Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights

I wait,
hoping that she will stay at rest tonight.
It should be that way,
for the fifth day sky was brilliantly blue and
the evening sun softly pink.

I wait,
hoping that she will comfort and sooth.
It should be that way,
for the fifth night sky screams hot white flashes and
midnight growls under violent black clouds.

I wait
hoping that she will awaken tomorrow.
It should be that way,
for these fifth days give way to moldy green sunrise bruises and
sixth days filled with blood red memories.

I have created a page for Anna's Diary.  It can be found under the Tab titled Anna's Diary.
I have posted all of the entries to date there, starting with January 1, 1929.

Here are the past two days from Anna's diary:
Wed. November 27, 1929
Home all day.  Made sauce for tomorrow to bring to Grandma M's.  [Hey, I made sauce/gravy too, Anna]
Thurs. November 28, 1929
Thanksgiving Day.  Had dinner at Grandma M's.  All grandchildren there.  Elsie, May and myself.  Brought Vera home with me to stay week-end.  Getting quite cold out.

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Most Memorable Saturday Thanksgiving Day In The Year of Twenty-Twelve

For the record

Our Saturday Thanksgiving of the year Twenty-twelve.

It is important for me, that's right for me to record this day for a few reasons.  First, I never got around to taking any photos that day.  Second,  I am getting older and the memories are fading faster than I would like to admit.  And third,  perhaps, just perhaps, Lynda Grace, my great-great-great granddaughter will want to know how I spent my Saturday Thanksgiving so long ago in 2012.

Lately, I haven't felt much like cooking.  Okay truth be told, I never was into it, cooking that is.  But I do have a couple of specialities that my kids seem to like a lot.   One of them is my gravy and meatballs. Or for those whose heritage is not from a particular region of Italy, it is probably more commonly known as sauce or to be more specific pasta sauce.

The kids also seem to like my lasagna a lot.
It was Joe's favorite, maybe his most favorite.
This year I just couldn't bring myself to make the lasagna, because I just couldn't.

I did make my own gravy and meatballs, but Ross and I decided to let Louie Bruno make the rest.

So I told the kids to come around 2:00.  Figuring they wouldn't get here at exactly that time, I asked Louie to bring the baked ziti and eggplant parmesan at 2:30.  Additionally, I wanted the dishes to be hot so that we could serve the food right away.

Jen, Derek, Bella and Ryan along with Anne and Domani, got here a little after 2:00.  They and we were hungry.

Louie Bruno, however, got held up on another delivery and by the time he got to our house it was 3:30 and by then the food had cooled down a bit.  Louie set the warming trays up and we waited for another hour for the dishes to heat back up to serving temperature.
Also, poor Louie, forgot the three loaves of Italian bread we ordered and he had to go back to the shop to get them.    I felt bad about asking him to do that, but hey, you gotta have the bread, ya know what I mean.

While we were waiting for the food to heat up, I did what I like to do best.  Sit back and watch my grandkids.

Of course they each have their own uniqueness.
Bella, my Bella, is well, my sweet Bella.  I know she will always be as sweet, but  I want her to stay eight years old for just a little while longer.  She brought her photo album from the November family cruise vacation.  We sat together as she showed me each picture accompanied by a running commentary.

The first thing five year old Ryan did when he came in was head for the sunroom/playroom.  With his shy little Ryan face, he asked me if he could go play in the room.
It amazes me that the kids look into that toy chest, which has the same set of toys, and still get excited with what they "find."

Domani is Joe's son and he is two.  He entertained us immensely with this gravely, growly Darth Vader voice.

Once the food was "ready, come and get it", the hustle and bustle of who is sitting where, and who wants what began.
It was worth the wait.  My gravy and meatballs were excellent. (Forgive the little self indulgent back patting here.) Louie's ziti and eggplant were outstanding.

Dessert was provided by Jen.  Her world famous chocolate chip cookies and soon to be just as famous delicious pumpkin cheese cake, which, according to Derek he helped make.  "Hey I went out got the stuff", he rightfully crowed.

Anne shared a few poignant letters she recently found from Joe.  They were especially endearing because they so typically showed Joe's sense of humor.  

Jimmy, my youngest son, didn't make our Saturday Thanksgiving.  He is having a tough time of it. He is apart from his two kids and I know how hard that is.  I wish he would let us in, though, because we all care so much.   

