Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Lt. Charles Joseph Margiotta

Since 2006, I have had the honor and pleasure of honoring a hero that lost his life in the tragic attacks of September 11, 2001.  It’s been 17 years since the attacks that struck our nation, but you will forever be in my heart.  I had the pleasure of speaking with your brother Mike last year and he was grateful that you will forever been honored by someone who didn’t know you.  It is my honor to be your voice.

Every year I have so much to say, but this year I am at a loss about what to write. I vowed to your brother to learn something new about you every year.  I’ve read the many funny stories off of the website that was created in your honor, and they all said the same thing, you had a huge heart.  One story spoke of the pit bull that you would dress up in a NYFD jersey and let run loose on the field, it said that the NYFD always beat the NYPD with you on their team.  According to your friends the word “hero” is not what you would associate yourself with, you would just be doing your job. You, Chuck, are a hero in the lives of many.

17 years ago, you ran into a building not knowing what would happen next, but you saved many lives, while losing your own.  Those people whose lives you saved would say you are their hero.  You are a hero to me for giving up something so precious so that others could be saved.  We remember you always, may we never forget your sacrifices.

Today, and everyday, I work to honor the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice on 9/11.  I will continue to teach my kids about this day, because it can’t just be history.  The need to know how this affected us as a nation, and each of us individually.  I was just a 17 year old girl, roaming the halls of my high school that day. Little did I know the impact it would have on me at the age of 34.  At 17, I watched a nation come together, people become better people, and friends forever changed.  I watched people mourn and grieve, even though we had no answers as to why.  I watched 132 high school seniors band together and vow to never forget.  I saw America become patriotic again.

Today, and everyday, we not only honor Lt. Charles Margiotta, but the 2,996 that lost their lives that fateful day.  We honor the many men and women who have died or are suffering from an illness that was caused on that day.

To all of the first responders and their families, thank you for your unwavering sacrifice to keeping us safe.  To the men and women that fight for our freedom everyday, thank you! To those who have lost their lives during 9/11, I keep your family in my prayers always.

If you’d like to read my first blog post about Chuck you may do so here.  The link to last years blog post.  I encourage you to go read the many stories posted about Chuck on his families memorial website, and if you’d like to donate to his scholarship fund, I know they would appreciate that.

*all photos have been used with permission

Friday, July 06, 2018

Three Long Weeks

It’s been three of the longest weeks of my life. Cowgirl passed three weeks ago. It’s been hard for us girl. I wish I could convey how much you are missed around here. Dad and I cry at least a couple of times a week.

The other night we were laying in bed and I started to cry. Dad asked me what was wrong.  I was going to tell you goodnight but the reality hit that you were no longer with us. I told you goodnight and I loved you. I hope you heard me. Dad said it was ok to still say those things because you live in our hearts. I didn’t know it would be this hard, no one prepared me for this.  There is nothing that anyone can say to prepare us for this. You were here one day, and gone the next.  I asked dad when this nightmare would end.  They say you learn to cope, and things get easier, but I want to know when. Will our hearts be broken forever?

We went out of town a couple of weekends ago, and when we came home that was so hard. You weren’t here to greet us at the front door.  The house was so empty and quiet.  While we were driving to Houston, Dad said, “What if we come home with a new blue puppy?” My heart broke, and I responded that I wasn’t ready yet.  There are not any blue puppies in this world that are just like you, sweet, beautiful, loyal, calm, loving, and precious.  There are plenty of blue puppies out there, but none like you.  You were truly one of a kind.  For now, we will love Sheriff Ringo and Ruby, they deserve just as much love as we gave you.

Rufus Kitty still lays in your bed, and he still leaves room for you. He’s become the most snuggly thing ever since you passed.  He has now started to play with the puppies, but they don’t play with him like you did. In fact, they don’t really know what to do. He misses you so much, just like the rest of us.

We’ve talked about leaving the puppies out over night to roam the house, but Sheriff can’t behave.  He comes in the house and ten minutes later we find shredded things in your bed.  He digs stuff out of any trashcan he can find.  He even ate some crayons the other day, what a crazy dog!

I posted on Chewy about how you have passed.  Their response was beautiful. Did you know they sent us a dozen roses and a candle?  How cool is that?! It’s not cool that we have to go through this, but its cool that they honor each of their customers fur babies.

I’ll leave you with this. I honestly didn’t know that my heart could shatter into a million pieces.  I never knew that when you passed, a part of me would go with you.  We miss you with all that we have.  Watch over Daddy please. He misses you greatly.

