Posts Tagged ‘challenges’

18 years ago today at 5:47 am

I miss you, Keegan. You’re forever 17.


#keegan #cysticfibrosis #cf #lungtransplant #brokenheart #love #imissyou #forever17


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I know I don’t write as often as some do, but I write when it is good for me or when I need to get something out as it can be very cathartic. At least that’s the purpose of my blog … to help me and to hopefully help someone else who runs into the same types of issues.

With my children, I’ve had highs and lows, great successes and great losses. Sometimes certain occasions and occurrences can evoke those up-and-down feelings in me. Right now is one of those times.

Roy (Papa) and I (Oma) had the great joy of being blessed with our first grandchild (Harrison) on 12.21.18. It’s a humbling feeling, quite honestly to view the next generation.

I have a true sense of joy from this, but I cannot help but wish that my late son, Keegan, could be there as his baby sister, Kara, becomes a first-time mama to Harrison. I can’t help but cry over the loss of a beloved uncle that would have loved this baby boy to pieces, spoiled him rotten, and taken him on crazy adventures.

I know that I am truly blessed … and my heart is overflowing … as are my emotions. Harrison and Keegan are loved beyond words, and this Oma/Mama is honored to be a part of their lives.

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It doesn’t matter how old someone is or how long a true “daddy” has been dead.  Today would be my father’s birthday.  I still miss him and I always will. 

I was an awkward gangly smart-mouthed little girl.  I was tall (actually … lol … I still am), skinny, red haired, fair skinned, and freckled.  I have worn glasses or contacts since I was 7 years old.  I was too smart for my own good and didn’t fit in with any particular crowd.  He always encouraged me to be who I was at my core and loved the fire in my soul.  Most definitely not everyone liked it, and it frustrated and angered him at times, but he never wanted to squelch it.  He celebrated me.  This is how he would have described me …

Nevertheless my daddy always made me feel beautiful … even when my sharp tongue got the better of me. 

I know I am incredibly blessed to have had a daddy like him.   Not everyone is so fortunate and I am sorry for that.  He taught me to be a strong lady that could handle and withstand anything life threw at me. 

Daddy, I miss you.  I always will.  Go fishing 🎣 with Grandpa and Keegan up in heaven today to celebrate 🎉 your birthday 🎂.  


Glenn B Crowley


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I do not know who drew this, but I saw it on my FaceBook feed this morning from one of my friends who has children that have died.  I cried while on the early morning commuter bus.  It touched me to my soul.  Every time I look at it, I get teary.  It was posted with the poem below.  It sums up what I tell people a lot with regards to my beloved son, Keegan, and his death.  Do not judge.  Unless you’ve been there … and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone … you don’t understand … and I hope you never have to understand.



Do not judge the bereaved mother.

She comes in many forms.

She is breathing, but she is dying.

She may look young, but inside she has become ancient.

She smiles, but her heart sobs.

She walks, she talks, she cooks, she cleans, she works, she is

… but she IS NOT …

… all at once.

She is here, but part of her is elsewhere for eternity.

Author Unknown


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There are times that I am sick and tired of being sick and tired of being sick and tired of being the “strong one”.  Can I handle a lot and get through life’s challenges?  You betcha!  I’ve been through things that would drag a lot of people to their knees … if not lay them out flat.  I’ve seen things and heard things that most people won’t … but that’s ok … since I also know that I have a far better life than a lot of people around the world do.  I also know that, no matter what, I’ll make it through whatever life throws my way.  It comes down to my father’s teaching of “play the cards you’re dealt in life, Jill; enjoy the life you’re given; and don’t ever EVER fold”.


I do, however, get very tired of “friends” and “family” assuming that I can handle anything, that I’ll be ok with whatever the issue is, and that I’ll be there no matter what for them.  For the most part, that is true, and I guess that’s a back-handed compliment … but please … just because I’m outwardly strong doesn’t mean I can take whatever is dished out at me and be fine with it.  Just because I’m outwardly strong doesn’t mean I don’t have feelings and hurts and needs and desires like others.  Those people who are outwardly strong are sometimes hiding their own emotions so that others won’t see them and be hurt by them or have to deal with them … or they’ve learned to handle their fears and their challenges on a day-to-day basis, making it so that when something bigger comes along, they know that they can and will tackle it too.


What I’m saying may not be clear to those that just see a strong front and think all is good.  However, those that are “strong” understand.  Remember … those that carry on in the face of all odds … those that handle the burdens of life … those that say “don’t worry about it; I’m fine; whatever” … those that are always there for you … could also use some care on occasion.  They could use their feelings and emotions being acknowledged.  Don’t spend all your time catering to the ones that aren’t like that, assuming that the strong one that is always there for you no matter what … always will be … or always will like what you say and/or do to them … or always really will tell you what they think and feel about something personal to them.  Don’t assume that even if the strong one says they’re fine and they aren’t hurting that this is truly the case.  Don’t assume that those that aren’t as strong need all of the special treatment and all of the special dispensations … because … well … because they “aren’t strong like the other person is”.  Don’t just cater to those with the feel-good attitude and/or the financial backing if the “strong one” only provides emotional support.  Guess what?  At the end of the day, emotional support is worth FAR MORE than happy attitude, keeping the peace with the “not strong” one, and financial backing.


The picture below sums it up completely.  I have been told I am the “strong one” since I was little.  Roy has been also.  While that’s all well and good and has gotten us through numerous issues alone as well as together, we both know that ONLY the other one has EVER understood how much the other one hurts when our strength is used and abused by others that should know better.  Actions, deeds, and TRUE support for the “strong one” is worth more than those that are fortunate to have someone like that around them generally understand … because … well … hey … they’re the “strong one” … and they can handle it.


… or can they???????









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I learned long ago to smile and carry on … NO MATTER WHAT. The reason I write about this today doesn’t matter … but I have my own personal reasons. What matters is to carry on and hold my head high. I will never let others knock me off my course in life or tear me down or try to make me feel inferior. They can deal with the karma and the consequences all on their own. I don’t choose to participate. Leave me out of it all. They’ll be happier and so will I.

Though your heart is aching.
Even though it’s breaking.
When there are clouds in the sky,
You’ll get by
If you smile
Through your fear and sorrow.
And maybe tomorrow
You’ll see the sun
Come shining through
For you.
Light up your face with gladness.
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear
May be ever so near.
That’s the time
You must keep on trying.
What’s the use of crying?
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile
If you’ll just smile.
That’s the time
You must keep on trying.
What’s the use of crying?
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile
If you’ll just smile.
Nat King Cole


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I truly hate it when there are major issues going on in my life and people say “it builds character” or “it’ll make you stronger” or “it’ll all work out” or “you can handle this because you’re so strong”.


Spare me.

Do they think there’s a magic “strength gene” or it’s simply ok that more issues are somehow explained away & handled easily?

Yes, it’s true. One way or another it’ll move forward and work out … good OR bad.

That however doesn’t mean simple platitudes make it easier, particularly on those of us that have seen more of life’s ups-and-downs than many. We still need a break on occasion … and we still need support, love, and caring.

Think about that the next time you encounter someone in the throes of major life challenges and changes. It will be well worth the price of your time. A sympathetic ear means more than most people truly understand.

… just sayin’ is all …

Nevertheless … on a lighter note … since I am a reformed suburgatory resident and now very much a country girl through-and-through … I’ll end with this … because it’s more true than city-folk and flatlanders truly understand.


… again … just sayin’ is all …

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