Hands Hold Their Own Stories

Recently I was at the hairdresser waiting on my husband. A thin, elderly lady came in with the help of her daughter. She steadied herself on a walker and slowly sat down. The daughter said she was going next door to the clock repair shop.  I looked over and this lady was frail, with a slight hump on her back close to her neck. She wore a bright azure shade of blue knit pants and a medium-checked pink button shirt. The sleeves came down past her elbows and her skin was purplish in places, with blue veins, and a bruise spot here and there. Perhaps from medications such as Plavix that I now have to take and can cause bruising at the slightest bump. She stared down at her hands and then slightly picked at a spot on her wrist, then gave an audible sigh. She looked over and I said hello, here to get your hair done, how nice.

I wanted to go sit by her and pat her hand, feel her paper skin and bone in mine. I wanted to say I know. Youth is gone, wouldn’t it be nice to have some of it back?

I have been reading through my ‘marriage journals’ and now in the year 1983. It is December 8, my birthday. Three lines from that entry read: ‘My folks called to say happy 32. 32!!!!!!. I see myself aging. I can’t take it.’ Readers, this is 2023 and I am still lamenting. Only to be part of 32 again! Just a wee tiny.

Several years ago, at another salon, I have my feet sunk in a bath for a pedicure. Once again an elderly lady is next to me with bright red drying toes. She leaned over and began to show me her hands with brown dots, then fingernails with the white spots she explains as “aging” and “nothing that can be done.”  I replied, “Well, a lot happens when you get older.”  And she snorts back, “A lot doesn’t happen when you get older and that is what I miss.” 

On a favorite Blog site I read, Sari Botton of Oldster Magazine, (34) Sari Botton | Substack put out a questionnaire to thoughts on aging. Thus far I have seen ages thirty-six to ninety-two respond with their views, ideals, realizations, accomplishments, and acceptances. And quite recently a riotous amount of banter regarding the latest Sports Illustrated with Martha Stewart stalwartly posed across the cover. I will leave it at that.

We girls in the writer’s group have taken this ‘aging’ as a prompt and tackled it from all angles through each decade we wrote together. I would love to collect those pieces and post them for discussion, but better not. In those moments as we wrote about our aging, our thoughts on this process shifted a bit, because we had more to add. At any rate, we did our best to make the most of it with humor and to embrace the inevitable with various commentary in our styles of writing.

Back to the other day, this seasoned elderly gal next to me quietly waits for her stylist who shortly bustles up, “Are you ready?” “Yes, I’m ready.” She rises with care and secures her hands on the walker and off she goes. She turns to the stylist behind her, “But the rest of me isn’t.”

This is from a writing prompt.

There is something about Valentine’s Day, a shade of red, a shade of fire. My heart beats under pearl buttons, my fingers press lightly for the shade of hope.
In a late autumn afternoon thirty years later, the hope lay softer, fallen under damp auburn and gold leaves, a blush in a cup, my beating heart more quiet.
Thirty years more, my hope needs reinvented. My blush molds between my fingers, now old, worn with experience. My fire spins beneath me, the shaping of myself, I have conquered.

Memorial Day 5-29-23

Can we ever say thanks enough for those brave souls who gave their lives for our country? Even in wars we may not believe were necessary, they showed patriotism in their defense of our ideals.

Dad is 3rd from rt, back row

My father was a veteran of WWII. He joined the Army Air Corps as it was then known in 1942 after Pearl Harbor and served as a tail gunner and waist gunner on B-24 bombers until after D-Day. Dad, a farm boy from Kansas, was part of the 446th Bombardment Group that was activated in Tucson in April 1943. The group transferred to Lowry AAF Base in Colorado for training and in October 1943 was equipped with B-24H Liberator planes and sent to Flixton Air Base in Bungay, England. He flew a total of thirty missions on several planes, among them was Plastered Bastard, Bomberang, Lady Luck, and the Red Ass.

Twenty-eight of his missions were with the same crew piloted by Lt. C.W. Ryan of Nacogdoches, Tx from December 1943 to July 1944 mostly over Germany but some over German installations in Holland and France. His last recorded mission was July 18, 1944.

He made notes in a small 3 x 5 notepad. An example of his journal notes is “Cognac Air Field Dec. 31 ‘43. Plenty flak and accurate as hell, but no one shot down by it. Fighters galore attacking all stragglers – several planes observed going down. We saw one blow up and one shot down by five fighters using the new merry-go-round tactics fashioned from our own 47 type. ROUGH. An hour hanging around target – escort forced home – no gas. Two planes lost. S/Sgt Louis Phillips W.G. and Lt. Allen, K.I.A.

