It seems that he decided to line them all up against the wall...and then...
Monday, March 31, 2008
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Well, Mikey and his mom are on their way back to Delaware...leaving us with lots of memories.
He has so much energy...or is it just that I am getting old and can't keep up anymore??
His mind was always going from one thing to another...questioning anything and everything....amazing!
Other than bedtime (thank heavens!), he was constantly in motion.
The four of us went for a nice peaceful walk this morning along a wooded area with a stream. Of course, Uncle David brought along a football, so a game of passing the ball to Mikey ensued. He is quite an athletic kid, so he wasn't having much trouble making the catches...
However, one time the "quarterback" (DAVE) made a throw that went off to the right. Well, Mikey was determined to get it as he raced after the ball with reckless abandon.
Unfortunately, there was a little rocky and muddy area that he ran off of and landed smack on his tush deep into the mud!
Thankfully, nothing was hurt, except for his pride. He had to walk the rest of the way sopping wet and full of mud.
We are still laughing about it.
Friday, March 28, 2008
We are enjoying our visit with Kelly and Mikey....our picnic lunch yesterday was set amongst the beautiful background of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens....which was bursting with its "Spring Splendor"!
Aaaaaah....it fills one with a much needed sense of renewal....
More to come on their visit....
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Flying down from Delaware to Birmingham today to celebrate Dave's 60th birthday will be his niece, Kelly, and her son, Mikey.
Mikey is six years old and absolutely adorable! He is going to surprise his Uncle Dave when he arrives with his mom around noon today. They have a very special relationship that touches me every time that I watch the two of them together.
Kelly is the daughter of Dave's sister, Kaye, who passed away last September from colon cancer. Kelly is profoundly deaf and Mikey (and his little sister, Maddie) communicate with her by signing. Kelly's husband, Mike, is also deaf--but has some hearing with the help of aids--and can read lips very easily.
Following in her mom's footsteps, Kelly works as a signing teacher at a local school for the deaf in Delaware. (I wish that she had the time to teach me in that I still haven't been able to master the ability to sign. The older I get the less retentive skills I have!)
I, too, have such a fondness for Kelly, Mike, Mikey and Maddie. Although Kelly has been deaf since birth (her mom contracted German measles while pregnant), she is a wonderfully positive and extremely loving person ready to hug you with open arms.
To me, she "hears" with her heart....
which, when you think about it, is really the best way for one to be "heard"...
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Biloxi is an interesting place. While New Orleans was in the news so much more during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, this little Mississippi town was also severely devastated. While we were there some of the destruction was still very apparent...even though so much has been done (and, continues to be done) to rebuild this city in the last few years.
The Beau Rivage Casino itself had to be totally rebuilt as the flood waters covered a large part of the structure. It is a breathtakingly beautiful casino that makes you feel as though you are right in the heart of Las Vegas. Every detail is lovely, from the fresh indoor and outdoor gardens to the brightly colored carpets and incredibly beautiful accessories.
Down the street from the Beau Rivage is the newly built Hard Rock Casino. Dave and I loved going there and seeing all of the memorabilia from different rock stars through the years. Everything from Elton John's pants to one of Madonna's outfits...to Les Paul's guitar, etc. etc. are on display.
With camera in hand, I couldn't resist snapping several pictures while there....especially one of the huge outdoor guitar. Incredible!
Of course when all was said and done....and Dave and I left a little more money at the casinos than what we had arrived with....we comforted ourselves by saying that we were just contributing to the "Hurricane Relief Fund" for the city of Biloxi...
Monday, March 24, 2008
"We give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way." Sacred ritual chant
With all of the sadness of the past month...I am now able to see a bit of sunshine peeking out from behind the clouds.
Not only are Jenny and Adam giving sweet Owen a baby sister this June---, we now know that my youngest son, Jeffrey, and his wife, Janet, are expecting a new baby this September!!!!!!!!!!
I was so thrilled to hear the joyous news...especially since my birthday falls in September...
...and I can't think of a better present.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
I wish that I could tell you that we are both winning tons of money...but, the truth is that we are both in the losing column right now...but, that can all change with the pull of the slot machine handle!
I will say this...we are eating well! We had the Seafood Buffet last night and totally
pigged out enjoyed every bit of it.
The buffet at the Beau is not your typical little food fest...we drank wine and dined on fresh King crab legs,mussels, sushi, pizza (!),sauteed mushrooms, salads galore....Dave enjoyed the prime rib, ham and corned beef...and we both feasted on
all of a variety of delicacies...especially the desserts of creme brulee, bread pudding, rice pudding,and apple torte.
Tonight we will be dining out at a fancy restaurant here called BR Prime...looking forward to that experience...!
Luckily, we took a nice long walk early this morning!!!!!
More to come... : )
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Before Owen was born, I was posting pictures of Jenny's expanding belly every month....
Well, as is typical in most families....Baby #2 doesn't seem to get the same "fanfare" as Baby #1.
and.....Baby "Moe" is no exception!
Adam finally sent me a recent picture of Jenny as she is getting closer to her mid-June due date.
Sorry, "Moe"....we will make up for it when you arrive.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
That certainly doesn't mean that you have stopping missing that person of that you aren't constantly thinking about them and what has just occurred.
Quite the contrary.
But, you quickly learn that the world doesn't stop just because you are grieving...so, you begin to reenter "Life" as you once knew it.
One of the "already scheduled" events on my calendar was Dave's 60th birthday this coming weekend. I am taking him away to the Beau Rivage Casino Friday-Monday for a quick getaway.
What brought this about was the fact that the Moody Blues are playing there this weekend--and, they just happen to be his favorite music group!
So, it is time to gather together all of my "loose change" as I get ready to hit the nickel, penny, and quarter slot machines once again. Dave will mostly play blackjack with a little poker mixed in.
