Archives For easter

Granny has a whisker on her chin.

It sticks straight out just like a pin.

It poked me in the eye

When I gave her a kiss,

so I gave it a yank.

I couldn’t resist.

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Though he knew he shouldn’t
Off the path he veered
He prayed he would be safe
From all the beasts he feared
Slowly he hopped, the lonely trail
It wasn’t long he was pulled by the tail
The Wolf was big and he was mean
The biggest fangs you’ve ever seen

Craving Life  Nov 7, 2009

This morning I found the articles below about a beautiful woman, Jen Merendino and her husband, Angelo.  Their story begins with Jen, newlywed of only 5 months, being diagnosed with advanced breast cancer. Like myself, they decided to document their story from the time of diagnosis until they reached the end of their journey Notice I do not refer to “her” journey. You see, Angelo shares Jen’s cancer as he helplessly walks this journey along with her.  It is terminal. It is ongoing.

A few weeks ago, I decided to relive the beginning of my journey.  I have traced back my steps and intend to dance through those steps all over again. This time around, I will be doing some editing, preparing and organizing in preparation for publishing.  My story continues, however instead of one novel, I believe it will be a series.

Like a story, life has a beginning, a middle and an end.  I am still dancing around the cadence of my story.  My music can be heard within the beauty of nature.  It is in the bird, in the wind, in the rain and in the crackle of a fire.

It is LIFE. I crave LIFE.

Excerpt 1 Dancing With Cancer: 

Together we will dance, much like a puppet on strings.

I wear the mask of cancer.

Many before me have worn this mask.

We are family.

Cancer consumes us.

It is on our minds when we fall asleep.

 It is on our minds when we awake.

Identity is lost.

We change physically.

We change emotionally.

We fight and are courageous

 We cry and lose hope.

Cancer consumes us.

We share the same steps

The same moves

The same agony

Together we will dance, much like a puppet on strings.

I am disabled, due to stage 4 colon cancer. Since my diagnosis, I have self-published 4 poetry books which reflect the emotional ups and downs of the Face of Cancer.

Those with cancer are my family.

Those touched personally by the hand of cancer, are now my family.

We wear the same mask,

We share the same face,

We are consumed,

Cancer is our identity.

My poetry reflects these feelings, my current novel will reflect these feelings as well. We Are The Face of Cancer

Sometimes I truly believe I am dying. I fight depression and cancer on a daily basis. On Dec 9, 2009, I was diagnosed with Colon Cancer. It has spread to 1 lymph node (stage 3) and has gone through a few layers of the colon wall. There are 3 types of colon cancer. Type 1 is the least aggressive; type 3 is the most aggressive. Mine is type 1. Chemotherapy will be Jan 12. I have been told I may not lose my hair. I will most likely feel very ill.

The thought of losing my hair truly does not bother me.

Lose Hair, Win Life …. when you think of it this way ….losing all of your hair really seems insignificant.

My goal is to stay free of cancer for the next 5 years.  Those lucky ones are officially considered to be cured. My surgeon is now my new best friend. I will see him every 3 months for the next 5 years. I will have bloodwork and other tests taken with each visit.

The dance is just beginning:

One morning I awoke with severe abdominal pain. I was currently suffering from a sinus, ear and respiratory infection. I also had the Flu. Thus, I believed the severe stomach cramps were just another horrible symptom. As the days progressed, I gradually recovered from my illness except for the ongoing abdominal pain. Finally, the pain became so bad, I could not stand or sit up. I stayed balled in a fetal position in bed. I went to the emergency room.

Initially, it was believed I was having a gall bladder attack. The pain centered just below my right breast and I had upper abdominal swelling. I was admitted to the hospital to prepare for emergency gall bladder surgery. Blood was drawn, CAT Scans, X-rays and a Cholescintigraphy or HIDA (scan of the gall bladder function) were all given. That evening, all of the test results were in. My gall bladder was in great health.

Puzzled, my surgeon began to ask more questions about my symptoms and family history. The following morning, before discharging from the hospital, I was scheduled to have both an Upper GI Endoscopy, and a lower Colonoscopy. It was rare for my Doctor to do both of the procedures at the same time, but in my case, he felt it was necessary. He explained that my symptoms which included terrible heartburn and diarrhea, made him think I had more than one problem. He felt it best to check my entire digestive system.   

by Renee Robinson

And now on to the  Merindino’s story:          

Your Afternoon Cry: Photographer Hauntingly Documents Late Wife’s Battle With Breast Cancer

 If you only read one wrenching, touching, tear-jerker of a story today, please make it this one.

