Category Archives: Uncategorized

Captain Ben Marler

When I went through some of my mothers photos, I found these two.  The man used to be my dad’s best friend, Harvey and his wife.  They both passed on when I was about 8 years old.  He was like a grandfather to me.  I know my dad looked up to him as a father, since there was a bit of age difference between the two.  Evidently at one point in time Harvey may have worked or known a Captain Ben Marler.  If you recognize either person in these photos, please let me know! 


Death in the family

I returned to Italy last week after spending 2 weeks in my hometown of Sioux Falls, South Dakota due to my mother passing away.
It was bright and early, like 6ish, on a Saturday morning.  My husband had gotten up early and discovered a South Dakota phone number on the caller id and immediately woke me up by telling me something is probably wrong with my mom.  Looked at the phone, Sioux Falls phone number.  I called, sure enough was the nursing home my mom had been living at for the last few years.  She had been admitted into the intensive care unit.  When I called the hospital fortunately the kidney doctor just happened to be there.  The doctor said that my mother’s kidneys were only functioning at 20% and probably be put on dialysis.  I gave my consent since my mother was suffering from confusion due to all of the impurities running through her system.  The doctor was not too confident of my mom’s outlook.  Sunday, the next day, talked to the cardiologist.  My mom’s aorta valve was hardening and becoming narrow, therefore limiting the amount of blood that her heart was able to pump out.  Considering everything, also the fact my mom was diabetic, there was nothing the doctors could do.  No surgery, medications, procedures.  My mom was given a matter of days, two weeks tops.  They kept her on dialysis until I was able to make it Stateside that Wednesday night.
When I arrived I immediately went to the hospital to see her.  She was awake, alert and immediately recognized me.  She knew I was there and was glad to see her only child made it over before passing away.  Thursday she pretty much slept the entire day.  I had a meeting with some doctors that morning and told me that it was up to me if I wanted to keep her on dialysis, oxygen and medications to stabilize her heart rate which were just stabilizing her and giving her “time” or to remove everything and let nature take its course.  I chose the latter.  She knew I was there by her bedside, she was suffering, why prolong it?
So on Friday machines and medications were gradually removed and my mom was free of anything “artificial”.  She was awake and talking a majority of the day.  How much she understood of what was going on, one will never know.  She knew I was there, recognized two of my friends that came to visit and also the bishop of the church she attended.
When I left the hospital Friday evening, after spending almost 12 hours there, she was eating a cheeseburger, her last meal on this earth.  She asked to have the television turned on.  She fell asleep watching TV, never to wake up.
Saturday morning I arrived at about 8:30am to find her deeply asleep with the television still on.  My mom’s GP’s intern was so sweet and came in to visit at about 10:30 and stayed for about half an hour, on her day off.  That really touched me, the intern coming in on her day off to see how things were going.  How my mom and I were doing.  A few minutes after she left I went outside to smoke then send an email to my husband to keep him updated on the situation.  I was gone for maybe fifteen minutes.  When I returned I found my mother had passed away.
She was diagnosed around 1992 with diabetes, had a gastric bypass in October 2001 to lose weight.  Unfortunately her health went downhill after her diagnosis with diabetes.  After a long struggle, she is now at peace and in no pain. 

Personal Interest Poll

When did you start using a computer? For how long have you been able to use a computer? What computer applications do you use the most? How long have you been “online”. And last but not least, your country of residence. Post your responses in the comments section.

I’m doing this survey out of curiosity, after noticing the slight differences in computer usage between Italy and the USA.

English Writing Assistance

I’ve started a new blog here on WordPress, English Writing Courses. The reason I have started the new blog is to help ESL (English as a Second Language) students with their writing skills. I have found with my real life students, next to listening and speaking, writing tends to be a bit difficult. So I have decided to offer assistance not only to my real life students but to also help virtually.

I have been working on this little project lately so thus the reason why I have not posted anything recently.

On a separate note. We went to Bellinzona Switzerland, as usual, on Sunday. My husband and a friend of ours went to an AC Bellinzona football/soccer match while I showed the wife of the friend around Bellinzona. We were sitting in a small square/piazza in the city centre/downtown and I seen an absolutely adorable little girl. She must have been about 3, long brown hair and rather small for her age. The little girl seemed to have a slight case of Down’s Syndrome, but the look on her face was absolutely priceless. She was such a happy, curious, inquisitive and innocent little girl. She had a smile ear-to-ear and eyes bright as stars. Watching her with her innocent curiosity and happiness made my day. Her mother encouraged her daughter’s inquisitiveness which was wonderful to see.

Dedicated to my sister-in-law

This post I dedicate to my sister-in-law who was diagnosed earlier this year with bone cancer. Shortly before Christmas 2008 she had fallen at work and hurt her hip and the pain from the fall had never went away. So this spring she went into the doctor who ran some tests and discovered she had cancer in both hips, a lower vertebrae and and her lower rib. When she found out the news, of course was devastated. Over five years ago she battled and won a bout with breast cancer, now this.

She has already been through radiation treatments and last week she had her first treatment of chemotherapy. Her next round of chemotherapy will be in a couple of weeks.

After the initial shock, she’s had a wonderful positive attitude the entire time. At this point in time the doctors are trying to be optimistic about her future, but it is hard to say right now. No matter the outcome, my sister-in-law has been keeping her chin high and trying her best keep her head held high.

Social Vibe Widget

You may have noticed, if not please do so now, the new Social Vibe widget on the right hand side of this blog. By taking a couple minutes of your time and rating a short video, you can help the Starlight Children’s Foundation. There is NO out-of-pocket expense to you, just a couple of minutes of your time, to help sick children.


Do you use Twitter? If you do, why?

I haven’t been on Twitter all that long and am starting to get the hang of it, still learning the ropes though. I am still learning how to fully exploit, in a positive sense of course, everything Twitter can offer. I am using Twitter to meet new people and make new friends/connections all over the world.

If you use Twitter, what do you enjoy most about it?