Sandie Simply Says

July 26, 2009

“Suicide is painless”? I don’t think so…

Filed under: General — by Sandie @ 6:51 am

Disclaimer: This post is a bit heavy for a Sunday morning and I apologize, but the topic has been weighing heavy on my mind the last couple days and I’m hoping typing it out will help provide some release for me.

“Sergeant Debari shot himself last night.”

Those were the words that rocked me to my core 14 years ago. Many of the events from that day are still tattooed in my memory.

The phone call from a mutual acquaintance, distraught because she couldn’t get ahold of Dominic. He’d called her the night before and told him of his plans. She tried desperately to talk him down and thought she had (she lived about 2,000 miles away or I’m sure she would have been on his doorstep). I often wonder how she revovered. Does she still think about it? Wonder what she could have done differently? Wonder if her words that night had any effect on him? I hated that I was the one to tell her (and I shouldn’t have…I broke some rules by telling her, but I knew they were good friends and when she told me she’d been on the phone with him the night before, I really only confirmed what she already in her heart knew).

The multiple phone calls from his wife. These were probably the worst. No these WERE the worst. She called, sobbing. Only wanting to talk to our commander, who refused to take her phone calls (he had the lamest ass reason: claimed he was only “following rules” and he couldn’t talk to her until the next of kin notifications had been made. So he leaves me, the 24-year-old kid, to answer her calls and deal with her. Prick.). After the fourth tear-filled phone call from her and my fourth trip into my commander’s office, only to hear him say, “Tell her I’ll call her back,” I spoke the boldest words of my young career: “YOU tell her you’ll call her back! I’M not getting on that phone and telling her once again that you are too busy to talk with her. She’s sobbing on the phone and just needs to speak with you.” He was picking up the phone as I walked out of the office, so I guess it worked.

And then there was the way the commander broke it to the squadron. He called all of us together in a small grassy area between two of our buildings and said, “You all know Dominic Debari? He’s dead.” And that was that. Left those that didn’t know in a state of shock. He did go on to say counselors would be available and the chaplain was already there, blah, blah, blah. But I’m sure many people missed all that, reeling with the shock of what he had just said (I know I was and I already KNEW Dominic was dead).

I think the most shocking part of all of this: nobody saw it coming. Dominic was seemingly such a happy person. Always had a smile on his face and a joke to tell. For months after he killed himself, I kept expecting him to bounce into my office with a big ole smile on his face and throw one of his one-liners at us (it only stopped because I moved a few months after it happened). Only a select few knew the demons he was fighting. It was until later that I learned that his wife and 6 kids has moved to Oregon and that one of his stepdaughters had accused him of molesting her (I don’t know enough about the circumstances to form an opinion one way or another on if this actually happened or if it was a teenager crying out for help. Part of me finds it incredibly hard to believe that Dominic would ever do something like that, but another part of me thinks you never know what goes on behind someone else’s closed doors). I think the only person who wasn’t shocked at the news was our first sergeant (who knew all about his legal problems). He told me that once they told him Dominic hadn’t shown up for work, he knew what had happened. I’m not sure he was prepared for what he saw (the first sergeant, along with some of the base cops, were the ones who found him. They’d gone to his house to find out why he hadn’t shown for work. Dominic’s weapon of choice was a shotgun and I’m told half his head was gone).

I have a friend dealing with the aftermath of a suicide right now. One of the members of his squadron killed himself a week after my friend arrived in Korea. While he didn’t know the young troop personally, he is left to help others pick up the peices and try to answer all the whys. Of course, anyone who’s ever dealt with a suicide knows that you never get a good answer to all the whys.


July 21, 2009

Random Thoughts: Moving Day!

Filed under: General — by Sandie @ 10:10 am

I always look forward to Random Tuesdays. All week long I think of things that aren’t quite enough to be an entiere blog post, but I want to blog about them. Unfortunately, every time Tuesday rolls around, I forget all those thoughts! So, y’all always end up with just the thoughts I can remember. I think I need to walk around with a notebook so I can take notes.

