Pretzels

We all have that one thing from childhood that brings us back, no matter where we are in our life’s journey.  Mine is pretzels.  Doesn’t matter if they are, big, hot, right off the cart with a chewy outside and soft inside or if they’re bought in a bag at the supermarket, I love them.

My dad is a pretzel guy.  He love them, too.  We almost always had a bag in the house.  Of course, as he’s an alcoholic, pretzels are a favorite “go to” snack of the bar scene.  Anyway, I’ve made homemade pretzels, shared them with my friends, eaten them while snuggled up with my son watching a movie or tv show and I can’t think of a single thing that I couldn’t do and be able to snack on them.  Maybe swimming.  Nah, I could go swimming and still snack on them. LOL!

I’ve dipped them in any number of mustards, mustard dressings and mustard BBQ sauce.  I’ve also dipped them and smothered them in various cheeses.  I’ve even seen them at the grocery store, sold as pretzel buns and had to have them.  Especially if I could have turkey and swiss on it, smothered in a nice, stoneground, spicy mustard.

Why am I talking pretzels?  Well, I’ve been sitting here, snacking on these little pretzel sticks and flashed back to my childhood and all the crazy times we had.  We camped, swam, ran, jumped, biked, hiked, went on boat rides, climbed trees, etc. all while bringing my tasty snack along.  Sometimes when mom would make our lunches, I’d beg for pretzels as my snack instead of a snack cake.  I remember my parents had a “reel to reel” player and some Saturdays we would listen to the music all day long.  We danced, we played, and we’d snack on pretzels.  Then, if we were lucky, dad would grill up some dogs and burgers.

Such nostalgia comes in droves sometimes and I get lost in the memories.  I thought I’d share it with you.  I have a treasure trove of beautiful memories stored up and I’m using them to blot out the hard, painful ones.  The ones that give me nightmares.  The ones that keep me up at night.

Hold onto the good memories.  Toss the bad ones aside with the trash.  It isn’t easy.  I know that better than most.  However; it’s good for us to toss the bad ones out.  Learn from them, maybe; but don’t dwell there.

Pretzels are the bomb for me.  I love them and all their varieties.  I love the memories they bring and the taste that reminds me of simpler times.

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2 Years

I almost titled this “Happy Anniversary” but thought that is a stupid thing to say.  This “anniversary” is rather sad than happy.  Yesterday marked 2 years since he passed.  It marked over three years of true health struggles and illness.  It marked the end of pain so deep and killing.  It marked the end of a person who struggled so hard and lost before he could truly live.

I know all his secrets.  I know all his pain.  I know what broke his heart and who those people were.  I felt his pain as deeply as I do my own.

I grieved with him.  I grieved for him.

Post Traumatic Stress is real.  It’s life destroying if you don’t treat it.  It can lead to alcohol or drug abuse. It can lead to suicide, domestic abuse, self harm, food addiction and more.  It’s not easy to live with and a trigger can be anything.

He struggled with alcohol.  He struggled with diabetic neuropathy.  He couldn’t get his pain under control.  His doctor wouldn’t help him.  His liver was destroyed, not by the alcohol alone; but also from his doctor prescribing a 3 month supply of medication in less than two months; because he was an alcoholic, they’d not give him a narcotic.

It doesn’t matter the why anymore.  What matters is that a life so full of pain — child abuse, spousal abuse, trust issues, PTSD and alcohol abuse, all compounded to make this man’s life short.  He died one week before his 47th birthday.

He spent his last 3 months in home hospice where I took care of his every need.  I regret nothing.  I try to only focus on the good times we had in our near decade of knowing each other.  But sometimes, when my depression and PTSD kick in, I remember the hard times and abuse.  It’s not easy.  I try to forget.  I just can’t.

Ah, the mind and its memories.

 

Confessions of a Drama Queen!

