Wednesday, January 13, 2021

I'm Selfish

 I’m Selfish

Anger, frustration, sadness, and fear were predominant feelings I carried through 2020. I realized this morning that I had not written for SOS since January of last year.

I am truly sorry. I have prayed, I have painted stones and I have given them away; however, I have not written. The energy surrounding the stones is still there and I am always sending love and support to those affected by addiction and those who love them, as are the many others who are part of our community.

I left my post, figuratively and literally. The overwhelming feelings of dis-ease felt by our world have entered my spirit and caused me to lose sight of the light that I embrace and serve and caused me to seek solace in my own space instead of the world of openhearted kindness that had driven me in the past.

I have not written because the little voice that inspires my thoughts, words and deeds has been relegated to a place of silence where that voice, my voice, is no longer relevant and can no longer make a difference.

I have gone through the motions, awoken each day to news of disaster, death, and despair.

I had moments of joy that were quickly stifled by news of yet another atrocity.

My pendulum of anger toward others who did not share my beliefs and shame over my judgement of these same others sent me into even darker times emotionally, physically, and most importantly spiritually.

I relapsed… I promised myself years ago that I would never enter the dark times that held me captive for so many and yet that is exactly what I did.

On the surface like so many others, I appeared to have it all together; offering words of hope with a smile, all while internalizing my heartache over our wounded world and the insurmountable suffering that occurs every second of every day.

Yet again, this morning’s headlines sent me spiraling even before I lifted my head off the pillow.

I have been selfish my entire life, I want to change the world all by myself. I want to wish and will away marginalization of all people with a nod of my head. I want world peace and I want it now.

This may seem like a Pollyanna attitude; I call it selfish. I want what I want, and I want it today, I am tired of waiting; I have been waiting my whole life.

I gave up last year… without even realizing it I stopped trying to change the world. I stopped sharing my thoughts because I decided they no longer mattered. I allowed my fear to replace my joy and I take full responsibility for my actions.

Being selfish is both a blessing and a curse depending on what you want.

Right now, I want to find my way back to believing in the Spirit of love, compassion, unity, kindness, grace, and mercy; the Spirit of God that finds connections in division and serves to guide all people toward a future that holds more beauty on the inside that is reflected on the outside.

Light must prevail and sadly at times we must walk through incredibly dark passages to find our way back to the light.

I believe these are those times. I am searching for the light and I can no longer be selfish. I must do my part to do my part and I am I am begging you, to help me; please. I can not do it alone.

Ed and I dug this out of the frozen ground on Sunday.
 It is by far the most anatomically correct heart shaped rock we have ever found;
the heart of the world is in our hands, please hold it carefully.

We may not have it all together, but together we have it all

has been my family’s motto and the premise for the SOS community since it’s inception. We can do this, we can achieve peace in our hearts, peace in our homes, and peace in our world, one individual thought word and deed at a time.

Please help me, today when you are faced with anger or fear replace it with a way to love. In stead of focusing on a problem, take a moment to find a solution and do your part to implement it any way you can.

Don’t lose sight of the joy that is surrounded by the light of the world.

I am still here, you are with me and together we can change the world, I promise, one simple act of kindness at a time.

Thank you for listening, I am eternally grateful for all of you and the privilege to serve.

Be safe, be well and know that you are loved.

In love, k




Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Bert and 32 Hydrocodone

32 Hydrocodone

Bert was sent home with a prescription for 32 Hydrocodone after a tonsillectomy a few weeks back! I was shocked and pretty upset, to say the least. I arrived at the checkout counter to pick up what I assumed was an order for a few to get through the first couple of days if he needed them and received enough for continuous dosing every four hours for five days. Never was Bert asked if he had a family history of addiction. Never was Bert instructed in the proper use of opioids other than a brief disclosure by the dicharge nurse at the hospital (when he was still loopy from the anesthesia) that said 'don't become a statistic'. Never was he told how and when to take them other than 1 pill as needed every 4 hours for pain. Bert was told he could also piggy back the tylenol and ibuprofen however those could upset his stomach so be sure to eat...

Bert was also not told to limit the opioid use to only when truly necessary for extreme pain or if he took it regularly the side effects associated with the drug. He wasn't told how this too could upset his stomach, or how it could cause constipation or how if he took it as prescibed he could blow through those 32 pills in 5 days which has been PROVEN scientifically to be long enough to cause a dependance and withdrawal symptoms. He wasn't told how terrible that withdrawal could be; flu like symptoms, aches, pains, headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, anxiety... the list goes on. 

