Tuesday, September 26, 2006



Throughout the month of October, I will be writing posts about the different aspects of living with Lupus - how it affects the patient physically, socially, psychologically and spiritually. I am doing this to heighten your awareness of this disease.

Lupus became a household word in our family in April of 2004, when my oldest daughter was diagnosed with Lupus Nephritis.

I would like to ask you to post the image above on your blog throughout the month of October. I found this image on the Lupus Foundation of America website (www.lupus.org), which has tons of information about this devastating illness. Also, (and this is very difficult for me to ask of you), if you could find it in your heart and pocket book to give a donantion to this worthy foundation, I would be eternally grateful. It is our hope and dream that a cure for Lupus will be found in our daughter's lifetime.

A final favor - could you please do a link on your blog to this post? I'd really like to reach out to as many people in the blogging community during the month of October so that they will become more aware of this debilitating illness. Thank you, my friends - and God bless.


Jean, a wonderful fellow Catholic and counselor, tagged me to do the Geography Meme. So, here goes:

1. A place you've visited and your favorite thing there.
I'm not a traveler, folks. I've only been in six states in my life, and to Canada about four times. I grew up in Traverse City, Michigan - and now, it is my favorite place to visit. My favorite thing there is the view of Grand Traverse bay at sunset. My favorite thing to do there is visit my friends and relatives.

2. A country you'd like to visit and why.
Scotland. There is a little town there which is named after my ancestors - and I've always wanted to see what it looks like and if there are still relatives who live there.

3. A place from history you'd like to visit and why.
Hmm. . . I've always been intrigued by the period from the civil war until around 1900. I think it has to do with reading all those Laura Ingalls Wilder books over and over again when I was a child, and then again as an adult reading them to my kids. So, I would like to go back to the "simpler" days - to see if, indeed, it was simpler back then.

4. A place you know a lot about.
My home town. I used to know all the street names and where they were located (my dad was a fireman, so he could tell you in an instant the location of any street - so I picked that skill up from him).

5. A place you'd like to learn more about.
The Vatican.

6. A fictional place you'd like to visit.
This one stumped me. There are so many non-fictional places I'd like to visit before I'd want to visit a fictional place. So, I guess I'll swipe Jean's answer, and say Narnia.

Thanks, Jean, for inviting me to do the meme. Please visit Jean over at her blog, located at www.catholicfire.blogspot.com . And, I'd like to ask all of my blogging buddies out there who want to participate in this meme to please feel free to do so. It's quick and fun to do.

Friday, September 22, 2006

It's All Coming Back To Me Now

Hey, it's a Friday night, and I wanted to relive some of my youth. . . MeatLoaf's still "got" it. This song brings back so many memories, and this video is quite classy.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Turning the Page

Two years ago at this time, we were in the midst of doing a bone marrow aspiration on TP, trying to determine why she was so anemic. She was still on mega doses of prednisone and Solu-medrol and CellCept - medicaitons which suppress the immune system. Her face was swollen and she was a little overweight from the side effects of the meds, and her spirit was wavering because she didn't have a date for homecoming and she felt out of place.

Last year during the fall, she got her braces off, we had her senior pictures taken outside with brilliant trees as a backdrop, and she was tapering off her meds. We were looking at a lot of colleges, filling out applications, applying for financial aid.

In November of last year, she became gravely ill. We prayed feverishly for her survival. You may recall the miracle I experienced after praying to Mary, the mother of Jesus - TP recovered!

She is now off most of her meds, and has been at college for almost two weeks.

I'm not going to lie and say this process of sending her off to college has been easy on me. I've experienced sadness and grief like I've never felt before. At times, there is a huge hole in my heart when I physcially ache to give her a hug. Sometimes, it hits me like a huge ton of bricks that she is gone - and my eyes begin to tear up, my stomach gets tied up in knots, and my breath becomes labored.

And then, there are the times when I am at peace. It is during those times that I reflect on the fact that this is what we have been praying for all along - for her to be healthy and happy, and to be able to make her dream of becoming a nurse come true. There were times when I wasn't sure it was going to be possible because of all the medical problems that kept on popping up when we least expected them to. When I think of how far she has come - physically, emotionally, spiritually - I know that God has blessed her with an incredible spirit and determination to beat the odds.
My husband pointed out to me that we could have been remembering her during this time of year, rather than celebrating her new life as a college student. Remembering these things help me to keep this all in perspective, so that when I do begin to feel sad or anxious, all I have to do is think of the miracle which God has given to us.