Another entry was “Berlin – April 29 ’44. Straight in and out – and flak all the way and brother what flak over target it was walkable and we got thru and past before I got hit by burst in tail (he was a tail gunner on this flight) and another one was ruined. Those guys are mad at me. Fighters beat the hell out of 448th and got a couple of our planes.”

As a tail gunner (the most important defensive position), Dad crouched in a cramped bubble under the tail of the plane with his machine gun to defend the rear. As a waist gunner (the most vulnerable position), he stood at an unshielded opening on the side of the plane to shoot enemy fighters that strafed their B-24 bomber. He was injured on several flights by bullets or shrapnel. He witnessed the deaths and injuries of crew mates.

His crew and plane, the Red Ass, led the entire Eighth Air Force on invasion day over the Normandy coast of France, June 6, 1944. He was the tail gunner. His journal states “Ah boy, this was the one. Twenty miles east of Le Havre. Lt. J.T. Goss C.F. volunteered for an extra mission to be in on it. Zero hour for the troops to land was 6:30 and we bombed at 6:00 – 400 yds ahead of ‘em. It was overcast but through the clouds we could see jillions of ships in the water just offshore waiting to attack. Could see ships firing into coastal defenses and returning fire. We led the Group, the Group led the Wing, the Wing led the Division, and the Division led the Eighth. Quite an Honor!” They carried twelve five-hundred-pound bombs and their target was coastal installations on the beach southeast of LeHavre. Colonel Brogger “the big boy” was on board as was Lt. McKenna along with their usual crew.

S/Sgt J.D. Davis

Dad never talked about his experiences in the war. Never, ever. My mother told me he had shock treatments after he came home due to depression and trauma suffered during the war but she never talked about his experiences either. I didn’t find out about his part in the D-Day invasion until many years after his death. He died at the age of 52. Mom claimed he never really recovered from the war. Damage done in war cannot be assessed only by battlefield injury. It is the violence to the soul that lingers. My brother talked with two of his crew mates decades after his and their service and they were surprised he had been hospitalized for depression. They said he was the guy who kept everyone’s spirits up during grim times with his humor and positive talk. Dad’s eyes would glisten tearily when he heard the Air Force Anthem or the song Oh Danny Boy. Those two songs refreshed memories of his war experiences. The only times I believe he was thinking of the friends he lost.

The dark side of Dad was evidenced by alcoholism. He was a functioning alcoholic. I never saw him drunk, but I rarely remember him without a drink in his hand. He drank Old Stagg from the time he got home from work until he fell asleep and, on weekends, it was morning til night. He never missed work and took pride in his job at Boeing as they ushered in new flight and space technology. He loved having people over for barbeque and always entertained them. I don’t think any of our friends suspected how much he drank. My mom, to her dying day, refused to acknowledge he was an alcoholic because she said he was never drunk. He was also a two-pack-a-day smoker, a Camel cigarette in hand at all times. All that contributed to his early death.

My memory of Dad is of a gentle man. He was extremely witty and could capture a room with his stories and jokes. A man who loved literature and history, he always had one, two, or three books and a dictionary on the table next to his favorite chair. I remember him talking to me about Shakespeare when I was six or seven, in reverential tones. He read everything from the classics to Rex Stout and Dashiell Hammett.

Mom was the hammer and Dad the velvet anvil. When she pronounced a penalty for my transgressions, he found ways to soften the blow. He’d cajole her to a lesser or no penalty. The story goes that once when I was two years old, too young to remember, I ran across the street to play with the little girl who lived there. I had been warned to never cross without Mom or Dad, but I didn’t heed the warning. Dad came marching across the street to retrieve me and at home took me over his knee to deliver a paddling. Mom said he cried much harder than I did and that was the last time he tried to enforce a penance.

Mom said he wrote the most incredible letters to her when he was overseas. He had an Irishman’s way with words. She kept the letters in a box in our basement. They were destroyed when our basement flooded during a storm in the 50s. I never saw those letters, but my aunts, uncle, and grandmother also talked about his eloquence. I don’t think he ever wrote a letter after he returned.

Thank you to all the veterans who served. Most of all, thank you Dad for being my Dad.

