Sunday, April 07, 2019

Sunday, April 7, 2019

So we are a week out from The Tough Ruck.  The actual website is down or has problems, but the Facebook page is fine.  So, go there, like it, and if you can, donate, attend, yada yada.

From their FB page:

  "Tough Ruck, a 26.2 mile Ruck March, is a project of the Military Friends Foundation. We are proud partners with the Boston Athletic Association, National Park Service and The Trustees.

On April 14, 2019 be part of something GREATER. Join the elite group of 1000 Tough Ruckers who will be the first to earn the official 2019 Boston Marathon Medal!

***#ToughRuck2019 will take place on Sunday, April 14, 2019. Registration rates and fundraising commitment will be the same as 2018.***

We are a group of Military, First Responders, and civilians whose sole purpose is to Ruck in honor and in memory of our Fallen Service Members, Police, Firefighters and EMTs, while raising funds to support Military families in times of need. We will walk/ shuffle/ruck a 26.2 mile course on Patriots Day weekend on the battle roads of the Revolutionary War, in Concord. We will carry the names of our Fallen comrades on our rucks. Tough Ruck is a proudly hosted partnership with the Boston Athletic Association/Boston Marathon. #ToughRuck2019 #MarathonWithAMission


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So, I'm still processing the passing of my friend Carrie.  I couldn't go to the funeral.  Financially, flying to Kansas City from the East Coast was prohibitive and I've had a cold for six weeks.  I can't talk without coughing/gagging and peeing my pants.

But if i couldn't be there, at least I'm in a Carrie place.  She attended Mary Baldwin College here in Staunton, VA and loved Wright's Dairy Rite down the street.  So, I have that.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

My Friend Carrie

The internet has given me sooooo much.  But once in a while, it gives you a gut punch.

When I started blogging, technically I was a #Milblogger.  I had never served and I wasn't a spouse.  I fell into the category of #supporter.  And when #MilblogConferences started happening, I went for the parties.

And I met a ton of cool people.  Some of them are and will continue to be my life long friends.

One of the very best was Carrie Costantini.  Carrie was a "doer".  I wrote stuff, I followed other people's lead when i could.  Carrie got stuff done.  Not in a big showy way.  In exactly the right way.

One of the things Carrie and I talked about was Staunton, Virginia.  That's where my eldest son lives and Carrie went to Mary Baldwin College.  One of her first questions was had I gone to "Wright's Dairy Rite".  It's a burger joint, like an old fashioned car hop/drive-in place.   A working juke box. They opened it in 1952 and around these parts, it's local legend.

I'm about 50 or so hours past my latest Dara infusion.  I haven't written about it (or much of anything), but it's a biologic and your body tries to fight it.  My body mimics a really bad head cold.  So my ears, nose, and chest are stuffed up.

When the other half of #TeamM called to tell me that Carrie had passed away today, I tried to pretend my stuffed head got it wrong..

But I didn't.

So I got up and took a shower and went and got a burger and onion rings.  Here's to you Carrie.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

July 28th

The shittiest day of the year.

Monday, May 28, 2018

It's A Minute After Midnight

May 28, 2018.

Twenty-two months since Frank died.

Sometimes I don't know how I've lived this long.

I have no regrets about my relationship with Frankie.  I loved him...love him with all my heart.  But I grieve that I will never get the chance again in this life to show him.  Or tell him.  I can only pray he sees me take care of his son and feels my love living on that way.

I try to cope by not actually feeling that loss.  I focus on the positive, my happy memories.  I tell myself it doesn't help little Frankie to see my grief.  My job now is to keep his father and his fathers love for him as a bright happy constant presence.

But sometimes when I am alone, I let myself feel it.  Really feel it

Sometimes though, someone else forces me to feel it.  They force me with their selfish attitude toward their children.  They force me when they casually pass up on loving their children in ways that I can never have again.  I want to scream and rage at them.  You never know what tomorrow will bring you or take away from you.  You could be me.  You could be sitting in a chair with a doctor saying they're sorry they did their best.  You could be sitting at home when you see a car pull up and a police officer or a military chaplain gets out to knock on your door. You could be the only one who wakes up from a car accident. You could realize that you lost your chances on petty bullshit.


Sunday, March 25, 2018

Today Is Many Things

....to many people.

For me it is the 50th anniversary of Papa Kelley's death.  He was my mother's father.  I had only turned 7 a few days earlier, and worse it was my Uncle Kevin's birthday.

Despite losing him so young, my grandmother never dated anyone else, much less remarried. I have always been in awe of a love so great that it sustains you for the next thirty years.

I have many happy memories of my grandfather.  And stories from family.  But also stories from people outside our family who knew and admired him.  He was born Owen Francis, but went by Frank and he was a person who drew others to him.  I was always struck by the regard people held him in long after he passed.

Overall, '68 was a sucky year in my opinion.

Friday, February 02, 2018

Team M - Hanging In Annapolis

There are lots of people who are very good to me & invite me to visit.  One of my absolute favorite destinations is Mary Ripley's house in Annapolis.  Back when I was much more active in blogging I met Mary at a Milblog Conference and we have been fast friends ever since.  Mary has been part of some of my favorite adventures.  She has actually facilitated some of them, enabling me to do some things that I would never have been able to do otherwise.  Team M - Mary & Maggie.

I try to be back in Virginia with Tommy during my 14 days of Pomalyst.  No one wants to watch someone hanging like a blob on the couch.  But this month Mary has persuaded me to give Tom a break and hang here.  It's a kindness I'll never be in a position to repay.  And more than just being a place to be, it's a fun visit. 

Mary and I could never run out of things to talk about.  If we did, her granddaughter Sailor visits and keeps us entertained.  Sailor is the most outgoing, sparkly little six year old.  I sit in this cushy armchair and there is room for Sailor to comfortably pop in beside me.  Knowing her mother, I suspect Sailor will always fit in this spot.  Not that Sailor sits a lot.  She bounds into the middle of the room to dance when the right song comes on.  There are many songs that are good for dancing or showing me "Cheer" moves. 

And there's no guilt here!  When in Virginia I always want to get a project done so I can feel like I accomplished "something".  Well, there are no projects for me here!  Just chocolate & binge watching "Masterpiece Theater" dramas and Graul's chicken salad.

Thanks you, Mary!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Today Would Have Been Frankie's 30th Birthday

I was with Britt, the grandkids and Tommy came up too.

Last year I hosted a party and had plans to do so this year as well.  But when crunch time came I didn't have my ducks in a row.

I'll do better next year.

But Britt got balloons for us to let go of as we called out "Happy Birthday"!  Little Frankie loved it!

Lots of people have sent me very nice messages and I am so grateful.