I especially missed my youngest son because, you see for me, it wasn't just another day.  It was our Saturday Thanksgiving day and I needed a hug as only he can give.  I have a feeling he could have used one too.  

And last but by no means least, I have to mention Ross.  Having family around means so much to him.  He never had children of his own. He's had too many sad losses recently also. 
His holiday memories are filled with loving parents, whom he lost at a much too young age, two kid sisters, and a houseful of company, who were always so warmly welcomed by his mother and father.     

So maybe neither one of us felt much like "celebrating" on our Saturday Thanksgiving this year, but as I reflect back on it, while we were in the midst of it, it really was a memorable celebration.

I have created a page for Anna's Diary.  It can be found under the Tab titled Anna's Diary.
I have posted all of the entries to date there, starting with January 1, 1929.

Here is today's entry from Anna's diary:
Tues.  November 26, 1929
Downtown with Junior.  Went in new shoe store "Golden Rule" to see Rose R.  Asked about family.  She expects to be married in April sometime.  Club at Helen C. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Rambling on About Over the River and Down the Garden State Parkway

Due to blended and extended families, joyous welcomes and painfully sad goodbyes,  Thanksgiving day for us has radically changed and has evolved into Thanksgiving weekend.   In fact it would be safe to say that for each one of the Thanksgiving day Thursdays, during the past dozen years, we have not eaten at the same table nor have we broken bread with the same people.

One thing that seems to be constant though is the round robin discussion, via telephone (actually that has evolved now into text messaging) that takes place a few weeks before that fourth Thursday in November.   The question:  "So what are you guys doing for Thanksgiving?"

I have many nostalgic memories of "Over the River and Through the Woods..." but they are long ago sense memories which come flashing back to me in the form of snippet slide show images.

When I was a young kid, our "Over the River" was the Garden State Parkway. The day, that very particular fourth Thursday, was spent with both Mom and Dad's family.  It would be an early dinner with one and a later dinner with the other.  My mother and father would never have been able to bargain with either side for the compromise to have Thanksgiving on Friday, Saturday or Sunday instead of that very special Thursday.   Perhaps that was because celebrating Thanksgiving day, that very particular fourth Thursday in November day, was the epitome of being an American to my Italian immigrant grandparents.

My snippet sense memories of those times are of the Italian version of an American holiday.  Course after course of antipasto, raviolis or lasagna, turkey with all of the trimmings, fruit and nuts, and dessert were served on long tables for the adults and overflow tables for the kids by grandmothers who never seemed to sit down to eat with us.

After I married and had children of my own, my grandparents were no longer with us. "Over the River" then was Route 1 to my parent's house and my husband's parent's house.    That particular day, that very special fourth Thursday in November was spent with both sets of my children's grandparents.  It would be an early dinner with one and a later dinner with the other.

My snippet sense memories of those times were the carried on traditional Italian version of lasagna and turkey, hustle and bustle, loud, everyone talking at once, chatter at my parent's and then, the much appreicated relief of quiet and delicious food, served at a small kitchen table at my husband's parents.

With the passing of my then husband's parents and of my father, the evolution of that particular Thursday, that fourth Thursday in November continued.   For me, particularly, the passing of my father changed the way I felt about Thanksgiving.

My snippet sense memory of that time is the painful image of watching my father unable to eat one bite of the full Thanksgiving dinner that my aunts brought down to us.  He died ten days later on December 2, 1990.

In the years after my father's death, that Thursday, that particular Thursday, that fourth Thursday in November, was spent with my mother one way or the other. "Over the River" changed over the years from an hour down route 539, to around the corner from us, and eventually and finally to our house.

The sense memories from the earlier years after my father's passing are still filled, though, with mom cooking, the hustle and bustle of my brother's and sisters and our kids all gathered together, lasagna and turkey and pumpkin pie.

About a dozen years ago the changes came fast and furious.  In the span of a few years, four divorces in the family,  our children becoming adults with kids of their own, my brother's mental illness and drug addiction becoming more serious and dangerous split the family into far too many shattered pieces.

That's when that Thanksgiving day, that very special particular fourth Thursday in November  suddenly became someday during the weekend of that fourth week in November and the question became, "So what are you guys doing for Thanksgiving?"

