Bobby’s Heavenly 33rd Birthday – “Looking Back”


Birthday in Heaven

Today, April 14, 2017, is Bobby’s Heavenly 33rd Birthday. Our only son. I miss him being here on earth. Heaven seems so far away. I can’t visit there. If I’d go, I’d have to stay. God’s not ready for me yet. 

My thoughts….

I – “The Hardest Day”

Bobby lost his life on May 31, 2013, trying to save others. He died a beloved hero.

Bobby loved his job as a firefighter. He knew the risks, and he went for it anyway. He always had a servants heart and he was a very hard worker. He survived 2 tours of duty in Iraq before coming home to become a firefighter. It seems unfair to have survived a war in a foreign land, and to come back home to be taken, in the end, by a deadly hotel fire. 

II – “Siblings”

Bobby was the only boy amongst our 3 girls (plus myself), and he always felt outnumbered. Well, he was! But if any one of his sisters ever really needed something, he was there for them. They might have knock down drag out fights, but when it counted most, he was there for them. 

Lauren was 10 years younger than Bobby. He thought she was SOOOO cute. He loved it when she said and did silly things. He got such a kick out of her. I would tell him not to laugh if she said a bad word, or got certain phrases wrong (ie. New York Yankers), but he could not help himself. He was only 10, and at 10 years old, I guess that was funny to him. The more I told him not to encourage her by laughing, the funnier it became to him. I get it. I too have a younger sibling. What goes around, comes around, so don’t make fun of your siblings. 🙂

Bobby had a close relationship with Liz.They were only 18 months apart. She would draw the line with him, and he knew not to cross it. He tried it – once. He never tried that again. When she “set a boundary”, she meant it, and he knew it. Their bedrooms shared a wall. At night, I would hear them knocking on the wall from one bedroom to the other. As it turned out, they were “talking in code”. They had a special code word for goodnight. So sweet. We still use that word today. 

As children, Bobby had sort of a love/hate relationship with Nicole. She was 6 years older than he. She had to babysit him a lot because I was a single mom and I couldn’t be everywhere at once. When he got upset with her, he would yell at her, “You’re not the boss of me!” He gave her a very hard time when she needed to correct him because, well, she wasn’t his mom. But when Nicole needed some money for college, he gave her all he had – $50. No one asked him to do that, he just did. It was his heart, and she was in it.

III – “Math Whiz”

Bobby knew the value of a dollar and he worked very hard at saving. He was the only one of the kids who was able to save his money. When the girls were broke (almost always), they visited the “Bank of Bobby.” He gladly gave them a lone, but only if a proper interest rate was negotiated in advance. 😉 Smart boy.

Bobby was good at math even as a little boy. As I’ve mentioned before, when he was 6 years old, and I was trying to divvy up lunch money in the morning for the 3 of them (amidst all of the chaos), he would quickly take charge of all the coins laid out on the bed, and divide them into thirds quicker than I could blink. He never had trouble with his “math facts”. Never.

IV – “Reconciliation” 

Even though Bobby struggled with different things and with us parents as many teens do, I always knew he loved me. He would slip notes under my bedroom door a lot of times to say “I’m sorry” for misbehaving, and to say that he loved me. I would tell him that I forgive him, and we’d work out what he could do differently next time. Although it was difficult at the time, I treasure those sweet notes now more than ever before. 

IV – “Goodnight Sweetheart

At bedtime, when Bobby was about 14, I would say goodnight to Bobby and send him off to bed. A few minutes later my bedroom door would crack open. There was Bobby with his head poked through the crack, smiling, and singing to me – “Goodnight  sweetheart, goodnight, wherever you arrrre!” He had a very good singing voice. I would say, “Goodnight”. A few minutes later, he was back – “Goodnight, sweetheart, goodnight, wherever you arrrrre!” Me: “Goodnight Bobby.” Just as I was falling off to sleep, he was back – “Goodnight sweetheart goodnight wherever you arrrrrre!” Me: “Goodnight Bobby! Go to bed!” Bobby: “Ok, goodnight. Love you.” Me: “Love you too Bobby.” ❤

V – “Looking Back”

I love looking back and seeing that picture in my mind of Bobby poking his head in my bedroom doorway and singing. I wish those would have been the days of “selfies”. I still remember what Bobby’s voice sounded like at 14. You know, that age where a teen boy’s voice gets crackly and deeper? That was it. It still makes me smile. It’s one of my favorite memories of him.

