How The Mandates Are Affecting The Real People


I asked for permission to print this grieving Mother’s letter to the Democratic Michigan Governor. I wanted to share this because Many Michiganders & others are feeling oppressed now. Mostly because of COVID19 restrictions for some, but not for everyone. While some people who are oppressing the average citizens are allowed to have elaborate funerals; the “regular people” are only allowed 10 people at their beloveds funerals. I guess politicians are immune from COVID19, because I saw that one representative from Georgia had a funeral with approximately 500 people inside of one building. They were not social distancing and not everyone was wearing a mask. Our own Governor in Michigan was physically in the middle of a large protest & though she had a mask on; the two people in the photo with her, were not wearing masks. They also were not social distancing. What do the politicians know, that they’ve not told “We the People”?There was the Mayor of Chicago along with our own Speaker of the House, who got to have hair appointments, when nobody else was allowed to do that! Madam Speaker was not even wearing the mask that she wants to mandate for everyone else in society! But again, they must know something about that smart & sneaky COVID19, that they’re not letting the rest of us in on?? Without further ado, let me share this mother’s heartbreaking story:

I sent this letter about my 20yr old son’s covid funeral to whitmer. I know that I won’t get a response but maybe someone on her staff will see it and then mention it to her.
Dear Governor Whitmer,

My 20 yr old son Dominic was killed in a hit and run while riding his skateboard on September 3.
As you can imagine my husband, younger son and myself are just devastated.
Our family, friends and community are also grieving for the fine young man that we all lost.
Dominic was an eagle scout in his 3rd year at MSU in the agriculture business school. Dominic was known for his sense of humor, respectful nature and always helping others especially his friends that he always pushed to better themselves. Dominic was taking notes in his journal about self improvement that we made copies for all his friends so that hopefully they can also focus on always self improving.

The funeral home viewing is a parents worse nightmare. Because Dominic was so loved there was an extraordinary amount of people there to pay their respects.
The funeral home was very professional following your guidelines so I do not hold them responsible for a difficult day made worse by your strict guidelines.
Were were only able to have 10 people at a time in the building which my immediate family far exceeds that number. We were given the option to place the casket in a doorway so that everyone could pass the casket from the outside to view him but I refused this because we would be forced to put up netting around Dominics body so that the flies and bees would not attack him. It felt so very wrong especially since I would not be able to touch him throughout the day.
The line wrapped around the building with people waiting in the unexpected cold weather for up to 2 hours. Some people ended up leaving because they felt that they didn’t want to take up space from the closer family and friends.
At some point we were told that it was best that we go outside to greet the guests just to speed up the line. It was cold and I certainly wasn’t dressed for it but I was just so grateful to all that came.
The mask mandate that you issued was very difficult for us to recognize our guests some that I haven’t seen in years.
Also 2 of his very good friends could not come to the funeral because they had covid but no symptoms.
The funeral home could not allow us to have food in the lower level rooms typically set up for families to grab a quick bite. I am not sure if it was your mandate but they told us that they could not risk someone getting covid from the shared food.
We were there from 1-9 surviving on water and tic tacs. We had plenty of food and snacks sent to us but it was all forced to sit in the car while we were forced to greet our guests outside in the cold and very hungry with our masks on.
We had the option of having the luncheon at the funeral home but would be forced to serve box lunches which I refused because I come from an Italian family that believes food is for comfort and boxed lunch seemed very cold.
We had a difficult time finding a restaurant to accommodate our big gathering because of your restaurant restrictions. We were forced to have it at our house. It was set up just like a graduation party with tent, tables, chairs and caterer and the hundreds of other items needed for a big group. I believe you just had a graduation party for your daughter so now imagine having only 3 days to put it together during a time right after the death of your child.
I felt compelled to tell you my story because your mandates have serious implications on people’s lives. Your “science” has not been able to justify all your mandates. While I am very upset with you and your “political science”, I still would not wish upon you what we had to endure during our darkest hour. I still would never want you to have to bury your child with all these restrictions set on you while George Floyd had such privilege for his numerous funerals with little restrictions. I would never want you to feel the hunger and cold during a long day of greeting your masked guests that you could not recognize while there is a picture of the governor not social distancing next to 2 unmasked BLM protesters. I would never want you to have to decide if your child should be displayed outside with netting surrounding their beautiful face just to comply with your mandates while being told rioting is ok but not dignified funerals for loved ones. I would never want you to be forced to have the funeral luncheon at your house where no one is fully prepared to accommodate all your family and friends in such a very short amount of time while being told rioters and looters have not had plenty of time to plan their destruction.
Even after having to endure your restrictions for our sons funeral we were forced to be thankful that we didn’t have to have a drive by funeral like so many families before
While you and I are clearly on different political sides, I still would not want to see you suffer any more than you already would be after the death of your child.
Our faith is strong and we believe that Dominic is in heaven for all the good he provided to those around him. Not sure if you have faith but I do believe that when we die we will have to answer to God for our actions and motives and I hope that for your sake you are very comfortable explaining to God your actions and motives that have had real devastating effects on alot of people for the sake of your politics.
Sincerely,
Gabriella Duhn

