Where did all of those days go? It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was saying goodbye to 2013. This past year has been one of introspection, self-realization, and a new purpose in my life. The beginning of this year was filled with questions, the main one being, “What am I doing here on this earth?” If I am being totally honest with you, I could say that I felt that never-ending fog lifting from my brain and the light peeking through planting ideas to be considered. To be sure, my other life of being a nurse and Physician Assistant would not be bleeding into this new life that was being planned.

There were three activities that gave me a feeling of accomplishment and peace when I was younger before hospitals, clinics, patients, and perpetual care-taking. Those were painting, writing and photography. It was an odd decision to act on each one individually to feel for that ‘just right’ fit. My sweet therapist thought it would be more prudent to choose a direction and stay on track. Perhaps she was right, but I wanted to know for sure.

The first few months were filled with online photography classes, a new camera, and homework to keep up with. As the days, weeks, then months went by, my enthusiasm waned. It was a chore to complete assignments and the eagerness that I felt in the beginning would not return. This was not my passion.

Spring came. The flowers were blooming, the sun was shining, and there was beauty everywhere. This would be the time for painting. I was overwhelmed with excitement. I signed up for a class close to my home and bought all of the equipment necessary, and showed up that first evening with all the confidence that I could muster. There was a time that I owned a stained glass shop, and another time that I did some lovely water colors. By the time I arrived and was introduced to the class, I understood that I would begin from the beginning. That would not discourage me. I did my assignments in class and the required homework. But later I realized that I was not doing any more than was asked of me. The motivation was not within me to continue.

On a routine visit to my psychiatrist, we began talking about my son Alex. He had known and treated Alex for his narcolepsy. His memories of him were not of his multiple illnesses, but of his zest for life, his sense of humor, and his constant thirst for knowledge. Before I left that day, he said, “Patty, Start writing a blog. It could be the beginning of a book for Alex.”
I didn’t pay much attention. After all I didn’t know anything about blogging. I knew I could write, but a blog? In October I started this blog. Every step was a hurdle. I kept thinking that I was making a crazy mistake. Then things started happening. Organizations for helping children with chronic illnesses started to contact me to speak at their meetings, give suggestions about a new way to give these children the best medical service, and wanted to hear how I handled those difficult situations that come hand-in-hand with raising sick children.

That feeling that had alluded me for so long, that passion and excitement to write did not disappear. It was there all along waiting for me to unleash it. So here I am at the beginning of a new year waiting to see what this one has in store for me.

Thank you everyone who follows, likes, or just come to see what I will write about each day. I have found a safe place with you and feel your encouragement everyday. Believe it or not, it has been ten years since my husband died and seven since Alex passed away and it is now that the clouds are parting so I am able to see why I still wake up every morning. It is to write, to help people in need, and use all of the knowledge that I have gained along the way to truly make a difference.

Happy New Year! Follow your dreams!


My early life was a confusing and chaotic time that consisted of lost and broken parents, overwhelmed and depressed grandparents, and my sweet older sister (by fifteen months).  We lived with family members, nuns at our boarding school, and  summers with our father.  My dream was to finally be old enough to break my shackles that cemented my soul to our tormentors.  That would be when I was grown up, I thought.  The truth is that my life continued to be enmeshed with theirs even after I was married and living my new life, still emotionally and financially dependent on those that had been the source of my pain.

I adopted my adorable baby boy, had a beautiful baby girl, and then my amazing surprise, another sweet baby boy.  I thought I was an adult, working as a nurse, maintaining my marriage, cleaning our house, cooking daily and caring for my precious children.   Age does not qualify you to be considered a grown woman, nor do the experiences in your past.  There came a time that my depression became more than I could handle and my husband’s drinking had been out of control.  That is how we found ourselves in counseling, learning how to become successful in our marriage, how to parent since we had not had the opportunity of having good role models, and how each of us could become whole to be the best version of ourselves.

My mind had locked away many secrets that were never to be told.  But, therapy has a way of allowing them to bubble up and slowly leak out, then release into the light.  Of all the people in my life, my father was my idol. He was on a pedestal so elevated that there was no other person that could reach his heights.  Couldn’t I just love him and leave everything else alone?  The answer was no.  I learned that men that molest and abuse their daughters do not just stop when they are grown.  The words of my counselor rang in my ears and exploded to my brain, then my heart.  How could I ever sever this relationship?  But, how could I ignore the fact that each time I would visit him, I was endangering my very own children, those beautiful little people who I spent each day loving and protecting.  Yes. No matter what, I was a mother first.

The day that I confronted my father, witnessed by my step-mother, I was an official adult.  He never denied it, even adding some never-before-heard stories about my other siblings.  My step-mother shouted at me to take it all back, that it was all lies. But, for whatever reason, my father just kept talking and telling her that they were not lies.  I got up to leave and he kissed me and said, “It’s all under the bridge.”  It was then that I realized that he did not truly love me.  So, if he didn’t love me, how could he love my children.

That was the last time that I saw my father, the last time my children saw their grandfather.  And I became a pariah to my biological family.  But that same day I became the best mother possible, and I was finally free from the people that had tried to keep me from growing up into this woman I have become.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “All Grown Up.”