A Lady Bug Kind of Day

Oh Mommy- is that my lady bug? 

Can you get her for me? 

Giddy daughter, five years old

Hopping from one foot to the other

I watered the hanging plants in the back yard

I gently let a lady bug crawl on my finger 

Transferred the lady bug to an outstretched mini finger

She grinned from ear-to-ear

Shhh now, don’t scare her

A loud whisper roared, “Oh- I won’t Mommy, I won’t!”

“She likes me Mommy! Look at her go”

Hopping up & down 

The lady bug roamed from finger to hand 

Hand to elbow 

Elbow to shoulder 

And back down again 

Little Miss stood frozen watching her go

“Oh Mommy- look at her, isn’t she beautiful?”

Yes, yes she is and I was not talking about the lady bug

My deaf Australian shepherd crawled into my lap

Her bright blue eyes mimic the Florida sky

I kissed her soft, fuzzy head 

We watched the traveling lady bug

Travel on little fingers next to us

A lady bug kind of day

To reflect about the beauty of the wind, 

The sunshine, priorities & what they should be

A lady bug kind of day 

To reflect on TODAY

To appreciate, recognize, feel and connect 

To those we love & that matter most

Or should

Shhhh… don’t scare your lady bug! 

“Oh, I’m not Mommy- look at her go”

Lady bug perched on a freckled little shoulder 

Time, goes so fast as we age

One day we’ll wake up to a quiet house

Empty rooms

Lady bugs a faded memory 

What does your legacy look like?

What are you fighting for?

Five year old is fast asleep

Upset that she couldn’t bring her lady bug inside

Maybe I should have woken her

To find a few more lady bugs together

That’s what our days should be for

A lady bug kind of day 

EIGHT Second Chances

How many second chances

Do we get at this life? 

Don’t you feel destined

To do amazing things

In your life? Urgency pounding

I’ve been handed 

EIGHT second chances

1st Second Chance

In Utero my Mom 

Kept falling while 8 months

Pregnant, hospitalized 

To prevent her from falling

Alcohol poisoning 

A projectile vomiter

Rough beginnings

2nd Second Chance

Early twenties

An ovarian tumor

Led to emergency surgery

That led to a second surgery

That led to 10 months

Of hell 

On Lupron

A plan prepared 

Ready to execute 

But the phone rang, my Dad:

“Don’t know where your head is at now, but don’t do it!”

3rd Second Chance

Late 20’s, pre-eclampsia

32.6 weeks pregnant 

14 days in the hospital

5 pounds of fluid filled my lungs 

Over night

Pulmonary edema

Kidneys failing

Liver not far behind

Emergency C-section

3#, 9 oz baby girl arrived

While I fought for my life 

For over 36 hours

To live

To meet my daughter 

4th Second Chance

Business trip

Left engine on plane blew up

Stewardess screaming: 

“We’re on fire, we’re on fire- we are all going to die!”

5th Second Chance

A devastating hysterectomy

With the gift of my doctor spotting 

Something wrong with my appendix

A carcinoid tumor 

If ruptured- a death sentence

I mourned inability to not have more children …but

Blessed to be alive

6th Second Chance

After a toe joint replaced

Got super sick

Hospitalized for 14 days

Diagnosis, “we think you have leukemia” 

Do I have enough life insurance? 

Bone marrow test- BEYOND unpleasant 

Ruled leukemia out… but

7th Second Chance 

“We think you contracted

West Valley Fever when you went to 


Mom was dying 

Worse mortality rate

Than leukemia 

Over 6 months


Sinus scrapes

7 doctors on deck

Final diagnosis:

“You just have really bad luck”

8th Second Chance

Insane bladder infection

With a deadly antibiotic resistant bug

I was sent home on intravenous 

Line in my arm

Self administered heavy duty 

Antibiotics into my body 

3 times a day, 3 weeks

Another Doc said:

“You just have really bad luck”

I know I’m meant to do amazing things in this life

Never take your life for granted 

Focus on your now

Spend quality time with

Your family & friends


Set goals

Achieve those goals 

Have courage

And love 

With all you’ve got 

No regrets

Our Pink Burrito

On Saturday, 09/8/12 we had to put down our Australian Shepherd, Sassy (aka: Sass or Sass-a-fras). We rescued her in 2003 on Father’s Day. She was the gift.
When we called about her, the foster parents said she hated men. And yet when we got there- she immediately fell in love with Matt. She crawled into the front seat of the car on the ride home and kept inching her butt into my space and kept looking at me like, “Excuse me, you’re in my way and I would like to be close to MY MAN!” I finally asked Matt to pull over the car. He looked at me weird, but did it. I went in the back seat while she sat in the passenger seat so happy and content. She was immediately in love with Matthew, a love affair that started in an instant and never diminished as she followed Matt everywhere and nowhere.

