Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011

So 2011, I'd have to say was the worst year of my entire life. For those of you who know me, you know why and unfortunately, there was more than just my dad passing away. THAT was the worst though and gave me strength for other things I needed to do.

To find things that I am thankful for this past year, the first one would be my mom. I wouldn't have made it through this year without her. She's my rock. My aunt Rosann too. When I was younger we were close and into my adult years, we grew apart. Over the last couple of years though, she's become one of my best friends and was there every step of the way for me. She has been the other rock that I couldn't have made it through without either.

My dad's friends... especially P & Mac. First P, who flew to Alaska for the last few days of my dad's life. Their friendship has always been something I admire and having P there helped me know that the decisions I made were the right ones. P is such an amazing man and has been there for me more than this. The relationship between these two men could be next to the definition of 'Semper Fi'. Next, Mac, who I didn't realize was such a great friend to my dad, appeared because I needed some advice. I found out their relationship was more than business, it was a true friendship. Mac shared stories with me about my dad. It was unexpected but just what I needed to help find peace in my heart.

I am also thankful for my friends, family, and the amazing pup, Lynkin. In 2010, work started to struggle and continued into 2011 but thankfully, it has turned around and I'm back to my comfortable level when it comes to my job.

Lastly, I am so thankful for my dad. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Just a little brownie with a twist

If you haven't check out Pinterest, you should because it's the best way to 'bookmark' your favorite things.  I've always used 'my favorites' to bookmark website but what I love about Pinterest is it actually bookmarks the exact recipe, photo, diy, and even the exact link to specific items that you would eventually like to purchase (like this).

So, I came across this recipe... something about chocolate chip cookie dough, oreo's, and brownies. Uhmmm... is this not everyone's 3 combinations??? Well, ok, almost everyone... but still, someone called these slutty brownies. I like that name but I called them a little bit of Heaven. You can call them whatever you'd like!

Here is what you'll need:
1 package of chocolate chip cookie mix (you can also use the cookie dough in the tub, tube, or make your own)
1 package of oreo's (I tried it with normal oreo's and what's nice about this is you'll have some left over. Then, I tried it with double stuffed. You won't have any left over but it will taste better in the recipe)
1 box of brownie mix (follow the instructions on the box)

Now... I am going to give you an amazing tip: use parchment paper to line your pan because it will be so, so, so easy for you to get the 'brownies' out of the pan. Plus, there is less mess... now that in itself could be a little like a heavenly tip!

Here is what you do:
Mix your cookie dough and spread it in the bottom of a 9"x13" baking pan (I use my Pampered Chef baking stone and parchment paper)

Layer the Oreo cookies on top of the cookie dough

Mix the brownie mix and pour on top of the cookie dough and Oreo's.

Bake at 350f for 30 mins

 I began to think of some other ideas you could do with this recipe and one thing came to mind... Nutter Butters! You could use chocolate chip cookie dough, peanut butter cookie dough, and even sugar cookie dough... You could also use (as mentioned) Nutter Butters, any variety of the Oreo's, and you know those so good lemon creme sandwich cookies? Yeah... you could use those! I haven't come up with too many ideas for a replacement with the brownie mix but I pretty much think most things will taste good with the brownie mix on top or even try a blondie brownie mix for the top.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Friday, December 09, 2011

Grey's Anatomy, Grief

I was watching Grey's... George died and Lizzy said "When it hurts so much you can't breathe, that's how you survive" - I googled it and came across this entire quote from the episode. 

Grief may be a thing we all have in common, but it looks different on everyone. It isn’t just death we have to grieve. It’s life. It’s loss. It’s change. And when we wonder why it has to suck so much sometimes, has to hurt so bad. The thing we gotta try to remember is that it can turn on a dime. That’s how you stay alive. When it hurts so much you can’t breathe, that’s how you survive. By remembering that one day, somehow, impossibly, you won’t feel this way. It won’t hurt this much. Grief comes in its own time for everyone, in its own way. So the best we can do, the best anyone can do, is try for honesty. The really crappy thing, the very worst part of grief is that you can’t control it. The best we can do is try to let ourselves feel it when it comes. And let it go when we can. The very worst part is that the minute you think you’re past it, it starts all over again. And always, every time, it takes your breath away. There are five stages of grief. They look different on all of us, but there are always five. Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. Acceptance. 
~Grey's Anatomy

Monday, December 05, 2011

Dear Dad

I just wanted to say thank you for your strength. I've needed it and I know that it's because of you that I've been able to be so strong. I love you always and forever and I miss you so much!

{wonder when they'll get email in Heaven}

Saturday, December 03, 2011


If I sent you an email to come here to view the video of my dad, I was unaware it would ask you to log into Facebook. I will keep trying to ensure you all get to see it!
I made this video in memory of my dad. I love him more than anything and I miss him every day. I never realized how much the loss of my dad would impact me. There is no way anyone can relate to losing a parent until he or she does. The emptiness that you feel is something I think can never be filled. At the end of the video, you'll see a drawing of a guy parachuting. Prior to the service for my dad, my mom and I were going through some things she had at her house. We found a letter that my dad had written to her after their divorce. At the end of the letter, I saw that little parachute guy. A drawing I remember so well but had not seen in a very long time. My heart aches for my dad but I'm so lucky that I have so many memories of my dad and that my dad always shared stories with me so I can keep his memory alive.

I love you dad, forever!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Interpreting a Dream

So last night I had this random dream. I dreamt that I had been shot in the back (strange I know). What is even weirder is in my dream, I was thinking to myself "this is what it feels like to die". I also remember thinking I was going to die... I even remember feelin the moment I 'died'. The next thing I remember was my mom crying and begging me not to die (REMEMBER, THIS WAS JUST A DREAM). I saw her asking me to come back but I remember thinking, my dad is here and I can be with him. That is when I woke up. I don't remember my dreams very much. So when I have a dream like this, I try to analyze it. So my analogy of this dream is that I miss my dad and I just want to spend another day with him. The last week was emotional. It was my first Thanksgiving without him. Even though I spent Thanksgiving in Arizona and the only T-day that I spent with my dad was last year. I flew up for the week and made Thanksgiving dinner (simplified version than what I am use to). He made me make a ham, we didn't have turkey. That makes me laugh some. I think I even made mashed potatoes and gravy too... I had to still call my mom for help! So back to my dream... Totally random and completely freaky... I know.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Honey Chicken Enchilada's

So a friend of mine mentioned this recipe "Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas"... they sounded sensational... so I asked for the recipe. You can decide for yourself and all I have to say is they are a combination of yummy, amazing, divine, delicious, the list can go on. Seriously, who would have thunk something this simple could be that great!? You can bring some to work to share with your cube-mate if you'd like... I do. You can invite family over or bring some to your mom, just because you're nice that way. Try them... I dare you!

