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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. :


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


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


Happy Labor Day World! Hope everyone had a nice weekend! The hubby and I ordered new wedding rings this weekend. Finally we are going to match! I can’t believe I start classes again tomorrow. I don’t know if I am ready for the harder part of the journey. Speaking of the journey, let’s get back to it.

It was March 14, 2009 – Praxis Test day. It was literally only a month and a half since my father died. I woke up early, had breakfast, and drove down to the University I am attending now with my husband to take my exam. My body had not been able to come down off the stress yet. I kissed my husband goodbye when he dropped me off at the front of the building. I entered the building and got in line with the other test takers. As I was waiting to go into the auditorium, I got two text messages – one was from my husband wishing me luck and telling me he loves me and the other was from my best friends, Melissa and Frank. They told me they were thinking of me, wished me luck, told me they loved me, and to remember I had a little extra help this time around. They meant my dad was with me. I absolutely prayed for his help and to get me through.

I took my seat and broke the seal when the proctors told us to. I had two hours to finish 120 questions based on all things English related or so I thought. Some of the questions had absolutely nothing to do with teaching English. Isn’t that funny? Two hours for 120 questions? REALLY? It takes several minutes to answer just one question. In some cases, you have to read a paragraph to answer the questions, yet they expect you to take only a minute to answer each question. It’s just absurd to me that it’s mandatory to take a test in order for you to get your teaching certification. Some people are horrible test takers but brilliant in the classroom. It’s just like when you want to obtain a Master’s Degree. What the hell does the GREs and Analogy Test have to do with you wanting to better yourself in a field that has nothing to do with anything that’s actually on the exams? In my opinion, it’s all a bit of nonsense. Just sayin . . .

In any case,  this test was a lot harder than the other two I had taken years ago. As a side note, they raised the score to pass to 162. The first two times I had taken the test, you only needed a 155. I guessed on a lot of the questions. It got to point where I had such a weird feeling. I was on auto pilot. I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience and someone else was doing the work for me. When I was finished, I didn’t have a good feeling. My husband was waiting for me in the hall of the building outside the auditorium. He asked how I did. I gave him the raspberries and said, “Forget it! This one was the hardest one out of the three of them.” Now we played the waiting game for the score. If I remember correctly, I think the scores were going to be available in four weeks. Relieved that the test was over, the focus went back to the bankruptcy which was the following week. What was going to happen when I actually had time to sit and digest everything that had happened starting with my father? At this point, I didn’t know because my mind was on court and what our trustee was going to do in regards to our case. I can’t imagine that our petition for Chapter 7 would be denied. We never made a profit in the 2.5 years we owned the gym, I had lost my job and was on unemployment. He had to rule in our favor. Stay tuned!


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.


At this point with the garbage the Corporation was pulling, there wasn’t any way we could survive keeping this business open. The bank wouldn’t refinance our business loan, we were getting no help from the corporation, I had lost my job, and the only money coming in on my end was from unemployment. We had no choice. We had to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy and shut the franchise down. We had to file two separate bankruptcy cases – personal and business because we made personal guarantees on the franchise and the loan. Honestly we had no idea we had made a personal guarantee. We were counting on our small business consultant to be just that – our consultant and let us know what we were getting into. As I stated a few posts up, he dropped us after the meeting we had behind his back with Kevin about prepays. The first attorney never cared. She just wanted to make the firm money. Our second attorney we hired kept saying we didn’t have enough evidence or money to file a lawsuit. There was no other way out of this. We contacted a bankruptcy attorney and started the ball rolling with the corporation to shut down the franchise. Of course the corporation wasn’t returning phone calls at first with our attorney. They were trying to bleed us just a little bit more. After we received the necessary paperwork from the franchise, we filled it out, made copies of all our debts, and prepared it for the attorney.

During this time, the New York Giants had made the playoffs. This was 2009 meaning season ending 2008. The year before they had won the Superbowl. We are season ticket holders. My husband and I split the season with my father and my brothers. One thing about our family is that we are HUGE New York Giants fans. My father never went to a playoff game. His big thing he always said was he wanted to go to a playoff game before he died. It was on his bucket list. My father and I went to the playoff game vs the Eagles on January 11, 2009. Incidentally, my father had recovered pretty well from the heart attack and hospital visits. They had put a stent in, he was working out, taking his meds, and eating right. He even lost 20 pounds. Out of nowhere, he started falling into old patterns – Drinking wine every night, smoking his cigars, not going for follow-up blood work and he stopped going to the gym where he was being monitored. He chose to play racquetball instead with my uncle. Should a heart patient be playing racquetball? 

