1. I’ll get this one out of the way first. I’ve been married four times! Yep four. The first and longest was to the father of my incredible children, Tim, Gordon, and Katy. The second probably should never have happened and yet it allowed me to raise my two beautiful step-daughters, Jenna and Susie. The third was a huge mistake and yet I was blessed with two grown step-sons, Eric and Skip, both of whom have since died, Eric in a motorcycle accident and Skip by taking his own life. The fourth marriage was to a wonderful man, Larry, probably the only person who ever really loved me just for who I am. He had cancer before we met and we had nearly five wonderful years together before he died just three weeks before our third anniversary. Larry made me believe that I can be lovable – who knew?
2. I’m a Gold Star mother. My sweet Tim, a corporal in the Marine Corps, was killed in a helicopter collision over the Gulf of Oman during Operation Desert Shield on October 8, 1990. Nearly 22 years now. The anniversary of his death is coming soon and this is always a difficult time of year for me. I’ll probably blog more about it on the day, but for now it’s enough to know that having had the privilege of being Tim’s mother is one of the sweetest gifts of my life.
3. I’m the very proud Nana of four: Ethan 18 (YIKES!! Really???), Bonnie 14, Jacob 8, and Zachary 7. They say that having a child is like wearing your heart outside of your body and I can say the same for having grandchildren. They delight me beyond all measure!
4. I’ve suffered all my life with chronic depression, with sometimes episodes of major depression. It’s an ongoing struggle but in some ways seems to be getting better with getting older. Who woulda thought?
5. I made up my last name! After my third divorce I didn’t want to carry his name or the names of any of my ex’s and not my maiden name either. I was having a hard time trying to figure out what name to use when my daughter Jenna came up with the brilliant name of TIERSON! The “Ti” is for Tim, the “er” for Eric, and the “son” because they were. I had a bit of concern at first about the two T’s (Tina Tierson) but then I thought of one of my idols, Tina Turner – it works for her! I had it changed legally and it SO works for me. This is the name I will always carry, with Tim and Eric along always. Tina Tierson is the person I was meant to be.
6. I’ve always struggled with my weight. Up and down, round and round. It’s still a problem (I’m “up” just now), but my reasons now for wanting to lose weight are more for health than anything else and I think that change in thought may be somewhat helpful.
7. I HATE exercise!! I know, I know, it’s an absolute must, but if I had my druthers I’d just rather spend my time curled up with a good book in front of a fire at the beach! I am walking a bit more now and, although I don’t like admitting it, it does make me feel better and does seem to help with depression. (Just because those who have always told me so are right doesn’t mean I have to like it!)
8. Like someone else some of us know, I really hate shaving my legs!
9. I love my kitty Atticus very, very much and will always have a kitty, but I couldn’t exist without a dog!! My Molly is getting up there and I dread the time when she’ll no longer be here. So I appreciate each precious silly and loving moment with her. No matter what happens in one’s life, no matter how fat and ugly you think you are, a dog will never look at you with anything but total unconditional love. A person can learn a lot from a dog.
10. Ever since the Viet Nam war I’ve been a peace activist. I protested the war my Tim was in (in his last letter to me he said to go for it. He said, “You wouldn’t be my mom if you didn’t!”) Before the Iraq war started and afterwards I spoke at rallies, high schools, and other functions. I am passionate about peace and justice, but the big surprise to me was to discover how much I like speaking.