Skip navigation

Category Archives: Death of a Parent


Today started off well. I got myself up at 6 a.m. to try to get my body used to getting up early again. I did great. I think it has to be the energy from working out so much. Today I spent an hour and half in the gym, got a mani/pedi, and went tanning. Things started spiraling after that. I was going to audition for a show and all my sheet music got lost. I went to the music store and all they had was the movie version of the show I use for auditioning so I bought it. I decided not to go audition because I wasn’t prepared, I couldn’t go to the call back night, and I got an email from my college stating they haven’t heard anything from the place I am supposed to intern at. Lovely since the semester starts the 18th and I am clueless.  Thankfully a professor of mine has been awesome but it’s so annoying!  In addition there was so much traffic on the way home, it took me a half hour to get home from a spot that usually takes 10 minutes. This all has made me so cranky. 

There has also been all these other things coming to fruition. I realized so much stuff in these 5 days that not many know about. This deals with what I blogged two days ago. Is it weird that this is all I have been thinking about? Should it be a recurring thought or no? Sucks when the thoughts  occur on a consistent basis.  It’s one of those very peculiar situations. I’m not into quests and I am not a chess player. I’m one for consistent fun in whatever capacity as opposed to giving stuff a whirl just to do it. I NEVER thought I would give so much thought (not in a skeptical, doubting, or negative way) to something like this.  I don’t know. . . How much can someone insert themselves into situations and then get nothing in return?  I believe in being altruistic  to an extent. When you start banging your head against the wall, when you know it’s falling on deaf ears, and when the crickets start chirping on the other end, you have to ask yourself, is it worth it to try so hard? I mean if someone isn’t trying as hard as you are, is there really anything there? No patience for untrue people. A frined of  mine that I hadn’t seen in two years was telling me a story about an individual she really cared about. She went above and beyond and got taken advantage of.  She couldn’t take it anymore and stopped talking to the person. You could tell when she was telling the story that she was hurt by it.  How many times can one get a cartoon jackass head on their shoulders before the epiphany occurs? A lot to think about . . .

Here’s my mood right now. This is a song I listened to over and over again when my father passed away but the words right now are still so fitting for everything going on in my life one way or another. I still don’t feel whole or know who I am. I guess in reality I still am Broken in some capacity. :

Advertisements

Sitting here watching ESPN FIRST TAKE and listening to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7N9PmfpGQrQ – LOVE this song. Singing away. This song has so many meanings for me – Not just the obvious love song type insinuation. I like to reach deeper with music lyrics. I am so into music lyrics telling a story especially where I am concerned. I have a song for EVERYTHING. Don’t you wish you can get inside my head? :p

Still in my PJs cause I can! WOO HOO! I have been so exhausted. It’s amazing what happens when you shut your brain off. The semester is over for me. My last day was Wednesday. Supervisor came. Cake walk! I am waiting for my grades to be posted now. 

This time of year is rough for me. I’m missing my father. I have been going to his house on Christmas Eve since I was 10 when my parents divorced. My husband and I are still going over there even now that he’s gone. My 20-year-old brother is a stickler for traditions. He doesn’t want anything to change including the menu – Filet mignon and lobster. My father used to make the steak and now he makes it. I think my bro makes it better than my father (*Looks up* SORRY DAD). Not a lobster eater. Not a red meat eater either. I have to be in the mood for it. I’ll take one for the team Christmas Eve though. My husband’s birthday is on Christmas Eve too so we always have a birthday cake for him. We are going to celebrate it on the 23rd. We are going into NY.

It’s that time of year for reassessing. This has been another year of enormous growth and learning for me. Since my father passed away on Jan 22, 2009, my life has taken such a different turn. I think I have said this in past posts but it’s unfortunate that it took my father leaving this earth to wake the hell up. This year I have seen people’s true colors and realized who cares and who is only out for themselves – especially in the last two months. I think I have also said in past posts that  if you cross me once I wipe my hands of you. That I definitely got from my father. I have wiped my hands of things and situations. Out with the old and in with the new. I refuse to be anyone’s marionette. No one plucks my strings except me. This is why I have a very hard time trusting people. There is usually an underlined manipulative motive.  I won’t tolerate that. To those that have been in my corner and continue to be, I am very thankful and appreciate all the support – especially with my creative outlets.

