Life Happens

When we travel 

we take a grain of sand from each of those roads we explore.  

Tuck them in our pocket, 

remember where we have been, 

                                                  we can choose to not live there.                              

I moved out of my parents house when I was 17, a Senior in high school. I lived on my own making my own way in the world. I finished high school and became a hospice nurse. I loved nursing and did it for many years.

  At 18 I met my first husband.  I had been primed, the marriage was doomed.  My age and early life had made codependant, after all if I had been a better girl mother would have loved me.  It was an bad marriage. I tried hard, for 10 years. I thought if only I was a better wife things would change, as with any abusive relationship, they do not. I was back in the same dark place, behind a different door.

  The one joy that came of this ill-fated marriage was my son. I got counseling to deal with my past and make sure I could be the mother my child deserved. I loved motherhood and lavished us with treats. My son was and still is the light of my life. I have stood in awe of him every day since we met.      

After Paul's birth I thought I would go back to Nursing. However after 6 months he was too mobil to take along on my cases. It was time to find Child Care. I went to a couple of interviews and just could not do it. The places were dirty and the care givers I met were awful. After a particularly awful interview I called my supervisor and said "I quit, do not give me any more clients". WOW, now what would I do, I had to earn a living. I was talking to a pal who suggested I start my own Child care and be the caregiver I would have wanted.  

My small family child care was created October 1980.

March 1990 I increased my license to 12, and then in 1997 went to 14.  

May 1986 was the first printing of my monthly news letter.  

May 1998  our web page made its debut on the Internet.

March 2002 I lowered my license capacity back to 8.

June of 2020 During the world wide Covid pandemic, the child care closed, never to open again.

In my years in the child care field I have  learned a lot.  I  have taken classes in early childhood education, 

crisis intervention, contagious disease, story telling, fire safety, CPR,  day care law, disaster preparedness, brain development of young children, book keeping, taxes, finger plays, discipline, families with special needs, arts and crafts, and nutrition requirements for early childhood, to name just a few. Now with the internet at my fingertips the learning is endless.

    I feel privileged to have been involved in decades of children’s growing up.  The Joy wells up in my heart as I  hear the laughter of children fill this home, and feel the warmth of this, my extended family through good time as well as bad.  I live for the children’s wisdom, their giggles, the discoveries, and the kindness of their hearts. This is not a job, this is who I am.   As I look to the future I see many more exciting things to learn and do on the horizon.  I look forward to seeing  even more of the children who have touched my life, all grown up and wonderful.


 November 1985, I had to save myself. I could not hide the abuse any any longer.  I had to make the hard choice to get out and make it on my own, again. I had to try to find a way to believe I was a good person; it is not ok to break Sandy.  We were alone for a while, Paul and me. I got counseling for the abuse and I got my feet under me. My Grandfather and my Uncle Scott by our side. I had to find enough love for myself that I could find a life free of abuse by any other person. However, I was still abusing myself with food. 

 A few years later I found Love, a good love, a kind love on December 30th, 1989, I met, Michael Hall. It was so right April 1, 1990, we married Michael Hall! I was down to 240 pounds for that moment. 

Michael was a talented cartoonist just a kid at heart. He loved anything science fiction, Michael embraced Paul and became the father I had always hoped to give my son. 



March 2005, I married a kind man named Bill.  Bill was a New York Italian and large women symbolized love, warmth and family to him. Where some men bring flowers Bill would come bearing cupcakes as a show of his adoration. I was loved but getting larger every month. 

  In the beginning we rode motorcycles together. We had wonderful adventures up and down the state. I was learning a whole new way of living. I even got my own patch in the EZ Riders motorcycle club. Bill was Lovingly known as Gandalf, I was Oatmeal. Bill was the leader of the group and loved by all who met him.

Bill was a man of many dimensions. Bill was as comfortable in a tux as he was in leather. In addition to being President of the motorcycle club, he was a Third Degree Mason, a Shriner, a 33rd degree Scottish rite, a barber shop quartet singer, a mathematician,  and forever the life of any party. Bill had a sense of humor that could go on for days. He was a mix of intelligence, pure joy with a dash of silly in a six foot four inch package.

By May 15, 2013 I had hit 335 on my scale, was a new low or should I say high. That number sent me reeling low self-esteem, self-loathing, and depression were engulfing my every breath, suffocating me. Thoughts of death filled my heart as the only way out of the body I ate my way into. Everyday life had become a complex labyrinth of maneuvering myself.

I struggled with every aspect of living. Moving 300+ is exhausting and my energy was zapped quickly. My legs Ached and felt heavy to lift. My feet hurt from the weight they carried. 

My souls screamed out I embarrass myself with what I have become. 

 All this sadness and self-suffering brings me to the night of May 15th, 2013 in the shower. See I always pray in the shower. I was in tears again, begging, pleading with God to help me.... I prayed till I was exhausted but there in the shower there was no booming answer, no burning bush just my pleas to God on a silent tiled wall echoing back to me. I gave up, rinsed off the sweet smell of soap and shampoo, stepped out of my confessional to dry off and get into my jammies heading off to bed and hopefully rest.

