When It Is Out of My Hands, I Must Let Go


I received a call a couple of months ago from a friend.  He was concerned about my nephew and wanted to let me know.  It was over 3 1/2 years ago when my nephew came to me with no where else to go.  He was unemployed and wanted a place to crash for a few weeks to get his feet back under him.  Scared, confused about what to do, hungry, and without a place to go, I took him in.  Three years later he was still unemployed, confused, and scared. The only thing different was he had a roof over his head and food in his belly.  Three years, and he was fighting the same things, and I was getting worn out by moods that went up and down, pleasantries one day, frustrations the next, and never quite knowing what to expect on a daily basis.  Looking back, I was walking on eggshells for much of the time my nephew lived here.  It was easy for me to let a lot of things go, as I understood the struggles of living with mental illness.

I have been told over and over by my therapist that I am a rescuer, and she is absolutely right.  I take care of people for a living – a perfect job for a codependent.   I had a girlfriend many years ago who was a drug addict.  I didn’t know it until she she started diverting drugs from the hospital where we both worked.  I found out when she turned herself in and went into inpatient treatment to get clean.

I had attended a personal growth seminar only months before we got involved.  It was through that personal work that I finally understood just how codependent I was and how it was affecting the relationships in my life.  Knowing that I was new to understanding how codependency affected me, I knew I would want some support to keep me from falling into my old behaviors.  I started therapy and became actively involved in a 12 step program for people like me.  It was hard work being brutally honest with myself and understanding how my helping her, hindered both her growth AND mine.  That first year of recovery was a year I like to refer to as “Mr Toad’s Wild Ride”.

It is no mistake that I went into nursing. I am hard wired to be a caretaker. It is my challenge in life to balance helping of others and taking care of myself while doing so. It is important that I recognize when I am no longer being of service to myself or the individual I started “helping out”.

With my nephew, as time went on and there was no progress being made on his part, I began to get frustrated and no longer felt peace in my own home.  My friends and my doctor kept telling me it was time to let go. Instead, I did what I do best, I hung on thinking – “One more month.  In one more month things will be different and once again there will be harmony in the household.”  Maybe you have heard the saying – “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.”  Well that’s where I was, stressed, and on the brink of unraveling when my brother died unexpectedly.  It’s no wonder my life spun out of control.

During my time of healing, I FINALLY realized that there was nothing I could do to change my nephew and his moving forward with his life – it was out of my hands.   I was no longer being of help, I was actually hindering him.  For him, and for me the best thing I could do was to let go.

In May my nephew moved out and into a place in Sacramento.  I have not seen or heard from him since.  I trust that his higher power is watching over him and helping him to find his way.  Although we had our periods of struggle, we shared many good times together, and we became closer than we had ever been before, and for that, I will always be grateful.


Emotional VS Physical Pain


In the first six months of this year, 2013, I experienced both emotional and physical pain.  At the beginning of the year it was the emotional pain I felt with the the loss of my younger brother to suicide, and in June, it was the physical pain of a pinched nerve in my low back and buttock.  Both pains brought me to a stand still in their own way.

There is not good way to describe the pain I felt when I found my brother down from a self inflicted gun shot wound in early December.  When the initial disbelief wore off, an overwhelming sense of grief overcame me.  It felt as if someone had torn my heart from my chest and I cried, sobbed until I could barely breathe.  The sounds of grief that came out of me were haunting.  I felt like there would never be light again in my life.  My emotional pain brought me to a stand still.

The physical pain came in the form of crippling pain in my buttock.   Back in June, I went to bed with a little nag in my upper buttock, and woke up barely able to get myself out of bed.  I couldn’t find a way to move that didn’t bring shooting pains down my buttock or allow me to straighten out.  I managed to get to the floor and crawled to the bathroom.  What the heck happened in the night??  I didn’t think the pain could get any worse than it was until I went to get a massage to help get rid of the “muscle spasm”.

I came home from the massage worse than before I left home, and immediately iced my sore butt.  It was amazing to see my technicolored left buttock the next morning as a result of the massage on my already traumatized tissue.  Looking back, it wasn’t the best choice I made, though at the time it seemed the right thing to do. The pain in my butt lasted a good 2 and a half months before it became but a mere memory.  I knew things were better when I was able to get out of bed and realized that I hadn’t thought about the pain as I no longer experienced it upon arising.

