Bad Luck

If I didn’t have bad luck, I wouldn’t have any luck at all. I wish there was a way to erase all the crap that has happened to me in the last 5 years. From the death of Connor, the death of Steve, Keyes Electric shuttering, my serious car accident, and now my broken ankle.

I have never been a superstitious person, but I think I will avoid Friday the 13th from now on. Friday January 13th, 2023 was a day that I could absolutely forget. I went out to my car to get my water bottle, opened the door, put my knees up on the seat and climbed in. Grabbed my water bottle and began to back out of the car. I put my left foot down, and it wasn’t straight, and all my weight was on my toes.

The next thing I remember I was flying through the air like a rag doll, and my ankle made a sickening sound. Once I was able to move, I tried to pull myself up, but the pain was excruciating. So instead I crawled, through the garage, into the breezeways and then into the kitchen. No one has ever accused me of being overly graceful.

I finally got into the living room and called Mark at work, I needed him to come home. While waiting for him to get home I managed to wiggle out of my jeans. They were one of my favorite pair, and I was afraid they might have to cut them off in the ER, priorities you know!!Once Mark got home we loaded me up and headed to Cooley Dickinson Hospital ER.

Once I got there they stuck me in a room, and finally did some x-rays. After some prodding they gave me some pain meds, and a diagnosis. A bimalleolar fracture with ligament and tendon damage.

Then came the fun part, a shot of lidocaine in the joint, and 2 doctors reducing the fracture to get it close to the way it was. I went home with pain meds , crutches and instructions to go to Cooley ortho walk in on Monday.

Walk in ortho clinic gave me the results that I expected, but didn’t want. It would be a surgical repair. On January 23, I was at the Kittredge Surgical Center at 6:00 am. My ankle was pinned, plated, the talus was relocated and the ligaments and tendons were repaired. It is likely that the incision went right through my tattoo. So eventually that will need to be repaired as well. I will be non weight bearing for 8-12 weeks, my knee scooter has become my best friend. Because crutches and I don’t get along.

I was in a car accident that rolled me 4 times and I walked away with a pretty serious concussion, but no broken bones. I fall in the garage and break 2 bones and rip some ligaments and tendons. If it wasn’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have any luck at all.

Through all of this I have learned that at my age I don’t bounce when I fall, it only took 1 of the Kings Men to put me back together, and I have great family and friends. Without them this would be even more unpleasant than it already is.

Bad Luck

If I didn’t have bad luck, I wouldn’t have any luck at all. I wish there was a way to erase all the crap that has happened to me in the last 5 years. From the death of Connor, the death of Steve, Keyes Electric shuttering, my serious car accident, and now my broken ankle.

I have never been a superstitious person, but I think I will avoid Friday the 13th from now on. Friday January 13th, 2023 was a day that I could absolutely forget. I went out to my car to get my water bottle, opened the door, put my knees up on the seat and climbed in. Grabbed my water bottle and began to back out of the car. I put my left foot down, and it wasn’t straight, and all my weight was on my toes.

The next thing I remember I was flying through the air like a rag doll, and my ankle made a sickening sound. Once I was able to move, I tried to pull myself up, but the pain was excruciating. So instead I crawled, through the garage, into the breezeways and then into the kitchen. No one has ever accused me of being overly graceful.

I finally got into the living room and called Mark at work, I needed him to come home. While waiting for him to get home I managed to wiggle out of my jeans. They were one of my favorite pair, and I was afraid they might have to cut them off in the ER, priorities you know!!Once Mark got home we loaded me up and headed to Cooley Dickinson Hospital ER.

Once I got there they stuck me in a room, and finally did some x-rays. After some prodding they gave me some pain meds, and a diagnosis. A bimalleolar fracture with ligament and tendon damage.

Then came the fun part, a shot of lidocaine in the joint, and 2 doctors reducing the fracture to get it close to the way it was. I went home with pain meds , crutches and instructions to go to Cooley ortho walk in on Monday.