No one wants to be in pain and no one wants to see their child in pain and it would have been super easy to hand over the bottle to Bert and say take as needed, you're an adult now; if the doctor prescribed them it must be safe. NOT TRUE!

Full disclosure: I do not beleive the doctor acted intentionally neglegent, the dose Bert received was a low dose, there were no refills and the type of drug has less of an addictive nature than other opioid drugs on the market. However, that said, I do beleive for parents that have never experienced the opioid abuse/addiction epidemic first hand, this rx is A RECIPE FOR DISASTER!!! 

How Bert and I managed his pain 

First course of action was pain reliever and antiinflammatory pain reliever; Tylenol* and Advil*. Both meds, staggered, worked well to control his pain. Nights were the worst so he took 1 hydrocodone before bed and when he woke up in the middle of the night, it was ibuprofen and then back to Tylenol in the morning. Suffice it to say Bert was in a decent amount of pain, but he had his tonsils out...we knew it was going to be terrible... track a few days forward, the pain, worsening and at its peak he was able to manage; although uncomfortably, eventually making it through the recovery process having used over the counter pain relievers, ice and patience. He ended up using 4 of the 32 hydrocodone he was prescribed with little to no side effects. 

Do the math, 28 pills leftover is 28 too many...let alone the high cost of meds that are now wasted and being destroyed.

I shared this with Hillary and she was beyond disgusted. How is it in today's world with the opioid abuse/addiction epidemic being at a world wide high can these prescriptions still be written. There are on call doctors, 24 hour pharmacies and a modern world where there are plenty of ways to get more in an emergency if it is absolutely necessary.

Please take heed when opioids are prescribed, ask questions.
WHO~WHAT~WHERE~WHEN~WHY~HOW it could lead to a matter of life or death and at a minimum a life that is changed forever by a drug...….

As always, I offer you love and compassion for the never-ending always changing journey!

~peace filled hugs,  k 

Friday, January 3, 2020

My phone call from Lincoln saying he saw Ben this morning...and he did!

Ben transitioned to his new life in Spirit when Hillary was five weeks pregnant with Lincoln and Cam was a few months shy of two years old. When Ben was alive, Cam had terrible night terrors consistently. Almost immediately after Ben's crossing over those terrors turned into night after night of him laughing in his sleep; awakening in sadness and grumpiness every morning. When asked what was wrong he would say daddy played with him when he was sleeping and had to go when he woke up. From the moment Lincoln was born he would look over Hillary's right shoulder and smile/laugh for what appeared to be no reason as Hillary experienced goosebumps in the same area. When Lincoln learned to talk he would talk about Ben as if he knew him and would look off to what appeared to be nowhere and smile or talk or be silly as if he was playing with someone who we couldn't see.  I have shared many times over the past few years, signs of Ben's presence but today when Lincoln called me on his way to school it was different. 

Lincoln :) 

Lincoln can be a little guy of few words and most of the words are silly, made up, or simply funny sounds; not words at all. Lincoln often lives in his own little world happy as a clam and is the sweetest little munchkin (okay, most of the time).

When my phone rang and I saw his face (Facetime*) I was surprised because Cam is usually the caller... I'm lucky if I get a 'hi, Nena" and a grunt most times from Lin.

Hillary was in the background, driving Lin to school and he says, "Nena I saw daddy in the driveway and then he disappeared!" I immediately said, 'Oh my goodness, how lucky are you' to which he responds, with an emphatic, "yeah, he was right there by mommy's car!" I believe in the power of Spirit and I believe we are all born with innate gifts and understandings of where we came from that are often pushed back in our minds or forgotten because they are not nurtured, or they are dismissed. 

Rather than telling, I prefer to ask questions so I did.
Me: Lincoln, where were you?
I was looking out the window. (He was in their living room)
Where did you see daddy?
He was in the driveway by mommy's car.
Oh my goodness how lucky are you?
Yeah Nena, then he disappeared!
He did, wow that's pretty cool! How did you know it was daddy?
Because it was... (looking at a picture of Ben Hillary keeps in her car to show me he knew what he was talking about)
Were you scared?
No, (in a sad voice) but he went invisible!
Well how exciting that you got to see him for a few minutes, what a treat!
Yeah, here's mommy...

for those of us that know Lincoln this is a major conversation, his attention span is usually pretty short for just about everything. Hillary called me right after dropping Cam so as to let him share without her putting ideas or words into his mouth or Cam getting anxious. When Lincoln first told her daddy was outside by the car she immediately went to see if indeed someone was outside which is when Lincoln told her "AWW, He went invisible". 

