All posts by traci

Dear Mom (My Letter To Her)

Dear Mom,

      This is the hardest letter I’ve had to write because today I’m saying good-bye to my mom.

      During the last 3 years, you have been my shopping buddy. We have gone on many adventures from visiting Berea, Ky to Jungle Jim’s to the Golden Lamb to our most recent adventure to Concord’s 200th anniversary celebration. We discovered that marshmallow coke is essential for road trips.

      In 2001 and 2002, Tanya, you, and I went on mother-daughter trips to Hershey, PA. So many memories were made on that trip from seeing the Backstreet Boys to my creation of your 50 boyfriends which by now exceeds 200. Each boyfriend was from a different state. Do you remember that we actually found one at a random rest stop who actually looked like our description? In the last 3 years, I would constantly point out random guys and tell you that’s your boyfriend. I even got Molly doing that also. You would just shake your head whenever I started that mess.

      One memory that has stuck out is when you took Tanya and I to Disney in 1990. I convinced you that the Big Thunder Railroad was a simulated roller coaster. We ended up in the front row. The look you gave me showed me how you were not happy with me. Oops. I was only 15.

      I have so memories from the years Tanya, and I were in Rainbow. Lots of Monday evenings and Thursday evenings were spent at either the Brookville or Dayton Masonic Temple. Thank you for making sure I was ready for those meetings, Installations, and Grand Assemblies. Do you remember the long “sobriety” line when George Bush, Sr. came to the Brookville Picnic during my Worthy Advisor term? So funny.

      All those trips to play Putt Putt mini golf and downtown Dayton – I will cherish those memories. All the times we went to the Salem Mall – My favorite part was getting the pretzel sticks with cream cheese. I still eat them that way. Although Nick says they are better with chocolate. LOL!

      I’m thankful for the 2 pieces of advice that you gave me when I was in my early 20’s. Both of those pieces of advice defined who I am as a person and changed my life path.

      In 1995, you told me that I needed to apply for the Disney College Program. I’m so grateful for that advice. It was the best experience of my life. I learned how to be independent and how to live on my own. I made memories that have lasted a lifetime. Plus, I made friends that are lifelong friends. One of which is now my chosen sister, Molly.

      The other advice is that I should become a special educator. This advice I didn’t follow at first. However, I was hired as an L.D. tutor when I got my first big girl job. Now I am in my 20th year of teaching special education in that same district. You constantly reminded me how much of a difference I have made in some of my students. You knew best. Thank you for the advice.

      I’m going to miss your constant telling me about the mail and how full your dumpster is currently. I’m going to miss calling you on Saturday mornings to say be ready at 10 am so that we could go to Aldi, Fresh Thyme, or Trader Joe’s. I’ll miss you telling me to buy canned peaches or bananas. I’m going to miss sitting behind you at church.

      Mom, we never were really close. However, in your own ways you let me know that your loved me. Seeing the smile on your face when I took you on another adventure. Finding all the photos you kept of me and the boys. You showed your love in quiet ways.

      Goodbye sweet mom. Your journey through life is complete. Rest up and watch over me and the boys.

Love your fiercely independent daughter,


The Worse Morning Ever

Last Saturday morning was probably the worse morning ever.

I did my usual routine of calling my mom. Usually I call her once or twice and then she would call me back. On that morning, I called her number 12 times. 12 times!

So I drove over to her apartment. Mail had piled up which was unusual.

I grabbed her mail and walked into her apartment which was unlocked.

I dropped the mail on her dresser in the living room and yelled her name.

As I turned the corner, I saw her lifeless body.

I immediately called 9-1-1 as I cried and screamed.

After I got off of talking to 9-1-1, I called Hubby who rushed over.

The police came and entered the apartment. They immediately walked out of the apartment and told me that she was deceased.

As they were doing all the legal stuff, I answered their questions and then began calling my aunt, best friend, and the funeral home. I began writing messages to let family know that she had died.

It got so overwhelming that I just did a Facebook status while the police officer talked to me.

I don’t know how many steps I took as I paced the apartment complex.

Random dudes came up to me and asked me what had happened. Neighbors came up to me and asked me what had happened to her.

It was very overwhelming. I was trying to hold it together and not cry.

Finally they told me that I could leave. I wanted to leave before the funeral home came and got her.

I attempted to do normal stuff like grocery shop and clean the house during the rest of the day.

All the while, I was trying to hold it together and not cry. Headaches and tiredness filled my soul during the day.

The house got picked up mostly. I fixed dinner. The Oldest got to Homecoming so I call that a successful day even with having the worse morning ever.

