Jan 022019


When we saw Lilly on Christmas, she handed us this letter:

happy holldays

Mommy i am

so so so

sorry For

Not going

shopping For

you guys.

i still Love

you guys

and i am happy

that you toku

your time

out oF

your day

Just to see


By Lilly

to mom And dad

ūüôā¬†Now I ask you, who doesn’t like to get a thank you? ūüôā -Nealie


Dec 202018

Canva - Cocoa, Hot Chocolate, Cookies, Marshmallows, Mug, Blue

Hi Readers,

Today I spent over six hours sorting through papers to organize Lilly’s past¬†few years of living. That’s a lot of papers! I totaled up thirty-six times that she has been moved since she was 3 years old.

Thirty-six. Makes you want to cry, doesn’t it?

Lilly¬†doesn’t do well in the community. Never has. That’s why she’s had to move so many times. Lilly needs a residential facility where she can live, work at simple jobs, and leave to go on (earned) outings. They are kind of like little cities, and they serve a need.

The problem is the cost. In Chasing Lilly, I mention that they cost over $200 a day, but inflation has changed that to almost $600¬†A DAY! No wonder Lilly has to¬†be a repeated danger to¬†herself or others to be admitted. Nobody is willing to foot that bill, so it’s always the last resort. And it’s always temporary.

Santa, we really need more of these places to open, and more people to be able to utilize them. There has to be a way to bring costs down and make them an actual place to live long-term.

Get your red thinking cap on.



Positive Stress

 Chasing Lilly  Comments Off on Positive Stress
Nov 222018



Postitive stress is a¬†term I learned from Lilly’s therapist. Here’s how¬†the subject¬†came up, and how it could apply to you and your child…

One time Lilly was here and played with some neices and nephews, ages six to thirteen. She is in her twenties, but it was her favorite type of¬† playing, (crawling-around), and she laughed more than I had heard her laugh in a long time. It was a great afternoon. So wouldn’t that translate into a great rest of the day?

The positive stress was too much for her, and things quickly went south.

After Lilly returned to the group home where she was living, her mood turned dark. Lilly locked herself in a room and threw something heavy through a window. She cut herself while staff were trying to get the door unlocked and call the police.

And then she was hospitalized. Talking to the therapist later, I said that I should have seen it coming.

Was there a way to prevent the tragic second-half of the day? Nothing prevents everything all the time with¬†people like Lilly, but here is an idea. We can stop all the fun way before she has to leave, and insist on a rest from playing while¬†providing something quiet to do. There’s no guarantee that will fix things, but it might help.

Lilly really misses people in the family, yet her reactions and interactions prevent her from being around them much. We have to limit who she sees, when she can see them. We must be careful about activties taking place that might cause her to be unable to regroup from the positive stress the visits bring.

Hopefully we’ll all have a low stress Happy Thanksgiving!








Nov 092018



Ah, the lure of nicotine! When Lilly was younger she used to call out people about their smoking, telling them they should not be doing that. It used to agitate her a lot when people smoked near her, because her birth parents burned her with cigarettes when she was under the age of two.

Despicable and horrifying as that is, Lilly’s mother was a fourth generation foster child herself, and she may have¬†repeated ugly things done to her when¬†she was a little girl. If people don’t know how to break a chain of violence¬† or addiction,¬†it continues through generations until someone does break that chain.

Back to the smoking. Lilly found out about nicotine gum, and would ask for it whenever she had a hospital admission, which was frequently. I found out last week that Lilly is smoking two real cigarettes a day at her group home. They are lit for her outside, and staff keeps the lighter.

Lilly is in her twenties. She doesn’t get to drive, have a real job, get married, have kids, or do anything that she sees “normal people” do. (That’s what she calls you and me.) And she is frequently angry about that, because she observes the differences between her life and others her age. She’s no dummy.

I have fought back on this for years because it’s not healthy. Is anything in her life¬†healthy? The psychotropic drugs? The many other various medications? The lack of any exercise? Eating only high carb, greasy foods because that’s all she wants? Remember the lady that made me laugh all the way home in Chasing Lilly, because she told Lilly to try OxyClean? (trademark) Why would a girl who wipes her mouth on her shirt, care if her shirt was white and clean? It’s not that I don’t care about Lilly. You all know I do, but some things are too impossible to fight, and I have enough other battles.

So let her smoke.