JoAnn Brozowski's Comments

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At 9:04am on December 7, 2011, Brandon's Mom - Dawn said…

Hi JoAnn, my friend we already know each other we met face to face about 6 months ago at Healing Hearts.  Thanks for making me feel like I am not nuts!  How are you?

At 8:55pm on December 2, 2011, JOYCE MASHER, 4 Amy 5158791808 said…

Well, you did it. What a wonderful looking son. We have pictures all over our living area, like a shrine, hehe and I dont have the heart to take any down. WE still have a collage her best friend made for the funeral on one of our walls by our sofa. Its at least 4x4 of all different times in her life with all different people. We still cry when we look at some of them. so many memories, thats all we have.

hugs hon

At 2:20pm on November 22, 2011, Janet - Todd's Mom said…

Hi JoAnn - Yes, I do find myself looking at people whose families are intact and feel so jealous of them.  And families with little ones just starting out in life and I remember how I felt when Tracy and Todd were little, so happy.  That's over now, for me.  That's why I had to leave my husband's brother's house the first Christmas Eve after we lost Todd.  John's youngest brother was there with his wife (that was before the separation).  Their 3 adult daughters, my nieces, were there, the youngest of whom is married with a baby girl.  My oldest niece was there with her boyfriend.  John's middle brother, whose house we were at, and his wife have 2 sons, both married, no children.  Everybody was so happy and after an hour or so I thought, "Why? why my Todd?"  Such a good person, such a kind and gentle soul who enjoyed making people laugh.  He was the peacemaker in our family and he never made me feel bad in his whole life, which is quite an accomplishment because I've been told that I'm overly sensitive. 

We are like ghosts that go about our business, pretending we're just like everyone else.  In November's monthly newsletter my husband wrote an article about it.  I'll try to find it for you.

You remind me so much of me :) giving money to charities in Todd's name without my husband's knowledge most of the time.  Money means nothing to me anymore, except for the good it can do to help others.  Much of my money goes to the MSPCA and Animal Rescue League of Boston because their funding has been cut and they are severely understaffed, yet continue to help my friend try to find her lost dog and every other animal in need of help out there.  I love the charities you give to...didn't even know some of them existed.  They sound extremely worthwhile!  I'll have to look into them.

One of my clients, whose dog I've taken care of for 9 years, is in a very bad place, emotionally and financially.  He has always been extremely generous to me over the years, because he had a very good income.  Not so much now.  I will not take his money any more for caring for his sweet little dog, because of the kind person he is.  He still wants to pay me but I told him that I'd just put the money in a bank account for him, so he might as well keep it.  Besides, we love his little dog.  She's the complete opposite of our very independent but sweet Siberian Husky, who loves to spend her time outdoors.  His little dog loves to spend her time with me, often curled up on the sofa beside me when I'm on my laptop.  Yet, on Saturday, my husband and I took both of them for a walk in the woods near our house and ended up getting lost after an hour.  Eventually we came out to a busy street which is a mile from our house.  Couldn't believe some of the trails we hiked looking for the way home!  Yet this sweet little dog kept up, no problem!  If it had been hot, she would have asked me to pick her up, which I do sometimes.  Thankfully, Saturday was cool and both dogs were so happy with our adventure!  At least for a few hours I was so concerned with finding our way out of the woods before it got dark, and worrying about the dogs and my husband (not necessary, he did fine after I told him not to stop complaining unless it was a real emergency), I wasn't miserable with my overwhelming sadness.

I'm always thinking, "How can this be?  Todd can't be gone, he just can't.  I'll go mad if I have to spend the rest of my life without him."  So, for much of the day, when I'm not crying, I tell myself he isn't gone because I would die if this was true, wouldn't I?"