We have dinner reservations at one of their finest restaurants at the Beau (BR Prime) on Saturday night...part of which is being paid for by a gift certificate given by a group of our friends at our 5 year anniversary party.
We are both looking forward to this little escape from reality...
Monday, March 17, 2008
"We have what we seek. It is there all the time, and if we give it time, it will make itself known to us." Thomas Merton
When my much loved cat, Gizmo, passed away....Dave brought over some Easter lily bulbs from his garden. We planted them into the freezing ground in my backyard on a bitter cold winter's day and then spread her ashes all around them.
Well, with early Spring's arrival, the bulbs have begun to pop up and some fresh green leaves are beginning to show. The lilies won't be far behind...
Seeing this sight today brought a spiritual renewal to my spirit and a smile to my face...
Sunday, March 16, 2008
There are two such moments that come to my mind.
My dad was very proud of his service to his country, having served as a Chief Warrant Officer in the U.S. Army during WWII, stationed in N. Africa, Italy, and France. He was awarded a Service Medal with six bronze stars for his years of service. He had let it be known that he wanted to be buried with a Military Funeral when his time came.
We, of course, honored that request.
An American flag was draped over the coffin and then ceremoniously folded and presented to my mom.
There was a Color Guard and a "bugler" who was to play "Taps" during the ceremony. These days the Armed Services do not always have enough buglers available, so bugles with electronic recordings are frequently used and sound very authentic.
As the recording started to play....it abruptly stopped in the middle of the song-before it was finished. We all thought that maybe this was intentional...representing the ending of a life...but, it turned out that the battery had obviously died during the "performance"...leaving the bugler unable to do anything more. An embarrassing moment for sure...!
During my dad's long stay in the hospital, his room was filled with notes, cards, pictures, balloons and a few stuffed animals. One of the animals was a strange-looking gorilla. This large, black creature was clutching a Valentine's heart in it's paws, but this could not help the fact that it was quite scary looking with it's beady eyes that seemed to glare at you.
Mom did not care for this gorilla at all, but we left it in the room for Dad because it was sent to him with loving thoughts.
As Dad moved from Intensive Care to the Hospice Care, the gorilla was not far behind, much to Mom's chagrin.
Dad passed away in the middle of night after that last move.... and the gorilla was not given much thought after that.
When the family went to the Funeral Home to view my dad's body, we were all totally shocked when we looked into the casket.
There sitting right next to my dad was THE GORILLA!
We began to laugh hysterically as we thought about what the Funeral Director must have thought when he placed that hideous, stuffed gorilla in with Dad.
Even though our laughter followed many tears....it was a great release for all of us...
And, in case you were wondering....the gorilla was immediately removed and given to Funeral Home employee who had a young son who loved monkeys!
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Words like "quiet presence", "voice of reason", "patriotic", "gentleman", "respected", "highly intelligent", "dignified", "private", "kind", "proud"....and from my sister's speech at the funeral: "...a man of conviction, strong ethics, and a passion for social justice."
The above statement leads me to tell a true story about Dad that occurred many, many years ago.... during the years of great intolerance for people of color...especially in the South, where we lived.
My dad owned a small dry cleaning establishment and the word got out that he would not charge clergy to clean their robes...no matter what faith they represented.
One day a member of the Ku Klux Klan entered my dad's dry cleaner and left some of their white robes to be cleaned.
Several days later, the man returned to pick up the robes.
In lieu of a bill, my father attached a note to the plastic that now covered the cleaned robes.
The note stated that the robes had been cleaned by a black man, pressed by a Hispanic woman, in a business owned by a Jewish man. This note then stated that they should take their business elsewhere and not return.
Hearing that story and many others again and again last week continued to bring up such proud feelings inside of me for this special man. He instilled these traits of tolerance... for people of all colors, nationalities and religions... in all of us as we grew up...and I have passed these same principles onto my own children...who will someday pass them on to their children...
Dad, your wonderful legacy of social justice, kindness, and lack of prejudice continues to live on and on....
Friday, March 14, 2008
It was so sweet of them to come by to give me a hug and let me know that they were thinking about me.
I am still not comfortable in this role as a grieving daughter.
When does it become real?
Maybe I should say, when does it stop being so surreal?
I talk to my mom every day and she seems to be doing "okay". I know that it is so difficult for her to get through each day. She tells me that the days are alright...but, the nights are tough.
I understand only too well.
Mom and I talked about the fact that right now we are both feeling "talked out" and very much needing to have some "quiet time" in our lives.
By that I mean turning off the television.... not answering the phone...not playing music....just silence.
Staying quiet is very underrated.
It is actually very freeing as it allows the mind to rest a bit.
After the last few weeks, I welcome the peace...
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
A time for every purpose under heaven...
A time to weep, and a time to laugh,
A time to mourn, and a time to dance." Eccl. 3:1, 4
Leaving Mom and my sisters today and heading back home was so difficult.
I really thought that Dad was going to beat this...but, three surgeries proved too much for his aging body.
I imagined all of us celebrating his 90th birthday on May 17.
But, it is not to be.
I am feeling very displaced tonight.
Although I am exhausted, my head is reeling with so many thoughts and memories.
I will write more tomorrow when I am a bit more clear-headed.
Thank you for all of your comments and love as I deal with this loss....
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Saturday, March 01, 2008
This is not a trip that I am looking forward to...but, it is a necessary and important one....and a time that I want and need to be surrounded by family.
I will try and post while there.
Thirty-one years ago I was given a wonderful gift as I gave birth to son number two, Jeffrey.
He was, and will always be "my baby" no matter how many birthdays are celebrated!
He touches the lives of all who know him...especially mine.
Happy, happy Birthday my dear Jeffrey...
I love you so much,