Button Sunday

There were a lot of great things about 2017, but I can’t be sorry to say goodbye. I hope 2018 is going to be a fantastic year. I’ve thought a lot about hope, optimism, and nostalgia. Looking back to what was cheats us out of what is. Sometimes the “what is” can look pretty bleak. These are times it’s a good idea to shift our focus from everything wrong, or dodge thinking that everything used to be better, so that we can appreciate the here and now.

For some people that’s a hard and seemingly impossible task. There is no shame in asking for help. If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or feelings of hopelessness, here are a few resources.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
SAMHSA’s behavioral health treatment services locator is an easy and anonymous way to locate treatment facilities and other resources, such as support groups and counselors, to treat and manage depression.

National Hopeline Network: 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
If your depression is leading to suicidal thoughts, call the National Hopeline to connect with a depression treatment center in your area. The Hopeline also offers a live chat feature for those who don’t want to (or are unable to) call and can dispatch emergency crews to your location if necessary.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
This national hotline is another valuable resource for people whose depression has escalated to suicidal or other harmful thoughts. Their network of crisis centers provide emotional support and guidance to people in distress and are also available via a chat service and a special hotline number for the hearing impaired: 1-800-799-4889.

National Youth Crisis Hotline: 1-800-448-4663
This resource provides brief interventions for youth who are dealing with pregnancy, sexual abuse, child abuse, depression and suicidal thoughts. They also provide referrals to local counseling, treatment centers, and shelters.

I’m wishing the absolute best for you and the people you love in 2018.

the restaurant at the end of the universe


Man, I miss this kid. Today is the day Aaron was born in 1993. I can’t believe he’s been gone more than five years. There are still times that I’m reading something or watching something and think, I bet Aaron would like this! I think of him with every One Republic song I hear. There was a funny comment I just read in Chris Weitz’s “The Young World” teenage dystopian fiction trilogy (Aaron loved all The Hunger Games books) about “Katniss,” and all I wanted to do was buy Aaron this whole series so he could read it and we could talk about it.

I believe it was my nephew Daniel who said something that made me read the Douglas Adams books that inspired this blog title. I never stop learning from him or being introduced to books, music, and other things I might otherwise not have found. I wanted this with his brother Aaron, too.

Most of all, I wanted Aaron to experience all the wonders that life has to offer.

We love you so much, Aaron. I’m sending out a happy birthday to the restaurant at the end of the universe where in my mind, I’m sharing birthday cake with you.

Button Sunday

September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day.

For more information about recognizing the risk factors and warning signs of suicide, please visit the American Association of Suicidology website. If you are struggling, please visit the Suicide Prevention Lifeline website. You can call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7.

Going through bins of old mementos and papers, I found cards and letters from Aaron both to me and to my mother. Post-flooding, my heart is not strong enough to read them right now. My home and heart will heal from the flood. My heart will always have broken places from losing and missing Aaron.

Please reach out for help if you need help.

Photo Friday, No. 560

Current Photo Friday theme: Golden


I love this bracelet my mother had for her five grandchildren because it’s simple and old-fashioned. In order here, not by age, are charms for Sarah, Gina, Josh, Daniel, and Aaron. Their birthdates are engraved on the backs of the charms. Aaron came along more than two decades after the first grandchild, Daniel, so his is different from the other two boys’ charms. It took me a while to find a place in Houston that carried them, and I don’t remember what year I gave her the charm to complete her bracelet.

birthdays and other thoughts…

I love this card that came from a friend in England. Right now I’m reading an old biography of Keith Richards–have owned it for many years, but never had a chance to read it–so all things British are making me happy. This card in particular touches me, because I know this year the holidays are bittersweet for the sender, so his thoughtfulness is even more appreciated. The 19th is his birthday–the same birthday as Aaron’s–and both of them are very much on my mind.

National Suicide Prevention Week

September 5-11 is National Suicide Prevention Week. Every day I think of our nephew Aaron. I think of all the times we laughed together. I think of his playful nature, his wisdom, his compassion, the food and dogs and books and movies he liked. I think of the many photos his mother shared when we lived so far apart that allowed me to watch him as he grew up. I think of his visits to The Compound as he got older and the cherished place he took among our family and friends. I contemplate how he loved us and protected us, especially his parents, from the truth of the depression that engulfed him.

No matter how much I wish I could, I can never forget the stark truth of his last day and the terrible phone call that began my reality of living in a world without him. He killed himself just before his high school graduation. His friends overflowed his memorial service to say goodbye.

This year we didn’t celebrate his college graduation. We won’t know which career choices he might have made. We won’t see him marry, or hold his first child, or be part of all the celebrations and challenges that every family goes through together. Aaron didn’t take that from us. Depression did.

I wish no parent, no child, no brother or sister, no aunt or uncle, no grandparent, no cousin, no friend would ever have to know this kind of loss.

For more information about recognizing the risk factors and warning signs of suicide, please visit the American Association of Suicidology website. If you are struggling, please visit the Suicide Prevention Lifeline website. You can call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7.

We love you, Aaron, and hold your memory in our hearts.