in the end

I remember the first time I heard Chester Bennington. A voice modulating so much pure, raw pain that touched me to the very core that I try so hard to keep inside. I know I am not the only one who felt it because yesterday so many reacted to the news of his ending his own pain.

Chester’s voice was joy and pain, anger and forgiveness, love and heartache all wrapped up into one. For me, Linking Park was a part of my go-to running playlist that pushed me through all the hubris and pain – mental, emotional and physicalthat I would encounter for miles and miles and miles.

In the end, for Chester, everything become too heavy, much too much heavy and the rest of us, his family, his friends, his band-mates and his fans now must just try to hold on.

My friends, it’s okay. It’s really okay, I promise, for us to say to one another sometimes, “You know what? No, I’m not fine. Let me tell you what’s going on in my life.” It is. It really is.

Going through this album, everything from battling with addiction, battling with relationships, battling with family members dying, dealing with suicide attempts. Dealing with kids that are growing up. Every day seemed to bring some new stack of bullshit that I had to deal with. Bringing this stuff up Mike would be like, “God, dude, this is what’s going on in my life or my friend’s life or my family is dealing with this,” or “I know people going through that,” and then it was like, “Bro! Like dude, this is what I’m dealing with.” And in this case, that was the type of conversation that started most of these sessions.

On this particular day, we got into this conversation, and I believe it was Mike that got up as we were kind of talking. As I started talking about some stuff, Mike gets up and starts playing the chord progression and is just kind of going through it. If I recall correctly, right away Julia went, “I don’t like my mind right now. Stacking up problems that are so necessary.” And we were like, “That’s it!” And it was just like “Boom!

~ Chester Bennington, commentary – Heavy


Anissa, freed

Erma Bombeck said something that pretty much defines my approach to life…. “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and I could say, “I used everything you gave me.” If you switch the word TALENT for LOVE or LAUGHTER or HAPPINESS….it still stands. ~ Anissa Means Mayhew

Yesterday, a most incredible force of nature left this world and I am absolutely certain that standing before her Maker this is exactly what she said.

Like so many others, I get to say that Anissa made me feel special and powerful whether through our interactions on the inter webs and social media or face to face while enjoying the most amazing view of Columbus Circle where she reminded me of the absolute truth that her bewbs were so much more spectacular than mine – long story kids, but trust me, there was no nudity, it was all for fun, games and a good cause and yes, her boobs were fantastic!

So was our view.

So many others are going to share far more eloquent tributes for this amazing woman and I’m going to let them and let Anissa’s own words stand as my tribute along with my most sincere gratitude for knowing her and condolences to Peter, Peyton, Rachael and Nathaniel.


the cool kids

This might quite possibly be the only time ever that I was one of the cool kids.

…the cool kids of the Borough of Ben Avon, circa 1969.

I miss you, my brother. You’re supposed to be celebrating or regretting turning 54 years old today. But you’re not. Thirteen years now. Miss you, still.

Not only had my brother disappeared, but–and bear with me here–a part of my very being had gone with him. Stories about us could, from them on, be told from only one perspective. Memories could be told but not shared.

John Corey Whaley ~ When Things Come Back

the promise of making it after all

Under The Big Top and in the mom-car the last few days an old song was heard which prompted a few questions from my darling son who could not possibly understand the impact a 70’s sitcom with a upbeat, simple theme song could have

How could he?

But for his mama this show did leave it’s mark. Oh to have that perfect shoulder length flip, drive that mustang and have that apartment — of course there would be a giant L on the wall. When that show first aired in 1970, and through the next seven years, it opened the eyes and sparked the imaginations of many young girls and women probably more than the actual leaders of the Women’s Liberation Movement whom we might have seen on the CBS Evening News with good old Walter Cronkite.


Never mind, son.

Here was a beautiful, single woman who was a career girl and not a career girl in the acceptable career girl type of jobs. She drove a cool car, lived in an even cooler apartment, always fashionably dressed and, while she certainly had her fair share of love and infatuations, she didn’t seem to need a man in her life to take care of her. At least that was how I saw it then and recall it now.

Daniel still doesn’t see the point.

He couldn’t. He’s a boy. He’s a boy born in this century where it is a given that women in his life do have choices — not just that choice — girls and young women now can imagine being almost anything when they grow up…wives…mommies…teachers…nurses…artists…business owners…scientists…politicians…almost anything with hard work, education and opportunity. When I was a girl, the sky was so much more limited. As a young girl, what could be more aspirational than your own sofa bed and bubble bath, with girlfriends popping in and out, boasting hilarious problems and even funnier bell-bottoms? When I was a young girl, going to college and getting a good job was expected, but it was a means to an end — to fall in love, to marry, to have babies, to take care of the babies and the home. The Mary Tyler Moore Show showed that there was more out there. Yes, I grew up and followed a traditional female career path, I did marry and did have a few babies too. But I continued to work in my chosen field. I raised my daughters to know that wherever their talents, education, hard work and a little luck takes them it is possible for them to make it, after all.

Maybe one of them can also master the iconic beret toss. I never could.

the year we find out we weren’t immortal

You know what’s funny about death? I mean other than absolutely nothing at all? You’d think we could remember finding out we weren’t immortal. Sometimes I see children sobbing at airports and I think, ‘Aww. They’ve just been told.’

Carrie Fisher

Three days more, y’all. Just three days more.



Yeah, like pretty much everyone else on the inter webs, I’m going to say a little something about the passing of Carrie Fisher and the next day of her mother, Debbie Reynolds. I was thoroughly entertained by their talents; as were so many others. But at this moment I am recalling with gratitude the sometimes profane candor with which they publicly shared their lives together: relationships, addiction, living with mental illness, loving someone with mental illness.

Stars, they’re just like us…and our family because if my life wasn’t funny it would just be true, and that is unacceptable.

Enough, 2016. Enough.