Suffering Succotash

Today is my sister’s birthday.  She is a little older than I am (although most people assume I am older since I stopped coloring my hair years ago).   We are in the back row (I’m on the left).  She is the only person left on earth who has known me since the day I was born.  She knows me probably better than anyone and loves me anyway.  We make quite a pair – she has a hearing loss and I am very forgetful.  She can remember anything if she can hear it, and I can hear everything, but can’t remember it.  I wish I could give her a birthday hug in person, cyber hugs just don’t cut it.

Alice Marie Flannery

Happy Birthday, Sis.


I am recovering from a 3 day weather-induced migraine/sinus splitting headache combo.  It was pretty rough.  I may, or may not, have left stupid comments on some blogs.  If I did, I apologize.  If I didn’t, I wish I had, I can be pretty entertaining on medications….


I attended a memorial service Monday evening for one of my nursing students who died from a heart attack.  He was a great guy – an older student (35), large, loud, bright and funny.  He was a husband and father of 5.  He came from a very large family with 13 siblings, many adopted.  His cheery presence will be greatly missed both in the classroom and in the nursing lab I run for the college.

He worked full time, went to school full time and was a father – full time.  He laughed about burning the candle at both ends.  He lived on Red Bull and other “energy” drinks to keep himself alert and constantly moving.  His wit was razor sharp and his capacity for absorbing minutiae was incredible.

His widow, his children, and his siblings each read a letter written to say goodbye.  I have never, and probably never will, write words as poignant as those read that night.  I pray that I will never have to.


Imagine my surprise to find that I am a finalist in the caption contest over at the Good Greatsby’s Blog.  Please, I am BEGGING you, go there and vote for my caption.  I will owe you, big time.  I will do all kinds of things for you, like belch when you feel full, sleep for you when you feel tired, and bottle up some sunshine and send it your way on gray and gloomy days.  I don’t make offers like that to just anybody, either.  So get on over there, and vote.  Thanks.

Here’s hoping the rest of the week will be better.


Filed under General Mumblings, Uncategorized

38 responses to “Suffering Succotash

  1. Looks like your begging is paying off – you are out front in the Good Greatsby caption contest. I voted so expect some sunshine very soon.

    I have two sisters that I regularly write about – we all live in different parts of the world and couldn’t be further apart if we had planned it that way. Love to read about other people’s siblings. 🙂

  2. i shall vote for you because you beg so nicely, and one can always use a good belch…but now that i know such a thing exists i’m gonna have to enter. continue

    • I do beg with aplomb, don’t I? And I can belch with the best of ’em…After I win this one, feel free to jump right in. You will enjoy Good Greatsby’s blog – he is one very funny dude.

  3. I’m sorry you’ve been suffering from a migraine again. I had one this past week as well (must be weather related) I am very sorry about the loss of your nursing student.

    How wonderful it is to have such a close sister. My younger brother and I are very close, but he lives so far away and I miss him so much.

    P.S. you’ve got my vote in the contest!

    • Sorry you had a migraine, as well. Mine mostly are weather related these days. My sister lives almost 1500 miles away – but she will come hang out with me next year for her vacation, and we shall pick right up where we left off.

      Thanks for the vote – I voted for you, of course. ;>)

  4. What a beautiful large family. I came from four siblings. My dad was one of five who each had four to six, so that gave me 25 wonderful cousins, all of whom I know.
    I am so sorry for the loss of your student. What a remarkable man.
    I’m going right over to TGG for a chuckle and to vote. I know it’s good. Good luck. I have two entries at Lisa’s blog, Notes from Africa.

    • We added 2 more boys after that picture was taken – so 8 total. Large, loud, and fun.

      The student will be greatly missed – he was really remarkable. I was amazed at the poise of his children when they read their letters to Daddy in heaven. I am not sure I could have pulled it off as a child.

  5. I’ll vote for you. I want a month’s worth of blog ideas, please.

  6. I hope you’re feeling better! I’m off to vote for you!

  7. 1. You and your sister were/are ADORABLE.
    2. I’ve only had a few migraines in my life and I literally don’t know how people cope with them on a regular basis. I’m nto exactly a baby about pain, but WOW.
    3.I totally voted! And you’re winning!

