Encyclopedia of an ordinary life

January 29, 2014

Have you read the book?  I did years ago and loved it.  So I decided  as I slowly approach 50, it wouldn't be a bad thing to put together some of the pieces of my life.

Encyclopedia of Tina


A -  Augusta Georgia see birthplace

       Athleta - One of my favorite places for running clothes and a lot of my everyday outfits.

       Antiques - although I only have a few pieces, they are my favorite additions of our furniture and decor.


B -  Bus Stop - One morning as my brother Joe and I walked to our bus stop a car had come across to the wrong side of the road and hit me from behind. My brother Joe ran home to get my parents. No broken bones just one giant bruise, torn jeans and broken shoes (which my dad took back to the store, I don't think he told them I had been hit by a car?)

       Birthplace - Augusta Georgia where my father was stationed in the Army.

      Books - they are everywhere in our house and I love reading. My Kindle has given me a new way to collect books so they are not all over the house and a way to sample many books before I purchase. I try and read everyday, but suffer from book amnesia, soon after finishing a book I know I loved it but couldn't tell you a thing about it.

       Butterscotch - One of my favorite forgotten flavors

C -  Chelsea - my daughter, almost 24, my running partner, laughing partner and one who has helped me through many of my own struggles in life.  


       Clothes - Growing up I always wore my sisters clothes without her permission, she always had a bigger variety since she worked and bought many of her own. She hated me wearing her clothes and would constantly tell on me to our father. At dinner my father would say "quit wearing your sisters clothes" but the next day or within a few days I was back in her closet sneaking out another favorite top.  Today my daughter sneaks my clothes without my permission, I guess that's my payback because Deb still laughs when she hears how frustrated I get!

D - Daughter see Chelsea

      Debbie - my sister who did everything for me both as a child and adult. Through my teen years Deb was sure to tattle on me when I was out to late or she worried about my judgement. 

      Dress - see funeral

     Dementia - that horrible disease that slowly deteriorates your memory while all that love you stand by helplessly. With changing emotions from sadness to anger, a person you love becomes unrecognizable.

E - Elementary School - One day my car wouldn't start and I couldn't get Ryan to the preschool that he attended at SharonElementary, he was heart broken because he loved school. I called my parents and soon after that phone call my father drove out from North Royalton to pick us up in Hinckley to then drive Ryan to preschool and me back home before heading off to work himself. It is one touching memory that I will never forget shared with two of the greatest males in my life.

F - Funeral - While I've had the misfortune of having to attend many, one that will forever be engraved in my mind is my son Ryan's. There is no planning for such an event and I had not even thought of what I would wear to the funeral of my son? But I believe God placed an angel in my life with Lisa, she came over before the funeral with many dresses, trying each one on and making us all smile as she joked wearing a dress and socks. It was years later that I realized I had never paid her for the dress for which she never intended me to. 

      Friends see girlfriends, see funeral

      Father - My father was the smartest and toughest man.  His lessons still live on as I've repeated them to my own children.  One I've been reminded of many times, "life's not fair".  He had been my go to for all my life, but even he was lost when Ryan died. It was the first time I'd heard and seen him cry. He was only 52 when he passed away and it was like a library burned down, so much information gone.

G -  Girlfriends - I am blessed with many in so many areas of my life and they have kept me afloat during some of the darkest days of my life.

H -  Hilton Head Island visits started before Joel and I had kids. My father had a condo there and from our first visit we were in love with the Island! Our kids spent a week every year at Fiddler's Cove where they would swim in the pool and play in the ocean. Still a favorite place to visit today. 

I -  Ice Cream - growing up my dad didn't show a lot of emotion, he wasn't one of those dads that told you he loved you, he showed you. One of my first break ups with a boy my fathers remedy was to say lets go for a ride. He took me to Loders for an ice cream. I wonder if that's why I turn to ice cream in times of sadness... wait I turn to ice cream when happy too... Guess I just like ice cream!

J -   Joel - Married for almost 30 years we have suffered through our lowest lows together and our highest highs. I believe we have been put through every test of a marriage and still found our way through!


       Joe - Less than 2 years younger my brother Joe and I were always buds growing up. Playing with Fisher Price people together and always getting along. He was an easy going musician that never realized how truly talented he was. September 2003 Joe passed away from a brain aneurysm they tried to repair after 3 weeks in ICU.

K -   Kitchen - One of my favorite rooms in the house, our kitchen was one of the reasons I fell in love with this house and since our recent remodel, love it even more!

L -    Late - as hard as I try, most times I end up arriving late

        Love - with all the loss our family has suffered, it has taught me the best give to have and to give is your love, it is where you will find your most comforted memories.

        Lost in space - Growing up this silly show was one of my favorites. Always wanting to be  Penny Robinson.

M - Magic - I got to participate in David Copperfields magic show when he was in Cleveland and after the show got to meet him. I was sworn to secrecy about how this illusion works. 

        Marathon - my one and probably only marathon I ran in 2011 in Chicago. I had done the training and felt prepared but never realized just how tough it would be, having an exercise induced asthma attack near the finish was not what I pictured my crossing the finish line to look like.