Five months after New Yorkers Angelo and Jen Merendino were married, Jen was diagnosed with breast cancer. As the next four years of treatment and medications passed, which left then-39-year-old Jen fatigued, in a walker, staying for long stints in the hospital.

With each challenge we grew closer. Words became less important. One night Jen had just been admitted to the hospital, her pain was out of control. She grabbed my arm, her eyes watering, “You have to look in my eyes, that’s the only way I can handle this pain.” We loved each other with every bit of our souls. Jen taught me to love, to listen, to give and to believe in others and myself. I’ve never been as happy as I was during this time.

Angelo, a photographer, began to document her (and their) trials with intimate, powerful shots initially meant for their friends and family. The result is a chronological series of photographs of Jen throughout the course of her illness: laughing, sleeping, grimacing with pain, pushing the painkiller drip, putting on makeup, swimming in the ocean.

My photographs show this daily life. They humanize the face of cancer, on the face of my wife. They show the challenge, difficulty, fear, sadness and loneliness that we faced, that Jennifer faced, as she battled this disease. Most important of all, they show our Love. These photographs do not define us, but they are us.

Jen passed away a year and a half ago of Stage IV breast cancer. If you’re not already crying,this blog post about an alert Jen set on Angelo’s phone for the 22nd of every month, just a short time before she passed away (“Jennifer thinks Angelo is hot!”), should do you in. Fucking devastating. The Battle We Didn’t Choose [My Wife’s Fight With Breast Cancer]  Resource:  Photographer Angelo Merendino

AKRON, Ohio — Jennifer Merendino was an activist until the end. While battling breast cancer, she boldly used the power of blogs and photography to raise awareness about the disease, spur women to get mammograms and sound the alarm about environmental toxins. The 40-year-old Bath Township native died Dec. 22. Having made the decision to halt chemotherapy earlier in December after her condition worsened, she passed away in the peace of her New York City home, encircled by her husband, parents and relatives. The funeral is 11 a.m. Thursday at Blessed Trinity Church, 300 E. Tallmadge Ave., Akron. “Jennifer had a pretty raw deal handed to her. Until the end, she was graceful and positive and she just handled something really horrible in a beautiful and strong and encouraging way,” said her husband, Angelo, a photographer who detailed her daily struggles in stark black-and-white pictures. “She taught people. Throughout the whole thing, she shared her experience. She could have very easily been angry and turned inward, but she didn’t.” Some photos from his collection ( were featured in The Plain Dealer last month and were also displayed at an exhibition at 78th Street Studio in Ohio City. Gallery owner Daniel Bush said the photographs helped draw a crowd of more than 1,000 on opening night, including many who drove in from Akron. Although it wasn’t the type of fame anyone would choose for themselves, Merendino didn’t shy away from the spotlight after her cancer diagnosis. She blogged frequently at until last month, when her health began to fail. Five months ago, she posted a solemn video of herself on YouTube. With a bald head and wearing a black strapless top, she talked plainly about her tumors, treatments and the close relationships that made the pain more bearable. “This journey, although very difficult — beyond difficult — is just one that I wanted to share with you,” Merendino concluded while gazing into the camera. “Maybe share it with somebody that you love, to help them. And that’s my wish. Thank you.” She was the daughter of Camille and Larry Wise of North Ridgeville. A 1990 graduate of Revere High School in Summit County, she met her husband, who hails from Akron, in 2005. The couple lived in New York City. Five months after their 2007 wedding in Central Park, she received her breast cancer diagnosis. During her nearly four-year battle against the disease, Merendino researched environmental causes of cancers and even helped introduce eco-friendly changes at her workplace, Kiehl’s Cosmetics, and its parent company, L’Oreal, family members said. Her final weeks were happy, with relatives and friends arriving from out of town to say goodbye, her husband said. Also during that time, two women posted on a Facebook page that ‘Merendino’s story moved them to schedule their first mammograms. “It happened before she passed and I was able to tell her,” Angelo Merendino said. “As sad as it was, there were moments of great happiness and love, and I know that’s what Jennifer wanted.” Contributions may be made to the Jennifer Merendino Memorial Cancer Foundation at FirstMerit Bank to aid people with cancer. Arrangements are by Hennessy Funeral Home, Akron. Resource: Related topics: 78th street galleryangelo merendinobreast cancerdaniel bushjennifer merendino