I also want to announce that I am going to be an auntie again! My best friend is pregnant again with her second child. YAYYYYYYY!!!!

Switched over to another song I can’t stop listening to – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsPFDzAGb4A – Alter ego? lol


It’s been 13 days since my last post. I am so sorry. I know I said I would keep up. It sounds like I am sitting in a confessional, doesn’t it? “Forgive me father for I have sinned. It’s been 13 days since I last wrote!”  With only 3 comments you have to wonder, is anyone besides my friends, (the REAL friends not just the nosy acquaintances or those that want something from me) who are great supporters of my writing even following this blog? I think the most recent thing on my mind lately is who the hell am I and reassessment. I am re-assessing EVERYTHING. My wheels are spinning constantly. It’s good to have the blog to turn to for my catharsis. I know the main reason when I started this blog was to get my story out about everything I have went through in the last 5 years but now that we are at present day, I hope you don’t mind the present days.

Our play, The Switch was performed on Oct 30 which was probably the happiest day of my life barring the fact that a few people I wanted there couldn’t be there. That would have made me twice as happy but what can ya do? In any case, I think my actors were overworked because they were forgetting lines. That never really happened in rehearsals. I was kinda upset at first but keeping in mind the fact that the show really wasn’t fully cast until two weeks before, how can I really be upset? I received a lot of positive feedback but as a lot of artists feel, you often wonder if people tell what you want to hear. Some may THINK just the opposite – if you don’t agree with the naysayers opinions on how you should handle your work, then it sucks or they want no part of it. One thing I will not involve myself with now or ever is the “write MY way or it’s the highway.” I have wanted to write since I was 6 years old and I will be God Damned if someone is going to try to control it or me.  I am all about input, don’t get me wrong, but the minute the input turns into dictating, PEACE OUT – I am done with you! *KNOCK ON WOOD * – This hasn’t happened but I am just sayin . . .

Back to re-assessing and who am I. . . Let’s start with Who Am I – Maybe some of you that know me can answer that. Maybe you can’t. If I don’t know me, how can you? I feel like I am constantly changing. I felt a change in me coming on the minute my father died in 2009. It’s funny when you really become obsessed with the phrase “Life is too short,” or you start surrounding yourself with different people or you start really honing in on your craft how your mind is on overload and it  just starts going to places you never thought it would or to places where it is not supposed to be.  It’s peculiar too when these thoughts surface when you are out alone or with friends. It’s like I have to say to my brain SHHHHHHH. I often wonder if people can read me when the thoughts start surfacing.  Sometimes I wonder if i make things obvious. I try not to. Reading back over this, that sounds a little strange to you I am sure but it’s nothing to suspect that the white coats need to be called. LOL! It’s a writer/artist thing. You know us types. We are all over the place emotionally especially when you can literally reach out and grab what you want but you really can’t or you have to be prudent or it’s just an oasis and not quite there yet.  Don’t mistake these words because my REAL friends know that I would give them the shirt off my back or do anything for them. I know they would adjust nicely to the lifestyle I desire.  

Now re-assessing – I guess this ties into the above. This whole writing thing has me bursting inside. Like I said I have known I wanted to do this since I was 6 years old. When I was 6 I had a friend Colleen that lived around the corner. We set up my play room like an office. She was my secretary and I was the writer. She would take fake phone calls and write out invoices for our “clients” with titles of stories. She would give me a ton of titles and I would just write. It was at that moment I knew what I wanted to be. As I got older I used to tell other friends how I wanted to make a name for myself but with all the dysfunction that surrounded me, writer’s block and low self-esteem sneaked in. Look I am not even going to pretend that my self-esteem is where I want it to be but the excitement about writing that I had when I was 6 is back. How? I don’t know. My long term goal is to write 24/7, to go around the world for research on novels, and to write theater pieces. It’s frustrating because right now I can’t do that. I don’t have a lot of money where I could sit here, not work and just write. I have to finish my teaching certification program and get a job to pay bills and write whenever I have free time. I wish I had this fire inside me two years ago when I had first lost my job.   I know now what I want, who I want to be, and who I want in my corner. I am a big mush internally so support means everything to me. If there is someone out there that disapproves where I want to go in my life, honestly, I don’t care. I’m tired of living my life with other people controlling it or telling me (us) what a normal life and a normal routine is supposed to be. I never claimed to be normal. I didn’t come from a normal environment.  