1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup lime juice
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pound chicken, cooked and shredded (or pick up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store ... don't add the skin though)
8-10 flour tortillas, (I use the soft taco tortillas because they fit perfectly in the pan)
1 pound monterey jack cheese, shredded
2 cups green enchilada sauce (or be like me and pick up the 'big' can of green enchilada sauce)
1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the honey, lime juice, chili powder, and garlic powder together and toss with the shredded chicken. Let it marinate for at least 1/2 hour in the refrigerator. (actually, I shred the chicken first, then add everything else)

Spray a 9X13 pan with cooking spray (or use your Pampered Chef baking stone, no spray needed). Pour enough enchilada sauce on the bottom of the pan to create a thin layer on the bottom. Fill flour tortillas with chicken and a generous amount of shredded cheese, saving about 1 cup of cheese to sprinkle on top of enchiladas.
Mix the remaining enchilada sauce with the cream and leftover chicken marinade (yes, use the same bowl). Pour sauce on top of the enchiladas and top with reserved cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until brown and crispy on top (I bake it for 50 - 60 mins, much better).


Peanut Butter Cups

Years ago, like when I was in high school, I had come across a recipe for peanut butter cups. They were AmaZing... peanut butter, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla mixed together and put in the bottom of a 9x9 baking dish then poured melted milk chocolate chips on top.
Placed in the refrigerator... delish!

Well, I came across a recipe about a month ago that brought back that mouth watering treat that I had long forgotten about. These had a twist though, someone mixed rice krispies into the peanut butter... yes, just went you thought chocolate and peanut butter couldn't get any better!

Here's the recipe...


1 1/4 cups smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 cups Rice Krispies cereal

1 3/4 cups milk chocolate chocolate chips
(I suppose you could use semi-sweet if your heart desires, mine does not)

You could do this a couple of ways:
1) You could use a 9x9 or 9x13 baking pan and put the peanut butter mixture on the bottom (see below), then melt the chocolate chips and poor on top. This is hard to cut into 'bars' though (now that I'm remembering... so I'd go to the next idea of how to serve)

2) Use a mini-muffin pan (I am still not sure where my mini muffin pans are and since I was taking these to work, I used one of those 9 x 13, throw away foil pans with a lid you can pick up at the grocery store... I put mini muffin liners in the pan {see below} If I was using a muffin pan, I'd still use liners because I don't want anything too messy, so go with liners... by the way I found the cutest (Christmas) mini muffin liners at Macy's I need to go back if I plan to make these for Christmas).

Pre-heat the oven to 350. Place chocolate chips in each liner and bake for 5 mins. Press the chocolate chips to smooth out the top, use a spoon to do this. (I put mine in for a few extra
minutes because I was hoping they would have melted more... I don't recommend doing that). You could also melt the chocolate then pour it into each muffin cup, I'm actually going to try it this way next time... maybe a little at a time so it does not harden before I get to the end.

Now for the Peanut Butter Mixture:

Mix the butter and peanut butter. Mix in the vanilla, then the powdered sugar. Now, mix in the rice krispies cereal. Place on top of the chocolate and refrigerate.

It's really that simple and you can even make these while making dinner (in a crock pot) and doing homework... all because you promised co-workers you'd bring in a treat for the next day. I don't recommend making those types of promises when you have a final and paper due all in the same weekend... just saying.


Veteran's Day

I started to blog on Veteran's day, because that is what I usually do. This year though, the day was hard. It's a day that I would call my dad and wish him a Happy Veteran's Day. I cried on my way to work that morning.

Here is a great tribute to our military men and women.... and I am proud to be the daughter of a USMC Recon!

Friday, October 21, 2011

A look back on 18 months

So I was thinking... or wondering, why for the last year I had such a hard time being so positive. And tonight, it dawned on me that it's been one heck of a year.

1) I bought my first home on my own. Now, this is great but stressful. Finding the home, waiting for the short sale to go through, finding a renter for the other house, moving into the new house. Budgeting... I am still trying to figure this one out.
I started looking at the end of July 2009.
Found this house in February 2010
Closed in May 2010
Moved in May 2010 (Memorial weekend)

2) The week I was signing papers on the house, I found out my dad had been given 6-12 months to live (that was in January 2010).

3) June 2010 - go to Alaska to see my dad

4) Him- he comes to visit for Labor Day, have a great time together, then he gets distant, work is stressful for him, life is stressful. We grow distant, well he does, I go girl, he goes more distant... not a good situation. Both of us are having a difficult time. My heart is sad.

5) Max dies {my 14 year old Rottie/Queensland Heeler dog}

6) My mom moves into my house the end of September with her crazy yellow lab. She has fractured her knee. I have a new puppy {Lynkin}. She is a great help but we realize 6 weeks later we cannot live together. Mom goes back home but I am thankful she could stay with me and we were able to help one another (me with her knee, her with Lynkin and the house training).

7) I finish my MBA sometime in October 2010. That is it, it's over. I get a 'good job'.

8) November 2010 - back to Alaska to see my dad

9) Washington DC in December 2010 to visit Erika. I need a major vacation and it was just what I needed. He is even more distant, my heart is even more sad. My dad is not able to understand that I am even in DC.

10) Did I mention work has been stressful since April 2010? Yeah that is not a good mix but I still like my job and work with some great people so I am thankful for their support.

11) After March 2011, the budget with the new house is getting better, less stressful. I've come to accept We are done. My dad has a great week.

12) April 2011 - my dad is continuing to stay in his confused frame of mind. He would usually come out of it once a week for at least a day. I would be happy when I caught him on a 'good' day.

13) May 2011 - Things with my dad are not improving. I do not know what to do. Do I go see him or wait. Confused, sad, concerned.

14) June 2011 - Back to Alaska. Things spiral from there. 6 weeks of phone calls to Alaska, trying to find a way to get my dad here. The wife can't take care of him, possibly a nursing home, unsafe for him to be home alone. What to do

15) July 2011 - Well, you can read below

My mom mentioned that I have been through a lot in the last year. That I am strong. I thought why would she say I've been through so much? Then I started thinking and that is what I came up with.

October 21, 2011 -
My mom is healthy and you know, she is my best friend. That makes me happy.
He is back, slowly. So maybe? Maybe we needed a break. Maybe no matter what, he would have tried his best and it would not have been good enough for me. So maybe, that is why. Maybe to prepare my heart for July. I don't know but He is back and that makes me happy.
My dad.... my heart is still empty. I am communicating with a friend of my dad's, he is emailing me stories. {my dad is badass!} The stories put a smile back in my heart. A smile where my dad is. My dad would want me to be happy. To keep him in my heart. I will and I do.