At the time of Bobby’s serenades, in a very rowdy household (4 teens and a blended family), all I wanted him to do was go to bed so I could get some sleep for another rowdy day. But look now, how special it is, that God left me with some of the best memories of him ever. There are more, but this is all for now.

VI – “Love You Forever”

Now I say to Bobby, “Goodnight, sweetheart, goodnight, wherever you arrrrre!” 🎶 

Happy Birthday in Heaven my sweet boy.  🚒 💙🇺🇸 Sadness over the loss of you is here to stay, but my memories of you will never go away.


When the Kids were Little – “Bobby Solves A Mystery”


Bobby Solves A Mystery

Back in the late 80’s I was a single mom with 4 children. The oldest was 16 year old Nicole, then there was 11 year old Elizabeth, 9 year old Bobby, and my newborn at the time, Lauren.

Needless to say, my hands were full. – My hands, my lap, my brain, my feet, my back, EVERYTHING was FULL.  Most days, I was turning every which way but loose! And the children knew it too – the little boogers.

We lived in a small apartment at the time, and the grocery store was right behind the apartment within walking distance.  There were times when I was not able to run to the store for every little thing because of the baby and all of the commotion that goes along with that plus raising the other three.  So, I’d let the oldest child, Nicole, take her two younger siblings with her to pick up little odds and ends.

brach's pick a mix

Does anyone remember the Brach’s Candies that you could buy (by the pound) in the grocery store?  You could just walk up to the open bins, grab a handful of different candies, weigh them, and then bring them to the counter for check out?  Some of the bins even had a little metal box with a slit at the top so you could drop a nickel in if you just wanted one piece? Yes, you did have to pay for them.

One day, I began to notice empty candy wrappers around the house.  At first I didn’t think anything of it; who had time to think anyway?  But as time went by, I began to find more wrappers. I wondered, “Where is all of this coming from?”  I thought, “Could the kids be getting this candy at school or something?  Maybe from someone in the neighborhood?  They did have a few friends in our apartment complex. Maybe they were getting it from them?”  I knew that I had not bought any candy like that.

So one day I asked my oldest daughter, “Nik, do you know anything about this candy? I’m finding empty candy wrappers all over the house?”  She replied, “No mam!”  I asked my middle daughter, “Liz, I’ve been finding these candy wrappers all over the house, are these yours?’ “No mam.”  I ask Liz again, “Do you know where they come from?”  Liz said, “Nope.” I thought to myself, “Hmmm.”

So little Bobby comes home from school and I ask Bobby, “Bobby do these candies belong to you?” And in his little high pitched voice, he quite happily said, “Uh huh!”  I said, “Where did you get the money for these?” He replied, “Nikki said they were free!  She said that they were “samples”, and that the people at the store WANTED us to try them to see if we liked them!  We got some for her too!”

Case of the empty candy wrappers solved by my little genius, Bobby (from that day forward referred to as, “you little tattle tale!”).

The joys of motherhood 😉

When the kids were little……


The Children Make Breakfast in Bed

Innnnnnn…. the Yellow Bowl

The BIG – Yellow Bowl


One Saturday morning while the hubby and I were “sleeping in”, it suddenly became apparent that the house was way too quiet. With 3 very active children under the age of 9, THIS was something to be concerned about.

We woke up just in time to see the door to our bedroom slowly open. All three children marched in, pushing each other this way and that. Each one trying to get ahead of the other as we hear them shout, “Stop!  Slow down!  No! You’re gonna spill it!  Wait!  Me first! Mommy, make him wait!”

With bated breath we watched the tussle continue, as our three little darlings in pajamas clung on to that same 1 tray, each one refusing to give way to the other. We braced ourselves as they struggled to make it to our bed with our breakfast.