Let Freedom Ring


As I sit here tonight, I am afraid.  I don’t often say that,  due to my history (*living with a lifetime of abuse, pain, chronic illness, loss, multiple surgeries and more).  I have been  through so much during my 58 years on this earth. I may be a bit anxious and have physical disabilities, but inside, I am a very tenacious and strong woman.  I am a fighter.  I can plainly say that it is not the Coronavirus or COVID-19, that I’m afraid of today. (**even if I were to get this nasty novel Coronavirus, I still would prefer to live free until I am unable to live any longer. I hope and pray that this does not happen, but I know that there is always a chance. I’m willing to take that chance to live a free life outside of my home).  It is those  people who have made “being safe at all costs” more important than living life at all.  I fear those for whom this virus has yeilded power; they are our biggest threat. If you think about living in pre-COVID-19 times, you will remember that waking up every day and going out into the world is not and has never been “SAFE”.  But still we went out every day and lived our lives in “unsafe mode” constantly and consistantly.  Just think about it for a moment.  Getting into the car and driving, is not safe. Getting into an airplane and flying, is not safe.  Going to the mall, where there are a multitude of germs, is not safe. There are people who have gone sky diving, parasailing, skiing, race car driving and even gone to concerts and full football, Baseball or Hockey stadiums in the past.  Yet today, those same people are now still hiding inside of their homes, terrified of something that has a fatality rate lower than expected and close to the Flu’s 0.1%. Study” Coronavirus Fatality Rate Lower than Expected, Close to Flu’s 0.1%

The threat seems to be coming straight from those elected officials who are supposed to be governing at the pleasure of the people! They were not elected into the office of Governor, to become dictators and tyrants.  One of those dictator tyrants, for example, is our Michigan Governor Gretchan Whitmer. At the first sign of trouble; they order us cower in place and then dictate from their basements (or their second or third homes, after ordering the rest of us not to travel to any second vacation homes).  They are fear mongering instead of uniting. They are telling us to stop thinking for ourselves and listen to & follow their outrageous orders. We, the people,  are shrinking instead of standing tall. But standing tall and fighting for freedom is what Americans have done best for hundreds of years. Please let it be known that I do not condone violence.  But peaceful resistance, writing, calling, getting petitions and recalls out there; are proactive steps, made by “Free People”, and I definitely do believe in and support these peaceful actions, especially now.

Our Governor and several other Democratic Governors have made hundreds of executive orders.  They have claimed that they are being driven to these Executve orders by Science and data.  But all of the Science and data that I have read, has been incorrect time and time again. The data has been incorrect, misrepresented, and downright skewed to make things appear much worse than the situation truly is.  The CDC’s own Dr. Fauci has admitted that he has been wrong! He also told us in March 2020, that masks were “not necessary” and that they “won’t protect us” from COVID-19.  But then a few months later, informs us that we ” MUST wear masks” to keep us “Safe”. He also is the same person who told us that these lockdowns were necessary to “flatten the curve”.  Well we did that and flattened the curve on or about mid April 2020. It is now almost June and we are still quarantined and under “orders to stay at home” (except for essential travel for food or necessary items to sustain life etc.).  Now Dr Fauci, our expert Immunologist who has been advising our President and the COVID-19 taskforce, says that a second wave is “NOT INEVITABLE”–and he is “feeling better about” preventing it. 

Many of the same ideas that have been going on inside of my head, were said aloud in a courtroom in Illinois this past week. Judge McHaney, who presided over a case against Governor Pritzker, verbalized and put in court transcripts, many of the things that have been eating away at my inner self.  Here are some of the things that he said:   Mainerv. Pritzker Transcript – Let Liberty Ring :

Since the inception of this insanity, the following regulations, rules or consequences have occurred:”

  • I won’t get COVID if I get an abortion but I will get COVID if I get a colonoscopy
  • Selling pot is essential but selling goods and services at a family-owned business is not.
  • Pot wasn’t even legal and pot dispensaries didn’t even exist in this state until five months ago and, in that five months, they have become essential but a family – owned business in existence for five generations is not.
  • A family of six can pile in their car and drive to Carlyle Lake without contracting COVID but, if they all get in the same boat, they will.
  • We are told that kids rarely contract the virus and sunlight kills it, but summer youth programs, sports programs are cancelled.
  • Four people can drive to the golf course and not get COVID but, if they play in a foursome, they will.
  • If I go to Walmart, I won’t get COVID but, if I go to church, I will.
  • Murderers are released from custody while small business owners are threatened with arrest if they have the audacity to attempt to feed their families.