For those of my friends who have dealt with me for the last 18 months, I thank you. It's definitely been a ride and the grieving is not over with but I am going to be ok. My mom says I am strong. My dad told me I am him. My dad was very strong.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


found this through pinterest... so very true.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Memorial Service for my dad

On Sept. 24, I had a memorial service for my dad. For me, it was not the traditional, go to the funeral home type service. It was held in my mom's backyard. I rented a 30x30 tent with tables and chairs for 90 people. We had centerpieces and food for after. I spent hours working on a video to share with family and friends. I planned it to be perfect, just for him. I guess in my mind, it represented how much my dad meant to me. It started with me getting up to thank everyone for coming. The problem was, I did not write anything down to say. Every time I went to write, my mind went blank. I had rehearsed over and over what I would say, what I wanted to say, how I would eliminate some things, add something else. There was just so much and I couldn't get it down on paper. Oh, I have sheets of paper all over from my flights to go up there over this year, the flights on my way home, notes or thoughts while I was up there, and obviously this blog as well. So, after I started my thank you's and after the nice neighbor across the street stopped the landscapers (yes, right when I got up to talk, they appeared behind my mom's backyard brick wall to trim the oleander's,). They were nice enough to stop though... so back to the service. I thanked people and left some out (ughh... I knew that would happen, it's IMPORTANT to write things down for situations like this!!!) the Marines entered for the full honor guard.
My entire life, I had imagined this service. When I was little, I would tell my dad that I wanted the flag and even as I got older. I never thought the day would come though, that I'd be accepting a flag in honor of my dad's service to this country. The ceremony was... I don't even think I know the words to describe it. It was somber, beautiful, sad, respectful, amazing. I am so proud of my father, he was an amazing man who accomplished his dreams. He had no fear, he protected his family and loved them with all he had. He was a true friend to so many people. Ones that I can count and go to for advice, because my dad was the man he was. Honor, Courage, Commitment, Integrity, and Respect.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

from your daughter

Today I just missed you. Today would be one of those days I would have just picked up the phone to call you and talk about my day and yours. I'd ask you what you were watching and if it wasn't a football game, it would be CNN, the Military Channel, or some movie. Whether it be a war movie, your cowboy/China movie, a comedy, or even a lifetime movie. I don't know why today was so hard for me. I have to start another class today. I would have told you that too. I would have told you that finally, over the last few months, work was finally getting better. I would have just been able to hear your voice and tell you that I love you. You would have asked if I was driving and talking to you and I would have lied and told you no because you hated when I would drive and talk to you. I still don't get that because if we were in a car together, we'd be talking so what is the difference? People drive and eat at the same time, not much difference there either. I would have mentioned that and you would still say it doesn't matter, you don't like when I drive and talk on the phone... so that is why I would have told you I wasn't driving. We'd talk about the weather, was there snow yet and I would tell you today it was nice. You'd say it would still be too hot for you here. Eventually, we'd end up wrapping up our conversation and I'd tell you that I love you and you'd say "I love you too, baby". Then we'd hang up. I would be able to call you again another day. And now I can't call you... and dad, it's really, really crappy. I hate it and I miss you so much. I love you with all my heart... forever.

Saturday, October 01, 2011


So since my dad died, I keep having dreams of people dying or they are going to die. My aunt said the same thing happened to her when each of my grandparents passed away. So far, it's been random people. Nothing that really effects me. Last night, it was about my mom though. That is not cool! So now I'm awake and my emotions are blah, I really hate when a dream does that to you. I never dreamed like this when Paula died, so this is new. I really don't like it because most of the time I don't even remember my dreams. I just wish that my dad would appear in mine. Maybe I'm not ready for that yet though.

I know that I keep writing about my grief; however, there is a purpose to this. I am hoping that others will find this and it may help them through this horrific time. I am hoping that anyone else with a parent who was effected by Agent Orange and who has cirrhosis of the liver, knows that even though the government will not admit that Agent Orange causes cirrhosis, it really does and that he or she is not alone. Just so the world does know... Agent Orange does cause cirrhosis of the liver. Even my dad's doctor mentioned that his cirrhosis was not because of drinking. Now to figure out how to get the government to change their thinking.

Friday, September 16, 2011

an obituary

You know how some days, it just seems like you can pick up the phone and call someone? Even though they are gone and you know this, you still feel like you can. Today, I placed an obituary in the newspaper. That's final. He's gone. I feel numb as I just realized, it wasn't just a nice note about my dad, it was final. He has died and I'm announcing it to the world. I never in a million years, thought losing him would be this hard. I can't just pick up the phone and call. I can't hear his voice. I can't ask him for advice. I can't just say "I Love You". Oh this really sucks.

"Roy Lewis Hoy, 63, passed away on July 24, 2011 in Fairbanks, Alaska surrounded by loved ones. Roy was born in Niagara Falls, New York and at the age of 9, moved to Mesa, Arizona. Roy, a Vietnam Veteran, served proudly with the United States Marine Corps in 5th Force Recon from 1966-1968. Roy moved to Fairbanks, Alaska in 1974 where he worked as a carpenter and millwright and finally retiring as a successful business owner. As a young boy, Roy dreamed of flying across the U.S., which he accomplished. Roy also had a passion for skydiving and a deep love for his family. He was preceded in death by his mother, Viola Lostracco Hoy and father Harry Hoy. He is survived by his only daughter, Jennifer Hoy of Tempe/Mesa, Arizona (and her mother, Anna Cannon Hoy); his wife, GouFeng Ma-Hoy and two stepsons of Fairbanks, Alaska; siblings David (Lynn) Hoy, Marian (Mike) Bailey, Randy (Diane) Hoy, Tammy (Raymond) Blair, and Rosann (Dwayne) Blair, all of Mesa, Arizona; many nephews and nieces; and extended family in Niagara Falls, New York. Roy was loved by his family and will be deeply missed. There will be a private memorial to celebrate and honor the life of Mr. Hoy. The service will be held on Saturday, September 24 at 10 a.m. in Tempe, Arizona. For further details, contact Jennifer at xxxxx"

Monday, September 05, 2011

Happy Birthday to my MOM

My mom is aMaZing!

She's always there when I need her

her love truly is unconditional

Today, she came to my house, for her birthday, because I was having a hard day, hard weekend. She wanted to help take my mind off my dad, and off of 'him'. She wanted to help stop my heart from hurting, if only for a little bit. And she did. She made me laugh and she let me cry.

I wish my mother enough, always and forever.

Happy Birthday Mom!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cherry Cake Pops

My second attempt at cake pops.