I still have flashing images of Thanksgiving day from the past 12 years, but they are images of dinners eaten without my children.  "We have to see what Dad is doing, we'll let you know" became the standard answer to "So what are you guys doing for Thanksgiving?"  For most of those 12 years I probably couldn't tell you where or with whom Ross and I spent that Thanksgiving day, that special particular Thursday, that fourth Thursday in November.   Thanksgiving days, though,  were still always spent with my mother...until on November 24, 2009, two days before Thanksgiving day, that particular fourth Thursday in November, when my mother took her last breath.

I have a clear memory of a day, a few weeks earlier, when I promised her that "Of course we were going to make Thanksgiving dinner."   And "Yes, she would be able to celebrate that day, that special Thursday, that particular fourth Thursday in November with us".

Last year, was my son's last Thanksgiving.

I have a vivid memory of that day.  I talked to him on the phone.  He told me that he had a few bites of turkey.  And yes, even though I knew better, I remember feeling a sense of hope that maybe he was getting his appetite back and that if he could only manage to eat a little more each day,  he would get stronger and be able to continue his treatment, and he would be able to...

On December 5, 2011, eleven days after that Thanksgiving day, that particular Thursday, that fourth Thursday in November my son Joseph passed away.

For the record, this year, this fourth Thursday in November of twenty-twleve, after the usual round robin discussion of "So what are you guys doing for Thanksgiving?" we gratefully accepted my sister's invitation to join her and Al for dinner.

Dinner was set for 3:00.  "Over the River" was to be a 50 minute drive down the familiar route 539 to their house.

I spent all morning thinking about Joe, and my mother.  I wondered who I should be thanking for this day, this day without them.   I struggled with the anticipation of "putting on a happy face", making small talk, and pretending that this day was a happy day.  After all isn't that the greeting? "Happy Thanksgiving".

At 2:00, the time we should have been in the car, already on the way, I was still in my robe and pj's curled up in a ball, crying on the sofa.   Ross asked me if I need more time and I nodded yes.

I did manage to get myself together, and even though we arrived an hour late, Elaine and Al, were gracious.  I'm afraid I wasn't very good company, but I want to record this day, here, so that I will remember who we spent Thanksgiving with, this particular Thursday, this fourth Thursday in November of twenty-twelve.

There was turkey, and home made corn bread stuffing, roasted potatoes and string beans with almonds, home baked bread, and oops the "forgot to put out" home made cranberry sauce (I bet it was delicious).
My brother Ray, and Patty and Patty's ninety-something year old mother came for the desserts of home made apple and pumpkin pie.

So, during the past dozen years, as has become the new norm, Ross and I would have to wait until the Saturday after that particular Thursday, that fourth Thursday in November to have our Thanksgiving.  The one that actually means the most to me because it is the one when the kids come to our house for the hustle and bustle of the new traditional Italian gravy and meatballs, baked ziti and eggplant parmesan Saturday Thanksgiving day.

I have much more to say about this year's Saturday Thanksgiving in tomorrow's post.

As I think about that day, I am sadly astonished about the many changes surrounding our Saturday Thanksgiving that have occurred so recently.

Saturday Thanksgiving 2010

So maybe that's where the giving thanks part comes in, appreciation for what is.

I have created a page for Anna's Diary.  It can be found under the Tab titled Anna's Diary.
I have posted all of the entries to date there, starting with January 1, 1929.

Friday, November 22, 1929
Junior invited to a party.  Little Norma M's. Met Dr. Restina's wife and little girl Yovonne. Brought a little sweater to Norma.
Sat. November 23, 1929
Home all day.  Cleaned house thoroughly.  Jean home at one.  Listened to Harvard-Yale football game over radio.  Yale lost.  Ted came about four and expects Isabell Long.
Sun.  November 24, 1929
Home all day.  Raining.  Jean at 360 for dinner.  Isasbelle and Ted her overnight.  Left at noon.  Junior and I went to Elsie's.  Stayed until 9:30.  Dick reading.  Children playing.
Mon.  November 25, 1929
Home.  Rose came for lunch.  Rosale here.  Did not go to school.  After dinner played three handed bridge then Minnie came over and played four.  Left about 5:30.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Exhilarated By Her Energy, Humbled By Her Power and Astonished By Her Beauty.

