Tag Archives: Mother

Ethel Mae’s Garden: A Mother’s Legacy

Grief and gratitude, hand in hand

The past few months have marked a series of family anniversaries, holidays, birthdays, and celebrations. There were parties, gatherings, and projects that brought us together. We affirmed our bonds with each other ­— across generations —  in our laughter, our stories, family traditions, and shared experiences — the nature and nurture that created our family. The person at the center —  the heart of our family — was our father’s wife and soulmate, his best friend — our mother, grandmother and great grandmother, Ethel Mae. We are all flowers in her garden. Continue reading

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With a Little Help from My Friends

“Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends
with a little help from my friends”
— Songwriters: John Lennon/Paul McCartney

It’s the Memorial Day weekend. There are many traditions associated with this holiday. From Wikipedia, “Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. The holiday is currently observed every year on the last Monday of May. It marks the unofficial start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its unofficial end.” Continue reading

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Marching, Mourning, & the Meaning of It All

How marching with the pink pussyhat power posse of my family and friends — and people from all over the world — helped me mourn and mark the anniversary of my mother’s death.

My mother’s favorite color was pink. I grew up in a home in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s that boasted a curvaceous coral pink sectional couch. Our bathroom was always painted pink, with bubble gum pink towels, little pink perfumed soaps, and plastic pink flowers. Mom always dressed in pink, including the day we buried her. At the visitation, our family wore pink in her memory; pink flower sprays adorned her white casket and flanked her like honor guard sentries. When family members returned home after the funeral service and burial — the sky was resplendent in pink — a message from our mother wishing us safe travels. Continue reading

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Drinking from a Glass Half-Full

“Every last one of us can do better than give up.” —Cheryl Strayed

Looking back at 2016 with gratitude and ahead to the New Year with optimism.

Before you jump to any conclusions — I’m not crazy — 2016 sucked!  I’m not going to rehash all the reasons why, because we all know why, and we’ve talked about it around the virtual, social media water cooler from glasses half-empty for the past year and more.  As we’ve all been reminded by a quote from Albert Einstein (who knew he was the first to say it?), “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Continue reading

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The Toilet Zone: First Flush

“You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy.” — Anonymous

It’s time to say good-bye to 2016. As a recovering person, the Serenity Prayer has been playing an endless loop in my mind; it’s my leitmotif for 2016. It’s reminded me —again and again — that there are many things happening in my world — and the larger world we share — that are outside of my control. In an effort to address them I’ve created this new Mixed Metaphors, Oh My! series, The Toilet Zone. Continue reading

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The Loud Family Loses a Loved One

We Say Goodbye to Our Matriarch

First, a little background:  In 1973 American TV audiences were introduced to a groundbreaking 12-part documentary series on PBS entitled An American Family featuring the Louds, an upper middle class family in Santa Barbara, California. This was considered the first reality TV series. Keeping with its irreverent tradition of satirizing American culture, Saturday Night Live in season four, episode six, created its own Loud family, starring Jane Curtin as Mrs. Loud, Bill Murray as Mr. Loud and their daughters, Gilda Radner and guest host, Carrie Fisher with supporting characters played by John Belushi, Dan Ayckroyd and Garrett Morris. Continue reading

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Memories, Milestones & Musings

“Memory …is the diary that we all carry about with us.” — Oscar Wilde

Today is the last day of the first month of the year. I’ve been spending a lot of time looking back at last year and looking ahead to the new year. That journey has taken detours to the past and ventured into dreams of the future. It’s no surprise this month is named for the Roman God, Janus. As I recently noted in my essay, Legacy of a Life:

In ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus is the god of beginnings and transitions, and thereby of gates, doors, doorways, passages and endings. He is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks to the future and to the past. It is conventionally thought that the month of January is named for Janus.”  (Source: Wikipedia)  Continue reading

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