I tried a Cherry Chip cake mix with cream cheese frosting

Dipped in white chocolate

How to make these scrumptious little treats:

1 box of cake mix

1 can of frosting

Bake the cake according to the directions on the box

Let it cool

Crumple the cake in a large bowl

Mix in the frosting

Roll the mixture into round balls

In the past, I just put the balls into the freezer

Next time though, I'm going to try putting them on sticks

Then putting them in the freezer

Melt chocolate

Dip Cake Pops into chocolate

So I am not the best at this dipping thing. It could be because I'm using chocolate chips instead of melting chocolate? Anyone??? I did find that using the sticks is helpful; however, these cake balls seemed to stay very moist {yeah, I know many people do not like that word... sorry but it's the only way I can think to describe it}. I just need more practice with the dipping! You can decorate them in so many ways. I'm too lazy to do the drizzle, sprinkles, ect., so with me you just get plain. You can also mix up the flavors. I did one before with a yellow cake mix, chocolate frosting, dipped in a mixture of chocolate chips and butterscotch chips (half and half). Those are my favorite so far. Let me know if you have any other suggestions or flavor ideas! Also, I created my own little box to hold the Cake Pops but I hear that Bed, Bath, and Beyond may have something coming in so you can display these yummy treats a little nicer than on a Jessica Simpson shoe box! Hey- it will work for now though!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

I miss you soooo much!

I really just want to pick up the phone and call you. I want to tell you about my day. I want to just hear your voice. I want to call you and tell you random things, like my toenail chipped!

I love you so much and miss you all the time. I feel an emptiness in my heart because you are not here. BUT... I know you are there, it's just not the same. I just really miss you.


your daughter

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Mornings.... a good find

So for the last 2 Friday mornings, I've been spending some time at our local Border's book store because they are going out of business. Today, I purchased 2 cookbooks {see below}, a gardening book, and 4 fiction books for $36.00. I'm so excited!!! {and kind of addicted}

I've been buying books like crazy. I can't wait til next Friday because there will be more of a discount and I will be going back to see what I can find. I'm going to definitely spend more time near the cookbooks and venture over to world history.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Today... I was just sad.

Because I miss him.

{my graduation, April 2008}

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Stage One of Grief or maybe the 4th stage...

I think that I am still in stage one. It's not so much the shock or denial, just the numbness of it all. I feel like I'm not in my body. That I am just here, going through the motions. It feels like nothing else really matters, I just don't care. I think about my dad all the time. I go back to when I was really young or as I was older. I have a picture ingraved in my head of holding his hand while we walked down the street in downtown Fairbanks when I was about 3 years old. I believe I already brought this memory up but it is the one instilled in my brain that makes me happy. The one where I felt like nothing in this world would ever hurt me, because I had my dad there. I just remember being happy.
I don't cry much now. I think I cried more when he was still alive, after I got back from Alaska in June. After I saw how confused he was. After I saw how he really was. I believe that is when my "grieving" started though.
You know, maybe I've passed the first 3 stages of grief though, but maybe not. I've gotten angry and I'm not anymore. I've felt the guilt and I don't now. I honestly feel like I'm waiting for the storm to hit though. Like I've been doing "ok" but something big is going to happen. For the most part, I'm not isolating myself too much though and I do talk with a few people about everything.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

September 1972

My mom, dad, and I

I'm fine... I'm ok...

I get asked every day "how are you". I don't mind at all because I know that people are concerned and I appreciate each person. Everytime, I answer "I'm fine" or "I'm ok". But you know what, I am not. My body feels empty. Like there is nothing there, I just go through the motions and do what I need to do. I feel like something is missing. I feel numb. My heart doesn't even feel like it beats inside my body.

Every night I go to sleep, I ask my dad to come to my dream and tell me that everything is ok and will be ok. That he's better now and happy. I know, I know... he is but I still want him to meet me in my dream. I want to hug him in my dream. I want to tell him I love him in my dream. I want to wake up in the morning knowing my dad came to see me in my dream. I miss him. I miss him so much.

So how am I? I guess for someone who lost her father at too young of an age, I am ok. I am fine. In reality, I am just really crappy but I can't say that so I'm fine, I'm ok.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Last night

So it's a bitter sweet to be heading home in the morning. I want to go home, I need to go home, but leaving here leaves behind a past that I will not be able to get back. If or when I come back to Fairbanks, it's not to see my dad. He's not here anymore. I think some day, I want to come back to Alaska and seek the adventures that so many think this place is about. For me, the last few years have been about spending time with my dad and nothing more.

Going though his photos and documents, my dad really has done and seen a lot in his life. He was born in Niagara Falls, NY and moved to Arizona at the age of 7. He started working at a very young age, 12, 13, or 14 to help support his family. When he was 19, he went to Vietnam. When he came home, he skydived, obtained his pilot license, married my mom, and had me. In 1974 or 75 he moved to Alaska to work. He had his truck and $1,000 with him. He worked on the Alaska Pipeline, he moved back to Arizona for a few years, then back to Alaska. He flew his airplane around the United States. He has always told me he lived a good life and has no regrets. Over the last few years, he went back to Vietnam and spent time in China.

That is all for tonight... I miss you dad!

6 days later

Everything is pretty much taken care of. I have his ashes {Feng has half, I have half}. I have photos, documents, the things that he showed me year after year and told me stories about. I will come home with 3 bags and 1 personal bag. All of my father. I will come home with a heart half whole. Last night, I fell asleep about 5 pm. I woke up at 6:15, went to have a pedicure and was asleep again around 10. I slept til about 12:30 PM (yes, over 12 hours). I've gotten up a few times today but I feel weak. I feel like I can't move. I feel empty and sad. My body shakes to get up. It's finally hitting me and I'm ready to go home.
The last two nights, I've had dreams. They haven't been good dreams, they are the dreams were you scream at people, you take your anger out. The first had Ethel in it and I probably cannot say on the internet what I was doing in the dream but it wasn't nice. Then I turned and my dad was there, I didn't see his face though but it was him. He just hugged me and told me it would be ok. Last night I had a dream about Feng. That her and I were fighting over things and it was just crazy. We made up in my dream. I am lucky that she is the person she is because I believe she and I want the best of each other and to make each other happy during this time. I think my dad would be happy with how our friendship has been. I feel guilty though because in the beginning, I just went and went to get everything taken care of. Now, I just want to be alone to grieve. Both are opposite of her culture. She wants to grieve, then take care of things. She has been very good with understanding that because I'm only here for awhile, we needed to get this stuff taken care of.
6 days later though, as I said, most everything is taken care of. The other things can wait or will be processed in time. I need to plan a service, that will be in Arizona but I'm not in a hurry. My dad hated the heat and August is like hell there. Maybe we'll have it in Sept so people can plan to attend and have enough time to get everything in order. Now, it's just time to go home, climb in bed, and wait a week until I go back to work. Until life starts again. For now though, I miss my dad with every part of my being.

