Archive for March, 2012
Last week I was invited by WEOL radio to give an update on Charleston Village and what the organization had been doing of late.
I updated on the Charleston Pioneer Cemetery , Settlers’ Watch and the latest project the Admiral King Tribute site ( we still are looking for a name for the site). I also mentioned our latest project starting NOW.
Charleston Village Society (CVSI), along with our partners the City of Lorain, will link Settlers’ Watch and the Admiral King Tribute site with a natural pathway ( although adhering to American with Disabilities Act requirements).
The “pathway” ( in the planning stages at the moment ) will meander through the trees and join Settlers’ Watch and the Admiral King Tribute site . Along the way we are hoping for berms , mounds, natural plantings and wild flowers etc. edging the pathway to make the walk interesting visually.
The pathway linking Century Link’s tribute for Eric Barnes – a fallen hero of the War in Iraq -2007
to Lorain’s WW11 hero Fleet Admiral Ernest King’s tribute space,
will be named ERIC BARNES’ – HEROES WALK.
Along the path will be another tribute ( still in the planning stages) to another of Lorain’s fallen heroes David Hall 2009 -31-year-old U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. David R. Hall, was killed while serving in Afghanistan with the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force.
“The Eric Barnes’- Walk of Heroes “ is literally under construction. Charleston Village is a 501C3 and once again we will be needing donations both in-kind ( such as plants, labor, materials ( to be decided) and of course money is always nice- As readers know every cent 100% of every donation goes toward the project for which the donor designates.
I hope you can see your way to helping us to make this tribute pathway as special as these men of Lorain were and still are in the hearts of those that loved them.
We will also be needing help on Pride Day May 19th to get Settlers” Watch “de- winterized, weeded” and the carvings resealed etc.
Information on how to donate.
Please send checks ( CVSI is a 501C3 so your donation is tax-deductible)to
Charleston Village Society Inc.
C/o 1127 West 4th Street,
Lorain Ohio 44052
Mark on the memo portion where you would like your donation to go:
Eric Barnes’ – Heroes Walk
David Hall – Tribute site
Charleston Pioneer Cemetery
Admiral King Tribute Site
For volunteering or more information please call 440-246-6046
I have decided that part of my “being” was definitely influenced by the poems and songs of my childhood. Just like the times tables they have stuck- and by the way educators – I bless the times tables everyday!
I have always been a “fighter” and “cheer leader” for history, culture, lifestyle and neighborhood, city, countries and world – I wanted to right the wrongs as I perceived them and would rush in ready to do battle.
In the past months, since the diagnosis , the dying time , the death of my son and all the experiences with the people and events that entailed- that has changed. Where once I would look at the problems and situations I would, no matter how hard the windmill was to tilt, I would “try” – I cared because that is who I was. I have realized that even those that profess to love have “agendas”
Now I have become “the sigh”- -looking at a situation , sometimes giving voice to an opinion such as the “substation”, “trees” etc. but even then whereas the ME Before” would be thrilled if the outcome was good or even more galvanized if the outcome was negative. Now I do what I do I go through the motions and “accept” any outcome. “ – IT IS WHAT IT IS… SHRUG
But mostly, I just look and sigh and know that basically – I am no longer passionate – part of the light and passion has left my world .
The scum at the top of the pond, as they intruded, smothered and showed themselves to be what they are, obliterated any of the light that remained in my world.
MY TRUST HAS BEEN BROKEN IN THINGS/ PEOPLE I HELD TO BE TRUE, in religion , people who profess to be pillars of religions and caring , medical, politics, education , even extended family in some instances, has found me numb to their world.
I mainly do what I can, but without passionate caring as to the eventual outcome – I do things because friends ask or I have taken on a previous responsibility that needs to be completed but now there are just 7 things I truly care about now in this world . They are the nearest and dearest to my heart and for which I would move mountains or for whom I would give my last breath- the rest- well – there are degrees of caring but I find it hard to stir any confluence of anything to beat against the bastions.
I don’t care a terrible thing – why did I ever care it could have had something to do with the “orrible ( Horrible for you Americans) consequences“- I remembered from those childhood days.
Whenever my little blonde curly top would shake with a NO! after being told to do something , my retort would inevitably be :
“Don”t Care” when told the consequences of my non action or defiance . Don’t care would find the following be quoted to my little stubborn being :
Don’t care didn’t care,
Don’t care was wild:
Don’t care stole plum and pear
Like any beggar’s child.
Don’t care was made to care,
Don’t care was hung:
Don’t care was put in a pot
And boiled till he was done
The thought of “Don’t Care” had disastrous consequences it seems and was meant to keep “don’t care in check. And by way of another childhood rhyme that was often attributed to me as I was growing up…..
