Sunday, December 17, 2006

Christmas 1975

The top photo is at my Aunt and Uncle's house in Columbus, OH. The dress I was wearing was my favorite and the doll in the background was named "Amanda" and at the time she seemed as big as me. Although her appendages were a little wacky. She could do a complete 360 with both legs in opposite directions! Ouch. I was thrilled to get this cool tea set and as you can see by the second picture, I enjoyed it once we got back to Elyria. My mom was taking the picture looking into the living room from the kitchen. Good times...!

Christmas 1972

Mommy and me. Don't let the sweet smile fool you, beneath it was a spoiled only child.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

New site!

FYI: I 've added a blog about my life, check out the "likeable links" to access Nurse'll laugh you'll cry, you'll hurl?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Great Aunt Vera

On the phone with Vera tonight, I really began to miss her. She is still alive at 84 but I will at some point, be unable to converse with her concerning my mom. I will miss her putting down the phone for every phone number I recite to her a hundred times because she forgot it from the last time I called. I will miss her saying "yal" instead of yep or yes. I will miss her reminiscence about her husband, my uncle Harold who passed in 1973. I will miss her voice.
Tonight, I told her that I felt like she was a mother to me and that she was the most unselfish person I knew. She didn't have to buy me school clothes, supplies or take me shopping and to McDonalds on Saturdays. She has always been far too hard on herself and punishing of herself. I told her that she was not responsible for all the bad things people had done to her. (Too personal to share here). She has always been a hard working survivor. Tonight, I was proud to say that she had fulfilled the Godmother role she promised my mother she would be if anything happened to mom. She did it, mission accomplished.
ADD ON NOTE HERE: 12-12-06 I talked with her this morning and she told me about an incident (I had to ask/pry). She stated she was about 8 and she was playing on Winkles St. in Elyria with her girlfriends. She tripped on the step as she was running back to "base" in a game of hide and seek. She fell and hit her head and was bleeding. She saw blood on her dress and crying she went inside to her mother. She was crying alot and her father told her to be quiet. She could not so he punched her in the back. She said she bit her tongue so hard to keep quiet and it worked. I guess he was a very abusive man to his wife and family. I asked her how he got to be this way, although she said it was born in him, she also stated his mother was very abusive. Amazing how the cycle continues! This is why she did not have children. Her husband, Harold loved children but she would not have any. She miscarried once.
Her mother died after contracting pneumonia. The story goes that she went out to shovel before her husband got home and contracted it. The doctor (in the 1920's) went to the house and she was ordered for bed rest. The brother went to make fried eggs for himself and the dad didnt like that so he ordered his wife up from bedrest and she made the eggs. He would not let her rest so she became more ill and suffered greatly. Vera said in those days a pill was given to speed the death process and this was given to her mother. Vera was 9 and her mother begged the older daughter, Louise (my grandmother) to take care of Vera. After multiple times of asking, Louise, overcome with grief, stated she would and then their mother passed away. Louise who was married to George at the time, lived with her family in the house for about a year and moved out taking Vera as well.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Taking a moment to remember my dad...

November 2, 1996. Ten years have passed since my father died on a gloomy, flurry filled November day. I didn't realize he was so sick. He never showed it nor complained. He was so positive I just wish I could be a 1/3 like him in that area. I miss him so much...he was so vulnerable, so needy, and taken through far too much in his 72 years. He and I were a team for so long after my mother died. As a teen I was slightly embarrassed to always have to just announce "DAD" while others announced "my dad AND mom..." One day I stood in front of my mirror and practiced saying "mom" over and over. I made my lips form the words so that I would not forget that word and how much I used to say it. Now I don't use either word very much except in reference to myself and Dave. Now it's our turn to be called that. And frankly, somedays I'm just not ready.

This was a good friend of my dad's. I do not know his name but I remember my dad speaking of him. Maybe one of you can identify? I like this picture of my dad and his buddy. Classic greatest generation here. He was probably 18-19 here. Take a good hard look at 18-19 year old's today and tell me that they had the morals, the guts and the love of country to do what these two in this picture were going off to do. Thanks, dad!

This picture was brought out a few times when my dad and I would go through photos together. It was from the 1950's. It was actually a picture that was in the Chronicle Telegram in Elyria. He and this gentleman were collecting for the March of Dimes...and if I remember right it was because he belonged to an organization like Kiwanis. It is another favorite picture of mine because it was before I knew my dad as my father. It stretches my imagination to see the man dressed up as a funny street cleaner as my dad. I love it.

I think I posted this photo from summer of 84 before...enjoy.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Visiting my cousins at the farm: 1969/1977

I got a card the other day from my cousin Kristen who is my age. Enclosed were two photos that made my heart jump and my head long for simpler times. The top photo is her sister Leah in the conservative one piece checkered suit.Leah, Leah, LEAH!! Where was your bikini at girl??!!Leah is one year older than us~Sorry Leah, can't lie! Kristen is next to her complete with pigtails and a pre-Britney Spears tummy (we were midriff showing before it was cool!) Next up is myself and DO NOT let the pose fool you: I may be standing with hands wringing and looking shy but really I gave these girls a run for their money. Probably why I was only invited out to the farm once every so many years....heh, heh!
Nope, never a dull moment I came a visitin' from the city. But that is for later in this writing. After myself is our cousin, Ben. He and I didn't really chat alot. I only remember he didn't really seem to care for us girls much but in this picture he seems fine to be swimming with us babes.
Kristen gave me the information behind the picture: She said we were at Lenwood pool on Rte 20. I don't know whether that was Monroeville or Norwalk. This is my recollection of this day. I think I was spending a week at their house on Dogtown Rd. (yes, that's really a road) in Ohio. Leah and Kristen's parents(Jack and Belle), have a big old farmhouse out there. This must have been the week we were turned loose on late 60's/early 70's station wagon and several gallons of old cans of paint. We painted that old car up like crazy. It was sitting out with big weeds surrounding it and we just went out there with our paint and brushes and went to town. The other thing that I remember about their house and all the fun I had there was being able to play in the piece of farm equipment that had soybeans in it. It was the equivalent of today's play world with all the balls kids jump around in. What was really cool about their house was the hallway up to the bedrooms was being remodeled and their parents let them color whatever they wanted on the walls. I thought that was SOOO cool. Actually today, we are remodeling our hallway and I let the kids do the same thing. It is a cool memory everytime I see the hallway. Soon, it will be covered with new wallboard but the kids will remember the liberty they had to color on the walls without getting in trouble. They can thank Jack and Belle for that! So, whenever I went out to their Dogtown rd. house I just remember having a ball. We played in the woods, we painted, we colored, we played in soybeans, we rode our bikes down the road and not a car was in sight for hours, we played in the creek, we just got to be KIDS! Since the time of this picture-the Summer of 1977-Kristen, Leah and I have lost our mothers. Mine to a car accident in 1980 and theirs to breast cancer in 2002. Jack continues to live at the farm.