Long Beach Island, in the County of Ocean in New Jersey, is a barrier island and summer beach resort area along the Atlantic Ocean coast.  Locally it is referred to as LBI or simply "The Island".
Geographically, it is about 18 miles long, including three miles of nature reserve located on the shorter tip.  The island is about a half-mile wide at its widest point in Ship Bottom and spans a fifth of a mile at its narrowest point in Harvey Cedars.
LBI may be world famous now.  But the world doesn't know our Island like we do.  The ugliness of the destruction that Super Storm Sandy has brought does not mar the beauty of my LBI.
Personally, LBI is rich with memories for me.
My family and I started to vacation there in the early to mid 1980's.   Our mantra was, "the sun always shines on LBI."
Well, metaphorically speaking, actually the sun always did shine on the Island, or at least on our family when we were on the Island.
It  would be the once-a-year time that our family would spend that many hours together under one roof.   True to form, when a varied group, such as we were, would cohabit,  each one of us at some time during our stay would have our little annoyances and brief,  (ahem, I'm sure mine was brief at least), of leave me alone grouchiness.  For the most part, though, my memories are of board games, jig saw puzzles, laughter, good food, and important, quiet, getting reacquainted beach time talks.
It's funny, you know, at the end of each week long stay I would say, "whelp, this is it.  I think next year we are going to find another spot to vacation"
But, sometime around January or February, we would get "The Island" bug and head on down to check out potential rentals.   Even in the dead of winter, when the island was pretty desolate, as soon as we got near the bridge, and saw the Shack, I would start to feel the excitement of the anticipation of our next summer vacation on LBI.
When our "Saturday to Saturday" share came,  we packed up all of our belongings, or so it seemed and began the family caravan two hour car ride to go "down the shore".
Once we got settled into our rental,  we had our rituals.  Our must do's.
These included the kick-off trip to the Acme, where everyone wound up on Saturday to get the essentials and groceries for the week.  It was always a mob scene with shopping carts blocking the narrow aisles, and shouts of  "We need eggs, milk, bread...and don't forget to get the hot-dogs for lunch".
Next it had to be visits to the used book shop, Hands Department store and Marvels for the best fried chicken, potato salad and Island famous donuts.
There would have to be at least one breakfast at the "Chicken or the Egg" or as it is more commonly known the "Chegg".   When the craving for a "slice" hit, there was the walk-up, take-out Panzone's Pizza window.
Of course the main attractions were the beautiful beaches of the Island and, for the kids, Fantasy Island Amusements.
LBI continues to hold precious memories for me.  When Ross and I retired, we moved to a town not too far from the bridge, which takes us, at least a couple of times a week, in all seasons and in all kinds of weather over to the Island.
Every one of Bella's nine summers included stays at Grandma and Pop-pop's and visits to the Island.
Now she visits with her brother, Ryan. 


When he was still able, Joe came down to visit with his son for Domani's first visit to the beach.  This is for me a most precious memory.

The last time I saw my two grandsons, way too long ago, they were giggling uncontrollably as they chased each other on the sand.

Two days ago, Ross and I were able to go over the bridge to the Island for the first time since Sandy.
What we saw was indescribably and heart wrenchingly sad.  What we found, though, was the determination, and hope of the Island people.

As we began to climb the mound of sand, my anticipation was heightened by the roaring sound.  I felt as though I couldn't get there fast enough.  It seemed that I had been away from her for so long.

When I got to the top and looked down upon her, I was not disappointed.
For it's really Her Majesty who is my temptress.
Her energy is pure exhilaration, her power is  humbling and her beauty is astonishing.

As it always has been, it continues to be a constant I rely on.  

I have created a page for Anna's Diary.  It can be found under the Tab titled Anna's Diary.
I have posted all of the entries to date there, starting with January 1, 1929.

Sun. November 17, 1929
Home all day.  Bill & Rosalie here last night.  Slept.  Left about 12 to go home.  Junior took long nap.  Dressed and went over to see Uncle Dick and Family.  Came home to find Jean & Rosalie here.
Mon.  November 18, 1929
Rosalie home.  Went to Bams. Met Edythe for lunch.  Shopped.  Home early.  We all went to Aunt Mary.  Mrs. B. there.  Had a light supper.  Drove Mary and children to her mother's. Then home.  Baby tired, bed early.
Tues. November 19, 1929
Club girls met at 5:30.  Dinner at Eldorado, on Boradway.  Then to the Music Box to see "Little Show.  An intimate Revue.  Put her to take screens down.  Ted and Isabelle stayed overnight & also Rose. 
Wed. November 20, 1929
Baby at 360.  Went to visit Lorrine.  Lena not there.  Her father took her to Boston to the grave of an old priest where miracles are being performed.  A very sick girl. Hope she survives the trip.  Visited Maggie.

