. Honestly, I doubt I would ever use it. The one and only time I did CPR on someone that someone died anyway and I was left to cast doubts on my ability to do CPR correctly. I have spent the last seven years questioning if I did it right or if I made matters worse. Every time I take this class I am flooded with memories of that night. The screams and the cries of the adults in the room as I did compressions on that tiny chest as he laid upon the floor.. I think about his age and the age he would be today if he had survived.

I went back to work on the 18th and though I was exhausted that first work and had some muscle pain, I have been free of nerve pain. I am so grateful that the surgery worked for me as I almost did not go through with it after hearing so many horror stories of people who went through spinal surgery. It seems a lot of spinal surgeries do not work out as successful as my own.

I had a combination family Christmas party and 3rd birthday party for Aubree on the 23rd and it turned out wonderfully. I was suppose to go to my niece's house on Christmas Day but I never made it there. My brother was drunk (again) and when he drinks he becomes mean. Christmas Day he sent messages via group text of hatred and in typical family denial fashion, his drinking and subsequent inappropriate behavior was swept under the carpet and no one said a word besides myself and   that just made him meaner. By the end I was too emotionally exhausted to anything on Christmas Day.
I doubt I will be having any further conversations with him. There was a time I could tolerate his behavior but as I have grown older I just do not have any more tolerance for it. He needs to apologize and I'm sure hell will need to freeze over before he does that.

I have a bunch of pictures to upload and I am sure I will probably get around to doing it this weekend. Since my return back to work, things have been hectic. The patient turnover has been intense and for the first time since I have been counseling inpatients I wondered if it was time to switch over to counseling outpatients. I hope things settle down after the holidays. I also crate trained my dog so now I take him for a 30min walk before I leave for work then stop home in the middle of the day to walk him again before placing him back in his crate and returning to work until after the work day is finished and he can then run the house free. I believe the crate with a bark blanket on top helps soothe his separation anxiety. The crate has his dog bed and toys and is in the family room downstairs. He seems to feel safe and secure in the crate.He can no longer run the house crying and looking for me then howling as to disturb the neighbors. 

Friday, December 15, 2017


I just started a new book called "The Three Lives of James Madison" by Noah Feldman. At this rate I may be reading through each and every president. Well maybe. Anyway, I just finished a three book series on Eleanor of Aquitaine by Elizabeth Chadwick. The first book in the series was called "The Summer Queen" followed by "The Winter Queen" and ended with "The Autumn Queen". The book began with the marriage of Eleanor to King Louie of France after the death of her father. After fifteen years of marriage and two daughters, King Louie annulled his marriage to Eleanor because she did not give him a son and heir. She went onto marrying Henry, Count of Anjou and Duke of Normandy who became King of England and they would have eight children within thirteen years of which five were sons and three were daughters. King Louie of France was not too happy that she gave King Henry five sons. Three of these five sons would go on to be King of England ; Henry, Richard the Lionhearted and John. Prior to the books on Eleanor I finished a book called "The Hidden Lives of Tudor Women" by Elizabeth Norton.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Aubree's Bounce U Kiddie Birthday Party


 Aubree with her parents Lynee and Josh.

Nikolas's 13th Birthday Party

 Bill & I with our grandchildren.
 Shaun, Shaun, Nikolas, Raina, Rita

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


While saying my prayers last night, I remembered a promise I made to the Blessed Virgin years ago when we were in the middle of all the chaos. I remember praying (begging) to the Blessed Mother and asking her to watch over my son Joe and his daughter Ava. I remember telling her that I did not care how much pain I felt inside as long as my son and granddaughter were ok. Last night while I was praying I took the time to thank our Blessed Mother and expressed my gratitude because she kept her side of the bargain. Despite the pain I felt inside, my son and granddaughter are doing ok. My son is working everyday as a counselor and doing a ton of work on self. Instead of  learning to be a better criminal he is becoming a better person. He takes classes, works out, plays on a soft ball team, reads a lot of books and works everyday giving back to those less fortunate and who do not have the same supportive family as he. My granddaughter received all A's on her report card and she is involved in gymnastics and plays basketball. She is happy and well adjusted. Her parents remain on good terms.