It’s been one week and one day since I became a home owner. The move itself was horrible!!!  Took two days to move and an entire day to clean the old place.  From removing dust and grime to shampooing carpets and mopping floors, I did it all.  The place was so clean you could eat off the floors.  I found two holes in the walls behind beds and a hole in the carpet, from Miss Honi, also under the bed.  UGH!  Told owner to bill me.  By Sunday, I was so sore I couldn’t move and felt like crap.  Spent the day resting in order to begin the unpack at the new place.

So, on the 1st, we had the final walk through.  This resulted in me not being very happy at all.  Grass was not mowed and despite listing the washer and dryer in the sale, the seller took it with him.  I was not a happy gal at all.  I spoke to my mortgage broker at United Veteran’s and she was also fumed at the deception.  Not cool.

By the time I spoke with her, I was cooled down.  I told her I’d decided to pick my battles and this was one not worth the fight.  The only thing I could do was not show for the closing; but seriously, after all that stress and work, I’d be the bigger fool.  Water under the bridge at this point.

Closing went well and took an hour.  My son and four of his friends showed up and packed the truck.  We had 2 loads the first day and 2 the next.  We had to stop twice due to extensive rains, which sucked; but we did it.  Friday evening, we turned in the truck and headed over to watch the marching band’s premier at 7 pm before heading out to the new place.  Saturday was spent cleaning and I finally left at 8 pm.

After a day of rest, my son and I ate brunch with an old friend on Monday and then went off to purchase new beds, a lawn mower and a few odds and ends.  So far, I haven’t been able to get the lawn done yet.  I’ve got the back yard partially mowed so as not to lose the dogs, though and they can’t escape to the front and get hurt, either.  The mower is currently in the kitchen. LOL!!!  Don’t ask.  The living room is nearly complete.  My room has a bed and dresser and boxes, as does my sons and the craft room is completely full of boxes waiting to be unpacked.  UGH!  Slow & steady.

Yesterday we did 7 loads of laundry at the laundromat and it cost me a small fortune, too.  I can’t even remember the last time I went to the laundromat and it cost $3.50 to wash and $0.50 for 10 minutes of dry time.  Took us several hours; but we now have clean towels, clothes and bedding. YEAH!  I’m going to have to wait until next month to get a washer and dryer.

I have some bragging to do, though.  My son and his friends were a great help.  My son showed the most incredible strength and even wowed his friends at the amount of weight he can lift.  He’s stronger than I realized.  With his help, we got the job done.  He has done all that I have asked him to do and more.  I’m so proud of this young man and his devotion to us as a family and doing what is necessary to get us settled into our new home.

He’s had his PS4 for a number of years now and it just went caput.  He’s tried to get it to work and even did a major reset, losing all his games and it’s still not working well.  So, since he was so incredible and hasn’t complained, I went ahead and ordered him a new one, which will arrive Monday.  Can’t wait to surprise him with it. ❤

Got mail for the first time yesterday.  Woot, woot!  I also went and got my nails done.  I was in desperate need.  Broke 3 of them (very painfully) over the last week and I don’t even want to discuss how painful my hands have been.  I actually had to take my tramadol the first 3 nights the pain was so bad.  I just couldn’t sleep without some kind of pain relief and Tylenol wasn’t doing it.  Besides the pain aspect (which is a never ending thing with me) the move wasn’t so bad.  It could have been worse; so I am grateful.

I think it was harder on the dogs than on us.  They were really distressed over all the commotion and turmoil.  They seem to be settling in now, especially since we have brought their stuff over and made them a place for it all.

I’m no where near finished with this place; but I am chugging along.

Moving Time

Well, it’s happening in two days!!!  First a 9 am closing and then packing a truck and moving our stuff to the new place.  It has been a grueling month of packing, donating and removing trash; but it’s down to the wire now.  I get the truck tomorrow evening and we’re going to load up some of what we have; but the majority will be done on Thursday.  I can’t believe it’s here!

We’re nearly finished with packing the kitchen, our last room to do and we ran out of boxes, so I’ll be heading out for more shortly to get the job done.  BTW, I feel like crap, too.  Pain levels high the last week and let’s not even get into the fact that I want to cut my head off as well.  UGH!