“Oh yay!” we clapped!  A breakfast tray! (…….. with… some… super liquidy… something that may or may not be landing in our lap at any moment!)  Uh, ok, ok!  Yay!!

At this point, things were beginning to spilling a bit.  It was all I could do to NOT jump into the middle of a precarious balancing act with this 1 liquidy tray of ‘something’, so they could finish their surprise.  I was doing my absolute best to act happy and delighted, when the only thought repeatedly going through my mind was, “Not on my carpet, not on my carpet, not on my carpet”.

These precious babies made us our very own special breakfast in one – one of the BIG BIGGEST “family size” yellow Tupperware nesting bowls (from the 70’s) that we had. We could now see that it was full to the brim with Cheerios and milk.  Ok ok, the truth is……IT WAS AN ENTIRE BOX OF CHEERIOS AND A HALF GALLON OF MILK IN THAT BOWL!!!

Calming down, and now, trying so hard not to laugh, we hugged them and thanked them (balanced that tray), and raved about what a nice surprise this was for us. It was SO cute to see the pride and joy on their little faces about what they had just done. As we took our breakfast tray and sat it between us, they happily ran off to play.

After they ran off, with proud parent smiles on our faces, we began to dig into our breakfast.  As we simultaneously put our spoons down into the bowl, what do you think we pulled out but an entire WHOLE Banana!  We just busted out laughing, and now WE were the ones about to spill the tray!

As we were laughing, I thought, “Well, at least they peeled it first!”

Best breakfast EVAR 🙂

A Mother’s Heartbreak


May 31st, 2014. A year and a half later, I still grieve.

I’m ok with the fact that Bobby died. I have been used to not having him around since he was 16 years old. I know where he is now. I know that he’s not on the earth, and he’s not coming back. I have peace about that. I am comforted by the fact that I know I will see him again someday. I see him in my dreams sometimes. He is hugging me when I see him.

However, our 3 girls are the ones I just don’t understand at all. They have somehow banded together in some sort of serious dysfunction against their father and me since their brother died. I don’t like it. I don’t understand it. It feels mean. It feels unfair. It just feels wrong. We have done nothing to deserve being abandoned by them. We have given to them and have sown so much into their lives.

Even though I know that their actions are completely dysfunctional and toxic, I still hurt over it. I hurt deeply – to the core of my being. When I see pictures of them on FB looking so happy together, I don’t understand. I weep. They are my children. They are alive, yet they have somehow made themselves dead to me. But I still love them. I can’t shut that off. That love is supposed to be there – it just is.

I feel like I’m in some sort of unending limbo. I can’t seem to disconnect, especially when something triggers me all over again (like the pictures). I have young grandchildren that I don’t want to lose touch with. They love me so much, and I love them so much. They are little. They don’t know what is going on. I don’t believe that they know the real reason why they don’t see their MiMi and Poppi.

Today, after accidentally seeing the picture of my daughters on FB, the three of them together (obviously having a good time at a gala of some sort), it instantaneously feels like the pain of their abandonment right after Bobby’s death all over again, while I was in deep mourning. It is as fresh now as the day it happened.

I am not depressed, yet I feel depressed when I get triggered again. I don’t like this. I want the day to come when I am not phased by their actions anymore. I feel like I am missing out on their lives more and more with each passing day. These are days that we will never get back. Never. It is time lost. Don’t they know this? Unrecoverable – precious – time.

Having said that, I know in my head, that (at this time) it is not good for me to be around them and the toxicity that they carry, along with false beliefs about me, and about our history together. I am better off alone than with our adult children constantly shaming me, blaming me, talking about me behind my back, and criticizing me at every turn. It’s abusive. I don’t deserve abuse. No one does.

It is true…..that they ‘know not what they do’.  This I know in my head to be true, but my heart feels like it’s in a million pieces over it. This, for me, is the true meaning of heartbreak. A mother’s heartbreak. For the children to remove their love from me is just so unbearably painful. It’s the biggest void I can ever even imagine. Even bigger than death itself. I try not to focus on the pain. But it’s there. It’s just there.