Lily Tradition

Nae's Nest —  April 8, 2012 — 1 Comment
The Easter Lily. For many, the beautiful trumpet-shaped white flowers symbolize purity, virtue, innocence, hope and life—the spiritual essence of Easter. History, mythology, literature, poetry and the world of art are rife with stories and images that speak of the beauty and majesty of the elegant white flowers. Often called the “white-robed apostles of hope,” lilies were found growing in the Garden of Gethsemane after Christ’s agony. Tradition has it that the beautiful white lilies sprung up where drops of Christ’s sweat fell to the ground in his final hours of sorrow and deep distress. Churches continue this tradition at Easter time by banking their altars and surrounding their crosses with masses of Easter Lilies, to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and hope of life everlasting. Happy Easter from the McNutt Family!
  Compliments of Tom McNutt from Facebook

Easter Oddities

Nae's Nest —  April 7, 2012 — 8 Comments

The Easter Caterbunny of Bellarus

Cross between the Snowy Owl and domestic rabbit. The result: The Easter Snobbit of Cote' elie

Common chicken and Wood Rabbit of Equatorial Guinea resulting in: Easter Chabbit

Job opening

Easter Bunny

Can’t you do anything right?  I could have come as Goeggre Clooney.  I guess now I will go as an egg.


Grabbed By The Tale

Nae's Nest —  March 30, 2012 — Leave a comment

Poor old Easter Bunny is taken for granted

He’s been around so many years

he  no longer can hear

Poor old rabbit 

still hopping the bunny trail

He is so happy to do it

though he is old and frail

 Just last Easter he was attacked  

Poor old fella tried to fight back

The wolf was big and he was mean

The biggest fangs you’ve ever seen

The rumor goes

Bunny was running behind

He took a shortcut to save on time

He came upon a tree on his trail

He tried to move it

but he failed

Though he knew he shouldn’t  

off the path he veered

He prayed he would be safe from all the beasts he feared

Slowly he hopped the lonely trail

It wasn’t long

he was pulled by the tail

A wolf with fangs

the biggest he’d ever seen

Preparing to eat Bunny

and he sure looked mean

Though Bunny is slow

his mind is still fast

He began to tell Wolf all about his past

“Why I recall you when you were just a cub

I brought you some treats and you gave me a big hug”

Bunny went on

weaving this tale

Doing his very best to save his own tail

“You were the runt of a big litter 

Constantly teased by other critters

You’re soul was sad but your shell was kind

Though tormented

you never cried nor whined

You were so young

barely able to walk

You’re eyes just opened

but you had yet to talk”

Wolf was enthralled by Bunny’s tale

He began to walk with Bunny

still gripped by the tail

Bunny continued with his grand story

soon dear Wolf was basking in glory

Bunny remembers every kid

chick and cub  

His heart is big and full of love

Wolf could see this as Bunny told his tale

He couldn’t eat Bunny

he even tried and failed

A tear came to Wolf’s eye

 and it wasn’t very long before he truly cried

He told Bunny he was very sad

he loved Bunny and hoped he wasn’t mad

Bunny said:

“Wolf, what you did was not wrong 

It is the way of life

it is Nature’s Song

Some nibble on clover

others on meat 

We can not question why

we only need to eat

I am happy you will let me loose

you’re belly is empty

I think you could eat a moose!”

Wolf looks at Bunny

while licking his lips

his mouth wide open

he gives Bunny a nip!

“Is best not to remind me of my belly

or I will start to dream of you

covered in jelly”

Bunny blushed and gave Wolf a wink

“I’ve been eating onions

so my breath stinks”

Wolf looked at Bunny rather confused

It took some time for the comment to infuse

When it did

he laughed hard

flailing his arms

Bunny was alarmed

Wolf smelled Bunny’s breath

and said “It does stink!”

You are safe now

“I’m laughing so hard

I can’t even think!”

Wolf offered to help Bunny out

Bunny agreed

but said

“To be safe

we’d better feed your snout.”

Wolf chuckled and was pleased 

Hard boiled eggs put his hunger at ease

Very few know Bunny is immortal

though he grows old

he will never cross the portal

Bunny told Wolf

as they hid eggs  

Wolf still carried Bunny

to ease his old legs

From that day on

Wolf worked for Bunny 

They were great friends

chipper and funny

Bunny made sure Wolf’s tummy was full

 No use taking chances and being a fool

Wolf is a secret

for they both feared

all of the little ones would be scared

So if you ever see a wolf and bunny



and acting funny

Please keep the secret and look away

if you ever should see them someday

by Renee Robinson


The First Easter Bunny

Nae's Nest —  March 29, 2012 — 1 Comment

Many, many, many moons ago, the idea of celebrating Easter with baskets and eggs and such was born.  The resurrection of Christ had been celebrated for centuries.  Knowing the new idea of Santa at Christmas was a great success among the children, they felt it prudent to celebrate Easter in a similar manner.  The reason the council wanted these holidays to be particularly enjoyable for the children was because Christ had such a soft spot for children himself.  It was believed, Christ would be very happy to be honored in this way, by making His children smile on these special days.

