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5 posts from November 2012

November 29, 2012

Seven years....

ago this morning I got the phone call I never wanted to get.  Instead of Mom finally seeing the doctor who could help her, we had to fly home from Iceland, plan her funeral and begin trying to figure out her estate.  All things I had assumed I would not have to worry about for years came crashing down on me at once.

Even years later, I still feel as though I am figuring things out.  I still have boxes of memorabilia in the garage, tons of photos to go through and the feeling that I probably gave away stuff I shouldn't have and kept knick-knacks maybe I don't need.  However, it's not so much that it's overwhelming and some of the more important items have a special place in a quiet corner of the dining room.

I had promised myself I would get back up to Pennsylvania this fall, but failed. I don't think we've had a free weekend in ages and then there is the issue of wanting to pack up and take another trip.  If she were still here and we could actually visit her and have quality time with Grandma, that would have been one thing.  Maybe I'll have more get up and go in the spring and we can combine with a trip to other relatives.

It's still hard to believe, at times, that she isn't here.  Not that I expect her to answer a phone or an email, but especially this year, it would have been so nice to have her a bit closer.  I know she would have enjoyed the election excitement, we would have had at least one fall visit and she would have gotten to know the Little Guy that much more.

Since that's not happening, I remind myself that I simply have to keep her memory alive.  I must be doing something right, as Nick is always asking about her and bringing her up in conversation.  It's so healthy and such a relief that my kids know they can ask without feeling like they've upset me.

In fact, it reminds me of all that she did while she was alive.  How much she accomplished, just in her attitude and behavior.  How she had so many friends and was so open.  She had not a racist or bigoted bone in her body.  

Just as important was her ability to parent and to let go at the same time.  Oh, sure, sometimes her advice made me a bit crazy.  However, it was borne from a true caring and even more importantly, she would put it into action for herself.  

She gave me confidence as a parent by believing in me.  Not foisting her beliefs or norms on me, but trusting in me that I would do what was best for my family.  Even more importantly, she loved unconditionally.  Not that I ever expected to do anything that would break with her ideals, but had I, she would love me just the same.  

I realize not everyone is so lucky.  I often wonder about her dying so close to Thanksgiving.  Then I think of the many wonderful gifts she gave me:  tolerance, acceptance, an open mind...and I am so grateful beyond words.

Love you and miss you, Mom.

November 17, 2012

{this moment}: All By Himself

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. One photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Every Thursday is pizza day at Nick's Montessori. On Wednesday, each child sends in two dollars. They count the money and make sure they have enough and then a teacher places the order. Nick has insisted each week that he write his own name (his full name), and this is this week's effort.

November 09, 2012

{this moment}: Snow!

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. One photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.


The Pennsylvania Turnpike was kind to us in more than one way during our trip to Ohio.  Snow in the Allegheny Mountains made for one very happy LG.

November 06, 2012

Well, we are just all

tuckered out.  It's been a long few days.


Being a travel buddy is exhausting.


From the logistics of trying to plan to attend the visitation and Grandpere's funeral around 4 different schedules to the actual 510 mile drive, it's been nuts.  I kept feeling like I needed a little something else these past few days...like another me...or maybe that missing Dad-Guy?  I'm telling you, a tele-porter or some other gadget that could have *magicked* Peter home even for a few hours would have been insanely helpful.

That did not happen, though, but I did have several extremely thoughtful friends come through for me (yes, AGAIN, I know) and more waiting in the wings to help, and for that I am SO grateful.  While I would have loved all 4 (oh, heck all 5!) of us to be here, in one sense, given school is in session, it is much easier that I just came with the Little Guy.  Less for the girls to worry about missing and Cait got that appointment in with the orthodontist that she just could not wait to attend (not)!

I don't know whether Grandpere already has pull up there with the traffic gods, but there was another gift: the drive itself.  The Pennsy turnpike was not her normal beastly self and allowed us to just zip on through.  There was even snow in the Alleghenies which just sent Nick into a tailspin of excitement. Oh, what a travel buddy he has been...


Every travel buddy needs a sword, shield, and a chocolate muffin to keep the good *carma.*

I barely had to say a word during the trip, as the boy was so self-entertaining.  We had discussions on everything from the move to reviewing the entire family tree.  He reminded me how we had to ensure that the movers packed the candelabra, because we will need it next year in Managua.  He also pointed out that someone else will be living in our house, and we can't leave it there.  So, good to know someone is on top of that important stuff 8 months ahead of our move!

And the visit...it was nice in many respects.  A family reunion like we haven't had in ages, and while it was not the happiest of occasions, I feel as though we truly celebrated a life.  No, Grandpere didn't make it to 100 as Kelsey would have hoped (she desperately wanted to have a relative reach 100 years), but he came pretty darn close (Kelsey decided that she will live to 100 instead).

Love you and miss you Grandpere, but you made an indelible imprint in our lives.  You will never be forgotten...


The fam....





November 02, 2012

{these moments} : Four years...what a difference

{these moments} - A Friday ritual. Two  photos- no words - capturing moments from the week. Simple, special, extraordinary moment. Moments I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.




So grateful for last-minute absentee voting in person!  Idea courtesy of Soulemama.