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Just 10 days shy of 6 months since his strokes, Billy was able to go back to work!


He’s only able to do about 2 hours a day right now, but its a start.

The social interactions will be so much better than him sitting at home every day.  Plus working and having to think will be great therapy for his brain.


How is it already August?  How is it that Jazzy is already 15???  Happy Birthday Jazzy, mommy loves you!!!

Since Billy’s strokes, life has been beyond hectic and I am trying to get things back into order.  August is going to be very hectic until we can get back into the routine of school, doctor appointments, therapy, and perhaps one day we will recover from our trip to California.


My goals for August are Continue reading

We’ve all walked around Walmart, or Target, or the grocery store without thinking twice.

I’ve done it a million times it seems like.  But today made me stop and think about all those times that I didn’t even think twice about it.

There was a time that Billy and I would go to the store just to walk around.

All that changed in February after Billy’s strokes.

Usually when we go to the store Billy uses a cart.  He’s getting better with walking with his cane, but he still has a hard time doing long distances.  Unfortunately (maybe fortunately) there wasn’t a cart available, so he had to walk around holding onto a cart.

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Billy had an English Bulldog named Bacon.  Due to living situation, Bacon went to live with Billy’s parents until he could find a place to rent that allowed large dogs.

Billy’s dad became attached to Bacon and it was decided that Bacon would stay with him.  Plus when we moved from California to South Carolina we were worried about the extreme climate change and how Bacon would tolerate it.

Unfortunately Bacon passed away the same night that Billy suffered his strokes.  It was several weeks later before we were told about Bacon passing.  His parents knew how upset Billy would be and they were afraid of how it would affect his recovery.

After seeing how Bacon’s death affected Billy, and everyone involved was afraid that his depression was going to affect Billy’s recovery.

Enter Rhino.   Continue reading

I miss feeling normal.

Some days I feel like I’m just a little cracked, but I’m ok.

Other days I feel like I’m so broken I’m about to fall apart.

Even worse is waking up feeling great and then this wave washes over me and I’m trying to hold myself together.

Here’s to hoping I can sleep and wake up feeling a little less broken.

I’ve learned that life can suck.  Majorly suck.

Everyone is going through something, and most of the time it goes much deeper than what you see on the surface.  Much deeper than what is posted on Facebook and other social media.

It’s no secret that I became a widow at the age of 32.  Patrick’s transplant and all the complications were posted all over Facebook.  Family and friends were kept updated.  His story drew the attention of strangers.  Others in the transplant community.  Those in the Congenital Heart Defect community, both the adult CHDers and parents of CHDers.   Continue reading

When I met Billy, I hadn’t planned on dating.  I was looking for friends.  I was looking for people who didn’t know me before Patrick died.  I wanted to meet people that wouldn’t look at me like I was broken.  People that would see me for me and not as Sam with the dead husband.

When Patrick died, I realized that I didn’t have as many friends as I thought I did.  I will always be grateful for the friends that stepped up and where there every step of my grieving process.  But I learned that a lot of my friends were to weirded out and ran away instead of being the support I needed.

Maybe I should be grateful that they showed themselves out of my life instead of sticking around and just pretending.

Enter Billy.

I met Billy on Oct 1, 2013.

I almost went off on him after that first hello.  I had had a really bad day, and I was in a I-hate-everyone mood.  A little voice in my brain told me I needed to be nice to him and at least say hi.

We had been talking for a could of weeks before he asked me to lunch one day.  He knew I had an appointment to get my car worked on and thought meeting after would be a good idea.

Only, sitting in a waiting room at Hyundai gave me a lot of time to think, and over think things.  I wasn’t sure I was ready for this.  It had only been 18 months since Patrick died.  What was I doing?  I still loved Patrick, and how could I even think about anyone else, even if this was just a lunch date.

I finally gave in and called a friend.  She was thrilled and spent an hour talking me into going to lunch.  If it didn’t work out, or if I wasn’t ready, it was just lunch.

Even though she made sense, I wasn’t sure.  Then there was the, what are my kids going to think?  What’s his family going to think?  OMG what are so and so going to think?