My son is currently packing up his room.  At least he’s helped me with the kitchen.  We haven’t done food; but I’m thinking we will pack them in my recyclable grocery bags.  I’m so grateful for the kids who have volunteered to assist us in moving everything.  They’re awesome.

I’m renting a 20 ft truck.  I’m hoping it will all fit in one trip; but you never can tell.  We don’t have a lot of furniture, so that shouldn’t be a problem.  I’m going to buy the kids pizza afterwards and the next day we have to wait around all morning for the installers of cable and internet.  I guess I’ll use that time to unpack things. 😀

Friday afternoon we’re going to come back to the other house and clean it up.  I need to clean carpets and floors.  Shouldn’t take that long, I hope.  We’re also going to be going to the HS band parent premiere, where the marching band will show off their skills from their time at camp these past two weeks.  Can’t hardly wait to cheer on our friends.

We’ve decided to empty my bedroom/bathroom/closet into the living room so we can shut the dogs up in their so they’ll be safe while we’re in and out of the house on Thursday and will not be hot.  I hate to do it; but it’s for their safety.  I love them too much to see them hurt by getting out or being in the heat.

My realtor called me today and the seller will be moving his junk out tomorrow and we’ve pushed back the final walk through until 3 pm tomorrow.  From there, we’ll go to the rental place for the truck.

I’m doing the last of the laundry today and I’m so ready to get this over with.  Once we’re at the new place, I can take my time in unpacking and arranging everything.  <sigh>  So much work.  Hopefully, this will be my last time moving.  I don’t want to have to do this again.

The arthritis in my hands has been murder lately.  I’ve made my first blanket for the summer camp for next year.  The four I sent were received with gratitude.  I hope I can make more; but I’m ensuring that I make at least four of them — 2 girl, 2 boy — so that when I’m crocheting, it’s for a good cause.  Makes my heart happy.  As I was putting it together, I was praying for the child who will receive it. No child should have to fight to live.  No child should have to suffer.  However; because it is what life is, I pray for them.

Well, my son is ready to head out for dinner and more boxes, so I’m outta here!

11 Days!

In only 11 days, I’ll be a homeowner again.  YIKES!!!! I can hardly believe I started this journey a little over a month ago.  I never wanted to buy another house.  I was holding onto the hurt and heartache of losing my last house and it was a big block for me.  However; I feel that God has led me to do this and He has placed everything just right for us to get this house; price, insurance, inspections, mortgage, etc.  It’s been great.

I can hardly believe it’s nearly moving day.  I’m working my butt off packing this place up.  I’m downsizing and have the Salvation Army coming on Tuesday for donations.

My little Honi keeps getting up in my lap for snuggles and when she does, I tell her about the new back yard she’s going to love running and playing in.  She just smiles and snuggles, not understanding a thing I say; but I enjoy telling her just the same.  She’s such a sweetheart.  Teddy will love it, too, no doubt, especially when I start working in the yard to make it beautiful.

My son is with my parents for the next few days.  His 2 cousins are spending a week with them and he’s going to do something with them tomorrow and the next day.  I actually told them today that I was buying the house.  I just had to be sure everything was going well before letting the cat out of the bag.

When I dropped my son off with them, I found the cutest little dress for my niece out in Vegas.  It was perfect for her and I found matching headbands, too.  Can’t wait for her momma to send me pics of her in it.  It’s so darling.   Earlier in the month, it was her big brother’s birthday and he’s recently gotten into super heroes and since he loves stories, I got him two books that are 5 minute short stories about various heroes.  He loved them.  They were his favorite gifts.  😀 Made my day!

I have boxes everywhere and it feels like packing is going to be never ending.  To say I can’t wait to get moved is an understatement.  It’s slow going for me, though.  If I do too much, I get my butt kicked by Lupus.  UGH!  So, I work, take a break, work a bit more and then repeat.  It will be worth it, though.  YEAH!

I’ve been following a girl’s blog who is currently in Africa.  She’s the girlfriend of one of my son’s friends.  He’s one of the ones who calls me Mom.  ❤  She’s studying to pursue a career in medicine and working summers in a clinic over there.  I’m so proud of her and all she’s accomplished this summer.