There was a little girl
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 1807–1882 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
There was a little girl,
Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good,
She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad she was horrid.
In my opinion, I have found some people who deserve the “horrid” tag more so than I recently- perhaps I was naively blinded as to their truth of being.
AND as for Don’t Care it seems even the thought of being hung or boiled in a pot has lost its impetus to care…………… there are worse things in my world than being hung or boiled in a pot………….
I have become one of the great unwashed – there is a freedom in not caring I have suffered the most untenable pain of loss of my son and in the events and selfishness that surrounded that death and the realization that there are very few that care for others before themselves in any of the my world. Even the world of faith, that comforts so many, has been sullied.
That is not to say there aren’t some wonderful people in my life and You know who you are but the pot no longer boils as the flames of passion have been doused leaving only the stinking black burnt embers of reality.
a story having fear, surprise, sadness, disgust, anger, anticipation, joy, trust
That was the search term that was googled and the search that Google felt applied to my son apparently because the person/s who searched were sent to this blog and “my story”.
It seems Google were right in their direction to this blog , as upon reflection:
FEAR – “the obscenity of cancer- Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
It was a phone call that sent an icy cold that permeated through my very core and has not left me yet, my brain not wanting to “compute” what my ears were hearing, mouth dry, eyes welling with tears , the incredulousness, the denial , the confusion, the sheer terror that runs through your frame, your mind screaming, a few seconds that changes your life forever- nothing will ever be the same
SURPRISE – the extended family certainly surprised me by their actions :
The Vykas, Tim/ Sue Lombardi/ Ali Lombardi, Angela(Lombardi) Ritchey DO
Maybe I would have not been taken by such surprise when a call came from the Boyer and Cool Funeral Home (8 days after my son’s death and ONE week after Angela (Lombardi) Ritchey had agreed to cremation and the decision of Chris’s ashes) stating that I need to meet with Mr. Cool. These “people” didn’t have the common decency or courage to face us personally with one of the most personal decisions one can make .
That morning of December 11th my mother was here staying trying to deal with her own pain- worried about me and the state I was in and my husband when the phone rang. I knew something was wrong- apparently my mum hadn’t even been acknowledged at the memorial service – no concern for her by the dry-eyed controllers –
maybe “GREED” would have narrowed down the search
Sue Lombardi ( the mother in law) – the cash from fundraiser- not deposited into the Friends of Chris Ritchey account( First Federal) – her own statement November 2009- waiting room – Cleveland Clinic- when asked for a list of those that donated so I could send thank you
Sue Lombardi –
“We don’t want people to know the full amount – we aren’t publicizing that. I have opened a safe deposit box for the cash – Angela has access”
SADNESS – that goes without saying:
I have cried everyday of the yesterdays at the loss you, my eyes are sore, always swollen from the weeping of you and I will cry today as my heart continues to break. My will to go on is battered and blown by a grief that seemingly knows no ending. I stagger emotionally through my days – stand rooted immobile – whilst all around me a world of todays rushes past- soundbites of life, colours, voices sometimes penetrating the world of tears. The hurt has not eased no matter the passing of yesterdays.
DISGUST – the Priest (Divis) and the Bishop Lennon and members a certain congregation who were and are in my opinion “traitors of compassion”
I am perplexed by the continued lack of respect and disgusted by the actions of your number. I would suggest you remember that as you pray to another mother and think of her pain you ask forgiveness for the pain caused to another of her sisterhood.- one who lost her son to disease and again to deceit and control and yet again the dishonor perpetrated by those that decorate with cake, beer and balloons enabled by your church.
ANGER – it is what has kept me upright
Anger I have found is a most misunderstood emotion. Anger actually has been beneficial in my world of late. It has kept me from totally puddling emotionally. Anger should not be confused with hate. Hate would be all-consuming, my grief is all-consuming – no room for hate.
Anger on the other hand, in my world, actually is a positive. Without the utter anger I felt in the past days I could not have moved my mother- I just wouldn’t have had the strength physically, it was anger that enabled me to pack 27 years worth of life into plastic bags, haul furniture and clothes up and down flights of stairs. And just when I would start to flag the thought of that selfish narcissistic cretin gave me the strength and admittedly helped my husband and myself make a “moving miracle”.
ANTICIPATION– we had that too as well as
Braedyn made his appearance into the world just after 6 in the morning . And although they maintain this 6 lb bundle complete with eyebrows etc. is 36 weeks – Murphy and I know better he had at least two weeks on them………
I have realized just how old I am trying to keep up with Gavin, whose energy is seemingly limitless and whose imagination gets us both into trouble- when the dog gates become a makeshift Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and a muddy Scout rushes into the room. Bath time – is an experience to be believed – Gavin nightly tries to prove Archimedes wrong and the water he displaces usually ends up soaking me. One towel for Gavin , one for the floor and one for me.