TP had a rough time the first couple of days, but since that time, she has grown to embrace college life totally. She studies a LOT, has made tons of new friends (including a "special" someone!), and is involved in other activities including the Christian Fellowship Organization. She loves the independence and freedom - and has definitely overcome her homesickness. She calls me at least once a day to tell me how things are going, and I treasure our talks.

The other night, as we were saying goodnight, I told her I missed her. She paused and said, "I kind of miss you, mom - but I don't miss home - I hope that doesn't sound mean or anything, but I just love it here". So, I told her with a heart full of love and a lump in my throat that "I want you to know that this is YOUR time to shine, honey. Remember when you were so sick? We used to pray for this day to come - when you were happy and healthy and in college. Our prayers have been answered, sweetie, and I want you to just do your best and enjoy your time while you're there. Yes, I miss you - but I wouldn't want you to be anywhere else but where you are right now". She seemed relieved with what I had to say. And I was so overwhelmed when I was saying it, because I honestly meant every word. I had FINALLY come to terms with my daughter's leaving. I had raised her to be an independent, friendly, kind and loving person who grabbed life and lived it to the fullest - and so I can be content in the knowledge that she's on her way. She'll still need me, but in different ways. She'll always love me, of that I am certain. But, she'll always be my "baby girl" because I still remember her tiny head nestled on my shoulder - oh, so many years ago - with the moon shining into the bedroom as I sang her a lullaby.

Dear Lord, thank you for getting us to this point of TP's life. Watch over her, guide her, protect her from every evil and any harm which might come her way. Words can't express how deeply grateful I am that she is alive, healthy, and loving every minute of college.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Susie is having a contest!

Susie, who designed my blogskin, is offering two FREE completely customized blog designs. All you have to do is drop her an e-mail at bluebirdblogs@gmail.com Please mention that I sent you over there, ok?

You can check out Susie's designs by going to http://bluebirdblogs.blogspot.com .

The contest ends at 11:59p.m.EST on Friday, September 22, 2006, and the winners will be announced on Saturday, September 23, 2006.

Good Luck, everyone!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

We've Only Just Begun

This song by the Carpenters used to be sung at weddings during the time period when my husband and I got married, which was 31 years ago today. So, it's dedicated to him once again, because we've truly only just begun. . . (And honey, there's a little note for you written in the previous post).

CWO Blog and an Anniversary Note

Today is my first blog entry over at the CWO blog - http://www.christianwomenonline.net/blog.html . I am featuring my dear friend. HeyJules, from http://macedwithgrace.squarespace.com . Please feel free to drop in at the CWO blog and be introduced to Jules, and then pay her a visit at her place. You will be very happy you did both!

On another quick note - today is my 31st wedding anniversary (I was 10 when I got married)! To my husband - I am eternally grateful that God chose you to be my lifemate. You have held me up when I was down, have comforted me when I was afraid or sad. and loved me even when I didn't deserve your unconditional love. I am blessed with having you as my best friend and the father of my two daughters. We've weathered some very rough times (especially the past five years), but we held on to each other during the storm and didn't drown in all that uncertainty and angst. I thank God for your presence in my life everyday. And I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for just being you. I can't wait for the next 31 years! I love you!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

So Sorry

So sorry I haven't written lately. I promise to write something tomorrow - I'm a bit under the weather right now - I'm physically & emotionally exhausted from the events of the past several days. It's hard letting go. . .

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Carl Vincent Bini

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It is an honor to participate in "2996 - Honouring the 9/11 Victims". Please visit the following website www.dcroe./2996/ for more information about this project. Two thousand nine hundred ninety six bloggers are posting this weekend about those victims who were murdered five years ago.

I asked to receive a fireman's name because my father was a fireman. Every little girl's nightmare is to get that phone call that daddy wasn't coming home after being on a rescue call.

The information about Carl Vincent Bini was very sparse, but what I did find told me a story of a wonderful family man. Not only was he a New York City Fire Department fireman, but he co-owned a business named Tower East Construction Company. This past June, the 2nd Annual Carl Bini Golf Tournament was held at the South Shore Country Club in Staten Island.