Day 3 - remembering back

I wanted to journal this daily so it was fresh in my mind. It's been 6 days since my dad has been gone. My heart is sadder and sadder every day.
The last day his circulation got worse. We increased his morphine. The nurse told me at one point it was going up to 76 ml per hour; however, it went back to 24 ml per hour (max). One doctor would let me push the 'green button' to give him the 'shot' of morphine (4 ml per shot) and another doctor would not. Apparently it's illegal and the only person who can push it is the patient. When the patient is basically in a coma, how the heck do they expect that to happen. I realize it's all for legalities but when you have your father's best interest and know his wishes, I just don't agree. I know my dad, believe it or not, and there is no way he would have even wanted to live as long as he did the way he was.
The last 2 days, he was peaceful. I don't think he was in any pain at all. I was thankful for that. I know he would have rather of died at home, but where he was was the best place for him. In Fairbanks, they do not have hospice like we do in Arizona where a bed and round the clock nurses can be. The nurses at the hospital were amazing though. They were supportive, caring, compassionate, and understanding. I am very thankful for them.
The last day, I stayed by my dad's side as much as possible. I held his hand, I cuddled next to him and slept. I told him over and over it was ok to go. I told him to go with Grandma, to take her hand and go. That we'd be ok. I told him over and over how much I loved him and that I would I miss him so much but I know in my heart he will always be with me. That I am him, just as he once said. That I'm strong and will be ok.
There was a point in the evening that my dad stopped breathing for a long time, maybe like a minute but probably less, it just felt like forever. Feng thought he had died but I had my hand on his chest and could feel his heart beating. He began breathing again. I got up out of my chair and my cousin sat down in the chair next to him. I think panic set in because I knew she wanted time next to him as well. I would leave the room, come back in, leave the room, come back in. I went out to the nurse, Heather, and we finished paperwork that would need to be filled out once he passed away. At that point, another nurse came by and asked the last time he had been repositioned. It had been awhile so they decided to do it again. The three of us went into the room.
Everyone moved away from the bed, some went out of the room. I know Feng had left the room a bit earlier and went to the visiting room and cried. I helped the nurses reposition him and we put pillows under his feet to avoid bed sores. {He had started getting two spots, one on each foot}. My cousin went to sit back down in 'my' chair and I asked if she'd switch sides with me because it was the side I was comfortable cuddling with. She agreed. As I went to climb back into the chair, the other nurse who was helping very quietly called Heather's name. I looked at her face and knew. I looked at my father, he was not breathing. I quickly put my hand on his chest and there was not heartbeat. I buried my face into his neck, against his face, and cried. I told him over and over how much I loved him.
Heather listened for a heartbeat, she touched my shoulder and said "I'm sorry". Another nurse came in to pronounce him, it was about 10:20 pm on Sunday, July 24, 2011.
Someone went to get Feng, she came in hysterical. I couldn't handle it and had to get out of the room for a bit, I wanted to be alone, I wanted to call my mom. I grabbed my phone, left the room, and dialed my mom. She was asleep but said when she heard the phone ring, she knew. I had gone into the vistor's room and laid on the couch/bench they had. I must have stayed there for about 30 minutes, on the phone with my mom, crying. I also wanted to give everyone a chance to say good-bye to my dad. I wanted to be alone with him and curl up next to him and hold his hand one last time.
I finally went back into the room. I think it was only Pisano and I in the room, maybe my cousin as well. I don't remember. I just remember I curled back up next to him and cried. I played music, "Can't Help Falling in Love", because he used to sing that song to me. I played "What a Wonderful World" because we danced to that song at my wedding.
I remember going out of his room again, Feng's boys, Yu and Yan had come into the room to say good-bye again. I went and sat in the waiting room with Pisano, held comforted me. We talked, that my dad was in a better place and because I needed to hear it from him, I asked him if my dad loved me. He laughed and said that was a silly question. I explained that the last few years had been hard and how I felt so I just needed him to tell me. He said yes, he loved you. He said my dad was unique and made decisions that we may not have agreed with but that is what made my dad who he was. I agreed.
I had to sign some paperwork though at some point. I remember Feng kept asking what we needed to do. I told her to just go home and take care of herself, that everything had been taken care of. This I would recommend to anyone in this situation. Fill out as much paperwork as you can prior to your loved one dying. Once he or she passes, the last thing you'll want to do is sit down and figure everything out. From there, I went back into his room and cuddled again. His body was getting colder and colder. Pisano finally told me I could not stay forever, which I knew was true. So I said my goodbye and left.
I felt relieved that my dad had died because I did not want him to stay the way he was. I knew he wouldn't want it either. My heart just breaks though. I miss him so very much. Now that it's been 6 days, I feel like the pain is getting worse, things are setting in. The realization he is gone is there. Today, my heart really hurts and I do not want to get out of bed. I just want to sleep, I am exhausted. I miss my dad, I want my dad here, I need my dad.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Day 2

Last night was rough. My dad has sleep apnea and has a hard time breathing laying down anyway. So it made his breathing extremely raspy and I thought that he may not make it through the night. His oxygen level was down to 65 as well. He was pale, his lips, and finger tips were blue. I slept almost all night; however, I would wake up to make sure he was still alive. That is a horrible feeling. There was one time that I did wake up and I couldn't hear him breathing, his hand was so hot, and I thought he had passed away. Then I heard him breathe.

At about 8 am this morning, I had my back turned toward the door. When I turned around, Pisano was standing there. My heart just filled with comfort, a man who has known my dad for most of his life. A man that, even though I have not spend hours and hours with him, is a man I know would be there for me, just as my own father. Pisano was in Vietnam with my dad. They have remained amazingly great friends ever since. Within 24 hours of my call to Pisano, he booked a flight to come see my dad. For that, I am forever greatful. My dad has always told me that if there is anything I ever need, to call Pisano and he will be there for me. Because I am my father's daughter and that is what they do for each other.

When Pisano went to my dad's side, he spoke to him and I really believe my dad was responding to him. Pisano already has an appointment with the VA on Tuesday to get clarification on services and burial/cremation benefits for us.

I found out later that Amber, my cousin, was 3 hours south of Fairbanks and would be on her way as well. It was nice to know I would have family around as well. Throughout the day, there was not much change. They took him off oxygen because it was only prolonging his life and I did not want that. The nurses worked with me to protect Feng from feeling guilty of anything. In her culture, they bring the person home to care for him or her, prolonging life, until the person passes away. Obviously in our culture, most would rather die than live a life that is not really who s/he is.

My dad is a fighter and me started to sleep peacefully. He made it through the night and into day 3.

Friday, July 22, 2011

day 1

I arrived in Fairbanks at about 1:45 am on Friday, June 22. Feng's boys picked me up and we went straight to the hospital. Let me back up by saying Thursday was a tough day and by the time my flight left, I splet from PHX to SEA and SEA to FAI. Anyways, I got to the hospital and he was in bed, sleeping. He is snoring so he's in a deep sleep. He's hooked up to morphine and gets an anxiety med for when he gets restless. For the most part, he seems to be pain free. When the nurses move him from side to side, he tends to get aggitated and it seems somewhat painful for him. That is when he gives himself a shot of morphine. Yeah....seriously, these laws are freaking RIDICULOUS! {no worries, he can do it cuz I make sure he is able to}.

