June 16

2012: Logged in to find my Dad looking back! TY Jane - great pic!!

2013: ‎Jane Mullen‎ to Mary Mullen -  Well I never knew there was someone with a bigger fear of mice than me!!!

2013:  When I wrote the following dedication to my Dad in 2013, I was mentally comparing my life partner to my Dad and other family members.  I wasn't being treated right in my relationship.  There was a lack of respect and we were both living in a frightfully dangerous environment.  Death by fire was an imminent threat.  And Dad was a Firefighter.  He was sending me a message, "get out!"

I heeded that message and began breaking free.  But, what Dad did not let me know is that God would soon be taking Joe, Mom, Janie and Michael to heaven with him and John.  I knew I needed to go but when the dire diagnoses of my family started coming in, I had to put my life on hold because they were more important to me than I was to myself.

In 2015, shortly after Janie passed, I experienced my third (and final) fire hazard.  This one was not a backed up fire place insert and billowing black smoke and it wasn't witnessing and acting very quickly to extinguish a faulty propane tank.  This one was an electrical fire that began in the stairwell of the basement.  If I wasn't sitting very close to it, it would have gone unnoticed and our house would have been ash.

My Father's picture was in front of me as I screamed that I would call the Fire Department if he didn't turn off all the circuits.  Keeping his son's dog warm with a space heater wasn't what should have been important at that moment in time.

That, among other reasons, is why I fled to the safety of Janie's condo.  Some people have passed judgment on me for that bold decision.  Her home was not mine.  But, she... or they, didn't want me to live or die in fear.

I did what I had to do and only those who created me will be my judge.  I listened to you, Dad.  Thank you and I love you forever.

2013: At this young age, I'm sure he couldn't have ever even imagined that he'd end up raising 7 children. But, he did.. and did a heck of a job doing it. Taught us everything we needed to be worthy of carrying on his family name. He raised his sons to be men... real men. Faithful, strong protectors.. for his daughters 🙂 He instilled his daughters with a level of self respect that ensured that none of us will ever be taken advantage. We all live by his strong moral code and we understand discipline and tough love because he spent his time to instill these qualities in us. Dear Dad - you (and Mom) did a heck of a good job and I am so grateful that I was born into this family and had the opportunity to know you - learn from you - love you. I'm sure that Jesus is providing you the great Fathers Day that you deserve. Love you - Mary.             

PS. say hey to John for me... I look forward to seeing you both when it's my time.

2016: When I was at the retreat, a speaker handed some of us items to hold. I got a rock. I guess it was an exercise to "keep us in the here and now". I tried to give it back to her at the end and she told me she wanted me to keep it.

But, I'm cleaning... I hope the universe doesn't punish me for being ungrateful, but, this rock belongs outside of the house now.

2017: For me, to wake up by 7:00am and be alert enough to offer help with set-up, AND be in a mind frame to dance until I'm soaked - is dedication. I will probably have to put myself to bed today by 6pm to make it happen.

However, I'll be joined by some cousins and some very special new friends... so I will bite the bullet and it'll probably be one of my best decisions. It's drop-in... I have no idea what to expect. However, I've never left a class without laughing, sweating and glad that I attended. It's definitely not "cocktails for a cause" 🙂

Rain in the morning... going to get soaked one way or another.

2018:  Ahh… email memories... Mark should have trusted me more than he trusted Jerry... that's a fact. We were doing fine until he interfered. Such a small state....

2018:  A friend upset me tonight. She said, be prepared to lose everything. What she meant is all of Janie’s stuff that I've been struggling to save while being locked out of my own home.

In reality, it would cost less for me to save everything than what his beach club annual assessment is. I'm not OK with that.

2019. Home Improvement. Not!

We all have to look at this bathroom door every day now. If I ever wanted to show this to the Queen, she would REQUIRE it be sanded and repainted immediately. I know this because I had a Mom like her. Communication is essential when living with other people and in a multicultural home. Notice how I say "home" and not "house"?
There is a huge difference between the two.

2019: We all have to look at this bathroom door every day now. If I ever wanted to show this to the Queen, she would REQUIRE it be sanded and repainted immediately. I know this because I had a Mom like her. Communication is essential when living with other people and in a multicultural home. Notice how I say "home" and not "house"?  There is a huge difference between the two.

2019:  I'm not stuck in the past. I'm just writing about it. Happy Fathers Day 2019 to my own. I am one of the "forces" you left behind to carry on.

“My Dad was a FORCE!  After dealing with Cancer when Jane and I were younger (I guess in the '70's), he had a kidney and half his bladder removed and sat at a table and promised me and Janie that he would live until we both graduated from High School.

He did.  He didn't get his second bout of Cancer until we were done with HS and he helped her and I move out onto our own.  The cancer was worse than before.  We were still young, Janie 5 years younger than I.  But, we were with him and he shared his experiences with the old school cancer treatments they did back in 1990.  I wish I could have spared Janie from hearing it all... but, she was a force, too.  And there were some things I could not stop her from doing.  She's a Mullen for sure.

Dad died in 1991 at the age of 65.

Dear Lord, how much the world and your children loved you.  All that you did to raise this whole clan has not been forgotten.  You never told us what to do without teaching us the lessons of why. My attention to detail and the reason I question authority is because I had the greatest teachers of them all.

The sacrifices and work ethic you had to raise this bunch to the standard of living we appreciated was over the top.  Not a day goes by without me understanding the morals, values and character you installed in all of us.

I know that the "riff" between you and Mom was because you had to spend time to make the three boys into men, while Mom needed to make sure "her girls" were raised to be women, without all that testosterone around.

I thank her for that as much as I thank, love and appreciate you for setting the standards I recognize in real men.

I rejoice you every day... no special dates needed for that.  Love, kisses and never ending admiration. <3”

2019:  Me: Look Hazel. (showing a picture of her garden) These are your roses.

  • She: They are? Where, in the backyard?
  • Me: Yes, they are your own. But in the side yard where you can't see. Did you ever cut them and bring them inside?
  • She: Sometimes.
  • Me: Ok... I'm gonna get you some.

Vase full of her own garden flowers next to her now. Sweet smelling and messy as all heck. She got decked out for her MD visit and she's doing A-OK.  All that makes my heart very happy...

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