In Memory – Robert Thompson May 5, 1960 – September 12, 2019

September 14, 2019 I was reading through Facebook and came across a friend’s page with an obituary. I took a double take as I recognized the picture of a young man and then I sent her a message through messenger asking if he had turned ill. While I waited for her reply I was hoping that suicide was not going to be her response but I knew it was a very good possibility. She responded by saying “It was his own doing”. She also knew that I would not be surprised.

A good person. An intelligent person. A caring person. A victim of depression. My heart was broken but knew his pain was now mended. I do understand how much he struggled.

She posted a picture of her brother probably from high school when he was much younger than the 59 years of age he gained his angel wings. I always like to see people when they were younger because that’s truly who they are. She said the version I had met was just a “shell of broken pieces”. She’s absolutely right.

I am a better person for meeting Robert and his family. I mean that sincerely. She thanked me for helping him and for getting him home. I would have had it no other way. Robert had told me it had been many years since he had spoken to his family. He was very somber and did not want to burden them. Not knowing his family, I knew they must care about him and wonder where he was and how he was doing. I was on a mission to reunite them. I am always on a mission! I think of what would’ve happened had he not been home for the last three years. People cross paths for a reason.

There are many families who push their loved ones away and can’t/won’t support/help/assist their loved ones and his sister was right there to take him in as soon as she could. One cannot be more fortunate as Robert Thompson for he had a loving sister and family who cared about him.

Depression is a family illness. It is not an individual problem. There are genetics that play a role. Environment plays a role. Life is often not kind to those with mental illness. Adapting to difficult circumstances takes skill, healthy coping and resilience. These things we are not born with but we must learn as we live. People can grow tired and weary and no longer ‘hold on’.

I met Robert while he was going through a tough time. Depression had taken control. I spoke with Robert and listened as he spoke of many accomplishments, describing a man who had cared for family members and had accomplished anything he set out to do but the tone of his voice revealed profound depression and no longer a will to live.

I assisted him in getting his disability payments reinstated as he purposefully stopped receiving his checks voicing that would give him more motive to want to leave this earth. When he mentioned losing his disability payments his head was held low and his appearance was total hopelessness. I then told him that I could help him get his payments reinstated and he raised his head, his eyes got big and he said “you can?” in what I thought was total relief. I saw a glimmer of hope in his eyes but I wasn’t sure at that point if he was disappointed because getting his disability payments back meant he would have the ability to live and in his mind having no money provided more motivation to die. I told him we would talk.

Not having an income he then lost his ability to pay for his apartment and was left homeless. He said this was by design. It was very cold outside at the time and after spending a few days outside a neighbor took him in. He said that did not go so well and he left the apartment. He ended up in the hospital. In listening to him it was clear that he was going to take his own life at some point. He stayed in the hospital and agreed to ECT treatments. After a number of treatments that seemed to be working he allowed me to contact his sister after much encouragement over several weeks. His sister said they had not known his whereabouts for about 6 years. I could not imagine. She said immediately to let her know when she could come pick him up and she would take him back to her home. She said there was a place on her property where he could live. She emailed me pictures so I could show him in the hopes it would spark interest. I showed him the pictures. He was not super excited to go but he did not decline the offer, either. I encouraged him to contact her and discuss.

The day came where he could go home and he agreed to go with his sister. He was never agitated nor aggressive while in our care. He was soft spoken and a gentle soul. He participated in some groups but for the most part he kept to himself. When he did participate in groups he would speak to the others and provide his wisdom and empathy. He had accomplished so much in his life one would be amazed he suffered from any illness. Words from his family; “Brett was a kind and caring person, always there for others, making him an excellent care giver. He was quiet, reserved, and never pretentious. Brett was an avid reader, and his intellect allowed him to retain everything he learned. If you had a question on how to do something, Brett would know how to do it. He was one of kind.”

I kept in touch with his sister and she would send me pictures and let me know how he was doing. I was always elated to hear that he was doing so well. It was one of those success stories and that is what keeps me doing what I do.

