Happy Mother’s Day

I’m often torn about how to celebrate Mother’s Day—many of the happiest times in my life revolved around being a mother to my two girls.

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Yet, for thirty-nine years, there is a part of me that grieves on Mother’s Day for the daughter I lost.

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But God is good! He sent two beautiful children to my older daughter, Mandy, and the three of them rock my world. I feel like I am the luckiest!

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Life is funny, you know. I thought my life was over thirty-nine years ago, and now I feel like I am on the grandest trip, along with Mandy and her family!

I see the world in a whole new way. Through the eyes of my grandchildren.

My Loves
Although my love will never end for Katie, and I shall never forget her or how she was when she was alive and in our lives, I have been able to move forward and live again myself.

So, on this Mother’s Day, I celebrate my motherhood, but more than this, I celebrate my daughter’s Mother’s Day.

333912543_919428572428405_5084706503828996083_nMatt, Savannah, Quinn, and Amanda.

Mandy is a wonderful, caring, and gentle mother. She listens to and adores her kids; I admire her so much!

So, Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers. Be you biological, adoptive, or step. Mothers and their love come in all shapes and sizes.

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Happy Birthday Uschi

Today is the birthday of my dearest friend, Uschi!

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Oh, how I wish she lived just down the street and I could bake her a special cake and bring it over, with a bottle of champagne, and celebrate the day of her birth!

Friendship

There’s a miracle of Friendship
that dwells within the heart,
And you don’t know how it happens
or where it gets its start…
But the happiness it brings you
always gives a special lift,
And you realize that Friendship
Is God’s most perfect gift.
-Jean Kyler McManus-

Dear friends Uschi Maribeth

So Happy Birthday, my dearest friend and sister!

Sending you all of my love!

9/11/2001

We can all tell you where we were and what we were doing on that fateful day in September.

September 11, 2001

It was a beautiful day here in New Hampshire. Sunny, bright, clear with blue skies. I was showering and getting ready for a dental appointment while Jack was shingling the house. It was a day like any other here.

Jack had the TV in our bedroom pointed out the window so he could listen to the morning news.

Suddenly, I felt a hand on my arm and Jack told me I had to get out of the shower now; something was happening. I was a little dazed and confused. I shut the water in the shower off and grabbed my towel.

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Jack and I watched Fox News, ABC, and CNN in our family room. A plane had hit one of the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center in downtown New York City. Jack, as a former Airline Pilot knew immediately, that it was no accident.

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While we watched, suddenly another plane came in and hit the other Tower!
We were both in shock. We listened to reports. No one was saying terrorism, not at first. But both Jack and I knew.

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I look at this picture, and I know that none of those innocent people got out alive. That thought brings me to tears each time I see it.

We watched the Towers come down, one and then the other. We knew people had died. We just didn’t know how many.

At 12:30 I drove to my dental appointment. There was not another car on the road. Not one. I got to my dental appointment and found that I was the only patient that hadn’t canceled that day.

When I got home, we watched TV all day. I called my family and my close friends. Just to hear their voices.

It doesn’t matter your political affiliations or how you feel about war. What matters is on September 11, 2001, innocent people died in New York City, In Washington, DC, and in Shanksville, PA.

People like you and like me. Just because. That day I learned that we are no longer safe here at home.

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I also learned that when our country is attacked in such a manner, we pull together and unify.

God Bless all who lost their lives that day, to their families, who will never be the same, and all who serve this country each and every day to protect and defend us.

September 11, 2001: Basic Facts

Chronology
8:46 AM Plane crashes into the north tower of the World Trade Center.
9:03 AM Plane crashes into the south tower of the World Trade Center.
9:17 AM The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) shuts down all New York City area airports.
9:21 AM The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) halts all flights at U.S. airports. It is the first
time in history that air traffic has been halted nationwide.
9:38 AM Plane crashes into the Pentagon. Evacuation begins immediately.
9:45 AM The White House evacuates.
10:05 AM The south tower of the World Trade Center collapses.
10:10 AM A portion of the Pentagon collapses.
10:10 AM Plane crashes in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
10:22 AM The State and Justice Departments, as well as the World Bank, are evacuated.
10:28 AM The World Trade Center’s north tower collapses.
10:45 AM All federal office buildings in Washington, D.C. are evacuated.
1:44 PM Five warships and two aircraft carriers are ordered to leave the U.S. Naval Station
in Norfolk, Virginia to protect the East Coast.
4:10 PM Building 7 of the World Trade Center collapses.