The bottom photo is from the summer of 1969 at a reunion at the farm. Here is my mother at the left holding me and Kristen's mom holding her...I love this picture and when Kristen sent it I just studied it because both of those women were beautiful, full of life, loving mothers and wives. We, their daughters, can only hope to live up to the legacy they left us.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Today while in my continuing quest for more knowledge I learned that a daughter actually has more of her mother's DNA than her father. When I heard this, I thought: "Oh, cool, I have more of Helen in me than Gordon." However, I have always felt like I looked and acted more like my father than my mother...Is that because I spent 27 years with him and only 10 with her? Whatever the thought, it gives me a little warm fuzzy today to think that I am a squeak bit more like my mother.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Bendix Bus Trip 1948

This was an outing with the girls from work at Bendix Westinghouse. A bus tour to Cleveland on June 15, 1948. The setting is on Broad St. in Elyria. If you know Elyria, you will recognize (somewhat) the old EST building behind the rear of the bus. The lady all the way to your left in the dark suit standing is my Aunt Vera. Behind her is the park or Ely Square. Right in the middle by the drivers window and the #8 looking more serious is Vera's sister and my mother's mom: Louise. All the way to the opposite end (rear of the bus) of Vera is my mom Helen.
Last weekend we were in Elyria and I passed over that same spot with my car. I imagined my mom and relatives right there posing for this picture. That is what I love about Elyria. Even though it is not what it used to be, it feels good to be where I can feel close to my mom and dad's old "stomping grounds" . Memories don't pay the bills, I have always said, but they sure do soothe the soul sometimes when grief seems to overwhelm you. The good memories sustain us, don't they? (Click on photo to enlarge for viewing)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Dec.1979 vs. Sept.1980

The top photo was taken at Christmas '79. The bottom was a school picture from 6th grade in 1980. When I found the top photo I studied it. I wanted to jump in the picture and prepare the little girl on Santa's lap. Something like: "Hey, the bottom is going to drop out in 2-3 weeks, shape up, love on your mom, do all you can to make things right". But that is impossible so I just compared the two pictures. The dress in the bottom picture was something I picked out at JCPenney at Midway Mall. It was pitiful shopping for myself when I longed for my mother to help me. I couldn't turn to my dad: I did not feel nor see him as a strong person to lean on. He leaned on me. I also learned at this time how to temporarily medicate myself with shopping. The "buy-high" as it is called. I'm glad that God has healed me of that area but back then it was my medicine when I was grieving.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Helen Louise: age 4

I love this picture of my mother! Her hair bow and the way her legs are cross sitting on the chair are so sweet! No Olan Mills photo places here, just a chair out in the yard with some beautiful flowers for a back drop. Don't you sometimes wish it was still that simple with kids today? I think we do way more for our kids than we have to. We buy bigger houses, more stuff and try to compete with neighbors and family. One thing I have noticed today is a lack of participation in things. Are we too busy trying to schedule in obligations that we don't have "time" to schedule family time or church time? The saddest thing to me is when an event is cancelled due to a lack of participation. Like a reunion or a church event. We went to a reunion recently and (I have seen this before) although the turnout was better than the year before, it was still scant. There were pictures there of past reunions in the 1920's-60's and the people that turned out for these family events were numerous! Not so today...why is it that family is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing that God gave us to treasure (relationships!) and we just toss it to the side? Modern things are great, if it were not for this computer I would not be able to share these memories with you from hundreds of miles away. But, just today, think about your next family (church family or your own family) gathering and decide that you will be a part of it. Expect nothing in return except to give of your time. And as my mother used to say: "Holly, life is just too short!"

Easy Rider

I don't know what kind of a bike this was that my mother was riding but it looks pretty nice. This photo is from the early 1940's. My mother was probably in Junior high. I believe it was taken near their home on Pasedena. If we found that exact same spot today we might be standing in someones house!


On this particular page are some pictures that I surmise are my mother's classmates. I don't know who the girls are but there are actually more on this page than I could fit in the picture. My mother is pictured in the upper left hand corner.

Seventh grade, 1940

I came across these pictures while cleaning out my cedar chest. I just fell in love with them. I love it when you come across something that you haven't seen for awhile and then it is all brand new to you again. I have to get with my Aunt Vera for some explanation on some of the photo's though. She is my last living source.
This photo is my mother's seventh grade class. My mother is pictured smack in the middle of the second row looking front to back between the two boys heads who are in the front row. Where are all her classmates now? Most are probably gone but I am sure a few must linger.
I love seeing how nice the children are dressed and the lack of commercial-laden clothes they are wearing. No Britney Spears trash here. Now...imagine a seventh grade girl today and compare it to this picture....!

Ely School 1941

Some of you still living in Elyria still drive by this school today. It is pretty much unchanged. However, the trees are a big larger! My mother went to this school in the 30's and 40's. Since it is getting close to school starting I thought I would get right in the spirit with this posting. Ely was built in 1921, I believe. 5 years before my mother was born. I went there for Kindergarten in the early 1970's. My classroom was the set of windows which stick out to your left. Oh how I wish I could ask my mother questions about her school days....

Monday, August 14, 2006

Everything old is new again...

Washington D.C. in 1965. My parents hadn't met yet so my mother was traveling with her parents. Here are two shots from her pictures of that visit. The four of us were just there last week. So when I came across these photos of her visit, it was neat that even though I was not born yet, nor thought of, here is almost the exact same picture that she took in my collection as well. Of course, a ga-zillion people have been to DC and taken that exact same photo of looking out over the National mall to the Washington Monument from Lincoln's memorial. I took the same picture last week...she took the same picture in 1965. Cool. I just wish she were here so I could compare photos with her. And with my dad. He has the same photos (DC) from a time in the 1960's. The Kennedy graves look SOOOO much different as well. John's was a mound of dirt with an eternal flame atop of it fenced in by a white picket fence and a guard. Today it is a big granite (?) monument with his words carved in, his wife beside him and no guard. Its a big deal.