At one point he became ill and she had to take him to Lubbock because he contracted a brain abscess most likely from a tooth abscess. I so wanted to go and help her but my schedule would not allow. I thought….we can’t lose him now after all he has been through! After a lengthy stay in the hospital, he had many teeth pulled and the infection resolved. He blamed himself as he said he knew he needed dental work and had not sought a dentist. It was not his fault. I am sure going to the dentist was not on the top of the list especially when one does not want to live.

I went to visit my mother and drove to California stopping in New Mexico to visit with Robert and his sister. I had not seen him since he left the hospital. He seemed to be doing OK at that time and he looked good. It was good to see him and meet her. He had a feral cat that he was feeding. He was always working on some type of project. She said he stayed to himself most of the time but that he would come eat dinner with them on occasion. She was happy to have him home and near.

Sister said Robert did leave a note and said she was feeling hurt, guilty, sad and lost. I hope the past year she has had some resolve but grief is a lifelong process. I don’t know of a more loving sister. She took him in right away. I have seen the opposite many times. Families are destroyed by depression. I did not ask her for details of the note. I know he loved his sister and family. He did not take his life to hurt them but to relieve his own pain. It’s a terrible tragedy and I know he is at peace now. That sounds so cliche but so much truth lies behind those words.

I cried myself to sleep the night I learned of his death and many more since then. My mission has become more resolute, if that is even possible and my passion for helping others unwavering.

Rest In Peace Robert. Friend, brother, son. You are now healed. You will forever be on my mind. Thank you for being you and for being a part of my journey.

~mh 💕

National Suicide Prevention Week – September 6-12, 2020

I Care. Let’s Talk.

The Past IS the Past

The past is the past. It belongs in history books. There is something to be gained by always bringing up the past instead of focusing on the present and the future. Give it some thought, discover the gain, become aware of it’s presence, say goodbye and toss it over the shoulder only to be revisited on rare occasions as a reminder of where you have been and not an indicator of where you are going.

Sounds easy. Not the case but with the right brain power it IS possible!

~mh 💕😊


The ‘beauty’ of life is that at any moment in time we can choose to ‘reset’!

Choose NOW!

There is no ‘light’ without ‘dark’.

Embrace the new journey that awaits.

Look back only to understand where you have been….not to keep a dark cloud over where you are going.

You matter! 💕😊

Monday Motivation – To Friend or Unfriend – A Social Media Woe

I have limited my time on social media because of all of the nonsense. If someone wants to unfriend me because of something I said, more power to them as they probably don’t speak to me on a regular basis anyway.

What does it even mean to be ‘friends’ on Facebook. 99% of my Facebook ‘friends’ don’t check on me or care what I’m really doing in real life. That is how I feel.

All I read is a lot of people being rude, calling each other names and showing no compassion saying things they would probably never say in person and posting articles from websites I’ve never even heard of.

Anything I post on Facebook I would say to someone face-to-face so of course I choose my words wisely and it’s never about just one person if it’s about any specific person at all.

I certainly can’t control what other people post on any social media platform or how they act. I don’t have to react to what is written. I can let what I read pass by me like a negative thought. The only person I can control is me!

I’m not responsible for how others interpret what I say or do ….only how I say or do.

Are we really going to allow social media to become a major stressor in our lives? We certainly don’t have to. 💕😊


Stop the Madness!!

We are in such a sad state of affairs in this country. Arguing right and left all day long and people backing up their thoughts and opinions with articles they found from a Google search sometimes from websites no one‘s heard of or from sites we would consider reputable. No media source is reputable these days. Every one of them has a slant/bias one way or the other. I think there are a few out there but throw me some neutral sites and you win the prize! 😁

Why do we believe everything we read?  Parents must be to blame! Grandparents? Aunts? Uncles? Cousins? Or is it the education that taught us? Maybe the coaches that were mentors? When parents make bad decisions should we blame the children? Blame, blame, blame. 🤔

We are a society of blaming someone or something EXCEPT blaming our own self.

Can we start taking responsibility for what we do, how we think and what we say? Stop watching the news. Stop reading articles that make no sense and are full of lies. Get out on the streets and meet real people and have real conversations and that’s when you’ll find out what’s really going on in the world. Try it….you might like it! 🤷🏼‍♀️

Happy Monday! 💕😊

Monday Motivation – Smiles DO make a difference.