In all reality, I need not complain about my struggle with depression or express how much I miss my loved ones this Christmas Season because they are both ok. Today, I am grateful.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Catch Up

Six days before I return to work. I suppose it is bittersweet as I have enjoyed my time away from work but at the same time work in of itself is good for me because of my ongoing battle with depression. Staying busy and out of my own head and thoughts is always good. I often wonder if I battle depression because I overthink and to overthink is a sign of intelligence or so I was taught. The double edge sword! It really does not matter what the reason only that it is ongoing and a battle. It does not help that it is the Christmas Season with all its expectations and when memories of the past pop up they can be painful. It is also another reminder that it will be another Christmas without my son Joe and my granddaughter Ava. As much as my granddaughter Aubree fills my heart with joy and love, I miss Ava terribly.

I have several pictures to upload from Nikolas's birthday party and Aubree's Bounce Up Kiddie Birthday party. I am sure there are other pictures to be uploaded as well. Hopefully, I will get them uploaded to this site before I return to work. There is a lot to do this week. I need to take the dog to the groomer, keep a doctor's appointment and have tickets to take my granddaughter Aubree to the Nutcracker Ballet in town on Friday. I would like to get my hair and nails done as well however those things could probably wait until next week though I have to prepare for a family Christmas party I will host on the 23rd.

All these things I have to do and I do not feel like doing anything. The house is decorated for Christmas except for the bathroom which is on my agenda for today if I can get out of this chair. Bill received the results of the second DNA test and as expected it was once again negative and  the girl is not his daughter. It saddens me to think this girl has spent thirty years without knowledge of her father. I want to embrace her. Maybe I can feel her pain because I grew up without my own biological father. It leaves a scar no matter how happy a childhood one has had. And it is not just the loss of your father but the loss of that entire side of the family. You grow up never really knowing who you are and where you belong. You can be in a house full of people and still feel alone. Nicole is in my thoughts today.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Six months ago we moved back into a house in a neighborhood where my ancestors have resided since 1850. In those six months we have put up with subtle forms of harassment such as complaints about our dog, never having a parking place outside our house, people ignoring our "friendly hello's", "pointing fingers" or "making inappropriate comments to others" in our ear shot. We are good people. We stay to ourselves. Up to Sunday evening we chose to ignore the harassment until we came home from my granddaughter's 3rd birthday party to a note on our door and then we were told to "get out of our neighborhood". I guess I know what it feels like to be a minority in a world of self-righteous judgemental people and no matter how many years pass I will always be remembered for the choices my son made. Some would say we never should have moved back. This is my home. Can I be once again pushed out? What are my rights?. I hate confrontation and I avoid it at all costs but Sunday night I confronted them and asked them if they ever considered what I went through as a mother. We will be harassed until we move out. Every time my dog barks they will call animal control. If I have an argument with my husband they will call the police.

Monday morning I was heart sick and there were a lot of tears. I reached out to my oldest son, my parents, my sister and my older brother for advice and support. I was encouraged to look into my legal rights. Harassment is difficult to prove without concrete evidence. I was told to keep all notes and emails sent to my work and it was recommended that I install cameras. My older brother is a retired Philadelphia Detective. My older son is a Philadelphia Inspector. My daughter-in-law is Director of Human Services in Philadelphia. All three are very knowledgeable in how things work in the city. My parents and sister provide endless support and they are my best cheerleaders.

I do not know what the future brings but I do know at this time we are not moving. We will not be pushed out. So if my dog barks then they can call animal control. If they want to call the police so be it. I cannot live in fear of harassment or threats. I only wish these folks would worry more about sweeping their own side of the street before trying to sweep ours.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Decorating for Christmas

Christmas Magic 2017

Aubree listening intently to Pop Pop's story about Santa Claus while eating sliced apples on a Christmas Plate. This picture captures the magic of childhood as it pertains to Christmas. This little girl adores her Pop Pop Bill. 

My Gallagher Grandparents

Today is the 37th anniversary of the death of my maternal grandfather William Joseph Gallagher II.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Thursday, November 23, 2017