Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Monday, November 03, 2008

A Place to Call Home.

I am making my home in Savannah, GA.

Years ago (over 15 yrs!) I spent the evening walking along the riverfront of Savannah with my sons, Ryan and Austin, my niece, Ashley and my sister and mother.

Life has many twists and turns; one doesn’t know what will happen next. It seems like some people have their life planned perfectly and it actually works out.

I have never been a “planner”, but I always thought my sons would be a constant in my life. It has been three years, yet I still wait for Austin’s phone call. I can still hear him say, “Hey, Mom, what’s up?” “Think you could bring me lunch to the office? It’s a busy day and I can’t get away from my desk.”

So now I am in Savannah. A place with only good memories. A place to call home.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

An email to dfc

Look up this website.....


I wrote them the following note....as if that will make a difference!................................

A string of porcelain Oxycontins to wear as a necklace!

My son died from Oxycontin.  Many, many have died from Oxycontin.  It isn't amusing.  What is next?  Pink cancer ribbons with skulls on them?

Where is your social conscious?

Lesli Messinger


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Three years ago today I lost you.

It is so difficult to get the through the weeks before the 16th....and then the weeks after.  Today I am going to attach little notes to orange and blue balloons and let them go up from our boat off  the barrier islands of Georgia.  The notes...are my apologies of guilt that I need to let go of.  

I am sorry I didn't have time to take you to the movies to see "Dukes of Hazard". 

I am sorry I was in California when you died in NJ.

I am sorry I sent you to that pre-school.

I am sorry Everts Middle School had mean kids.

I am sorry that I taught you to be too sweet and caring.  It made life harder for you.

I am sorry I didn't understand addiction and I didn't know how to help you.

I am sorry for trying "tough love".

I am sorry I told you to "grow up" and live on your own.

I am sorry I didn't hug you and kiss you more.

I am sorry I didn't tell you I loved you more.

I am sorry I didn't tell you how proud I was of you more.

I am sorry we didn't go to Red Cross classes and get sent to New Orleans.  Thank you for wanting to go and protect me.

I am sorry that I wanted you to look for a roommate before moving back with me.

I am sorry I didn't know you died until the next day.

I am just so sorry.................

The balloons are navy blue and orange, with white ribbons.  That is what you asked.  I assume it is because that is colors of the Denver Broncos.  You liked that team and wore the jersey I gave you.

 Remember when you were little and you would say, "I love you all the way to Mexico!"  Mexico seemed like the absolute farthest place to you!  

Well, Austin, I love you all the way to Mexico!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

high school reunion

My high school reunion is today.  I will not be there.  Five years ago, when I attended the reunion, I had two healthy sons.  I just can't go because I keep thinking, "When I was there last, Austin was alive."  I will miss seeing my good friends, I dearly love them, but I wouldn't be good company.  I would cry.  

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I Visited My Sweet Austin’s Grave.

I visited Austin’s grave.  The morning was cold and rainy, I drove with the heater and windshield wipers on, fresh flowers for Austin laying on the car seat. As I pulled through the cemetery’s gates, the rain ceased, the sun came out...

As I wiped the dust off the polished black granite I noticed movement nearby.  I turned my head and waited.  Up came a little chipmunk!  He stared at me then down he went.  A few seconds later, he rose up again.  Down again.  Up again.  He kept doing it, as if he was playing a game.  Austin loved chipmunks.  A week or two before he died, I was sitting on his apartment step, talking to a little chipmunk.  The chipmunk was playing within a foot of me and it entranced Austin.  Austin was on my cell phone talking to a friend and telling the person about the chipmunk that was making friends with his Mom.

I visited my wonderful son, Ryan in Ohio last week

Ryan is struggling with work-related lower back pain.  The company he works for (family owned!) does not provide health insurance to him and unbelievably, they are denying workman's’ compensation.  Their reasoning?  It would make their business insurance go up.  All of Ryan’s money is going to pay for medical expenses.  I flew to Ohio to “mother” him.  He wasn’t able to do anything too active, the constant pain is limiting his activities and causing depression.  We spent the time sitting in his living room and watching movies.  

His apartment was spotlessly clean and tidy, his sweet little dog, freshly shampooed.  Ryan had rescued this dog from an abandoned van, out in the country by an ATV trail. Ryan inquired about the homeless dog at the closest house and was told that the owner had moved to an apartment in Columbus and wasn’t allowed pets.  So they left the dog in the woods with a bag of dog food in September.  Ryan found this pitiful little dog in November.  Ford, as Ryan calls him, was starving, frightened; his fur was dirty and matted covering a bony frame.  