These are just a few of the examples of rules, regulations, and consequences that are arbitrary, capricious, and completely devoid of anything even remotely approaching common sense.  State’s attorneys in this state, county sheriffs, mayors, city councils and county boards have openly and publicly defied these orders followed by threats to withold funding and revocation of necessary licenses and certifications unless you obey.

Our economy is shut down because of a flu virus with a 98% -plus survival rate.  Doctors and experts say different things weekly.  The defendant cites models in his opposition.  The only thing experts will agree on is that all models are wrong and some are useful.  The Centers for Disease Control now says the virus is not easily spread on surfaces.”

“The defendant in this case orders you to stay home and pronounces that, if you leave the state, you are putting people in danger, but his family members traveled to Florida and Wisconsin because he deems such travel essential.  One initial rationale why the rules don’t apply to him is that his family farm had animals that needed fed.  Try selling that argument to farmers who have had to slaughter their herds because of disruption in the supply chain.”

“When laws do not apply to those who make them, people are not being governed, they are being ruled.  Make no mistake, these executive orders are not laws.  They are royal decrees.  Illinois citizens are not being governed, they are being ruled.  The last time I checked Illinois citizens are also Americans and Americans don’t get ruled!  The last time a monarch tried to rule Americans, a shot was fired that was heard around the world.  That day led to the birth of a nation consensually governed based upon a document which ensures that on this day in this, an American courtroom tyrannical despotism will always lose and liberty, freedom and the constitution will always win”

As I sit here contemplating a smooth ending to this post/article, I realize that #1: our Governor in Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer, has been one of the top tyrannical dictators. She has done and said similar scenarios as the Governor of Illinois. Yet, our Michigan court somehow sided with her? Her family went up North last weekend to her 2nd home. I saw photos of her in a restaurant without a mask and with several other people. Her husband was exposed as trying to get a favor, because he is “the Governor’s husband “. He asked a boat dock company to let him “jump the line” because of who his wife is. She first said it never happened. But later went on Television & explained that “it was his failed attempt at humor”. Which one is it? The same rules have been applied to Michigan, but even more arbitrary and nonsensical. How can Lottery tickets be essential, but a knee replacement which would alleviate great pain, is not? I cannot top those words just above. I would like to reiterate the judges words and say to you….”Liberty, freedom and the constitution should always win”…..thank you for being here.

Trauma Resurfaces The Pain of Yesterday!


Many people go through life and are never held up at gunpoint, robbed or in situations of extreme fear with shooters on a rampage.

I’ve now gone through this twice in my lifetime, thus far. We recently visited Waco, Texas to see our daughter, son in law and two youngest grandchildren (ages 10 months and 3 years). My daughter works at Baylor University and had decided to take us all to the dining commons for dinner on our 2nd night in Texas, (10-2019). We arrived, when suddenly, an alert was texted to her husband’s and her phones. The alert told us to “take shelter immediately & await further instructions”. My daughter started to panic as any mother of two babies would! I was frightened but tried to stay calm for her and the babies. We had to be separated from our husbands. They were sent to the men’s restroom & my daughter, the 2 babies & I were sent to the women’s restroom.

We awaited instructions but we were huddled into the corner of a handicapped stall. Finally, an employee came & told us we were on “lockdown” and we were all moved into the basement of the dining commons. There was stagnant air & it was difficult to breathe. I was very frightened but just continued to keep my daughter & grand babies calm. An employee, the cashier who I’d met as I entered the building; came around looking for me! She said that she was “drawn to me” & felt the need to come and check on me. She was so kind & she brought water downstairs for everyone. The water helped a lot and my granddaughter calmed down. Once we were all together as a family; in the basement, my husband was so good with the kids. We all tried to help them to be unafraid as we waited for the “all clear” alert. After about 55 minutes, we were given that alert and we were free to eat our dinner and go back to their home. We found out that about a half block away from campus, someone was shot. There were 3 people with automatic rifles on the run. The University took great care to see that we were kept safe during this ordeal. The staff was outstanding and very courageous.

It all brought me back to the time when I was 11 years old, in 1973, February. My parents, older brother & I went out after dinner to get my brother some Confirmation shoes. I was over looking at girls shoes, when suddenly I heard my father’s voice. He told me to come over to him. But a man had a gun pointed at my dads head! I didn’t know if I should try to run out of the store to get help? Or if it was not real? I remember saying aloud,”his “Candid Camera”? If I don’t cry, I get a prize?” My dad told me “Suzanne if you ever listen to me, do as I say right this moment! Come here right now!”

So I meandered back to the store room of the shoe store; where my family was held captive; along with another family of 4, a sales clerk and a manager. I saw my mother crying as one of the two men had their guns pointed at her face. The other man had his gun pointed at my dads head. I started to cry when they told my dad to empty his pockets and they proceeded to take my mothers wedding rings.(she’d gotten that engagement ring at age 14).