This is not a little boy with imaginary friends...this is a little boy who has had this gift since birth. This gift is more common than we know because often we are trained to tell our kids to only believe in what they can see. That situations such as these are imagined. This is not true.

The more I study physics/theology/religious tradition and end of physical life, the more proof I see of the separation of the life force from the physical body upon the death of the body not the death of the whole! The energy that binds our connection; binds our spirit to our bodies remains alive and lives on as an energetic presence in the multiverse not universe, we live in. 

Thank God for the Lincoln's of the world who remind us that Spirit is alive and well and living among us. Many of our SOS family have shared with me a serendipitous story of a message through a song, bird, flower, a smell or feeling of presence. For me, a ring with BEN (the only letters in the price code on the tag when we were shopping for a ring after his passing; the perfect sign that we had made the correct choice; the elderly sales clerk with tears in his eyes because of his own awe and surprise at the ability of LIFE to catch you off guard make all of this true in the richest sense.

Please, please, please! Encourage the Spirits in your life to be present and they will be and by all means lift up children who have this gift!

Divine Spirit Of LOVE!
I give you thanks for the blessing
of those who see spirit with 
the eyes of a child! 

The Spirit of God lives in and through
our children and all of us!

Peace ~ Love & a childlike vision
be with you today and always!

xo, k

Saturday, October 19, 2019

For those who grieve, loving you to the moon and back!

Between Monday and Thursday of this week I lost three patients, even in hospice this is a lot for one person's census.  On Thursday morning our state was recovering from a pretty major wind/rain storm. Many lost power and there was substantial flooding. To top it all off Ed is half way around the world and it is only the half way point to his return.

I shared with my daughter Heather, who was home with her kids due to the storm that it is most definitely a rainbow shirt day. I have a shirt with small rainbows on it that is my 'go to' shirt when I'm feeling down. 

Rainbows are not a cure-all; they can't bring people back to life, stop someone from dying and they can't change the weather. 

What rainbows can do is remind you that something beautiful can be left behind in the wake of a storm; literal or figurative!

I have suffered greatly throughout my life in many a storm, as I know most of you reading this have. 

For me, a rainbow is love!

In my faith tradition it is a gift form the Divine and a promise of continued love.

This rainbow was extra special because of the moon; the moon that was right smack dab in the center of my  rainbow as I began a new day was the same moon in the sky watching over Ed as he slept. Both Ed and I were born on full moons and we spoke for the first time on a full moon, a blue moon at that, which is a rare second full moon in the same month, and it was a Paschal moon; which is the full moon just before Easter! Ed always tells me he loves me to the moon and back....and at an incredibly sad and lonely moment I was gifted with the absolute vision of

Love you to the moon and back.....

There in no distance love can't reach!

There is no border love can't cross, including the separation that death leaves behind. 

Rainbows make me smile and bring me joy. Many friends and family have gifted me with rainbows, for which I am most grateful! At the same moment I was taking this photo, I received a loving message from a new friend who was grieving the loss of her mom (a bird lover just like me) and a glorious bird flew right through my lens as I snapped the photo with the rainbow heading toward the moon! Throughout the rest of the day every time I started to feel down, just like magic, I'd turn my head and there was another rainbow supplying me with much needed love to help me along my journey! I shared this rainbow love with a patient who was down herself in the form of a rainbow manicure and she smiled, which for her, is physically and emotionally a challenge.

Love is real and it is eternal, look for it and it will surprise you every time. On a cloudy day out of the shadows there is love and it prevails!

Todays prayer is for all who grieve; the loss of someone to death, separation because of addiction, because of travel, because of fear; that you find joy in some small way and that it grows like a seed of love planted in your heart to promote healing. 

SOS began as a gift of love to break down barriers and deepen our connection to one another through love and compassion for our individual journeys and that is exactly what it does, one rainbow at a time!

Peace, love, compassion and rainbows be with you today and always!!!

Loving all of the moon and back!!!


Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Celebrating Ben's day of birth to the physical life 31 years later

Today is Ben's birthday. 31 years ago his parents welcomed their first born child into the world with innumerable hopes and dreams. I can imagine as most, presumably all of you reading this can, no one dreams of an untimely death of their child for any reason.

I don't want to talk about death, I want to celebrate life!

Bringing something to birth is starting a new life; this is true in any seed, literal or figurative that is planted.

Each and every day can be a day of birth, birth into a new way of living.

I've said it before and I will say it again and again till my physical time on this earth ends and I return to the divine energy from which I came as I believe we all do; our community of people facing addiction has come so far in the years since I was cast into it and I pray this growth will continue.