Gluten or Not

I am gluten free, by necessity, not choice. I don’t have celiac, which gives me a sigh of relief. It’s been about six years that I’ve been deprived (tears), considering I’m also to follow the low-fodmap diet, and another rule – no garlic, onion, and keep my sugar intake to 5 grams or less. I mean, who in the world can do that unless you’ve locked your pantry and hired someone to guard it? When I flew to Tucson for the Festival of Books, Diana and Sally cooked gluten free while I stayed with both of them, which was very kind and much appreciated, considering I sent them my low-fodmap, sugar free, no onion, no garlic list. They reviewed the forty page list (not really that long, just seems that way in another language). The day of the Festival, Sally diligently reminded me that I “may not” want to eat the mini-sized bars sitting in a big basket behind us, within arm’s reach. I decided I’d be just fine, spun around and inhaled them. My body rebelled the next day. Just ask Sally and Diana. I wanted to pout, but more books signings were scheduled. 

Yesterday, my husband, my daughter’s family and I attended a Colorado Rockies game and were in a suite, complements of one of her vendors. They provided a nice amount of food, and I drooled past the pizza, brats with buns, hot dogs too, soft, large chocolate chip cookies, Margaritas, beer, coke, sprite and more. All I was able to eat was a bare, lonely hot dog slathered with mustard, catsup, and pickle relish. I also had a tossed salad with dressing and ate next to my granddaughter as she devoured a hot dog with bun and later, a marbled chocolate and vanilla ice cream cone.

You would think I’d get used to eating little sugar. There IS an array of delicious gluten free food, desserts included, but too often, the sugar content is high.

Considering my food limitations, I should be a Twiggy, but sadly, I’m not. I bet she ate at least over 50 grams of sugar, or I like to think she did. I’m still waiting to become her, but so far, it hasn’t happened. Oh well, I’m in a cafeteria as I write this and am going to walk past the pastries and drool. By the way, I know it could be much worse. Many have health situations much more serious than mine. It’s just that my diet keeps me healthier despite my complaining at times. But, just wondering, surely some of you out there share my whining?

Just got done staring at the pastry bar. Heck, who needs a raspberry, cream cheese-filled, gluten, high sugar scone when you can buy bottled water or black coffee. Right? Not.

A Hunting We Will Go

In Jackie’s blog on May 8, Beloved Books, I commented that I had never read Where the Red Fern Grows and would tackle it. I checked the book out at our library and began. The first copyright was in 1961. I was ten. I will say I was into Huckleberry Finn, pirate escapades, and such in those early years of reading.

I settle on the couch and stop at Chapter Two. Billy gets his first small steel traps. I put the book down. Later I inch back into it and skimmed along halfway through Chapter Seven. Okay, I have just about had it on using a log trick to catch a raccoon. A few days later I picked and poked through a paragraph here, there until the real raccoon hunt began with his two little new hound dogs. Chapter Eight through Nine was the agonizing effort of his first raccoon catch, and before Chapter Ten ended, I put the library receipt back in the book and laid it by the front door.

The point: Reading a book of its time, for its era, culture, and the deep wanting of a little boy to have hound dogs is a grand and deeply dutiful story. I would have received this story far better at the age of ten living in rural Midwest countryside, but not today at seventy-one far removed from country living. At around the same age of ten or eleven, I did go raccoon hunting once. Uncle Mel bought a Bluetick Coonhound at quite a price for that time. He had always had a dog, but not a true ‘hunting’ dog that was bred for this activity. Blue, yes, Blue, was quite the looker, but he was goofier often times and more lovable all the time than being on alert. Uncle Mel took his oldest son, Leslie, and daughter, Sandy, who was my age, and I out into the thick woods well after supper one night. We all hopped out of the truck and off we went through tall brush, grass, brambles, and trees. My uncle broke the path while Blue and us three were eager to follow. We lifted the dog over any fence we came across. Not long into this search, Blue treed a raccoon, high up, little black shiny eyes looking down.

I recall amidst the noise and excitement of the barking and baying I said something or other, like, you’re not going to hurt him, right? And probably made more of a fuss because I was beginning to get the picture. I know my uncle couldn’t see my face because of being so dark but perhaps heard something in my tone. He turned and we all followed. Blue stayed behind for a moment until he discovered we were all leaving and happily bounded after us.

A few years later in 1968 Leslie found a young orphaned baby male raccoon and brought him to the house to take care of him. He named him Rocky after the then-released Beetles song. Rocky Raccoon was a case. He grew strong, nosey, agile, and part of the big family. He was everywhere, anytime day or night. When I spent the night with my cousins, and it was often, I woke up in the middle of the night to a gentle head massage and miscellaneous rearrangements to my hair. He loved the scuffling in long hair, or his nose around my ears, and pawing to get between the blankets. He jauntily went from bed to bed to activate his many pranks.