On a few side notes, I think I made a point to say I have been having weird dreams and thoughts lately. The dream I had the other night, man, I had to write it down. It certainly would be a good story.

Lately I feel like I have been expressive through music. If you watch some of these videos or interpret some of the lyrics, you would think it was always about an ex. I’ve always been one to interpret everything differently. It could be just a phrase or the emotion used to sing that can trigger something. Take one of my very old favorite love tunes – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0XMn0U9b2Y  There are several phrases in this song that trigger something for me. It certainly doesn’t remind me of an ex.

They fired my personal trainer at the gym. The guy who took over as the fitness manager is such a “salesman” that he doesn’t care about the clients. The trainer I had was very loving and caring. I want to start going to another gym. While I have lost weight, I  have a long way to go. Is it bad as a woman to say that I want to look like Jackie Warner or Jillian Michaels? 

Maybe some of you out there think I am completely bonkers; others of you may see yourself after reading this post.

Who am I right now? I am not yet a teacher and I am not 100% a writer. Mid life crisis or identity crisis? I say identity for sure because I went back and read some previous posts. WOW! I am in a totally different place.


Anyone watch The Singoff last season? NOTA is awesome! – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MG0PiVtqLxM I LOVE accapella! There CD comes out in November. This is great too – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbdPeSnXvUY

I started tweaking my play from my undergrad. I had to modernize it big time. I have 5 pages of dialogue right now. I know the concept I want to use. I just have to figure out what I am going to do and what direction I am going to go in.

I taught my third lesson yesterday at the high school I was put in. I have to get my act together with time management. I am so used to doing these damn mock lessons for Kean, that I find I am planning 20-25 minute lessons and then leaving the rest of the period for the activity. I don’t feel comfortable doing that. My cooperating teacher is really great though. She tells not to beat myself up since this is still new to me. Just because someone tells you not to beat yourself up, doesn’t mean you don’t continue to. I am the same way with theater. If I can’t get a song down or dance routine down the first time I do it, I lose my mind. That’s just me. I have that Uncle Ben’s Rice mentality – Instant! By the way, yesterday’s Quote of the Day was from a male student in the 7th period class who when I gave the activity just kind of sat there so I said “Hey too cool for school, you going to write something down or what?” So he says, “I would rather just type it at home. I am not a pre-draft kinda guy.” ALRIGHTY THEN! Too funny. I love the 7th period kids.  

Please tell me why a brand new campus building wouldn’t have computers in the classroom? Of course now I have to borrow a lap top from the professor to do my mock lesson. It’s quite embarrassing. My husband and I are just not in the position to spend money on a lap top right now. Maybe when I get a job but not while I am on unemployment. I swear these things only happen to me. It’s bad enough I am still having flashbacks from the Spring semester. Whatever. What’s going to be is going to be. I have to go back to the scale of 1 to 10 – 10 being losing my father. Where does not having a lap top really fall on that scale? I don’t want to have to go begging for a higher grade though. I’ve already done that once. That’s when my humility surfaces. I hate acting like a big mush. Did you ever notice when you put your heart on your sleeve you regret it later? I guess I am having business flashback where “Kevin” told my husband and I on numerous occasions that I wear my emotions on my sleeve. UGH! I HATE doing that. That’s a character trait I can’t seem to get rid of. Who really appreciates that except your parents and your spouse?

(I would like to wish a Happy 37th Birthday to a friend of 23 years. She knows who she is – Now we can get FV and choose your Kia or my Santa Fe to cruise in. What mid 30s? We are 21 over and over every year! Those were the days of  M. Gizz! :-0)


I found out that I will be playing Zoe in the one-act my husband and I wrote. We can’t find anyone available or with a normal schedule. I really didn’t want to be in it. This is the first time a work I was involved in is being performed. I wanted to get excited and watch. Zoe is a serious character. SIGH.  My mind is working overtime now. I have to learn these lines in addition to taking care of all my responsibilities with school and interning. I can’t complain really though. Good things are starting to happen at least! I know I have changed. I still may have my wit and humor but I am not the same person I was at the beginning months of 2010. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4VwhQlf1cc  I want to continue to write. I work so better with structure and deadlines. Anyone out there want to push me? 🙂 I would kill for an agent or something to give me deadlines.