Emotional pain?  Physical pain?  Is there one you would prefer over the other? My immediate response to that question is,  I would pick physical pain over the gut wrenching pain of grief any day.  With physical pain, though it may always be there, there is hope that some day it will be gone.  With emotional pain, the pain of loss will always be there.  Nothing can bring my brother Vic back.  No matter how much I wish, how many drugs I take, how much time passes, the fact remains, he is gone and I am forever changed.





Cramming for a Metric Century Ride


I remember staying up late cramming for a morning final.  I had all quarter to study for the final, and I am up the night before the exam cramming. Thinking somehow that all that last minute stuffing of facts and equations into my brain would make it readily accessible for the morning test. It didn’t matter that I couldn’t keep my eyes open and kept rereading the same line of notes over and over. By god, I’d put in the time so I would be ready. And just for good measure, I would sleep with my textbook under my pillow as I slept, and place the book on the floor under my feet during the exam.  Maybe, just possibly, information would transfer from my book to my brain during sleep, and from my feet to my pencil during the exam.  Crazy huh?

It has been a long time since those days of exams that showcased the necessity of procrastinating just long enough to put the pressure on to start, and still have time to be ready.  Over the years, I haven’t changed.  I have a 100K bike ride on October 19th, and I didn’t start my training until the end of September. September 28th to be exact, which is a mere 3 weeks until the ride.  If I was 25 I would say “pisshaw – no problem”.  However, I am now a few years older than 25, and with the ride only 3 weeks away I say “YIKES!!!!”.  So here’s to “cramming” once again.

I rode 25 miles with 1100 feet of climbing my first ride, 30 miles of basically flat for the second ride, and 65 miles with a bit of climbing (1355 ft – really?) so I know I can do the distance – it’s just a matter of how long will it take me.  I do plan on doing a couple of more rides before the big day.  I have been impressed at how well this ol gal comes back after a lengthy time off.  Having good company to ride with definitely makes a difference, and just remembering to “take it 10 miles at a time” helps as well.

So as I student I put my books under my pillow for the night, and under my feet for the exam.  With biking, what do I do? – Sleep in my helmet?  So maybe the old adage is true “you can’t teach a dog new tricks”.  In other words, once a procrastinator always a procrastinator.  Here’s to October 19th and the Foxy Falls Metric Century – “I am woman hear me roar!”  WIsh me luck!

Gone Though Not Forgotten

Vic Toasting at PaulinaIn mid July, my immediate family and my mom’s brother’s family convened at a lake in eastern Oregon to have a family memorial for my brother Vic and to scatter some of his ashes.  Most summers while growing up we spent time at this lake with my mom’s side of the family.  My Mom’s parents had a boat, and we would meet at Paulina Lake, stay in small rustic log cabins and fish. My brother, sister and I each spent time as a baby, in a box, wrapped up in blankets, at the bottom of the boat, rocked by the gentle motion of the ripples on the lake.  I guess you could say our earliest fishing lessons were more by osmosis than actual hands on.  Since Vic loved to fish, and he loved Paulina lake, we felt that Paulina Lake was an appropriate and sentimental place to return him to.

My grandparents and my parents (who were taught by my grandparents) taught us kids to fish.  Linda, Vic and I learned to bait hooks to “still fish” in an anchored boat, and how to hold the pole in the right position while “trolling”.  We learned to reel in if someone caught a fish to prevent line tangles, and when a little older, how to net the fish.  Managing the lines of 3 little kids was no easy task, and tangles happened.  Mom and grandma patiently straightened things out while my grandfather told tales to entertain us.  Our early lessons didn’t end with the techniques of fishing, we we were also taught to clean our catch early on.  Standing on log round at the sink, we learned how to not only clean the fish, but how to determine if it was a boy or a girl, and what it had been feeding on.

Vic and my cousin Heidi had talked last fall about having a family reunion at Paulina this summer.  When the Oregon and Washington parts of the family were here in December for Vic’s memorial service, the plan was put into action to carry through with this trip as Vic would have liked us to do.   By January, a date was set, cabins reserved, and vacation time set aside to spend 5 days at Paulina Lake reminiscing and telling stories about Vic, and bidding him goodbye once again.

