Help for Healing

Bitter & Sweet, living daily with grief


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Snow and Sports, Part 2

“Just have to ask the question. You own a business and I’m sure you weren’t sitting back hoping someone would find people to come and dig you out correct? The Bills are a business, and if you think they, the corner bar, or Walmart are going to wait for the snow to disappear so they can resume business that’s crazy. This was a business decision by a very successful business man. We all know that when Buffalo has a storm like this, they pick themselves up, brush it off, and move on. This is a big sports town so I’m sure the majority of people were happy to see this progress”

This comment was made on my post from last week. While I welcome divergent opinions, this one inspired some more thoughts. So thanks for the inspiration, Steve.

First, it made me question my ability as a writer because I had to wonder how my point got missed. I will try again.

When you talk about any concept, there are complexities and it is impossible to cover all of them. But I think it is ok to talk in generalities to get the overarching point across.

I think there is something wrong when “successful business” practice involves ignoring much larger values. When “resuming business” (which is mostly about making money) puts human lives at stake, I have a problem with that. THERE WAS A DRIVING BAN. And the driving ban was in place because it was dangerous to be out on the road. People were actually buried alive out there. Literally.

Secondly, it is my personal opinion, that when it comes to priorities, there were much more serious and valuable reasons to enlist people’s help than a football game. It was in poor taste. Based on the official statements made by some of our executives, I think they agreed.

Yes, I own a business. Let me remind you what that means. No sick days, no personal days, no vacation days. Just a week of lost income. An entire week. That comes during a year when I had $5,000 stolen from my home. And I am always a single mom trying to manage it all.

At one time you knew me very well, Steve. You would also know that I would have NEVER asked anyone to help me “resume business” at any risk to themselves. Ever. And once we were able to clean up here, it was a community effort. I was just as worried about my neighbors and we all worked together. My step-son and I reached out to help others who were sick and everyone else as well. And they helped us.

One of my friends shoveled for five days at his place of employment, then came to my house and helped me shovel my roof. After we were done, his hands were literally shaking from fatigue. He struggles to make ends meet every day of his life. If anyone needs money, he does. But when he was finished with his work shifts, I guarantee you his choice would not have been to pick up more hours shoveling out the stadium. His choice was to help a friend in need.

Your comments were exactly my point. Thank God a lot of people disagree with you. There are a lot more important things in life than taking care of your self. Especially when you are billion dollar industry and could actually afford to think of other people. Big f*****g deal that he’s a successful business man. By your definition, I would happily be a failure.


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Snow and Sports

How ironic that last week my son “blogged” about the importance of football. Today I am going to blog about how ridiculous it is that sports carry as much importance as they do.

First, let me say that we are in West Seneca and are in the eye of the latest snow storm. A picture is worth a thousand words. 20141119_084220

That is my backyard. The fence is about five feet and the snow is almost at the top. Here is another one.20141118_084421

That little black dot is the mirror of our car. We are still not dug out from that. And if the outside perils aren’t enough to deal with, this is my favorite picture of all.20141119_082508

That, my friends, is my kitchen ceiling. The bathroom, basement and upstairs bedroom also have water damage.

My neighbor across the street has been laid up for five weeks after knee surgery. Two houses down, my neighbor is very sick with his third bout of cancer. And about 10 minutes away, my daughter-in-law is on bed rest with a high-risk pregnancy. She has been hospitalized several times. I am praying my heart out that nothing happens while she is unable to get to an emergency room if needed. I will take my problems any day.

But what is my point?

Tuesday, the Sabres decided not to cancel their game. I guess the show must go on. They put a sentence or two on their website telling fans to respect the driving bans in their neighborhood. I thought it was a poor decision, but didn’t dwell on it.

But then yesterday, I heard the Bills were offering to pay people to shovel their stadium for the game on Sunday. I went ballistic. What the hell is wrong with the priorities of our society? There is a damn driving ban in Orchard Park (where the stadium is). Are they kidding? How about they get people together to help dig out the people who are stranded? Especially those with medical issues! The football stadium? They are ticketing people out on the roads. I AM TOTALLY DISGUSTED.

Now I will really go out on a limb here and risk pissing people off. I’m pretty liberally minded, but how about some common sense? How about using the prison inmates to do some shoveling? Or even some welfare and unemployed folks who are physically able to work? There are so many areas that have zero snow, or barely a dusting. So let’s gather them and help each other out. But not to shovel out the stadium. Let’s get our priorities straight people!