The packers come today. Not The Packers. And not even the ones that will be taking ALL our stuff. This was just the small stuff that we’ll need shortly after we arrive in country (bedding, some clothes, dishes, etc.). The real movers come in a month. We’re sooooo not ready for that! We’re still trying to figure out what needs to go into storage and what we need to take with us. Guess I better figure it out…quickly!

We dropped my van off yesterday. It is currently on it’s way to Italy. One less stress is finally off my shoulders and I will never finance another vehicle through American Honda Finance Corp. I don’t care what kind of rate they’re offering. It took me TWO WEEKS to get a clearance letter from them (after they said it would only be a few days). After all that hassle, I was expecting a huge hassel at the vehicle processing center. I was pleasantly surprised there: it took them 36 minutes to process my vehicle. This included completing all the paperwork and a fairly intense inspection (they wrote down every little nick, scratch, dent, whatever).

All that above means there’s no turning back now. And I finally figured out why I’ve been dreading this assignment so much. I know half the blogosphere (OK, maybe 95% of you) will think I’m nuts for this, but I have never in my life had a desire to go to Italy. Not to visit. Not to drive through on my way to somewhere else. And certainly not to live there. I would rather live just about anywhere else in the world. I don’t even know why that is. It just is. Don’t get me wrong…this little revalation doesn’t mean I won’t take full advantage of everything Italy has to offer. And definitely plan to visit other European countries (we’ll be about 5 hours away from Germany!).

The day before the girls left, I was driving around with Ashley talking to her about whatever came to our minds when she told me she pissed her mom off (her mom called that morning). I asked her why and she said because she refused to talk to her stepfather on the phone. I find that sad and funny all at the same time. The girls do not like their stepfather. I don’t know why and even they can’t give you a reason…they just don’t like him. Early on, their mom didn’t do much to help cultivate a relationship between the girls and her husband (I think this was mainly due to HER mom (the girls’ grandmother) as she felt stepfather should have nothing to do with the girls). In the last couple years, she’s tried to turn that around (coincidentally, her change in attitude coincided with her getting to see my interactions with the girls “up close and personal” while planning Ashley’s Quince. Up until that point, she knew the girls and I got along, but I don’t think she realized how well we interacted with each other), but I fear it’s too little too late. I find it sad because the stepfather is missing out on having a good relationship with two smart, beautiful, thoughtful, and sweet girls. And they’re missing out on a relationship with him (I don’t know him well, but he seems nice enough and anyone that can put up with the girls’ mom AND grandmother for 8 years is nearly saint-worthy in my books).

Amber has started refusing to sleep in her bed. I think because it’s not “her” house. She’s asked me a couple times when we’re going to go home. When I tell her we ARE home, she says, “No the other home.” 😦 The other night, she started sobbing uncontrollably screaming “I’m going to trow up! I’m going to trow up!” when I put her in bed. She ended up sleeping with us that night. The next night, we let her sleep on the couch (she woke up sometime during the night and ended up in our bed again). I hope she has an easier adjustment period when we get to Italy.

Well, that’s all I can remember. *SIGH* You can get even more randomness by visiting Keely at What are you still doing here? Shoo! Go check her out!

July 19, 2009

I hate you! Don’t go!

Filed under: Step Life — by Sandie @ 6:29 pm

Ashley and Amanda left today. They should actually be on the ground in Texas as I type this. The end of this year’s visit was especially sad since we don’t know when we’ll see them again. The plan is for them to visit us next summer, but they could always decide they don’t want to come (and they are well past the age we can “force” them to come).

As always, I’m amazed at the relationship between Ashley and Alyssa. Both of them are strong personalities and both are “the oldest” (though Alyssa has to relinquish this title during the few weeks the girls are with us during the summer). I don’t think I’ve ever seen two siblings fight as much as these two do. All summer long they were at each other’s throats, occasionally taking a break to have fun with each other.

