Forever Friends

Already I miss you…

I pick up the phone to call you, to tell you something, to share something with you, sometimes just to see how you were doing. Often you would be busy, but you eventually you would get back to me, calling me the name meant just for me. My last attempt at contact with you will now forever be unanswered because you are no longer there. I wasn’t ready…It was too soon…! You had just shared words of hope with me and I jumped on board on that road of encouragement from second opinions; but no, the first doctor was right of which we now have overwhelming evidence.

I thank you my friend for the season we shared – our laughs, our thoughts, our joys, our sorrows. I know, you know, we know what each was to the other and for that I am forever thankful. My dear friend, I am glad you are not in any more pain as you have underwent the most ultimate of healings through His will.

I just wanted to tell you that I missed you…


What is it? Is it good or bad to be strong. Right now, I am not so sure. Normally, I would think of myself with great strength in all areas as would others of me. But there are times when I don’t feel so strong and need the comfort of others and they just don’t see it because they don’t expect me to need it. I do, I really do. I need to be checked on and not be the checker, I need others to look at me and say your mouth may say one thing, but I know you aren’t fine. I need to know it is ok to have weak moments and not have to be strong and that there will be people receptive to it. I am tired of being told this is what you should do instead of being asked what can I do for you or by golly, novel idea, someone just doing it without having to be asked to. Past messages I have received is that it is not ok to show vulnerability, but … Yeah, I’m venting and through venting I will find my strength again. Namaste

The Earl


The Earl

A short story

I was first introduced to The Earl during grad school. We shared a mutual friend. He would show up sometimes when we had weekend classes to keep her company. Our interactions were brief and fleeting; yet, for me unforgettable. He had a long-lasting effect and smelled sooo good!

Not long after that, I ran into The Earl at the grocery store. I flirted with the idea of becoming more acquainted with him and before I could change my mind I jumped right in. We shared many a night and some mornings, too. The Earl and I. Me and The Earl. He made me feel so good, so comforted.

 I took a chance, a wild chance now that I look back on it, and introduced him to my husband. I explained to him that I wanted to bring The Earl into our lives. He was hesitate at first, and rightly so, as it was a big change for him but he wanted to make me happy. Slowly, he became involved and was soon all in. We had some times, us three! Some nights, as well.

 I soon discovered that my husband and The Earl had their own relationship and I had been left out. Those two had excluded me from what was supposed to be our special thing and now here I was on the outskirts looking in on their special relationship. I did not know how to feel since it was I who had introduced them. So I sat by and let it happen. My relationship with The Earl started to fizzle as there was nothing left of him for me. I turned to others as replacements.

Well, their thing didn’t last long as my husband came to me one day and shared that he couldn’t do it anymore. That he had started feeling bad with The Earl and that he had to end what they had started. I was sad because I never gave up hope that I could once again be included in the group, but oh well. The Earl and I was able to slowly resume our relationship and my husband didn’t mind, but the memories of the three of us would forever live on. Too much of a good thing can be too much. I now realize Earl Grey tea is to be consumed wisely and in moderation as with all things in life! Namaste


The Revenant

Slight spoiler alert if you haven’t seen it! I apologize.

The movie, The Revenant, was released in 2015; however, not being a real movie-goer, I am just seeing it. I started watching it in the middle (not that it matters, its 3 hours long) and was glued to the story. To my husband’s utmost disgust, I caught up with its beginning elements by asking him questions as we watched.  Anyway, long story short…. a man, Leonardo Dicaprio, was left to raise his son alone after his wife was killed by an army of soldiers. He became a guide to a group of fur traders, but was left for dead by the group after being attacked by a bear. One man from the group also killed his son. Somehow, Lord knows I wouldn’t have, he survived and avenged the death of his son and the atrocities committed against him.

The word revenant means: a person who has returned, especially supposedly from the dead. Applying to the movie because this man was all but dead; yet, he through sheer will and determination managed to heal, find the bad men and right the wrongs.

However, what I am stuck on is the definition of revenant. Was it a good thing or not? He’s alive, but he is still dead. All that matters to him is lost. Was there anything  left alive but sweet vengeance? What does he do now? I was left open, raw, and wanting at the movie’s end. Was that the director’s purpose?


