Life Is Not Always Easy….

Have you ever heard that saying “God will only give you what you can handle”? And.. “what does not kill you will make you stronger”? I have found out first hand, in this past week, what those quotes can really mean.

I am not one who shares ALL of my life online. I dont really have a lot of excitement anyway. But, I feel that I have really let my blog go since this summer and I wanted to share something very personal. This is hard to write but I also think it will be very theraputic for me. You are here because you have enjoyed something here or there, and for that, I thank you and it means more to you than you will ever know.

I sit here thinking.. where do I start?

Let’s go back to Tuesday Morning December 13, 2016. Yes, this past Tuesday. I was doing my normal morning routine of, surfing, and checking Facebook and talking with a few friends online. I received a phone call from my mom. I could barely understand her – she was really upset.. once I understood what she told me – I was devastated. She told my my only brother.. my only sibling, Brian, passed away at the age of a young 45.

I cried.. I cried hard. Ive been going thru the grieving process and this is rough. My brother has been living in FL since last year September. My parents also have a home in FL – and they lived just 7 miles apart. He moved there because he wanted to hit the re-start button on his life. Ever feel like that? Brian dealt with alcoholism. Its not pretty. If you are someone who has a family member with an addiction – you know it can be rough. It affects all of the family. Ive been very involved with Brian and his struggles. He would be so embarrassed about it. He would apologize when he’d finally reach for help (when he was living very close to me locally).  All who knew my brother knew he had a heart of gold. He just had this demon that he could not shake. He had other health issues too: diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, just to name a few. He shook like an 80 year old man in a 45 year old body. My brother always struggled. I would never give up on him. He was my brother. I loved him. I am going to miss him dearly. It is killing me that I cannot just hop on a plane and go to see him.. to help my parnets thru this grieving process at this very moment – but I will be there. I’ve promised my parents this and I will.

brian-november-2016November 13 2016 – most recent photo





I wont go into details, but Brian passed away from a heart attack. His poor body just could not keep up anymore. My family is going to miss him so much. Please keep my parents in your prayers – they are taking this VERY hard as I am.. but I’m very concerned for them.

Next day, Wednesday December 15 2016.

dsc_0120Thanksgiving 2016 – most recent photo





My father in law was scheduled to have a surgery at Spectrum Butterworth Grand Rapids Michigan (90 miles away). He and my mother in law were in a very bad car accident on July 24th of this last summer. It was bad. My mother in law was very banged up and had broken bones. She is just now able to walk without a walker – but, she has aged a lot from this ordeal. My father in law, we thought, was doing “ok” considering. He did have a concussion – we watched him and he had the confusion n such for a few weeks but he was improving daily. We have worried about his PTSD though. This accident happened right in front of their home on a very busy road – so he was reminded of it daily.

Back to Wednesday ….

Wednesday Morning, David, his sister and his mom headed to Grand Rapids. I was not able to go. My older Cocker Spaniel has injured her neck.. not sure of the details of the injury at the time.. but she was in a lot of pain – I could not leave her and David insisted I stayed home with her.. and he would be back in the evening and not stay in GR as he intended so he could be with me, who was not dealing with my Brother’s death very well. After Walt’s surgery was over, the surgeon said how well the surgery went. He was pleased and in a bit they’d move him to ICU and the family could say hi but not stay long so he could get his rest. His surgery was to basically drill holes in his skull to relieve pressure on his brain – an injury that just as we were told was getting to the point it had to be taken care of.

They waited.. and waited.. and they were all suspicious as to what was going on.

They called the surgeon back to the hospital.

The ICU doctor asked the family questions. A counselor was asking questions. I received a call and David told me that my Brother In Law was going to pick me up with my niece and to get to GR asap, because Dad was not doing so well. I was confused. I broke down. How can this be?

Our family was confused because, Walt showed no signs of headaches, dizziness, stumbling, etc. But, you trust the doctors – we did what we thought was the “right thing”.

As my brother in law, my niece and I were approaching the highway – we got the call that Dad passed away and to stay off the bad roads. They’d be home as soon as they could be.

I ask for your prayers for David’s mom, and family. Things are all still processing in my head. Its been a lot to digest.

Late Wednesday Night…


After we got mom settled in here – didnt want to have her be alone, I noticed my Ruby gal was not doing good. She looked in so much pain. It was killing me. We had been refereed to a Veterinary  Hospital in Ann Arbor (2000 miles away) and it was time to call them. We called at 11:30pm. The advantage to this wonderful Vet Hospital – they are open 24 hours with vets on staff 24/7 and they answer the phone and take care of the pups at all hours. We called.

They were wonderful. They got us an appointment for the following day at noon. I was not passing up this opportunity.

I packed a bag of my “stuff” and a few extra changes of clothing. I figured Id be staying and David would have to go right home.. or, maybe just maybe we’d have a little luck – and she’d be all better after the visit.

We drove in bad weather 1/2 way there.. then the sun came out.

We got to Dogwood right before noon. Waiting in anticipation.

The doctor was so awesome. The staff was so pleasant. We told them of what has happened this week. I told them I cannot loose my dog. I just cant. That is not an option. Poor Ruby looked so sad. So much in pain.

After the exam the doctor asked if they could keep her over night. Being they are a 24 hour office, they’d start some tests – x ray, and such and have her in line for an MRI – yep, they do doggie MRI’s.