Every couple of hours he opens his eyes and tries to lift his body up. I hold his hand, kiss his forhead, and tell him to relax, it is going to be ok. His face is starting to look a little more pale this afternoon. His blood pressure was low, blood sugar was not quite under 50 but close. This morning it was more like 70. His oxygen {levels or something like that} were about 70 (that was this evening). I hope this means he is coming closer to the end. Not that I want him to die but I don't want him to lay here this way for weeks on ends. His legs are not swollen, but his hands are now. The veins in his right arm are not working for the iv. So the IV has been moved to his left arm. The nurses have been amazing! I wish the staff on now could stay here until I leave.

Tonight, a priest came in and said a prayer for him. I told him we wanted to wait on his last rights (is that the name of the prayer)? He said it was simlar. He also mentione that he was an ex-Marine and that he was honored to be here with dad. He said that dad was a true American hero. I could not be more porud of my dad!!!

So for now, though we wait and keep him confortable.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

the grief cycle, is numb first?

i can't describe how i feel right now. the only word is numb. you know, the feeling when you just can't feel, can't talk, and stare like you have no idea what is going on? that is how i feel.

someone told me "i think your dad's situation is affecting you more than you know". yeah, it is. last i checked he was dying and i think that means there is a part of me that will die too.

tonight, i got the call. a call from a doctor, an intensivist. do you know what that is? he's a doctor in the ICU unit. i relate to him as the last doctor that paula had, before she died. to me, an intensivist is not good. and tonight, he called me.

tonight, he told me that my dad was being admitted back into the hospital. that he sat down with feng to decide what to do with my dad. feng said she cannot take care of him at home. the only facility that he can go to is in anchorage, this is something my dad would not want, me either. they discussed putting him in a hospice bed. they discussed my dad's wishes that his life not be prolonged. they discussed giving him morphine to keep him comfortable. he {the doctor} told me 4-16 days.

i called feng. i told her i would fly out tomorrow. she told me that had asked the doctor to call me, to explain my dad's situation. she said the doctor needs a decision by tomorrow. i'm confused. i thought we had a decision. she told me she does not think my dad will die tomorrow or the next day or even next week. again, i am confused. i talked to feng again. she feels guilty. she does not want him to die. i feel bad for her. i feel bad for me. i tell her she did everything she could. i tell her he would not want to live this way. i tell her i will tell the doctor to let him die, because i know that is what my dad would want me to do. i love my dad.

i called the hospital back to speak with the doctor. the doctor called me again. we discussed what was best for my dad. i leave in 48 hours. i told him when i get there, i will not leave the hospital. he said that is fine. normally they do not allow people overnight but this is an exception. i said good because i wouldn't leave no matter what. i am leaving to spend the last few days with my dad. to say goodbye. to tell him over and over how much i love him. to tell him that through it all, he was a great dad. he is a dad i am proud to call my father. i do not want my dad to live like this. i can't handle seeing him this way. a man who is strong, a man, who the doctor asked me 'was he a marine, he looks like one'. yes, he was a marine. the doctor said, 'he's a strong man and if it wasn't for his liver failing, he would be healthy'.

so right now, i think i hate the world but i do not feel anger yet. i know it will come. i know all the emotions that will come. why? because i've been though this before when paula died but this time, it's not my best friend, someone who was like my sister, this time it's my father. the man i leaned on and looked up to. the man i loved unconditionally. the man that i always tried to make proud of me. the man i would talk to on the phone as a little girl and would tell him i loved him more. he would return that with i love you more. and so it would go on.

please keep him and me and feng in your prayers. that is all for now.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Phone calls

My phone calls to my dad can be comical or sad. I guess it depends on how you look at it or what kind of mind frame I am in.

I'm sitting on the phone right now with my dad. He told me he loved me. I asked if he loved me a little or a lot and he said a lot. Then, I asked if he was proud of me and he said yes. Then, he just disappeared. He didn't hang up the phone because I can hear background noise. I can only assume the phone is in his lap and he's just sitting there, maybe asleep. I'm laughing, making noises, whistling, trying to get Lynkin to bark, anything to get his attention. So, he comes back to the phone, I say "Dad", he says "I can't hear you now" then he's gone again....

Tonight I can smile. I love this man so much. {I just heard him say 'oooooh'} so the phone must be sitting near him. And you know what, I will take every moment I can, just listening to the background noise near him because one day, I won't be able to have this. So I'm going to soak up every moment I can with my dad, even if he doesn't say anything at all.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I don't even know where to begin to pronounce the word... nor do I care to. It is what my dad has now. I researched when my dad was confused and I came across this word many times. So I knew it was a chance and I thought I was prepared. What really can prepare you... to know your dad's mind is fading. He's 63 years old, so you don't really concern yourself with your parent showing signs of a brain malfunction. Basically, because his liver is failing, his body does not release the toxins and they form in the blood. This eventually leads to the impairment of the brain. I should state there are different types of encephalopathy, my dad has hepatic encephalopathy. The symptoms include, sleeping during the day (reversal of the normal sleep pattern), irritability, inability to concentrate or perform calculations, loss of memory, confusion, and eventually causes coma and death (information from
I found this out today. After I spoke with the neurologist. I then went back into my meeting, to concentrate but couldn't. After work, I stayed to look up that e word and the above is what I found. I sat there, numb. I was prepared, I knew that he probably wouldn't go back to "normal", that his mind would stay in this unclear state. I cried.

As I read through the symptoms though, I realize that 3 years ago, even more, my dad slept more during the day than at night. His sleep patterns were always sporadic, because of PTSD. I just figured that was why he was awake all night and slept during the day. Why didn't I realize this back then! Maybe he already knew that he was in the beginning stages of E. As for irritability, I remember back to the end of my bachelor's degree program... spring of 2008, my dad started acting different. One night, he got completely upset with me because he called while I was in the middle of a team paper and I was totally stressed out. I asked him if I could call back the next night and he just lost it. I remember thinking, what the heck is wrong! He even called my mom telling her there was something wrong with me. He was crying. Was this a sign? I knew back then something was wrong but I thought... honestly thought, that maybe his doctor had told him he was dying and he wasn't telling me. But now, I think that it was this E word... it had started to affect him. My dad never shared with me what was going on with him. This... this explains so much if what I think, back in 2008 was the beginning of hepatic encephalopathy.

So what happens now? It sounds like it will just get worse. Eventually, from my readings, he will go into a coma, then death. This disease is horrid. I did not think that there was a worse way to die than dying from cancer but cirrhosis is just as bad. Please, please, please... keep my dad in your prayers. For comfort, for peace. I love him so very, very much.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

Today, I miss my dad. As Feng puts it, "his mind is confused". I plan to call him today and the bonus will be if he realizes it's actually me on the phone. The extra bonus will be if he understands what I am saying. I took a lot of years for granted. I never imagined my dad would be the way he is today, I thought he'd always be there. I believe he knows how much I love him though. I was blessed to have spend last week with him to repeat over and over how much I loved him.