Walk in ortho clinic gave me the results that I expected, but didn’t want. It would be a surgical repair. On January 23, I was at the Kittredge Surgical Center at 6:00 am. My ankle was pinned, plated, the talus was relocated and the ligaments and tendons were repaired. It is likely that the incision went right through my tattoo. So eventually that will need to be repaired as well. I will be non weight bearing for 8-12 weeks, my knee scooter has become my best friend. Because crutches and I don’t get along.

I was in a car accident that rolled me 4 times and I walked away with a pretty serious concussion, but no broken bones. I fall in the garage and break 2 bones and rip some ligaments and tendons. If it wasn’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have any luck at all.

Through all of this I have learned that at my age I don’t bounce when I fall, it only took 1 of the Kings Men to put me back together, and I have great family and friends. Without them this would be even more unpleasant than it already is.

Holidays

Today is Christmas Eve, the day when the kids were little seemed to last forever. The tree was up, the not Santa presents were around it. And they were in full anticipation mode. When is he gonna come, can we open just one present, when will Nana, Grampie and Uncle Scott be here, what time are Meme, Papa and DeeDee getting here?

By the time I finally got them to bed, I was more exhausted than either of them. Once they were asleep then it was time to drag the Santa presents out of their hiding, and add them to the pile. I miss those days, days where you could hardly see the tree for the presents, days when the excitement was palpable. When DeeDee’s job was to put all the stickers on the new toys. I miss us all being together at my house. A houseful of love, joy, family and happiness.

Christmas isn’t the same, and it never will be. After the death of Connor it became a holiday season that I dread. From the beginning of November until New Years Eve I would literally like to be a hibernating bear. Just curl up, go to sleep and wake me for Kyle’s Birthday on New Years Day, but I can’t do that.

So what I do is muddle through, stuff the grief down as far as it will go, even though it will bubble to the surface as the season goes on. Nothing will change the fact that our lives have changed. Without Connor there is less joy, silliness and general mayhem in this house. Kyle brings the stability, love and general calm to us.

I love both my boys, equally and differently. Because they are 2 completely different children, with different, needs, wants and personalities. That is what makes them unique and totally love able in this mom’s heart.

So to Kyle, Merry Christmas and your birthday will be here in the blink of an eye. I am immensely proud of the young man you have become, you and Holly forging a life of your own. Good jobs, an apartment 2 cats,and the trappings of adulthood. I love you more than you will ever know, to the moon and back.

To Connor, I miss you with every fiber of my being. I miss witnessing who you would have become, and all the chaos that you brought to our lives. The love that you brought, having Jordan by your side. Like your brother, I love you to the moon and back.

Happy 22nd

I am trying to wrap my brain around the fact that Connor would be 22 years old today. 22 years ago I was 2 weeks late giving birth to him. I had been on bed rest since December 18th of 1999. I had been poked and prodded and he was just to stubborn to come on his own.

Finally on the 14th I was admitted to Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton. By the morning of the 15th he still hadn’t budged. So I was headed for induction. At 3:32pm he finally made his grand entrance. Once he entered the world our lives were never the same. Kyle was now a big brother, and I was back in the world of no sleep. Something I don’t do well with.

He was a very different son than Kyle. Kyle’s world revolved around things with wheels, cars, trucks, heavy equipment. We actually had a conversation about one of his favorite videos as a kid. “Big Trucks and Heavy Machinery.”

Connor’s world revolved around balls, baseballs, footballs, if it could be thrown or caught, he was all about it. He followed Kyle everywhere, which I’m sure Kyle was irritated with at times.

Once Kyle started to play Little League Connor went to every practice, and Mark began to coach. Connor lived for baseball, wasn’t very fond of T-ball, he wanted to hit a pitched ball. He lived for spring so he could play baseball, Kyle played because all his friends did. Connor played because he adored the game.

In 4th grade some of his friends were playing Football, and then Connor wanted to play too. It terrified me, he was little and thin, but he was fast. He became the Quarterback, and got jersey #24. Which coincidentally was his girlfriend’s Krystal’s birthday.