     Mother - Someone who brings you up in a sheltered environment caring for your needs above their own. Teaching you all they know until one day you have grown beyond them and begin your own journey. My mom was always the sweetest and easy going person in my life. Today that sweetness is hidden behind the ugliness of dementia.

N -  Nashville - Just last year we spent some time in Nashville and visited The grand ole opry where Zach stood on the same floor that Johnny Cash and many other country singers stood while the entire tour sang happy birthday to him!

O - One little word - In 2011 my word was Challenge, a word to define my life, to change my life and it did in so many ways! You may think its only a word, but that word can have so much power, if you let it. I was tired of living this life in fear and not trying new things, I was tired of not expecting more from myself and for that I started making changes and challenged myself to different things, it was a huge turning point in my life. In 2012 it didn't work as well with Enlighten, my chosen word. But I did continue to challenge myself with 12 half marathons in 2012. This year my word is Choice, because although we may not have a choice in things that happen to us, we do have a choice in how we deal with them, and making better choices. I hope for this to be another turning point for me.

P -   Parents - If we are lucky we get two great parents, if we are really lucky we get three. For me that 3rd parent is my mother in law Jane. Since dating Joel for many years before we married she has been a constant in my life, helping me through hard times and my biggest supporter in triumphs. She has taught me about strength and laughter, how to make it through tough times and still smile and how to be positive when it feels like there is nothing to hold onto. Not only a parent, a mother in law, she is also my friend.

      Pets - When we were little my sister Deb and my brother Joe and I all got pet mice. I named mine Miss Spots, (she was black and white), I remember Joe and I playing outside with Miss Spots on our enclosed patio, having her go down our sleeves of our jackets and come out at our hands. One night we were awoken by our parents as one of our mice had babies. Soon our adventure with mice ended as Miss Spots died and as I recall Deb and Joe had lost interest.

     Photography - I have always loved photos, mostly I remained behind the camera as my children grew, but as I got older I realized that I was not just telling a story but I was part of the story being told and began to jump in front of the camera too.

Q -    Quake - Earthquake that is, during my visit to Los Angeles I was startled to read of the earthquake in LA and looked around my cousins living room to see if anyone else had noticed or felt the earthquake? None of us did, but as my aunt joked with me about it the next morning I reminded her that was not a fear challenge I was working on yet!

R -   Ryan - My first born, my angel, my double. The two of us would wander through stores endlessly in search of something we needed. Both quiet and wanting to please he was such an easy child to raise. Losing him at 5 years old took a piece of me with him. But I am left grateful to have shared in this precious boys life!

      Running - an obsession of mine that took over heavily in 2012 after running 12 half marathons for 2012. It has taken me to California, Kentucky, Las Vegas Nevada, Washington DC and many other places. It has tested my patience, breathing and ability to use mind over matter when things got tough.

       Rob - the youngest of my siblings and the one who most resembles me. He was with Joel and I at the hospital when we got the news that Ryan not going to make it. It was years later that I had remembered he was there with us as my world crashed down around me.

S - Scrapbooking - My creative obsession that has taken over a good portion of our basement where my husband installed so many lights that from the outside it may look like we are growing things.

       Shy - My brother Joe and I were the quiet ones in the family, the two middle siblings, where as my sister Deb and my brother Rob have always been the outspoken of the children.

    Smoking - Like my running and scrapbooking, smoking was another of my obsessions. Luckily in 2003 I was able to quit and haven't gone back. Maybe that's why I became obsessed with running and scrapbooking?

T - Tina - I'm not sure where my parents got my name from, seemed they liked the name? Debbie was named because my mom always named her dolls Debbie and Dean was using another D name after Deb (though he died only 2 months and 2 days old), Joe was named after my fathers father who had recently passed away and Rob after the Kennedy's that my parents loved. So back to Tina... there really is no story about my name?

U -  United - Usually my choice when flying, I like having control of picking my seat in advanced since I'm such a nervous flyer! 

V -  Vineyards - see wine, wine tasting

W - Write - I have always loved writing, whether handwriting in a journal or on a blog something has always drawn me to the written word. Taking classes to improve my writing have been some of my favorite college courses. I love the anticipation of filling a blank journal with thoughts, lists or ideas. I believe journaling saved me after losing Ryan, as I filled the journals it felt like I was talking to him.

       Wine - Over the years my love of wine has grown and changed. First starting with the very sweet wines to the whites and now onto the reds. Joel and I enjoy sampling wines at local wine tastings, and our visit to Quarry Hill was one we will definitely revisit.

        Wine tasting - One of my favorite events this past year was hosting a wine tasting at my house, I had a blast, learned a lot and tasted many different wines while sharing some great moments with some of the best women around!


X - X Ray - Until the day I backed out of a truck helping a friend unload furniture I had never broken a bone. I remember the next morning with my swollen foot unable to fit in a shoe I decided an x-ray was probably in order. In the hall I heard the doctor when he said "oh bed 2, it's broken". My first and only broken bone.

Y - Yesterday - We cannot change the past but we can learn from it, remembering the good and bad of yesterdays can teach us things but we must continue to move forward.

Z - Zachary - my silent sweetheart, born after Ryan passed away,  named after a character in one of Ryan's favorite movies, Fern Gully. He will be there when you need him . 




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