While we were on our way to our bankruptcy attorney’s office on January 22, 2009, my husband’s cell phone rang. The next thing I knew he was pulling up a side street not far from our attorney’s office. He parked the car and just kept saying,”Ok. Ok. Ok.” He grabbed my hand and squeezed it and started breathing heavy. I thought something happen to his mom who lives out in Illinois who is in her late 70s. My husband hung up the phone, looked at me, and said, “Your dad is gone.” I asked what he meant by that. He told me that the phone call he received was from my father’s best friend Dave telling him that my father passed away. My half brother who has P.D.D. (Pervasive Development Disorder) found him dead in his recliner when he got home from school. Dave didn’t want my husband to tell me right away. He wanted my husband to lie to me and say he was really sick because he thought I would lose my mind. My father’s group wanted to say when we got to his house that he got really sick and just didn’t make it. Of course my husband wasn’t going to lie to me. In any case, I was in disbelief! How could this have happened? The cardiologist said he was doing great. My heart was pounding in my chest. I texted my friends and called my mother at work.  Even though my parents were divorced and my father remarried and had two sons with my stepmother, my mother never stopped caring about him. She started yelling NO and started to cry. We turned the car around, called our bankruptcy attorney, told her what happened and we had to reschedule. My father’s friends kept calling my husband to find out where we were because individuals came to take my father’s body out of the house. My stepmother wouldn’t let them take him until we arrived to say our goodbyes. We were probably about 45 minutes away. I couldn’t wrap my brain around this.

When we arrived to my father’s house, family and friends were on the porch of my father’s house. My uncle (my dad’s half brother) approached me, hugged me, and said he was laying on the floor and it looked like he was sleeping. My husband took my hand and we went into the house. My dad’s lifeless body was in sweatpants and a t-shirt on the floor. My stepgrandmother was on one couch and my stepmother was standing up with friends. They all exited the room so my husband and I could have a moment alone with him. I stood with my arms wrapped tightly around my husband and we both talked to my father. As much as I wanted to kneel down and kiss his head or get closer, I just couldn’t. (I’m actually crying as I am typing this because I am reliving it all over again). 

To be continued  . . .


After that phone call I was beyond livid. We went back up to the bank. I started raising my voice to “Barbara” and telling her what the Assistant Director of the SBA said. It was one of those “Uh Uh” moments. She reverted back to how the business isnt making any money. At that point, all I heard was noise – think of the teacher voice on Charlie Brown. That was a dead end obvioulsy.

Months passed and our financial situation got worse. We got a phone call from our realtor. She told us she had a local woman interested in the gym and wanted to know if I could drop her off an extra key and some paperwork. Unlike “Kevin” I  provided a REAL member number list. A little background on this prospective buyer – Think Jersey Shore (tv show) looking with a British accent, what guys would call a “bangin bod,” long nails polished, a lot of makeup, VERY rich and possibly an entire bottle of perfume.  We will call her “Lizzy.” Early on our attorney called her a “tire kicker” and that is exactly what she turned out to be. She kept us on the hook for nine months. Every phone call, whether we spoke to her or her husband, they wanted more and more information and more time. The last phone call we received from them they wanted us to wait longer because they wanted to refinance their house to get extra money for the purchase. Can you even believe it? People this is my life. You can’t make this up. WHY ME? She told us they needed two months and that they wanted us to hold membership steady at the number it was at which at that point I think was about 185 members. We held steady for the two months and never heard from them. Membership started declining even more again due to members losing their jobs or what have you. When we called to get a status update and told her we had the membership steady for two months and never heard from her and how membership declined more, there was dead silence on the other end of the phone. After the silence, she again asked us to wait longer. We gave her a deadline and said if we didn’t hear from her we would have to shut the gym down because we just couldn’t do it on our end anymore.

In addition to the stress of a failing business and a strained marriage, my father was in and out of the hospital from a heart attack, additional chest pains, getting a stent put in, and bleeding. Could it possibly have gotten any worse? It did. I had a pet cockatiel for 14 years. She fell off her perch and started twitching her head. We took her to the vet and the poor bird was a nervous wreck shaking. Not sure if you know anything about cockateils but they get very attached to their owners and don’t like being in strange places. The vet gave us antibiotics that had to be administered with an eye dropper like tool. I hate vets. No offense to any out there. It’s just I have friends that have many animals and every time they took their pets to vets, it wasn’t long after that the pets passed away. My bird was never 100% again but she was ok for a while.

“Lizzy”, my father, and my bird situations happened from the end of 2007 on through almost the end of 2008. Again I said it couldn’t get any worse. Yet another domino fell. On Novemebr 15, 2008 I received a phone call from my full-time job telling me they were laying people off due to the lack of work because of the floundering economy. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? This is happening again NOW?  While I was still working for the company, our department was taken over by a young woman, who honestly had no clue about what we did in this specific aspect. My old boss got a promotion and went to another department. A few times this new woman suggested stuff and it was like “uh yeah we already were doing that.” Anyone that is a woman and works for a woman knows how catty some of them can be especially if they feel threatened because you actually know more than they do and they are supposed to be the boss. In any case, I was once again being layed off in the midst of a failing business. Thank God for unemployment. It was at that time my husband and I had a long talk and said we had enough. That’s when we decided we weren’t waiting for the tire kicker anymore and to now more than ever get control over this.

On the same day I lost my job, I registered for the Praxis II Exam to become an English Teacher. My test was scheduled for a Saturday in March 2009. Years ago when I wasn’t really into the profession I took the test twice because I was working at the first company in another department where I was getting up at 3 a.m. and I needed to get out because it was killing me.  The two times I took the test I didn’t get the score I needed. When I took the test the first two times, I was still at that “I deserve- wooo is me” phase so I really didn’t care if I passed it or not.