My dad grabbed the mans arm & said “Don’t you take those rings”! My mom yelled at him to get down and just do whatever he was told. I was crying so hard because the man said to my dad ,”shut up or I’ll put a bullet through your head”! I was really scared and my 13 year old brother stared emotionless as he was gathering every detail.

My mom passed out and the men grabbed my arm as if to take me with them. My mother laid on top of me as I was vomiting by this time! They kept telling my parents to “shut her up – or they would!” Finally, they ripped the phones off of the wall and made us lay down face to the ground. They said that we should wait 20 minutes before getting up. The manager somehow called the police. After they arrived, we told them as many details as we could remember. My brother stayed calm and gave them lots of Information.

After that, my mother was so scared & she didn’t want to go home right away. My Uncle, her brother, lived nearby. We went to his families home so my mom could calm down and feel better. Finally, we went home but I’ve never forgotten that day in my life. I had nightmares for a very long time and never was given a chance to discuss my feelings or fears. Lastly, I was blamed for the robbers taking my mothers wedding rings. My mother told everyone that as she was covering my mouth (because I was afraid, crying & even vomited as they robbers were saying “shut her up, or we will!!”), the robbers saw her rings sparkling and so they stole her precious wedding rings. Even though the robbers took all of the people’s wallets & jewelry etc., somehow it was my fault that those rings were taken off of her finger.

I guess I just wanted to share this with you all because the ordeal in Texas brought back some of those memories. After the robbery when I was only 11 years old, there were many more traumatic events that I experienced. If you know me or if you’ve had the chance to read the early posts &/or password protected posts in this blog; you’d realize how true this is. I was later diagnosed with PTSD, in or around my late 30’s. I finally received the help that was much needed. The Domestic Violence shelter and therapy has helped me over the years, to get past some of my fears. I still suffer today, but not nearly as much as I had in the past. Thank you for letting me share my experiences here with you today.

Suzanne, age 11 years

All For One, None For All


Gosh, to think of all the positive blog stories that I’ve posted. That’s how I met most of you. Through my perseverance and positivity. But lately, I’ve had lots of “downers” & I apologize. I do apologize …but not before another “not so upbeat” post. So remember how I was trying to be there for my dad? He recently was inpatient at hospital & he had to have the “Rapid response” revive him twice at age 88. I went even though I was told by him & my brothers, not to come. Well then, I was given times that I was supposed to go because that would help everyone else. Because I’m a high impact pain patient, I’m up at night. That doesn’t mean I’m out at night doing stuff. That means, I’m at home in my PJ’s unable to sleep due to pain issues. But the entire 12 days before my major surgery, I spent with my dad and going when I was told to go and even when I wasn’t.

When he got put on dialysis, Craig & I showed up. I was told by my brother that it would be “all day or at minimum 4 hours so we couldn’t see him” (& supposedly they couldn’t see him either). So I called their bluff & said “well we will just wait. We can wait 4 hours here with you!” Ahhh but then he says 5 minutes later “we can go in after the dialysis nurse gets things started actually in about 1/2 hour”. Hmmmmmm??? A far cry from 4 hours or more. We stayed & said nothing. I even went to see my dad the night prior to the day before my surgery.

I was texted the day before my major surgery, by my brother who asked if I was coming up in the evening (to relieve him, I’m sure bcz he was leaving)… or “when was I coming?” That day I said I couldn’t come because I had to do some stuff for myself before the surgery. I’ve not heard from anyone since then.

I’ve texted my dad daily. But not once has it been about me. Never has been…never will be. But my brother called Craig once & said he was on his way to see my dad… told Craig about my dad & asked about my surgery for a moment in the end.

(Side story:**My dad told me that my middle brother (who I don’t see, for many good reasons & haven’t for almost 17 years)told him that he “doesn’t & hasn’t prayed for me for all of these years but he will pray for my surgery “for my dads sake”… WTH?? He pretends to be a priest! He buys all of the stuff online & even bought a certificate that says he’s a “bishop”… he has a fake chapel that when you go to Google Earth, it sends you to his house!! If you go to his website you see that people send him money as “donating to his church”! There aren’t even any real services held. One lady online wrote on his website, “me thinks he’s a fake”! Well me thinks so too! I stay far away from him and I have always and since I took several PPO’s out against him. (The Domestic Violence Shelter helped me!)

My dad is at cardiac rehab now & he’s actually getting better. But it really hurts that my family has not cared about me & they continue to say “we’re always here for you!” My dad continues this fairy tale “that if ever I needed any of them, they’d be there for me “even with our differences”!

