Jul 092018


I had two grandchildren with me when I happened to see Lora. She has a 12 year old daughter with RAD (Developmental Trauma). Before we parted she said, “You make it look so easy.”

I kept thinking about that. We had lots of hard times with Lilly for years. Lilly is being cared for now by full time professionals, and she does not live with us, as told in Chasing Lilly. It wasn’t easy!

Things look different now. Lilly isn’t in my home, cannot hurt me physically, cannot run away from home, cannot hurt pets or break my windows.

Is life easy now? I still talk to her at least once a day, often listening to rantings, and sometimes she hangs up on me. That’s fun. I have multiple emails and meetings concerning Lilly, and we visit her.

When she is doing well, and I feel safe, she comes home for 4 to 6 hours for a visit. That’s all I can handle, and it’s hard not to be anxious while she is here. I find myself going over things in my head like:

Did I put away the knives and scissors? Are medications that were in the bathroom put away? Where are the cats? Will she take a “no” in a good way, or will it set her off? Will she run away while she is here? Where did I leave the candle-lighter? Should I check her pockets?

Almost every time she comes Lilly asks me why she can’t stay the night. I tell her she is too old to spend the night, and grown daughters don’t do that. I don’t tell her she can’t because I wouldn’t be able to sleep with her in the house. She’s told me too many times about a dream she’s had of killing me with a knife. But I think she knows why she can’t stay over without going into it.

Yes, I make it look easy, but it must be because I’m in a safe spot in my life now. I pray all my friends with RAD children will get to a safe spot eventually, and that they will have more success healing trauma in the lives of their children. That’s what needs to happen. Healing.




Happy Fourth!

 Chasing Lilly  Comments Off on Happy Fourth!
Jul 032018


July brings a memory with Lilly…

In Chasing Lilly, I wrote,

By the start of that first summer, Lilly had been with us about six weeks. Cold weather and spring rains kept most of the crazy incidents invisible to the neighborhood. I knew neighbors could see her when she was standing in the big picture window looking out, because they told me that she’d line up her small toys on the windowsill and frantically wave at every passing person who glanced her way. It was reported that she would give the middle finger to anyone going by who didn’t smile back at her!

There’s another July incident that I didn’t write about. (There are probably hundreds!) But Bruce and I had Lilly in the back seat on our way to an electronics store. We pulled into the parking lot and parked next to a car with a couple guys in it who appeared to be mad at us. Did we park too close?

Uh oh, they are coming over to my window….

I lowered the window and Bruce leaned over and gruffly said, “Can I help you?”

The bigger guy accused, “Your little girl there just flipped us off.”

Bruce sighed and said, “Okay, thanks.”

I raised my window and looked at him. So what were we supposed to do about that? She was about seven or eight years old, wasn’t raised by us, AND she knew she shouldn’t do it, BUT she always got a reaction when she did.

I doubt she knew what it was supposed to mean (and still doesn’t), but if something works well at getting people mad, she perfects it –even to this day. 🙂

It’s the same with certain words #*&%$#. Bottom line is whether it’s another driver or a little kid, don’t let a gesture or a word ruin your day. You can’t know what’s behind it. We just think we do.






Jun 222018

Canva-Footprint-Tracks-In-The-Sand-BeachHi Friends and Readers,

Here’s an update on Lilly. 🙂 She will be in a community in a house with several other developmentally disabled women soon. There is so much preparation going into a move like this! Furniture and pots and pans are just a small part of the big picture. Most concerning is the location, and the staffing that will oversee the occupants, and how the occupants will get along with each other.

A poor location would be one too close to the interstate, because if Lilly decided to take off it would be dangerous, as it would be too easy for her to disappear.

The neighbors are also a consideration. Is everyone jammed close together and in everybody’s business? Is there enough room in the house for all intended occupants and their stuff?

One thing that we have to consider is that Lilly doesn’t do well with people who “dog her,” as she says, which means they run their mouth all the time and can’t mind their own business. 🙂

Many of you will have kids who will be in the community at some point as they get older, and when your kid is DD, it’s pretty scary! We have been through this five times now, and Lilly has never been succesful for long, but we keep trying, and hope that THIS time everything will be more “Lilly-friendly.” We are learning, too, what makes things more successful, and what makes for disaster.

When it comes time for your child to be in the community, consider these things:


If your kid can’t stay out of McDonald’s, then make sure there isn’t one in the neighborhood.

Are the neighbors too close?

Is it easy for you to get to?

Is the neighborhood safe? Check online for registered preditors. Drive the neighborhood a couple times to see what it’s like in the daytime as well as the evening.


Choose a company that has a good online rating. Read the reviews. There are lots of staffing companies out there, and a few have no business being in business. Do they do background checks and drug tests? Dig a little.

Other Occupants:

The staffing company will most likely want all the bedrooms in the home filled with other clients. Ask them to introduce your child beforehand to prospective housemates to see if they “click.” It is good procedure for all involved.

If I can be of any help, email me at

PS: PRAYERS for Lilly’s successful transition are sooooo appreciated! 🙂