Trust- just a little word actually, one of those “throw away “ words ,seemingly unimportant in the wonderful mind and tongue pleasing words that you can get you teeth into, as we frolic in the English language.
Trust when broken , no matter the language, is broken forever. There aren’t any “degrees of breaking trust” it is intact or it is irrevocably broken.
NOTE: All writings in this our story are from my perspective as we are the ones who have lived this story first hand. It is OUR TRUTH -However, there are witnesses- documentation for each and every scenario presented upon this blog.
These posts are based upon my opinions of people and situations as they presented themselves in the past 4 years. My conclusions are based upon living this story and having to deal with the actions of a few who have entered our lives and left behind them the anger, the sorrow and disgust as they trampled upon compassion…………………..
Open Letter to the Board of Trustees of the American Psychiatric Association and to the DSM 5 Task Force
An update from Dr. Joanne Cacciatore on yesterday’s post:
“Two weeks ago, I wrote a blog opposing the DSM 5’s proposal to reduce the DSM IV bereavement exclusion.
This blog has since gone viral in the most incredible way- 100,000 readers within its first few weeks. It seems that this proposal is experienced as an outrageous insult by the very people it is intended to help”
Please see the full letter here:
and also from :
Allen Frances, M.D., was chair of the DSM-IV Task Force and of the department of psychiatry at Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC. He is currently professor emeritus at Duke
Up until now, the leadership of the American Psychiatric Association has stubbornly defended the indefensible DSM 5 proposal that would turn normal grief into clinical depression. APA has blithely ignored the contrary scientific evidence; the unified opposition of 47 professional organizations; 2 eloquent editorials in the Lancet; and critical articles in more than 100 newspapers from all around the world. The meager counter-arguments offered by the APA and DSM 5 leadership reveal how badly they have lost touch with clinical common sense, with the larger community of mental health professionals, and with the general public.
Recently, Dr Joanne Cacciatore wrote a moving blog opposing the DSM 5 plan. Within days, she had unexpectedly attracted more than 100,000 viewers. Encouraged by the display of overwhelming support, Dr Cacciatore has now written a powerful letter to the APA Trustees demanding that they take immediate action to protect normal grief from inappropriate DSM 5 medicalization…………..
NOTE: PLEASE SEE RELATED ARTICLES TO THIS SUBJECT ON THE ABOVE PAGE.
TO the American Psychiatric Association from a Mother who Grieves:
I loved my son- I still love my son – I miss his smile- his humour- his laughter – his temper – his very being! We shared our souls (or the essence of what makes us) and my heart for 9 months -we shared my body – part of him that shared this space that is my being and my soul is still “physically ” part of this mother and all mothers who have shared their bodies – he is not just emotional left over to be “cured” . I resent the labels , I resent your plugging me into a category because I loved……….Maybe my son’s facebook page art work – descriptive of how he felt during his time with “other Drs. ” and experimentation might speak for him. Because through MY grief he still speaks
In essence, that is what the American Psychiatric Association now decides as they pigeon-hole we who have lost:
DSM-5: The Future of Psychiatric Diagnosis
Publication of the fifth edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) in May 2013 will mark one the most anticipated events in the mental health field. As part of the development process, the preliminary draft revisions to the current diagnostic criteria for psychiatric diagnoses are now available for public review. We thank you for your interest in DSM-5 and hope that you use this opportunity not only to learn more about the proposed changes in DSM-5, but also about its history, its impact, and its developers.
However, in a recent blog post
Dr. Joanne Cacciatore,Asst Professor
Director, Graduate Certificate in Trauma and Bereavement
Arizona State University states:
For more than a year, I’ve been struggling, both professionally and personally, with the proposed changes for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5 (DSM), even writing letters and expressing deep concern to colleagues in the ‘mental health’ field. Despite an urging from others to speak out, before today, I’ve remained silent in the hope that reason might find its way into the discussion about grief and the DSM.
The change that most concerns me has to do with the “bereavement exclusion”(BE). In the current manual, the DSM IV, this exclusion means that a person who has suffered the death of a loved one may be diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) no less than two months following the loss. Prior iterations, the DSM III, stated one year…..
While I don’t like or agree with either ‘time limit’, the arbitrary absurdity of “14-days post-loss-then-becomes-depression-label” has ignited a fire in the pits of my being against the DSM machine.
And I’m not the sole adversary.
This change occurs against a historical DSM backdrop of salient criticism relative to the medicalization of normal human emotion, clinical hubris, cultural incompetence and insensitivity, questionable relationships with pharmaceutical companies, and ethical misuse of such nosological systems.