They were together from pre-school until 7th grade. She was the only girl that could make him cry. Even when they were no longer boyfriend and girlfriend, they remained great friends right up to the end.

Krystal was the one friend of his. Other than Jordan, that was allowed to come see him in the hospital. I felt she had the right to say goodbye to him. She and her mom Missy came to see him. Krystal sat on the hospital bed and talked to him, held his hand and cried.

Once he went to Middle School he was a girl magnet, never without a girlfriend. But once Jordan came along in Tech, that was it. He adored her, and she him. I am certain that if Connor hadn’t died, they would be married, and I would be a Nana.

As much as I grieve the loss of Connor, I also grieve the loss of things that he didn’t get to do. Go to his Senior Prom, graduate from Tech, pursue his dream of becoming a Lineman, get married and have children.

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about him, and miss him. His passing left a huge hole in my heart, a hole the size of Connor, with his huge personality, big blue eyes and those long eyelashes. Eyelashes that he hated and everyone always envied, they made putting his contacts in a challenge at times. I only had him for 17 years, not nearly long enough. But if my choice was 17 years or nothing, I will take 17 years every day.

Grateful for What I have

Last month Kyle’s girlfriend, and the young lady that I refer to as my “daughter-in-law.” Had her commencement ceremony at UMASS. She had already graduated, but due to Covid there was no ceremony. It was a bit of a cluster, caps, gowns and tassels were given out 18 months ago. So it stands to reason that some students were missing some of their gear. Holly had everything but one tassel, that she got a replacement for.

It was a graduation like I had never seen before. Graduates were not called up to walk the stage. Instead each “college” was called to have their students stand up, then the director of that college said, all degrees have been conveyed. What took the longest time was waiting for all the Johnny Come Lately students straggle in, and then the keynote speaker who just droned on forever.

But those 2 issues not withstanding, it was a beautiful fall day. We took pictures near the dorm that Holly used to live in, as well as the duck pond near the Fine Arts Center. The ducks didn’t bother me. (I have a well known fear of birds.)

As I looked at the pictures that we took I was so proud, and grateful. My son found a girl that he loves unconditionally, and she loves him the same way.

That doesn’t mean that Connor will ever be forgotten, how could he be? What it does mean is that I have chosen to be grateful for what I do have. Kyle and Holly, that love each other and love both Mark & I. The ability to have them in our lives makes me happy!

This rock that we live on keeps spinning, whether we want it to or not. Things change, love grows deeper, and sometimes loss does too. But I refuse to let that loss grow deeper. If I were to allow it to, the loss would steal all the joy that I have in my life.

Life is all about balance, work/life, love/loss/grief and the ability to balance all those things to remain sane. Some people would argue that my sanity has been affected by the loss of Connor. In some ways they might be right, but in other ways I have learned to compartmentalize my grief, so it doesn’t eat me alive.

Marching On

Today marks 4 years from the day that Connor had his accident. A day that flipped my world on its head and spun it like a tilt-a-whirl. The words “Your son has been in an accident, he is in imaging and by the time you get here he will be in a room”. Are imbedded in my brain for eternity. In all reality it was hours before they stabilized him, and we could see him.

This post will have some memories and reactions of people that walked through this hurricane with me. Jordan Hurlbert is first. She was Connor’s world, the amazing girlfriend that stayed with us at the hospital.

As we start the month of November, today, November 6th to be exact. I feel scatterbrained and emotionally exhausted. 4 years ago today, my life (as many others) changed drastically. I’m a pretty simple person, as I am pretty private about my life as well, especially on social media, but every year on November 6th I feel as if to keep me from crying and feeling emotional for the day I can write a message and only hope Connor can see.

