My Brother Tommy On His 43rd Birthday..Stop Growing Up So Fast

I have been hearing about August 11th 2013 from my younger brother Tommy since August 12th 2012.

That was the day after his 42nd birthday. Yep, Tommy loves his birthdays not only because he is the center of attention (not that he isn’t the other 364 days of the year) but because the attention comes from so many people who know and love him..

I wrote a bit about him on his 41st birthday and you can find that blog post here…


Plus, take three minutes and give a listen to Tommy at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. As you will find out, the music of Barry Manilow has meant so much to him as he has grown and dealt with all his life issues. We went to Williamsburg in 1991 and he wanted to do the Karaoke Studio that was there. He picked this Barry Manilow song, sang it totally from memory and frankly, knocked it the hell out of the park. This is personally so amazing and beautiful to me…

Tommy Hickman singing I MADE IT THROUGH THE RAIN by Barry Manilow

And if you are so inclined, you can wish him a Happy Birthday on his Facebook page here…


He will be paying more attention to his Facebook page since we bought him his own Samsung Galaxy Tab3 Tablet. He won’t have to wait for a computer any longer and he definitely won’t wait.

Tommy means so much to me. He is both my brother and my joy. He is the reason that I laugh, cry, get mad, get glad, worry, smile, celebrate, dance, laugh, and love. He has been through so much in his life, so many medical issues that have affected his development and almost took him away from us. So much challenge and yet all he gives back is love.

Instead of gushing on, I’m just going to post some of my favorite pictures of him. Indulge me as I shed a happy tear watching my forever brother grow up.


Tommy at about 1 year old, I am about 15 and my sister Julie (who still wears that coat) is about 7. You have to love my fine hair and my fine loud shirt.

There is more to read. Just click here.

PULMONARY: The Heat Was/Is On

Note: Links to previous posts about my pulmonary issues are at the end of this blog post.

Allow me to be heat-grumpy for a few paragraphs. When I am done and you have enjoyed it all, you can surf off to TMZ to get the real lowdown about Tom and Katie splitting up.

There are certain universal things that you will find when you are on social media on a day like today. Among them, you know that people will moan about getting up for work, about the indignities of the work day, about traffic, about co-workers, about bosses, about the double grande fou fou coffee they had to wait for in line that morning. These are time tested and time worn complaints, they occur every day, and guess what, they are part of the work experience.

People will also complain about the weather. Surprise, weather happens everyday. Tomorrow, there will be weather. The next day there will be weather. Whether you like today’s weather or now.

Last week for the first time this summer, the Philly area had its first heat wave. Three (count them) three days with temperatures over 90 degrees and high humidty. This ended with a deluge of rain Friday night that annoyed Cliff Lee of the Philadelphia Phillies. Yes, twitter was filled with personal accounts of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA style perseverance in the face of three (count them) three days of high temperatures. True, Twitter is made for outrageous poetic license when discussing a subject, but sometimes, it is awe inspiring.

Now, Philadelphia about to go all dramatic equatorial again.

I bring up these two items to tie them into my pulmonary update. You see, the heat that you have to slog through is different in one major respect from the heat that I have to slog through. Mainly, you get to slog through it. Yes, you will sweat and be cranky and be uncomfortable and be cranky (yeah, I said cranky twice). However, you will have that opportunity to be cranky.

Pulmonary patients know that every weathercast about high heat will include both ozone advisories as well as the warning that those with respiratory issues should stay indoors. Well, that now includes me.

I used to hate the hot weather, but for very different reasons. I was hot, I was sweaty, I was uncomfortable. Except I did not have Twitter to bitchtweet about it. I had my co-workers, my friends and my family. I loved the cold weather, also loved the chill.

Now, with my interstitial lung disease, the words that every weatherperson says when the heat is high (PEOPLE WITH RESPIRATORY PROBLEMS SHOULD STAY INSIDE) become a depressing refrain. Mainly because they are true. Now, the weatherpeople also tell you to check in with people with respiratory problems to make sure they are comfortable. If you really want to make me comfortable, send me off to a luxury hotel in Hawaii.

There is more to read. Just click here.

What I’m Reading: Marshall Connors Series

Dead Ball Series by Allen Schatz

While I hope that I have written blog posts here that have been interesting, informative, silly, smile-inducing, heart-warming, or just plain scathingly brilliant, I have been so busy focusing on certain aspects of my current medical issues that I feel the need every so often to let you know that I do use my time wisely, or at least I use my time.

One activity that I now have time for is reading. I have some books that I brought with me to my new home at my sisters but I had to be prudent in what I brought since space here is at a premium. So, a good angel of a friend, one who is from my Dunder Mifflin days, held a friendly raffle for her older KINDLE when she bought a new one. And guess who won!!!

So, I get to read, though since I have to budget, I either read a hella lotta public domain (love Dickens) or pick and choose some “out of the ordinary” books.

One of those series that I’ve been reading is in the banner piccy above. Go ahead and click it. It won’t bite. Instead it will entertain and make you appreciate the only good umpire in the major leagues.

That would be Marshall Connors. You see, while Marshall is working the World Series between my beloved Philadelphia Phillies and the Tampa Bay Rays ( boooooo! ), he connects with people from his past that involve him in a mystery that can destroy a lot of people, Marshall among them.


You should read the books. That is why Allen wrote them. Then you might think twice before you boo an umpire again, except for “Cowboy” Joe West and CJ Buckner. They deserve any boos you can ever bellow.

Check them out and tell Marshall I sent you. It won’t get you crap but I like to have people throw my name around.