An In Honor Of MMP

December 28, 2009, would have been my mother’s 81st birthday. She passed away in June 2003, though, of what was probably ovarian cancer although by the time it was discovered it had spread too far to tell the exact origin site.

Even though it has been over 6 years now, I still miss my Mom, especially on major holidays as well as her birthday. I used to have dreams in which she was still alive, but not so much any more. For about a year after her death, I would pick up the phone to call her to share some news or to ask for her advice, only to slowly put the receiver back on the hook as I remembered I couldn’t do that any longer.

Of course, I still have my memories and my brothers and I will probably share stories of her during the day, probably via email, which is our preferred communication form today. The bad as well as the good, mind you!! My relationship with my Mom was indeed a complicated one, both of us have/had very specific “quirks.” For example, I recently reconnected with a friend from pre-kindergarten days and shared a photo that my Mom had taken of us back in the day. Lo and behold, she was the center of that photograph! I’m all off to one side, with my face only half visible. laughs I can remember my Mom saying to me, “why can’t you be more like little ….?” And when I saw this picture, I realized that she probably wished that the other girl was her daughter.

My mother also had what we called “Remote Possibility Disaster” or RPD, in which she would be convinced that some grave, deathly woe would happen. Her most infamous RPD among the family went something like this: Her brother and his wife were visiting with their small children, the youngest boy was probably 4-5 YO, at their summer camp in Maine. Mom went into the bedroom where my two youngest brothers were staying with their young cousin and said to the older boy, “Please make sure that you close the window, because Joe (not his real name!) might fall out of bed, fall out of the window, roll down the roof and onto the ground, down onto the dock and into the water and drown!” And then my brother adds, “and the window sill was about a foot –above- the bed!” She was also truly convinced that some driver was going to jump the curb and run over one of us. Unfortunately, that has really happened, so we couldn’t really laugh about that.

At any rate, take a few moments to remember your loved ones who may have died this past year, or maybe even years ago. Just hold your warm memories of them in your heart, especially of the good times you had together.

W00t! First!

Nice OP Herbs! We do miss those who are no longer with us. My father died in 2004 and holidays still seem strange without him. My youngest brother (sis’s twin) died in 2002 and I still miss him. Sis will not celebrate her birthday nor will she allow me to wish her happy birthday. Instead, at some appointed time during March we will go to lunch at a local place in my hometown known as “The Pub” and drink a Rolling Rock beer in honor of Gary. I give her a present on Mother’s Day. She can’t say anything cause it’s not her birthday. :smiley: My family reminds me often that dad’s presence is still there because I’m there. As hard as it is to admit sometimes, I am so much like my father it ain’t even funny. I don’t look like that side of the family but I dang sure act like that side of the family. I’m even told I have the “gift” of “the look”[sup]TM[/sup], my father’s infamous, I ain’t buyin’ any of that look. He could see through whatever bs we were tryin’ to pull.

Hee RPD. Makes me think of my grandmother. She wouldn’t let us drink soda out of a can. We had to pour it into a glass first because there might be a spider in the can! :eek: MMMMMMM… Spider Coke!

ETA: doggio I actually bothered to read the op and post afterwards first so I’m the good Mumper! :stuck_out_tongue:

And your point is?:wink:

My grandfather passed away in 1995. I got to spend a month with him in 1989, when I was 18. He took me out drinking with his friends.:smiley:

I think I channel your mother- in my house they tease me about my “worst case scenarios”- in other words, I can make any scenario end in “…and you’ll get pneumonia and die”. :smiley: It’s the PTSD in me, what can I say?

Just got back from Bermuda yesterday- much fun!

lovely op herbs.

My brother and I have grown very close since my SiL passed away four years ago. We often mark the birthdays and deathdays of our parents and our sister with long phone calls. days that honor SiL he prefers to mark alone.

Thanks for a nice op, **herbs.
I am so thankful that my grandparents and parents are still here with me.

And for the first hijack of the mmp, right now I’m trying to find a dress for a surprise wedding on January 2. PeaceCorps Girl has gone and got herself married overseas and it going to have another one here locally too. I’ve come to realize that I may be attending sans clothing because there is no way that I can afford any kind of shipping that will get a dress here on time. Oh well, at least it will be an event to remember. :stuck_out_tongue: (There’s a resale clothing place down the road. I’m going to head there tomorrow and see if I can come up with something.)