  8. I love the way you describe you and your sister’s relationship–priceless.

    And I will go over to the Great G site and vote for you. I’m sure yours is the best anyway!

  9. I’m sorry about your student – that is way too young to die.

    Sorry about the headache and other bad stuff, too, blah blah, but what’s this about begging people to vote for your caption? Do you think this is within the boundaries of good sportsmanship? Hmmm?

    • Well, Peg, I considered (briefly) hijacking the posts of my competitors but that tactic has already been tried. I do not consider begging or offering belching, sleep, and sunshine to be unethical. I will sleep with a clear conscious.

      • I think you’re onto something here, Peg. How convenient to get a migraine the same week as the contest. Hmm. (stroking imaginary beard)

        And now I’m out of HoHos and diet coke after you two so casually crashed my crib today and left it in utter ruin with a post hijack a mile long.

        I might have to change my vote tomorrow. Hmm….

      • WHA….wait. You don’t think I would feign a migraine, for goodness sake, and try for the sympathy vote, do you? What do you take me for? And it really was my sister’s birthday, honest. You don’t think I would post that adorable picture of her sweet curly headed beauty to try for the pretty baby vote, do you? Really?

      • She IS pretty darn cute. Damn!

      • Oh, no! Never! It was Peg’s idea. Blame her. She’s the evil mastermind.

        But your sister’s extreme cuteness could sway a few votes your way. (Peg told me to say that)

        P.S. Peg, we’re still friends, right?

      • *Sarcasm alert*
        Oh sure, no prob. ALL my best friends call me evil – it’s practically a friendship requirement.
        *Sarcasm alert*

  10. Wow, K8. I just found out today that my 38 yr old cousin suffered a massive heart-attack on Sunday. Thankfully, he survived and he is recovering. My heart goes out to you, the family of your friend.

    And, happy birthday wishes to your sister! Another family of 6, I see. Are they all siblings? We, too, had five girls and one boy. I hope you get to see your sister soon and offer a real hug!

    Feel better …

    • Um, well, that picture was taken before the 2 youngest boys were born, so there were 8 of us. When people would ask my parents were Catholic I would answer “no, just bored”.

      Heart disease is so prevalent – glad your cousin is recovering.

      I do feel much better – now if I can just get caught up on my reading!!!

  11. I am catching up on blog reading. I have now gone from your perfect day to your (apparent) week from hell-migraine, early death of great guy and begging for votes. Hmmmm. My sister died nearly two years ago from a massive heart attack at 49-on the day before her 50th. There were three sisters in our family, and we were very close. My remaining sister and I and our brother are still recovering. I think I can imagine that service.
    Good luck in the contest!

  12. Thank you. I am so sorry you lost your sister – that is way too young to die. The older I get the more I think about our friends and siblings dying. I cannot imagine being in this world without my sis.
    I did notice that I went from a really sublime day to being trapped in a hellish nightmare for a few days – Ah, well, that is my life.

  13. I voted for you because you are good at begging, your way out in front.
    A weekend in Spain for two would be nice.

  14. jacquelincangro

    OK, OK. I headed over to Good Greatsby’s contest and voted. I may or may not have voted for you.
    If you win, then I did, and if you don’t win, well…

  15. Thank you for a lovely blog, about those things that really happen to many of us, but that we can never seem to find the words to say in just the right way. The way you did 😀

    Since we don’t know each other so well. I think it’s very fitting you belch for me when I am full, so Im heading over to vote for your captions…

  16. Deborah the Closet Monster

    A belated happy birthday to your sister! I just got to talk to my just-younger sister, who’s been in the hospital twice in the last few weeks. It was a blast. I hope someday we’ll live close together again, so we can remember these future good ol’ days face-to-face on the phone.

    I look forward to seeing how it all plays out. 🙂

    The words about your nursing student fill me with sadness. I’m sad he is remembered with such love, but I wish he didn’t have to be remembered in past tense already.

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