Anyhow, the second picture I am unsure of what monument it is...but the ladies in the photo are on the left, my mother and the right, my grandmother Louise.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

OH vs. MI

No photo to lure you into this entry...sorry. I have some things on my mind to share. Honestly, I think unless you are one who has been through losing your mother/father early in life (before 18) I don't think you can understand this:
Questions: Are their long term issues with traumatic deaths in which children are involved? Does it cause separation issues in adults? Anxiety? Is there a name for this?
These are some of the questions I have...because, frankly, I am trying to figure out what the pull back to living in my home state is? How can you have a decent, no complaints life here yet for 12 years still LONG to be back "home" with what family you have left or married into. I don't wear rose colored glasses thinking that Ohio is the answer and all will be well with family all the time! But for 12 years I have struggled to make MI my was not like this for me in VA. So I have this conversation with the Lord to help me sort out WHY anyone would want to go back to an armpit like OH. No answer yet, I will keep you posted.
The craziest thing is the look in people's eyes whom I tell this longing to. I see it in your eyes when you look at me like I have a few marbles loose and that I am just unstable in some way. You don't understand why we could move from a fine job, fine community (wink, wink), and kids in h.s. I don't either. I have asked myself a million times. I have tried to talk myself into loving this place. I keep coming back to it not being my home...and I want to go home-to OH. So today, I came up with....WHO CARES IF YOU THINK WE'RE CRAZY?! I am no longer going to share these things with you, you with the "oh boy she is nuts again with this Ohio moving deal-e-o". We will just pray quietly, talk quietly and if it is the will of our Lord....MOVE VERY LOUDLY!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Introducing the 1979 Ford Fairmont Futura...

This was my mom's baby. She paid cash for it in mid-79 after her dad died and left her a little pocket change. She loved blue and this was her color. She and my dad purchased it at J.R. Dall Ford in Elyria. I remember going with them to pick it up. She got in and was a little taken aback at all the gadgets coming from the steering column. That was when Ford got the itch to try and take all their controls of wipers, cruise, turn signal, and (gasp!) horn and place as much crap as possible into two to three controls sticking out from the steering column. Brilliant-not! Confusing yes. Oh, don't forget when you want to honk that horn that you don't hit the steering wheel with your hand, you merely PRESS in on the tiny stick coming out of the column. Try to remember which black one it is. Okay, enough Ford bashing but it was dumb! So here was the sweet ride which she only got to enjoy for about 6 mos before she died. This car was not in the wreck. Our other car, a 1975 Ford Galaxy 500 (looked like a massive tank on wheels!) was totaled out. I see the house still had the yellow paint on it. In the summer of 79 the house was sided white with black shutters and still appears like that today.


Well here is a brat-in-action! This is my 7th birthday party in Jan. 1976. I cannot even remember what I was pouting about. Probably didn't get my way. Brat! It was my first "friends" birthday party. I think I had some kids from Roosevelt st (on the other side of town) like Julie Prowse and her bro. Some other kids were Carla and Sue Minnich. The kid in the picture is not someone I even liked! He was our pastors son: Todd Mealwitz. His dad pastored Grace Lutheran Church on East River in Elyria. I don't think Todd and I ever spoke except maybe at this party. Anyhow we are in the living room of our house on Bell Ave and I am being presented with a custom birthday cake that a lady at church made. The dress I had on was one of those long types popular in the mid-seventies and it was my favorite dress if I had to wear one. I don't remember much of the party except I was mad and I'm sure made a complete idiot of myself for that. I do know Carla present was a red vinyl Donald Duck wallet...sweet. As for this photo I have some advice for my mother on that January day: save your money, save your time and turn me over your knee...I deserved it!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

My mother was not pleased...

I could have charged admission to see the look on my mother's face when she saw how picture day turned out. I think this was 1978, fourth grade. She was not happy when she I came home that day and told her we had pictures. It had slipped both of our minds. So...years later here I am in my most favorite sweatshirt of the 1970's: Convienent Food Mart: "Where the customer is King!" It's funny but when I was a tomboy kid I had favorite clothes that I would just wear and wear. And the thing is, is that I thought I looked off the hook in them. Umm, k, now I see I was extremely deceived. This sweatshirt had been worn down to a dingy white, and the dude on the front motiff was cracking from repeated washings. But I was just so comfy and confident in this. What was I thinking?!
A little dib about the store. What I remember is that Convienent Food Mart had stores mostly in Elyria. Ours was on Lake Avenue. If I could tell you everytime we went to that store it would fill this entire blog site and bore you insanely. So, here are some pieces. I remember a cashier with strawberry blonde short hair and her name was Carol. Of course she knew us by name. She would ring up our small purchases (you would NOT want to purchase groceries here, this was the equivalent of a 7-11 type dealy-o) on this old punch key register. She would always give me a pretzel rod before we left. Last I saw here there was the late 80's. CFM is no longer in business I believe. (If any Elyrians know this please post a comment by clicking on anonymous and leaving your name if you dont want to register for this site). Another time was New Years Eve. I watched a man grab a bottle of booze off the shelf place it in his coat and walk right out. The store was insanely busy and he just got away with it. I was floored as a kid! I myself, never store from the store. I also was floored when my favorite candy bars went from 20 cents to 25 cents per bar. I spent plenty of cash in that store on candy,Fla-vor-ice popsicle tubes, Faygo orange pops, Hostess ho-ho's packed in foil and loaves of their bread. Their chicken was pretty good as well. My parents would always pick up Jo-Jo potatoes from the mini deli and a pack of beer. I don't remember Carla being allowed to walk the 2 blocks up there just to purchase I wrong Carla? In the late 70's, early 80's they added a little ice cream deal to the side called the (?) Shake Shack. I don't recall my mom and I there a lot so it might have been after she was gone. And one of the last times I recall going in there was in 1980. I would head up there after mom died to buy a pack of cigarettes. Can you believe this? I WAS 11! They just rung them up and I walked out. I didn't know you were supposed to inhale them until I met my much for being cool. Glad I don't smoke these days. And the LAST time I was up there was with my friend Mindy 1n 1985. My husband who was then just a friend and his brother Don had gotten ahold of my Kodak Disc camera and taken a "mooning" shot and when I got the photos back I was GROSSED out to see Don's butt. So, to one-up them Mindy and I drove over to the west side to CFM. By then the store was getting a little rough and so was that neighborhood. We went in the store and in a very cool and calm fashion while Mindy distracted the cashier I stuck the photo up with tape and the following information: "For a rear good time, call Don/Dave at XXX-XXXX and we used Dave/Don's work number so his parents would not KILL us.
Bad girls!