Monday, June 18, 2018


Cowgirl’s 1st Birthday.
On Memorial Day, 2009, we brought home the sweetest girl ever. A bright and beautiful Blue Heeler named Cowgirl.  I remember the long drive to Coleman, TX to pick her up. We got to the guys house, and we instantly fell in love with her. She was beautiful! We made the long journey home with her. I remember her soaking a towel with her slobber as she laid her head in Colby’s lap. She also pooped in the truck as well. Poor girl was a nervous wreck. She always loved the idea of car rides, but in actuality they made her nervous.

We had many good years with our girl. She was kind, protective, loving, and sweet. We saw her through many things, often babying her with all we had. She loved to steal bread off of the counter, no matter how far back you put it, she would get it. I remember one time she stole the bread while Colby and I were out at dinner.  When we got home I noticed it was gone, she was hiding in her room, and we couldn’t find the bag.  We got to looking and called her out of her room, she had been smart enough to take the bag and lay on it.  That crazy girl was hiding the evidence.  She also stole food off the table a few times, and would eat something of yours if you walked away for only a minute.  She was sneaky, but we just laughed.

She watched that fish tank for a good five minutes that day!
In 2011, I got pregnant with Stephen, and I worried about what kind of dog she would become once we brought him home.  My fears were unwarranted. She was absolutely amazing with Stephen.  She would lay in the doorway of his bedroom while I rocked and fed him.  She always wanted to be close by him to make sure he was ok.  When he would do tummy time, she needed to be right at his side.  If he was on the floor, she was always right there with him.  She had become his great protector.  He loved her so much and she tolerated his shenanigans well.  She never nipped at him when he would lay on her or accidentally pull her ear.  She loved him so much.

Always watching her Buddy, and her baby was never far away. 
The years went by, and we moved twice before landing in our permanent home.  Of course she was always willing to go where we were.  She was such a resilient girl.  She befriended a tiny little kitten and they became best friends.  She had numerous surgeries for infected teeth, ripping open her belly on the baby gate, her toenail getting caught in the door, and so much more.  She was so awesome during it all. What a trooper that girl was, and she always recovered much better than they said she would.  She stayed by her daddy’s side while he was so incredibly sick in 2016. She comforted him everyday.

Fast forward to 2017, we noticed she was bleeding from her nipple one evening, and we knew that couldn’t be good. We took her to the vet and told us she needed surgery to remove the mammary tumors.  After her surgery he told us that he could tell they were malignant and would indeed spread so we needed to keep an eye out. They got worse, and they spread like wild fire.  She didn’t seem to be in pain and we put it off taking her in again.  In our eyes she was doing well, I often think that God was making us enjoy those last months with her.  We did enjoy them, that’s for sure.

Cowgirl and Buddy waiting for Daddy to come home. 

Last week she began struggling to breath, we had noticed it, but didn’t do anything about it, we were too scared to face the harsh reality of it all.  I took her into the vet last Wednesday, inquiring about if there was anything we could do, or was it time to say goodbye.  He informed me she probably had one week of life left before she crossed the rainbow bridge.  I’m glad we didn’t take that for granted or we would have been so disappointed. We scheduled a time and a day to end her suffering, but she decided that wasn’t good enough.  We enjoyed her on Wednesday, I took her for a long car ride, took her outside many times, and we just hung out.

Wednesday evening we noticed she would head to the bedroom, and then come back to the living room.  I took her back to her bed a couple of times until we figured out that she wanted us to come to bed.  Colby and I got a little bit of sleep on Wednesday, and Thursday morning about 4:30 we both woke up.  Her breathing was terrible.  She was really struggling.  Colby laid in the floor with her for a while before telling me he didn’t think she would make it. My heart was hurting because I knew she wouldn’t either.  She finally came to the living room, I followed her and came to check on her many times.  Then, I suddenly didn’t hear her tags clinking together anymore so I came back to the living room to check again.  She had passed.

We miss her so incredibly much, but we know that she’s with Jesus.  We also find comfort in the fact that she is healed.  She can run without struggling for the next breath, she can walk without a limp, and she is cured of cancer.  We tried to bury her, but our soil is a combination of dirt and caliche.  Caliche becomes hard like concrete once it’s rained a few times and becomes really packed.  It’s hard to dig in that.  We opted for cremation.

Today, I brought our girl back home.  We know she is at peace.  She gave us the best 9 years of her life, and we enjoyed every moment of them.  She was our first dog that we got as a family, she was with Colby through some of the roughest times as well.