The words of Jordan Hurlbert::

4 years ago today I rushed to Baystate hospital in Springfield with my parents to meet Mark and Tammie after hearing second hand that Connor had been in a terrible car accident. When we arrived I was trying so hard to keep my emotions sustained and not become a puddle of tears, I was praying for the best but preparing for the worst. All I wanted to do was see Connor, When Mark grabbed my hand and brought me through the set of double doors he looked at me and said “he’s still our Connor he just looks a little different right now, he has some swelling and bruising, he can’t talk but he can hear you” those words are imbedded in my head. I don’t think I ever really give thanks enough to both Mark and Tammie as well as both my mother and father for how strong they were for me. When I walked into Connor’s room, Tammie was sitting there in a chair next to the bed, I looked at Connor laying in the bed, connected to tubes and machines, I burst into tears. For the next 11 days I sat with Connor, Mark and Tammie in that small room that only seemed to get smaller with every passing day.. I slept in the chair next to his hospital bed praying for a miracle. I remember my eyes burning, knots in my stomach, just trying so hard to fight back tears because I just wanted to be strong for Mark and Tammie, and Connor too. However after 11 days of hoping and praying, on November 17th Tammie held me so tightly and told me Connor would not be waking up, there was too much damage done to his brain. I can’t explain how fast my heart dropped to my stomach. I don’t think I have ever felt so broken and hurt in my life. For weeks after connors passing I felt numb, so numb that I had no more tears to cry, for so long I blamed myself, I thought things like well maybe if I hadn’t asked him to come over that night or maybe if I would have called him. All things that you just don’t know the answer or outcome of.
Somewhere in my heart I know for a fact that god has a greater plan for all of us, even if we can’t see it right now, it’s taken me a while to understand that EVERYTHING happens for a reason, I am a firm believer in that. Although we may not know why right now, we may not understand why such terrible and tragic things happen to such amazing people, I truly know in my heart that there is a reason and god has a greater plan, even when it’s hard to understand. I can not explain how many times I have cried and asked god why, but in my heart I know there is something greater.

For those of you who know me, you know that the last 4 years have been tough, dealing with something that traumatic as a sophomore in high school, at such a young age was extremely hard. But I am not the only one who has lost someone special and I think something that I have learned in the last 4 years is grief is one of those things that doesn’t go away, it’s always there and it never gets easier, but it gets more manageable I guess would be the best way to describe it. I can honestly say that from the state of mind I was in 4 years ago to where I am today is something crazy! I can’t thank my amazing support group I have enough, for the first time in a very long time, I am happy, like genuinely happy, & to all my friends, family and important people in my life, thank you! & I mean that from the bottom of my heart, thank you for helping me better myself everyday and putting a smile on my face, & helping me enjoy this crazy ride called life! ❤️ I know that Connor is up there looking down over us all and I know that he would want nothing more than for me to be happy, continue to live my life and surround myself with people who make me happiest. & I feel like I don’t say thank you enough to Dakota for making me so happy and feel special. It has been a long time of wearing a painted on smile and trying to be happy, but since I met you, this smile is as real as it gets, and I don’t have to try to be happy, because I genuinely am. So thank you❤️ because I’m so incredibly grateful for you!

If you have read this far, thank you. I’m not one for long posts, but today is a little rough for me, and I feel like the least I can do is write down my thoughts once a year on this day, leave some Natty Lite at Connor’s grave stone and only hope he gets to read one & drink the other💙

Love You Forever n Always Connor Powers

This is one remarkable young lady. She spoke at Connor’s funeral, when all I could do was sit in the church and cry. She has no idea how strong she is. Weathering this type of storm, for a young lady her age hasn’t been easy, but she has done it.

We will always consider a member of our family. She is the daughter that Connor sent me and I couldn’t be prouder of her. I know that he is proud of all of us, and super proud of Jordan for following her heart❤️

HS Reunion

Tonight is my 36th high school reunion. Covid screwed up last year at 35, so we are trying again. I have both been looking forward to, and dreading this night for months.

1. This is the first reunion since Connor died. There will be too many people telling me how sorry they are.

2. This is the first reunion after the death of Sharon. She was the life of the party and made everyone feel comfortable.

I have had to rationalize that she will be there in spirit. But spirit doesn’t make you laugh until you cry, it doesn’t always have a joke or a “Sharonism” to put it all in perspective.

