Posts Tagged ‘life’

Top Ten Reasons

Posted: March 31, 2011 in Mothers Against Drunk Driving
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10)     Changing Seasons, from falling leaves, blankets of snow, spring showers and glowing sun rays

9)       Grocery Shopping, my favorite week-end past time always knowing that the aisles are full of new items we never saw as kids growing up in the 1970’s

8)       The Telephone, staying connected with friends and family by talking and listening and  always making plans what an invention – Thank you Mr. Bell!

7)         Paper, love paper, making paper, writing on paper, notebooks, stationary,  sticky notes – gotta love 3 M

6)       The Kitchen, I know but it is true the kitchen is my personal sanctuary where  music brims, coffee simmers and real work does get done!

5)       Laughter, it comes in so many forms from a chuckle to a smile to a full belly laugh that  brings tears to your eyes. Even the laughter of others as you pass by the play ground, a coffee-house or the neighbors visiting in the yard

4)       Kid’s Birthday’s, love watching the little tykes eat cake, watching eyes light up with the perfect gift and getting my exercise chasing them all!

3)       Passion for life, knowing that a new friend is just around the bend  and that the friends in my life are there for me, support my passion and always lend me their shoulder.

2)      Home, there really is no place like home and my heart is always planted deeply in my home (including house, city and state)

1)       Family, a million thanks to my family for standing by me, being the love of my life  and for their never-ending forgiveness when I take them for granted. Barbara Bush said it best “ To us, family  means putting your arms around each other and being there”.  

Well there you go!  My top ten reasons I am glad people make the choice not to drink and drive.  We all want to live to see another day and not have the joys of life snatched from us.  I know that these are many of the reasons victim families are impacted by drunk driving. None of us want to rearrange our “Top Ten” because of an alcohol-related crash.

Thank you to all that always makes the right choice. Never drink and drive and hold your family close!


I am reminded once again how fleeting time is and how important it is to stay connected.  This last weekend two of us here in the MADD State Office had an extended family member fall down and end up in the hospital.  For me, it took the hospital some time to track us down to let us know a family member took a fall, was picked up by an ambulance and taken to the hospital. 

Almost all of us carry around cell phones and that cell phone can be a solid resource for professionals who need to contact us and let us know something has gone wrong, there has been an injury or worse yet a fatality.

After reading this, I implore each of you to open up your cell phone and add ICE to your contacts.  If something should happen to you where do you want that first phone call to go?  Law Enforcement and EMT professionals have assured me that ICE is a valuable tool. It allows emergency professionals to identify who they need to contact when someone you care about has taken a fall, become injured or in a motor vehicle crash.  It only takes a few minutes to add ICE to your contacts and it will mean a lot to your family and  to you.

At times it is important to be proactive.  If it can happen to me it can happen to you.  I don’t want 10 hours to pass by before the hospital notifies me that my family is there – do you?  Please take time to pass this on to those you love and make sure we get the message out ICE can make the difference and that is a cold hard fact.

Don’t let another day slip by!

Changing of the Seasons

Cyndee McCarthy, MADD Victim Advocate

 Changing of the seasons reminds those of us, impacted by the crime of drunk driving, of things we sometimes wish we could forget.  Good times: an afternoon spent at the fireplace during the last snow in March, sitting at the table and coloring Easter Eggs, young adults running in and out of the stores looking for their Prom attire, and special dates such as Mothers Day and Fathers Day will hold a new meaning. No matter how different we feel time still goes by and emotions seem to change along with the seasons. 

 As a MADD Victim Service Advocate, my advice is to stay focused on what is important through  every season.  Remember to take care of yourself. Below are just a few steps that may help you get through the seasons. 

 Survive One Hour at a Time.

The pain that devours you is so overwhelming that everything you do to manage your survival has to be broken down into tiny, manageable increments. Before you know it, a whole day has gone by and you have managed to survive.

 Survive One Day at a Time.

Begin to live one day at a time, accepting the loving comfort that family and friends are so willing to give, but know that some down time of quiet solitude is also important. At the end of each day somehow you managed to drift off into sleep, and the next day would come, even if you didn’t necessarily welcome it.