The following is The New York Times obituary profile, originally published on December 1, 2001:

They met when they were 10, two kids from the same Brooklyn neighborhood. They married at 20 and in 23 years rarely left each other's side. "He was my best friend," said Christine Bini of her husband, Carl, who was 43.
So it was completely in keeping with routine that Mr. Bini telephoned his wife the morning of Sept. 11 at about 8:40 a.m. while she was en route from the couple's home in Staten Island to her job in Brooklyn just to check in and say hello. Minutes later he called again. "He told me about the plane," Mrs. Bini said. "He said he was going. I told him to be careful."
Carl Bini had been a firefighter for 18 years. Retirement was only two years away, and he and his wife had been looking forward to it very much. So were their daughters, Stephanie, 16, and Desiree, 19. That Tuesday was to have been a day off for Firefighter Bini. He and a friend were meeting to discuss a business project for after retirement. Upon hearing the news of the attack, he and the friend, also a firefighter, went to the Trade Center. "If I could have tied him down, he would have bitten through the ropes to go," Mrs. Bini said.

For the ultimate sacrifice, words can't express our gratitude. Thank you. And God bless you and yours.

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When I am called to duty, God,

Where ever flames may rage

Give me the strength to save some life,

Whatever be its age.

Help me embrace a little child

Before it is too late;

Or save an older person from

The horror of that fate.

Enable me to be alert,

And hear the weakest shout,

And quickly and efficiently

To put the fire out.

I want to fill my calling and

To give the best in me;

To guard my every neighbour and

Protect his property

And if, according to your will

I have to give my life;

Please bless with your protecting hand

My children and my wife.

- Author Unknown

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Friday, September 08, 2006

All is Well

TP is all settled into her dorm. Actually, I am doing better than I though I would - it must be those prayers which all of you have offered up on my behalf. It was emotional at times, but hey - at least I didn't make a fool out of myself!

As you can well imagine, I am emotionall y spent from all of this, so I am going to rest up this evening, and I hope to get some serious writing done this weekend. I am working on my 9/11 post in honor of fireman Carl Vincent Bini, and then I'll write about TP's send off, and then I have some writing to do for Christian Women Online.

God is SO good.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I miss you daddy

This is dedicated to the little chidren who lost their mommies or daddies on that fateful day five years ago. My thoughts and prayers are with them as the anniversary of 9/ll draws closer. May God comfort and guide and strengthen them.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Somewhere Out There

Somewhere out there beneath the pale moonlight
Someone's thinking of me and loving me tonight

Somewhere out there someone's saying a prayer
That we'll find one another in that big somewhere out there

And even though I know how very far apart we are
It helps to think we might be wishing on the same bright star

And when the night wind starts to sing a lonesome lullaby
It helps to think we're sleeping underneath the same big sky

Somewhere out there if love can see us through
Then we'll be toghether somewhere out there
Out where dreams come true

And even though I know how very far apart we are
It helps to think we might be wishing on the same bright star

And when the night wind starts to sing a lonesome lullaby
it helps to think we're sleeping underneath the same big sky

Somewhere out there if love can see us through
Then we'll be together somewhere out there
Out where dreams come true

~Written by James Horner, Barry Mann, and Cynthia Weil

I used to sing this song to TP when she was an infant. I'd be in the rocking chair, going back and forth very gently, and singing this song to her as I was feeding her a bottle. That was such a precious time in my life. This little miracle baby, in my arms, just staring at me with wonderment and love. I hope that we will each take a pause when we hear this song, or when we are looking out our window on some beautiful starry night, and think of each other while wishing upon a star. And even though we will be far apart, we are still united in our love.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

A Time for Remembrance

It is the week before the fifth anniversary of September 11th, 2001.

It is the week which my daughter will be leaving to go to college.

Mixed in there is a lot of different emotions - a lot of different memories.

I plan to focus on both events throughout this week. I am part of the "2996 Remembered" , which is a community of bloggers who are posting a memorial of a victim on their sites. I asked for a NYC fireman because my dad was a fireman. Every little girl's nightmare is to find out that her daddy didn't make it out alive from a burning building, so it is an honor to let you know about this man's life. His memorial will be posted next Sunday.

In the meantime, here is a video which I've linked to before. It's very powerful and riveting - it takes you right back to the terror and horror of that day, along with the strong resolve that WE MUST NEVER FORGET! It can be found at www.gunstuff.com/america-attacked.html .

God bless.