Prayers from an Agnostic

Dear God, Goddess, Heavenly Father, All-Knowing Being, Creator of the Universes, Connector of All Things,

Hi. Hey There. Hello. – It’s me, Mary Phelan McChesney Toohey.

Maybe you already know that.

I’m not really sure how to greet you – or what to say at all actually.

I just have a lot on my mind lately and so if you exist and are the bright and good side of existence, then I thought I would give you a shout and see how it felt.

First I need to clear something up…

Let’s say you do exist. That’s amazing and in some ways explains so much, yet in others does not explain even more. Also, If you are this powerful all-knowing creator of all things then I would suspect you are pretty busy. So in terms of a chain of command, I am guessing you are, like, way up there.

SO my question is – can I just give you a direct shout out or do I need to submit a request through another entity first? I am pretty sure all the priests are backed up with requests right now, the spiritualists are all busy building their online-daily-video-meditation following and the preachers, well – I’m not sure – I think they are focused somewhere between parking lot communions and creating online donation platforms – so yeah – I am thinking that could take awhile to get through. Ya know, like my unemployment request over at the VEC or my daughters drivers license over at the DMV…. Things are not exactly moving quickly – or really at all these days. Hence my need to maybe chat with you.

*(Side note) The fact that I am even trying to talk to you if you do exist is just soooo typical of a human! To think we have a direct link to something that powerful – HA – Yeah – I am just so sure I am at the top of your to-do list today!!! Just really exemplifies how egotistical we truly are.

Ok – So let’s say you exist, AND you accept direct communication from someone like me. Check. Check. 

Next Question: How should I actually communicate? Are you a very formal God, like the Jewish or Catholic version? Are you a strict God? Do you talk to people at all who are not already devout? Are you a more chill and “go with the flow” kinda God like the Quaker version or maybe like I would imagine Buddha would be? Maybe you are not an actual being at all, but instead just a feeling or a spirituality that a person can come to possess? In that case, can I just talk to myself? I am pretty good at that TBH.

I feel like knowing all this would help me figure out how to talk to you – and what to expect in return.

ok – if you could just get back to me on that, I’d really appreciate it. Then we can start that chat I have been formulating in my mind over the last – IDK – 6-10 years or so…. should be a quick one – i’m sure we could knock it out in a 30 min Zoom call or something…




MoMo, Monkey and Mouse: An Anthology by Day



a Mouse.

In the House.

Quick – get the broom and the bucket

We will dispense of this little creature without haste.



Well. This is unpleasant.

So unpleasantness is what we will rain down on this world.

All forms a warfare will be enlisted.

It will be a sad day for the Mouse.

Wait, what was that noise?!?!

Maybe we will just sit on the bed all day praying we do not see or hear the creature again.


What Mouse?

There is no Mouse!

Not in my house!

I am not there to witness its defiance, dissonance, gluttonous behavior.

If a mouse exists in your house, but you are not there to see it, is it even there?

I think not.

I was imagining it.



As all Monday’s do – for all of time – both BM and AM (before and after mouse) – reality has set in.

Today the mouse dies. Or the house burns.

There is no third option. We must pick one and resign to the fate.

Room to Breathe

It’s a strange feeling waking up

With a different man in the room.

Uncomfortably Comfortable.

The feeling of his deep exhale filling the room already full of stale memories.

I did not think there was still space to fill inside this house. What a pleasant surprise.

While taking in all the heat and caffeine of my morning coffee, I also take stock.

In these rooms, I’m surrounded by old and new.

Dog, new.

Refrigerator notepad, old.

Vase, yours.

Work boots, his.

….. and so on.

Things have changed in both good and sad ways.

Ways that open slivers in my heart and my lungs.

Creating space. Allowing movement.

Memories come in and go out.

It all feel so luxurious-so unexpectedly full of possibilities. And also pain.

Sometimes, when the pain overwhelms me and I feel the place closing up- the air stagnating- I want to run away.

Away to an all new place, with all new things.

So, one time, I did that….For a little while.

It did not work.

The universe spun me right back here.

Gently wedged between new and old.

Good and sad.

Happiness and pain.

Memories both in and out.

This house is my home now. This place of space and movement and things

and love.

We drink out of your favorite glasses.