Oh man. I just read that  39-year-old Joseph Cerniglia who owns Campania in Fair Lawn killed himself over debt. He is leaving behind a wife and 3 kids. That’s a shame. His restaurant was on Season 2 of Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares. That’s the second person to commit suicide that was on one of Gordon Ramsey’s shows. YIKES! While I am sure Joseph Cerniglia’s debts were way more than ours were when we owned the fitness facility, I certainly understand the stress of the debt. You honestly don’t understand or know the sinking feeling and feeling of failure that overcomes you.  There have been people who have owned the same franchise I owned that have committed suicide because they felt like there was no way out. When you tell people about it and they answer, “I can imagine,” they really can’t. You don’t know how it feels to almost lose a marriage and in this case a life because overwhelming amounts of debt. I am not even going to pretend I understand what his family is going through right now. It’s a shame. It’s sad. My heart goes out to the Cerniglia family especially his kids.


Today is a GREAT football day! My husband’s team, the Bears, are on at 1 p.m., then the Jets at 4:15 p.m. and then my boys are on at 8:20 p.m. I just love when they play at night. *CAN YOU HEAR THE SARCASM COMING OUT OF MY MOUTH?* I get to go to bed aggravated some times. Just lovely. It’s the Manning Bowl II! Lets go Big Blue!

We are just about caught up on the journey or at least we will be fairly caught up after this post. In any case, when I finished the summer semester I think my nerves got the best of me. I wasn’t sure I was ready to do my pre-professional field (one day a week internship) come September. It was bothering me that I was still on unemployment and didn’t have a job. I have this thing about having to contribute to the bill paying. While I am on unemployment, I don’t really consider that “contributing.” With  everything going on with this HORRIBLE governor, I didn’t think there was any way I would get a teaching job come September 2011. At the same time, I was  doing public relations (still am) for a murder mystery group we are a part of. I like doing that. Anything writing related, I love. My first love will ALWAYS be writing, not teaching. My husband said that if I see a job in the paper that I can see myself doing for a long time to submit but not to just submit to anything. I submitted two resumes and never heard anything. I told my husband that was a sign. If I were to get called and hired somewhere, it was meant to be. If not, then it wasn’t and I was meant to stay in school.  At first I was so conflicted as to whether to mail out the first resume. It was for a PR job at a college. I needed an objective opinion so I emailed a friend of mine from Connecticut that I went to college with who has the same passion for writing that I do. We used to work at the local paper together.

I needed some sound objective advice from someone removed from the situation. I explained I had two semesters and two classes left plus the one day a week internship for September. I would be doing my full internship 5 days a week during the Spring semester Jan 2011-May 2011. Heres what was going on in my head in more detail. I had been on unemployment since November 2008. I was tired of not working. Besides working out during the day, I was bored out of my mind and basically found myself doing house wife things – so not me. I don’t know how some women stay home all day. The education program at Kean doesn’t want you working when doing your internship. In the middle of September, the claim I had for unemployment was going to expire. I would start another tier of benefits. The problem was I did not know how much money I would be getting at that point every two weeks but it was believed to be less than what I was currently getting. Our expenses have gone up because we had to get our second new car since the lease expired on our other car. My husband and I both have new Santa Fes. As I stated, my hubby told me if I could find a job that I really wanted to do and could see myself doing for a long time where the salary was good, to go for it. I was conflicted. I didn’t know what to do. Teaching was going to be a fall back position so that I had given myself options career wise with the current state of the economy. However, my love had always been for writing and PR. I love kids, don’t get me wrong, but the excitement I get when I write wasn’t there while I was thinking about it. I had the envelope with my resume, cover letter, and writing samples ready to go for the college PR job. I kept going back and forth whether to mail it or not. The reason I was conflicted was because I didn’t want people thinking I was a quitter in terms of school or that I couldn’t finish anything I start. That seemed to have been my pattern. Since the whole business fiasco, who knew what people would say. Everyone always has an opinion about other people’s business. Whether they tell you to your face is another story. Since losing my job in Nov 2008, I havent really been able to make up my mind about what the hell I wanted to do and I am 35 years old! I didn’t really get a chance to really assess what I wanted to do and really think about it because two months after I lost my job I lost my dad, my pet died, we had a bankruptcy and so on. Who would immediately have a clear head to make a good decision after all that? I was afraid to take a job in the writing/editing field because I have lost my job so many times because of the economy. BUT, if I stayed in school, I am accumulating loans with no guarantee of a teaching job come September which would cause me to look in the writing field anyway. Plus if I stayed in school, I was another year away from working. If I took a job and I lost it again, I was afraid I would be kicking myself for not finishing the program at Kean. I wanted to make the best decision for my family because of this horrible economy. Like I said earlier, I don’t know how much less money from unemployment I was going to get. I was not having any problems in school. I was just trying to figure out what the hell the best decision was for us. God gave me the answer because I did not get any phone calls from either resume I submitted.