David & Cheryl

It's probably a long shot that these two would have internet access and see this. These two are my half brother and sister. David I tracked down a few years ago in Georgia. He is a doctor. I contacted him via letter to let him know I have his and his sister's baby pictures. Apparently they don't give a rip because I never received a reply. This was confirmed retroactively when I contacted Cheryl in 1990. She lives in Portsmouth, OH and has two children who are 35 and 31. I called her (which was gutsy, but hey, I was pregnant!) and she stated she didn't want anything to do with our dad or me. She was nice about it and all but she politely declined. And that is her right. As I stated in a previous listing I like to see resolutions to problems. Things worked out. Wrongs righted. Families reunited. Try....! But in my rose colored solution book, things don't always go that way because people don't forgive, don't give others as many chances as God has given us. So somewhere out there are two adults approximately 55 and 56 years old who carry a part of me. Their blood is mine as well albeit not 100% but yet we are connected genetically. I wonder what mannerisms they might have that could just possibly match mine? I suppose I will never know. They do not know that their father, Gordon, has been gone 10 yrs. Do they know about my mother (standing in this late 60's photo with them) has been gone longer? The melancholy side of me asks this...the realistic side tells me they really don't care. In this picture I see my mother holding Cheryl's hand. Did they have a good relationship? Did they have a relationship?? Then...what happened? David Kuss Baldrich...and Cheryl Kuss Baldrich Albrecht you have always made me wonder about you...and I guess I always will.
Update: I have located David Baldrich and he is practicing medicine in Decatur, GA as a gastroenterologist. His blub states:
David A. Baldrich, M.D.
Board Certified, Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology
Dr. Baldrich received both his undergraduate and medical degrees from Ohio State University. Following his residency at Southwestern Michigan Area Health Education Center in Kalamazoo, he completed a fellowship in gastroenterology at Ohio State University.
He has been in private practice in Atlanta since1983 and also served as a hospitalist with 24 On Physicians during that time. He is a member of the Southern Medical Association and is fluent in Spanish.
Dr. Baldrich sees patients at the
North Fulton II and Cumming locations.
As for Cheryl Albrecht... she is associated with the development program at Shawnee State University (Portsmouth, OH). "The development program relies on a group of 20 dedicated volunteers who share their wisdom and expertise as well as their hearts for the good of our students. They are bankers and lawyers and business people, and each brings a special love of higher education and of our area with them to our “table.” They devote countless hours and share extraordinary energy on behalf of Shawnee State, and we appreciate all they do. " A quote from their website. She also gave 10k along with her husband Jeff, a developer, to the university there. This is all I could come up with for her.

I located their daughter Rachel in Columbus, OH and have mulled calling/writing her. They also have a son Ben.
Further update: The more I search the internet, the more information I get and the more things I have heard from the past begin to make sense! My father married Joanna in 1947 I believe. She was born in 1926. She died in 1990. From what I heard growing up, she left my dad for a physician intern at the hospital. And this would make sense that I find his name and obituary. My dad said he still paid child support even though she took the kids out of the country (Cuba I was told). My dad was devastated. Here is the obituary from the Journal of American Medicine:
BALDRICH, Rene Alberto G., 64; Portsmouth, Ohio; Departamento de Medicina, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD), Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 1957; died November 3, 1997.
And this would explain to me why half-brother David is a doctor himself and speak fluent spanish! I'll keep you posted, but tell me, what do you think of all this?

Thursday, July 13, 2006


I'm thinking this must be around 1977-78 since my grandpa is dining with us in this photo. From left to right are: my uncle Richard, paternal grandma Kuss, paternal grandpa Kuss, my dad at the far right, my mom and me. Taking the picture was my aunt Barbara. Both aunt and uncle are still living in Ohio. I still have this red tablecloth. It must have been cold weather judging by everyones clothing. My paternal grandma was a wonderful cook and hostess. If you just even stopped in for a short visit she whipped out this incredible spread. She would take ham and cheese and arrange it on a luncheon plate in a circular design. She had the prettiest everyday dishes and good dishes. She had gold stemware when you came to visit. She made me drink milk at dinners like this (good job grandma!) when I really wanted some 50/50, squirt or Seven-up! Her mashed potatoes had perfect lumps in them. She could grow any plant, any where and for years worked at a florist. I didn't sense any tension b/t her and my mother and they seemed to get along fine. be honest my mother was no cook. The only person who comes equals my grandma Kuss' meals is my mother in law. Now that's good eatin'!

Florida: circa 1971

Sad, but this is the LAST time I was ever in Florida. And I don't even remember it. My parents travelled alot...the photos tell me so. Some trips I remember, some not. Since we our going on vacation this year...I wanted to review what my childhood vacations were like. I want our kids to know how great it is that their parents are taking them to great places. But, as teens, they will not appreciate this until they are older. Looking at this picture of my mother and I on the beach in Florida makes me appreciate their willingness to go on vacation!
Actually, I had both of those towels in the picture still up until a few years ago when they weren't even worthy of "rags" status.
And what was up with my bathing suit? Must have been way to big for me. And where is my SUNSCREEN MOTHER???!

Indoctrination: 1969

This is one of my first pictures of my indoctrination into the feline obsession. So it is true: it is my mother's fault I love cats so much. She started it here with this picture of her cat: Sandy. I don't really remember Sandy the cat too much because she was poisoned soon after I was born. Accidently, actually. I guess she ate something outside and she was a goner. My mother did what I would do...she promptly replaced Sandy a year later with Sugarfoot. Sugarfoot (sugar for short) hated my guts. I can't understand why. All I wanted to do was love her...and trim her fur...and paint her toenails...and bathe her...and see how far she could land from my favorite backyard tree. What a poor sport sugar was! But she was amazing in that she succeeded in living past her owner. She died about 3-4 years after mom the neighbor's house ( an old widow), her new peace and quiet.
P.S. Isn't my mom great...she lets herself get photographed in her SLIP! She did have great legs even though she probably wouldn't have made it as a Victoria's secret model.
As for the plastic covered chair in the background...umm thank goodness childrens services weren't visiting that day. It could have posed a problem: plastic and babies. No suffocation issues there...WTG mom!

Separation issues

Did you ever find yourself looking forward to something so much? Then it comes. The date. The day. This happened to me last weekend. I wanted to enjoy it. I tried to savor it but it was hard because of all the prep it took to get it to that point. What is worse than this? Seeing family and friends leaving....I hate it. Earlier this year I realized I have a problem with separation. And I really do believe it is because one January day in 1980 I was a carefree child looking forward to her next snowball fight and the next I was making funeral arrangements and picking out the deceased's clothing. The "rug" was pulled out from under me. Hard. I didn't see it coming. It has made me trust less (except God), skeptical, and as someone who see's the glass half empty. I was talking about this with my BF Carla when she was here for my grad party. She can make sunshine out of a rainstorm. I so wish I could have that attitude! So...when she and her husband leave the day after my party...I miss them and their friendship which is too far and few in between visits. When my in-laws leave...I cry. When a friend divorced years ago, I cried like silly. I don't like separations. I don't like not TRYING really hard at something. This is where this becomes complicated with me. I see the glass half empty...but I also think that just about everything can be worked out if your willing to just TRY. I try to get over this separation issue. I have prayed about it and believe God will help and heal me. In HIS time, not mine. I have asked friends, family etc. casually from time to time if they experience this problem with saying goodbye. Most people I know wave in the driveway, walk back in the house as their company drives away and muse about what a great visit it was. Then they go back to their routine. That is what it may look like on me externally but internally I am emotionally wrecked. And frankly, it's embarrassing. I hate it. I feel abnormal. Especially around the normal people who can just go on with life and la-la-la their way through the week. I mourn. I lament the weekend, visit, whatever is over and now we must carry on with the mundane. So far...I am the only one who struggles with this...thanks for listening.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