Ok, I am going back to my shovel now… lol. Really not trying to offend anyone, but some things just have to be said.


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Guest Blogger: My Son, Frankie

We are getting ready for school and I tell Frankie it’s Thursday. Blog day. As usual, I’m stuck for an idea. Somehow it morphed into him writing it. Perfect! When he was five, he wrote a beautiful and poignant story called, “The Kite and the Snowflake,” that won third place in the Reading Rainbow contest, which was a huge deal. (Sorry, brief bragging moment.) Anyhow, here it is, an interview/blog from 12-year-old Frankie.

What will you write about? “Nothing is more important than football.”

Why would you say that? “It’s true.”

Can you be more specific? “Cause it’s fun to watch guys tackle each other.”

Seriously, what makes it interesting? “There are a lot of different positions. Then there a lot of different players that fill each position. It’s not a run-on game. The clock stops and starts. Passing, running. Contracts are interesting- how much the players get paid.”

Anyone that knows you, would have expected you to say that nothing is more important than hockey. Why the switch? “I don’t know. The Sabres suck! Hockey gets boring. For football, every team has a phenom player.”

What the heck is that? “A phenomenal player.”

Who are some of your favorite phenoms this year? “I don’t even know how I got into writing this blog! Are you going to write down everything I say?”

At this point, Frankie grabbed the computer himself and typed, “Sammy Watkins, Mario Williams, Jerry Jughes, Kyle Williams, Marcel Dareus, Leodis Mckelvin, Dan Carpenter, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers.” The bus came at this point and he handed me back the computer saying, “I can’t possibly write them all down.”

This blog doesn’t do him justice. He can hold a conversation with any adult about any sport- hockey, football, basketball, baseball. Men (usually it’s men!) are amazed and have often told me he knows more about sports than most adults they know. One guy actually hired Frankie to help him with a fantasy draft last year. He knows the history, every team in the league, every player, their stats… It’s crazy. He wants to be a general manager someday so he has written HUNDREDS of drafts for teams. Hundreds. Knows every NFL and NHL player’s salary.

Anyhow, this is one of the best mornings I have had in a long, long time. Frankie has been shutting me out for a couple of years now. Getting him to interact with me is a heart-wrenching and usually futile endeavor. This little interchange between us is monumental. It was a connection. I will take it. Thanks for sharing it with me :).


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Movies and Mistakes

I’ve always loved movies. I could care less about having a TV, but I would be lost without a DVD player. I generally watch a lot of movies, but lately I’ve really been immersed. I’ve been home a lot of nights and unable to figure out the mystery of how to get my kids to talk to me (about ANYTHING at all) so I’ve been watching even more movies than usual.

I watched one called “About Time.” It was an interesting and thought-provoking plot. The young male, upon on his 21st birthday, discovers that he can travel in time. There are a few rules, though. He can only go backwards to revisit things he had already experienced, no future time travel. So initially, he uses his new found ability to go back and correct mistakes and eliminate regrets. I thought about what I would do if I had that ability. There would never be anything to apologize for or wish you had handled differently.

He learns some things along the way. One thing, was that no matter how many times he revisited a certain situation, it never worked out the way he wanted. There are just some people you can’t please. No matter what. So there is really no point in wasting your time and energy trying. You finally learn to not bother.

Another poignant moment, was when he went back in time to help his sister alter her own life for the better. The scope of the effect was positively great, but he discovered his own child was no longer the same child when he went back to real time. Ah. His wise father explained that there is one sperm and one egg and if you change any circumstances whatsoever, the sperm changes and thus the human being. Once you have brought a child into the world, there is no going back to “redo” things in time after the moment of conception without altering your child’s very existence.

Maybe some things (including mistakes and heartaches), are part of the bigger picture and need to happen.

It was sad when the character’s dad dies, because they have an awesome relationship. But then you realize that even death has no grip. He could just time travel back to his favorite ping-pong game and spend time with his dad whenever he wanted. Holy cow, that would be really be something. A world without loss!

Until his wife gets pregnant again. And then he realizes, that for life to go on, he has to truly say goodbye to his dearly loved father (because he can’t go back once conception occurs).

Maybe some things are meant to end. Maybe even death is part of the big picture. Maybe relationships stop at some point. And maybe that is not some horrible limitation, but it is for the greater good.

The biggest lesson of all? He stopped time travelling. He stopped going back. He just let himself live day to day. He figured out life was best lived that way, mistakes and all.

Hmmmmm…