My darling husband was a snuggled down in the covers with our doggies, the dim flicker of a tv show glowing blue through our bedroom. I climbed in shifted about and started mindlessly staring at the tv, honestly, I do not even recall the show that was on, just canned laughter. Then came a Medifast commercial, I perked up as I had never seen an ad for this program. I listened and wondered hmm? Then fell back into the show and the commercial passed out of my mind. Not ten minutes later there it was again... Ok I get it, I need to check this out, in the morning, I am on it! Sitting down at the computer in the morning the warm steam wafting past my face I popped on to face book to see how my family and friends were doing, and there in the right corner, an ad for, you guessed it Medifast! WOW! Do you get it now Sandy? Yeah... yeah... I will in a minute. Then off to Yahoo to read the news and there on the left, a little Medifast symbol! Ok that is enough, I went right to the Medifast site, looked how to get on the program and place an order. I could not ignore the signs; I was being shown the way. Within an hour I was in chat where I talked with a nice lady who asked if I had a “coach” I said no, I did not even know about that aspect of the program. She said oh yes, it is a great help and offered me the number of hers and said give her a call. I did and that is when I met my TSFL coach and told her my story... She had a kind understanding way about her and was so easy to talk to. She reassured me I would succeed. Then with a slight giggle she said, isn’t it ironic, you prayed and here you are... and my name is Faith. 

With the support and guidance of Faith I lost 60 by December pounds I was rocking the program. 

Smooth sailing you say? Well think again.  Life happens when you least expect it.

In December of 2013 Bill got sick, a cold we thought. Bill was stubborn and said he did not need a doctor; we insisted and were given a diagnosis of Bronchitis.

 January 10, 2014, our son came over and insisted that he take Bill to the doctor again, as he was not getting better. Bill complained but went with him. Three days later we got a diagnosis that sent us to a new realm of despair. 

 Bill had terminal liver cancer.

The world crashed in on me, how could I not have seen this? He had lost weight with me over the past few months, but I was cooking good, we were eating less junk.... He was also tired, but we chalked that up to he was 64 years old and commuted 3 hours a day... It had all made sense, but not the way we thought. I tended him for the next 4 weeks as his body and mind shut down. It was not an easy time; he was in extreme pain and the disease changed him. People were too overwhelmed to help as much as I needed. I was left alone to watch my beloved Bill die. I felt devastated and abandoned. My only friend and council was food. I quickly gained back all 60 pounds. 


Bill passed February 14, 2014, He and I were alone when he took flight. I was kissing his hand, telling him it was Valentines day, and he needed to go home to those that loved him. His suffering was breaking my heart. As I spoke he exhaled his last breath. My soul died.  I promised him he would not go out of the house undressed. I took a breath, tightened my spine,  went into the closet and got out his three piece pinstriped suit, wing tip shoes, and fedora. Then alone with my love and sorrow, I muscled that suit onto his lifeless body. I would keep my promise. 

He went out in style looking like the man he was. 

 I wanted him to stay home with me. It was 10pm, I was not ready to let go. I was going to call the mortuary in the morning, so I could have those last hours with him. At the encouragement of my Son, I gave in and called the mortuary to take my friend away. My son and daughter in law came over to be with me while the mortuary took him from our home... After he was gone, I smiled and said I was ok, I sent them to their home, as that morning the moving vans were coming to move them an hour away. My son had landed an extremely great job, and as his Mother I had to give him the wings to fly, I needed to be strong for him. 

In the days that followed I got out of bed, I smiled for the world and turned to food for comfort. I did have a couple friends come around; They were grieving the loss of Bill in their own way, they could not see me dying inside.

Then in March my dog died, could it get worse? 


   Ever watch the water spin down a drain? Watch it churn and rush in a dizzying spiral. Frothy bubbles dancing on top indifferent to the madding rush. Look on in horror as it picks up all the small particles unlucky enough to be in its path. It spins them helplessly into the unknown. You know in your heart that small dark clumpy pipe is clawing and scratching at the particles as they spin their way to an even more gruesome fate. I was beginning to feel my life slip into such a wild frenzy, Just as those small particles in the sink. I felt like I was spinning into the unknown. Everyone still grasping and pulling me in different directions. All around me someone needed a piece of me, unaware of the confusion in my eyes. Where does a spin like this begin? I ask myself that question over and over again in my mind, only to have it echo side to side like a ping pong ball in a garbage can. I was over life, I wanted it to end, my spiral into binge eating depression began. 

I smiled for the world and kept getting up each morning. 

Yes this is what severe depression looks like. My soul was screaming to die. March, April, and May my weight climbed I was back to 335. I was revisiting the misery I swore I would never go back to. This time though, it was deliberate.  I did not love life enough to continue living it.  I gave up on me, on life on everything. I was ready to die. I prayed for the release from the pain of this world.                                 

Then my friend gave me this great piece of wisdom 

  “All you have to do is just keep living, until you feel like living again.”  

In May 2015 I decided I did not want to die. I wanted to live again.   My son and daughter in law took me to lunch and told me, Bill did not want you to be alone, it is not good for you. But dare I risk love again? I knew I did not want to be alone. I liked having a partner. I could risk it.