We hadn’t all been together at Paulina since the late 80’s when my grandmother was still alive, and there was much excitement about being together again at the lake.  I was totally caught off guard by my emotional response to being at a place where I had spent so many happy times with my brother.  I walked into my Uncle’s cabin the first night, and on the fireplace was a 11×14 inch picture of my “20 something” year old brother sitting in one of these mountain cabins.  He was toasting the camera person, with what was most likely a rum and coke.  What struck me was the memory of that the big smile on his face and how happy he looked.  It totally caught me by surprise and I started to cry.  It was as if I had walked into the room and he was right there with us.

Tears would well up and spill over many times during those 5 days.  My emotions were raw and my heart ached.  It didn’t take much for my feelings to surface and for me to feel that deep loss once again.  No matter how much time passes, and how many tears I shed, there seems to be an endless supply where those came from.

My sister and my dad worked out the logistics and the plan for the memorial service.  My mom and dad put some of VIc’s ashes in little bottles labeled with his name and dates of birth and death.  There were enough bottles so that each family member, even the two and three year olds, had a little bit of Vic to with as they wished – to scatter, to keep, or to do a little of both.   A quiet place on the lake with a narrow beach was selected and my sister would “officiate”(if that’s even the right word) the ceremony.

The day was sunny and warm, and the lake was smooth as glass, as our little flotilla of 5 boats, with all 24 family members, made it’s way across the lake to the cove.  It was quiet in our boat, except for the drone of the motor, for the 20 minute boat ride across the lake.  I drove the boat from the back with tears streaming from the time we left the dock. When we were all firmly on land, my sister beautifully summarized why we were gathered (through her tears) and read a verse my dad had picked out.  My nephew Luke played “Summertime” on his trumpet as each person silently said his/her own goodbyes and scattered Vic’s ashes quietly into the water.  After hugs and more tears, we loaded back into the boats and my father lead the way as we cut through the glassy waters, leaving a trail of rose petals behind us as we drove away from the beach.

I feel as if another chapter closed as I said goodbye to my brother once again – this time in both the emotional and physical sense of the word.   I choose to let the memory of my brother during the good times in his life, when he was vibrant and happy, out weigh the tumultuous times that proceeded his death.  I know he is at peace now which makes him being gone a little easier to bear.  Though he is physically gone, he will not be forgotten now, or ever.

When A Pain in the Ass is A Pain in the Ass

Piriformis syndrome

I got through my first three days of work and was ready to head out for my first day on my own, and wouldn’t you know it, I woke up with a pain in my ass.  I don’t just mean a bruise on my butt, or hemorrhoid pain, a true PAIN in my left buttock.  I went to bed fine and woke up barely able to get out of bed due to what felt like a muscle spasm in my left butt muscle. I was unable to stand up straight, or straighten out for that matter.  What happened in my mere 4.5 hours of sleep I don’t know.  I went to bed with a little nag in my upper left gluteal muscles and woke up barely able to get out of bed and put weight on my leg.  Great!!  With some not so graceful moves and a lot of grunts and moans, I  was finally able to get out of bed.  I  paced the kitchen floor for a full 30 mins before I called in to work and said I just couldn’t make it in.  No sick time, no holiday time, no pay for that day.

I decided to be proactive and went for an hour long deep tissue massage to attempt to loosen up the spasm.  After an hour of pain and torture, I hobbled out of the spa feeling worse than when I went in.  Not only that, by the end of the day, I noticed my entire left butt cheek was a mass of bruising.  I took an Epsom salt bath and drank lots of water when I got home.  I used ice packs and ibuprofen and I hobbled through the day.

The next day was just as bad!  Woke up, and with creative moves and lots of grunts, groans, and “owies” I was able to crawl to the bathroom.  Maybe that massage wasn’t such a good idea after all.  Went in to see a doctor at my PCP clinic with a spasm in my butt, and he listened to my heart and lungs, tapped my knees for reflexes and that was it! He prescribed a generous number of muscle relaxants and pain pills (that interacted with other of my meds), and wrote me a note to exuse me for the next 2 days I was scheduled to work.

I took the muscle relaxants at night and Ibuprofen throughout the days and 10 days later I felt I could make it through a 12 hour shift on my feet.  When all was said and done, I had missed 4 days of work – four days without pay.  There is nothing more frustrating than something like this, something I just woke up with, and it incapacitated me for most of a week!