All the time.

I can’t remember that exact moment it became OK.

It just is.

Often, when I mix a “Just perfect” drink, in those perfect drink glasses, and then hear something funny while sitting ‘round the fire pit, in our yard -with ghost-filled smoke plumes wafting above, I know you are near. And also far.

Floating away.

Making space.

Creating room.

For Me to Breathe.

And Love.

All of it.

Right where I am.

Wanna see some really really really old versions of my stuff….

It’s like peeking into another person’s life. Before all the pain and death, and struggles and illness. Who was that girl? She talked about soccer and PTA and work and wrote about pop news like Michael Vick’s potential reality show…. who is this!?! Where did she go!?! Oh, that’s right, I killed her. She can’t come to the phone anymore.

Things you Learn About Yourself – and the People you Live W/ During Quarantine:

How often other ppl in the house ‘low key’ feed random food to the dog is appalling.

The amount of milk people put on their cereal varies greatly….and yes, It matters!!! Sean practically eats cereal dry. It’s Disgusting!

Which family member *would* actually make it through a zombie apocalypse.
(Answer is Hannah in our house – she would emerge months later once a vaccine was found, having subsisted on packaged food and video games wondering where everyone was).

Who handles boredom best. Again, Hannah for the win.

Sean wins the, “I can-stay-self-motivated-no-matter-what” award.

I really have been under watering my plants – for like my whole life.

Hanging art correctly is my special superpower. I have been doing it for two weeks all over the house and it is making me quite happy.

My dog really was meant to live outside with like a whole pack of other animals (humans, squirrels, birds, cats, dogs, whatever). After all this is over if he has to spend 8-12 hours a day in the house alone – like 4-5 days a week – it might be the worst thing I could ever do to him.

Sean literally must keep the half lemonade-half iced tea drink industry afloat. I have never bought so much of that stuff.

You never notice how dirty corners of your floors or ceilings are until you have stared at them everyday for like 35-flipping-days. (Hannah and I have been hiding out since March 6th -Sean has been working most of that)!!!!!!

My dog has a lot of moods.

My neighbor’s kids are so cute and sweet, yet I forget how much children cry and fight over the most random things. All. The. Time. I think All mamas deserve a daily award ceremony for making it thru another day. Like maybe hunger games style so the other mamas know they are still out there surviving it!!!!

The week we thought Sean had COVID-19 reinforced my knowledge that I could never be a nurse.

I have turned into the nosy neighbor -peering out her windows day and night – who also thinks everyone drives too fast down our street.

Sean cannot follow verbal step by step directions. I would crush him at Simon Says!

The musical and movie taste disparities within the household have never been more pronounced. Now that all the basics have been exhausted within each Genre, we are left with purist forms – and the group is NOT here for it. *Also, we need more TVs and private spaces in this house.

The people who do not clean the things have no concept of their usage volumes of the things. Every time someone uses a dish or glass instead of a paper product I glare at them while I think “I’m going to shove that”….well you get the point. *Also, yes, my eco-friendly practices are all to hell. I am using paper products as much as possible-I have caved under the pressure of germs and the sheer volume of cleaning, laundry, dishes, trash, etc. – so shoot me!!!!!

My daughter is a way better card player than me.

No one thinks their thing that they are doing is loud or disturbing, but EVERYONE thinks everyone else is for sure LOUD and DISTURBING!

Anyone who wears non-sleepwear clothing is now assumed to be a contagion and must be de-germed in the garage before entering the house. Everyone else looks at that person like they are something out of The Grudge until they have changed into some form of PJs.

Zoom Happy Hour is mommies private time and it’s not OK to butt in…. and yes everyone really follows that rule to the T… and if you believe that I have some essential oils that I bought from a guy on CBN that will protect you from all viruses known to man. Just Venmo me $189 and I will send them your way.

Slowly Burning

The pain rises like a fresh blister from an oven rack.

Startling me with intensity.

What a stupid mistake.

How did that happen?

I was staring the danger right in the face.

Now it’s searing my skin.

Not enough to be visible – but just enough so that I can imagine

what a worse version might cause.

Just like your blows did.

Never in the wrong place

Or seen by the naked eye.

Unless I was naked.