Thurs. November 21, 1929
Home all day.  Charlotte here washing.  Feel quite upset and blue about Lena.  No school for Jean tonight so felt better after she came home for supper.

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Poignant Mother's Story My Review of "The Testament of Mary"

I can't remember the last time I was so affected by an author's words.     It has been a long time since I have been profoundly moved enough by a writer's story that I was brought to tears.  I'm not sure I have ever felt such a strong connection to a protagonist.
I am not a religious person, quite the opposite, actually.  My childhood teachings were of the Catholic variety. At six, I was taught the words of the catechism by rote.    It is my opinion that I did not really learn enough to gain an understanding or even acceptance of faith.  After all, at the time, the Mass was mysteriously said in Latin.
We were not exposed to the bible in the same way that other religions teach it.   Therefore, I can not quote a single passage nor can I reference a chapter or verse.
I was, of course, told of two of the most commonly related stories;  the stories of Christmas and Easter.   These stories, told to me as a child, became intertwined in my mind with Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny.
Then I became old enough to understand that Jolly Ole Saint Nick and Peter Cottontail were un-believable.
Then life happened and I became old and perhaps that's when I began to wonder if Christmas and Easter were also un-believable.
On Sunday, as I was reading the November 9, NY Times Book Review section, the review of "The Testatment of Mary" by Colm Toibin grabbed my attention.   The title of the review was Blessed Among Woman, the reviewer was Mary Gordon.   After reading Gordon's excellent review, I had to have the book.
The story of this short 80 page Novella is told by Mary in a first person narrative as she reflects on her life, the relationship she had with her son,  her passionate recollection of the events leading up to his death and her heart wrenching description of his crucifixion.
As I began to read, my emotional response was immediate.   After only a few sentences I was drawn to Toibin's Mary and developed an undeniable connection, as only one mother who has lost her son has to another mother who has also lost her son.
This Mary was old, near the end of her life. She was old enough to have had so much life happen that she feels she does not need to sleep or dream because...
 "Before the final rest comes this long awakening.  And it is enough for me to know that it will end."
I feel that this story will touch anyone who has mothered.  She talks about letting go of her son as he goes out into the world to make his own way.
"It was simple really--he could not have stayed.  I asked him nothing; I knew that he would easily find work and I knew he would send what the others who had gone before him sent,  Just as I wrapped for him what he would need as the other mothers did whose sons were leaving."
Mary has also experienced widowhood.  She muses about a certain chair that she has symbolically designated for her lost love.
"I keep the chair in the room because he will not come back.  I do not need to keep food for him, or water, or a place in my bed, or whatever news could gather that  might interest him.  I keep the chair empty."
Tobibin tells the tale simply, simply beautifully.  His lyrical writing conjured up vivid images for me.

I tasted, and smelled, and most importantly I was deeply touched.
I have a favorite passage.  One that was written just for me, or so I like to believe.   It is one that clutched my heart, brought immediate tears to my eyes and percolated my grief so that it bubbled back up to the surface.  This mother's grief that I try so hard to ignore and keep hidden is a grief  that, as I neared the end of the story, I came to realize is one that I share with this Mother of so long ago.
There are many beautifully written passages in this book that I want to remember.  I would like to quote each and everyone here.  But I want you to be able to taste and smell and feel each one for the first time.
Mother Mary's story is told in such a way that it made me wonder and speculate and finally believe that it could have actually, quite possibly happened this way.

I have created a page for Anna's Diary.  It can be found under the Tab titled Anna's Diary.
I have posted all of the entries to date there, starting with January 1, 1929.

