Nitty Gritty Dirty Grief

You Got That Right Pilgrim

These are my Grandparents….my Popa and Dodie. I still wear Dodie’s jewelry with utmost pride.

Aren’t they beautiful?

Today my Popa would have been 89. He died almost 15 years ago, leaving a legacy in the Simms household.

Dodie is in Hospice and isn’t quite sure who I am.

But that’s okay. I love who they are in this photo…..fabulous and untouchable.

My Great-grandfather did quite a lot of genealogy research to find that we are descendants of the Mayflower.

My Popa was quite proud of our lineage. Every Thanksgiving he reminded us that we are from a tough, proud, prideful stock.

In the first year, the pilgrims lost 56 of the 102 who sailed over.

And they still found reasons to be grateful.

On November 25, 2010, our first holiday and four months after Samantha’s death, we found reasons to be grateful.

I am grateful that my other set of Grandparents joined us; my Grandma Clem and Grandpa Al. Who has so many grandparents on the eve of 40???

I am grateful for the turkey button that pops when the turkey is done. I am thrilled I produced a golden-brown, beautiful turkey.

I am grateful that my friends tried to talked me out of a potato ricer. I didn’t listen but I am still grateful that you cared. And by the way, you were right.

For sale… potato ricer. Used once.

I am grateful that 18 of us gathered around a table.

I am grateful for 18 of us who chose to celebrate Thanksgiving at our home.

I am grateful for a family who loves us….who shares in our pain, our triumphs, and in our ultimate, evolving love for our girl.

I am grateful for friends who touched base just to make sure we were okay this Thanksgiving.

We have endured our hardships this year but we gathered around a table with pride, happiness,love and that stubborn determination……

…..that will move forward….because if we don’t, what else will we do?

You got that right Pilgrim.

Happy Birthday Popa.

Nitty Gritty Dirty Grief

Logo a Go Go

My friend and fellow Miracles for Mito board member Laura called me this afternoon.

Of course I missed the call.

“Call me,” was all she said and then hung up.

She called a bit later…..

“Call me!!!!”

My first thought was that something was wrong….I’ve been a bit programmed to think that way.

So I called her in the middle of Walmart in my search for a potato ricer for my Thanksgiving mashers.

“The logos are ready,” she said “Luke sent you a copy.”

Luke is our wonderful graphic designer who is working with us for Miracles for Mito.

He has logos……

he has our logos…..our logos for our non-profit.

Nothing like getting a little teary at Walmart in the middle of kitchen applicances. Turns out the Walmart ladies don’t know what a potato ricer is.

My mashers just might have to be mashed.

But it’s all good……I thanked the ladies of Walamrt, left with two boxes of Triscuits and a thankful heart…..we have logos, fabulous, beautiful, impactful logos.

Nitty Gritty Dirty Grief

Oh the Places I Will Go….

Last week I found myself in Florida at a client meeting. I packed up my overnight bag and kissed hubby goodbye.

I landed in Florida in time to see the sun set over the ocean.

30 hours later I was back home watching the end of Conan and wondering how long I could snooze on the couch until hubby collected me for bed.

For someone who spent the last four years sequestered to the living room, Samantha’s bedroom or Children’s Hospital, I find it quite odd that I can wake up to snow on the ground and four hours later comment that Florida is definitely too hot for a sweater dress.

It is all so seamless…..a toothbrush and a pair of underwear and poof!! you are 1,600 miles away from home.

We went on two trips when Samantha was alive; one to visit hubby’s parents. The other was when hubby’s dad passed away. They were both BIG deals, requiring days of planning, formula, oxygen, letters from doctors, special seating and a gallon jug of Purel. We were about as seamless as a rhinoceros in a smart car.

And people complain about a pat down.

Last week everything fit into my little overnight bag.

And yes, note to self……Florida is way too hot for a sweater dress.

Nitty Gritty Dirty Grief


Our fabulous foundation, Miracles for Mito is supported by another foundation that helps non-profits get on their feet.

They are wonderful and handle all of the details that I don’t like….

I’m not a finance person. I’m not a lawyer. The only thing I know about HR is that I need to bring my social security card and driver’s license on the first day at work.

Rules confuse me.

So, I am handing off the handling of the rules to the non-profit development center….happily handing this off.

The other day I sat at the CNDC orientation. Since they handle our legal issues, we are obligated to inform them in the case of a health ‘incident’ at any event.

I had to raise my hand… the special needs community, we have many ‘moments’ that others may qualify as an ‘incident’.

What exactly qualifies as an incident? I asked. Our kids have seizures or medical issues when they are out and about but it’s really no big deal. The parents know how to handle it. Do you want me to call then?

Do you call 911 with a seizure? They asked.

Not always….sometimes.

Well, she paused, maybe if they had a seizure but the parent wasn’t happy with how things were handled, then maybe call us to report an incident.

This didn’t settle with me……our parents aren’t the type to blame anyone else for the ‘incidents’ that can happen with our kids. But a call to emergency services is still a call to emergency services… I asked What if we just call you if we ever have to call 911 during an event?

Perfect. She said.

And there was my answer. In many non-profit event worlds, a seizure is a big deal… incident causing, report it big deal.

We get the call us only-if-it’s-a-911-seizure-incident-reporting clause.

It’s nice to work with people who understand our people.

Nitty Gritty Dirty Grief

My Two Suitors

I am a woman with two suitors.

Last night I fixed a lovely meal and rented Iron Man 2 to watch with Hubby.

I didn’t think I would like Iron Man 2 but I love my hubby and he has been wanting to see it……ahh, the sacrifices we make.

But instead, My Grief entered around 8:00….uninvited, unwanted, and picked me up, carried me into Samantha’s room and placed me on her bed.

And I cried. I cried in the company of My Grief who had become huge and overpowering….apparently feeling like I had neglected him for a bit too long.

I cried myself to sleep.

Hubby came in after my cry with Grief and escorted me to bed.

“I love you,” he said as I drifted off.

He had rescued me….just as the princess is rescued from the dragon’s claws. He confronted My Grief, my huge, over-powering, Iron-Man-night-ruining Grief and took me back.

Grief can be a mighty monster to challenge. We’ll watch Iron Man 2 tonight.