Well, I’ll tell you…. they’ve not been there & haven’t been since I was a child. Once when I called my big brother, after I was in a catastrophic car accident. I suffered a TBI & his phone number was the only one in my head. I even hit myself in the face by accident with the telephone, in trying to call him because I felt in pain & afraid. He answered the phone with “Oh…you need someone ?…”. CLICK & the phone went dead! He hung up on me! I suffered 3 years of brain injury rehab. I’ve gone through 10 surgeries now! They tried to turn my daughters against me when they were teenagers also! They were not ever, nor have they been there for me at all! They’ve only tried to hurt me more & “kick me when I was down”. Luckily, the love, protection and bond that my daughters, my husband and I had/have, pulled us through! We are as close or closer than ever! They are older now, with families of their own. They look back & now understand & see what truly happened. Having children of their own, they can’t fathom what happened to me! They don’t really see or talk to any of my biological family. But when my dad was dying, I got them to come & to make a FaceTime call.

Now that my Dads in cardiac rehab, he /they are back to their same horrible treatment of me. They’d still throw me face down in a mud puddle, in the middle of a busy street during rush hour; if it would give them my daughters and grandchildren.

Another thing that I can’t fathom is the way my dad & brothers have treated my dads girlfriend/live in partner of 12 years. She treated me absolutely abhorrently when I introduced myself to her the first time, years ago. Again, another “victim” who only knew one side of their story.

But guess who was nice to her? Guess who was concerned about her feelings when my dad & brothers refused her entrance to see my dad while he was inpatient & dying. She texted me until the wee hours of the mornings. I was kind to her & told her she should go visit him anyways. She is my dads “creature” too, unfortunately. She stayed away & barely got any information from my brother. She asked me to help her to get a pill reminder because my dad did all of that for her. He infantilized her as he’s tried to do to me. I cared about her & promised her that no matter what happened; Craig & I would visit her & try to be there for her as much as possible. Guess who I never heard from before or after my recent major surgery?? I’ve not heard from any of them! I’ve sent texts for 3 days in a row & never have received a response from my dad. Yet my daughter texted him while she was visiting us with our granddaughters yesterday. He texted her back right away & asked if he could call her? She said she was at my house & he could call anytime.

I had to fight in order to be included as one of my fathers 3 adult children. They said I was “too frail & too weak to come visit because I might cry & hence, make my dad cry”! Oh My Gosh! I’m stronger than any of them put together! I’ve been through a hundred times more pain and abuse than any of them! I told them they were not going to shut me out again, like they did when my mom died. I am strong! I told my dad that he has 3 children, not 2! My oldest brother pretty much gave up a life of his own in order to be “the honored one”. He does everything for my dad and we’ve been shut out for years.

Only when my dad thought he was dying did he say nice things to me. He told me (after I put my foot down & insisted that I was visiting him in the hospital) that “it was a treasure to have me there every day”! He said I was a “dear, dear, sweet person & he loved me”! I cried & couldn’t believe those words were said to me.

I’m 10 days post-op and I’ve barely been out of our home. I cannot visit him right now. But as I’ve said, I texted 3 days in a row with zero response. The 1st day I did get a quick response when I tried to tell my dad (who was discharged & on his way to cardiac rehab) that my surgery was over & it hurts quite a lot. I sent a couple of pictures. But the response I got was unfathomable. He told me “it looked like a nice, neat job” (*pictures above & below)! Even though I actually looked like I’d gotten beat up or walked through a war zone! He then told me about his bathroom issue of the day.

None of them called or have cared about me at all! My older brother called Craig once after surgery & that was because my dad wanted to know if I made it or not, I guess? Then he told Craig about my dad (as I was being put into the recovery room).

I’ve had 2 pacemakers placed and 8 other surgeries in the past 17 years. I live with systemic RSD/CRPS. They don’t even know what that is & never have cared to ask or see any of my special needs. But my dad got a pacemaker 6-7 months ago at age 88. They made such a huge deal about it! I tried to explain that I’m on my 2nd one and got my 1st at age 40! I told them that “it’s not so bad”! They were indignant & furious that I didn’t see that him getting a pacemaker was the end of the world as we know it!! I never got one ounce of empathy, love or even a phone call after any of my surgeries nor either of my pacemaker surgery’s.

It’s a horrible rollercoaster. I stop seeing & talking to them for months at a time. Then I get phone calls asking me why I’m not calling my father? I’m so tired of being treated like the scum under the sink! My dads managed to turn all but 1 or 2 of my cousins against me & all of my aunts & Uncles. The one Aunt who never judged me and somehow saw through the charade, died a year or so ago. I have a couple of cousins who know, saw & understand the truth. One of the 3, passed away last week.

I had a favorite aunt once, she used to put food into my pockets when I’d leave after visiting her house as a kid. She has stuck by my dad & his stories. I asked my dad earlier this year if he’d told that particular Aunt, that we we’d been meeting for dinner the past few years and had been chatting etc? He told me “she doesn’t care about you she has no use for you!

I dared to speak the “family secrets”. I dared to get help and be a real & separate person. To make a healthier & better life for my husband, my daughters & myself. It’s been hell and I’ve tried to keep kindness, hope & empathy in my heart; & God in my soul.