Here are the last few entries  from Anna's diary:
Thurs.  November 14, 1929
Brought Junior to the dentist for the first time.  At first he was a little frightened but we talked it out of him.  Filled on tooth.  He was very brave at the drilling, the dear.
Friday, November 15, 1929
Home all day.  Phone rang about 4:30.  I was Bill home from Princeton for the week end.  Wanted to see Baby & I  Went over for supper.  Played bridge afterwards until Jean came from school.
Sat. November 16, 1929
Jean  home for lunch.  Dressed then brought Junior to 360 and went down town to change hat for Lean who is very sick.  Bill & Rosalie for supper here.  Jean went to party at Pegs.  She stayed at 360.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Four Star General's Eve, Hurricane Sandy, & Good Ole Days Beach Photos

So, the election is over and I say TGIO, but, wait, not so fast.  The talking heads, the politicos, those, ad nauseam analyzing, sound biting,  headache inducing voices at Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, PBS, etc, didn't take a breath between declaring the winners and speculating on the, which in their junkie minds, "it'll be here before you know it" 2016 ticket. UGH!

Imagine the pants wetting excitement over at the stations when the Petraeus story came across their "tickers".
I have to admit, I did find it to be a pretty juicy tidbit.  The"over coffee" conversation the other evening between the four of us went something like this:
Me: " Men!"
"I just don't understand why someone like the General would, first, be so inconsiderate of his family, and second, potentially destroy such a stellar reputation, and third, most likely mar his rich and rewarding legacy."
"I just don't get it."
My sister chimed in with "yes, I absolutely agree with you, Lynda".  (BTW, thanks sis.)
My BIL:  "Whoa, there, why are you targeting men?"
"What about the woman?  What about her part?  How come all of the negative attention is on him?"
As I stammered trying to come up with a plausible counter point,  I realized that I couldn't quite come up with a legitimate one that would not also be demeaning to this woman.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that when "they" are reporting about the general, "they" talk about his reputation. "They" offer up prayers that the Petraeus's will find the strength to get through this difficult time.  They remind us of what an up-standing man he was.  That is he was until he fell under the spell of  that "Eve".
 Okay "they" didn't explicitly report it that way, but isn't that what is implied?  Aren't  these "other women"always portrayed as the temptresses.  After all it is a well bible documented fact that "we" do have the secrets of and the complete control over those tasty forbidden fruits.
Sisters, perhaps it is time we tap into that power on a grander scale. After all,  if we can use it so effectively to bring down a four star general, think about what we else we could accomplish.
Ahh, just imagine, a peaceful, loving fruit-filled world, which I am sure is exactly what Eve had in mind.  That is until the networks put their spin on it.

The other inundation, which seems to have become quite the competition between these TV channels,  is  "who can tell the most heartbreaking, heartwarming, profiles in courage, villainous power company stories about Super Sandy, or to coin a phrase, as "they" have so aptly done, the Frankenstorm.

Now don't get me wrong, I am heartbroken about the devastation.  We live very near to some of the areas hit hardest by the storm.  We have not been allowed to cross over the bridge to get onto the island since October 30.

We moved here 10 years ago. We have been going over to our beach at least a couple of times a week,  year round, during these past 10 years. Although,  I am afraid and worried about what I will see when we are allowed over the bridge,  I miss seeing the ocean and I need to see it soon.
It's amazing what a little staring out over the sea can do to calm some frazzled nerves.

 Beach Haven 1985
Beach Haven 1985

Beach Haven LBI July 2011
Life Guards at Belmar Summer 2012
Love Ladies Long Beach Island Summer 2011

LBI Summer 2012

LBI July 2012
Ocean City NJ August 2012
Beach Haven LBI July 2011

I have created a page for Anna's Diary.  It can be found under the Tab titled Anna's Diary.
I have posted all of the entries to date there, starting with January 1, 1929.
Here are the catch up entries from Anna's diary.  
Wed. November 6, 1929
Home until 2:30.  Then went to get a fitting for dress Rose is sewing for me.  Then went to Mrs. Naps for supper. Left for home early.  Junior very tired.
Thurs. November 7, 1929
Mother telephone that Grace and Chas have a son, born last night.  Looks like his Daddy.  Went to see him.  Both doing fine.  Also went to dentist trouble with wisdom tooth.
Friday, November 8, 1929
Grandma M stopped in this morning.  Stayed only a little while.  Still had toothache.  Went to see new baby again.  Then stopped at 360 and home early.
Sat. November 9, 1929
Home. Jean came at 1:30. Peg stopped in for a minute.  Brought baby to 360.  Jewel, Helen, Jean and I went to NY to see "New Moon".  Had supper at Zucca's.  Took bus home to Helen's All overnight. 
[For an Interesting tidbit about Zucca's restaurant, click here.]
Sun. November 10, 1929
Had breakfast at 10:30 with Helen.  Roy away on hunting trip.  Left for 360 about 2:30.  Jewel waited for Rick.  Jean and I went to visit Grace for  a couple of hours.  Baby getting along fine.
Mon. November 11, 1929
Armistice Day.  Jean home.  Went to New York shopping.  Bought tweed ensemble suit with gray satin blouse and black caracal fur trimming.  Home for supper.  Bed early. Tired
Tues.  November 12, 1929
Junior and I went downtown this morning shopping.  Home about two.  Took a nap.  After supper went to my club meeting at Valerie B's.  Gave out theater tickets for "Little Show."
Wed.  November 13, 2012
Home all day.  Raining out.  Nasty.  Baked three chocolate cream pies.  Jewel & Rick came over 8:30.  JEan came from school 10:30 with Peg and Marg.  All had a bite.  They left at 12.