I think all the above may have stemmed from fear about actually having to be in a real classroom now and being monitored by a cooperating teacher and supervisor. It wasn’t a mock classroom anymore. I didn’t know if I was ready for a real setting.


Just a little current catch up. I bought the new Eminem CD – Recovery. FANTASTIC! Now that he is drug free, his skills are back to the Em of old! How anyone can’t think he is a lyrical genius is beyond me. The word associations and rhyme patterns he uses is incredible especially for someone who never read poetry or received a high school diploma.

I saw a former member from the fitness facility today. She was one of the older ladies – I think in her 80s. I liked her. I’m sure she had something to say though when things first happened though because she is friends with “Devri.” 

Back to the Canada trip.  World, please keep in mind that all this is being told to present my state mind during various aspects of the grieving and epiphany process because I was so emotionally fragile and so angry. . . As time got closer, Melissa & Frank asked my husband and I if we minded if Melissa’s parents came up to Canada for News Years with us . What I should have said was, “You know I love your parents, but do you mind if it is just the 5 of us?” I just needed to be with my friends and my god-daughter and clear my head because it was such a domino effect from November 2008 to that time that I really hadn’t had a chance to just “escape.” While we did go to Fort Lauderdale, FL with our other two friends in April 2009, I think my husband and I really needed to go farther away. Canada was perfect. It was out of the country. We kept our mouths shut because we didn’t want to be disrespectful and we understood that if Melissa’s parents were there, they could go out one night and relax while her parents watched my god-daughter. However, I was grieving my father and I didn’t want to be on a “family” vacation when my family life was in such disarray. We kinda just let it go. The day we left for Canada I was looking on Facebook and noticed Melissa’s brother’s status message saying he and his girlfriend were going to Canada. We had no clue that he was coming as well. To find out on Facebook that this really was a family vacation turned my already fragile state of mind to something I never experienced before. If I knew that it was going to be a family vacation, I would have invited my mother just so I had some family there too – especially then or we would have stayed home and suggested an overnight of some sort when they got back.  Without going into much detail, it wasn’t the vacation we had hoped for. Don’t get me wrong, we enjoyed ourselves and thought Quebec City was amazing especially with the cobblestone streets and the horse drawn carriage ride I went on with my husband in the snow. How you can not like a real life Dickens village that was decorated for the holidays? In any case when we got home, we said we were just going to let things go and then my mother said things she shouldn’t have. Things just got crazy between everyone – Me, my husband, Frank, Melissa, her family, my mother, people on Facebook chiming in. It was just a nightmare and so not called for. It was probably one of the worse arguments I think I have ever been in with people that close to me. It was terrible. Things were being said between everyone that really weren’t meant but there was anger involved. It was at that point when that happened, that my husband and I looked at each other and said about everything, “What the hell are we doing?” We sat down, had a long talk, and just tried to put things in perspective. My father was always the one we would talk to and he wasn’t here anymore. It was time to find someone else to talk to and we did. We had to get out of the funk we were in – all the negativity, the anger, the hurt about my father, the business, our bird, careers, not having a house after 6 years of marriage, not knowing if we would ever be able to have kids because of our age and because of all the time wasted making wrong decisions, other people controlling situations and so on. We had enough. We couldn’t go on like that anymore. This is us – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBDapiN-cHc


 As the time went by I found myself in a bad place mentally but I started classes in September 2009. My first two classes were Shakespeare Survey and British Lit. My thought on this? Oh boy – HATED Shakespeare at the time and wasn’t really diggin Beowulf.  I joked with my husband telling him how ducky my first semester was going to be.