A late Happy Father's Day to my dad

I have been having some problems with this site so here is a late tribute to a father who also had to be my mother. This picture was taken in Aug. 1984 at our church in Ohio. You can't tell but this 15 year old was madder than a hornet! I don't remember why but I do regret it whatever it was! It is a good thing God forgives us, huh? I need it when I look at this photo.
I haven't said much about my dad but he and I were really close before and after mom died. Did he do everything right? Nope. Name one parent that has. It was very hard for him from the beginning. He was an "out of wedlock" child from the 1920's (unheard of then and certainly you were scorned for that behavior!). He was enlisted into WWII and for that I am so very proud of him. He served in Goose Bay, Laborador in the Army Air corp. He could have served in the next city over and I would have been so proud. He took 5 years to get through high school but he made it! He always said he goofed off and had fun before he took any schoolwork seriously. He married in the late 40's (47 or 49?) to Joanne and they had two children in 1950 and 1951. Cheryl and David respectively. Joanne left him for a physician intern and she took the two kids to Cuba where the doc was from. He still paid child support for them even as they were out of the country and being pulled away from their father. He deeply loved his children and all children. He could go down to their level they just thought he was the funniest! He remarried in 1967 to my mother and of course I was born in 1969. He attempted to keep in contact with his children but they wanted nothing to do with him and are still that way to this day. I have a message for you Cheryl and David: YOU MISSED OUT ON A MAN WHO WENT TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH TO LOVE AND PROVIDE AND FIND YOU! My dad then went through the tragedy of losing his second wife to a tragic accident in 1980 and having a ten year old to raise alone. He always felt guilty for being behind the wheel that day as we drove to the bank. One day, as an adult, I told him that he was not responsible for my mother's death. I do not blame him and I didn't want him to blame himself anymore. (This is more painful to write than I thought it would be!) He missed his dear wife's funeral because he was in the hospital intensive care unit. I remember visiting him there after the funeral and he was just in the deepest physical and emotional pain I can recall. He said "It's gonna be okay kid, just you and I we have to stick together and we're going to make it" And from that day on, whenever I was troubled he would always say that we were going to stick together. And we did. He and I were lost that first year without mom. I can honestly say that! I attempted to cook and clean but I could never match her in that arena. She kept a sharp, neat house. We did erratic things that year too. Things that regular parents would shake their head at and wonder what the rationale was behind it. I don't understand it all at this age either but I do know that both of us were in incredible grief pain. Irrational things: taking me out of school for days on end so we could go on a trip to another state to see things we never saw before. Staying in a hotel in Covington, KY on the 17th floor on our way to a historic place. He made such a big deal about the fact that we could stay at the top and all the lights of the city shone in our room. Another: buying me every single animal on the shelf at a store at the mall. Stuffed animals. Like I needed more of those. But we did not adapt to this pain well, obviously we attempted to cover it and fill it with material things and esapist ways. I once saw a stuffed animal that was called a "Worry bird". I really did believe that a stuffed bird with big eyes could help me with all that I was worried about. I think that is why I have always had a strong faith. When others find ways to walk away from Jesus or fail to see that He is alive and has power to help us with so much, I cling. It has been the only hope that I have ever felt for all this pain. I can't explain the supernatural and some are turned off by dropping the "J" name but that's okay, I NEED it to not fall into depression or hopelessness. Okay, off the pulpit!
My dad thought he was doing the right thing on March 13, 1981 when he married Elaine Albright Lester. He was DEAD wrong. It was bad enough to have lost my mother but to have to deal with this woman and her children was deeply scarring. But that is not going to get wordage here in this blog. Not worth it. I wish her well and forgive her but I do not choose to give any time or energy to expounding on the past with her. They divorced in 1984. I lived with a youth pastor and his wife the summer of 84 to try and sort out my life. I was emotionally wrecked. Never an issue with drugs or alcohol to mask my pain. No...I just let it all hang out all the time. Not good either. Fall of 84 my dad and I got an apt together ( Elaine had helped herself to all the money my dad had and by their divorce we had no house either...not entirely her fault, I know my dad should have better protected us!). In short, I married young and I married opposite of my dad. My dad was passive and my husband is not. I love them both DEARLY. My dad passed away here in Michigan in Nov. 1996. It was a pain that I cannot describe. I loved my dad. I wanted to protect him from life. It should also have been the other way around. I know that. But it does not take away from the fact that he was my father. He did the best he knew how. He was a solider, a March of Dimes representitive in the 50's, a father to 3, an office guy, a maintainence worker at Oberlin college, a foster parent to Kenny (where are you?) in the 50's, a bastard child, a person who loved extravagantly, a Christian who grew deeper to God as time went on, a postive-the-glass-is-always-full person, a patient daddy, a fun grandpa, a husband to my mother, and a sweetheart to all who knew him.
This is for you daddy, I love you.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad

June 17th, 1967. A second marriage for Helen and for Gordon. I don't really have any decent wedding pictures nor do I know much about their wedding day. I just know that I am glad they met at church. Though they only shared 13 years together...they were a very good example of what love in a marriage is. Today would have been year 39...

Monday, June 12, 2006

Last Christmas picture: Dec. 1979

Seated in the black dress is my mother, Helen. Seated in the chair is my paternal grandmother, Mildred. Standing behind the chair is my Uncle Richard. Seated on the arm, holding me is my Aunt Barbara. My mother looks absolutely awful. Let's Jan '79 my grandmother, Mildred lost her husband to lung cancer, my mother lost her father in March '79 and she was apparently either very depressed or tired or both in this picture. My grandmother Mildred passed away in 1993 and my aunt and uncle are still living in Ohio. We all look pitiful. This was about 10 days before mom died. I hate having this as a last picture. The pants I am wearing in the photo will not go beyond 10 days either as they were ripped in the accident and cut off in the ER after.

Sea World in Ohio

Yeah here we are with our fake Addida's shoes circa summer 1979. The last summer I spent with my mother. I am the babe with the knee high blue socks on. The other girl is a friend from my grandparents neighborhood, Vicky Frantz. Last I heard she was married with 3 kids, an RN and living in Elyria still. I don't recall feeling overly fuzzy about this picture. We had a good time but I remember a small chasm beginning between my mother and I. The normal "I am heading for adolescence chasm". But still wanting her to be my mom too. Could have also been the fact that there were the rumblings of unhappiness within her: my mother lost her father in March 1979. So in this picture she was starting to really be depressed. It shows in her appearance. She always dressed to the nine's but in this picture she is wearing my dad's tee shirt. Good or was still my last summer with her and if I could climb into the photo I would just HUG her one more time.