Have a magical day,

Please Remember to Say I LOVE You

I’ve got to finish my in memory of my mom posts but that will have to wait.

Today, Hubby told me to write for me not necessarily for an audience.

So I am going to talk about some of the feelings I have been feeling during these last few days. Maybe if I get it off my chest I’ll feel better.

Everyone has seen how much closer Mom and I have gotten since Tanya died. However, it was because I showed her mercy during her final years of her life. I showed her what it was like to have a joyful life. Not a perfect life but a life that discovered joy in finding adventures whether it be going to the sunflower field and then a local orchard or driving around random routes. Or just finding her one of my many imaginary boyfriends.

What people don’t realize is that she and I had a strained relationship. I knew that she loved me. She showed her love in quiet unassuming ways. However, I NEVER got to hear her tell me that she loved me.

I know she was proud of me and the boys but she NEVER told me that she was proud of me.

Sometimes we need that reassurance. We need our parents to tell us how proud and how much we love them.

Now that I’m a mother, I make sure I tell my sons how much they mean to me. The Oldest is more receptive to it. We tell each other several times a day “I love you.” One time he got off the phone and realized he hadn’t said it so he called me right back to tell me that he loved me.

The Youngest is going through the I’m a teenager please don’t say that you love me because I might not respond. Which is okay because I will still tell him that.

Now that my mom is gone, I can let my truths out. I’ve kept quiet about some of how I felt over the years out of respect to her. Now it’s time to be like dandelion seed and fly free.

Have a magical day,

In Memory of My Mom

Mom was born on December 15, 1948 to my grandparents. Well, duh! Of course her parents were my grandparents. Okay, continuing on.

Not only did she live in Morgan Place with her brother, Bob, her sister, Missy, and my grandparents, Norma and Dale, her cousins and her grandma all lived on the same street.

Mom told me a lot of stories. I listened to them over and over again. In my grief strickened mind, some of what she has told has gone away. It’ll show back up later.

Someone didn’t like their parents cooking so they would go beg their grandma to feed them. I don’t remember if it was her or her cousins or both.

When she was 7, she was hit by a school bus. School should not have been happening that day because of icy conditions. However, Randolph Township decided to still have school. Her bus driver did not realize she had fallen and hit her with the front tire. Rather then wait for medics to come, he decided that was going take her over to cousins’ house.

She ended up in traction for 6 or so weeks. Bob couldn’t visit her because he had the chicken pox. One of her teachers came and tutored her so that she would not fail and be in the same grade as her brother.

When she was in 8th grade, her Girl Scout troop took a trip to Washington, D.C. They got to see JFK’s pony or something like that when they visited the White House. They also had to pay to use the public restrooms.

Her dad owned Morgan something or another. (I wanted to say it was called Morgan Place but that doesn’t seem right.) They used to make moron burgers the size of a pie plate and homemade ice cream. After a year of owning it, he sold it or something like that.

In the meantime, she went off to college down in Buchannon, West Virginia. Even though she went for only 2 years to West Virginia Wesleyan, she would talk about it ALL the time.

While at college, she met my father. When asked how they met, she didn’t remember just that they met.

At some point, she worked at Burgin’s Pizza. She used to get Puffcorn, her favorite snacky food, and pop and go play cards with her grandma who would cheat. At least I think that is what she told me.

In 1971, she married my father in Pennsylvania. After their marriage, she moved to Eastern PA.

I’m going to leave off there for right now.

Have a magical day,

Not On My Honeymoon

Back in 2000, Hubby and I went on our honeymoon. We had been married for a year.

Where do you think we went?

Well, Disney of course. While there, I turned 25 years old.

It was my first time there since my College Program. I was so excited to show Hubby around the World since it had been 15 or so years since he had been there.

I was also excited because I was going to be able to finally step foot in the Animal Kingdom because I watched it being built while I was on my College Program.

The first few days of the Honeymoon was great. We enjoyed spending time in Magic Kingdom and the Animal Kingdom.

Then the worse possible thing happened while down in Walt Disney World. I ended up with food poisoning. I spent all day Wednesday of my honeymoon stuck in our Mighty Ducks hotel room. All day long, I was worshiping the white porcelain God.

It was either the Key Lime Pie at the Rainforest Cafe or from drinking at the water fountains. I can eat Key Lime pie now but ever since then I don’t drink at water fountains.

The next day I was able to get out of our hotel room. We went to EPCOT and had breakfast or lunch at the Garden Grill. They gave us a free cake since it was our honeymoon. I don’t think I was able to eat any of it because my stomach was still upset.