 Take Care of Yourself.

You are no longer the person you used to be. It’s like having a stroke and you have to learn to walk and talk again, except in this case, you may remember to walk and talk, but you don’t know how to eat, sleep, dream, or love. You may not even remember how to care for yourself or for anyone else. All of these have to be learned again. In essence, you begin to reinvent yourself. Just do something for you! And don’t feel guilty about being selfish about it. You can’t do anything for others if you don’t take care of yourself first.

Have Faith.

“Be the Miracle”. We each can be a miracle no matter what situation we may find ourselves in. Again, believe it to be true for you and it will be. How will you know if it works if you haven’t tried it?

 Keep Yourself Busy.

Find something to do to keep yourself occupied so that you aren’t so caught up in that cycle of loneliness and despair. Try to occupy your own time and mind with something that will make you feel useful. We can always talk to ourselves if there is no one else to talk to.

Keep a Journal.

This will help to alter a negative into a positive. Even if writing has never been one of your hobbies, you must realize that what you are experiencing is incredibly unique. The important thing to say here is this: I keep writing about what I am experiencing so I won’t have to hold it all in.

 Give Yourself Permission to Grieve.

Despite what other people need or expect of you. Realizing that other people can’t fathom your pain, it is yours and yours alone.

  Give of Yourself and Connect to Others Who Hurt.

Do volunteer work, plunge into a project in which you comfort others, and/or allow your love to manifest itself in doing positive, creative things that can enrich other peoples’ lives. The best way to cope with pain and sorrow is to console another.

 Article by Roe Ziccarello of Sound Feelings Publishing

 Here at MADD we work to “Help Survivors Survive” If you have been impacted by a drunk driving crash contact us here at MADD Nebraska:  If you need immediate assistance please call our crisis line: 1-877-MADD HELP

I am going to depart a bit from our mission to share with you the importance of taking time out for yourself and those whom you love.  Often at work, not just at MADD either, many of us get sooo darn busy we forget to hear the sounds of life that are sprinkled all around us. 

Trust me, I have learned from others that spending time on yourself, even if it seems indulgent, is important.  Equally important is spending time with family, friends and neighbors.  Our sense of community is what keeps us grounded as work takes a toll, kids keep us on our toes and another telemarketer calls!

I am lucky enough to spend a few days with my great nieces and we are going to Oceans of Fun. I have never been there – can you believe it? There is nothing so uplifting as the chuckle of a youngster – just being around them rejuvenates me and reminds me of why the work I do IS so dang important.  The next generation.

Happy Birthday Girls!

Happy Birthday Girls!

So I am off to Celebrate Birthdays in a BIG way with the next generation.  Next week my mom will celebrate her 78th birthday and it is extra special as she survived a drunk driving crash two years ago and now my parents are here in Lincoln with me.  A special comfort to know I can see them daily!  Life is precious take a day off for yourself…………..

The grand essentials for happiness are: somethng to do, somehing to love and something to hope for.   ALLAN K. CHALMERS

Simera Reynolds, M.Ed.

MADD Nebraska is most fortunate to have our First Lady, Sally Ganem, on the MADD National Board and as a member-at-large on our Nebraska MADD State Operations Council. 

National Board Member, Sally Ganem

National Board Member, Sally Ganem

The First Lady is so committed to the prong of our mission dealing with underage drinking.  I imagine having been a Principal for many years is the driving force.  What ever is her driving force, I have wittnessed first hand  her dedicated  committement to prevent underage drinking.  I want to personally thank Sally Ganem for her commitment to travel the state to talk at Town Hall meetings and for meeting with community coalitions in order to better educate the public about how our teens die (monthly) in alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes.

Nebraska was fortunate to have had the Surgeon General in our state to talk about the 2007 “Call To Action”.

It should come as no small surprise that Sally Ganem was front and center in that arrangement.  Her valuable expertise was used then and will be continually used for the next three years at the national level.

MADD Nebraska is proud to have our First Lady, Sally Ganem, on the MADD National Board providing leadership and passion about our mission: To stop drunk driving, support victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking.


Simera Reynolds, M.Ed

State Executive Director