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Insomnia – Not Just a Legitimate Concern

There are true insomniacs – people who genuinely and legitimately cannot sleep.  And then there are people like me.  I am on the go pretty much constantly during the day, so when I finally do lay down to go to sleep, unless I have the television on to keep my mind distracted, my mind wanders to a variety of things that make no sense.

The other night, I decided to turn the television off, and I hoped I might just drift off to sleep.  An hour later, I put the television back on, and was probably asleep within ten minutes.

What kept me up for that hour?  I knew you’d ask, so I jotted it down.

1 – Why on earth would people want to use a bidet?  Yes, gentle readers, bathroom habits kept me awake.  We don’t generally use a bidet here in the states, but there have been bidets in virtually every European hotel we’ve stayed in.  Seems to me that it’s hard to use them, you end up drippy, and even Charmin wouldn’t be an effective way to dry off.  And how sanitary are they?  Inquiring minds…

2 – Why can’t they tarp my street?  I live on a side street off of a main road, and while I applaud the Bellmawr Municipal services, if they can tarp over the field for the Eagles to play on, why don’t they tarp over my street, then untarp it when a snow storm is over?  Just have a team of people rolling up the tarp at the end of each blizzard, with a truck leading the way to gather up the snow.  Then I could pull out of my driveway onto nice, dry streets.  Fabulous idea.

3 – Who would read this stuff?  People are always telling me I should write a book.  About what?  What do you guys want me to jot down that you’d pay real money for to download on your Kindle?  Do you want me to write a Disney guidebook, to join the plethora of Disney guidebooks out there?  Or do you want me to write about the crazy crud that happens to me on a routine basis?  What is it that people want to read, really?  Stephen King I am not.

4 – Why can’t I make a latte like Starbucks?  It never tastes right to me.  And there has to be a way to make it at home just as good.  Without having my favorite barista Sandi move in with me.  But I do have a fold out sofa….

5 – How freakin’ lucky am I?  Married 20 years; three amazing daughters; wonderful parents and in-laws; and friends that I love.

And on that note, I put the TV back on before I sappily cried myself to sleep.

Suicide is Painless – Except for Everyone Left Behind

This is not the first time our family has been touched by suicide.  When Brighid was in elementary school, the brother of a friend killed himself because of bullying.  Just about a year after that, the father of another of Brighid’s friends killed himself to avoid scrutiny of some of his business practices.  It’s painful on levels you can’t imagine unless you go through it.  It’s the feeling of having your hand out for someone and barely being able to touch the tips of their fingers before they are swallowed up by the sadness.

The first time Angela came to my house, it was with Sandi and a book about relationships.  It wasn’t the typical relationship book – you know, noted psychologist and relationship expert Dr. So and So.  It was Steve Harvey.  Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man was going to be Ang’s guide to a great romance.

Angela spent all the time I knew her looking for something.  She married at 19 because she had dual citizenship between the US and her native Brazil, and she thought she could be helpful to someone.  In the beginning, her eyes gleamed when she talked about him, a broad smile crossed her face.  But it wasn’t the happiness and contentment she had hoped to find.

Over the next few years, she cried out for attention, landed in hospitals, battled with demons.  But it always seemed like she was going to find the right path.

Most of my conversations with Ang were at the drive through at Starbucks.  But I’d go in the afternoon, on my way to get the kids at school, when I’d be the only one at the window.  Ang would hang out the window, breathing in the outside air, and chat with me about men, about her health, about life in general.  When she said she was leaving Starbucks, I congratulated her; wished her the best with her new life; and hoped that it had meant she found true love, real passion, and the contentment that always seemed to elude her.

She didn’t.  Her spirit remained restless until the end, when the seduction of an instant and permanent peace was too great.  It pulled her in, held her tightly, and it didn’t let go.

Angela walked to work often, and one day, on our travels through the area, Jim saw her standing at a light, waiting to cross a busy intersection to get home.  He had me turn around at the first light to go back and pick her up, but by the time we got back to where she had been, she was gone.  Before we could help her find a way home.

She was gone.

I hope, Angela, that you have finally found it – the peace, the contentment, the comfort that you didn’t find here.  Rest in peace.