Well, back to packing it all up.

Saying Goodbye.

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Yesterday was a hard day.  We said goodbye to our beloved corgi after 13 years of love and craziness.

Over the last year, he’s had bladder control issues.  Poor baby.  No pain.  No suffering, just succumbing to old age.

Over the last month, he’s slowed down, slept more than awake and was having trouble getting up due to his back legs slipping out from beneath him.

In the craziness of finding another place to live, we thought he’d be with us for a while longer.  Three days ago, he stopped eating, then just went to sleep Saturday evening and never woke up.

Tippy was a gift from a friend we knew who begged my son’s father to let him have the puppy.  He was a tiny, little puppy and we were told he was a “Jack Russell”.  The funny thing is, his ears gave him away.  Our vet took one look at him and informed us that he was most definitely was not; but a Welsh Cardigan Corgi.  (He has a tail)

My son, a 5 year old who had wanted his own puppy and not share his mom’s 3 poms, delighted in the fact that we had gotten him his own dog.  As time went on, the two became thick as thieves.  The love they shared was beautiful.   They slept together up until a few years ago when Tippy began having trouble getting up into the bed, so he then slept under the bed.

Tippy was smart.  He liked to make you think he was dumb; but he wasn’t.  He’d watch closely all we’d do and then figure out ways to get himself into trouble with his new found knowledge.  He was a master escape artist when the mood hit him.  A major beggar when he really wanted something and patient with the little dogs.

When we first brought him home, my female pom took him under her wing.  She showed him the ropes, treated him like her own pup and nurtured him into believing he was a tiny Pomeranian lapdog, just like the other 3.  At around 30lbs, he was not easy on the lap; but definitely well loved.  She was the ultimate mommy to all the pups and loved them all.  She even treated my son like her own when he was a baby and loved to play with him, so Tippy was just another pup for her to raise.

As a matter of fact, Tippy loved her so much, that when she slowed down and finally passed in 2007, he stayed right by her side until the end.  It was sweet and a treasured memory for sure.

Time has been short; but full of love.  The 13 years we had him was not long enough; but it was full of love.  He had a good life with us.  He will be missed.

The hardest part for us was the burial.  My son had to do it on his own.  I’m not strong enough.  I tried to help; but due to my illness, I was useless.  Our little girl offered us both comfort when we were crying.  She heard my son in the bathroom last night and wouldn’t leave until he came out and she could love on him.  She’s amazing.  My pommy boy went to Tippy before we wrapped him up and licked him goodbye.  He’s known Tippy his entire life and they were fast friends.

I’m not sure how or if they’ll mourn like we do; but I know that we’ll all do it together and we’ll all get through it one day at a time.

Until we meet again at the rainbow bridge, Tippy.

No Place Like Home

After renting our current home for the last 7 years, it’s time to move on.  With my income being reduced and our rent being increased, we were kind of forced to make a change.  We began hunting for a new rental with a lower rent that accepts doggies.  No luck.

I began thinking about looking into buying a house. I contacted a Veteran’s Mortgage Broker and got preapproved for a mortgage and began my journey back to buy a house in May.  They recommended a Veteran realty specialist in my area who knew the ins and outs of acceptable residence for VA approval.  My son and I found many great places; but one by one, they showed to be “unworthy” for one reason or another.

Amid this chaos, I was also seeing an ENT and an ear neurologist to help with my ear infection and increased balance issues.  As of yesterday, I’m continuing this journey without answers.

Today, I received notice that once the insurance quote and written appraisal report comes in that the underwriter will take the file on for approval of my mortgage.  I’ve already received preapproval for it all from the underwriter, so we’re set and progressing toward our August 2nd closing date.

YES!  We found a house!  YEAH!

It’s half the size of our current place, with a nice back yard for the pups.  It’s an older home; but passed inspection with ease due to the owner’s complete restoration of the home over the last year.  It will be the same distance to the college my son is attending as our current location, without the toll he’d have to pay each day at present.  Another plus!  The home is 3 bedrooms and one bathroom; but with our schedules, that isn’t going to be a problem.

