18 years

*This site is monetized. Any links in this post are likely to be affiliates.
I posted this last year and the year before at this time. I’m re-posting it. I will always repost it every year at this time…
I know what today is. I know what it means to our country. I remember every detail of 2001 in vivid detail…but since before 2001, this date has been difficult for me, for my family…in 1996 my family’s core was lost, the heart of us…my grandfather…so my post on 9/11 is for him. Oh, and at surface glance I hate this picture of me, but then I see the pure joy on my face dancing with my grandfather and aesthetics be damned, it’s my favorite picture. 


It was his birthday.

I was about four years old, and a very short kid…and he was TALL.

I remember standing by as he put our coats in the closet. I leaned my head way back to stare up, up, up at him and asked, “How tall are you?” With his sparkling eyes and laugh he informed me that he was over 6′. My eyes grew wide, and all I could say was, “But you’re so close to the ceiling! If you have ANY more birthdays you’ll go right through!”

His chair sat by the front door and the minute he sat the race was on – who would get the privilege of sitting on his lap, carrying on as deep a conversation as a child was capable of? Who would get to play with his round pot belly, and listen to his laughter?

He worked for GM and he was proud of it, and so were we.

When I close my eyes I can still smell his pipe and see the pipe carousel on his dresser. I can smell the cigarettes that he and grandma smoked.

I remember that after he retired he would watch soap operas during lunch.

And I remember the weddings – when my cousin and I would trade off and share him for the dance. “Grampa” by the Judds.

I remember his smile.

I remember his belly.

I remember the strength that he always carried in his soul and body.

I remember the pain that shot through my heart at the word…”cancer”. Once it was uttered it was less than a year. 10 months.

I remember the first time I saw him in the hospital-and how I had to run from the room because it made me physically ill to see my big strong grandfather lying in a bed weak and hooked up to tubes.

I remember his fight.

I remember when it was acknowledged in our hearts that the time to fight was over.

I remember how he held on – hours past when we thought we would lose him – because he would not let go until he’d gotten to hear the good-bye of all of his grandchildren, and my brother had been in surgery for a shattered wrist around the world in Japan. Half an hour after the final phone call, Grampa was gone.

I remember the sound of the tennis balls scattering across the hallway when my professor’s assistant walked up asking if she knew where I was…and all I could do was run to my car to get home as soon as I could.

From there it’s a blur…a long car ride from NC to NY. The arrangements. The funeral home. The droves of people I didn’t know, but who all knew him, overflowing the room.

The pain has lessened, resorted to a memory. For the most part I remember the love, the good things, the joy. But on this day every year the pain comes back to the forefront.

The pain seems so much stronger now that Grandma has gone to join him.

Refreshed and renewed now, they are together forever, but they will always be here in our hearts.

We love you still, and will always love you, Grampa.

by Sarah Cass

Multi-published author. Mom of 3 special needs kids. Wife to 1 good man.
Redefining Perfect every day.

The Destructo Duo

*This site is monetized. Any links in this post are likely to be affiliates.

Once upon a time I would explain it away.

“Ones a sensory seeker…”

of course…

“Well she’s just egging on her sister to get her in trouble.”

Then again…

“She knows it’s wrong and does it anyway.”

I think Erik would be happy if I just faced facts…

destructoThese two would be best known as “The Destructo Duo”.

No matter the toy…

The book…

The bed…

Whether they love it like no other…

Or could care less…

Whether it’s theirs…

Or ours…

Or something as old as myself that has stood the test of time…

They break it.

We’ve tried everything to curb the habit.




Nothing seems to work.

My Barbies? Lasted for twenty years until I gave them up thinking I’d not have any girls (oops).

Theirs?  We’ve lost 2 to beheading’s, 4 to lost limbs, and 2 to horrifying hair situations.

The Monster High dolls are a blessing because they separate, but go back together easily.

Toys I grew up with that made it through me, and then Denver…now long gone because they weren’t spared the wrath of the crazies.

We just don’t know what to do anymore.

I’d hoped it would get better as they’ve aged…and in some ways it has.

Books are a little more cared for now.

I guess I should be happy for that battle won…

Maybe I will be…

At least until I find the next beheaded Barbie.


Any tips on curbing the destruction? I’m out of ideas. Yes, they share a room. No, there is NO hope for a playroom. TINY house, lots of people…we make do with what we’ve got.

by Sarah Cass

Multi-published author. Mom of 3 special needs kids. Wife to 1 good man.
Redefining Perfect every day.