So all in all, I almost lost my dad this month. Regardless of how I’ve been treated, he’s still my dad & we only have one dad. I also underwent a major & very painful surgery 10 days ago. A tumor was removed from my middle ear. The surgeon drilled into my skull and mastoid bone. Ten days later, I’m still suffering with a lot of pain & fatigue. Once again, I feel totally ostracized & uncared about by my biological family. There’s only one person whose been by my side for the past 23 years & that person is my husband & soul-mate, Craig. We’ve been by each other’s side through so much and I thank God for him every day.

Part of Two Worlds


Hello Luvs,

Many of my “regular” readers may remember that I am “Hard of hearing”. Hearing people may use the term “hearing impaired”. We prefer to be called “Hard of hearing”. Mostly because we don’t feel that we are broken or “impaired”. Technically it means that I’m not totally “medically 100% deaf”. I can hear a few various pitches, frequencies and sounds. With my hearing aids in, I can hear a little bit during a “one on one” conversation. But add in background noise and people who mumble or talk very fast; and then it’s nearly impossible. Next, add the situation of trying to “listen” to several people at once, in a crowded room or restaurant? Lastly, there are those with facial hair all around their mouth and lips. They are the group for me, who have the most frustrating lips to read! Then again, it’s not really like “reading”. Because it’s more like piecing together bits and pieces of a puzzle & then trying to “fill in the missing pieces”.

In case you’re not familiar with my hearing loss journey; I’ll recap just a little bit for you. When I was a child, I had recurring ear infections. During those times, I could often be found literally rocking my body back & forth, while curled up in the fetal position. My memories start as young as age 3 years. It was always pure hell while I was living with horrible ear infections. When I complained to my parents about the excruciating 😖 throbbing Pain in my ear (or ears), my mother would always say same thing. She’d tell me “Once your eardrum ruptures, the pressure will go away and you will feel better!” Well, it did feel better after the pressure was gone. But each time that happened it caused scar tissue to form in my ear drums. It also caused mild hearing loss as I was growing up. I remember asking the teachers if I could sit closer to the board to try and hear them better. Therefore my audiologist (in 2002) & ENT Dr. felt that I’ve had mild hearing loss since I was a child. I had tubes put in my ears when I was about 7 or 8 years old. They were surgically placed multiple times and for several years.

Later in 2002, I was a passenger in a car driven by my husband. We were just driving along through a green light when we were hit by a car running through a red light. It was considered a “catastrophic accident”. I acquired a TBI (traumatic brain injury) and had multiple injuries and 9 surgeries. I went to brain injury rehab for 3 years & had 9 years of PT/OT, balance therapy and speech therapy. I acquired a pacemaker, glasses with prisms (for lowered vision), 2 screws in my left shoulder and 2 hearing aids. I also got a wheelchair, a seated wheeled walker, a motorized scooter, loft strand crutches, a cane and several other helping aides for activities of daily living.

I won’t bore you with all of the chronic pain illnesses that came out of that accident. That’s not what this post is all about. But I also acquired a bi-lateral sensory neural hearing loss in both of my ears L>R (but currently (2019), it’s R>L & it’s a mixed hearing loss). Along with the many medical issues, I also acquired lower vision. I saw a Neuro-Othamoligist, who put prisms in my glasses to try and correct some of it. The prisms really bothered me. Today I just have a very strong prescription for eye glasses. Everything has a bit of a halo effect.

It’s ironic and very awesome that prior to that MVA (motor vehicle accident), I had been an ASL Interpreter. I worked at a Deaf preschool and then I interpreted for a school district. In the end, I was a medical Interpreter at a University hospital. I even did volunteer work doing medical interpreting for Deaf/Blind at free medical screening events. I had gone through a 4 year SLS/Interpreting program and finished with a 3.8 gpa.

Back in the 1980’s when I went to college, I practically lived at the dorms with my 16 Deaf friends. We watched CC “General Hospital” daily at 3:00 pm. We even tried to schedule our classes around it! It was a social hour. I’d been learning ASL since age 11 & even “tested out” of the first fingerspelling class.

The Deaf community accepted me and they were kind to me. At that time I went to Deaf bowling every Thursday with DAD club. I had a Deaf boyfriend whose sister was a cheerleader at MSD & we went to all of the football games and even the homecoming dance! Me and my group of college friends, who happened to be Deaf, used to go out dancing on Friday nights. One time my friends & I were on our way to a dance club and we got pulled over for a slight bit of speeding. We were all packed in the back of a mini van signing with each other. One of my friends told me to “talk to the officer”. I was terrified and I told him “No way! I’m afraid! Since I’m with you guys, I don’t want to talk to him either!” We all laughed as the officer just let us go with a handwritten warning on a piece of paper. That was a fun and I felt included.