Have to go to a friend's house now but will write about Thanksgivng later.  How nice of your sisters to decide it would be best to have it at your house this year.  :)

Love,

Janet

At 6:17am on November 22, 2011, Janet - Todd's Mom said…

Hi JoAnn,

Thinking of you and Tyler today and every day.  My heart is hurting so much these days.  I feel as though I'm "doing my time" as far as living is concerned.  Terrible but true.  How are you doing?  Did your sisters stop arguing?  I hope so for the sake of your family.  I know what you mean about the family gatherings shrinking.  My family is very small now.  On John's side, his youngest brother has 3 daughters.  One is married with another on the way.  Another is engaged.  Unfortunately, his brother's wife decided in 2010 that she didn't want to be married any more, after 42 years!  She and her daughters and families have their own holiday gatherings now. John's brother goes to them, just to see his daughters and granddaughter.  John's middle brother has two sons, both married but with no children.  He has started having Christmas Eve at his house since John's parents passed in '08 and '09.  In 2009, the year we lost Todd, I could only stay for the first hour or so because I suddenly felt so excruciatingly sad because everyone laughing and so happy.  Luckily, I had driven my own car there because I was running late and told my husband to go without me and bring the food I prepared.  They live only 3 miles from here.  When I left the party I went to the cemetery to visit Todd and make sure his vigil lights were still working and just cried and cried.

Oh well, hope you're doing better than me and that your sisters forget their differences, at least for Thanksgiving dinner.

Hugs,

Janet

At 10:24pm on November 13, 2011, Kate Heintz said…

Sorry that I haven't written back sooner.  I am at a standstill.  Don't know what to do with myself.  One of my son's good friend is coming to CA from New York this week.  We are going to scatter his ashes at his favorite surfing spots on the 18th.  That would be my mothers birthday. I hope I can handle it.

At 3:01pm on October 28, 2011, Janet - Todd's Mom said…

Hi JoAnn - Thank you so much for putting Todd's name on the card with the names of deceased loved ones, along with Tyler's name and his two grandfathers.  I can't tell you how much it means to me that you think of him too.  I'm getting to a point where I just can't stop crying many days.  When you mentioned walking arm in arm with Tyler in Italy, peering in shop windows and checking out the sights, I could relate to that so much!  Because Todd was a tiny bit autistic (Aspergers, but so slight it wasn't picked up until I asked a psychiatrist about it when he was 28), we didn't walk arm in arm, but rather walked side by side in perfect step,  fascinated with every new thing, getting excited about the smallest things (like new gadgets that do all kinds of things).  Neither of us has the gene that says, "Oh yes, but how much does it cost?", or, "Sure it sounds great, but what about...........(fill in the cynical remark).  When I decided to go back to school to study Gerontology, Todd was going to UMass.  That's where my course of study was offered.  It was a year-long certificate program.  I'd meet Todd in the cafeteria or coffee shop, we'd talk about our courses and activities at the school, and when it came time to leave, we'd run to the car like two kids, saying "we have to get out of here before 3 o'clock to beat the traffic"!   Todd would show me short cuts all over Boston to avoid traffic.  We always had fun!  We'd go to Expo, an upscale branch of Home Depot that isn't there anymore) to look at ceiling fans for his room, but they always told us the ceiling wasn't quite high enough, according to regulations, even for the most sleek, ceiling-hugging fans.  We'd try every which way around it, but hadn't yet succeeded in our mission to get him a ceiling fan.  His room was small and even though we have central air-conditioning, his room would be warm because of all his computer equipment.  We picked out really nice handles for the draws (or drawers) under his new bed, but we never did get them attached to the draws.  My husband said the wood was so hard that it would be very difficult to do, based on his experience with   assembling the bed, which took a week.  John wouldn't accept any offers of help from me, although Todd did manage to help.  I now realize that my husband often puts up obstacles for doing things that to me don't seem difficult at all, once I actually try it myself, although I'm not talking about assembling this bed!  I couldn't have done that.  Todd and I had so many adventures together throughout his life.  I can never remember which ones I've already told you about, so let me know if I repeat some of them.  I just miss him so much I can't stand it.  He really and truly was the light of my life, but it took losing him to realize it.  Of course I was grateful for the wonderful son that he was, for both my husband and me, and that he never gave us any cause for worry.  I chalked it up to the fact that boys seem to be easier to raise than girls, and my conversations with other mothers seemed to back up this fact.  John and Tracy are both worriers and have to talk everything to death, or so it seems to me, whereas Todd and I were more like, thinking "Just do it"!  John couldn't help but notice. He didn't mind and actually got a kick out of it.  He'd say, "You two are birds of a feather" and other things like that.  One time I had tickets for a sold out concert to see Robert Plant and Jimmie Paige from the band Led Zeppelin. John didn't think he'd enjoy it.  He and I had already been to many many rock 'n roll concerts, but he thought of Led Zeppelin as "heavy metal".  Tracy is more into Christian rock so I ended up going with some of her friends and Todd.  John drove all of us to the train station to go into Boston, and he picked us up when the concert was over.  Oh what fun we had!  The music was wonderful and we had seats in the first row of the low balcony.  Todd thought I was getting so carried away by the music that he said, "Don't fall over the railing Mom", and I laughed and assured him I wouldn't.  He was always so caring and said things like that in such a gentle way.  I started telling you about another adventure we had, which was about a girl he met at a job fair, but the warning came up about the 5000 characters.  I'll save that for next time.  I do feel better now telling you about our adventures....when I sat down with the laptop I was close to tears.  I love hearing about all of your adventures too.