Is the burning feeling really pain or just embarrassment and shame?

I guess I deserve that.

I am no fool.

I know when you place bare skin against raging fire, bad things happen.

But I let you happen.

To me.



What did I do to deserve your love?

How can I never replicate that again?

Don’t love?

Maybe then I will be safe and happy.

As I go along, happily drowning in the mind-numbing activities of life,

I’m not really alive. Or Happy.

Doing to myself what you taught me.

Replicating what I said I would not.

But it was the only love I knew.

And I am too weak to not love.

So I did.

Again. And Again. And Again.

Building up more and more shame and guilt.

Screaming from underneath a sea of lidocaine

for someone to save me from myself and

all the versions of you I had recreated.

Again. And Again. And Again.

Finally – a reprieve.

An outstretched hand.

Fat, soft fingers curling around mine.

The first grip rips through my body,

releasing my soul.

This is what love is supposed to feel like.

Now that I know – I will seek this forever.

This little, squirming bundle of love has taught me

to walk away from anything that does not make me better.

Better for her.

I may never love the right way for myself – because I deserve it.

But I will do it for her.

She is salve on my burns – healing all pain

Giving me strength to pull myself from a sea of bad decisions

up to a different place.

We walk above the sea now.

Looking down at that turmoil.

Knowing if I fall back there, she would too.

I would die before I let that happen.

She will never know my shame or see my scars.

She saved me and I saved her.

I walked along like it never happened.

And found real love.

Now I know what it feels like – times two – so I know I can replicate it.

And can show her how to do the same.

She knows what true happiness looks like.

He gave her that. With me.

Something you could have never done.

I know we will all be OK.

Off-Line Writing in 2019

Greetings Friends and Family!

As 2019 Winds to a close (I cannot believe this) I have realized that my writing has taken place mainly off-line this year. I found myself more often than not scribbling away in a random notebook or voice texting notes to myself to write up later – again – with paper and pen – not fingers on keys…. which brings me to this post. Below please enjoy some rough drafts and “in the works” statuses of a number of poems, writings and musings I have developed over the past few months.

Generally, they are about pain, loss, love, hope, strength and finding out how to move forward in a life that constantly wants to set you back.

I hope you enjoy them and please keep your eyes out for these in a more revised state/form in the future – HOPEFULLY – published on some local or other literary sites.

That’s my goal for 2020.

To get some of these writings out in a more public setting and shared with others.

It’s a scary step for me since I have always kept my writing so private, but a recent workshop and class at a local writing center (and the wonderful people I have met there) helped me to feel OK about putting this piece of myself out there. I hope it provides some solace to others and maybe gives me some needed feedback on these feelings, my writings, and what “publishing” my work in a public setting looks like for me in the future.


Cheers to 2020!

Love MoMo




WORDS mean something. 

By: MM Toohey


Confidence (rewrite on 11/17)

You wept into the world 

willful and free.

dominating your space

with writhing sway.

instantly invoking choice.

this beginning

gives peace inside violence.

Ultimately ending as a mirror of your inception

paths chosen

not given.

no excuse for ambivalence.

no pause for settling

the end came to satisfy your need for solace and meaning.

the end only ends you. 

universes exist inside you.

Once this choice is made do not choose another.

 I begin to see you inside yourself, it will light your way. 


Patterns (rewrite on 11/16)

 painful but familiar marks


Tall sharp and painful fencing all around me.



About the pain

 At me not you 

That is good.

I am pointing blame in the right place

My action and inaction are my own

choose to live with them. And you.


Sleepless (rewrite on 11/17)

Jarred Awake by your absence 

ensconced in solitude 

forced into movement

Stand. Sit. Walk. Talk. Eat. 

Dance. Love. Move ON. 

mandated upon me.


a line in the Sand. 

never to occur

wandering sleeplessly 

peace escaping me 

never found . 

finally it catches up

Try remain awake a moment longer

Say goodbye 

finally sleep

not to wake again. 

The solace surrounds me like your arms always did.



Tornado (revised 11/20)


spinning inside a circle of destruction

trapped recklessly apart

Violently swirling around intimacy

unwillingly soaring farther apart 

Trapped like tiny birds in a gale

missing the path to happiness 

ravaging our funnel-shaped minds 

ignoring the incorrect choices 

undismayed by the turmoil. 

in denial.

moving on. 