Monday, November 5, 2012

It's Gauzy and Fuzzy Here Where I Stay

Today is November 5.  Eleven months ago, on December 5, my son Joseph passed away from colon cancer.  He was 36 years old.  He battled this evil that is cancer for nearly two years.

I was only just starting to get reacquainted with my adult son, husband, with his own child when he became ill.  

I am mostly still in the place of his illness.

Oh, I have tried the various pathways suggested by the travel agents of Grief .  The glossy brochures that  arrive in the mail every three months indicate that there are must see stops along the way.  They caution that my journey will be like no other.   "We're sorry," they say, "but we cannot tell you how long you will be gone or if you will ever come back."   They instruct  "to pack wisely to ensure that you have everything you need."

I have not committed to the next leg of this trip yet, though.  I prefer to stay where I am, at least for just a little while longer.

It's gauzy and fuzzy where I stay, here in the place of his illness.  For in the place of his illness, I can see his smile, hear his voice, feel his hand in mine.   For in the place of his illness he is still here.

Last November 5, I wrote this:
"Tomorrow my family is getting together for picture day.   It's supposed to be a beautiful sunny day.  Everyone is meeting at the park near where Joe's house is.   We are all hoping that Joe can make it.  But, if all he can manage is a few minutes in his back yard, we will be grateful for that."

 Joe did make it to the park that day.  What I remember most about that day were the few precious moments I had with him, just he and I, sitting in his car, keeping warm, being quiet, watching from the inside looking out.

As I write this, I am struck by how special it is to be able to jog my memory with that piece I had written one year ago.  

As I write this, I am also struck by how regretful I feel that I did not start writing about these types of moments so many years ago.   

Perhaps it would be easier to move along on this journey if I had.   

I wonder what two year old Joey and I were doing on November 5,  1977?  

Memories fade so quickly.

I wistfully miss my Joey and painfully anguish that I did not have enough time with Joe. 

I have created a page for Anna's Diary.  It can be found under the Tab titled Anna's Diary.
I have posted all of the entries to date there, starting with January 1, 1929.

Here are the catch up entries from Anna's diary.  I suddenly realize how important a diary can be.

Wed. October 30, 1929
Club met at Olives.  Girls all masked and completely surprised hostess.  I dressed in father's clothes.  Brought all the girls home as it was raining and very nasty out.  Stayed with Helen.
Thurs.  October 31, 1929
Charlotte here for laundry.  Nasty weather.  Went to Elsie's for a few hours.  Slept with Junior in afternoon.  Kept him up late to greet Halloween children that called.
Friday, November 1, 1929
Home all day.  Junior went to Elsie's to play after Violet came home from school.  Corinne stopped in for supper.  No school.  Went home at 9:30.
Sat. November 2, 1929
Home all day long.  After supper we got dressed and went to 360 as Jewel is giving a bridge for the committee girls that gave her the banquet.  We stayed over night.
Sun.  November 3, 1929
At 360.  Awoke late.  Everybody still in bed.  So went back to bed.  Hung around till four then came home.  Made supper for Jean, Junior and myself.  Read paper then bed.
Mon.  November 4, 1929
Went to Mary's for lunch.  Then brought Junior to 360 and Rose, Mary, Children and myself went to Branford.  Home at six.  Supper at 360.  Then home.
Tues.  November 5, 1929
Election Day.  Jean home.  Went to NY to buy tickets for Club girls to see "The Little Show" at Music Box.  Rosalie with me.  She bought a coat. Camels hair with beaver collar.