Day 21 The Moon

My daughter tells me I’m a “Moon Person”.  I take pride in that.  I love the moon.  I notice the stages of the moon.  I love that my kids can see the moon no matter where they are in the country and I can look up at the same time and we share the same moon.

Yesterday, talking to my daughter, I told her it will be a full moon this week.  I know why. I know why, without looking at the phases of the moon or the calendar of the moon.   I know why and I have tried to explain this to people and they get so bored. I actually think Katie started thinking of her work schedule while I was trying to explain it.

The reason that I know it will be a full moon this week is because Easter falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the first day of Spring. Yesterday was the first day of Spring.  Sunday is Easter.  So this week– tomorrow, actually, is a full moon.

I love the moon.  I love that the most Holy Day is scheduled around the moon.  I love that it is something I can rely on.  It will always be there.  Sometimes it is hidden behind dark clouds, but it is there and I know it. Sometimes it jumps out at me in bold colors that take my breath away when I’m driving home. Sometimes it shines down on me in the very early mornings and comforts me, letting me know it is there, and will always be there.  My favorite phase is when it is full.  But the waning and waxing lets me know it will go away for a bit but it will always come back and give me that incredible feeling when I see it at its fullest every month!



Day 20 Palm Sunday



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I went to church today.  It’s the 5th time I’ve gone in the past two months, which is good for me.  I went three weeks in a row because my mom was living with me, it was Sunday, and she wanted to go to church before we went to the hospital to see my dad. I went  last week because I spent the night at my parents’ house and the next day was Sunday.  Today I went because I wanted to go to church with my mom.

It was a beautiful mass and I’m glad I went.  Being Palm Sunday, it was longer than usual, but I enjoyed it.  The message of the Passion was beautiful.  The music was fantastic- a choir that consisted of children and adults of all ages.  There were beautiful songs at the beginning and solemn songs while the passion was read. The mood of the mass was up and down.  It flowed just like the readings did.

Tonight as I was saying goodbye to my mom, she thanked me for going to church with her. I told her I wanted to go.  I feel good when I go.  She said, “I don’t like to go alone.”

Mom won’t go to church alone.  Hopefully, she will soon have my dad by her side.  But until then, she will not go alone.  palms

Day 19 Life Endures

Instead  of enjoying this beautiful sunny day, I stayed in bed nursing my head cold.  If I didn’t take this time to get better, I would probably get worse.  It’s very hard for me to just stop for a day.  I feel like it is wasted time.  I feel as though I missed out on something.    I got up a few times thinking positively that I will be productive.  I got as far as taking a shower.  I then took some Musinex and went back to bed.

I was receiving updates on my dad’s day  from my sister Carolyn and my mom.  He had a good night’s sleep.  He took a walk around the block with Carolyn.  He went with my mom and sister to deliver communion to two families, per his request!  WHAT???  This really happened?  See— I did miss out on something!  This was the most positive update I’ve seen since Christmas.  I am so excited!  Is this the beginning of my dad getting back to his old self?  Is it ironic that this is happening right when Spring is beginning?

As I said in my blog yesterday, Spring is a sign of hope, new beginnings, and new life. It gives hope that through cold, gloomy days life will endure.  My dad is waking up from this cold, gloomy winter.  He endured the dark days after surgery.  Tomorrow is the first day of Spring.


Day 18 Hope

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I watched the weather report this morning.  I was a little bummed to see that there are some cold temperatures in the days to come.  I was hoping to hear,

“Spring is here, folks!”  Go out and enjoy the warm weather.”

I’m happy the sun is shining.  That always helps!  I saw the five day forecast and there are 50’s next week.  Am I wrong for feeling disappointed?  Last December and  January, the 50’s were a pleasant gift! My husband  put on his khaki shorts (the only pair that didn’t get put away for the winter)  and walked around like it was the beginning of Spring.  He wore them on one of our Christmas shopping days.  I was at the register at Von Maur  and I heard two ladies talking about the beautiful weather. One of them said,

“I actually saw a man wearing shorts!”

I smiled to myself knowing “that man” was my husband.

We get so excited when the weather gives us unexpected beautiful days, especially in the winter.  How boring would it be to have beautiful days all the time?  (A little sour grapes on my part)   We wouldn’t  have anything to appreciate when one comes along.  We would end up taking those days for granted.

As I drove to school today in my dreaded Columbia coat, I started noticing the hints of nature coming alive again.  The sun was bright, but there was still a cool crispness in the air.  At a red light, I looked over and saw bits of green, pointy leaves lined up evenly, peeking out of the dirt.  As I came to a stop sign near school, I looked to my right and saw purple crocuses trying their hardest to rise up from their winter sleep.

