About Me

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I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.

Friday, December 30, 2016


Well, another year is coming to a close and I'm sorting through my typical melancholy and reflective feelings. I am looking forward to 2017 despite accepting the only thing that ever changes at the stroke of midnight is a calendar. Alas, media outlets everywhere are reminding me to reflect upon the past twelve months so I feel like I must oblige by participating in the mandated self-review. 

During the past 12 months I have loved watching Robby continue to grow and stretch his wings as he flirts with becoming a teenager. Timmy has kept me hopping, making sure that everyday is an adventure. He continues to wake up each morning with a smile and is, without a doubt, the happiest toddler I have ever known. (It is a good thing that he wakes up with a smile because my little early bird still wakes up before the sun.)

This past year has brought a unique mixture of experiences, opportunities and struggles. I never would have predicted the roller coaster of 2016. I can't say that I'm happy with the way that everything panned out, but I do know that I am entering 2017 secure in the knowledge that I have been true to myself. I am developing my voice, and I hope to continue this trend in the coming year.

Here is to a fabulous 2017, abundant with joy and laughter and lean on heartache and disappointment.  

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Reaching Out

Things with my brother have taken a disturbing turn. We learned that he was assaulted and injured on Christmas night. The assailant(s) punched him in the eye, smashing the lens from his eyeglasses into his eyeball. We have been told that the sight in that eye may have been lost, but since it hasn't yet been confirmed I am holding out hope that the news is incorrect.

My Mom decided that it was time to travel to Austin to see if she can help right his course. While she packed and got everything in order at her house, I spent the morning booking her tickets, rental car and hotel room. She then drove to my house and I took her to the airport to catch the late afternoon flight. We are hoping that two full business days will be enough time to help my brother secure a new ID and to locate some resources that might be able to help him.

I'm a nervous wreck, but I know that everything is out of my hands and control. I am hoping that my Mom can reach him and make an impact. I'm anxious about his vision as well as his physical and emotional health. My Mom is an exceedingly strong woman, but I know that watching her son spiral out of control is taking a toll on her. Addicts, including my brother, don't realize that everybody suffers from the consequences of their choices.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Addiction is a B*tch

I would be lying if I didn't acknowledge that my normally festive demeanor has been tempered this holiday season. I enjoyed baking cookies with the boys, wrapping presents and engaging in all of our other seasonal activities. Yet despite the smiles, laughter, and colorful sugars, my heart has been hurting. I miss my brother.

My brother has been living in Austin for the past five years. I saw him two years ago when I was helping to care for my Dad, and our reunion was bittersweet. I miss him so much, yet the man that I was hugging had little resemblance to the brother I knew and loved.  Drug addiction is a horrible scourge, slowly killing the person in the most agonizing and torturous ways. 

Whenever I think about my brother my memories inevitably drift back to a family day trip that we took to Philadelphia. I remember being in the back seat of our light blue Chevy station wagon, driving through the city and absorbing the sights and sounds of the city. At a stoplight my dad directed our attention to somebody who was disheveled, disoriented and filthy who was living on the streets.  "Take a look at that person. There is a new drug going around called Crack. One puff and that is where you will end up. It is killing people quickly. Don't ever try it kids, remember that person and know that somewhere they made the choice to try drugs just one time. One time is all it will take." 

I remember this lecture so vividly because it made such a strong impression on me. Coming from a safe suburban neighborhood, simply seeing a homeless individual was shocking. Having my Dad so poignantly tie drug to the visual made a lasting impact. That moment sparked my lifetime fear of elicit drug use. 

For whatever reason, the lecture did not hold the same weight with my brother. His foray into the abyss of drug use started young. Since his late teens he has been raging against a cyclone of addiction. His years are marked by stints in various rehabilitation centers, months of sobriety and the return to the chemical demons that taunt him.

The need to consume drugs will propel an individual to live a hellish existence. While I was waking up Christmas morning with my two boys excited to see what Santa left, my brother was wandering the streets. He has become the symbol that my Dad etched in my mind so many years ago. I miss my brother dearly. Although he is still alive, the person that I know and love has been gone for awhile. I hope and pray that he will right his path, seek sobriety and come back to us.

In the meantime, I'm going to keep hugging my boys while I tell them funny stories of the Uncle they don't know.  A few days ago I sat down Robby and explained to him what happened to my brother. Robby is now ten years old, and while he is still my baby boy I know that the next few years he will be faced with temptations. I want him to know what doing drugs does not only to the individual, but to everybody who loves them. He watched me cry as I explained how his Uncle is struggling because of his addiction. He has seen me worried, fretting and anxious about my brother's safety. Maybe witnessing the real-life impact of loving a drug seeker will be the reminder that he needs to avoid the dreaded "just one time."

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Drone Practice

A benefit of not hosting company on Christmas day is that I get to see my family throughout the holiday season. Today is Christmas Part 2 in our house because my Mom, sister, niece and nephews are coming to visit. Since we didn't see them on Christmas we will be celebrating today, but the gathering is low pressure because it is no longer an official holiday. In other words, I don't have to scrub my house to make it holiday perfect, I only need to make sure that Robby (and Scott's) underwear are off the bathroom floor before they arrive. 

I know that Robby is eager to showcase his Christmas loot, especially his prized drone. He has been practicing in our yard but between the trees and the zipline, I worried that there were too many obstacles for a novice pilot. Seeking open spaces, yesterday we went to the park where he practiced flying until both batteries were completely depleted. As you can see from the video, he is having a great time and my reflexes are being strengthened in the process.

A video posted by Peggy Friedman Chenoweth (@amputeemommy) on

Monday, December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas

Merry (belated) Christmas! 

We had a wonderful, albeit quiet, Christmas day. We didn't travel and we didn't host company. This was the first year that we were alone as a singular family unit on Christmas Day. The boys seemed to relish the time to just play with their toys and relax at home without having to put on real pants to entertain company. I have to admit that despite the laughter and the commotion, I felt fleeting moments of loneliness. It was odd not spending the day with other friends and family members.

Timmy and I were up early but it took him over an hour to notice the pile of presents under the Christmas tree. Instead he was fascinated with the Nutcrackers that Robby set out to greet Santa around the fireplace. When he finally noticed the toys, his reaction was not what I expected. I envisioned having to coax the presents away from him until everybody else woke up. Instead he took off sprinting down the hallway and dove under his crib. The poor little guy was terrified that Santa had the audacity to sneak into the house when he was sleeping!

It took nearly 30 minutes and the promise of fruit until he finally inched his way out from under the crib. He didn't go near the presents until Robby woke up. Even then, it took watching Robby open gifts for Hamlet to garner the courage to open a package on his own.  Once the first piece of wrapping paper tore, all fear was gone and he was giddy with excitement.

Despite my concerns, Robby loved his presents this year. Among his favorites are a WWII helmet and ammo box, a virtual reality drone and a new set of headphones for the computer.  Timmy was delighted with his Little People airplanes and farmer set, but was particularly taken with the Thomas the Train engine. He spent the majority of the day on his knees, chasing after Thomas as he chugged through the living room and kitchen. 

Something tells me he won't hide under his crib next Christmas morning!