Pie - if there’s a Catherine’s near you (sometimes they’re in malls - check here) they have some lovely dressy things.

I had forgotten about them. I just checked their website and saw a perfectly lovely outfitwhich would have been over $100 even on sale (for both the skirt and blouse). A bit too pricey for my no work in the beginning of January budget. But I’ll stop by the store when I’m in the area this week to see if they’ve got anything else that is a bit more reasonable. Thanks, rosie.

Thanks Herbs! I miss my Dad every day; the things I learned from him and use keep bringing his memory alive for me. Our relationship wasn’t perfect by a long shot (we never worked well together - although we could work on the same project together quite well) but I now see (like 7 years after his death) why everyone was always telling me “you are your father’s son”. And as the years go by it makes me feel all that much warmer.

My real trial in life will be when my mother passes. She is manic with some paranoid roots ----- and she didn’t like me very much a lot of the time. And I’m talking back to when I was born. Some folks would call it “abuse”; for my generation is was termed being “odd like that”. I’m fine with her; always have been. But its a one-way-street and that makes it hard knowing both our times are finite.

You know why I like it here compared to other message boards? It makes you think and look around you. I love that part of this community most of all.

My thanks yet again!

From the last MMP:

w00t!!! You go girl!!! :smiley:

Both my parents are still alive, but they are both now pushing 70. It crosses my mind occasionally that they won’t always be there, especially since I had HRH. It just doesn’t bear thinking about it. Now that I know I can’t have any more children, I also worry about HRH being alone later in life, with no brothers or sisters to share stories with or lean on. I hope she finds some good friends …

Bah. I was doing okay this morning, now I feel all crappy and scared again.


I’ve made it to 35 as an only child and I’m doing ok. You’re showing HRH how to love others through the love that you show her. That’s all she needs to know and she’ll be just fine.

My immediate family is still with me fortunately – well, my mother is somewhere in St. Catharines, ON, and I haven’t seen nor heard from her in donkeys, but that’s another story.

My grandparents have all passed at this point though, and I have fond memories of them all.

Mother’s side:
Grandfather was a sailor in the British army way back when, even participated in WWII. He was, I recall, a very disarming sort, very friendly, and put up with my young hijinks with aplomb. He passed away first, quietly, in his sleep, in the early 80s of a rare form of moving cancer.

Grandmother was relatively quiet, but every inch the grandmother you’d expect to read about in idealistic Rockwellian novels. She cooked, she baked cookies, made a killer English Trifle, loved knitting (and I was the recipient of no few knitted garments at a child) and loved to make jams, despite developing an allergy to pectin or somesuch that eventually forced her to stop doing it. She lived with her husband in an old 19th century schoolhouse – the sort you’d see on Little House on the Prairie, with the bell tower and big central room and everything, in the little fly speck town of Fullerton, ON. It was beautiful. After Len died though she couldn’t stay in that big ol’ place alone, so she sold it and moved into an apartment for some years before ultimately being moved to a retirement home. She passed away there in '99 after developing Alzheimer’s, which progressed rather fast. I visited her in the early stages and she was still quite alert and aware, even if she wasn’t getting around as well as she could once. The next year I went to visit her, she thought it was still the 1970s. She sat there in her wheelchair with a half-eaten biscuit in her lap and talked absently about the fabric store she once owned as though it was still there. I was just a nice man who came to visit her, for there wasn’t even a flicker of recognition in her eyes.

Father’s side:
Grandfather, whom my father is named after and where I got one of my own middle names, was pretty much a workaday retiree. He loved to tinker, especially with electronics. He built his own radios, transformers, and other bits and bobs. He was quite the handyman when it came to anything that contained transistors. (He didn’t cotton much to those new-fangled microchip thingies) He was once given a Timex Sinclair 1000 by my uncle, because he never used it. In the end, neither did my grandfather, but he kept it there for me to play with when I came down to visit – though I used it only out of curiosity, as I had a better computer at that point. My father and I both inherited a love of electronics tinkering from him. He passed early this century, simply of old age.