I have missed her terribly since the day she passed. Hers was the first funeral I attended since Connor passed. To say it was hard, would be an understatement. Open casket and what seemed like 1,000 ppl in attendance.

As usual the best part was the get together after. A big party that they know you can’t attend. Talking, reminiscing, and of course there was alcohol involved.!!

But tonight will bring it all back in laser focus. No Peerless Jeep at the country club, no wise ass comments, no Sharon buying rounds just because she wants to.

It is all too bittersweet for me to comprehend. There is not a time that I don’t miss her, and tonight will be missing overload.

Just know that I miss her dearly, and I know I won’t be the only one feeling that way. #sharonisms #HVRHS36yrs #onestepatatime

Paying For It…

Anger is a powerful emotion, it can be both productive and a hindrance, depending on the situation. I am angry at the lady that hit me, she wasn’t paying attention, going well over the speed limit, and was negligent.

I paid for all those things. I paid for them with the destruction of my car. It looked like it had been through a shredder. I paid for them with my bruised and battered body, granted nothing was broken, but the bruises were worse in many ways. I paid for them with the Level 4 Concussion that I sustained, like someone put my brain in a Mason Jar and shook it. My short term memory is shot, my temper is super short, I get overheated super fast. My vision is compromised, and my favorite past-time of reading has been ruined. My whole left side has been compromised, my balance is off, and at times if you saw me walk…you might think I was drunk.

I paid for them with the emotional trauma that set me back years. I was finally to an emotional place, after Connor died, that I could close my eyes and not see his shattered car, and his broken body. In one rear end accident that resulted in 4 roll overs of my car..all that was gone.

I have become a terrible rider, every time someone quickly merges in front of us, or I see an accident. I become a nervous wreck, gasping and grabbing onto the door handle. Panicking about what could happen next. Now remember I am the person that taught 2 teenage boys to drive, I rode with them for most of their “at home driving hours”. And yet now I am afraid of a merging car, that just doesn’t make sense. I am also not cleared to drive very far on my own, so she stole that part of my independence.

This has cemented the belief, that “your life can change in an instant”, and it doesn’t always have to be anything that you did to cause it. I was minding my own business and going to get an Inspection Sticker, Connor was coming home from work. Neither of us did anything wrong. But yet our lives were changed completely. Connor lost his, and we all lost him. My life has been changed drastically, and I don’t know if I will ever get back to where I was.

It Takes Time…

Just a little over 6 months ago my world was literally flipped upside down (4 times) and I haven’t been the same since. Anyone who thinks a concussion is just “getting your bell ring” should walk, or rather try to awkwardly balance in my shoes for a day.

4 weeks ago I went to a specialized TBI Clinic, and what I found out was eye opening, and a little earth shattering. My balance is severely impaired, I couldn’t stand on one foot if you paid me. If I was ever asked to do a field sobriety test..just take my license. I can’t walk heel toe no matter how hard I try😢

Kyle would tell you, Mom you were never the most coordinated person on the planet..remember BLEACHERS!! I can’t navigate them for the life of me, my family always wanted to sit way up high. I always stop about 3 rows up and park my ass right there!

Little by little my eyes are starting to track side to side better, up and down is still a crap shoot. My favorite hobby has always been reading, but for now that is out the window. It gives me an atrocious headache. The TBI Dr told me to take a piece of card stock and cut it so only 2-3 lines come through at a time. The problem is, I read a whole page at once and my brain removes all the unnecessary words, and, if, or, but, the, than, etc. Then if I need them I put a word back in.

I still can’t walk heel toe, nor can I multitask, I have to write everything down, and scatterbrained really doesn’t begin to describe me. I somehow misplaced my “Best Bonus Mom Ever” travel mug in the house yesterday 🤯

I have confidence that I will get better, maybe not 100%, but I will regain the things that are most important to me. As my Uncle Peter Whalen says..”I have faith that there is an ocean, because I have seen the Brook. 🌊🌊