Too many times to count this summer, I heard, “I don’t like Ashley!” “When are they going home?” They fought all day yesterday (seriously, I often wonder exactly what a 16 year old and an 8 year old have to fight about, but they seem to never have an issue finding something to disagree on).

Then comes today: the minute I said, “It’s time for the girls to go to the airport! Everyone give them a hug!” Alyssa wraps herself around Ashley’s legs and won’t let go. It ended up with all of us going to the airport (the original plan was for me to stay with the younger kids at the hotel, while Tony took the older two to the airport. They used to let us all go back to the gate, but now they MAY let one of the kids go back, but it usually ends up in me hanging out in the USO lounge with 3 kids while Tony waits for the plane to take off). Alyssa was pretty much glued to Ashley’s side the whole time we were there.

And once they left, Alyssa slipped into her “I wish they didn’t have to go” depression, forgetting all about all the times she wished Ashley was gone.

This is truly the worst part about step family life. *SIGH*

July 17, 2009

Fun at the beach

Filed under: General — by Sandie @ 9:33 pm

For the last few months, we’ve been trying to squeeze in all the places we’ve wanted to visit, but hadn’t. I’ve done this at just about every one of my assignments…I want to do something in the area, but never get around to doing it and before I know it, I’m moving again. One of the things I’ve wanted to do was go to the Atlantic coast. We went to Florida and visited the beach at the gulf, so I kept putting off a trip the Georgia/South Carolina beaches.

In May, we finally did it and took a trip to Hilton Head Island. I think I’d put it off so long because I wasn’t fond of the beaches in Florida. Correction…I was fond of the area. The beach was nice, but the area was way too crowded (disclaimer: the only Florida beaches I’ve visited have all been in the panhandle, so I have no idea what they might be like outside of there) I expected more of the same at Hilton Head. It wasn’t even close and I almost immediately fell in love. Our weekend getaway was much too short, so when Ashley and Amanda said they wanted to go to the beach, I immediately started to look for a place to stay. Last weekend we took our second trip to Hilton Head (if I were ever going to buy a timeshare, Hilton Head is where I’d buy one, for sure!).

I wish we’d had more than a weekend. We declared it a technology free weekend, only bringing Tony’s laptop (and we only brought that so he could charge his phone) and locking the cell phones in the hotel safe. The whole weekend was so relaxing…I actual wish we would have gone there for a week rather than Disney! We rode bikes around the island (and let me tell you…riding bikes around the island ALWAYS sounds good in theory, but about an hour or two into the ride you start to think it wasn’t such a great idea (especially when YOUR the one stuck pulling the trailer with the younger two kids) and by then you’re in the middle of the island with no choice but to bike back!), we rode bikes on the beach, we played in the pools and the ocean, and at night we played games. I hated coming home. Can you blame me?

Our hotel:

Sunrise on the beach:


This is what I pulled behind my bike:

Playing in the sand:

Our morning bike ride (only four of us went out on this one. Amanda wanted to sleep in, so we left her with the younger two):

July 15, 2009

“Mommy, we’re going to have another baby!”

Filed under: General,HAYSAY,Weight Loss — by Sandie @ 9:22 pm

“No, honey, Mommy’s just fat.”

That was the conversation between my 4 year old and I while we were sitting next to the hotel pool on Hilton Head Island. And my big smack in the face that it’s time for me to regain control of myself. I need to drop the excuses and do what I need to do.

In February of this year, I *only* needed to lose 5 pounds to get to my “happy” weight. As of this morning, I need to lose almost 20. Even worse, according to my scale I weigh just 3 pounds less than I did when I first joined Weight Watchers in 2001.

I tell myself I’ve been under a ton of stress. I have too much to do. The excuses are endless, but that’s really all they are: excuses.

So, today I’m going to drop the excuses. Starting tomorrow, I’m going to start tracking again.

Part of my plan is to get back into HASAY. No more dropping out. So, here’s my post. A week and a half late, but it’s here!

Want to more about HASAY? Visit Casey here and she’ll hook you up!

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