The day came when Rocky grew into his instincts to leave home and find a mate. Rocky was getting restless, a bit less friendly, and not so content. Leslie and Rocky left one afternoon walking across the backfield toward the old one-room schoolhouse known as Dexter which was surrounded by thick woods. Leslie came back that evening, well after dark. It was a sad week at the house for all of us.

(My dad teasing Rocky with his coffee cup)

Oddly enough, about two years later, Leslie was out in the yard working on one of his dad’s tractors. He heard a type of chittering noise in the alfalfa field beyond the shed. He walked quietly toward the fence and the noise increased to a high-pitch squeal. A large raccoon reared up on its hind legs when he saw Leslie. He chittered, looked back, forward, and lowered himself. Leslie noticed another raccoon and two little ones behind, hiding. Leslie spoke to Rocky as if he never had been gone. After a few minutes, Rocky turned and led his family into the thickness of the alfalfa making their way back home toward the woods behind the old schoolhouse. I think Leslie stood at the fence for a long time.

Although this home has been empty for many years, falling in so to speak, it is still owned by some of the family. I would like to think that somewhere out back in those woods, Rocky’s relatives live on.

So back to our Where the Red Fern Grows and all others, my decree upon reading classics of choice varies from time to time, visiting extraordinary storytelling from an author’s imagination along with perhaps experience threaded within its pages. I respect each of these titles throughout our history that capture and hold in a capsule a place in time and to be carefully placed on our bookshelves. With absolutely no disrespect, Red Fern is back at the library safely tucked upon a shelf.   

An Obession Called Horse

From the time I can remember I wanted a horse. It was my request for birthdays, Christmas, and every occasion when a gift was offered. In my earliest years, we lived in a city, Wichita, Kansas. No place to put a horse. The pelt of my Dad’s old paint horse Knobby was slung over a folded rollaway bed we had in the basement and I’d climb up on Knobby’s pelt with the head of a broom stuck in the fold of the bed, a rope for reins and pretend I was riding the range.  Later we moved to the suburbs of Bellevue Washington – still no place for a horse and Knobby’s pelt didn’t even make the trip.

When I was little my father promised he would get me a horse – someday. He bought me a dog in the meantime. My mother was animal-phobic and didn’t like any four-legged but tolerated the dog, a boxer named Rocky. I was given riding lessons and horses were rented for me to ride at stables and arenas but for the entire time I lived with my parents, nary a living horse of my own. I had plastic and ceramic statues of horses, read books about horses and horse magazines, played with farm sets with horses; pretended I had a horse in our garage that I groomed daily. I lived in hope that a horse would materialize if I kept the faith. But alas, no horse happened. Then my teen years erupted, and my obsession changed to Elvis, music, and boys. I still took riding lessons, but the glow was off the dream of owning a horse.

In the spring of 1967, my dad called and said he had a horse for me. A real horse. I was married with an eight-month-old daughter. We lived on the edge of town on an acre or so and we did have a little room for a little horse. Lucky me, it was a little horse. Periodically the State of Washington would round up wild Palouse ponies and put them up for auction to manage the wild herds. The Buick car dealer purchased some as giveaways with their new cars. My dad was buddies with our local Buick dealer. His friend told him about the giveaway and my dad immediately went down to buy a new car and voilà I got a horse. He had Brandy delivered to our house and we quickly put up a fence to keep him on the back acre of property.

Brandy was feral but I knew with time and love he could be a good riding horse for our daughter. I set about breaking him to saddle. It was slow and bumpy, but we got along pretty well. Then I found out I was pregnant again. Done was the riding. Fortunately, Brandy was a gentle sweet-natured fellow, so training continued. He followed me around like a big dog and I was able to continue working with him. I was confident enough in him to put our daughter on his back and lead him around the yard. A thrill for her. But I knew we couldn’t keep him. We were moving to a new house for our growing family and had to find a home for him. I put notices in the paper and called around, but no takers. Then I called a riding stable that gave lessons to kids. They came out to meet him and agreed he would be perfect for their beginning riders. Brandy found a new home.

Dad fulfilled his promise to me. Little did we know he would be dead in less than a year from a sudden explosive heart attack. Thank you, Dad, for my horse.