I made it  back to work the last two days and I actually felt fine.  At the end of the second 12 hour shift I did feel a little tightness and twinging  in my left buttock, and this morning I have lost some ground. I am having pain not just in my buttock, I have pain down the back of me left leg as well.  Maybe it is a sign I am only to work two days back to back.  I did ask the Primary Care Doc for referral to Sports Medicine to get a  “real” evaluation and maybe a couple weeks of physical therapy to get me loosened up and give me a home program to prevent this from happening again (I had the same thing in my right buttock about 5-6 years ago).

The graphic above came up with search words: “pain in buttock” and depicts “exactly” what I am feeling.   Of course I immediately googled piriformis syndrome, and what do you know, bicyclists are prone to this due to an imbalance of the hip flexor and hip extensor muscles – exactly what my massage therapist has been telling me I have for months!  I guess it’s time to take this whole stretching thing more seriously as this is really beginning to be a pain in the ass! 🙂


The Making of A Hero

Super Hero

When the NorCal AIDS Cycle (NCAC) ended at the Capitol on May 19, 2013 – we had raised somewhere in the vicinity of $325,000 with more still coming in.  Imagine that?  A group of somewhere around 200 individuals raising $325,000 from December 2012-May 2013.  I myself collected almost $5,500 thanks to all the generous donors who sponsored me to ride the 330 miles in 4 days. All of that money went to NCAC.

One thing that separates NCAC from other big fund raisers is the fact that NCAC has been able to give as much as 72% of the funds collected to our beneficiaries. This is way higher than most fundraising activities.  Just the other day I saw an article encouraging individuals to do research about organizations before making donations.   I can’t remember now where I saw it (yes, I blame it on menopause),however, many of the organizations listed turned over less than 25% to the organizations they were raising money for.  I recognized many of those organizations from phone calls I have received asking for money.  With many fundraising organizations, the overhead is so high that little of the money actually reaches the people or organization(s) for which it is intended. We are able to return a high percentage of the funds raised back to the community with a lot of volunteer help, donations of food and water for rest stops from businesses, and corporate sponsorships.

I don’t have the list of beneficiaries for this year, though I do know that there are about 8-10 different programs supporting individuals and families affected by HI/AIDS in Sacramento and surrounding areas that benefitted from the funds NCAC raised.  There will be a formal presentation of monies probably next month so I will know more then who all the beneficiaries were at that time.

I received a lot of support this year from friends and acquaintances that go back to elementary school days.  I often wonder what it is that motivates individuals to donate.  I know that a couple of my donors have lost brothers to HIV, some have children who are in the high risk groups (young gay men), and others, like me, have a family member living with HIV. And then there are those who work day in and day out with HIV/AIDS patients at work.  I thanked one of my largest donors for his support, and he said “I will always support you – because I know it is important to you – it’s personal”.  It doesn’t really matter the specifics about why you donate, what matters is that all of you who chose to make a donation care and want to make a difference.

Taking that extra step and writing a check, or going to the website to make a donation, you have become a part of the change.  The change to put an end to HIV/AIDS.  HIV is preventable, and we can put a stop to the increasing number of new cases each year by getting tested and encouraging everyone we know – our children, our parents, our grandparents and friends to also get tested.  At this time 20% of those who are infected do not even know they are infected.  There are also many who are infected and not receiving the care and treatment they should be due to lack of funding and resources available.  Knowing your status is important as early intervention and treatment give you a better chance of living a long healthy life with the virus under control. Medications these days are powerful and can bring viral loads down to undetectable in a fairly short time IF medications are available and taken as prescribed.

I am fighting this battle and will keep on fighting until there is no longer a need to fight.  Those of you that have donated to me or others through NCAC have joined in that fight as well.  You have made a difference in someone’s life and you will never know who it is or how it happened, AND I can tell you that to that person, you are their hero!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart and………………let’s do this again next year!!!!!




It’s been over 6 months since my brother’s death and I have returned to work.  The awful anxiety I felt 3 months ago just driving by the hospital, has been replaced by a normal nervousness one would expect after being away from an ever changing job environment for so long.  I spent my first day doing all the necessary paperwork to get back into action, and reactivated all my accounts that went dormant when I did last December.  The hardest part was the new passwords that replaced the ones that rolled off my fingers so easily after 12 and a half years in use.  Parking pass was obtained, benefits paid, TB test applied, schedule checked, and I was ready for patient care on Day 2.