Happy Father's Day Daddy! I love you more....

Monday, June 13, 2011


Today was a tough day for my dad. He did not want to take a shower and I am not sure if I pushed him to hard (not literally) to take one. He kept pushing his walker with all his strength to get past me. He then went to his knees and used his head to push me out of the way. I really thought he'd just give up and take a shower but he wouldn't. After the ordeal, he was exhausted. He's been asleep for the day and he is more confused than he has been. He went to the kitchen, thinking it was the bathroom. It kills me to see him like this and I feel guilty for trying so hard to have him take a shower. Maybe if I had not been as stubborn as him, he wouldn't be so exhausted and out of it right now. Then again, maybe he would be.

He didn't go to his doctor's appointment again today. Feng and I tried and tried but he just kept saying no. I went to his appointment anyway and this time I was late. Some care manager explained it would be better if I spoke with a social worker and so I did. Speaking with her did not help my dad but it helped me. I wanted them to know that he's a good man. That he's not some crazy alcoholic like the nurse practioner made him sound like from the notes. I told this woman that he was a proud man. That his entire life, he took care of everyone and he did things himself. I told her that he was sweet and smiled and that he was in pain from this disease. I told her that he drank when he came back from the war to forget about what happend. That throughout most of my life, he didn't drink and if he did, he drank O'Doul's. I told her after the B left, that yes, he did drink but it was, again, to forget. I explained if he was an alcoholic, I would admit to it but he is not. I told her I wanted him to have a doctor with some sort of compation. When I left, I felt better. I know there is nothing anyone can do for my dad but it does not make this any easier. He is a man with a good heart and has always had the best intentions. He loves his family and would give his shirt off his back for someone, he is loyal. I am pretty sure that is where I get my loyalty from, my mom as well. I have the best and the worst of the both of them but all in all, I think I am most like my father with a little bit of my mother to balance me out.

When I leave for the airport in a few hours, I am not sure how I will be. This could very well be the last time I see my dad and that is hard. How do I leave? How do I say goodbye, knowing this could be it. I will keep in my heart his grin, the one he makes when I say "I love you", when I tell him he is discombobulated, then proceeds to laugh, a little. The grin he makes when you repeat back to him "God Damn It" or "you are a pain in the ass". He used to tell me all the time I was a pain in the ass and now I reciprocate his words. He smiles at me with that grin and says yes.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

More with dad....

So when I was little, probably around the age of 5 or maybe even 6, I remember my dad pouring water on me to wake me up. He was living in Arizona at the time and we had just gotten home. I must have been asleep and would not wake up. I remember being in the garage, on the floor. My dad told me to get up or he would dump a bucket of water on me. Apparently, I did not get up because I remember that bucket of water being dumped on me. As I think back now, maybe I wasn't asleep, maybe I was throwing a tantrum because how else would I have gotten from the truck to the floor in the garage! hmmmmm.....

Well today was pay back day. Dad's been sleeping all day. He's definitely very tired. He still needs to take his medicine and he really needs to get in the shower. First, I tried to get him up to get a shower but he will not go. He keeps asking why he has to take a shower. I told him because he is dirty and he smells. He says "I don't want to take a shower" so I tell him too bad, when I was little, I didn't want to take one either but you made me! He gets a grin on his face as he lays in his chair with his eyes closed. This goes on and on. I pull the blanket off him and he immediately raised up saying "HEY". Guess what, he's still not in the shower! So, now we are on to finishing his medicine. He tells me that he has taken all of his medicine and he's not taking anymore today. I told him he has not taken it all, he only took 2 pills. We go back and forth. I ask him why I would lie to him and he says "because you are". So, I told him if he doesn't sit up to take his medicine, I will pour water on him. He just lays there. I start to tip the water, knowing I won't drip much on him and I warn him the water is coming. He does not move. So, the water (like a whole 3 drops) hits his shoulder and he immediately sits and and says "HEY". I told him pay backs are a bitch and he needs to take his medicine. He just looks at me with a grin on his face. Yeah, he still has not taken his medicine. I know he needs to but he is so dang stubborn! I'll try again after Feng gets back from bringing him food. Even though it's so hard to see him this way, he still makes me laugh and these are the moments that I will always cherish!

All for a can of peaches

So over the last couple of days, he has not communicated very much. However, he can be very clear when he is not happy about something. First and foremost, he wants to do everything on his own. Friday night, he went into the kitchen. He kept going to the refrigerator, opening the door, then shutting it. He would go back to his chair. 20 minutes later, he was back. He finally sat down at the kitchen table. I showed him a can of peaches and asked if he wanted some. He just looked at me. He then grabbed the box that contained the canned peaches. Apparently, he felt he needed to open the box so he started tearing it down the side. I stopped him and I got "God Damn It", then angrily puts his hands down as though he's fed up. I explain that the box is already open and show him as I pull out a can. He proceeds to take out 3 cans of peaches. I stop him and he gets frustrated with me again. Now it's time to open the can. I give him a fork and he starts to push the fork into the can. Apparently he must think if he pushes hard enough, it will open. I try to explain if he turns the can over, we can open it by pulling the top off. He says no, we can't open it that way. So I tell him to watch and he gets mad again. Then, he lowers his head as though he is pouting. This makes me laugh. I tell him to stop getting mad and to stop pouting! Again, I tell him to stop pouting and watch. He looks up to see the peaches are open and has two cans!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Trying so hard