Cowgirl, we miss you so much, and our hearts break without you here.  We love you. Be a good girl.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Little Peep

So we have started hatching some chickens to add to our flock out at the property. We were blessed with 10 chicks a few weeks ago, except one chick was super special. His name was Peep Peep or Peep as we called him. He was loud, noisy, demanding of snuggles, and loved.  He had down that felt like the fur of your favorite stuffed animal. He was unique. He was born with his feet messed up, so we bandaged them up and made him little shoes. It looked like he was wearing paddles for a few days! He was sweet, loving, lovable, and now he is missed. There isn’t a day that goes by that little Peep isn’t on my mind.
Little Peep enjoying the sunshine. He wasn’t too wild about the grass! 

Little Peep was born very sick, he squeaked when he breathed and his feet were messed up. We gave him antibiotics, syringe fed him, fixed his feet, and loved him immensely. He had his own apartment, an incubator, with a stuffed monkey for snuggles and company, as well as food, water and a dirt box. When he hatched I had to help him completely, he was stuck oh so bad. Then we noticed his feet never flatted out, so we bandaged him up. The first night I got up every hour to give him water and food. I couldn’t let him die without me trying, after all he had already endured so much.

Colby saw how desperate I was to save little Peep, so on Friday he went to TSC and bought all of the necessary supplies. We started Peep on antibiotics, as well as a few other things, by the end of the day he was a new little chick. He started eating wet feed, on his own, as well as drinking. It was an exciting time. By the following Wednesday, Peep had started to go down hill. I continued my regiment of feeding and giving him water throughout the day, but he was losing weight. God had only given us a short time with him, and I’m so glad we made the most out of it.

Peep on Mother’s Day. I was so sick, but he needed to be taken care of, so I pushed my needs aside to care for him.  This is the day he started doing really well. 

I started taking Peep outside to do normal chicken things.  We played in the grass in the sunshine. I took him to experience the dirt that his siblings were hanging out with. I took him to see the big chickens. We hung out a lot. I played with him on the carpet, and most of all I loved him. The day before he passed it rained, and I knew at that point he would never grow big enough to experience it for himself. I wrapped him up in a towel and we went outside to watch the rain. You see, that morning he was really weak and he fell in his water dish. It wasn’t deep enough for him to drown but he became really cold. He started screaming and cheeping really loudly from his apartment, and my momma heart knew something was wrong. I rushed to the bathroom, grabbed a towel, and started the blow dryer. I knew that if I didn’t get him warm I would lose him. I got him all warm, got him dry, and returned him to his apartment.  After all his apartment was a cozy 97 degrees. He snuggled up to his monkey and slept. He just kept sleeping.
Just doing chicken things!

I would scoop him out every hour to give him a drink, some food, and some much needed love. Even dying birds need love and comfort too. We went to bed, told him goodnight, and did it all again the next morning.

Friday morning I greeted him, like I did every morning, and he just wasn’t alert. I knew at that point that today was the day that Jesus would take him home. I gave him water, his electrolytes, and a bit of food, but something was different. Peep was very lethargic, very cold, and had a thick mucus in his mouth. I really knew at that point that it was time. I was praying that he would wait until Colby made it home, but God had other plans.  While cleaning, because I had also been super sick, I walked by the closet where his apartment was. God spoke to me and said, get Peep. Ok God, I hear you. I put down my cleaning towels, scooped Peep up and went outside with him. We sat in the warm sunshine with the older chicks.  His eyes were tightly closed, but he opened them, his breathing became more shallow, and he stretched out his sweet little wing and passed away. God took him home and he was healed.

Little Peep you were amazing!!! I loved you from the very beginning. I’m so glad that God chose me to be part of your life. I was going through some rough times while you were with us, and if it hadn’t been for you, then I don’t know what I would’ve done. Your down was incredible, your smell unforgettable, your cheep was lovable, and you were amazing! Your siblings are starting to feather out, and theres even a little one that we named Squirt. Squirt is little, probably the size you would be if you were still with us, and can you believe that his cheep is as loud and as frequent as yours? Every time I get Squirt out, he reminds me so much of you! I miss you so incredibly much, my depression worsened after you left us. Now there is a huge hole in my heart. I washed your monkey, Dad wouldn’t let me bury you with it, he said we might need it for another sick chick someday. I have somewhat cleaned out your apartment, but I can’t bare to finish. It’s still really hard. I know God gave us the right amount of time together, but to me it wasn’t enough. He needed you worse in heaven, then I needed you here on earth.

What I would give right now to hear you cheep, touch your fur, kiss and smell you. I took all of those things for granted while you were with us, and now you’re gone. Now, I just have those memories, and they are precious. I also made sure to take pictures of you! Peep, you made an impact on my life that I could never imagine. Thank you! I know you’re watching me down here, and I hope I’m doing ok with your siblings. I love them very much too. There are a few rambunctious one’s in there, but they are cute too.  No one has fur like you have, but that’s ok, because you were uniquely YOU!