In the end, I decided I needed to do it for me.  I needed to test the waters and see if this was something I was ready for.  On the way there I talked to Patrick.  I asked him for a sign if he was OK with this.

Lunch went well.  We talked about me, my kids, Patrick, and everything I had been through.  We talked about him, his divorce, his family, and his dog.

After lunch we decided to walk around the mall.  I was surprised that I was enjoying his company, but I still so wrapped up in my head being worried about what everyone else was going to think, that I didn’t know if I could do a relationship with him.

Plus I hadn’t had a sign from Patrick.  I know it sounds crazy to so many people, but it was really important to me.

We walked into a store and there was a ladybug on a tumbler.  It was cartoony, and I blew it off as it was just a coincidence.  My signs from Patrick had always been real ladybugs.

We walked on.  The next store had another cartoony ladybug.  My brain told me this was just another coincidence.  It was getting closer to the time I had to leave to be home when Jazzy got out of school.

One more store before he walked me back to my car.  We walked towards the back, and ended up having to zig-zag through the store because of rude people.  We ended up on the opposite side of the store than we wanted, but I got my sign.  The back corner was full of ladybugs.  Curtains, towels, bath mats, sheets, all covered in realistic looking ladybugs.

Like I said, most people would think I’m insane for deciding to date Billy based on if I saw ladybugs or not, but I believe in signs from our passed loved ones, and I needed that sign from Patrick to know that he would be ok with it.


On November 12 we were hanging out with his dog, Bacon.  I needed signs from Patrick, Billy needed to know if Bacon liked me.  Once it was apparent that Bacon loved me, Billy asked me to be his girlfriend.  Like we were 14 again.  It was so corny but so sweet.


We’ve been together ever since.  Most of his friends thought he was my rebound, and they tried to play a part in our relationship in the beginning, but we’ve been together ever since.


3 1/2 years now.


We are getting married August 5, 2018.  And we bought our tickets for an Easter Caribbean Cruise 2 weeks after we get married.  I’m so excited!



This picture was taken of the kids with their dad in August 2009.  This was Patrick’s first stay at Stanford.  The kids were so excited to sit/lay in the bed with their dad and watch Spongebob.

Robbie was 11 and Jazzy had just turned 7.

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How is it possible that its already May?
I’m thankful we are done with April and I don’t have to deal with it again until next year, but seriously, where has this year gone?

A lot of my time this year was spent worried about Billy.

  • January he was in the hospital and diagnosed with cardiomyopothy.
  • February he was rushed to the ER and ended up having emergency bypass surgery. Followed by his strokes.
  • March he was in the rehab hospital and finally came home on March 25th.
  • April he decided he missed the hospital and was rushed back to the ER by ambulance on the 12th.

I have challenged him to stay out of the hospital this month.  We are supposed to go camping with family later this month, and if he ends up in the hospital again, we aren’t going to be able to go.


I’m also having a hard time dealing with we are almost done with school.

How is this picture almost a year old already?!?!?!

Robbie finished his first year of college and How is that possible?  It doesn’t seem long ago that I was registering Robbie for Kindergarten.

Time needs to slow down!

When Patrick was sick, I used Facebook as a way to update friends and family about what was going on.  It was easier for me to make one post instead of sending texts or calling everyone.  Facebook let me focus on what mattered the most and not spend hours on my phone each day.

Right after he died, there was so much to be done.  I called the friends that were watching the kids.  I called the kids’ schools since they were both at school.  Phone calls notifying family and friends.  His primary doctor.  Forms to fill out.  Talking to the doctors about an autopsy.  So many things going on all at once, on top of the emotional roller coaster I was just thrown onto.

My biggest fear was Robbie finding out from a Facebook post that his dad died.  Even though he was in school, him and his friends still checked Facebook every chance they got. Continue reading

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I'm a widowed mom of 2 amazing kids. Engaged to the man that made me realize I could love again. I love photography, gardening, and reading. Caregiver, taxi driver extraordinaire, chef, maid, and everything in between.

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