Three females, three generations and one '66 Buick

Taken in the driveway of 239 Pasedena in Elyria, OH in 1969. Here are the stats behind this one: my grandmother, Louise, in the darker dress loses her life in this car less than a year after this picture is taken in 1970. She is killed in Missouri with my mother at the wheel and me in the car. My mother, in pink, is killed 10 years later again, in an auto accident, this time in Ohio. Again, I am in the car. 1990, I'm pregnant with MY daughter and it took A LOT of faithful and patient church women to convince, pray for and minister over me to assure me this was not going to be MY fate 10 years after my mother's. And you know what? It wasn't. I relied on Jeremiah 29:11: I know the plans I have for you. Plans for good and not for disaster. Plans to give you a FUTURE and a HOPE..."

Where are these kids now?

Yeah, I would love to know that. Fat chance I'm sure. I wanted to this post this on the last entry but for some reason it didn't work so here it is. Our Brownie picture. This picture was taken on Courtland St. One house from the end. Our troop leader's house. The girls holding the flag are left to right : Erika (?) and Stephanie Atkinson. I am in the top row flanked by a girl named Judy(?) and Angie Yearly. I am also in my SWEET lookin' pink pantsuit. Polyester of course. Carla is behind the flag (second from your right) in a yellow dress, brown hair and the goofiest smile! Okay back to mom blogging. Thanks for your indulgence....

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Wooden Shoe know it!

This picture was taken in May 1960 in Holland, Michigan. Well before this little author was conceived, let alone thought of! The thing that is kinda cool is that in this picture, my house was already built and she was about 15-20 minutes away from where I live now. I want to tell her that I live here now! I want to tell her how droll the whole Holland Dutch Festival stuff is to us now after 12 years. I want to ask her what she is doing at that ridiculous touristy trap of a place in the picture!! There are more pictures in this group but I chose this one specifically because of the wooden shoes she has stepped into. When we lived in the house in Ohio, I would occasionally venture up to the atic with her to retrieve things or look at things. I can still see the attic and how it looked in my head. My old changing table, clothes hanging in plastic zipped bags for a different season, a projector and slides, insulation sticking out, a cedar chest, christmas items-you get the picture. I also remember some unpainted, unstained real hand carved wooden shoes. I would try them on and they would fit fairly well. I still have them I believe. They were a size 5-6, very small for my big feet! I would clod around the attic with these on. Years later I loathe a pair of these things because we are inudated with living in "mini netherlands" as there is a huge Dutch community here. So...when my mother planted her feet...I too planted them long after she was gone...34 years later.
Some memories about my best friend (still today!) that grew up with me on Bell Ave. This picture of her is from Junior high: 1982. Carla lived about 6 houses down from me. She had a big brother and as the seventies moved on two more brothers after her. We had a blast. We would play Charlies Angels (I was always the Jaclyn Smith character) and she was the Kate Jackson character. We would play kick the can with Doug Kasubinski (where is he at now?), Brian Meyer (married and still living on that street!), Carla, me and her big brother Mike. I would NOT want to go home to pee so occasionally when I wouldnt make it to a bush in Frances yard I would pee my pants. EWWW! But you can't chide me for dedication to the game! We would do kickball and army. Mike always wanted me to be HIS nurse. Took me years but I figured it out why he always played DOCTOR to the war wounded! Mike was cool though. When I would spend the night he would come in the kitchen and Carla and I would be playing "Restaurant" (pretty imaginative title, eh?) and he would just start cracking jokes. He would have us laughing so hard I would be in tears! He was a great brother to Carla too. Except when we would be in the basement playing and he and Doug would shut the lights out and the door on us. We froze and just started SCREAMING. Because the furnace down there was one of those big honkin' multi-armed things from the 20's! They would throw snowballs at Carla's upstairs bedroom window to scare us after we were asleep. Another thing was we had this constant battle going on with kids one street over: The Courtland kids we call them. They lived on Courtland St hence the name. One time they came over to menace us verbally and my mom came running down the street (still embarassed by this!) with A BALL BAT! She was not playin'! Today, I do not remember the reason we had issues with them. Carla and I were in Brownies together. We wanted to win a $30.00 prize for a talent show we were having. Some old brownie leader (prob dead or in a home!) has a movie of us at this talent show. Anyway, Carla's parents had Elvis and Beatle albums so we picked "I wanna hold your hand". I had no idea who the Beatles were since I was always relegated to 40's swing music from my WWII generation parents. So we did our thing with me dancing all over the place, gettin' my grove on larger than life and here is meek Carla. Just barely moving her sweet little feet. But we won over the others and split the cash. It was great. And to completely top off this blog writing I will end with the campfire favorite of how I tried to win friends and ended up making enemies! EVERYBODY and I mean everybody (kids on the block that is) always hung out at Carla's house to play. It was just a migration center for fun in the 70's when we were growing up. One day I got a real good offense going that no one wanted to come and play at my house. Here's my two theories on that: one, I was probably the biggest pain to my playmates as I was a spoiled, lippy, only child..sorry guys! Two, my mother drank bottles of beer. No other mother on the street (openly of course) drank beer. She would be sitting out in the hot sun having a cold beer right on the front porch. SO, I had a brainiac idea to INFLUENCE friends to come over. I found some chocolate in foil in the refrigerator and gladly gave it out to my friends: the Kasubinski's, Meyer's, Lyon's, Stump's etc. Later that afternoon people started stopping over all right. Even parents! Wow, it worked! Except that my mom was getting upset and giving me looks that would kill. Then she explained to me that I was in trouble for giving EX-LAX to the kids in the hood. I didn't know it was EX LAX. Of course now they don't make it with a box and silver foil covering it but in the 70's I thought it would make everything come out alright!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Never really thought about this before...