I am half way to having the house packed up.  It’s hard to do more than a few hours at a time for me; but I’m getting there.  I have time.  I have 1/2 a garage full of donated items for the Salvation Army that I’ll schedule for pick up on the 26th of the month.  I’m excited for this new adventure.

I’m having the property deeded in both our names so if anything happens to me, my son won’t have to pay inheritance tax on the property.

I’ve sketched out plans for the yard, to include an area for a firepit and plants around the front and back.  These are plans that I’ll implement over time so I have things to do around the house to keep me busy.  No need to rush anything, just busy work.

Next week, my son is going to drive out to get my niece and nephew with my father.  My father is excited about the road trip and even my son is looking forward to their time together.  I’m so proud of my son.  He’s gotten his driver’s license and has even had his first solo adventure with the car.

Last weekend, we went to DCI in Orlando.  We saw my son’s HS band director there with his wife.  We hung out with them while waiting during a lightning delay (two 30 min. periods).  His wife and I will be getting together next week for lunch when things are less busy for both of us.   I love these two so much.  Such great people. ❤

DCI was great.  So fun to watch these wonderful musicians play their routines and compete against themselves for greater performance of their craft.  My son loves the Blue Coats.  Me, I love the Cadets out of PA.  They have such beautiful shows.  I especially loved the one they did last season most of all.  They always incorporate singing in their shows and I just love their choir.

God has so blessed my son and me.  He’s lead me to a great house.  He’s helped me through this daunting process.  He’s held me together on the days I’ve wanted to just fall apart.  My life has been a series of ups and downs.  My life has been in turmoil more than peace.  It’s made me a much stronger woman and I am grateful to God that He has made me this way.  He is so beautiful and so rewarding and so very loved by me.  I can not imagine making this journey without Him.

I dedicate my life to serving Him in all I do.  I bring glory to His name by sharing my testimony with others on His faithfulness.  He is my everything.  With Him, I rise above.  Without Him, I fall and can’t get up.  I am not perfect.  I fail Him daily; but I know that each new day brings new grace, new strength, new abilities and renewed love from Him.  Nothing can change that and nothing will make me doubt Him.

Our corgi is dying.  He’s not eating, just drinking.  He’s having trouble walking and sleeping more and more.  I’ve seen the signs before and want him to go peacefully, here with us.  We have discussed this at great lengths and we both agree that unless he begins to cry out in pain and suffering, he’ll stay here with us, until the end.  We both love him so much and want what is best for him.  He will be missed so very much.

Until we meet again…..

I Can Only Imagine….

Tonight was our “Flick on the Fifth” night at church.  If a month has 5 Saturdays, we show a film on that fifth evening.  Tonight’s film was “I Can Only Imagine“, the story behind the song written by Bart Milliard from MercyMe.

Such a powerful story and song.  First of all, that song was not only #1 on the Gospel charts, but was also #1 on the Country charts at the same time.  Anyone who has ever lost someone close to them tries to imagine what happens next.  I know I have, especially when I lost my best friend.

The song, inspired by his life, is about the way Bart’s father went from being the “abusive monster” he grew up with to the saved, Jesus loving man that he finally forgave and found a love for his dad that he never imagined he’d ever have.  So beautiful.  I was a teary mess by the end, of course.  Ha, ha.

It was definitely one that got us talking afterward.  Have you ever suffered at the hands of another something so terrible, that you couldn’t forgive them.  Even held a grudge?  Then, they changed.  They repented and made amends and wanted you to forgive them.  And here you are, still in that place of hurt, not ready to give in, even though you know, deep in your heart that you love them and want to; but they have shattered your trust so badly, so many times that you don’t know if you can trust them, ever!