My goal each day is to make someone smile. Sounds easy. I work in mental health and often it is very difficult as people are struggling to make sense of their world and how they ‘fit’ in.

Sitting at Sonic reflecting…as I do. It has been a very busy week and there has only been time for work, sleep and eat when I can. Yes, it is Sunday but my weeks don’t begin on Sunday or Monday. They end when I get a day off which could be any day of the week. That is by choice. I love what I do.

I have met brave souls who have more courage than they realize. I have spent time with a group of young adults and allowed them to process current events. Endless stories become motivation to continue my journey of assisting those in their recovery.

I spent $8.30 and had a $20. Told the car hop “keep the change”. He hesitated and said “keep the change?…All of it?” 😳 I said yes. He smiled! and then went back to work. Goal of the day accomplished! That was easy! I feel I am creating change in the world one Sonic carhop at a time! 😁

It always amazes me that something so simple can make such an enormous difference in a person’s day or even life.

One smile can be the difference in giving up or continuing the journey.

Be kind.
Be compassionate.
Be empathic.

We truly do not know the circumstances of anyone.

Human Connection = EVERYONE is trying to get through one day in order to begin another. Let’s do it with an open heart and most importantly … open mind.

~mh 💕

Talk is NOT Cheap and Silence is NOT Golden.

While we are counting positive COVID-19 cases and deaths daily I think we need to start sharing the number of people with thoughts of suicide, attempts and completions.

Oh but wait! We can’t share those numbers because we don’t talk about suicide!! Argh!! 😡 😢

I started this journey into mental health and right out of the gate I knew most people are not talking about it with their providers or their therapists.

How do I know this? I ask questions and I create dialogue and people tell me they’re not truthful and I knew that before they even told me.

Most often they have just seen your therapist and present to the ER the next day or within the week, if they are lucky, or they have seen their provider and told them everything is fine.

Everything is not fine!! Someone says they’re “fine” or they are “OK” create a dialogue and if they feel comfortable enough they will open up and tell you that they’re really not fine nor OK. 

Not comfortable talking to your provider or therapist. Find another one IMMEDIATELY! Not sure how to find another one? Reach out and I will show you the way. 

When you have someone’s attention who you think might be suicidal or not in a good mental state…..that is the one opportunity that you have to make a difference and bring that person back to seeing any kind of HOPE. 

Start talking about it because the death toll is going to rise and it’s not going to be because of having Covid-19 but rather the unintended consequences of an economic shutdown. 

We used to be a society where we thought we were one paycheck away from being homeless but little did we know that a pandemic would take us down. 

Some have saved money throughout their lifetime but due to loss of business and income they’re having to dip into that savings and run through it quickly.

I have not been keeping count and there have been many but I’m going to start with the one person I met yesterday. 

Talking about it saves lives. Remaining silent fills up mortuaries.

I Care! Let’s talk!!!!

~mh 💕😊

27 and Many More

27 years ago today my twin boys arrived. 5 lbs each. Full term. I knew at 14 weeks into pregnancy there were two babies brewing as I watched the sonographer circle two sacs on the scan and type ‘twins’. My eyes opened wider than usual. I had always wanted to be a twin but never dreamed of having twins. It truly did not sink in until the day we took them home. That is when the adventure began. Two weeks prior to delivery they were sitting on my pelvic bone and I awoke one morning with no ability to walk. I suppose the adventure began at that point. Ha! Scary feeling as I had two other toddlers to care for. They would quickly go to my mother-in-laws house until shortly before the twins would be born.

I can’t say the entire 27 years went by quickly. The last 10 did for sure. Time does not stand still!

The older I get the more I am aware of the passing of time. I treasure each day and continue to work towards my goals. Will I reach them all? Maybe. Maybe not. 🤷🏼‍♀️ Reaching the goal is not the fun part. The journey to get there is!

I focus on the journey making memories as I go knowing at some point in my future memories will mean a great deal more than they do now.

Today I spoke to my twins and older son about the future and that life is not guaranteed and anything can happen at any time. They are at that young adult stage and do not see what I do. They do not like to talk about death and/or dying.

I educated them that most people wait until a crisis occurs and that is not a good time to make decisions. We need to make them now when we are in a rational mindset. They were not ready for that talk.