New Life

Today I ask what are you here for.

Today I wonder why do you care.

Today I fear you have all the wrong reasons and more.

Today I cry because you are bare.

      Bare is your back, your heart, your soul.

      Bare to the evils of the world.

              They twist you and hurt you and warp your figure

              Their power is greater than any one soul.

We try to show you the way, the truth, the  light

We try to show you the ideals that are right

Tomorrow will bring yet the same problems again –

And I wish that I could promise you I would know the answers by then.


But NO, I won’t say that        I won’t cloud your mind more –

But NO, I won’t say that         I’ll just teach you to ignore.



Hold On

Please just hold me for now

Tell me this will all work out in the end

Make me know that we can both feel good and happy again

I just feel so lost and scared

So alone and tired

So in love

Once I have wept all of my tears I will truly see you

And you can tell me this will all work out in the end

And make me know that we can both feel good and happy again


Backwards and forwards – my heart goes on and on – turning over again and again

It is lost and scared

So in love

In some moments I am strong and can move on

Tell me this will all work out in the end

Make me know that we can both feel good and happy again

Hold me while I weep all my tears and convince myself to be strong

Then you can move on

So in love

Lost scared alone tired strong weak backwards and forwards

So in love



You push me aside when others catch your eye

You ignore my needs in order to satisfy your selfishness

The days go by and I become more of a thorn in your side than the apple of your eye

Desire tears through my soul, wreaking havoc on my body

While you try to gain sympathy.



What are those empty feelings inside your body?

Are they there for solace or pain? Do they teach or restrict?


Some Say time heals pain.

Time does not heal it teaches;

Teaches one to be aware

        to be guarded

        to be defensive

Time builds walls for your soul to hide behind.

There is no healing going on around here,

  Just a lot of building.



I miss you late at night

I need your voice to comfort me to sleep

I need your chest to rest my head,

Your arm to hold my back.

Tomorrow will be filled with meaningless things that can take my mind off of you.

But night will be filled with sleepless desires to feel you again.

Do not confuse need with lust. 

I lust not your body but your soul.

I need your body, I lust your soul.

Once together, comfort and desires merge into one.

I feel the weight of loneliness slipping away and I cherish these few happy moments of contentment. 



Where does finality end? With whom or what does it sunset?

At what point do you say you are tired enough to stop and just move on.

How does the weight of that decision not crush you and creep into the cracks of your body and soul

Did you think that a simple decision at one moment in time would actually move mountains

Do you feel you are in control

You are not

Stop trying


Revised or new after 11/16

Building (revise)

 There is emptiness inside your body

It exists to provide solace

And often pain.

It will teach.

It will restrict.

If it teaches you must learn.

If it restricts you must drift away.

Time will bear out one or the other. 

Which one no one is to know 

Until after it ends

And time has passed.


Pain heals

Or just teaches 

 One to be





Time builds walls for your soul to hide behind.

There is no healing going on around here,

                    Only Building.




Final (revise)


They say



Just move on.  

But beware the weight of that decision will crush you and the dispair of failure will bloody your eyes and tear your soul.

You still did it anyway.

Now what.


NO NAME for this poem

Oh, you thought a decision made in a mote of time would

Move Mountains

Change Courses. 

End Sorrow. 


how Simplicius of you. 

to think you have the reigns

to think others know the depths of the Rot. 

 nothing would remain.

just a Hollow shell.

all the days hours and minutes that exist in the universe will have passed.

there you will be. 

Hollow. Without Time. Without Anyone. 

You thought you had it in you.

You do not.

Stop trying




looking for peace (Contentment revise)

The house creaks and Settles into the silence of the hour.

Hours drag thru the twilight towards the dawn. 

Only the deep baritone sigh or chuckle would have brought sleep.

Only the warm, scratchy pillow of fur on face and chest would have allowed slumber.

Only the heavy, dead weight of a memory-inked arm would have given rest.

Dawn brings distractions. 

meaningless, trite and zombie-like. 

Rote movements of bodies throughout the day. 

The damages carved into the skin are accepted as fair trade for the light. 

Soon it will be that time again. 

It’s coming. 