Know that I think about you and Tyler every single day and understand the special relationship you had with him, and the extreme pain you suffer now.  Me too.

Love,

Janet 

At 9:40am on October 13, 2011, Janet - Todd's Mom said…

Hi JoAnn - I haven't written in awhile because I was feeling so depressed and didn't want to bring everyone down.  At times, I still feel suicidal, like last night when my daughter was visiting us and became annoyed with me & suddenly said she was leaving.  This happens frequently (her becoming annoyed with me) and all I can think about is Todd, how he was my friend and all the adventures we had together.  There was the time he got a speeding ticket for $250 and he told me about how the speed limit went from 55 mph to 35 mph and back again to 55...anyway, that's how he got the ticket.  I knew the road and that he wasn't a reckless driver, so I encouraged him to appeal it.  He did and was told to appear in the Chelsea courthouse (odd because he was in Lynn or Revere at the time of the ticket).  Not knowing anything about Chelsea, he asked me how to get there (this had to be way before we had the internet).  Anyway, I offered to go with him, because Chelsea can be a rough area if you don't know anything about it.  We were instructed to talk with a man in a small office.  The man was mumbling, saying, among other things, "if this is the way you drive, you'll eventually wrap yourself around a tree anyway, etc., then told us we could go.  We didn't say a word until we reached the sidewalk, then Todd said to me, "What just happened?"  I told him that I didn't know, but it sounded like he believed that Todd was a good kid who made a mistake about the speed limit because of not knowing the area, so he cancelled out the ticket (with the accompanying surcharges on his auto insurance for the next 8 years)!  We were beyond thrilled, because Todd had told the truth and was believed, and wouldn't have those horrible surcharges on his auto insurance.  We probably went out to lunch to celebrate; it was so long ago that I can't quite remember, but that feels like what we would do after that experience.  Another time, a new Mexican restaurant opened up in town, and Todd was so impressed with the authenticity of the food that he invited me to have lunch with him there.  We did, and the food was delicious.  He would get so excited and appreciated the little things in life and it was contagious.  He always remained positive, even after negative situations, i.e. the $250 ticket.  He learned from each experience and was always eager to learn more.  With him around, it was hard to remain sad for long because of the unique way he saw the world.  It's difficult to explain.  He viewed the world as though he was separate and apart from it, at the same time that he was making others laugh and feel better about things.  The pain is so bad without him, but I have a husband who loves me very much so I'm torn between my longing to see Todd again and trying to go on for my family (I also have elderly parents).  

Your trips sound wonderful. I've held back from traveling, not wanting to spend the money and end up not enjoying the trip because of my grief.  New Orleans is a place I've always wanted to visit, because I LOVE music, or did, especially blues, rock n' roll which came from blues, i.e. Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, and New Orleans jazz bands.  When Todd was 16 he worked at two jobs one summer.  During the day he worked in a warehouse and at night he was a computer salesman at Lechmere, a large department store that had all kinds of electronics, household goods, stereos and music systems of all kinds.  There was a closeout he told me about, on a Fischer music system, complete with a CD player, tape player, a turntable and two large speakers, all for $400.  I told him I couldn't afford $400 at the time to spend on something for me.  It wasn't something John needed or wanted.  After several days of telling me what a great buy it was, he decided to buy it for me!  He said that his coworkers told him that if I loved music THAT MUCH, I really should have this sound system.  Can you imagine?  Todd didn't part easily from his money.  In fact, he saved $8,000 that year for college.  His friend down the street helped him to set it up, and I was thrilled beyond belief. When John was at work, I'd play my music really loud, as I cleaned house and did laundry.   One time my mother & father dropped by and told me they could here the music before they got to my house!  My mother got a kick out of it at the time.  When no one was here, I'd dance around the house, enjoying my music.  Now it's difficult to enjoy anything like that.  A few years ago we replaced the music system with a Bose system.  I had asked Todd how he felt about it before we bought the Bose system.  He understood that newer technology took up less space and that we had enjoyed the Fischer system for more than 20 years. Not knowing what to do with the old system, we just placed it in a corner of our dining room, but my husband threw out the large speakers. I still feel bad about that.  How did you enjoy England? We went there many years ago and loved it!  