I was freaked out. But, I knew we had to leave her. We stayed in Ann Arbor last night and waited – I cried a lot. This office was so kind. They called us several times. I told them to call me any time.. I didnt care what time it was. I knew Id probably be awake anyway. Ive not slept in the past 2 days.

They let us know at 10pm last night she’d need surgery. She had a ruptured disc located at the base of her neck. Poor baby. This has been going on for a month and a half and we just could not figure out the issue with local vets. I love our local area vets but I have been so frustrated.

This morning I was up by 430am. I could not sleep. I was thinking of my brother, my father in law, and my Ruby. I prayed that again I was doing the “right thing”. We proceeded with the surgery – we were pressing our noses to the door that is locked until 8am (even tho they are fully staffed all night). We took the gals Starbucks coffee and we waited. 2 hours later, we talked to the surgeon.

Ruby came out with flying colors. The surgery went very well. They then suggested I dont see her. Not because they were being mean – but to spare getting her excited when she needs to rest AND to help her heal. As hard as this was, I agreed, and after talking to the front desk staff, I decided I would go home with David and leave her in Ann Arbor at  Dogwood. 

PS if you every need a high tech veterinary hospital, you really need to call them. For us it was a 4 hour drive – but Id not have had it any other way.

Trust me. I wanted to stay. I wanted to just stay at the hotel – but I didnt have a car. We discussed renting a car. After talking to the vet and them explaining how honestly she wont forget me, and she really needs the rest and it was really the BEST thing for her and for us.. to let them have her for 4 days and we will have a very HAPPY reunion. I cried.

See a pattern here – I’ve been crying – a LOT.

But, in all this “bad stuff” – ruby is my light.

I’m home.. sitting here and soaking in all that has happened this week. I’m feeling overwhelmed. Im trying to comfort my parents, best I can until I can get to FL after the holidays. We are trying to comfort David’s mom as much as we can. She let Walt do everything for her – I just cant imagine how she is processing this. I think at times she is still in shock. She gets confused at times and has the start of dementia.  And, I want my Ruby home.. asap!

I ask .. if you can, to send positive thoughts, vibes, prayers.. whatever you believe in. We can all use them.

I will be stepping back a bit.. to take time for myself and to help my family. I’m not “vanishing” but I do need time. Its been a long week and I got home from Ann Arbor a few hours ago. I have this nervous energy going on and I’m jumpy – like I’m waiting for the next bad phone call. Can you blame me?

I thank you so much for hanging in there and reading this. This was my way to I guess… help process things too.

I appreciate you.

I hope you will make something pretty and get inky. *hugs*

PS Update On Ruby – Saturday, December 17th


The doggie hospital just emailed a photo of my Ruby – she is doing great and I cant wait to have this cutie home. In the meantime, while she is healing, I have a full plate to take care of to help pass the few days. I cried when I seen this photo – happy tears this time.



12 thoughts on “Life Is Not Always Easy….”

  1. Dawn, so sorry to read that all this has happened, especially in such a short time. I’ll be keeping you and all the family in my prayers (Ruby included). Hugs. Nina

  2. Dawn and Dave. Wow I’m so sorry. I will be thinking of all of you in hopes you all find comfort in each other and knowing you have a lot of support in your friebds.

  3. Dawn ,

    I can’t imagine having to deal with the heartache and pain you’re going through right now . May your brother be free of his demons and he be at peace .

    Prayers for you , your family and my sincere Condolences

    Sending prayers to Rubie and big hugs

    It’s great you’re taking a step back and process all of this

    You get some rest and take time to heal emotionally and physically

    Love you Dawn

    If you need anything don’t hesitate , even if it’s my shoulder ..

  4. My dear Dawn…am so sorry to hear all that you have been and still going thru..there doesn’t seem to be enough or the right words to make things better but I will say that I am praying for you and all your family. I truly believe that the Lord won’t give us more than we can handle, but I also know we can’t go thru it without Him.i pray u can give it to Him and He will carry your burden for u. I am sort of reminding myself too because am going thru some things, too. Sorry hope this doesn’t sound like I am preaching, just want u to know u are loved ❣❣❣ May you find comfort and peace in knowing the Lord is with you! Love your friend ( I hope) Sharon

  5. Oh, Dawn. I’m so sorry for all that you and your family have been through. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Sending virtual hugs and I hope peace and comfort will soon be yours.

  6. Dawn, I am SO very sorry for all you’ve been going through. That is more than anyone should have to go through at one time. I wish I could say or do something to make it easier for you and Dave, but that is not within my power. I am keeping all of you (Ruby, too) in my prayers. I love you, girlfriend, and I’m here if you need me.

  7. Dawn you have my sincere sympathy. I am sure it was good for you to share your story. You are and have been in my thoughts and prayers. God bless you, take your time and mourn and take care of yourself. In Him, Vickie

  8. My prayers go out to you and your families, WOW that is a whole lot to deal with especially during the holidays. Know that you are loved!!!

  9. Dearest Dawn and Dave,
    I am so sorry for the loss and heartache you are experiencing. Please know all the love, prayers and hugs I can gather are sent your way.

  10. I just saw this and my heart has broken for you over and over. I want to one give you endless hugs but pray that you are resting….. Mesh me if you’re up to a 5 minute visit just for those hugs and no words. We are on our way home from a family event and will be gone most of Sunday.


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