I worked with a preceptor, or mentor if you will, on my first two days of patient care.  It’s always a humbling experience for me when I am the one asking the questions instead of the one giving the answers.  As a Clinical Resource Nurse on the unit, one of my responsibilities is orienting the newly hired nurses.  I took only 2 of the 4 patients the first day (3 of 4 on the second day) in order to reacquaint myself with the barcode machine for medication administration, the electronic medical record for documentation, and changes to the daily unit routine.  Having been a nurse for almost 30 years, the routine patient care was not difficult.  I entered the room and introduced myself and went on automatic pilot.  The new technology, however, was more of a challenge.  Passwords I set my first day (only 2 days prior) were already forgotten, and I had to make calls to the “help” desk to reset them once again.  The first time I had to type my new password into the barcode machine it was clear that I would be changing that password!  It was much to complicated to be typing in each and every time I gave medication in a 12 hours shift!!!  The importance of keeping it simple was quite obvious at that point!

Barcode scanning of medication had been in place for some time before I went out in December, though I was not by any means efficient, or proficient, with it’s use.  Each time I gave medication I would scan my badge, type in my password, pull the medications out of the pyxis, scan each med and put it in the cup, go to the bedside, scan the patient’s ID band, open the medications and review each with the patient, hand her a glass of water and finally give her the cup of pills to take.  And wouldn’t you know it?  The first patient of the day had 12 different medication labels to scan on her first round of medication!

At times I found myself doing things as if I had never been gone, and other times I’d find myself staring blankly at a machine or screen and wondering to myself “now what?”  Having Brenda there to reprogram me at those times was invaluable.  I worked two days with Brenda and was to be on my own the next day.  That shift didn’t happen the next day.  Maybe I willI share with you why it didn’t happen then in a later blog post. 🙂

Now here it is Saturday night, a week after my last assisted shift, and I am facing my first day with a full patient load tomorrow morning.  I am as ready as I am going to be so bring it on I say!  I work with a wonderful group of nurses who have been very supportive, and I know that I will be able to go to anyone of them tomorrow with questions that arise.  I do not feel nervous, and I am sure I will sleep well (though maybe not enough as 0430 rise and shine comes early!).   I think if I just don’t think about things too much they will come back to me again.  It’s like riding a bike right?

Ever Wonder…….?


Ever wonder if the universe was attempting to tell you something?  Last Sunday  (June 2nd) was America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride (AMBBR) – a 72 mile ride around Lake Tahoe.  It is a very popular ride and people come from all over the US to ride around the lake.  I wanted to do the ride last year and had to find a registration on Craigslist as it was already sold out.  Days before the ride, I put Rosie out of commission by attempting to enter the garage with her perched atop my car and bent her front wheel.  Since I had paid a good amount for the registration, I made a trip up to Tahoe the day before the ride and was able to sell it for less than regular price, and more than I had paid for it. Score!  I surmised the universe was telling me I was not supposed to do the ride last year, and made a pledge to myself that I would register early and do the ride this year.

This year, I registered many months in advance to assure a place as one of the 3,500 riders to enjoy this supported ride around one of California’s greatest treasures.  I made a reservation at a South Lake Tahoe timeshare in Zephyr Cove, and planned to arrive 3 nights ahead of the ride to, at least psychologically, acclimate to the higher altitude.  My sister Linda and husband Sam were to join me as Linda had never been to Lake Tahoe.  I know, hard to believe!  Born and raised in California and had never made a trip to Tahoe.  When they had to cancel, I called my friend Kathy to see if she wanted to come.  Having been in a wheelchair or non weight bearing on crutches for over 21/2 months, she was more than eager to “get outta Dodge!”

Everything was falling into place nicely until I took Rosie (for any new readers, Rosie is my bike) in to the shop to figure out why my shifting was stiff and skipping when I changed gears.  It was a sad day when I had to leave her in the shop and she wouldn’t be ready for the Tahoe ride :(. So what was a girl to do?  I went home, pulled my Silver Bullet out from retirement, and took her to a shop that could see her right away for a tune-up and safety check.  She was my triathlon bike years ago and hadn’t been ridden in years.  I had put new tires on her not long ago so that Peter could ride her, and that was about all that had been done in years.