Just to back track a little, I started learning ASL at age 11. My best friend & I babysat for a Deaf family who lived next door to her. The parents and 6 children were Deaf. The children went to the Lutheran School for Deaf at that time! They included me in many Deaf social activities and I learned the language & received my sign name from them. First we played games and I learned colors, numbers, family signs, days of week and more!

I’ve always felt accepted by the Deaf community. I always respected the culture, the history & the language, ASL. How ironic then, that I lost my hearing & was already prepared with the tools I needed!

I’ve lost touch with some of my old friends from DAD (Detroit Association of Deaf). But I still have a some close friends from the past, who are Deaf. I still feel a part of the community. I’d like to become even more involved again! But living with several high pain chronic illnesses makes it difficult to get out due to persistent pain.

I’ve found my own ways to reconnect and to feel not so “in-between” two worlds. I get to teach ASL vocabulary with the Deaf Socials on their Instagram and Facebook pages. I love & look forward to each new vocabulary list they give to me for teaching! I truly enjoy doing that and doing song covers to ASL on my Youtube channel: My YouTube channel at: ASLSuzyQ . I also post to my Instagram A link to my ASL Instagram and Twitter A link to my ASL Twitter with the same name. I do this for fun and as a volunteer and advocate for Deaf Awareness.

Lastly, I used to love being a part of two ASL performance groups during the 80’s, when I lived in Arizona & worked at a Deaf preschool. One group was called “Silent Impressions productions”. We performed in choreography and ASL to broadway show tunes and in costumes! We put in shows at ASU and it was so much fun! The other group to which I belonged, was called “Silent Praise”. We performed Christian songs while others did lyrical dances. We did that at the ASU Neumann center. It was such a fun time in my life. My friends and I also interpreted for our church community at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Scottsdale, AZ.

After reminiscing in this post, I feel so grateful that I had already been involved with the Deaf community & had many years of experience with ASL, before I became more (*I was mild HoH since elementary school) Hard of Hearing. As ironic as it seems, it’s not all that crazy. I had a mild hearing loss and then it worsened due to the TBI.

I mostly seem to write about chronic pain illnesses. I’ve been writing about the rights of chronic pain patients to have access to much needed opioid pain medications. We need these medications because without them, people like me wouldn’t even be able to do the small amount of activities that we try to do. I was forcibly tapered from my long acting pain meds after doing pretty well on them for almost 14 years! Now I sit in my recliner for approximately16 hours daily. I try to get up, put I make up and do some online activities every few days. But my life is not the same with so much less help for the pain.

Although I still want to continue advocating in that area, I’m doing more & more advocating for Deaf awareness, inclusion and preservation of ASL. I thought I’d put my hearing loss story and ASL history here in my blog too. I’ve written a few posts about Deafness and trying to live in “two worlds”. But I’ve never explained the details of how I became who I am today. I’m a survivor of long time childhood abuse, domestic violence and then a catastrophic car accident. I’m not a “victim” but I am a “fighter and a survivor”! Don’t ever give up!!

I have a Facebook page at: Link to my ASLSUZYQ Facebook page

I have a Facebook group called “ASLExpress” at:Link to join Facebook group ASL Express

Lastly, I have an ASL group for allowing people to post ASL covers in a safe place, called “ASL Song” at: Link to ASL Song Facebook group

“Silent Impressions Productions” & I’m 2nd left

Me Interpreting at church before MVA

Me Interpreting a Song in “Silent Praise@ group

Me working at Deaf preschool

I was in newspaper when I taught elementary kids

My hearing aids

Strength Lies In Numbers


Let me introduce you to our newest family member. This is our first & only grandson, “Baby Bryce” aka “Bubba”. He was taken by ambulance from the pediatricians office on Friday morning (11-30-18). He was de-stating during feeding. He’d turned blue and his oxygen went as low as 40%. I received a phone call from my very frightened youngest daughter (his Mommy) & then I was sent the photo above, of my sweet newborn grandson in an ambulance. He looked so small and so helpless and that is exactly his his mommy & daddy felt. It is precisely how I felt as a mother and a grandmother. It’s been 5 days……

I want to update you on baby Bryce; but first I want to say what amazing daughters, their in-laws & son in laws we have! When they say “it takes a village to raise a child” I now know the true meaning of this. I also know the true meaning of “strength lies numbers”….. it’s been a difficult time seeing my daughter struggle, weep and see her newborn baby, our sweet Baby, Bryce struggle to breathe and watch his oxygen go down to 40%. Our usual jolly son in law has become serious over these last 5 days. They are living in a nightmare of fear. We all are. But as parents, it’s the #1 fear to feel & be helpless while doing all that you can to be there for your child. All the while, Drs & nurses at Motts Children’s Hospital, are life savers and thank God for their healing skills.