We left on Friday of that week. I only wished I hadn’t gotten sick. The flight home was interesting but that is a story for another day.

The next year, we drove down to Walt Disney World in order to have a second honeymoon.

Never get sick in Disney. And not on your honeymoon. That’s the moral of my story.

If I Had Stayed IN Bed

I wish I would have stayed in bed.

Some days are like that.

Lately, it seems as though those are more and more days like that.

However, it is usually moments that are fleeting. Not the entire day.

Today was one of those days.

Listening to my son rant and rage about how he is feeling about the whole breakup has broken my heart. He usually has a kind soul who loves life.

I put on P!nk’s Hurts 2B Human album and played the song Hurts 2B Human on repeat and just bawled my eyes out on the way to work. I was a truly hot mess when I got there this morning.

I did listen to a few other songs but I played that song about 5 times.

I encountered some really stupid drivers on the way to school so that didn’t help. One of which pulled over in my lane and slowed way down so that he could get into the other lane so he could get off at the next exit. Luckily there was enough space between us so I could safely slow down.

Four of my co-workers allowed me to rant about the situation because I needed to get it off my chest before the students came in for the day.

Then the day started. I got hugs from students. One in particular gave me a hug several times throughout the day.

I escorted a student to class because he couldn’t figure out how to be sneaky so he wasn’t caught by me, the hallway patrol.

I had some good intervention sessions. In fact, I had some awesome ones. Then there were the ones where I am left in bewilderment on how disrespectful the students can be to each other and me. The one group sees me twice on Wednesdays so they made up for their not so good session. I don’t know why they were so bad during math intervention.

Listening to students get excited about what we were reading made my day. I had students asking questions and wanting to know more and other students using context clues. Those make an Intervention Specialist’s heart soar.

A student decided she needed to hang onto me as I was trying to lock my door. She has no concept of personal space.

During dismissal time, one of my students from last year showed up at the building. I got to talk to her and her mom for a while. It was such a sweet conversation. I love how she asked me if I had traveled anywhere lately.

I also found Swt. Blessings scripture plan for this month. It’s about finding comfort in God. I read today’s Scripture from 2 Corinthians 4: 7 – 9. It gave me comfort during this time.

So although at the beginning of the day and at moments throughout the day I felt as though I wish I had stayed in bed, I would not have had the beautiful parts of the day.

The sunrise today – So gorgeous!
One of my former students posted this today on Facebook. It popped up in my notifications. What a great message.

Have a magical day,

Reflection on 2 Corinthians 4:7-9

7 We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.

8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.

9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.

Right now, we are dealing with the Oldest’s first break up. We are perplexed to the reason(s) why. Even though, we are feeling despair. Him more than me. Mine is more my heart breaking for him. I need to remember that God will comfort me. I need to not feel the despair. He will always be my comforter. I need to take my troubles to him in Prayer.

Dear Lord, Please shroud me with your blanket of comfort. Allow me to know that what I’m feeling is human feelings. It’s fleeting. It’s only a small blip in my life. I need to remember to lift up my burdens to you instead of allowing them to overpower my thoughts. Please offer the Oldest and I comfort. Him so that he can remain strong during this time of confusion and heart break. Comfort me so I can give him the best advice. In Jesus name, Traci

Our Adventure | September 29

The past week has been trying for us. The Oldest had his first heartbreak and break up. I’ve had to be a “friend,” mom, and sounding block.

As I said, it’s been trying. For 2 weeks prior to the break up, we have gone through mopey Oldest, angry Oldest, and then happy Oldest. It was hard to watch this roller coaster.

Last Sunday, she broke up with him via text and then immediately blocked him. He has to see her because they are in 2 classes and ride the bus together. Needless to say, he’s gone through a multitude of emotions. He is now happy and sees the break up is a good thing.

During those last 2 weeks, he would complain about being bored but refused to do anything. It was very sad to watch.

This weekend, I suggested we do something on Sunday afternoon. I was thinking of the Huffman Dam but he and his brother decided to go to the Englewood Dam. We also visited a favorite local restaurant for dinner. It was nice to have him back.

Not only was he was back so was the Youngest. My soul needed that because we used to go on a lot of adventures when they were younger.

Off topic: I’ve recently discovered Lizzo. She has great lyric in this song. “Don’t text me. Tell it me it to my face.” That’s how the Oldest is feeling right now. He is big on communication. That was the problem with the relationship.

Onto to the photos from our adventure:

After spending time in nature, we went to a favorite restaurant for our dinner. Airline Dairy Creme is located close to the Dayton International Airport.