Grandmother was the retiring sort, very quiet and shy, preferring to let the men talk amongst themselves or busy herself in the kitchen. Very much a woman of a different era, she never latched on to any sort of women’s lib movement or anything. She was quite content simply to be the housewife and home maker in the background while the menfolk worked. She too passed of old age, a number of years before her husband.

But well had many good times and I have plenty of good memories of them.

Okay, so I’m back from the Christmas visit up north. The last day went well enough. We headed into Perth because I was volunteered to fix a relative’s non-working Bell Internet stick – the only sort of high speed they can get out there where they are. Turns out to be another brilliant piece of programming: It seems that the driver installer for that Internet stick, upon discovering an outdated version of Windows Installer on the computer, thought it would be smart and just download a newer version off the 'net. The 'net that didn’t work because that’s what we were trying to install. :rolleyes: Fortunately I brought the Mac and phone so I could tether and download a new Windows Installer and install it on his computer and got it all fixed up.

Then we nipped off for some lunch back in Smiths Falls, where our waitress was evidently one of my cousin-in-laws. Then off to Staples to buy the MIL a new printer because hers was dead, and then back to set it all up. Then a light dinner of some turkey sammiches and another slice of that lovely carrot cake, and then it was time to head home on the long train ride again.

All in all it was a nice visit, but that train ride does tend to numb the butt.

Very nice OP, Herbs.

My mother is still here, as are my Dad and stepmom.

All my grandparents are gone though. My Opa was a tailor and had a museum in his home. The museum housed all kinds of Roman artifacts, fossils, and art by some of the masters. My stupid uncle sold it all off and pocketed the money. I have very few memories of Opa, other than he loved to take us walking in the mountains by his home and along the river.

Oma was a wonderful cook who cooked everything from scratch. She grew her own vegetables and ate the swan egg I brought home. I was going to hatch the egg and have my own baby swan. What the hell did I know? I was five at the time.

My grandma was a tell it like it is kind of person. She spoke her mind and made no bones about it. I loved going to her house in Springfield, OR. The kitchen was just off the laundry room and the laundry room was just off the back covered porch. It always smelled like laundry detergent. I can still smell it to this day and the last time I was in that house was probably 1972.

My grandpa used to love to tease me. He used to call me Irene (not my real name) because it drove me insane. He always used to threaten to chop off my hair with his big ol’ fishing/hunting knife too.

We just returned from seeing Avatar in 3D. It’s definitely a very stunning graphically. I must say I did enjoy it. The forest in the movie reminded me very much of the Night Elf forest in WoW. The floating mountains reminded me of the floating mountains of the Nagrand area in WoW. **Nava **will know exactly what I’m talking about. Frankly, except for being much more slender, the characters int he movie were very night-elfish looking.

Sigh, it’s back to work tomorrow. At least it’ll be a short week.

Abuelita wasn’t much of a child-lover. She had five of her own: number five was the only girl, something common enough in families of her and prior generations to make many women of my mother’s generation snort at the thought that there was “no such thing as birth control” before The Pill. A bit too many families where a gaggle of kids of the same gender came every 1-2 years and then the last one is the other gender, you know?

I always knew her with her hair in a bun. One time in my teens, don’t ask me why, we spent the weekend in her house and there weren’t quite enough beds for everybody, so Littlebro and I got to share Abuelito’s bed. Between Littlebro’s starfish pose and Abuelita snoring like a locomotive I was barely able to catch a wink all night, but there was one thing I saw which was absolutely priceless: Abuelita shaking off the bun, and this stream of grey hair coming down so far she could have sat on it, then brushing it and braiding it for the night. I had never known there was so much hair in that bun! It made me understand all those book descriptions of “cascades” and “waterfalls” of hair.

Her milk had retreated early when she was breastfeeding Dad. She’d tried to get milk, but the only source in town was some nuns, and they refused to give her any because they’d only give it to poor people. The problem was, there wasn’t anywhere in town you could buy it (this was during the war). So she developed this obsession with Dad and milk; whenever we went to visit, she’d receive him with a glass of milk, which he’d take and pass to me, then ask (once I had brothers) for more for the other children. I remember him, when Littlebro was already six years old, telling her “Mom, I promise I’m not going to die in infancy and I’m all grown! It’s my children who are doing the growing-up now.”