 The thought of it’s arrival blocks anything real from happening.

Creeping along the clock face like the shadows along the wall.

Directing all thoughts towards the same painful moment. 

Approaching like a predator stalking its prey. 

It knows it will happen and it has the patience to wait.

The darkness arrives and takes over. It cannot be fought.

It fills every space and crack that exists. There is no place it cannot reach.  

It is here and brimming with sleepless desires.

Desires that startle any tiny speck of sanity left inside. 


To thrash the darkness into tattered remains. 

To claw the dawn from behind the earth where it hides.

 To force the silent darkness out of its perch and make it pounce. 

To finalize the end of an uninvited game.

Give in. Give into the desires. 

They require a soul. The cost of entry is eternity and entirety. 

It is worth it at this moment. Sanity lost. Desires raging. 

Body and mind weak, beaten and weary. Why fight this inevitable fate. 

Go towards the darkness and away from the dawn. 

This time do not come back or yearn for the next phase of the day. 

Be willing to stay in the darkness. 

Stay calm as it fills all the cracks it had made and soothes every cut and scratch from all your days 

like a cold salve. 

All along what was fought was the salvation.

Once absorbed the darkness gives comfort and rest to desires.

 The numbing weight of daylight is pushed off. the pain seeps in along with the dark. 

It is a welcomed change. To feel. 

Nothing can been seen through the darkness. Only felt. 

The pain becomes pleasure as the knowledge of the void being filled sinks in. 

Better to be filled and feel than to be empty and numb. 

No matter the pain. No matter the feelings. 

The loneliness tries to slip in too through all the cuts and scrapes 

but there is no room for it. All is full. 

Realizing there can be no room for loneliness when darkness and pain are allowed to fill all voids is where the pleasure comes from. 

Go and cherish this happy eternity of contentment.


Slime (new)


Pain   What is pain other than another example of an emotion or feeling. It true. It’s a feeling. Loss that’s a feeling. sadness also a feeling.

It’s OK to have these feelings it’s OK to hold and touch them. They are so novel at first you don’t know what to expect you’ve never felt anything like it before you feel the need to spend a lot of time with it —- the newness of it… I t’s almost addictive.

like the slime your 12-year-old makes at your kitchen table. It oozes and spreads out and takes up way more space than you imagined it ever could. It sticks to everything it leaves a thin sheen and maybe a little glitter with anything it comes in contact with —- just so that you know it was there .

It feels good to hold it to watch it move. You almost start believing that it has a life of its own, outside of your control. even though you know that it can’t exist without you giving it its shape, form and movement you start to believe it has free will. 

Then one day you wake up and it’s just a mess.This sticky, damp, coldness has spread everywhere. On everything and the more things you touch the more places it gets. And you realize this mass is not doing this on its own. You are doing it. Spreading it. Allowing it to envelop your life. You have to control it. It cannot be left loose and without confine. So you go around and collect all this pain you have spread. Picking it up piece by sticky shiny piece. You have to be smart. It’s tricky and it gets everywhere. So just when you think you have it all cleaned up you realize it was tucked underneath something old. Or stuck to the bottom of a shoe. And bam! It’s all over the place again!

So you go back and pick it all up. Again. Clean it up. Wipe away the evidence. 

This time the trick is to find a little box. With a tight lid. Just like you never thought it could spread out the way that it did, you certainly don’t think it will all fit in this tiny little box with the airtight lid . 

But it does.

It all fits. 

You squish it and smoosh it deep down into the box. Filling each part of each corner. Plunging your fingers down deep into the cool sticky sparkly jelly until you feel the bottom of the box, you press out any little remaining air bubbles, so not to give it space to move. 

Then you seal it up tight. Pressing the lid firmly. And then aging and again so that we are sure it is secure. 

And then you put it away.

You know it’s there. The knowledge can not be forgotten. The known can not be unknown. 

But that does not mean you have to see it, or touch it, or feel it. Or even think of it – except for the occasional moment of awareness that creeps back in and you promptly dismiss.

“Oh, yes, I know it’s there. I put it there. That is where I want it. That is how I want it to exist. Until I decide it must exist another way” 

You know that throwing it out or destroying it in its current state does not get rid of it. It only changes it’s geography and form. It still exists. It will always exist. 