Drop everything and…

(In the voice of Sophia Petrillo from the Golden Girls) ” Picture this!”

Back home in the Neal household, books were being read by the children while the mother washed dishes and cooked dinner, simultaneously (imagine that, men!)All of a sudden a voice could be heard from one of the children “She didn’t need him for anything, so that made him want to give her everything! His heart included!” Those words sounded so strange coming out if a child’s mouth. The mother turned to find one of her six-year-olds reading the romance novel she had so carelessly thrown on the couch. DEAR time ( Drop, Everything, And, Read) suddenly turned into DEAGTDB time (Drop Everything, And, Grab, The, Damn, Book!)  Yeah, one of those days….needless to say, the books are now put away.

Camp Boggy Creek


My daughter has a diagnosis of Systemic Lupus. She was first diagnosed in October of 2015, so we are a year shy of the first anniversary. To say this has been a battle would be like saying climbing Stone Mountain was a piece a cake (BTW – tried that, almost died). Anyway, I digress…Back to my daughter. She takes so many medications, has infusions every two weeks and receives a weekly injection at home (daddy-not me!). She has flare-ups of muscle inflammation, pain, lethargy, and a good-dose of adolescent attitude coupled with female hormones. This all makes for a great daughter at certain times of the month. With all the negatives associated with the disease, positives are always welcome and one came our way through a recommendation to a apply for Camp Boggy Creek from a nurse at her Rheumatologist.

Camp Boggy Creek is a proud member of SeriousFun Children’s Network. Founded by Paul Newman, SeriousFun Children’s Network is a growing global community of independently managed and financed camps and programs creating opportunities for children with serious illnesses and their families to reach beyond illness and discover joy, confidence and a new world of possibilities, always free of charge. Its mission is to foster a spirit of joy by creating a free, safe and medically-sound camp environment that enriches the lives of children with serious illnesses and their families.

We applied and she was accepted to attend the summer camp week for children with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and Hemophilia. It is a sleep-away camp She had a blast and came back reeking of camp – three minute showers! Uggh.  The camp also sponsors family retreats. During weekends in the spring and fall we welcome 32 campers and their whole families to camp where parents can relax and find needed support among other families dealing with similar emotional and financial challenges. Brothers and sisters get to participate in the same fun-filled activities since every family member is considered a camper during family weekends.

Well, we went this past weekend, Sept-23-25 with the immediate family – me, husband, and three daughters (13,6, and 6). Guess what? We also had a blast! The camp staff was so attentive and caring. We enjoyed archery, horse-back riding, miniature golf, therapy dogs, woodshop, crafts, boating, fishing, a NASA presentation, a visit to the pool, and GREAT FOOD! We stayed in an air-conditioned cabin equipped with 3 restroom stalls and 2 showers. We were loaded up with freebies such as quilts, stuffed bears, t-shirts, and drawstring backpacks. We sang songs, learned cheers, and dances. Boy, did we dance! I loved it and can’t wait to apply for the next retreat.  And remember, this is a free benefit for us. A positive in a sea of negatives. Thanks Boggy Creek! Visit the site below and remember to buy Newman’s Own products. All proceeds go to sponsor the camps.

Camp Boggy Creek

Newman’s Own








Obsolete oblivion

Mimeograph, 8-track, phonograph, phones with cords, typewriter? Yep, you guessed it , items that have long been obsolete and replaced by more efficient things to ease our lives… I guess. However, have you ever stopped to consider the things that will quickly join the Hall of Obselete Fame?  I learned today that my-six-year-old daughters have no idea what a disposable camera is. When presented with one, they were perplexed as to how to work it and what the purpose was of having a “camera” that could not instantly produce pictures like a phone or digital camera. They quickly tired of the nuance of the object and discarded it for serving no immediate purpose for them. In a mind-halt moment, I realized I wanted the pace of life to slow down. The hustle and bustle, the immediacy, the getting to the next step mindset that makes us tire of the good and stable for the new and faster.