Her parents had fallen in love in their late teens. She was a Young Lady of Good Breeding, he was apparently Not Good Enough for her parents. He left town to go to medical school (so definitely neither dumb nor any kind of bum, but whatever); years later they met again, discovered they were still crazy about each other and got married, which got her disowned by her parents. Yes, those XIX century stories are real and there’s one in my family. They lived in a small town near Madrid for a couple of years and had a son; then he got another job in a valley in the mountains of Aragon and off they went, Abuelita was born there. It’s a beautiful place. There was an epidemic that hit the valley very badly and, as it so often happened, one of the first casualties was the doctor. So, my great-grandmother found herself with two little children and no possible source of income. She was “taken in” by these cousins back in her home town, whose name is still revered in my family and will be for generations. I happened to work with one of them in my last project; at one point there was a conversation like this:
Someone who needed to send him a document by email: “Smith Dupont, right?”
Me: “No, SmithdashDupont, it’s a single lastname.”
Someone: “Oh, I have it!”
Him: “So… you’re Navalastname, right?”
Me: “Yep.”
Him: “One lastname, too?”
Me: “Yep. My grandmother Abuelitasname was from Bilbao.”
Him: “Ah, I see. Interesting”
Everybody else: :confused:

She used to ask me why had I chosen such an unfeminine major (Chemical Engineering, aka “the women’s engineering”). Turns out that one of her cousins was one of the first women in Spain to get a degree in Chemistry (she studied long-distance under her father’s tutoring; when she went for her final exam, the examiners were surprised to discover that the R stood for Rosa but it’s not like they could keep her from taking the exam at that point; summa cum laude) and spent over 40 years working as a Production Engineer in a foundry: very feminine indeed. And Abuelita herself was one of the first five women to get a degree in what would have been Business Administration today - once I asked what did people think of her career choice back then and how is that same choice viewed nowadays, she got totally on my side over that one.
ETA: Taters, that’s exactly what I’ve been thinking every time I see a poster, “wonder if they’re paying royalties to Blizzard.”


before anything else! my Mom’s birthday is Also December 28… she will be 77

YAY MOM! Thanks Herbs!

I miss my Nonnie though… 5 feet-nothing, will of adamant! :slight_smile:

One of my best friends from college was killed Tuesday morning in a car accident in Nebraska on her way home to Chicago from Colorado. She was to have taken a southerly route home and come to visit overnight Tuesday. I am blown away…:confused::frowning:

Great OP, Herbs! My mother is still here, she was 75 last November and is pretty fit and active for her age. I’m hoping she’s around for many more years yet.

6th January 1985 though, that’s the day my father died. He’d only been ill for a week or so and the doctors who came to see him simply couldn’t work out what was wrong with him. They were convinced it was a cancer of some sort but it turned out to be something else, and despite all the things they tried, he died minutes after arriving at the local hospital.

For a long time afterwards I would come home from school or college with something to tell him and then remember he wasn’t there. I used to dream about him a lot, not so much now but he pops into my head now and then. Mum was quite certain she saw him in a crowd in the street several times, and sometimes she just didn’t want to believe he’d really gone.

I realise now how hard it was for her, and how much more difficult my brother made things - he was always hard work but it turned out that he’d always felt mum didn’t do enough for dad when he was ill, and in many instances before then too. He nurtured that grudge for over 20 years before he said anything to her, but it did explain a lot of his attitude. In some ways he will never forgive her for these perceived wrongs, but I know that he based his ideas on his view of certain events and sadly he’s not been able to let go of his 13-year old view of things despite having a lot of additional circumstances explained to him. He simply will not have anything said against my father, and he will not change his mind to forgive mum. Not that it stops him when he wants money from her, of course!

Well, there you are, that’s my family skeleton.

I don’t really remember my grandparents - on my mum’s side, her father was in the merchant navy and was rarely at home which made life very difficult for her mother and she tended to take it out on the kids. One day he just decided he wasn’t coming back to them and that was the last they saw of him. Mum fell out with her mother and chose to keep us away from that side of the family because she didn’t want us influenced by the poisonous old witch. My dad’s side of the family were totally different, his father died in WW2 and as an only child he was very close to his mother. She died in 1978, he was devastated and I think it took a long time for him to get over it - she was everything a grandmother ought to have been though.

Hmm…it’s Monday. I think I might venture out of the house today. What do you think?