I’m so happy that I got to spend some quality time with my teenagers. They are growing up so quickly.

Have a magical day,

My Sacred Musical Artist / Happy

During the summer, I was introduced to a podcast called Harry Potter and the Sacred Text. They take the Harry Potter books and chapter by chapter they discuss it through different themes like empathy and white privilege. The podcast really makes you think.

They also discuss the fact there is often a sacred text, songs, or even musical artists in our lives that we often rely on to get us through difficult times.

Throughout the years, my sacred song has changed depending on the season I am in my life. However, for the last 10 or so years, one artist keeps popping us as having songs that I have believe to be sacred to me. Mind you, I’ve loved her music since the early 2000’s when I first heard Just like a Pill. So who is this artist. She is P!nk, the badass I wish I was myself.

Okay, Get the Party started was a sacred song for me while I was pregnant with Oldest. That child was planning to stay in my uterus forever. I wanted my body to get the party started. It never worked. I was induced 4 days after his due date.

Then there was Perfect. I went through a period of time where I had students who were not the best. It was a really rough period. Lots of anxiety and depression during that time during that time in my life. I had lost family members, a former student of mine, and a high school friend. I tried to keep it together. As a self-help for myself, I discovered photography.

Hurts 2B Human

This past April, she came out with the newest album Hurts 2B Human. I can relate to so many of the songs. Whether in this time in my life or in my past. I want to discuss some of the songs and how it relates to my life.

Now mind you, it won’t be all in one post. I wouldn’t do that to you.

The first song I would like to discuss is Happy. This song was written about how I felt about myself in my teens until mid thirties.

The lyrics I can really relate to are
” Since I was 17
I’ve always hated my body
And it feels like my body’s hated me
Can somebody find me a pill to make me un-afraid of me? “

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with my body. I’m short waisted with long legs. Can you believe how awkward that combination is especially for a teen?

I always thought I was not attractive. Maybe it’s because of my awkwardness. It was not until I lost my grandma and I began to be in more photos that I realized that I was not as unattractive as I realized. Hubby would tell me that I was beautiful but it was not always enough for me to believe. What an awful way to live my life.

Another lyric I can relate to is
” Since I was 22
I’ve been with somebody who loves me
And I’ve been trying to believe it’s true.”

I have actually been with Hubby since I was 22. On October 17th, we’ve been together for 22 years which is going to be half of my life. For details of the time we got together, click on this link. That year was a hard year for me mentally, emotionally, and even physically.

How did I end up with someone who truly loved me? I don’t know. I was in a series of messed up relationships up until that moment. I could write a book on those relationships.

Am I scared to be happy? I don’t think so. I like being happy but there were times in my time that it was hard to be happy.

” (Don’t like to talk about my feelings) “

This is true. I don’t always like to talk about my feelings. I’m scared people will judge me.

I hope you’ll be kind and understand how this post made me vulnerable.

Have a magical day,

I hate to see my son hurt

My son is hurt right now. I’m trying to help him the best I can but there is only so much I can do.

I’ve mentioned about him having a girlfriend. Well, that girlfriend has taken to ghosting him, a.k.a. ignoring him. She told him that she doesn’t want to break up with him. However, her actions are saying otherwise.

I know I shouldn’t be in their business but when I see him moping around my house. He is not acting like himself at all. He’s made so much progress socially. I don’t want to lose his progress. About 6 years ago, we attempted to have him diagnosed as having Asperger’s disorder. He met every indicator except the social indicator. Since I made sure to put him in social situations, he was too social to be diagnosed as having Asperger’s.

He has really came out of his shell in the last two years. Now he’s just hanging out in room either laying on his bed or playing on his computer. On Saturday, he didn’t want to hang out with his buddies at the restaurant we went to which is unusual for him.

As I said, she’s ghosting or ditching him for her friends. She is not communicating with him. When he tries to tell her how he feels, she has a panic attack or that is what she tells him.

She told her mom that she doesn’t want to break up with him but has not said that to him. Instead she just ignores him. As a mom, it hurts. I know what I would do in the situation if a guy did that to me. However, I need to attempt to stay out of it.

Her mom and I have talked about the situation because his girlfriend was crying and saying “I’ve messed up with N___. I’m afraid he is going to break up with me.”

I just hate to see him hurting. He used to light up when he spoke about her. Now he sounds tired and defeated.

All this has gone down in the last 2 weeks. He asked her to Homecoming and then this happened. She says she wants to go with him.

I just hate to see him hurting.

Have a magical day,