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Showing posts from February, 2017

Dancing With Ghosts

Grief swirled around me like the dense gray fog that had rolled in on Monday morning. I sat down on the moist earth, grass browned from the frigid Chicago winter, and talked to my grandmother's grave.

"I'm here," I told her, "I may have been gone physically but my heart never left".  Mary and Bernadine, my grandmothers who stayed behind in the western Chicago suburbs as we pulled the Uhaul on to the highway, bound for Arizona in 1981, are still inhabiting my soul.

I was approaching my sixth birthday when I lost the first one, quick and painful, to a heart attack. I have spent years as an Emergency Room nurse now, trying fervently to prevent others from feeling the sharp sting of sudden death, like I had when I was pigtailed and carefree, making my way through kindergarten. That sting has subsided some, like I'd doused it in lidocaine, but the hurt of loss at that age isn't curable. Time is simply a patch placed carefully over the wound, shrouding a…

When You've Got A Good Thing.

I just have to brag on my husband for a minute. I KNOW, I talk about how great he is like, all the time, but it's because he's legit, ya'll. Let me tell you this. 
I am currently 1800+ miles away in Illinois, being the good nurse-niece and taking care of my aunt, who is in a rehab nursing home in the western suburbs of Chicago after a fall and a subsequent femur fracture. No bueno. 
My little girl (his stepdaughter) had a daddy-daughter dance this week, which I wasn't aware of until the last minute before I was to leave for Chicago. My daughter assured me that she had a dress at her dad's house (surprising to me, as I am always the one who gets them clothes, special event dresses, etc). She told me the colors and before I left town I picked her up some shiny, sparkly patent leather shoes and some tights. We spent some sweet mother-daughter time as I taught her how to roll up the tights to put them on without putting runs in them. As I'm packing for my flight, …

When Change Breaks Your Heart

The last time I was with my grandmother I fed her her dessert at my cousin's wedding.
It was one of those full circle moments, this woman who had held me the day I came into the world, first baby of a new generation two removed from her, was now being tenderly cared for herself. She was different by then, but she had many moments of clarity. Snippets of my sharp, funny Gram. I can still see her form an "o" with her thin lipped little mouth, her left hand falling against her lower left cheek when she was pondering something you told her, and responding in her sweet little old lady voice, a drawn out "ohhhh yeah?" I can't still hear her say everytime I went to leave after a visit "ohhhkay. I LOVE you." And she'd touch my face with her tiny arthritic hands and kiss me square on the lips. She wrote me letters in college, and I would write back. I can perfectly imitate her loopy cursive "L" that became progressively shaky and unsure as th…

Not A Recipe Blog, But This Breakfast Casserole Is Everything.

Hey ya'll.

Yeah, I KNOW this isn't a recipe blog, because I'm just not that kind of girl.

But I HAVE TO fill you in on my family's FAVORITE weekend breakfast 'round here. My 11-year-old said today, "Can you make this every day? You're the best cook ever". So, I thought I'd share just one more aspect of my awesomeness. ha. 

I have made it in the past but modified for our preferences and essentially combined three different recipes.

It is NOT, I REPEAT, NOT healthy, so if you're no-sugar-carb-bad crap like I am, you can just stare at it, like I did, whilst partaking of my plain greek yogurt with stevia and berries. Almost as good (ok not really but I'm 13 pounds lighter than 2 1/2 weeks ago so it's worth it).

This is perfect for a Sunday morning, especially if you make your kids wait until like 11am for breakfast because you sent your husband to the store. They'll eat better than they ever have, therefore annoying you MUCH less tha…