I went to the VA clinic to talk with the doctor about my dad's condition. If I remember correctly, I swear she said she's a nurse practitioner. What the blessed hell... I need to remember to ask why he is not seeing an actual doctor. Maybe it's because there is really nothing more they can do for him. What I find interesting is that I asked questions she did not know the answers to. My my dad had been seeing a civilian doctor therefore, she assumed that the civilian doctor had run the tests I had asked about. I asked if she would like me to have his medical records sent over and instead, she is going to run tests herself (which is good). My dad has been seeing this doctor/nurse for at least a year. I wish a year ago he would have allowed me to go into the doctor's office with him because I would have researched and asked these questions then. Why is it that someone without a medical degree can ask questions that these people who are professionals should know. It's all over google! He has an appointment on Monday, June 13 and I will definitely ask some more questions then. Starting with where the HELL is a DOCTOR at!
Reality is though, there is still nothing an actual doctor can do. My dad is still drinking and therefore, he was cancelled from the liver transplant list. I don't understand where his drinking came from. When I was really young, I remember he had crown royal bags around, so maybe he did drink back then. I guess I am pretty sure he did. As I got a little older though, for most of my life, he drank O'Douls and when the B**** left, he did start drinking again. So I really have no idea what kind of drinking he did. I felt like this nurse just assumed he was some sort of alcoholic and that pissed me off! He's not, maybe in some way he is, but I know my dad and he could/would quit if he was coherent and wanted to. I believe for him, drinking helps with his PTSD. Not that it's ok, but when someone from the VA wants to assume he's an alcoholic, they can go screw themselves because the war is what caused PTSD, Diabetes 2, and cirrhosis of the liver. At this point though, it's my dad who needs to make changes. He's a stubborn man and with his situation now, it's highly unlikely to happen.
Last night, he kept trying to drink beer. I started crying and told him it would kill him. He just looked at me with a blank stare {which is what he's done for the past two days}. I don't know if he understood what I was saying or not; however, he finally started drinking water and 24 hours later, he still has not had a beer. Maybe it's wishful thinking that he understood me but I would like to think he did!
Everyone keeps saying to cherish the time I'm with him and I am. It's hard though when he is pretty much asleep all day and night. When he is awake, he just stares and does not talk. Over the last two days, he has not really said anything to me. He did tell me twice that he loved me, and that was after I said it to him. I am thankful for that, very much thankful!
Last night, as I was crying, I told him I wanted to have a conversation with him, that I wanted him to talk to me. A few minutes later, he tried his hardest to talk to me. His words make no sense but I know he tried and that is all that matters to me. I miss talking to him. I miss him understanding what I say. He's a good man and his heart is always in the right place. I wish more than anything, I could make him better and no longer in pain.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Liver Failure

I just arrived in Alaska tonight so I can go to the doctor with my dad. Some of you may be aware that he has cirrhosis of the liver. While growing up, I did not live with my dad but I honestly do not remember him drinking much. He actually drank O'doul's, which was a 'fake beer'. So how did he get cirrhosis? There are facts that state Agent Orange, which was a herbicide sprayed during the Vietnam War can be the cause of liver failure. The VA has not acknowledged that the dioxin could cause cirrhosis of the liver. I've read several forums of Vietnam Vet's who were exposed to Agent Orange and now have cirrhosis of the liver and the VA still denies this. The VA tells them it is due to drinking. The men state that they have not drank or rarely drink. But here's another bright idea good ole VA.... many of them drink because of PTSD! Hello.... men came home at the age of 20 and put sandbags around their house to protect their family. America's spit on these men, protested against them. There was no support back then..... so yeah, maybe they did turn to drinking to forget! Now, I am not against supporting our military at all. In fact, I 100% support them. I'm just extremely disappointed in how our Vietnam Vets were treated and it sickens me that 40 years later, they are still fighting for what they deserve. I, for one, will more than likely lose my father because of that war. I was fortunate he returned home and I had many years with him. But in reality, I am shafted because he should not be dying!

So for now, I am sad, heartbroken, angry, mad, and mostly cherishing every moment I have with my dad!

My dad.... 5th Force Recon, USMC

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Favorite Easter Memory

I was reminiscing in my mind back to my favorite Easter memory. I think I was about 11 years old. We used to go to my aunt and uncle's house for a little Easter egg hunt and family time. We were all getting older and so the parental's decided to get a little creative with the egg hunt: we had a scavenger hunt.

Now we have to go back to a conversation that , my grandmother was having with my older cousin Ronni and myself (I don't remember when we actually had this conversation but it was definitely before that Easter day). I also don't remember the entire conversation but it was about boys. My grandma said something about being careful because boys can get "a rising sun". Now remember, I mentioned I was young, and I had no clue what this term meant. So, I got the break down of "a rising sun". {oh the innocence}

Back to that Easter day.... my Great Uncle Ray, who was probably in his late 60's, maybe 70's was enjoying that day with us. Let me just say... I loved my Uncle Ray very much. He was just the amazing "old" man and had a very kind heart. Anyways, one of my clues to find an egg was "Look for the rising sun". Oh my... I must have blushed like no other. I finally found the egg, as my Uncle Ray had it in his lap.

I think of that day and it makes me smile.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

If you want me to...

Let's just say it's still been a rocky couple of months in my life but I think the wave has crashed and I am slowly looking at the horizon and trying my hardest to hold on to hope. From sad, to hurt, to anger, to stress, back to sad, then anger again, and finally just pure stress with sometimes a laugh or two... it seems like every aspect of my life has been hit. Like that quote "when it rains, it pours". Well, there is hail and ironically, it feels like hell. Today though, I had a little "come to God" moment. Edward {yes, that Edward} and I were on a road trip and I put in Third Day. {whenever I hear Third Day, I think of him... he likes them and so do I}. He made a comment how he really needs to find a church again because when he was attending church before, it was the happiest he'd ever been. It made me think.... yes, he's right. Then I put in Ginny {Owens} - If you want me to - {song}. If any of you have heard the version of this on the Night at Rocketown CD, you've heard Ginny talk about her trails that she endured while trying to find a teaching job. Apparently, she realized that we are all going to endure trials; however, it's how we handle the trials that matters. I realized, I need to give these trials to God and trust in Him. I need to find Him again though. I need to believe.... again. Oh- and maybe not be so angry at some of the previous trails I've had {you know like losing my best friend 7 years ago and taking her from the lives of her 2 daughters}. So that is what I am going to try and do. I'm going to try and find Him. That makes me happy no matter what else is going on. That brings me a since of peace. He makes me feel that way.... not the one I love, you know the other him that has made me feel so broken because he needs some time to get through his own trails. So maybe if I can bring peace to my heart, the other part of my heart... the one that aches over him... will heal. Wish me luck!

Monday, February 28, 2011


So I'm suppose to go back to DC for the weekend.
Instead, I may be fighting a cold.
Give a girl a break... someone, anyone?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Global Warming???

Snow... the end of Feb... on the Superstition Mountains?
Kinda crazy
Of course 3 hours later when it was gone, the craziness subsided
Who would have thought that there'd be snow so close to Phoenix twice in one year!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Today, I was out picking up a couple of things... for me.
I felt kind of guilty, so I stopped at PetSmart
and picked up a couple of little gifts for Lynkin

Sunday, February 20, 2011


I always try to do my best. Treat others respectfully.

It's true, when I get mad/hurt/angry {key word is hurt} I often lash out. Say things that, well basically are true but should not be said. Everyone has faults and it basically comes down to what you are willing to put up with.

I think that for the most part, I put up with quite a bit. I give the other person the benefit of the doubt. I put the other person before me. For the most part, I would go above and beyond for someone that I truly care about.

Now though, I'm tired. I'm tired of being taken advantage of. I'm tired of excuses. Is it so hard to ask for another person to be upfront and honest? Apparently, it is. Even at work, I listen to sorry excuses everyday.

I think that sometimes people do not say the truth because they think they are protecting the other person. In the end, the person being lied to or protected, ends up getting hurt.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I don't believe in giving up on things....

{just a random photo from of the Washington Monument}