Yeah, I know all about that.  Except, that I always forgive and end up right back in the same position, kicked in the teeth by the one I forgave countless times.  I was reading a Max Lucado book last year and Max reminded me of the time Jesus faced the same problem.  In Luke 4:16-30, we find Jesus being rejected by those who are from His own hometown, “What good can come from Nazareth?”  Max explains how even Jesus found rejection from His own family and friends and left, unable to preach to those He loved.  He further explained that when others hurt us or betray us, it is perfectly okay to walk away or leave the relationship in order to not subject yourself to their hurtful ways.

Now, for me, this was great advice.  My father and sisters constantly talk trash behind my back.  It hurts.  They make judgments about me, even though they are wrong, and I have to stand by and let them.  I have to take it.  And if I don’t?  Too bad, they’re entitled to their opinions; but I’m not.  After years of living with their abuse, I finally disassociated myself from their influence and left them.  They can no longer hurt me.

I have forgiven them.  I just don’t allow them to continue their bad behavior toward me.  I don’t give them the opportunity to hurt me.  I have turned my back on their abuse and no longer take it.  I am FREE.

As for the movie, Bart was able to restore his relationship with his father after years of abuse.  He was able to watch the monster turn into a God fearing, bible thumping, lover of Jesus.  It was a beautiful transformation and it was something that allowed the watcher a peek into forgiveness in action and working through pain and heartbreak.  Truly, the beauty of God transformed this father and son into the best of friends and for me, it was such a wonderful glimpse into how He works.

Summertime…..

Here we are, on the cusp of summertime and so begins the rains.  We’ve been lucky thus far that its rained only at night so far; but I’m sure the normal afternoon monsoons will start soon.

My son & I have been looking at new places to live and we may have found one.  We shall have to wait and see if all goes well.  It’s been a tough couple of weeks with us finding, then viewing, then finding more places and viewing, in a seemingly endless cycle of disappointments.

What has made these trips worse has been the fact that my ear infections have progressed to the “worse” stage and my vertigo is strongly asserting itself into my life and causing me intense dizziness to the point of severe nausea.  Not even sea sickness bands or tablets have provided any relief at all.  It’s a nightmare.  My only hope is that next week, when the ENT places tubes in my ears, it will help.

My son passed his driving test today, so he’s finally street legal.  Finally got an appt with the advisor at the college.  Looking good for the scholarship to pay for it and we’re working toward being settled into a new place before he starts in August.

Today’s prize was that everything seemed to be going our way.  I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Ha, ha.

The places we looked at today:  first one a total bust.  Bad neighborhood, duplex, small and not a good place for the pups to live.  Not happy with it at all.  The second place was nice.  Spacious, nice flooring, good neighborhood, quaint, great fenced back yard for the pups and we both agreed we like it.

Cons:  Needs washer, dryer, microwave and  chicken wire for the fence.  The fence is a nice wooden one; but my baby, Honi, could slip right between the slats, so we’ll have to put up some chicken wire, about 2 feet from the ground up, to prevent her from escaping.  There are 6 foot privacy fences on both neighbor’s sides.  Not a bad little place.  I can see the potential of me building up the landscape in the back yard.  The yard is just big enough for us to let the pups out for their thing and for any BBQ we may want to do out their.

However, with all the things I need to do for the place, which isn’t a whole lot, I look forward to doing them.  I also need to do some more packing.  I’ve gone and reduced the number of storage tubs I’ve had in the garage and added a bunch more stuff to the donation boxes.  My craft room will be my biggest challenge; but I’m up to it.

I’ve been looking at storage solutions, room ideas, decorating ideas and more, just wanting to change things up a bit.  I look forward to the challenges.  Of course, my son has many friends who have volunteered to assist us with the move and I am grateful that they’re on board with helping us out.  I definitely couldn’t do it without them.

Last Friday, we went to see Incredibles 2 with one of my son’s friends.  Not bad for a sequel.  It’s great how they will only produce quality stories. I’ve heard that Cars 2 is crap; but since I didn’t care for Cars to begin with, I never watched the other 2 they put out.  Anyway, we laughed so hard at the humor and cheered on the supers before going home satisfied with the movie.