We traveled to visit my mom and brother and had a nice visit. They live on the west coast. It is a different time with the Covid -19 Pandemic. Everyone is wearing a mask. Can’t really go many places although there are many people out and about. We are cooking at home and able to at least swim. It is too hot in the desert without a pool!

My oldest son left for home first and one of the twins leaves for home tomorrow. The other twin and I will drive back to Las Vegas and ‘play’ one more night before our journey home.

It seems we are all together only on special days like birthdays and holidays. This is called ‘life’ with kids growing into adults fulfilling lives of their own. They are working towards their goals, too.

Until the next gathering my wish for them is safety, hope for the future, much laughter and no worries. Life is too short to worry!

Cherish the wee ones for family togetherness is few and far between when they become adults.

Happy Birthday Stephen and Christopher. 🎊🎉

~mh 💕😊

Monday Motivation – Who are we, really?

We can remove monuments, statues, flags and any other remembrance of history but that will not remove a person’s way of thinking. Thought patterns have been in existence for years, decades and often an entire lifetime due in part to generational social learning.

Change occurs by changing the way we think about ourselves and our circumstances and educating ourselves about the world in which we live. It starts with understanding who we are as people and as individuals. It’s not just about our own history and how we have arrived but how has the world arrived?

Once we understand our own existence we can then begin to look into the world of others around us to understand theirs.

We only know what we know and what we’ve been taught. It’s up to ALL of us to seek the knowledge for which we don’t already possess.

~mh 💕😊

Father’s Day Message

It’s that wonderful day each year when we celebrate Fatherhood.

First, I would like to say how proud I am of a very dear friend who became a father eight months ago. He has overcome many obstacles thus far in his journey and has become an amazing father. Charlie is a very lucky little girl. Happy Father’s Day, Matt.

I honestly can’t tell you the last time I sent a Father’s Day card but it’s been well over 32 years. No connection. I would not recognize the man if I saw him walking down the street. I know he wouldn’t recognize me. He is still my father and I remain hopeful that one day we will make contact but that ‘one day’ is running out because he is going to be 81 on October 20, 2020.

Nothing I’ve done I can assure you.

I came to terms years ago that it wasn’t me and realized he was incapable of being the father he could have been. I saw no effort on his part after many attempts on mine.

In my young adulthood I discovered that his father was absent from his life without any effort put forth in getting to know him. How tragic.

When I learned of my biological grandfather I was 17. He was dying of cancer and I wanted to let him know he had a granddaughter. I did not have a chance to go knock on his door to reveal myself before he passed. Even at his funeral no one knew that my grandfather had a son and a daughter much less any grandchildren. My aunt spoke to the minister who was a good friend of my fathers after the service to let him know about her and her brother, my father. The minister said had he known he would not have been able to officiate as he did. She said he was shocked and dumbfounded. How could someone have children and not speak of them let alone not communicate with them? How much do we really know our friends and family? Not very, apparently.

My father was a choir director and we were very involved in church until my parents divorced when I was 13. I honestly don’t remember much about my father even prior to age 13 as he traveled for work. Perhaps I have suppressed much of his memory to protect me over the years. He saw me and my brother on weekends until the summer I turned 16. He announced that he remarried and the father daughter relationship would soon vanish.

I continued my journey. I started working at the age of 15. I finished high school. I married and had four children. I divorced. I have always worked multiple jobs. I ran a small residential cleaning business, finished college with a bachelors degree and went on to obtain a masters degree. I have accomplished many things in my life while enduring the pain from not having the guidance of my father. It has not been the journey I envisioned when I was a little girl. Girls do need their father.

I do not fault my father on some levels as his journey was similar to mine. His father left when he was only 5. I had a step grandfather which growing up I always thought was my ‘real’ grandfather. I loved him dearly. He treated me well but I don’t truly know the connection he had with my father. I also don’t know the impact on my father after his father left him as a small child.

We have to understand that there are family patterns that continue generation after generation and at what point do we change direction? I think, at best, if he had continued in my life he would have been there financially but I doubt very seriously he would have ever been there emotionally. He did not possess that quality.