At 4:36pm on October 5, 2011, Tim's Mom, Vickie said…
Now that's exactly why I haven't sought out any counseling. No one can or has the right to tell me how I feel, should feel , or don't feel. But's it's so easy for outsiders to assume how we should move on, when we should stop grieving, etc. The guilt is part of the grief. Will the grief go away? No, not entirely, it will just become easier to deal with, (or so they say).   The doubts, questions and guilt will stay with us forever. I honestly feel that if I don't acknowledge these feelings, it's denying how much I love Tim. *hugs*
At 4:36pm on October 5, 2011, Tim's Mom, Vickie said…
Now that's exactly why I haven't sought out any counseling. No one can or has the right to tell me how I feel, should feel , or don't feel. But's it's so easy for outsiders to assume how we should move on, when we should stop grieving, etc. The guilt is part of the grief. Will the grief go away? No, not entirely, it will just become easier to deal with, (or so they say).   The doubts, questions and guilt will stay with us forever. I honestly feel that if I don't acknowledge these feelings, it's denying how much I love Tim. *hugs*
At 3:58pm on October 5, 2011, Janet - Todd's Mom said…

Hi JoAnn -  Where did you go away for Tyler's birthday?  I'm always looking for new and interesting places to go, thinking it might help.  My husband can't stand the cold weather and I'm dreading it too, especially since the death of the founder of the Boston Snow Dogs, Tania, a young woman (37) who could cheer everyone in the world with her welcoming hugs, laughter, kindness and warmth.  On freezing cold winter days, she'd call me and say, "We're having a Snow Dogs meet-up in the Stoneham/Winchester/Medford Fells around 2 today.  Can you and Ginger come?  Don't forget to ask John"!  Of course we would already have been invited by email and on the website, and she would text everyone, but she'd personally call and invite me!  I always felt better for having gone in spite of the cold, because of the exercise and camaraderie, which is all she wanted from the group.  Since she passed away last June 1, I haven't been to a meet-up.  John and I did attend a candlelight walk in her honor the evening of June 3, and the birthday tribute to her on July 10, where 122 snow dogs and their people gathered in honor of her 38th birthday.  Her wish had always been to see 102 Snow Dogs in one place, as in the movie "101 Dalmatians".  Permission was granted at a large state park to do this.  Her mother was there too, and I looked at the photo albums she had put together of pictures of Tania growing up to the present.  I told her about Todd and that we loved Tania like a daughter, and we were both so sad.  But I found myself looking around for Tania, which I always did when there was a large gathering, feeling lost without her there, even though both John and Ginger were there.  Tania's  younger brother is doing the best he can to keep the group going, with help from many wonderful, kind and caring people, but I always knew that even if I didn't know anyone else, Tania would be there to make sure we all knew each other and had a great time either mushing the dogs or just walking on the trails with them, letting them run about and be free.  Tania's brother, Ernesto, does more mushing and helping others learn how to mush their dogs, and since Ginger refused to pull anything, I never got to know him as well as Tania.  She also understood Ginger very well, calling her the Triple A girl (alpha, alpha alpha) and dubbing her Ms. Ginger.  About the holidays, they used to be fun when the kids were little.  My family is very small, but sometimes my mother would invite her widowed sister, who was a joy.  When she passed away from cancer many years ago, my mother invited my father's widowed brother and his daughters, and eventually he brought a girlfriend, who he married at age 70 something!  They were amazing, always traveling, but they're both gone now.  On John's side, his father passed away 7 months before Todd, and his mother 10 weeks after Todd.  It sounds terrible but John was never close to his parents so it didn't affect him the way you might expect.  Losing Todd was so devastating that it makes anything else pale in comparison. John has two brothers.  One is married with two sons, and the other is now separated from his wife, who decided she didn't want to be married after 42 years of marriage!  They have 4 daughters, but the oldest one, who was adopted, left home at age 18 because they were terrible parents to her, and we don't know where she is.  So very sad.  Of the other 3 daughters, one is married and has a baby, but we don't see any of them anymore since their mother decided to split from our whole family.  She always was someone we had to walk on tiptoes around, so she's not missed, but the rest of the family is.  John's brother with the two sons and his wife began having us over on Christmas Eve, like my mother-in-law did, right up till she passed away in 2009.  My parents are getting so old that my father, who is 96, wants to sell the house and move to some kind of assisted living, because he's smart enough to know he could fall on the cellar stairs, or the ones from the first floor to the second floor.  My mother wants nothing to change ever, and doesn't seem to realize the dangers not only for him, but for herself.  We try to do everything we can to help, but my father says they're not quite ready for us to help in any way.  Very frustrating.  But he is thinking of buying an IPad 2, which should be a fun thing for him, especially now that he can no longer play golf.  So you can see that I'm not looking forward to the holidays.  I hope your sisters will eventually resolve their differences so that your holidays will be nicer with all of you together.  