Ford is now plump and healthy with bright, shiny eyes. He looks like a larger(12 lb.?), long haired Chihuahua He welcomes being petted now.  Ryan said that initially, when you started to pet his head, Ford would hunch down, as if anticipating a beating.  Ford has never had an accident in the house, does not get up on  furniture and has never chewed on furniture, shoes or caused any mess.  He goes outside in an unfenced yard and does not wander off.  Ryan can walk around town with Ford, unleashed, and he stays alert at his feet. 

I wanted to give Ryan some money, but I first had to ask him if he was taking any drugs.  After all I had been through with Austin, I didn't want to give money to Ryan if he was going to use it for drug money.  He wasn't offended.  He said, "Mom, I couldn't do that to you.  I am not taking drugs."  I believe him.  I gave him the money.  

I can talk to Ryan about Austin.  Ryan misses and mourns Austin as much as I do.  I know that it is a brothers love, not a mothers love, but it is immense, never the less.  Ryan keeps a framed 8X10 photo of Austin in his bedroom.  The ashtrays in Ryan's apt. are pottery that Austin made in high school, his name carved on the bottom.  Austin didn’t leave Ryan and Ryan keeps him close by.  They are two brothers that have found a way to always support each other, in ways that is beyond comprehension to most.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Unfortunately, I was not picked as a NJ delegate.  Close, but no cigar.  But if someone drops out, I am an alternate..... 

Last night we went to the HUGE rally for Hillary at the Palestra in Penn University (in Philadelphia).  VIP seats! 

Nathan always wanted to see Bill speak, so I got TONS of points for getting us in there, up close and personal!  We saw Bill, Hillary, Chelsea, Myor Nutter and Gov. Rendell.  It was fabulous!  I can't help it, I love politics!  Hopefully, today the people of PA will vote for Hillary.  Otherwise, if she drops out, I will have to back McCain.....  I have to go with the background and experience!

As a (short) note to my dear friends in grief... I intend to put out the message to Hillary about our specific needs on  healthcare. Briefly, most of our young adult sons and daughters were without health insurance, were not able to afford rehabs with good track records, and they were self medicating themselves with prescription drugs from the streets.   Sadly, the fact that our kids have died and more are dying each day from drugs has not been addressed. I was hoping for the opportunity in Denver to properly address these extremely important issues. I realize those that have not lost a child won't recognize the need, but trust me, there are literally thousands of grieving parents that didn't think it would happen to their child and hundreds of thousands more are at risk at this very moment.  (I will get off the soapbox now)
Peace and politics,


Friday, April 11, 2008

I love Savannah!  The city is so very European, a mixture of the south of France with a "softer" version of New Orleans.  I absolutely love it.  The streets, the squares, the architecture is amazing.  It feels good.  

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Austin's Birthday

September 26 is Austin's birthday.

27 years ago I was blessed with a 8 lb.14 oz. beautiful, perfect baby boy.

On his birthday, I drove to Long Beach Island, NJ and left Austin a birthday card on the rocky beach.  I didn't stay long, it was windy and cold and as desolate as I felt.

Along the sand dunes, on the fence, there were balloons attached.... As if a party was waiting for Austin on this isolated beach.

Austin's birthday present is ten trees planted in Gallantin National Forest, near Yellowstone National Park. 

Happy Birthday, Austin.  I love you.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

New Jersey

I have returned to New Jersey, an overpopulated state of negative energy and bad memories.   

Why do I dislike NJ… beside the obvious reasons?

I have lived here for 9 years, yet I don’t consider this home.  I have no sense of belonging to a community feeling here.

It is the only place where people have been less than nice to me.

It is so crowded that you don’t really know when you left one town and entered another.

People snarl, “Have a good one.”  (What does a “good one” mean?

You can’t make left turns, where you really need to make a left turn!

I like religious diversity, but when did Santa Claus become a religion and why are agnostics practicing it?

The “ghetto” way of putting the accent on the last syllable of words ending in on, en or an is really getting on my nerves.  Trent-IN, Camd-IN, Man-hat-IN

I miss clear, starry nights.

The crime, homicides and availability/use of drugs and alcohol are unbelievably high.

People think that they are “safe” because the homicides are “mostly in Camden and parts of Philadelphia”.  Less than 20 miles away!  Wake up!  We are living on the outskirts of the worst areas in the US, for God’s sake!

People tend to have opinionated, closed-minded attitudes.

Women have loud, abrasive voices.

Okay……the above listed are somewhat petty annoyances, but I gotta get out of NJ.  For real.

I truly dislike NJ.  My son died here.  People were mean to him.  People that really should have been nice and supportive like FAMILY but they were greedy and selfish. Typical New Jersey.

I can't live here much longer......