On Thursday afternoon, Kathy and I and Silver Bullet, loaded up and headed to Tahoe for a long weekend.  We arrived at Zephyr Cove to check in, only to find out I had no reservation until the next night – Friday to Monday, not Thursday to Sunday as I thought.  The question again came up “so what’s a girl to do?”.   Even with all the people in town, we were able to get a hotel room at one of the casinos and all was well.  The weather was beautiful and I would take Silver Bullet out for a test spin in the morning.

Uh oh!  My girl had a flat tire.   A new rim liner had been placed to prevent flats as she had a flat from one of the spokes when I took her in.  That was easily remedied with a new rim liner, though I found a screw on the ground under her in the condo and didn’t know where it went.  I didn’t feel comfortable riding her as I wasn’t sure what was “loose”.  At this point I wasn’t sure what to do.  I put out a Facebook plea asking if anyone would lend me their bike for the Sunday Ride. That’s like asking someone to borrow their first born for a day.  Almost immediately, I had a response from my friend Melissa offering up her bike, Kermit.  And the best part was, she was coming to Tahoe for the day on Saturday and could deliver him to me!  Another obstacle overcome.

It turned out that Kermit fit me very well and I could ride him without making any adjustments.  What are the chances?  Several obstacles had popped up in preparation for this ride, and I began to wonder if my higher power was giving me a message that I wasn’t supposed to ride!   However, since there had been a solution for each obstacle that came up, I took that as a good sign, and Sunday morning at 0700 I began the ride!

The day was beautiful!  It was sunny and clear with morning temperatures in the low 40’s at the start.  For warmth, I opted to wear a bright florescent green wind vest and arm warmers and tolerate the chilly morning, as temperatures were to climb into the upper 70’s.  I knew I could shed layers along the way if need be.  By the time I was part way up the climb to Emerald Bay, you can see in the picture, I had already pulled my arms warmers down.  We started at the Casinos and road counter clockwise around the lake so the Emerald Bay climb was within the first 10 miles.  Temperatures were already rising as the sun rose higher in the sky. The entire ride had stunning views of the Sierras and the lake.  I wish I had had a video cam on my helmet to show everyone what I saw.  I guess any one of you could have driven around the lake that day and seen the same thing.  Though somehow, moving at the speed of bicycle,  I think I would have appreciated it more 🙂


Happy Birthday Bro

VIC dressed up

Today would be my brother Vic’s 53rd birthday.  My heart is heavy today thinking about him.  The whole family has had him in mind last week as we approached this day as it is his first birthday since he died last December.  We have all been wondering what can we do to acknowledge and celebrate him today.  My younger nephew Luke grew an “Uncle Vic” mustache in his honor. Linda and Sam (my sister and brother-in-law) and my nephew Peter and I are having a special dinner and birthday dessert for him.  The menu is barbecued steak, corn on the cob, salad and a Boston Cream Pie for dessert.  A dinner he would have requested if he was here to make that request – at least the first part.  Dessert we picked because it is my favorite and we all like it :).   We will probably sing happy birthday, and I am sure I will cry.  It has been said that the “firsts” after someone passes away are always the hardest – the first Christmas, first birthday, and so on.  I can truly say that the first Christmas was very hard as it was all so new.  Today has not unfolded yet so I am not sure what to expect.  I think about him and miss him just about everyday, and today is different – this would be HIS day, and I am sad that he is not here to celebrate it with us.  Who loves you bro?

Metaphor for Life

Sunset on Maui

There are things in nature that seem to serve as a metaphor for my life.  My history with relationships has not been stellar.  I have had relationships, though none of the long lasting marriage type.  Since I have been the common denominator in those relationships, I am faced with looking at myself and determining what it is that stands in the way of letting a true love develop.  Why am I afraid to jump in with both feet and “trust the process”?

The ocean has been a metaphor for my life as I wrote this poem many, many years ago.

The wave rolls up to the shore – licking, kissing, caressing the warm sand, and pulling away again before things become too intimate.

All day long it goes on – the ocean taunting and teasing the shoreline –

Reaching out to touch and hold, and always pulling away before a true love can develop.


Today and tomorrow the Supreme Court will hear cases and make a determination about marriage equality for all.  I don’t understand what the big deal is.  I mean, love is love isn’t it?  If two people love each other they should be able to marry if they choose to.  It’s as simple as that.