Our precious Blue Merle Aussie with one brown eye, one blue with a precious freckle on the side of her nose. Halle was 16 months old when she came into our lives and Devin was eleven. She loved each of us so much, was so loyal, protective and loving. From the moment she got home she never had potty accidents, never complained and rarely barked.

Devin was 11; we still lived in a condo and he had to take Sassy potty on a leash. One day as Matt and I sat sipping coffee, we saw Sassy eye a man across the courtyard. She was not happy. In her effort to protect Devin she decided it would be a good idea to charge at the man. Devin flew through the air as Sassy dragged him across the grassy courtyard. The entire time Devin screaming, “Stop Sass, Stoppppp!” When he stood up he was covered in dog poop and grass stains from his chin to his shins! Matt and I were doubled over, laughing so hard we could not breathe, tears pouring down our faces.

Sassy had terrible OCD and would not stop licking the carpet, couch or legs. She loved licking Matt’s shoes; when he stepped in them without realizing she had been slurping on them we would always hear, “YUCK, Sasssssss!” Then laughter and he squished around the house in dog saliva sandals.

Years ago when Matt’s back took a turn for the worse, so did Sassy’s hips. She would sleep behind Matt’s chair, just to stay close to her man, to protect him and listen to his breathing.

Sassy loved crystal burgers, car rides, French fries, peanut butter and popsicles. She hated strangers, stray cats, and bubble baths.

Sassy took a chunk or two out of my brother-in-laws butt and shin, pulled Matt’s Dad to his knees for moving too close, too fast to her toddler Halle.

Sassy danced on her hind legs, in a circle for treats. She would speak softly and would get louder when we said, “You can do better” or “Louder” She twirled in excited circles when we asked her, “Wanna go in the car Sass? Car ride?”

Sassy was afraid to kiss and when she would, her kisses were so gentle, like the wings of a butterfly softly on your face or lips and then looked guilty afterward as if she were in trouble. If we were eating pizza- well forget the soft kisses, she would slurp and beg and kiss for a piece of crust!

Sass pouted, smiled and herded the vacuum like a champ (yes, plastic is still missing from the dyson).

When her hips and back got worse, she valiantly tried to get up and keep moving. What was once easy, suddenly became a struggle that ended with one of us having to help her up. When she stopped eating, we were devastated, but with no mass found… we were elated. She got more tired our precious baby. And the struggle got worse. The medication wasn’t working.

We loved her enough to let her go and say good-bye. We wrapped her in a fuzzy pink fleece blanket. She looked at us knowingly, but shook in fear and the coldness of the room. We cried wet soppy tears all over her head.

When they injected the anesthesia first to let her sleep…every muscle relaxed and for the first time in a long time, our girl was pain free. We collectively stopped crying as we looked at her, relaxed and snoring. It would be the last time we heard that sweet snore.

Sassy looked so happy, surrounded by her family, loved, wrapped in a fuzzy pink fleece blanket. She reminded me of a fuzzy pink burrito.

When the final shot was given and two vet techs listened for a heartbeat, it was Matt that stayed close. He was adamant that he be the one to carry her out. I didn’t argue, I knew why (regardless of his back pain). He was her man, that was his girl and while their love affair ended on this earth- it would never be forgotten in his heart. In any of our hearts.

She was our precious girl, wrapped like a fuzzy pink burrito. At peace and ready to go home.

Let’s go home Sass, wanna go for a ride? Let’s go home baby, let’s go home.

Hibiscus Girl

Hibiscus Girl

Radiant sunlight
Strawberry blonde hair glowing in the sun
Hot pink cheeks in the Florida sun
Humid, sticky
Run & run, play & run
Aussies nipping
Birds chirping
Beautiful hibiscus flowers
Hot Pink
Dainty fingers choose hot pink
Huge grin
Proud moment
Outstretched hand
Hot pink hibiscus, plucked before me
Sparkling eyes, love brimming
Memories created & flash
Off again
There she goes
Aussies barking
Poop on shoes
Hibiscus flower tucked in
Strawberry blonde hair glowing in the sun

Jeni McCreary