Stroke Victim at 49

31 August 2010

Frontal Lobe Dementia part 2

There was such a demand for the frontal lobe dementia information I posted. It really did my heart good to see that there are other people out there struggling to get information on this subject. 

As for the update on my uncle Charley, now 42, his conditions are deteriorating slowly. On good days he can work. As the emotional control part of his brain is shutting off, it is sometimes difficult for those closest to him. We love and support him. 

30 August 2010

Horrible job market

This has been a horrible time to find a job. I have been going crazy looking for a job. I have given up the dream of teaching and have gone back to searching for jobs I've done before and also ones I am capable of doing. The latest craze among employers is to not even consider someone who doesn't already have a job. That is insane. People who already have jobs HAVE a JOB. The people unemployed are the ones really hurting for one. I am getting really scared about this job situation. It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have student loans I was still paying off or a child entering his final year of high school. We could probably manage better. It seems every month I am deciding which bill can be paid late. Waiting for the final notice until sending in a payment. That has never been me. I was the one who had their bills paid on time and early. Now it's not even hand to mouth.

I have to just keep my mood positive that we can get through this.  I have never felt so unsure about having a place to live or food on the table in my life. Even when I was working 2 or 3 minimum wage jobs in my youth. I am scared.

27 August 2010


I never understood why, when people are going on next to no sleep, instead of going to bed, have a short fuse and argue about things that would not seem as severe without a good sleep. Anyone who knows me knows I am not a person who likes arguing. Heck, I don't even like to haggle over prices. All I desire is peace and tranquility. Some people who argue when fatigued seem to have a habit of using hurtful word choices like when something said by the other is an emotional fact they use the phrase "You contend to..." If you bring that to their attention that you are hurt over their words, they will tell you that you are arguing semantics. After they upset you they close the door and leave you to stew. Some days I think it is better to just stay in bed.

Senior year

Yesterday my son registered for his senior year of high school. He insisted on registering himself so that he will know how to do it. Even though he went to every registration with me for the past 11 you would think he would have known. I realize it was an independence thing. He told me when I dropped him off "Mom, I need to know how to do this for when I get to college. This is my first time registering for myself." I replied, "But honey, this is the last time I will be able to register you." In the end of course I let him register himself.

As I drove away from the school, my heart was so heavy. This was my baby, the greatest love of my life, ready to explore the great unknown without me. His journey is just beginning. Our journey together is slowly ending. I want him to have a wonderful adult life. It just hurts to know that the closeness we have will change and then as he gets older, has his own family, will grow distant.

I would have never thought I would be here, in this role, mother. I still remember the months leading up to finding out I was pregnant. I was going to the gym six nights a week, working full time, going out to see bands and living a pretty selfish life. I had come to the conclusion that I would never have children. I liked my single life.

Flash forward to December 8th. I still remember it so vividly. When the doctor told me I was pregnant I cried for 3 hours. I was not in the early stages of pregnancy. I was a full 5 months pregnant. I was told on that day that my life was going to change in 4 short months.

My life changed in ways I could never imagine. He has been the best thing to ever happen to my life. I love that boy like I have never thought I could love. Now my baby is almost a man and will find adventure and life. I find myself looking at things that remind me of his younger self all of the time. We were at Target yesterday and I saw a tricycle that he would have loved at that age. He scoffed it off but I pictured that big eyed blond headed little boy staring up at me with happiness.

I am happy, grateful, and full of awe at this life that has been shared with me for the past 17 years.

25 August 2010


I am having dinner tonight at Bonsoiree. To be quite honest, it fills me with a bit of nervousness. For years I have wanted to join the DAR's but due to my lack of initiative, I have not. I suppose what has held me back is the fact that my parents were not married. I realize that times have changed, and that it is more socially acceptable. But I still come from a childhood filled with the word Bastard being used for it's original meaning against me. It was quite a stigma growing up, not to mention the double whammy of my mother being a lesbian. I have feared rejection of the organization that my grandfather and great-grandfather were affiliated with, the SAR's.

Membership into this organization is a big deal for me. I have loved my family's history. I have spent my adult life doing research on branches that have trailed off. I have been able to piece together my German ancestry to Illinois with the first birth of our German ancestors here when the state was only 21 years old.

I am meeting one of the ladies of the DAR's that I have developed a friendship with over the years. My fear is that of rejection into a society that my beloved Grandfather was a member of for 30 years. We are humble people with a minor history in this country, but to me it is as long and true as any Jefferson or Washington.

I know it sounds posh. It does have a posh factor. But that is not the reason for wanting this. It is for the family history. My Grandfather always told me that "You are born with only your name. It is your job to keep that name with honor and respect."

24 August 2010

On a Roll

It seems after a two year hiatus I am having difficulty not writing.

Now that the initial shock and sadness over the last two years has worn away I can again begin to focus on writing. I really miss teaching. I loved seeing faces that were glad to see me everyday. The trust a child has that you are a constant in their lives when madness is all around the rest of the city.

I just read in the Chicago Tribune yesterday that last month we had 303 shootings in the city. School was the one place these kids can go to that is stable, a constant. The teachers I had in school were fixtures. We expected and saw the same faces everyday. These poor kids today will not have the same luxury.

There are so many excellent Teachers that have been burned by a system that scapegoats teachers as bloodsucking leaches on taxpayers dime. It is so far from the truth. American schools are loosing a generation of Teachers that wanted to make a difference in the lives of children and the world.

Percentile Points

It's funny, we were told all during the school year that we had to bring our student's ISAT percentile points up. I worked so hard with my Reading class and brought up my percentile points up, not the standard across the board 4 points but a whopping 12 percentile points. My CPS Teacher Report Card has me at 5 percentile points higher than the city's and yet I was told that my pedagogy was not to the curriculum of the school's.

Funny how my position (Did I mention I was just a few months away from being tenured?)was given to a favorite of the Principal who is not endorsed nor qualified to teach my subject. I really hate office politics. You work so hard to make something of your life. Over come obstacles just to be shown the door.

2 Years???

Has it really been 2 years since my last post? It seems like an eternity. It was difficult posting during those years teaching on the southside as much of my time was filled with travel.

As of June 18th this year I seem to have an abundance of free time. Chicago laid off hundreds of teachers at the end of this past school year, I was one of them. I went from having a job I loved doing, health insurance, security for my family and a real chance at possibly owning my own home for the first time to unemployment, figuring out which bill I have to pay this month and which one I can put off to be sure to make rent this month.

I have worked full time since the age of 15. Often working 2 jobs at a time. This is the first time in 25 years I have not had at least one job. It is very frightening. I really wanted this last year of high school to be a good one for the boy. Filled with excitement, not anxiety.

Funny, I had just begun a savings program of my own at the beginning of this year. I was putting away into savings $150 a paycheck and $50 a paycheck into the boys saving account. It is that money we have been living off of. Funny, that was going to be the down payment money for a home of our own.

What a horrible time to be a teacher. God forbid if you are a new teacher in the city of Chicago.