We no longer have to live in the shadows.

There is less and less shame in naming the disease.

We are accepted as people who face something terrible and terrifying on a daily basis.

Happy birthday to Ben and to you and to me and to us all, may today be a day of remembrance of our birth into life, our birth into recovery, our birth into forgiveness and our birth into acceptance.

Here's the wonderful thing about a birthday, it never stops. If something goes wrong or a relapse occurs or someone leaves the physical life as we know it, your birthday is your birthday and no one and nothing can take that away.

Buy a cake, eat a cookie or an ice-cream sundae and sing to you, your beautiful self for everyday is a celebration of all that is and always will be you!!!!!

Today's pic Kim put together to share Ben's love of the NY Giants with Cam & Lin..... for those of us Giants lovers out there, chin up every game and every season is also a chance at a new beginning! Go Giants!

May the peace that is born in the loving connections we have with each other wash over you today and always!

Safe travels with love

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Celebrating Hillary's life & Back to detox

July 12th was Hillary's 28th birthday!  

My precious angel on Earth!

Being a parent of someone who faces addiction is extremely hard. I know I am one of the fortunate and blessed ones because I still have my daughter in this life to celebrate birthdays with. 

A few weeks back I was invited to detox and had the privilege to sit with and look into the eyes of some pretty amazing folks who had made the choice to seek help. I shared with them, Hillary and Bens stories and told them how they too could find peace on the road that begins with the first steps toward recovery. I shared how Hillary had sat in the same chairs they were sitting in, had left and gone back as many of them had and how ultimately, the last time was she walked out those doors was several years ago. A woman in the front row stared at me with tears in her eyes and the hand of another patient on her shoulder as I spoke. When she had the opportunity to speak, she said, ‘this is MY time, I’m not coming back here again’! She shared how she was ready, she was grateful and she was going to rebuild her life the same way Hillary had. I believed her and I believed in her power to make it happen! I knew that come what may this woman had turned the corner the same way Hillary had; I could see it in her amazingly beautiful eyes. Hillary inspires me with her strength, courage and love every day. I am honored to be her mom and share her story of recovery to inspire others.

My friend (amazing guy in his own right) who invited me to come, sat with me and the rest of our SOS family in that room and shared stones that he had selected for the people he knew so well. Each and every person in the room shared what the stone they received meant to them and their recovery. I knew why I created SOS, what I didn't know was the varying impact it had on so many. We paint with an idea and what we want people to know. What I learned amongst this group on that Sunday was that the stones have an energy all their own. We may place the initial idea and energy into them, however it is the person who receives it that knows how and why (with the help of Spirit) it was intended for them. I sat in awe of what these simple little stones were capable of. Add in the global healing energy that our community shares and they are priceless, my detox family is priceless, you are priceless. On Friday I had the privilege of wishing my precious child Hillary, a happy 28th birthday and for that I will be forever grateful!

Today my prayer is that all who face this disease and those that love them will be able to share many more happy, healthy, peace filled recovery birthdays now and until the end of time! 

May the Divine love that lives within us all be ever present in your mind body and spirit!

Forever yours in love and hope xoxoxox k

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

17 months later I fell again

Two weeks ago I fell and have been in therapy ever since trying to heal the damage I did to my knee. Seventeen months ago I fell and I'd love to say those are the only times I have fallen; however, they are not. Over the past ten years, I have fallen enough times to require rehabs and surgeries more times than I care to recall.

I tell myself over and over, be careful, slow down; somehow I forget.....until it happens again. then I beat myself up for not taking the necessary precautions to protect myself from harm.

I move too fast for my body and my mind seems to forget my fall risk over time.

Relapse and recovery from addiction works in very similar ways due the nature of the minds ability to forget the discomfort associated with trauma. It is a defense mechanism the body/brain has to aid in healing.

I spent some time at detox a couple weeks ago sharing stones and the folks I visited with were predominantly repeat visitors. They knew they didn't want to be there again; however, there they were.

Today I ask that you join me in sending compassionate healing energy to those who have fallen, either for the first time or have fallen once again, that they would feel your strength and love surrounding them and holding them up until they are able to once again stand on their own two feet.

This post is in honor of my extended family over at the Intercommunity Detox Center in Hartford and the staff who so lovingly support those who have fallen and have decided to face another day trying to stand on their own in new and more stable ways.

I was asked to create a stone that says SERENITY as a reminder to a young man who is embracing his desire to 'change the things he can' and I have no doubt he will!

Peace, love and hope for a future with less falls 

xox k