But we have banned together as a family and I admire the love and strength that I’m seeing. We got the sheer joy & chance just a few weeks ago to have a couple of “sleepovers” with our dear, sweet Kiera when her baby brother was born. We went back twice on the last day (we have a kitty at home who’s afraid of most everything & everyone so we chose to make the drive back home to check on her for a few hours) to make sure we had the pleasure of being there when they brought baby Bryce home and to make sure Kiera always felt safe & loved while Mommy & Daddy were at the hospital. We went back for several days to be there for the happiness, joy and to do whatever is needed to keep “my own baby” feeling safe and loved and to help keep her firstborn baby, Kiera, in some sort of routine.

Last Friday morning I heard the fear in my youngest daughters voice. I saw the photo of our beautiful, yet fragile 2 1/2 week old newborn baby, Bryce, being put into an ambulance. My heart was in my throat, my stomach was in knots & tears filled my eyes. This is where I asked God to please make me as strong as I’ve ever been. *(side note: since the majority of my pain medication has been taken away, I’ve literally been sitting in my recliner the majority of every day). I asked for strength so that I could do whatever was needed to keep my youngest daughter, Amy & her little family feeling as safe & good as possible.

I’m so thankful that our son in law, Grant (who is such a great father), has been able to come back at night and wake up with Kiera in the mornings. He’s been able to juggle all of this with great valor! He’s been there for my daughter, his daughter & his son. Daddy’s there when Kiera to wakes up. He’s been there to give her breakfast & 6:30 am lunch at 11:30 am. He puts her down for a nap at 12-12:15 pm.. He then goes back to hospital to be there as well. We’ve been getting there during nap time and we have had the pleasure of having dinner with our darling Kiera. We’ve had the extra special joy of putting her to bed and watching over her as she sleeps soundly.

Grants parents have been there with him and Kiera most every morning and they’ve spent many hours, being there with us and with Kiera, in the evenings. They are awesome people and Kiera adores her Grandma & PawPaw. The past couple of evenings, Grants mom, Kiera & I have hunkered down to watch the “Holiday Trolls” movie. Kiera wanted to be between her Grandma and me, with the blanket over each of us. If Grandma or I had to get up for some reason, she would quickly tell us to “come back” and hunker down with her. She’s so adorable. She’s always saying “huggin” when she wants or needs extra cuddles or reassurance. On Sunday, there was not much going on with a skeleton crew at the hospital and so Grant and his parents were there with Kiera. While we stayed at home & did a few errands & went to a little extended family dinner outing.

Amy has been a champion throughout this ordeal. She’s missing her sweet Kiera and her heart is torn in two places, as only a mother or father knows. So Grant took Kiera Sunday afternoon & is taking her today to see her baby brother and her Mommy. Amy has not left her sons side for even a moment! My eldest daughter, Jessy is a very thoughtful person and she went up to the hospital Saturday and brought Amy an entire brand new outfit so she could shower & change clothes in Bryce’s room at the hospital. She was there several hours with Amy & Bryce during some testing. She had dinner from Panera, delivered to the hospital for Amy, Kiera & Grant. Jessy even brought a unicorn headband for little Kiera. She’s juggling her own family of 4, but she’s been calling Amy several times daily.

Amy’s friend, Sara, went to the hospital & brought Amy and Grant some food & stayed there several hours too.

We are blessed to have the best son in laws and all of their parents as well.

All of us are working together to make sure that Amy, Grant and Kiera are as settled as they can be. We are trying to pull together as one family, while the Drs figure out what’s going in with our dear little Baby Bryce.

Nothing else matters right ggnow, except that this little guy and his Mommy get back home and the “Fab 4” is back at home together again.

Now, I have to add that my soul-mate, My darling husband, Craig, has also been a champ!! He’s been driving the 1 hour drive there in midday and home late at night. He’s offered to get groceries and do laundry (which Grant has already taken care of!). He’s carted our home accessories, my favorite food & drinks back & forth and he’s played and read with Kiera. They adore eachother and his playfulness makes her giggle. He is my rock! I thank God for him every day.

Tragedy can bring out the best or the worst in people. In this case, the best in everyone has been shining through. To my daughters, their husbands & our grandchildren; “We are here for you all, through thick and thin. We will be here for you always. As long as humanly possible.

Tonight when Grant takes Kiera back home and puts her to bed, we will be going to see Bryce and Amy. I can’t wait to hold them both in my arms. We don’t know what is wrong with little Bryce yet. We are hoping it’s some kind of sucking, breathing & swallowing issue that will get better with some Occupational therapy. The Dr.’s are still contemplating a lung issue and test. We will know more soon, I pray.

For now please keep this little guy in your prayers. Please keep his big sister and his Mommy and Daddy in your prayers as well. God made families for a reason. It’s so clear to me that nothing matters as much as the lives that he gives us & that we help bring into this world. Strength truly does lie in numbers. I’m so thankful for those who’ve been surrounding us with love, kind words & positive energy. I’m thankful for the families God has blessed my daughters with in this life.