The council, of this village, felt the Easter image for the children should be something strong, to make them feel safe.  It should also be beautiful so the child will not fear.  The members mulled over several different possible representations, however, in the end it was decided the Tiger would make best character.

He was strong and could carry Easter baskets filled with goodies in his jaw.  He was fast, so he was capable of making all of his deliveries quickly, just like Santa.  He was also beautiful, soft and large.  A child could easily snuggle up against the tiger and have wonderful pictures made for blessed memories many years to come.

And so, the first Easter Tiger was created.  The king of this fair land hand many tigers in his possession.  He enjoyed using the tigers to maim or kill thieves and murderers.  He joyfully donated a tiger for the council’s cause.  The men were allowed to select one tiger.

The council was made up of 17 men.  Together they went, accompanied by the king, to the tiger chambers.  The chamber was below the castle.  Several individual cages were there to separate the tigers when necessary, for example: when a cub is birthed, or a tiger is injured.

Today, none of the tigers were isolated.  They all were loose in the chambers with the men.  The tigers seemed to know the king and his guards.  However, they snarled their disapproval of the 17 strangers.  Naturally, the council were collectively feeling   more nervous by the second.

The leader of the men asked the king whether the children would be safe with the tigers.  After being in the stall with the furious beasts, they were beginning to second guess their decision.  The king insisted his tigers were the best, the smartest, most trained and tamest in the land.  The men wondered who else besides the king had tigers.  However, to challenge the king’s authority would be the same as feeding themselves to the tigers.

Following the king’s footsteps, they examined each tiger the king approved.  The men took turns examining the tigers due to their extreme fear.  It seemed, each tiger they approached was meaner than the last.

They came to a smaller female tiger who lounged sleepily and did not seem to mind their presence. They thought they may have finally found their candidate.  It so happened, this same tiger is the only tiger the king was secretly going to give up.  He intentionally directed the men to his most powerful tigers first, knowing the men would be scared.  Thus, when they came to the most scrawny tiger, the king knew the men would eagerly select her.  The king would also manage to keep his integrity and be adored for his generosity.

It was Abraham’s turn to examine a tiger.  As he approached this pathetic looking tiger,  he found himself feeling sorry for her.  She seemed to be near starvation.  (Another of the king’s secrets.  When he was displeased with a tiger’s performance, he enjoyed thinking of cruel ways to slowly abuse and then kill them.   The slower the death, the better.)

Abraham began to talk soothingly to the tiger.  She was listless.  He noticed the ribs sticking out and the sharpness of her hipbone.  It was then, he realized, this poor beast was being starved to death.  He nearly said something, but quickly stopped himself.  The king would deny the accusation and feed Abraham to this very tiger just to prove his point.

Abraham remembered he has some goat jerky in the hem of his garment.  Slowly, so it would not be noticed, he retrieved the jerky.  With every ounce of courage he had, he reached his hand out to the tiger’s mouth.  She looked at him questionably.  It seemed to Abraham, she was saying “thank you”. She gobbled the jerky without anyone noticing.  He then reached for the rope to tie around the tiger’s neck.

At this point, the king had lost his patience.  He bellowed at Abraham.

“For the love of God, what is taking you so long?” he demanded.  The king pushed his way between the tiger and Abraham.

“Abraham, what in the world is taking you so long?  Are you trying to make love to that cat?”  The king grabbed the rope out of Abraham’s hand.  He roughly placed the rope around the tiger’s neck.  He pulled on the rope, forcing the poor weak cat to her feet.  She glared up at him intently.  He took his fist and slammed it hard into the tiger’s head.  He continued to pull her to her feet.

After several more strikes, she was up on her feet.  The skinny pathetic looking cat made direct eye contact with the king.  Her ears were laying flat and she made a low guttural growl.  The king only beat her harder, this time kicking at her ribs.  The council stood there and helplessly watched.  There was nothing they could do, lest they would each be tortured and killed.

It was then, like fierce lightening the tiger struck the king.  She knocked him onto his feet and was biting at his head.  He had his head and neck covered with his arms and hands.  The cat was tearing flesh off his hands and arms trying to get the king to let loose.  She wanted the neck.  She wanted the death kill.

Abraham was frantically calling out to the tiger.  He was trying to get her to stop.  He had 1 final piece of jerky.  He called to the cat, he had no idea what her name was, but he called her Stormy for the slow rage she had boiling silently within her before exploding at her captor.

