Life is hard, but you’re NOT alone!

Not asleep yet. So many emotions. Third friend/classmate in three years who’s taken his own life. Troubled. I’m so troubled. Full of sadness and frustration.

Life is hard. It’s so freaking hard! I know this because the past four years have been HELL for us in this family. There are times when I haven’t wanted to get out of bed or even wake up the next day and face another day of b.s. and soul-crushing challenges. But nobody ever promised me that life would be easy, and although it’s rough terrain, I have no idea what awaits me over the next mountain pass (so to speak) and I’m not giving up on this journey until I see what the next roadside attraction is.

I don’t know what YOUR b.s. and soul-crushing challenges are, but every day IS another day…and all cycles end. Nothing stays the same forever. Some cycles are longer than others. Some cycles feel like an eternity (believe me, I’m in the middle of one of them!) I just know that, although it doesn’t seem like it right now, you CAN make it and you CAN get past these things you’re dealing with.

Please, please listen to me: I can’t do much, but if you are having a hard time and you need to talk to someone — if you’re to the point of NO RETURN — please get in touch with me or at least talk to someone…please reach out…please don’t cross that line of no return. Okay? Please do this for me, friend? Here is a number you should write down and put where you have it at all times. Memorize it or do whatever…just USE it, if need be:

1 (800) 273-8255
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week
Languages: English, Spanish

Life can be dark, painful, disturbing, and any number of other things. But think of life as a book full of chapters, full of pages, full of plot twists. You are the author. You are writing this book. You can’t control everything, but you can control your part and how you react or act upon things.

Look, I can be blunt at times and come off as an a-hole at other times, but deep inside, I’m really not. You matter. You freaking matter, okay? Believe it. Know it. We have more laughs to share here…and if I haven’t offended you yet, then you HAVE to stick around, ’cause I’m trying! *smile* Plus I have more dirty jokes to post and crazy stuff to share.

In all seriousness, you’re gonna be okay. You got this. Promise. And if you need to lean on others to find your strength again, then take my hand…and someone else’s…and someone else’s beyond that. It’s okay if you feel fragile, weak, worn out. You’re human. We all are. And until you can find the strength to support yourself and stand strong again, there are those of us out there who will help you stand.

Reach out…my hand is waiting.

Presenting Chicago writer and editor Jonathan Porter

Man, there are times when I’m overwhelmed with pride because of my kids. This is one of them!

My son, Jonathan, finally has his own site. He is a writer and editor (just like his dear old mom!). But, unlike me, he’s worked for cool-ass places like Madison Square Garden and Lions Gate Entertainment.

If you have a moment, please stop by. He is still working on the site, but there’s content up there already and it’s filling out nicely. Plus, I’m proud and I wanna share it with you guys!

[Musings] Watching my mother slip away…one memory at a time

I am fortunate to have two mothers — my birth mother, Fay, and my adopted mom, Shirley (or my MOM mom, as I call her, since she raised me). They are both the same age, but one has Alzheimer’s. It’s been difficult and heartbreaking to deal with my mom Shirley’s dementia. Even more heartbreaking since I’m far away and cannot visit her in person, mainly due to finances.

Talking over the phone is challenging because I never know what she will say, what she will remember, what she won’t remember, or anything else. She still remembers who I am, thank goodness. But someday, she may not. I’ve cried countless tears after phone conversations with my mom. I want to put things back the way they used to be, when she remembered.

She doesn’t remember my first husband’s death and keeps asking where he is and why we aren’t married anymore; I simply told her it didn’t work out. I’m not going to tell her he died (and from what I’ve read, you’re advised not to do so). She doesn’t remember meeting Paul and wonders when she’ll get to meet him. The other day she thought Britt was still a little girl. She never remembers what I do for a living, or that I’ve been working from home for over 16 years. Conversations are hard and tug at the heartstrings.

I love my mom, but watching her go through this is agonizing. She just turned 79 years old a couple days ago. I never know when it will be the last time I get to speak to her…so I cherish every conversation we have, regardless of how trying and sad it may be. 😦

Family writes: Like mother, like son

The best thing about having a son who is also a writer is that we get to talk about things most people don’t understand. When he calls me and discusses his latest writing project, it’s like we are speaking a special language only a minority of people can decipher. When he was a little kid, he won all sorts of awards and honors for his art. Imagine my surprise when he grew up to be a writer! Thought for sure he would be an artist. Like mother, like son. Pretty cool stuff! 🙂