Wishing you as nice a week as possible.  At least it's supposed to be sunny!

Hugs,

Janet        

At 10:07am on October 5, 2011, Tim's Mom, Vickie said…
I know what you mean about feeling like a failure. I tried so hard to stay on top of tim but at 25 years old you can,t help but think they're ok to make their own decisions. I was wwrong and willl never forgive myself for that. I'm glad that I can share this journey with you and Janetand that the 3 T,s are together......Tyler, Todd and Tim. Hugs
At 2:12pm on October 4, 2011, Tim's Mom, Vickie said…

Hi JoAnn,

  My Tim died from an accidental drug overdose. We had no idea he used drugs, none of the signs were there. I know the sgns well from having a brother that was an addict, as well as many relatives. I know your pain when you ask why Tyler, I feel it as you say it. All of his friends that cared, told me they were not even aware that Tim was using. I know they weren't lying to me, they were as devastated as I was when we found out how he died. 

 It' still a tough path trying to move on. I'm angry with God all the time and I really question his existance. Why are so many of us parents visiting a website like this? We were suppossed to go first. I can't say I want to be with him, wherever he has gone, there's too much unfinished business here, too many unanswered questions.

  I wish someone in my physical life could understand how this feels, but that's selfish of me, because it would mean theyd have to lose a child as well. I feel so totally alone, abandoned, and I miss him so much I can't even come up with words to descibe it.

  Thanks for being here, thank you to Tyler for letting me meet his mom. *hugs* to you both.

At 2:12pm on October 4, 2011, Tim's Mom, Vickie said…

Hi JoAnn,

  My Tim died from an accidental drug overdose. We had no idea he used drugs, none of the signs were there. I know the sgns well from having a brother that was an addict, as well as many relatives. I know your pain when you ask why Tyler, I feel it as you say it. All of his friends that cared, told me they were not even aware that Tim was using. I know they weren't lying to me, they were as devastated as I was when we found out how he died. 

 It' still a tough path trying to move on. I'm angry with God all the time and I really question his existance. Why are so many of us parents visiting a website like this? We were suppossed to go first. I can't say I want to be with him, wherever he has gone, there's too much unfinished business here, too many unanswered questions.

  I wish someone in my physical life could understand how this feels, but that's selfish of me, because it would mean theyd have to lose a child as well. I feel so totally alone, abandoned, and I miss him so much I can't even come up with words to descibe it.

  Thanks for being here, thank you to Tyler for letting me meet his mom. *hugs* to you both.

At 10:33am on September 30, 2011, Janet - Todd's Mom said…

Hi JoAnn - I know how those memories, like the little girl at the airport with her mother crying for her father, can trigger major pain and sobbing.  It seems to happen to me at least once a day.  On the cover of this month's AAA travel magazine, there's a beautiful picture of a little boy with blond hair standing among the foliage of the many-colored leaves of autumn.  It made me want to cry.  Every little boy with blond hair reminds me of Todd.  This is an old photo from the 70's of an Easter Sunday at John's parent's house.  I wish I could go back in time........