I actually smiled as I noticed more signs along the way  because, to me,  these are signs of hope, renewal, and rebirth. It reminds me that through dark, cold, and dreary days, life will endure. shutterstock_28698973_600px

Day 17 Today, Everyone’s Irish!


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Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Today is always a cheerful day.  I started off the day watching the WGN Morning News team at Bourbon Street on the South Side.  They were all decked out in their green, kicking off St. Patrick’s Day.  Ana Belaval, the “Around Town” Puerto Rican girl was dressed as an Irish dancer, curly wig and all.  She was attempting some Irish dance moves. There were goofy leprechauns and Irish singers.  They also had bagpipes, which I love.  They were celebrating early and having a great time.

 I got ready for work making sure I wore my brightest green sweater.  I wore a shamrock scarf with my jacket.  I listened to St. Patrick’s Day trivia on the radio on the way to work.  Did you know Patrick wasn’t his real name?  Do you know why we eat corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day?  I do now. 

When I arrived at school, I saw a sea of green in line waiting to go into the building.  As I walked down the hall, I passed teachers with a hint of green, or totally decked out in everything Irish.   The teacher’s lounge had a St. Patrick’s Day surprise of Irish soda bread and scones.  We all found an Irish Blessing along with a chocolate treat in our mailbox. 

As the kids entered the room,some in green, some not,  I watched my Lithuanian student walk in dressed in green from head to toe, including his hair. He accented his outfit with a green hat and many strands of green beads around his neck.  He had the biggest smile on his face, so proud of his “get-up”.  I wondered how early he had to get up to get ready this morning.  I have to say, he looked adorable.  He made me smile because he isn’t Irish.  He just knew this is what people do on St. Patrick’s Day.  He probably saw clips on the news of the South Side Parade or clips of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the city.  Who knows, he may have attended these parades.   He sure did it right today! 

Today, everyone was Irish.  Everyone had a little bit more cheer in them. I think everyone looks great in green!  

My day ended with corned beef and cabbage with my familyIt was a good day.  I feel blessed. 

Day 16

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I love my after school “Catch Up Club”  on Wednesdays.  It’s just my class so they can get extra help or catch up on work.    I offered this at conferences in the Fall and almost all the parents signed up.  As soon as the bell rings, the kids go to their lockers to get their snack, get out their homework, and find a comfy spot in the room.  If their homework is finished, they come to me for help with something else, or they get to play math games.

As I look around, I see how they pair off, or work in groups.  Some kids like to curl up with a pillow and work alone.  It is a very relaxed atmosphere.  The smiles and laughs that I see and hear give me a satisfying feeling.  They are working together-they are helping each other- they are sharing tips on how to get to the next level in a math game.

The school day flies by.  Our schedule is packed. Every minute is filled. I sometimes drive home and wonder,

“Did I speak to each of my students individually, today?”

“Did I answer a question they might have had?”

Although my day goes until 4:00 on Wednesdays, it is time well spent.   My students get to slow down, take a breathe, work on homework, or get some one- on- one time with me.

Speaking of that, I’m going to sign off now, so I can go around the room and chat with each of my  students.  I hope they can give me some of their time.  🙂

Day 15 More Frustration, More Questions


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My dad is still in the hospital.  He knew something was wrong on Saturday and he insisted on going to the emergency room.  His sleep has been interrupted by thoughts of doom.  I looked up this word to make sure I am using it right.  The synonyms are; fate, destiny, predetermined state or end, inevitable outcome, unhappy destiny.   He is so afraid that he won’t get better.  He doesn’t talk about it too much, but shares his feelings with my mom and brother.

Dad’s  life has drastically changed from how he was before Christmas. He needs assistance. He doesn’t have an appetite.  He has no interest in the paper, the TV, or his phone!  I want to scream…..”SNAP OUT OF IT!”  I’m sure my mom wants to, also. He has children and grandchildren that love and miss him.  He has friends and neighbors that love and miss him.   But he can’t snap out of it.  He can’t.  He is in a really bad funk and I don’t blame him.  His body has been a chemical experiment of medicines that work and don’t work, medicines that make him tired or anxious. The chemists are doctors that don’t communicate with each other.  “Let’s try this..Let’s take away this, let’s lower this and raise this!”   The poor guy!  I hate how I feel when I have an extra cup of coffee!  It must be hell for him. Hasn’t my dad been through enough just with open heart surgery?

More adjustments today.  He may be discharged tomorrow.  How will they know how his body will react to these adjustments? More questions…once again, our Google research begins.  Once again, we are trying to find answers.