In the numerous classes and workshops I took on writing, perhaps the most often used phrase was “Okay, let’s do some freewriting.” The instructor would often mention a subject or give a hand-out with different ideas and/or scenarios to write about. The time given to complete it usually ran around twenty minutes. I would stare at my paper, pen in hand, in a slight panic, wondering what to write. It seemed as if it took me half the twenty minutes to decide. All this while watching everyone else in the room bow their head over their paper, pen in hand and start. How do they immediately know what they want to write about?

Our writing group consistently included a freewriting every time we met. We used the same prompt (some are mentioned in our book) and the allotted time ran around fifteen minutes. It wasn’t unusual for us to scatter about in the kitchen, living room or patio to complete our writing. Even then, I felt as if I was last to jump into the prompt. However, an idea always came to me, especially if I got out of the way, and just let the pen and prompt take over.

I now experience the same dilemma when it comes to my turn for the blog—Fridays. I am consistently late in figuring out what to write. Late means too often, Thursdays. What in the heck am I going to write about? I squeeze my brain cells and still no answer arrives. I look around me, think of memories or an incident I experienced a few days ago and still the answer is nope, not that. I begin to panic as Thursday evening approaches. Not one iota of a subject has entered my mind. What to do?

I first heard the term “magical thinking” when I read Joan Didion’s powerful book, The Year of Magical Thinking. I was intrigued by those two words. Although her magical thinking alluded to a different subject much deeper, I believe it describes writers’ creativity. For me, the magical thinking happens when I am sitting at my desk, or driving in my car, or walking our dog or even reading a book. That elusive idea pops into my head and thoughts dance around until they form the first two or three beginning sentences. It’s just magical. There’s no other way to describe how the writing process happens.

Oh, by the way, the idea for this blog arrived early–Wednesday morning. What a relief. 


Last Saturday afternoon my husband and I were with friends to kick back, enjoy some good banter and play Uno. Our discussion turned to the weather and since one of the guests is new from Massachusetts, had not yet experienced our summer monsoon season. Over the weekend Tucson was given a 30% chance of showers. Officially monsoon season begins June 15, but we can get early teasers. By mid-afternoon, a nice cloud ‘build up’ was climbing the horizon due to the forecast, and the sky darkened and lightened until right before dark. By the following morning, the sky was clear as a bluebell. But, by Sunday afternoon, the tops of whiteheads began to form and move forward, building and darkening. It did rain, but not on us…yet.

I shared how as kids, we spent many a day lying flat on our backs in yards scattered across our little township, one leg crossed over another, pointing, imagining, and pondering the creatures we saw and the stories we made up.

On the southeast wall of my studio is a big window overlooking our backyard. Inside, underneath the window is a cream wicker couch I found in Illinois at and antique shop along the Mississippi River. I’ve lined it with custom-made cushions and various throw pillows. I sit and do much reading, idea notetaking, journal, napping on a chilly winter afternoon, and cloud watch. Some time ago, one of our prompts at the writers’ group had to do with two rabbits. I immediately pulled out a card in my ‘stack’. (I am a notorious blank greeting card collector.) The card portrays one of my favorite past times as mentioned.  

“Pepper, get over here, quick. Shhhhhs, not a sound.”  Napier pulls his friend closer behind a tree, particularly where the grass is the highest. The two rabbits poke their pink noses through the blades and wiggle with glee. It is old man Waffle and his wife Wanda. Oh my. They don’t know it, but they truly give one a belly laugh.

  Waffle sat the straw basket down and first thing, tipped it on its side with his bottom as he bent toward the ground to pick up the first old apple. Wanda gave a long, very long rigid sigh and sat it upright. 

“Would you watch what you are doing? Where’s the stool? I don’t see it. Didn’t you bring it out here Waffle?” He grunted and looked up in the tree, his backside to Wanda. She peered up into the tree. “Oh, you think you put it up there, did you? Umph.” Wanda strode toward the garden shed.

  “Didn’t take long did it?” said Pepper to his furry companion.

“No, only four blades. Last time I ate six before Wanda got in a miff. I’ve only had time to nibble down on four. Only four!”

Waffle hummed as he found a few more old apples on the ground and placed them in the basket. One of the handles hung loosely. He moved the basket with his foot closer to the tree. No sign of Wanda. He pulled out a pipe and lit it up. Oh, the smell of good tobacco. Pepper’s eyes began to water, and his nose wiggled, and Napier placed his front foot over Pepper’s nose. 

“Don’t you dare, don’t you dare! We’ll be found out. You know we are not supposed to be in this orchard!”