Better to keep it close and control it rather Than throw it off into the unknown. What if someone else let it back out. What a mess that would be. It would get everywhere again.

No, you know what to do. Keep it sealed up tight. Under control. Tucked away somewhere safe. 

But every once in awhile you start thinking about it too much. You visualize it flowing through your hands. The cool sticky texture. The salty smell. The glittery sheen. You almost miss it. 

Without it you have no other chance to feel. By controlling that you also have to control all other emotions as well. A world of control. Devoid of chaos or messiness. Or feelings. 

So you creep into the dark place where you have tucked your pain away. You crack open that lid for just a second. 

Just a peek.

It surges out at you. Released from its intense pressure. You grab it up and squeeze it tight. All the feelings come rushing back in. Oh it feels so good to feel the uneasiness of the knowledge  of what is coming. You don’t care. Enjoying the moment within your grip. Cherishing the feelings and the emotions you thought were gone forever. That addiction fulfilled. Fix received. 

The fear of what is to come smacks against the moment of pleasure. It stops you in your tracks. What is happening. What are you doing. 

Oh god. Quick before it gets away from you get it back in its box. Tamp it down. Seal the lid tight. 

Tuck it away

Until you need to feel again. 


On the Placid Sea (revise)

Floating asleep on the placid sea.

A rogue Wave decends 

pulling you offshore

involuntarily lurching you deep beneath the surface 

you are sucked down towards the cooler darker waters 

you spin and tumble

not knowing up from down or down from up

cold salt fills your ears and nose as you grasp fleetingly with your hands at the sea floor

lungs full of fire 

the spinning continues

frantic kicks hoping your toes will graze sand

nothing is there

just empty space.


Come Down (new)

To the woman that saved my daughters life.

how did you know

what made you take that walk 

at that exact time

across that wind swept bridge

rain going sideways

who walks there at that time anyway

she was there

for hours



for you

she did not know she was waiting for you

but she was

a voice

a body

a tone 

a sideways glance that lingered longer than normal

what made you stop and ask

what made her wait

will we ever know

I could care less

just that it happened

you happened

to her



at that time

at that place

the thought of if you had made a different turn haunts me daily

i dont care why

just that you did

and she waited

for you

your words

your glance

your tone

you all shared a moment of time so brief it would hardly be called an encounter

those seconds turned into decades

of life

and hope 

and gratitude

you walked up the bridge in a different world 

than when you came down 

with one more person in it

that would not have been there

both forever changed 

as am i




Saving Lives (new)

Not saving your life, I saved two

still not good enough

should have been three

can’t have everything I guess

compromises made

survival achieved.    for some.

what kind of lives will be lived now

you invested all you had into them

they better be good

no pressure



The Power of a Good Cry

Are you a person who avoids a good cry — or do you embrace it wholeheartedly and own it and all that it represents?

I am the latter.

I believe that was out of necessity. Over the course of the last nine years, if I had not come to terms with crying and why it was OK to cry, how it can help you, and the healing powers of letting go and allowing yourself to cry and feel all that comes with tears, I might have ceased to exist.

Crying is a beautiful expression and in all actuality, a sign of strength, confidence, and empowerment. People who are not comfortable enough with their feelings and themselves hide their tears, and maybe even think of tears as a sign of weakness or fragility. I think just the opposite!

Be Proud. Cry it out. Show all the feelings. Searching all your feelings for truth and enlightenment (both the good and bad emotions) gives you more knowledge than a person who ignores half of their innermost thoughts!

I wear my heart on my sleeve.
I feel every emotion, good and bad.
I learn and grow from all experiences.
I can help others because of this.
For these reasons, I am proud to Cry.

Thank You, and Good Night!

The 40 days of Giving Campaign for Erich McChesney was a success!

Hi All, so it’s been awhile since I have posted on here, but I thought this might be a great place to keep track of our fundraiser that we held for the first time this year in honor of Erich. We wanted to raise $10 a day for 40 days and we did that plus some! Our goal was $400 by May 6th and as of today, 4/18 we are already at $430. So we thought, “Let’s keep this going and raise our goal to $550 and see how we do!”

