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.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Home

 The past few days have been exhausting, heartbreaking and cathartic. Memorializing my brother has been among the hardest things I've ever attempted. I quickly discovered that it is simply impossible to encapsulate somebody's life in a few words and moments on a random Sunday afternoon. I will continue to hold my brother's memory close to my heart and I will miss him terribly. 

While last week was about grieving and helping my mom, this week I am turning my efforts towards obtaining answers. We would like to know why a blind amputee was shot in the neck when he called for assistance. I have zero confidence in an internal investigation being conducted among the "brotherhood." As expected, we are being met with a wall when we reach out.Thankfully I am versed at chipping away at walls and calling in the cavalry when necessary. I know that nothing will bring Jae back, but I plan on pushing for both accountability and change.

While I'm readying myself for the battle to come, this morning I am focusing on Timmy. We are returning to the ortho for another round of xrays on his arm. Hopefully his bones did not shift and the doctor is able to put Timmy into a hard cast. If the bones moved or or if they are somehow misaligned, we will be preparing for surgery.

Tuesday, April 09, 2024

When it Rains

The past few days have been a blur. We've cried and laughed as we looked through old photos and shared stories about Jae. It all feels so surreal. Although my brother has been on a self-destructive path for decades, the reality of the situation is numbing. I guess you really can't prepare for this type of tragedy, regardless of what you tell yourself.

The Memorial Service for my brother will be held on Sunday, April 14th from 1-3 at the Penn Harris Hotel and Convention Center, Governor Room B. Everybody is welcome to stop by, say hello and share memories and thoughts about Jae. While I acknowledge that the venue is a tad unorthodox, my mom's desire to bypass a funeral home entirely forced some creativity. Although the motivation was not financial, I was shocked at how much cheaper it is to rent a meeting room vs. a funeral home. 

We spent Monday morning making phone calls and finalizing all of the arrangements. Almost as soon as I settled in to enjoy the eclipse with my mom and sister Scott called me. He was at an eclipse party at the park with the boys. While I thought he was calling to share their excitement about the solar show, I immediately knew by the tone in his voice that something had gone wrong.

Timmy fell off the slide and broke his left arm in three places. While Scott was at the ER with Timmy, I was being driven back to VA to be with them. They realigned the bones and we are returning today to see if pins are necessary. My poor little Hamlet.





Monday, April 08, 2024

Jae

 Friday will be forever be remembered as a day in which my life completely changed. My brother, who has been battling addiction for 30 years, was fatally shot by Travis County police in Austin Texas during an active mental health crisis. Loving an addict for decades, we have all resigned ourselves to the reality that his death may be both premature and unnatural. Out of all of the scenarios for which we have prepared for over the decades, being shot in the neck during a call for help was not among them.

Despite living with the anticipation of receiving devastating news for years, the news came as a shock. My sister and I immediately drove to Pennsylvania to be with my Mom and to try to make sense of our life going forward. As much as I try, I just can't make sense of this.

My brother was shot at 9:36 pm on Wednesday. We were not informed until 5:30 pm on Friday. Why did it take so long, especially since they knew his identity when the call for assistance was placed?  Perhaps more important, why did my brother, who was a blind above-knee amputee amputee, receive two bullets instead of the care he desperately needed? These are the questions are are heavy on my heart, and I will work towards finding answers in the coming weeks.

But today is not the time. Right now we are in crisis mode and just trying to work through the necessities of the situation. I made arrangements for Jae to be cremated and brought home. Because his death is under investigation, his body may not be released for several weeks. We decided that we did not want to wait to hold a memorial service. 

This morning I am going to try to locate a venue. My mom would like to avoid using a funeral home, so after much deliberation we settled on a meeting room at a hotel. Hopefully I can get the plans solidified this morning so we can publish his obituary.  

Please keep my mom in your thoughts. This is extraordinarily difficult for her.  


Thursday, April 04, 2024

pain

 I'm glad I didn't have anywhere to go yesterday. It feels as if I was hiking up my pant leg and removing my prosthesis every few minutes. Comfort remained elusive as I desperately tried a variety of padding combinations. By the time evening finally came my leg was angry and the blister had fully developed. I ended up on the couch with an ice pack and my crutches. 

An evening of ice, compression and ibuprofen seemed to have worked. My leg is considerably more comfortable today although I have no intention of pushing my limits. The boys are home for Spring Break and I'm going to acquiesce all dog-walking duties for the next 24 hours. If I want to remain mobile, I need to allow my leg time to rest and to heal. 

Most days I am barely concerned with being an amputee. I am only bothered by my "disability" when my prosthesis isn't fitting well and I'm in pain. This has been one of those weeks and I'm becoming frustrated. I want my life back!

Wednesday, April 03, 2024

Padding

 Yesterday the boys slept in late as they were unwinding from the long trip and relishing in every moment of their Spring Break. While I might have been compelled to wake them earlier under different circumstances, I was delighted with the quiet and solitude that their slumber afforded me. I was able to sit on the couch and knock out an impressive number of items on my to-do list. The list is still overwhelming, but at least it is now a little shorter.

Today is rainy and miserable. The boys stayed up late last night playing a computer game together (Timmy is now able to hold is own against his brother) so I expect that they will sleep late. I could definitely get used to this schedule, but I know it won't last long. Next week everybody will be up early and scrambling around the house in a panic. I suppose that this 'break' is the equivalent of the mom vacation.

I am looking around my living room which is cluttered with luggage, boxes and bags. Unfortunately my leg is really sore today so I'm not sure that cleaning is going to be the best use of my time. I don't have a sore (yet) but I feel one starting to develop on the outside of my limb. My system of padding, which had been functional albeit not completely comfortable, is no longer working. I need to figure out a new configuration of pads in order to keep walking. 

In reality, I need a new leg. I guess I'll add that to the list.

Tuesday, April 02, 2024

Home

 After a long drive with exhausted (and therefore bickering) children, we finally pulled into the driveway around dinner time last night. Everybody was happy to finally get out of the van and stretch their legs. Even Friend started to chirp with excitement when we pulled into the driveway. After schlepping everything out of the van and returning the rental we ordered Doordash for dinner and everybody went to their separate areas. I think we were confined together for too long!

This week the boys are on Spring Break while Scott is back to work. The schedule is going to be wonky but, after being away for last week, I truly don't care. At this point I'm really happy to be sitting on my couch with a big cup of coffee, preparing to tackle the day.

Have a great day. I'm home, so I know I will!