“Ah chissssssssssssss!!” Waffle removed his pipe and turned around. ‘Mumm. What was that?’ Pepper and Napier buried their heads and bodies flat in the grass. Waffle tamped his pipe, relocated it in his pocket, and ambled past the tree to a small clearing. Napier quickly rolled Pepper over on his back and told him not to move and Napier flopped over on his back just as Waffle parted the tall bright green blades.

“What are you two doing here?” Waffle bent low over the two innocent rabbits who blinked with a fluttery scuffle.  

“Oh, cloud watching. This spot has the best view. See?” and pointed to the bundle of white and gray cotton balls floating overhead.

“Waffle, where are you? You better not be loafing again.” Wanda stuck her head around the apple tree. “Get back over here and fill this basket. I brought the stool, now get yourself on it and get those apples.” Waffle winked at the two little rabbits and shuffled toward his wife. “I smell tobacco. Is that what you were doing Waffle?”

Waffle took Wanda’s arm and moved her out from under the tree limbs loaded with apples to a big round clear spot.  “Look up. Take your time. What do you see Wanda?”

“Well, I’ll be.”

Take a few minutes next time your clouds roll in and let yourself go.


Happy Mother’s Day

Being a mother is a tricky business and there are no operating manuals to tell us how to do it. It’s seat-of-the-pants, learn-as-you-go with each child presenting a different set of idiosyncrasies and personal preferences. It is the single most important title I’ve ever had in my life and the job I love the best. I was privileged to be a stay-at-home mom to my three kiddos (now all in their 50s).  I will follow that statement up with how eternally tired I felt having all the little ones within four years. I’m amazed that mothers of twins, triplets, etc. can survive. There were days when I wondered if I’d EVER not be washing diapers. Yes, that is how long ago I had little ones. Disposables were just beginning to become the fashion, but they were ill-fitting. I had a diaper service for the first few months of each baby but after that, I was on my own. I ADORE babies and toddlers so I was in heaven – a kind of sleep deprived euphoria. There were days when my husband would come home from work and I’d still be in my nightgown never having a minute to take a shower and get dressed.  It was a three ring circus for many many years. I loved watching them learn, watching their personalities develop, watching their joy as they came to know the world around them. I would have been happy having twelve babies, but my husband said three was enough. He worked hard to support our little brood. Those were my glory days. Then they grew up. I still love them all to pieces as wonderful independent, self-sufficient, adults, but their childhoods are the diamonds and gold in my treasure chest of memories – even if somewhat blured by my lack of sleep.

I didn’t appreciate my mother until I became an older adult and could understand her. She was not the mother I thought I needed or wanted. She and I had very different world views and clashed often as I grew up. She was a dedicated career woman, and I don’t think she particularly wanted to be a mother. My father came home from WWII with a fierce need to have a family. I was raised by a series of nannies most of my youth. To her credit, Mom hired sweet, nurturing women, but I yearned for a mother who stayed home as all my friends had. She needed the challenge and feedback from the adult business world. She was a classy lady, very smart, and actually excelled at two jobs – her career plus that of being a wife and mother. She did both at a very high level and much better than I would have been able to do. She was widowed at the age of forty-nine. My brother was fourteen and she had to be mother, father, and head of the family through his teen years. I’m sure those years were very difficult. I was married with a young family of my own by then. Mom continued working a full-time job that she loved until she was seventy-five. She never complained and always expressed a positive outlook.

She and I were able to heal our relationship when she was in her 60s and I in my 30s. We took a trip to Europe together and got to know one another on an adult level as we traveled from country to country. One of our stops in Italy, was the Vatican. As we walked through St. Peter’s Square, a pigeon flew overhead and pooped on Mom’s head.  Locals told us It was a good luck sign. Decades later and a few weeks after she died, I saw the movie Under the Tuscan Sun with Diane Lane. In the movie, a bird flew over and pooped on the heroine’s head. I laughed so hard and thought, ‘Oh, Mom must see this. She’ll get a big kick out of it.’ When the movie was over, I had a strong desire to call her and tell her I’d take her to the show. Suddenly I realized she wasn’t here anymore. I felt my heart crack, tears welled up. A memory we shared was now only mine. I miss her and I am so grateful we had her last twenty plus years to strengthen our relationship. Some children and parents don’t have that blessing of connection. Thank you, Mom, for being you and a strong role model. I love you.

Children are our legacy and the reason we are put on this earth.  Happy Mother’s Day.