To all the fathers who are out there who provide financial AND emotional stability for their children… you are fortunate to provide both. Your kids are the lucky ones. Those who can’t be there financially…that is OK because possibly you can be there for your children emotionally which is actually more crucial for a child’s upbringing and needed for a healthy adulthood. If you can’t be there emotionally but can be there financially, it’s really important to work on the emotional piece because that is the piece that is missing in so many children’s lives. Without emotional stability in developmental years, children grow up to be adults with emotional INstability. Money doesn’t make things better. Money provides affordability but not emotional stability and ‘things’ do not contribute to emotional stability. As a mental health professional, I see this day in and day out. Tugs at my heart strings.

In all of my years working in mental health and even before, I’ve never met anyone who said “I wish my parents provided me with more money”. Instead, I have heard, “My mother/father is not emotionally there for me”. “My childhood was lacking in affection”. “I was taught not to show my emotions”. “My father/mother never asked how I was doing”. “My father is always working and doesn’t have time for me”. “I’ve never met my father”. The list goes on and on.

The things I CAN lay fault with him: the fact that no effort was put towards building a relationship with his daughter or his son, regardless of how his father treated him. He did not tell his wife (my stepmother) to stay out of his business with his children and he didn’t confront my stepmother when I sent Father’s Day cards year after year saying he never got them. One day on the phone when I was still a teenager my stepmother told me “he has a family now“. What kind of human says those words to anyone let alone a girl who loves her father? Cruelest words I have ever heard. He never corrected her. Luckily for me I never had to reside in the same household with her. For that I am thankful.

My father was a very passive individual. People who are passive do not like confrontation therefore they allow other people to make decisions for them. Many feel guilty and have regrets later in life that they didn’t stand up and be a little more assertive. I can only imagine that my father must have regrets. He has missed out on knowing a great person…ME! 😊

Please do not wait until a child or even an adult child reaches out. Parents should be the mentors and start the conversation, however, we only know what we know….if we need assistance in being the mentor we should seek education to build that skill. Often times when we’re unable to do something it’s because we don’t have the skill to get it done. Learn the skills…get it done! I reached out many times with no reciprocation.

It’s interesting how we will spend thousands of dollars obtaining an education in order to make money so we can wear a CEO, VP or other title on a badge and buy things we DON’T need but we won’t spend the time, money or effort to learn the skills that we DO need to build relationships and foster human connection to fulfill one of the greatest accomplishments and ‘title’ a man could ever achieve…..that of being a father.

We often think, “there’s always tomorrow”. “I’ll do it tomorrow”.
Children grow up fast. There’s not a whole lot of time to get it right. We can’t go back to that first soccer game. We can’t go back to that first T-ball practice. We can’t go back to that spelling bee. We can’t go back to that first band performance or dance recital. We can’t go back to that football playoff season. We can’t go back to that play/theater performance. We can’t go back to that high school graduation. We can’t go back, ever.

Excuses get in the way of effort and they take very little effort or none at all. As my high school band Director once said, “excuses don’t get the job done”.

I wish no pain or ill will towards my father. For many years I put blame on others including myself and then came to realize my father had choices to make and for whatever the reason, he chose the path he did. I hope he has been able to sleep at night knowing he has a son and daughter that he chose to ignore. He has also missed out on four amazing grandchildren. We have to live with the choices we make and I’m hoping he’s been able to live well with the ones he has made.

Knowing I have a father that wants nothing to do with me has affected every area of my life for many years and even though I still sometimes cry about what could have been I am at peace with what is and what will be. I love Me! I have enormous compassion and empathy for all.

I think today and the days to follow until the next Father’s Day and beyond should be spent looking in the mirror and asking ourselves “what do I contribute to my child’s life and how can I make it better?”

Cats in the Cradle by Harry Chapin is a song that I’m sure you’ve heard. Please take a moment and look up the lyrics. It is one of my favorite and if listening to this song ‘strikes a chord’ that things could be better… worried that you aren’t there for your son or daughter and they are going to grow up just like you and that scares you …..then TODAY is the DAY to make a call and a change in a new direction and leave the past behind so that all of your tomorrows will be days to REMEMBER instead of days to REGRET. 💞😊

Happy Father’s Day.