But my mother engaged in sports. The other day I pulled out some photos for this blog and it had been so long since I had seen these pix that I was amazed. It was like opening a new box of cereal and tasting it for the first time...okay that was a ridiculous example. The pix seemed new to me. I looked at things I hadn't seen before, I studied the fish that my mother caught, the bowling trophy (above), the very well dressed woman in the pictures and it was like I was looking at this stuff brand new. Yes, its been THAT long.
I dont know who these women are in this picture. Mom is third from the right in black dress and heels. She really dressed well. He life and mine are SO different. I hate dressing up, just hate it. I am not girly-girl. Could care less if my nails are done! The amazing thing that I see in those photos are a woman who lived a whole entire 42 years before being a MOTHER. She travelled, bowled, fished, worked, shopped and then she became the person I knew. The person I knew was probably depressed. I have come to that realization. Here is the situation which I think led her to become depressed. Spring of 1970 we (mom, dad, me and my mother's mother-Louise) were all travelling back from Colorado (?) and a car hit us. I don't recall all the details but the one thing I do remember that all of my kid life (0-10), I was told by my mother's family that I was the one who pulled the keys from the ignition (14 month olds just didn't get buckled up in those days!) and caused the car behind us to rear end us, thus killing Grandma Louise. Amazing that I believed that malarkey for years. When I was a teen I began to reason that I would not have been PHYSICALLY able to manuever keys from a 1966 Buick! Anyhow, my mother was at the wheel and was forever also blamed for killing her mother. What a crock! So she drank to forget. She didn't dress up much. She didn't care the longer my life went and the shorter her life went. Here is my fantasy scenario setup if I could have talked to her at my age now and hers then. (I know, but just bear with me!). "Mom, there is no way you could have known that car was going to hit ours. Please do not take responsibility for an accident you could not have prevented! Your mother knew you adored her. There is hope mom, help too for you.You are forgiven, all you have to do is ask the Lord to heal your heart and he will. It will be in HIS timing, not yours but he is in the business of taking pain and wiping it clean. How can I be of help to you mom? You can cry, it's okay..." But instead she lived with this major guilt hanging over her head. Back about 15 yrs ago, I saw her uncle. He was a hard hearted mean man and he mentioned to me that I killed my grandmother. I was pregnant with Heather at the time and it was all I could do not to deck him with my large gut! I told him I would not be receiving that blame and guilt and that he could not "do me that way". He has since died and I still reel at the thought of that horrible comment. Okay, enough digressing!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Circa 1969-70

I love this picture of my parents. It was taken at my maternal grandparents house. I remember that red/pink carpeting feeling like sandpaper though!
The other day I was at a garage sale that had tons of old Avon decanters and stuff. I saw a pair of yellow and white salt and pepper shakers there..and instantaneously (yeah, like Star Trek type rewinding) I was mentally drawn back into the 70's and in our kitchen on Bell ave. My mom used to sell Avon for a short time then and she had this suitcase full of tiny lipstick samples (probably where I got my love for tiny things) and samples of other sorts. Anyhow, I saw these shakers and then my eyes lept to a lavender plastic umbrella type thing. It had tiny holes in it so the scent you put inside it would scent your linens. Another thing mom sold. And as I looked over this ladies vast collection of Avon stuff these items kept popping into my head and I kept saying "Yeah, and I remember this too!!". Now as generous as my family is to me, they could have probably cared less that I remember some silly plastic decanter or s/p shakers! However, I wanted them to really be amazed as if maybe it would prove to them that yeah, I really did have a mom at once. She was REAL. I know this because she used to sell this stuff and, and, well I was THERE! This is how it would have played out if I would have had my own sentimental way: We see stuff, I say I remember and the family flocks over to me touching the items and saying "Really, this stuff?, WOW! She was a viable person who was your mom and she DID have a job and wow, did you help her sell it, what was she like?" Insert reality check here!
Another I got rid of the pictures of the stepmother and the wedding. I was like..wait, why do I have to keep these? Is there a law that says what God has healed in my heart, I should keep reminding myself of this pain? Not in my vocab! SO I chucked 'em and it was a great feeling. Remember, life is not fair, but there is a God and he is GOOD!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

It was a good day...

I am so blessed to have this beautiful young lady as my daughter. It is beyond words the love I have for her. Mother's Day used to be a difficult day. It gets easier as life goes on. But I never will forget the woman who gave life to me so that this picture could even happen. And in church today I was reminded that even though some of us are motherless, we can still remember and cherish the time that the Lord had given to us. I am grateful and I DO CHERISH ten years with my mother, Helen.
I was with Heather the other night at the Hallmark store and as quick as a wink I found myself choking up when I briefly looked down at a card paying homage to a mother from her daughter. It was just that quick! I looked around to see if I was the only crybaby and yep, I was! That's okay with me...I learned a short time ago to let it flow when it's there, don't push it down and ignore those emotions.
It's been said that motherless mothers are overprotective. Sometimes more so than mothers who still have their mothers. I feel that way so much! I sometimes feel I have kept our kids in a cocoon for the last 17 years. Part of me is proud of that and part of me is like, hey, did I equip them with enough to go out on their own with? When I think back to when our son turned 11. I went into freak out mode demanding that he follow me to the basement to master how to do the laundry. For some reason I felt like I had to hurry up and make sure he knew how to do this task because I didn't have a clue how to do the laundry or anything "householdy". So here is this poor kid wondering why playing outside one week was fine and now the following week he is being given a dissertation on whites, darks, fabric softener etc!! I had to look back at my experience and remember that first time I tried to do laundry by myself (and why did my father not do this?!). I was watching TV in 1980 and saw a commercial for CHEER detergent. The lady was pointing out the side of the box where it explained the three tempa-cheers and sorting laundry according to that. So, I promptly went up to the market and got us some CHEER (even though mom was an avid TIDE fan). And that is how I learned to do laundry. From a box of CHEER. Crazy. But on that day years ago with my son, I was determined that HE would not learn from a box of detergent as I did.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

I cry and celebrate normal events in my kid's lives:

My 15 year old daughter, Heather, got her temporary license for driving yesterday. A normal event to any mom except to me. I am a motherless daughter since 1980. We left the DMV and as we got to the car I put my arm around her and handed her the keys. I couldn't stop "holding" her and of course the tears started to flow uncontrollably. Heather understood though, just as she understood why I cried in the dressing room when it was time to shop for school clothes every August. And when it was time for her violin concert, her swim meet or any other event that a mother is usually present at. And here was another event, a milestone that took me back to the day in 1985 when I turned 16 and headed for the DMV. Coming home to an empty apartment and feeling the pain that I could not share this with my mom. I have a husband and a son too. But with my daughter, it has always been EXTRA special. I have thanked God daily for letting me witness what other mom's take for granted. Why did I cry at all those events? Because my mother never got to be there for most of those events. She isn't even there now to share a phone call with regarding her grandchildren's life.That is the frustrating part. The injustice, the "it's just not fair!" part of my life. The part that makes me want to throw myself to the floor and have a temper tantrum until I get my way with God. It's crazy because when I cook, I still use her utensils. A spatula, spoon and pizza cutter. What an inheritance, eh? But when my adult hand grips the exact place where her adult hand gripped I feel close to her. I see her standing in the kitchen making dinner and I pretend I am there again. I study the items in the kitchen, what she is wearing and the smell of her peanut butter cookies baking. I used to envision her being lost and coming back. She would not know me now. I am a different parent than she ever was. She was permissive. I am more strict with my children. But still I allow my mind to go to that place sometimes where I see her standing at my house one state away from my childhood home in Ohio, knocking at the front door. Who is that old woman I wonder? But as I get closer I notice those tiny eyes and that contagious laugh. I study her frame and usher her in. She wants to catch up. She can't stop staring at me. I don't need to confirm anything I just want to update her fast so we can start having an additional grandma for these grandchildren. But soon the "fantasy" just doesn't fit and I cancel it out in my mind. Too much time has gone by. It's been too long since I was a child. The fantasy doesn't work. The kids are too old and probably wouldn't be able to bond with this frail old woman of what would now be her age of 80. Still, I cannot relate this to anyone I know because they have parents in tact or their mother died at a ripe old age. They think I am stuck in the past (yeah, sometimes I am) and some are gentle about it, some are pointed about it. Get over it...right? My mother died on January 5, 1980. It's my 9/11/2001, my Nov. 22, 1963 day. It's the day my childhood ended.
My dad, mom and I were on our way to the bank and as we crossed an intersection a garbage truck hit her side. My dad and I survived. At least physically. She was 53 and I was 10 (six days from my 11th birthday). Their only child. Unequivocally, it was the rug ripped out from under me. The accident was big news and the next morning, there was the demolished car and a fireman carrying me to the ambulance on the front page. I still have the front page picture and article. A few days after the funeral the neighbors threw me a subdued eleventh birthday party. My dad could not attend as he was still in the intensive care unit. He also could not pick out her casket or attend the funeral. The family was in shock so I did it. I think to myself now, as an adult, HOW COULD ANYONE LET A CHILD PICK OUT A CASKET?!" But they did. I was wracked with guilt for years because I didn't go to the second "showing" at the funeral home. I just couldn't take it. Couldn't take seeing her laying there with silly glasses on and bruised up. Her real glasses were kept by my aunt who was paranoid they would get buried with her. So, just before the showing she went and bought these silly looking frames. I stayed home and watched TV with a neighbor trying to pretend things were still the same. They never were again. One time a therapist asked me about my childhood and I kept talking about life before the age of ten. She finally said to me "Do you realize you’re relating to your adulthood as age eleven to the present time? That is not adulthood. Eighteen and over is traditionally". No, I told her. Adulthood started for me on 1/6/1980!