Top Ten Tuesday – Favorite Musicals

*This site is monetized. Any links in this post are likely to be affiliates.

I am an unashamed theater geek. I’ve done community theater, auditioned for Disney & a Broadway tour, and I’ve went to see many shows on Broadway and right here in Indy when they’ve come through on tour.

I am even an official “Twittic” for Broadway in Indy.

Copy of Top 10 Favorite MusicalsI LOVE musicals.

To the depths of my soul.

Of course I have my favorites.

(And a few I’m “eh” about).

Narrowing the list down isn’t easy, but I’m going to try. Some of these I have not seen, some I have. I’m going to just mix it up. :)

So, off we go to my top ten favorite musicals (numbers are reversed b/c numerated lists go 1-10 instead of 10-1. So my fav fav fav is 10…just sayin’.)

  1. Memphis. To be honest, I have Broadway in Indy to thank for my love of this show. I had never even heard of it before I got to go as my first Twittic assignment. The music, the dancing, the characters were all amazing. Even my husband was almost dancing in his seat (& Erik doesn’t do that…like, ever).
  2. A Chorus Line. As a dancer, of course. I also remember the day my dad, trying to discourage me from a career in the arts, told me to watch it to see what it was really like out there…I think that backfired a bit. Granted, I didn’t end up a starving artist in NYC…but it certainly discouraged me from nothing. I still live a life of rejection (just in writing instead of theater ;) )
  3. Phantom of the Opera. Yes, the show is good, but in all honesty it’s the nostalgia of it. For years my dad and I would go see this one every time it came in town. My mom hates it, so I always go to go. Every time.
  4. Rock of Ages. My 80’s hair band loving heart has to mention it. I have not (and will not) watch the movie because, well…TOM CRUISE MAKES ME HURL…but otherwise, love my sound track and would love to see it live, like ASAP.
  5. You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. I have decided I was destined to play Lucy…too bad no one around here is doing this show. I would give my right arm to be in this one. Love the music, love the whole story. I listen to it (& sing at the top of my lungs to it) in my car frequently when I actually drive.
  6. Avenue Q. Sesame Street on crack. I mean, seriously. Laugh out loud funny. LOVE this crass and crazy show to pieces and then some.
  7. The Lion King. Holy crap did this one take my breath away. The spectacle and beauty of the costumes and puppetry. It’s true magic.
  8. Wicked. ‘Nuff said.
  9. Aida. I saw it with Mickey Dolenz in the cast. I mean, I had an honest-to-god “HOLY CRAP IT’S A MONKEE” moment when he came on stage.  But I’m digressing. The musical itself is beautiful, the story line ages old, and the update they gave it for stage was spot on and so much fun. Amneris won my heart more than the H/h. I would love to see it again some day.
  10. Cats. I remember the first time I saw the show, vividly. We were living in Buffalo, it was the first ever national tour. Mungojerrie & Rumpleteazer still wore their clown costumes during their number (you have to be a fan to know what I mean). During Memory – I remember quite like it was yesterday – Grizabella walked down the aisle as she sang…and me on my aisle seat was mesmerized as she past right by me. The dancing, the songs, the costumes. I was in love…at a very young age.  Then, I went to see it again in my 20’s with my mother and that was the beginning of the end. I saw it 12 times on Broadway before it closed, I met the actors, danced with Tugger and walked on the infamous stage of the Winter Garden. I’ve sat front row and been teased by cats, I’ve sat front row mez & watched the actors crawl along that narrow ledge, I’ve sat in the on-stage seats and had an actor scare the crap out of me by pouncing me from behind…and yes, I’ve even gone in costume & have the pictures to prove it. I had the dances memorized (still do in some parts)…and the songs, of course. I can tell you which version of which song from which country is best.  Yes. Cats IS that much my favorite musical (much to my husband’s chagrin).

I could go on, but I won’t…because I said ten and ten is ten. :)

There are the musicals I’ve been in – Side Show (Love it, heard it’s being reimagined & am eager to see the results), The King & I (eh…I got gypped out of the lead by politics & it sort of sucks if you aren’t 1 of 3 characters), Two by Two (oh yes, yes…so much fun even though I had to sing the most difficult song ever a cappella)….and the hilarious show Sugar Babies (The Burlesque Musical…where I got to do a belly dance, oh yeah.).

All of those musicals hold a dear place in my heart…although they didn’t make my top ten, they are so worth the mention. I had a blast in community theater. It was an amazing year. :)


by Sarah Cass

Multi-published author. Mom of 3 special needs kids. Wife to 1 good man.
Redefining Perfect every day.