It actually wasn’t too bad. I did awesome. In fact, I was one of the top 3 in the Shakespeare class and my professor, Sister Meg, made that known quite often. That class was A LOT of work. She wasn’t the last to call me out in class. Kean has this thing where the professors like to call you out good or bad in front of your classmates. What’s up with that? Stop me if this is old school, but when I was younger it was, “See me after class” or “Come to my room at the end of the day.” I was never called out at William Paterson or Manchester or Prospect Park School 1. Wait! I take that back. I remember in history class at Manchester, Mr. Reuter came up to my desk when I fell asleep and said, “Ms. so and so, your grades are not good enough in here for you to be sleeping!” Ahhhh Mr. Reuter . . . If only I could do high school all over again.

British Lit went pretty well for me too. The professor was awesome. She broke down every piece of literature we read. I can’t tell you how important that was to me. My smarts are not analyzing literature I can tell you that – especially Old English. I actually found myself enjoying some of the Canterbury Tales. I couldn’t believe it!

I enjoyed my 19th Century Women’s Voices class at William Paterson during my undergrad. Dr. Perry loved me cause I always disagreed with her interpretations and had a mind of my own.  I also used to tell her how horrible I thought Emily Dickinson was. 

As my first semester at Kean came to a close, my husband and I and Melissa, Frank, and Squidge started planning a trip to Canada for New Years. The plan was for the 5 of us to drive to Old Quebec,  stay in a cabin for a few days in St Raymond where it is practically all French speaking, and then stay in a B&B in Quebec City. With my first Christmas without my dad approaching, and my frame of mind, I should have never agreed to go up there because it turned into a debacle.


During the week we lost Tweetie, we shut down the franchise. Another domino down. We had met with our bankruptcy counsel and had the petition filed. This was our third attorney. She was a very get the job done and matter of fact individual. She advised us not to notify our employees, clients, or landlord we were filing bankruptcy and shutting the business down. She wanted us to just put a note in the window or have the locks changed. While I agreed with not notifying the landlord, I didn’t agree with not notifying the clients. We set a date of February 6, 2009 to shut the doors for good. I typed up a letter and mailed them out to all the clients on a Friday. I also contacted all the employees and said we were going to have a meeting Saturday after we closed at noon. By the time we got to the gym Saturday morning, all the employees had already found out because the first thing some of the clients did when they got their letters was of course call “Devri” and complain. When my husband and I explained our personal situation, how we couldn’t do it anymore, how the corporation was of no help, how our attorney advised us to not even give notice and how losing my father put a lot in perspective, “Devri” responded with a VERY selfish comment. But what else was new . . . This woman had the audacity to say to us “I wish you would have told me this the other day. My husband is in Italy. I purposely didn’t go because there wasn’t anyone to work. I sacrificed the trip. I could be in Italy right now.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME? My response? “Um well, I just lost my father so no disrespect to you, but I really wasn’t thinking about people’s vacations.” Pardon my French, but what balls! To add to her character flaws, she had the nerve to steal supplies that WE purchased in addition to member folders in order to pass them out to those that wished to go to another facility. Her mentality that she ran the place continued even to the day we shut the doors. When the employees left and we realized what she did, my husband left an unpleasant voicemail on her cell phone. We called our attorney and told her what “Devri” did. Our attorney said we could have filed a police report. We decided against that because we still had to live in the next town over. We put a “Closed due to bankruptcy” sign on the door and left. That was the last time we ever saw the women’s fitness facility again. The albatross was slowing removing itself from our necks.

I had to have all the utilities turned off. Before I had the phone disconnected, I checked the voicemail. There were at least 6 on the machine. I only listened to one because I knew that these trust fund babies felt a sense of entitlement to know ahead of time and were only going to degrade us for doing what was in our best interest. God forbid!  The one voice mail from one of the clients said she didn’t appreciate how we did this. She said she understood why but that customers were loyal to us. Who was she kidding? The women’s loyalty was to “Devri” just like “Devri’s” loyalty was to them. They never participated in any of the promotions I had going on in terms of bringing in friends to workout or to try the circuit workout itself. It was social hour and time to get away from their husbands and be with the girls. They didn’t care if my husband and I were struggling. I think they expected us to stay open regardless.  