My partner at church will be gone for the last two weeks of July and first two weeks  of August, so I’ll be “THE” AV gal.  My son will take care of the sound portion and we’ll work as a team.

This past week, I watched as our drummer, (the man who had a stroke back in October, whom my son was subbing for) playing like his old self.  So great to see where God took him in his health care journey.  We are all so grateful that he is back in the band and my son will be his “sub” when he can’t make it in.  Such a blessing.  God is so good! ❤

Our Pastor was able to come back to church on Saturday as well.  He’s been out the last two weeks with stomach issues that seem to be resolving.  YEAH! We have an associate Pastor working with us the rest of the summer with our band in order to give our Pastor a break.  Another blessing in our lives.  God is so Good!!!

My love of this church family is so overwhelming.  I absolutely adore them and look forward to the days when we get together.  I cannot think of a better family dynamic than ours.  We pray together, we share our lives, we cry, we laugh, we love, we learn and we worship the Father, all while singing the praises of the great I AM.  We are small; but mighty.

On this journey we call life, don’t forget Who put us here and how much He loves us.

Thank You for Your Service

So, I’m watching the movie, “Thank You for Your Service”, a movie about what happens when a soldier comes home from war.  It deals with PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, and the VA health care system.

I remember when I was first discharge from the Marines when I was a young woman and first went to the VA hospital closest to my home in NY.  I filled out paperwork, enrolled in the system and filed a claim.

I was treated like shit.  From the first doctor on.  I was in massive pain, I waited hours to be seen by a doctor.  I had tears streaming down my cheeks as I waited to be called in.  I couldn’t take the pain.  I was miserable.  I was hurting.  I saw the doctor, who gave me nothing; but a referral to Psych.  I went to the VA Psych hospital and was taken to a room where I was patted down by two male security guards, who only used the metal detective wand on the males and was treated to a groping.  I then saw the doctor, who made the situation worse and I left there feeling 10x’s worse and assaulted.

The movie tells the characters that it will take up to 12 weeks for the claim to go through; but realistically, it’s more like 6-9 months.  For me, it took 2 years.  I filed in October 1994 and received benefits in October 1996.

The problem is and always will be that the system is broken and now that we have even more service men and women filing everyday, it’s like putting twenty pound bag of sugar on a scale that only measure up to a pound.  It’s going to break and the sad thing is these men and women NEED the help, desperately.

I hurt so much for them.  I feel their pain.  I dream their nightmares.  I struggle, still, with a system that doesn’t give a fuck about it’s patience or those that serve this country after they leave service.

I was last seen by a doctor at the VA clinic September 2016, right after losing my best friend.  You are supposed to be seen at least once a year or you are unenrolled.  My prescriptions are renewed with just an email and when I tried, several times, to get an appointment, I’ve been given the run around.  I’d love to ask them, “Who do I have to kill in order to get an appointment?”, but I don’t want to get arrested or something.  SMH

As the movie ends, they tell you that the real men, whom the story is about, did finally get help.  It’s good to hear.  It’s nice to know that they are still out there and not part of the suicide statistic that is so high in the veteran community.

Everyone has a story to tell about their VA experience.  My father goes to the one in Miami.  He loves it.  His claim was quick and he’s treated like a king there.  Of course, it is veteran run.  People who know what the military is like and how to treat their fellow veterans.  I’m happy for him.  Wouldn’t it be great if the whole system was so much better?

I remember a few years ago hearing about how one VA facility had a makeover of it’s waiting areas and how it was so needed and they asked on veteran what he thought and they were not prepared for his answer, that’s for sure.  It would have been a better use of money had they revamped care and not where we have to wait for care.  That money would have helped more people on the medical side of things, don’t you think?  Yeah, they didn’t like it at all.  I had the same feeling they did.

Shortly after my friend died, I was having a conversation with a long time friend who had the opportunity to meet with President Trump on his campaign trail, before he was president.  Trump had asked those in attendance about VA health care and my friend told him what I had spent the last year dealing with at the local clinic and how my best friend had died because of their lax medical practices and his aid took notes on it.  I hope that it will help other veterans in the future.