This fundraiser is supporting the Brain Aneurysm Foundation and its efforts to support research and awareness of Brain Aneurysms. They do not have to be fatal. In Erich’s case, it was, and yet it wasn’t – He had such a special case – and without some of the new options for tools and techniques that came into existence between 2010 and 2016, he would have had zero chance to fight this. But he did fight it – hard – and almost beat it. Unfortunately, the disease won and we lost a wonderful person in the fight. We don’t want that to be the end of Erich’s story though. He was a bright, boisterous, loving person who could bring a room to life and change a person’s day with a hug and a hello. So we want to honor him and allow our fundraising efforts to support a legacy of hope and happiness in memory of Erich.

Erich fought to come back from surgery for 40 days in the Norfolk ICU and every doctor, nurse, and employee that came into contact with Erich during that time felt right away how hard he was fighting to get better. Whatever the reason, and however the end result played out, one thing was for sure to everyone who knew Erich before or during those 40 days: Erich McChesney did not give up. He went all the way to the end until there was nowhere else to go. In the end, it was a peaceful and content few days. Everyone felt the shift in his spirit as he was preparing for a different fight, the one where he had to prepare US to be without him. Even after his passing, he gave everyone the feeling of hope and peace and that he was still with us. He stayed near for quite some time until we were able to let him go. He kept nearby and came around often to many people over the months following his passing to ensure everyone was OK. That was what he did. Took care of his people. And when the time came, he moved on and left us with the memories of a loving and caring person who made so many things better in this world just because he was in it. Erich still cares and supports those he loved the most. I see it and sometimes feel it every now and then. While we may not be able to to be with him here, we can bring his memory and legacy to life through our actions and efforts to support others. We know he is proud to be the person leading and honoring this fundraiser and through him, we honor anyone who is fighting this disease and hope that research will continue to develop so that it gives everyone a fighting chance like it did for Erich!

If you would like to help us hit our new goal of $550 here is a link to the fundraiser:

Love and Peace to all,

Hannah and Mary

(Monk and MoMo)



what it takes to survive challenges

flower in snow


People Who Care About YOU.

I recently have been thinking about this a lot because I am trying to help find ways to show/teach/encourage my daughter to thrive and survive these different stages of life she is travelling through. And the more I think about it. The more I realize that in reality I have no idea how I got through all the things I did in my life. Everything I start to write feels like another BS self-help book. And yes, you do need a lot of those things to recover from tough times or to push through challenges. However, first you need the will to even try. And that most likely does not simple well-up inside you without first a little spark of hope… and that hope, spark, will, motivation – whatever you want to call it – most likely came from someone else passing it to you. It could be the most simple thing (seeing a stranger who is very much “worse-off” than you fighting for themselves) or it could be a major person in your life stepping in when they realize you need help (mom to the rescue / or BFF standing by for support)! Whatever that person is to you, or that moment is that sparks you – it did not come from you alone. You Had Help.

The truth is, without other people around you who give a damn about you and will help you when you need it, I think it’s almost impossible to be successful, thrive, survive, be happy. Life is really, really, really hard and you need people near you that love you in order to help get you through. Period. Has to happen. If you do not have that kind of support system in your life the set-backs become too difficult to manage on your own. And yes, everyone has difficult times. Some may seem smaller or less serious than others, however each individual faces their own forms of setbacks, challenges and turmoil in their life. The question is, do you have someone there beside you who can help you get that situation in check? Help you put it in perspective. Help you talk through how to handle it – or even better – maybe even be able to relate to you and share how they overcame a similar struggle? Never-mind financial support, or educational support that comes from having a parent, friend, relative, loved one who whomever there to help you who has the ability to do so!

That song “I would be nothing without you” is 10000000000% true. None of us would be who we are without the people who were around us helping us along and bringing us forward through our tough times and then celebrating and encouraging our good times.

If there is one thing you can do for yourself and for those around you, it would be to take a moment and really think about this and place this knowledge in perspective with who you are and why you are where you are. And to know that: 1. You did not get there alone 2. You have a responsibility to be that person to someone else.

Thank you to all who loved me, helped me and allowed me to be successful – and to those who will continue to do that for me for many years to come I am sure. I feel confident that you have instilled enough of that in me that I can also do that for the people I love. And I will.

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