I moved on. And that’s about it. I moved on. I still struggle. It feels like something is holding me back from moving forward. How do I move forward without them?  They are pieces of me. It’s not normal.

There are days when I want to move away – like geographically, really far away. I do wonder if it would help. I seriously think about it. Today, I’m even thinking about it.

There are days when I wish they would move away. There are days when I want to shake some sense into them. There are days when I never want to speak to them again. There are days I want them to hug me again, and love me like they did when they were little. There are days when I want to hug them. Days and days and days. Some days I want to somehow block them out like they don’t exist. I want to block the pain out. I just want to shut everything out.

I don’t write for pity. I write to help myself. I write in the hope of helping someone else to know that they are not alone.

Not every day is like this, and that is good. But today is like this. I know that I will be ok. We will all be ok. I know that the pain will end, for me, for all of us who may be in this situation. I (we) have to remember – “Just don’t quit.”

I know that the night is the darkest just before the dawn. The Bible says that “Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning!”

I await the morning. And when it comes……you’ll be the first to know.

Don’t give up!

forgive themevenifnotsorry

Our Family Tree….as we still do grieve


Sometimes grief has a very ruthless way, of tearing loving families apart,

I never the least bit suspected, that this is how our grief would start.

After our only son, Bobby, died, and the funeral was all said and done,

My 3 adult children kept to themselves, like they were the only ones.

Like the only ones who suffered a loss, that was truly too much to bear,

We as their parents were left in the cold, like none of them even cared.

They’re still so angry and bitter, and it’s somehow directed at me,

I cannot figure out to save my life, what happened to our family tree.

I know we’re not the only ones, who lost Bobby’s precious face,

But why separate themselves from us so willingly?  It’s just such an awful waste.

I know that as humans, we all do grieve, in each our own individual way,

After we lost Bobby in a huge tragic fire, I just wanted to die that day.

Firefighter Robert Garner - Station #68

Firefighter Robert Garner – Station #68, Houston, TX

Then to lose all the girls directly after that, my life was in complete disarray,

How they can all 3 rewrite history, and then refuse us the time of day?

When our children are not at their very best, they sometimes read things into what we say,

I just don’t want to grieve alone, with my children and their love at bay.

It’s hard to know their thought process, when we gave them all we could,

Seeing them be so unkind right now, perhaps giving them so much wasn’t good.

I don’t need them to kiss our feet, or be with us all intertwined,

When they were little they were so sweet, but now our love is not returned in kind.

They have each other to grieve with, and they have each other to hold,

To leave us stranded, out by ourselves, just feels so unloving and cold.

I’ve always told them, always, that I’ll love them no matter what,

It’s sad to see the haste they had, in slamming their doors tightly shut.

Maybe sometime soon in fact, or out in the future one day,

They will let Jesus soften their heart, and they’ll come home in their own way.

Until that awesome day does come, we’ll be right here awaiting,

They’ll always be our little loved ones, hopefully, next time  appreciating.

Appreciating us as their parents, at the very least for giving them birth,

Appreciating us even as a human beings, who do have their own self worth.

God loves us as the parents we are, He loves all of us the same,

We could not control that Bobby died, how are we now the ones to blame?

Children honor your parents so that all will go well with you,

There is no reasoning with them – adult to adult – so what is a parent to do?

“Her children shall rise up and call her blessed”, Proverbs thirty one – twenty eight,

Having planted that seed when they were very young, it seems to have carried no weight.

Train them up in the way they should go, and when they are old they will not depart…,

We didn’t raise them to be bitter people. What is this unrest in their heart?

They seem to have no concept, of all the time that’s passing by,

The months and years could all be wasted, by the hateful devil’s lies.

I hope that one day they feel in their hearts, Jesus’ total love,

Jesus Christ Hugging Girl 2

To treat their parents with any less, must surely sadden God above.

We’re the only parents they’ll ever have, I hope they don’t wait too late,

By then our lives might be no more, then with us they won’t be able to participate.