On another note, Ginger did well at the Petsmart Hotel, but she was really anxious to leave!  In the past, a friend of mine had always taken care of her when we went away. I know Ginger had a better time there, but this friend has an overbearing personality and we had a falling out.  This friend & her husband are retired, so they take both dogs for frequent walks, plus Ginger adores their Basset Hound, Chester, so I felt very guilty about taking her to a kennel, even a very good one!  If only my friend ALWAYS has to be right about everything.

Sometimes I feel as though Ginger is the reason I'm still around and I can't bear the thought of losing her.  She's 9 1/2 and in good health, so I tell myself we'll have her for a long time, but eventually she will become old.  It breaks my heart.  There's also a little pug we both love.  I've been caring for her for 8 yrs. when her owner can't be with her, and he has asked me to promise him that if anything ever happened to him, our home would be her home, which it already is!  But all I can see in the future is loss after loss.  Last night my husband snapped at me and I started crying and told him I was leaving because I wanted to go where Todd is.  My husband changed his tone in a hurry but I still want to be where Todd is.

Thank God for you and others on this site because the pain is so great I know I wouldn't be here anymore without you, but it would devastate too many lives if I left right now.  

Hugs,

Janet

At 11:14am on September 28, 2011, Sheila Venezia said…

Hi JoAnn

I am so sorry for your loss also. My Jason would be 34 Oct. 3. How do you get thru all of this. I don't know what to do.  My heart and soul are so empy without him. I just don't know what to do as these days are aproaching. Thank you for wanting me in your circle of friends. When I found this site I thought that this is the best place for me to be around people who are going thru the same. My you find peace and I still searching for it. 

At 11:14am on September 28, 2011, Sheila Venezia said…

Hi JoAnn

I am so sorry for your loss also. My Jason would be 34 Oct. 3. How do you get thru all of this. I don't know what to do.  My heart and soul are so empy without him. I just don't know what to do as these days are aproaching. Thank you for wanting me in your circle of friends. When I found this site I thought that this is the best place for me to be around people who are going thru the same. My you find peace and I still searching for it. 

At 4:45pm on September 19, 2011, Janet - Todd's Mom said…

Hi JoAnn, 

Thinking of you, especially today, because I know it's Tyler's birthday and he would have been 26.  Another member of this group, Teresa Sweaney, has a son Charles who would have been 27 and my friend Rosemarie's son Frankie would have been 40 (a young 40, like my Todd).  My thoughts and prayers are with all of you today.  Every days is sad, I know.  My husband and I are in Maine because yesterday was my birthday, and he wanted for us to get away for a few days.  It is nice to be by the ocean, even if I cry a lot.  We were talking about another time we had stayed here when we met a girl on the beach with a Siberian Husky.  I said to John, "that must have been in 2008, because I was happy then".  That's how I remember events, before June 8, 2009, "when I was a happy person" and now, forever after, "a sad person".  I feel like you, wondering why I don't die from a broken heart.

That's amazing that the CD ejected from the CD player in Tyler's car when you turned on the radio!  Especially so since you've turned on the radio prior to this, many times.  So you, too, have kept Tyler's car!  We kept Todd's also.  His Prius was his pride and joy!  So far, on this trip and around town here at Ocean Park, ME, we're averaging 53.4 mpg!  The car does all of the calculating, as we drive.  No wonder Todd loved this car!  It's roomy inside too, front AND back, and very quiet.  I wish it was still his car :(.  We're taking very good care of it, knowing it would make him happy.

I'm still thinking I might go on the retreat.  John said he had considered it, but decided against it (all those years of Catholic school I guess).  My friend, Rosemarie, said she definitely would have gone to try and understand in a spiritual way why she had to lose her son.  She can't go because they have a time share in Aruba and go there every year for the first 2 or 3 weeks in November, before the holidays arrive.  The trip is already planned and it's a place they love. 

