Since the only way this ankle is ever going to heal is if I stay off of it. So I have been binging anything I can find. Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, Emily in Paris, FBI, Cold Case Files and my absolute favorite Law & Order, SVU. The Dun Dun sound will always fix me to my seat, regardless of whether I have seen the episode or not.

I am now on Season 19, and the last episode really hit home. It was about a Father who kidnapped his infant son, because his Mother wanted to turn off the machines and he did not.

Just over 5 years ago Mark and I were faced with that same horrendous decision. We were united in whatever the final decision was. But that didn’t make it any easier. The knowledge that we were going to have to turn off the ventilator, was unbearable.

I remember having a discussion with the Dr. that was in charge of the PICU, he said to me. “I can’t tell you what to do, but I can tell you that the son that you know and love isn’t there anymore. His brain is no longer functioning, he isn’t breathing on his own, and his movements aren’t purposeful. If we hook him up to permanent machines, you lose the choice to unplug them, that becomes the State’s decision.”

As much as I never wanted to make that decision, it was a decision that Mark and I were able to make amongst us and our family. The decision was made, to sit with him that last day, hold his hand, talk to him, laugh, cry and beg him to open those beautiful blue eyes of his. The opening of his eyes never happened, but I will hold the memories of that last day in my heart forever.

That episode of Law & Order reduced me to blubbering tears. As much as I love that show, that episode will be one that I can walk away from. It won’t rivet me to my chair.


This has been a rough month. This ankle break has given me time, time to think and reflect about the last 5+ years. First I lost Connor, then Steve, then the shuttering of Keyes Electric, then the accident that sent me flying through the air. Flipped four times after being rear ended, walked away bruised and bumped with a severe concussion. Then the klutz that I am, fell in the garage and ended up like this.

When the boys were little, the thought of spending a week in bed being waited on was an unattainable dream. To just lay there, read, sleep, watch tv (all the things on the ID channel that I love,) Well all those things have happened, Mark has been on meal detail since this has happened. I have only gotten up to go to the bathroom, get a shower in and in the last week work from my dining room table and sometimes move to sit in the living room.

I am BORED, I have read 10 books, my Apple Watch says that I have a serious sleep credit, I have streamed everything I can find that I might like. But one thing hasn’t changed. I miss Connor, and all this “leisure” time has given me time to think about it.

There will not be a day, until I am out in the ground next to him that I won’t miss him. When I’m watching Law & Order:SVU I miss him laughing at the “heinous” crime intro and calling an aneous crime. Saying “mom is watching weird murder crap again.”

When I flip through all my streaming services I come across things he would be watching, FORGED IN FIRE, JACKASS, DEADLIEST CATCH, STREET OUTLAWS, THE ENTIRE FAST & FURIOUS SERIES, & MOONSHINERS. They make me smile, and there are always some tears shed. In my head I can hear his commentary, and him on the phone with Jordan.

I swear sometimes I hear his laughter from from his bedroom. I know it isn’t real (but that doesn’t mean I haven’t opened the door to check.) But all I find are the memories of him, his Hard Hat from Tech, signed by his classmates, the Eversource Hard Hat that they dropped off the day of the funeral. The pictures that he took of him and Jordan. His ski and baseball gear, and all the crap that a teen boy collects.

People have told me that I need to clean out his room, that keeping it as a shrine isn’t healthy. But in my mind, once I clear it out, that means he is NEVER coming back. I know in my head he is never coming back, but my heart just can’t get there yet. I’m not sure if it ever will.


Today was my first full day without my post surgical splint. I am the proud owner of a “Walking Boot”. A bit of a misnomer, because I still can’t walk on my left leg. I am to remain Non Weight Bearing at least until my next follow up in March.

I was ecstatic when the nurse cut my post surgical splint off yesterday. The first thing I did was reach down and scratch all the dead, dry crusty skin off of my calf. It felt fantastic, to not have the splint on, and to let the air touch my leg.

Today I worked from home, sitting at my dining room table, with my foot propped up, and the boot mostly off. By abt 1:30 the pain was on its way back, and by 3;00 the swelling was bad enough that wiggling my toes was a chore.

As soon as I logged out, I took my trusty knee scooter and trucked my ass to bed. Laid down and elevation and ice commenced. After being prone with an elevated foot for 6+ hrs. The swelling has reduced, the pain is subsiding and I can freely wiggle my toes.

The human body is an amazing thing, if we are willing to listen to it. When I told my mom I was swollen today, because I am just like dad and didn’t take it easy. She rolled her eyes at me via text, and told me to try and be a little more like her for a few days.

I will try mom, but unfortunately us Whalen’s are a stubborn bunch. But tomorrow will be ice and elevation and streaming of TV shows. Hopefully if I behave it won’t be swollen like The Goodyear Blimp tomorrow .🫰