We are definitely parents, who’ve made mistakes, for sure along the way,

Is it reasonable for them, to imagine, that a life of silence we should pay?

There is no one who is perfect, Lord knows they’ve made mistakes of their own,

To harbor such ill will toward their parents, seems to come from a planet unknown.

For it has been over a year and a half now, and as parents, we’ve changed a lot,

But because they choose no contact with us, they truly know us not.

This last year has been so sorrowful, and an unbearable revelation to me,

Who knew all of these angry sentiments were brewing, beneath our family tree?

As parents, we gave them all we had, even when we ourselves had none,

We always tried so hard with them, so our family would stay together as one.

Why do they hold resentments deep inside, instead of letting them out?

As long as they stay so out of touch, they may never completely sprout.

How can anyone begin to think, that one has knowledge of it all,

Then behave like a devastating tornado, in such a violent squall?

I hope one day they’ll have some peace, even if we are not here to see,

For them to have love and fulfillment on earth, is still very important to me.

We love them so with all of our hearts, this all came as such a shock,

To have such little respect for their parents, just hurts around the clock.

We never saw this coming our way, not even in a million years,

We just have to some how let it go, and let God catch all of our tears.

I know that God is with us, and He is with them each day too,

I hope the day comes very soon, when they can show love like they used to do.

These, are of course, rhetorical questions, that I don’t expect an answer to,

God will reveal all in due time, as I’ve learned, He will always do.

Our hearts go out to others, who may be suffering from this too,

All I know for sure for sure, is that God will always see us through.

Sometimes we just have to turn each day, our sorrows into laughter,

The joy of the Lord will keep us going, both here and in the hereafter.


“Lord please heal our family tree, it means so very much to me”

bandaid heart

Never Give Up


There’s nothing like a child, that is closer to a mother’s heart,

I was there from their conception, and I never thought we’d be apart.


My children’s young lives were complicated, as it was often filled with strife,

So out of my control at times because, as a child, that was also MY life.

As a kid I knew that the things that happened, were surely just not right,

I swore back then, that when I grew up, I’d seek change with all of my might.

When I grew up, I married a sick person, familiarity drove me that way,

After severe abuse for 14 years, no longer could I stay.

I didn’t know how or when or what, that I could even do,

To get out on my own, learn healthy ways, and start our lives anew.

To turn things around and make them right, I would do whatever it took,

As the only parent in the house, it was a whole lot harder than it looked.

From the time my kids were little, where they had witnessed my abuse,

It was there they learned to disrespect me, as they were constantly confused.

I tried my best to protect them, but I didn’t always know how,

I had never had a proper role model, and I was totally on my own now.

I sought out help for all of us whenever and wherever I could,

It was very difficult, to say the least, but I so wanted our lives to be good.

Being a single mom back then, was harder than I could ever have known,

But I wanted the children to have a better life, one they’d be happy to claim as their own.

They all grew up with problems too, of one sort or another,

Countless doctors, groups, and prescriptions later, they still had disrespect for their mother.

I knew that doctors, prescriptions, and groups, was not the only way to grow,

We finally got ourselves into a church, where we’d be taught by the Holy Ghost.

We all got into recovery and church, therapies, and all the rest,

However the disrespect still lingered, and although better, things were still a mess.

I felt that the way that I’d been raised, was as close as one could get to hell,

I wanted so much more for my kids, and I knew that very well.

Seems no matter how hard I tried, nor to how many therapies we went,

At the end of every day, disrespect still lingered, and I was completely spent.

This went on for years, until the days, when they left home one by one,

Not a one of them showed any gratefulness, for all of the things I had done.

Abandonment and longing for them, I still feel every day,

But one thing that I do know for sure, God’s with us every step of the way.

I keep the faith that one day soon, we’ll all be reunited,

When that day comes, I believe for the best, and that new healthy relationships will be ignited.

No matter what happens in our future, I know one thing for sure,

God is “The Great Physician”, and He is happy to provide a cure.

P.U.S.H. ~ Pray Until Something Happens 🙂