So why should those reading this bother to read the rather lengthy post and 80 comments on her blog? None of us will escape “grief”, although I can tell you first hand the loss of your son or daughter equates to no grief I have ever felt in my lifetime .
So you go for help because actually, as in my case, people worry about you want you to feel “better” -take the pills – see the counsellors
just maybe the post script to Dr. Joanne Cacciatore’s blog might be of interest:
1) Imagine the person you love most in all the world. Picture his or her face, laugh, touch. Now, imagine that you will never see that person again because he, or she, has died. And then imagine that a two-week time limit has been imposed on your sadness, grief, anger, fear, confusion. If you experience such profound distress longer than two weeks, you may be diagnosed with a mental disease.
Reason number one why this matters to you? Because someday, you will feel deep and profound grief that will bring you to your knees. You are not exempt. No one is. Grief, as Anne Morrow Lindbergh says, is “the great leveler”;
2) Because a person can be denied private health and life insurance if he or she has been diagnosed with a mental disorder;
3) Because parents who have been diagnosed with a mental disorder can lose custody of their children;
4) Because individuals diagnosed with mental disorders can lose opportunities for jobs and often suffer the effects of global discrimination;
5) Because a diagnosis of a mental disorder stays in your records, despite the fact that many clinicians may not disclose this;
6) Because categorizing normal grief as a mental disorder is a lie and thus is unethical;
7) Because this lie further perpetuates the myths around ‘normal’ grief and obscures societal understanding, further marginalizing the traumatically bereaved;
8) because such lies harm people and relationships, and
9) many other risks, some known and some yet to be discovered.
Readers of this blog know how much I admired this young woman. She touched my life and still continues to touch the lives of people who may not even know her name.
Hillary, walked a path of cancer and along the way discovered not only did she have to deal with the obscenity of this insidious disease but insurances, medical non communication and the robot muppets of cubicle pigeon-hole decision makers as to what will be covered.
Until it hits you, the “system” is some remote tale on a blog or program. The system hit Hillary and she hit back.
Look at your son or daughter, loved one and then imagine, if you will, facing a catastrophic illness – it doesn’t have to be cancer – look at YOUR insurance :
Is there a lifetime cap, how much is that cap ? can you access the specialists you will need- who will fight for you with the “permission givers” when you are too weak to lift your head, who will deal with the bills – who will be your advocate when your brain is numbed with drugs – will your ability to pay for the cost of the survival become part of the equation of life and death ?
Hillary became an advocate for all of us in the United States:
She’s Always Been a Fighter’
By Chris Fleisher
Valley News Staff Writer
Last month, St. Pierre-Ford died at the age of 29. But until the moment that cancer claimed her life, she was determined not to let her experience as a patient go to waste. She turned her frustration into action, advocating for reform at the federal and state levels, writing about her experience on her blog and the news website Huffington Post, and becoming a voice for patients who she felt were being neglected by the system.
Once an aspiring communications major at the College of New Rochelle in New York, St. Pierre-Ford used her writing and technology skills to raise awareness of problems within the health care system and also suggest ways to solve them. Her legacy could be an electronic health record system, called “Patients as Partners,” that acts as a kind of “Facebook” for health care, where multiple providers from different hospitals can communicate in one place about a single patient.She designed the project from her bed, then patented it and gave it to the state of New Hampshire, which is now considering it as part of a larger effort to create an electronic medical records exchange program.
There were other concerns. She wrote on her blog, called “Baldie’s Blog,” and for other Web publications about the immense costs to her family, how insurance maximums would cut off life-prolonging treatments. Last year, she wrote for the Huffington Post about how health care costs were forcing her to consider a “Medicaid divorce,” in which she would legally divorce her husband to protect his financial assets and, in becoming single and destitute, make herself eligible for Medicaid to pay for care. (She and Jon did not divorce.) Private insurance, she found, would not cover many treatments
ED Note: Please read the whole article on Hillary’s Blog
Hillary found all this out at the age of 23 and spent the next 6 years fighting the disease of the “curable???” Hodgkin’s Lymphoma-( refractory) which ultimately claimed her young life , just as it claimed my son’s . Although due to my son’s wife’s insurance – she being a Dr. with the Cleveland Clinic -we had no such insurance worries. MEDICAL INSURANCE NOT ALL EQUAL
Dr’s within the Cleveland Clinic system seem to know what it will take to keep them from dealing with the insurance and healthcare system – 100% coverage and no lifetime cap and so much more which I will cover in my The Good???? Dr – or Dentist Series
Hillary had a gift and she continues to bestow that gift including her words to help the youngest among us understand .