I think we found an angel.  I think we finally have an advocate that will get our dad the help he needs.  She is lining up appointments for my dad once he’s out.  She will make sure he gets all the help he needs at the Heart Clinic.  She knows about his feelings of doom.  He will see a counselor.  She is taking charge of his case.

I pray that Dad will be on the right track as soon as he gets out of the hospital.  He will be busy.  He will be exercising.  He will be talking to other patients that have gone through similar experiences.

Hopefully soon, Dad will be reading the Tribune while eating his cereal.  Soon, Dad will be using the remote to find the show he wants to watch.  Soon,  Dad will be going to 6:45 mass and visiting with his friends. Soon, Mom and Dad will come out to dinner with us. Soon, I will be getting a call from Dad about —-anything!!! I don’t care!  I want to see his name on my caller ID.  I can’t wait to answer the phone and say, “Hey, Dad, what’s up?”



Day 14 I Feel It Today

I really don’t notice Daylight Savings Time the day I lose an hour.  It’s on a Sunday and I usually get more sleep anyway.  It’s the Monday getting up for work when I feel it.  As I hit snooze for the third time this morning, I kept thinking to myself,

“It’s really 5 am.”

As I drove to work this morning I was thinking,

“It’s really only 6:30 am.”

As I stood outside for door duty, I said to the kids,

“It’s really 7 am., if you think about it.”

I feel it today.  Today I’m tired.  Today I feel I’ve been robbed of sleep.

I can’t wait to climb into bed tonight and pull the covers up to my chin and think,

“It’s really only  7:30 p.m.”!  Ahhhhh a full night sleep ahead!!!

Now I will catch up!

Day 13 Rain on his Parade

11454297503_e27946e4ff_h (1)Today is usually an exciting time for the family.  It’s the South Side Irish Parade. Mom has her grocery list still sitting on the table— rye bread, pickles, corned beef, Swiss cheese, etc. She planned on ordering the corned beef dinner from Foxes for those who wanted the traditional Irish dinner.  We usually gather at my parents’ house and enjoy the annual tradition of food, drink, and family.  Some go up to Western Avenue to watch the parade and to see my niece dance with her Irish dance club.

I have to say, I’m glad it’s rainy today.  I’m glad that Dad isn’t missing out on a fun, sunny, day. I’m glad Mom and Dad aren’t feeling bad that we all missed the fun Sunday.  It rained all day.  It was gloomy all day–just like it has been since Christmas.  It has been gloomy.  There has been a dark  cloud hanging over us.

I am looking forward to the day where there is sunshine and a rainbow.  My mom and dad deserve both of those.

Day 12 Another Ride on the Roller Coaster


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It  is now the fourth hospital  since the beginning of the year.

My dad got home from the hospital on March 3.  He’s been able to walk more without his walker and he’s not using the the shower chair.  He is very strong.  We are now dealing with his sleep issues.  He sleeps a lot during the day because of his insomnia at night.  He said time just stops for him at night.  He is very frustrated and upset.  He is also depressed after his major surgery.  My sister and mom brought him to the emergency room this morning because he is suffering terribly with no sleep during the night.  Dad requested Little Company because he didn’t want to deal with the long wait at Christ.  The wait was just as long.  Once again, our phones were dinging constantly with updates about Dad.  My siblings and I kept in constant contact with each other through Messaging on Facebook.

I’m sitting in the hospital room watching him sleep.  My brothers and sister have been here since this morning and because they  are stricter with the number of visitors, Jim and I  came out a little later.  Mom looks very tired, but is wearing a really cute outfit and lipstick. She didn’t sleep last night either.  She needs to get a good night’s sleep tonight. Jim and I are staying overnight tonight so she won’t be alone.  Dad wanted to be in the hospital because he didn’t want Mom to have to deal with him at night.  He feels so bad.  He had a low sodium count so they admitted him on the cardiac floor.  I’m hoping they can deal with his insomnia as well.

I pray that my dad can get past all this and get back to his old self.  I know he wants to.  He wants to get back to helping others.  He wants to get back to going to 6:45 mass and having coffee with his church pals. He wants to enjoy watching the Cubs and talking baseball.   He wants to be himself again.

Mom talked to the nurse about contacting the doctor about his insomnia.  She wants to make sure they know why he came to the emergency room.  Before we leave, she will get the number of the night nurse or nurses’ station so she can check on him later this evening and first thing in the morning. She will tuck him in and give him a kiss. She will be back here by his side tomorrow morning.  She will continue to be his wife, for better, or for worse, in sickness and in health.

And the ride continues….