It's been nice to be away but I can't wait to pick up Ginger from the Petsmart Hotel.  It's the very first time we've had to board her while we went away, but I'm pretty sure she'll be fine, not only because of the wonderful care she'll receive, but because she's a Siberian Husky, very independent, who makes friends with people very quickly.  We've always joked that she makes friends with as many humans as she can because she's such an escape artist and fresh when meeting other dogs, so she figures she needs all the friends she can get in case we get tired of her behavior, like her first family did.  Even with them, she'd escape their house almost every day because they didn't walk her very often, and she'd make friends with the neighbors!  And me!  (I worked for the woman across the street from her house, running a doggie playgroup in her yard). And, if these neighbors had pets, she'd make friends with them!  Animals are such wonderful creatures, making us smile in spite of everything.

Love,

Janet

At 9:43am on September 14, 2011, Janet - Todd's Mom said…

OMG!  September 19th is also my very close friend's son's birthday.  He died on 7/2/09, just weeks after we lost Todd on 6/9/09!  She is the most wonderful person and didn't deserve for this to happen.  No one does!!!  Like all of us, she put her all into being the best mother she could be, and provided a wonderful home full of happy memories.  He too lived at home, downstairs in his own apartment.  He was 37 and had become very depressed, feeling as though his life was going nowhere.  Although he was a handsome young man, he didn't think so and felt like a failure next to his extremely successful brother who looks like a celebrity.  So he started to self-medicate with drugs (something not many people knew about before he died) and died of an overdose.  One of his friends died the same night.  Both sets of parents wondered if their boys had been sold some very bad stuff.  The other boy had been thrown out by his parents, but my friend and her husband fully stood by their son.  They paid for rehab and therapy.  My friend was very close to her son, and they cooked together often, or he'd offer to cook dinner entirely, so she could relax.  She was always encouraging to him and reminded him often of his strengths, but he was very down on himself.  So sad.  

I hope your sisters listen to you when you tell them what really matters in life.  It's so sad because it sounds as though you had so much fun together. 

Hoping things have become more peaceful,

Love,

Janet

 

At 9:07am on September 14, 2011, Janet - Todd's Mom said…

Hi JoAnn,  I know what you mean about looking at pictures of Tyler, although I look at pictures of Todd every day on my laptop. I talk to him too.  It feels as though he is here, for a moment at least, then the tears come; but the tears come anyway, whether or not I look at his pictures.  Seeing the post-it note Tyler had written while he was there must have been so very painful - when I come across something with Todd's handwriting on it, I'm completely destroyed.  The way you described the way you're feeling is how I feel.  I've given up and just trying to hold onto life for my husband, daughter and parents.  At the same time, I keep wondering why I haven't yet died of a broken heart.  

I told my husband about the retreat in Boston by the Franciscan Friars, their Pieta Ministry, and to my surprise, he seemed cautiously interested!  We aren't Catholic but the only thing that helps him to feel better is to talk with other parents who have lost a child and know his feelings of despair are normal.  This weekend we're going to Maine.  It surprises me that I can now look forward to going away for a few days, as compared to the first summer, 2009, when I felt completely dead inside and didn't want to leave the house.  I only went away because John so desperately needed to get away to Maine for solace by the ocean, but I needed to come home for a day during the week (it's only an hour away).  He understood and drove me home so could spend an afternoon here and sleep here for one night, then go back the next day. Sounds crazy, but the grief makes me crazy.  The next summer, 2010, I wasn't against going, I just didn't care.  This year was nice, going to a place that's like a movie set for the 1950's, complete with a Soda Fountain that serves breakfast, lunch and ice cream at night!  The same people have owned it for over 20 years.  So, we'll bring books to read and take walks by the ocean and enjoy the scenery.  TBC-to be continued....

At 8:19am on September 5, 2011, Janet - Todd's Mom said…

Hi again - I kept going past the 2000 character limit, so have to continue on a separate note.  I was so relieved to hear that you had no major damage to your house or car.  We kept hearing that CT was hit very badly by the storm.  After making all of the preparations, we were spared, other than branches downed.  Other people in our town had trees that fell on houses, etc.  The weather seems to be getting worse and I'm fearful of future storms and flooding.  If Todd was still here, his comments would lighten my mood - they always did!

Your poor sister!  Hope she can get another car soon.

Hope you're enjoying the long weekend, as much as is possible.

Love,

Janet      

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