Monday, May 08, 2006

House circa 1979, Family circa 1969

I think I was being baptized this day at our Lutheran church. This is one of my favorite pictures of my family surrounding me. To the left is my proud papa, behind my mother are his parents Mildred and Harvey. Maternal grandmother Louise is to the right of my mother. The date is, I believe, April 1969. All in the picture are now deceased.
I don't scroll through photo's of my family when I pick up an album. I study. I look intensly for any clues to what was going on that day or who was doing, eating, sitting, laughing what and where. I have to. Because the memories I need to now hear about are with those in the photo's. It really bums me out at times. I know God is good but there are days when I just wonder why I was picked for the short end of the familial stick!
I was born to two people on their second marriage. A first child for my mother and a third for my father. I have been told by other family members that I was desperately wanted by my parents. They must have figured that by the ages of 42 and 44 if a child didn't come soon, it would be too late. So I was born in Jan. 1969. We lived in this great little two bedroom house on Bell Ave. My mom kept a clean and neat home. From the photos I see we went a lot of places when I was little. Virginia, Florida, Michigan, PA etc. I love the picture of my mom and I on the beach in Florida with the seagulls dancing about our heads. I want to go ask her about it. I want details of this trip. What was the exact city? Did I have fun? I can't remember as I was only 3.
I study the next picture of our house on Bell. Countless times I played with my Hotwheels in that driveway, Easter photos on the front steps, building snow forts in the front yard, playing horseshoes on the side near Cebula's house. The tall tree that strongly held my favorite tree swing (on old tire), summer nights on the patio off the garage watching TV outside with mom and dad, watching mom hang out our clothes while I relaxed in the kiddie pool.
Okay, this means nothing to you, maybe, but for me. A mecca.

The single girl picture...

This photo is from the mid sixties I believe. It is of my mother as a single working woman at NASA in Cleveland, Ohio. She is smiling because she knows my dad and I are just a few short years away from further enriching her life (okay, I made that part up!). Actually until about the late 1990's I didn't have any photo's of her up around our house. It was too painful actually. I would have rather blocked her out even though I didn't consciously say that. It was not until I met up with a man named Jim through a high school classmates type site that God began a healing in me. I used to post random things on the Elyria High School site on classmates back then and one time I posted something about the auto accident at a certain site and did anyone happen to know about it. It was a long shot. But God is into long shots apparently because Jim not only remembered it but he was there. So we emailed back and forth. Hubby DLR was amazed that Jim was there and encouraged all of us to meet. SO we did. I came to Elyria and met him and his wife. He not only made us feel right at home but as a special added touch he happened to pick up a dozen of my favorite pink icing cookies of mine and my mother's favorite bakery in town. The bakery is now defunct which is a real bummer!
Anyhow, Jim had gone into the hardware store that morning and heard the accident. Being a paramedic/emt he ran out to assist. Things I never knew and worried about he cleared up. I wondered for years if my mother had a chance to make her peace or speak to God. Did she ask about me? He also stunned DLR and I both with a coat that he still had that he had been wearing that day. When he brought it out I was speechless. The depth of my emotions were bottomless when he proceeded to show me the tiny holes he incurred in this brown winter coat from reaching through the glass to reach me. Amazing. So, friends, God didn't just satisfy my questions he provided the closure I had been longing for by bringing Jim into my life. For Jim's willingness to come forward I am forever grateful. He and his wife are very special people to our family to say the least! After this episode I felt like something became unhinged in me. In a good way. I was able to see my home differently when I came home. I began to search for pictures of my mother and include her in our lives, not hide her away. And to this day...the photo's still stand.

Been wanting to do this for a long time

Wow, if only I could have had this technology, this type of outlet in 1980 I would have been able to work through my feelings in writing.
This site is dedicated to motherless daughters and motherless mothers. I am both. I became a motherless daughter on January 5, 1980. A distinct line was drawn in the sand that day...the line between carefree, spoiled, only child to housekeeper, bill keeper, commander in charge of all that my dad could not handle. I joined the mother ranks in Nov. 1988 and Dec. 1990. It is my complete hope that this site will garner responses from motherless daughters/mothers from all over the world. It is also my hope that we m-d's can all take a load off here and kick our responsible feet up with any and all feelings, musings, hopes, regrets or whatever we want to talk about. Thanks to Hope Edelman and her book I first read in 1996 "Motherless Daughters". I also read the next book titled "Letters from Motherless Daughters". Now I am reading "Motherless Mothers". Which prompted me to start this blog. As I have been reading her book (MM), I find myself stopping and saying to my husband: "Hey, I feel this way too, I can't believe it, I must be normal cause someone else is going through these feelings too". If your reading this and you have never lost a mother prematurely, honestly, you really cannot understand the lack that we feel as mothers. I know you want to, because I have seen your sympathy and felt your empathy but I also know that look of relief from you that you haven't had to experience this rug being pulled out from under your feet. Your blessed so go hug your mother TODAY!
Stop, stay awhile, drop a few would be great to hear from you!