Stormy turned toward Abraham immediately, as if she knew this to be her name.  Abraham began to wonder, if this was her actual name.  He knew the king never named any of the animals.  The king had no personal attachments to any beast, or man for that matter.  Abraham believed Stormy somehow told him her name.

Once Stormy was off the king.  He laid bleeding and crying like a baby.  He displayed a weakness that no man had ever witnessed before them.  Luckily for the king, he was not seriously wounded.  He may need a few stitches in his hand, but aside from that nothing that a good cleaning and bandages couldn’t cure.

Once the king got his bearings,  he was ashamed the council had seen the attack, and worse, seen his tears.  He called for his guards to collect the tiger.  She was to be beheaded.  The tiger’s head would be displayed on the square.  The people of the village will be told how valiantly the king fought the vicious beast off when she chose to attack him and the council.

“Why, I managed to get out with barely a scratch!” he boasted.

The men looked at him in shielded disbelief.    It was Abraham who spoke up first.  He begged the king to allow him to take the tiger as planned.  The king looked at him.

“Have you lost your mind?  That beast just attacked me!  She can not be trusted around children!  My people will know of this attack!  I guess I am supposed to tell the villagers I decided to donate the cat?  How can I tell them this cat has been given to the council?  Oh!  I have a great idea!  I will tell them I am donating her for population control.  I will post a sign that says If your child comes up missing, thank you for the sacrifice–Signed, Census Bureau.”   The king’s face was red with rage.

Abraham proceeded to tell the king how he has an ability to communicate with animals.  (Abraham was making this story up as he went along, but something was telling him this was the way to deal with the king).  The king had a great deal of fear and respect for magic and witchcraft.  Abraham knew these things were sinful, but Stormy!….Yes, it is Stormy who is somehow talking to him.  She knows how the king ticks.  He does not hide his fears, thoughts or anything else in front of the animals.    Stormy knows  everything about the king.

Under Stormy’s direction, Abraham used the king’s fear of witchcraft against him.  Abraham showed how he could communicate with Stormy.  Stormy began to tell Abraham how:

“the king once ripped his britches in the seat, while trying to woo a fair maiden who was not his wife.  The maiden began to laugh at him.  She said the villagers were right, he is to big for his britches.  The king can not stand to be laughed at.  He grabbed a spear from his wall and beheaded her himself.  He did this in his own private chambers!  He simply called for the maids, told them the “whore” had wanted to have “relations” with him.  He was so angry she suggested such a thing, he beheaded her.

However, later on,( Stormy communicated) the king’s story changed when talking to the villagers.  The maiden was the daughter of one of the king’s men.  Therefore, he insisted he never saw the girl on the night in question.  No one challenged the king, for fear of death.

Everyone stared at the king.  He was as white as a long, since dead ghost.  He knew he was being challenged.  There were too many of them for him to kill.  HOW could he even think of having them killed, when Abraham has proven he is a warlock.  Abraham would strike him down dead if he tried to come near him or any other councilman.

Therefore, the king agreed to whatever demands Abraham made, including giving that mangy beast to him.  The king’s only hope was that some day, the tiger would turn of Abraham, ripping his throat out, thus doing the king a favor.

Later on, Abraham had explained to the council how he can hear Stormy’s thoughts.    Abraham, with the council present asked Stormy what she thought about being an Easter Tiger, explaining what would be expected of her.

Stormy looked at him with laughing eyes.  She waved her paw toward the wood’s edge.  Stormy made a funny purring sound, catching the attention of a rabbit who was grazing nearby.  The rabbit approached, not only the council but the tiger without even so much as a flinch!

Stormy said; the rabbit, Cotton, would be very pleased to take over the duty of Easter Tiger.  The council chuckled, saying they might need to change the name to “Easter Bunny”.

by Renee Robinson



Nae's Nest —  March 29, 2012 — 1 Comment

Happy Easter

Said Pollywog, The happy little frog

She’s excited 

Her first Easter


Celebration of Christ

The Savior

The Easter Fly

Is supposed to come by

With sumptuous treats


Many sweet eats


Candy heaven


Sugar crickets

Chocolate ants

And termite 


Easter fly came and went

A nice fellow and pleasant gent

He didn’t go

The way he planned

Pollywog didn’t understand

The Easter Fly

Brought the sweets

He was exempt

From the eats

Someone failed

To tell Pollywog


Easter Fly

Was a tasty 

Little guy

by Renee Robinson

Pollywog believes she should replace Easter Fly since she was the cause of his demise. (He gave her heartburn)