With all this going on, I had to make time to study for my Praxis exam which was taking place about 5 weeks after the closing of the gym. That’s all I focused on. I threw myself into studying and attending workshops for extra help. I had to keep myself busy to get my mind off everything else. During my study time, we received our letter from the court. The bankruptcy court date was a week after the Praxis. Can you see the domino pattern here?

Through all this, there was one positive. My best friend was pregnant for the first time with her daughter – My God daughter.


I wanted an autopsy done on my father. That didn’t happen. According to my old singing teacher whose husband worked in the FBI, if there is a death in the house when no one is at home, it’s the law to have an autopsy. Everyone including paramedics and the town police assumed it was heart related. I know he was having pains in his legs and started taking medication for it. It could have been a mix of meds, it could have been an aneurysm, it could have been a blood clot in his leg that spread, the stent could have closed, or it could have been something else. The very last time my father was in the hospital he had a blood transfusion. He told us the doctors said he needed iron tablets. A blood transfusion for a heart patient? I still don’t believe it to this day. I think everyone thinks I am a ball full of nerves and there was more to this story that I wasn’t privy too. The funny thing is everyone is so wrong. Especially these days. It honestly annoys me sometimes when people think they know me when they really don’t. When someone starts spending 24/7 with me like my husband does or if someone has been friends with me as long as some people in my life have, then you have the right to say you know me. Until then, you don’t anything about me.

In my father’s will he specified he didn’t want a viewing or funeral. He just wanted to be cremated. I think he didn’t want his family to have to emotionally suffer. His wishes weren’t honored. Our family was talked into a memorial service and private family only viewing in Ridgewood. Each one week after another. This whole thing lasted two weeks between the viewing and the memorial. The day of the viewing my brothers and I wore our Giants jerseys for our dad. He was in a coffin with a Giants t-shirt and sweats. Makes me laugh.  We always joked that we wanted to be buried in our Giants jerseys. That was one of the hardest things in my life I have ever had to see.

Sons and daughters of my father’s friends came to the memorial service the following week with posters and sayings my father said. My father coached football so all his old players came. Someone made a photo collage on their computer. Others made poster board collages of pictures of my dad. Some were with his friends, some with me, some with my brothers, some with my stepmother, and some with my husband and I. Replaying over and over again on the computer collage was I Will Remember You by Sara McLaughlin. That killed me. I was hysterically crying. As the night went on, there was a line out the door and around the block of people coming to pay their respects to my father and the family. It was incredible. I couldn’t believe the outpour of people and love.

I just wanted all this to be over. I still had the Praxis exam to take in March. My husband and I still had the bankruptcy to deal with. How was I going to handle all of this when I just lost my father? This was still a shock to my system. It’s still a shock even to this day. As the days followed, I said after losing a parent, how much worse does it get. From now on, everything was going to be weighed on a scale from 1 to 10 with 10 being my father dying. And so continued the domino effect.

Two weeks later my pet bird who was still having a little bit of trouble after being seen by the vet months ago didn’t seem right. When we were getting ready to go to bed, she was able to climb to the top of her cage to what we called her “sleep cup.” We covered her and went to bed. The next morning when we woke up, our bird heard us. To get us to uncover her, she always played what my husband and I called “bat bird.” She would flip herself over and flap her wings real hard. I was happy to see she was able to do that after the symptoms she was showing the night before. I uncovered her and when she flipped herself back up on her cup, she was teetering back and forth. I put my finger in the cage. She hopped up on it. The minute I had her out, she collapsed and died in my hand. She wanted her mother. She wanted me to be there. It was heart wrenching. First I lost my job. Next bankruptcy was decided, then my father died, and two weeks later my bird died in my hand. I thought for sure I was being cursed. Someone was giving me the evil eye. What else could it have been? Why was this happening to me? What did I do? Was this punishment for being greedy and having to have a business and wanting money? I had no answers. I honestly didn’t know how much more I could take. I should have read this prayer over again back then:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.

I think my faith may have been being tested.