The Flights
American Airlines Flight 11
From: Boston, Massachusetts (Logan Airport)
To: Los Angeles, California
Lives: 92 people on board
Crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46 AM

United Airlines Flight 175
From: Boston, Massachusetts (Logan Airport)
To: Los Angeles, California
Lives: 65 people on board
Crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center at 9:03 AM

American Airlines Flight 77
From: Washington, D.C. (Dulles Airport)
To: Los Angeles, CA
Lives: 64 people on board
Crashed into the Pentagon at 9:38 AM

United Airlines Flight 93
From: Newark, New Jersey
To: San Francisco, California
Lives: 44 people on board
Crashed into rural Pennsylvania (southeast of Pittsburgh)

Victims
Victims came from more than 90 countries around the world.
The following are the number of people who died at each site:

World Trade Center 2,823 (includes airline passengers)
Pentagon 125 (not including plane victims)
Flight 11 – 92 people on board
Flight 175 – 64 people on board
Flight 77 – 64 people on board
Flight 93 – 44 people on board

The initial numbers are indelible: 8:46 a.m. and 9:02 a.m, the times the Towers were hit. Time the burning towers stood: 56 minutes and 102 minutes. The time they took to fall was 12 seconds. From there, they ripple out.

That day, these first responders also died as they raced to the scene trying to save anyone they could.

343 Firefighters (including a chaplain and two paramedics) of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY)
37 Police Officers of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department (PAPD)
23 Police Officers of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and 8 Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics from private emergency medical services.
1 Patrolman from the New York Fire Patrol

Fact Sheet
U.S. Department of State
Washington, DC
August 15, 2002

 

Father’s Day ~ The Men In My Life

Here are the five men, who shaped my life. In their own ways, they were my father or a father figure to me. They have all passed from this life to the next, but their memory and the love they gave me, live on in my heart

My Dad. He was an amazingly talented musician and he passed along his love of music to me. Dad was devoted to our community. He played the organ at both the Congregational Church and the Catholic Church in North Falmouth.

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He was the Music Director at Highfield Theater for many years. He also was a summer police officer in our town. And when we went to local parks for cook-outs, Dad was the burger meister! He has been gone a long time now, but I still think of him often and miss his wry sense of humor.

My Uncle George. He was the father who taught me everything growing up. How to swim, how to dive, how to bowl, how to hike, how to play cards, and how to love unconditionally.

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When I was about 7 years old I cut my toe badly at the beach and he carried me all the way home! And helped Mom drive me to the doctor’s office for stitches. He was not a loud man, but in his quiet loving way, I just knew that I was one of his special kids.

img098Uncle George and me at my wedding to Jack.

In fact, when Jack and I married, Uncle George walked me down the aisle. I miss this sweet, loving, wonderful man!

My Uncle Bob. He was fun to be with. But, he required that I act like a mini adult too. That was fine. I adored him and just wanted to spend time, quiet time, with him.

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I did a lot of things with him and his wife, Aunt Cynthia. I remember being on his boat, or when they took me to their home in Quincy and to museums. And I recall my Uncle once got a monkey. Cute, but it didn’t last for long.

My Papa Fred. Another quiet man, who was quite old when I lived with him and Grandma. But he showed me something important.

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What real love between a man and a woman was all about. I would watch Papa and Grandma sitting on their sofa watching Lawrence Welk. Papa would hold Grandma’s feet in his lap and stroke them gently. He simply adored Grandma and had all of his life. He no longer had the will to live when she died and passed eight months later.

My Papa Sam, my Dad’s Dad. I didn’t know him as well, but I remember him taking me to the Prudential Building in the summer to listen to the Barbershop Quartets sing.

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I remember sitting on his lap and listening to him sing along. He had such a beautiful voice.

These 5 men helped to shape the woman I grew up to become. Each is special in their own way, and now, each is greatly missed.

Happy Father’s Day! I remember you all with love and many memories that make me smile!

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Memories

Kathleen Alynne Hayden
November 1978 – June 1985

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This bright, beautiful little girl came into my life at the stroke of 5:29 AM on November 8th of 1978. She was a happy child with apple cheeks and bright red curls and green eyes. She loved yogurt, the Smurfs, and her toy Gizmo and playing Barbie dolls with her sister. She loved animals and people and nature.
Katie was a great kid. One that you enjoyed being with just because she enjoyed being with you. The last time we spoke to each other, the last words she said to me were, “I love you so much, Mommy!” I smiled and told her, “I love you too, Katie”.

And then she was gone.

On June 13th, 1985 an impaired (stoned) man driving a 5-ton truck blew a red stop light and ran over our car. In 11 seconds it was all over, and in 11 seconds, our lives changed forever.

It’s hard to believe that 38 years have passed. It seems like just the other day that she was with me. Some days I can still hear her voice and the memory of her touch is so clear. And other days it’s like a dream. A wonderful dream that turned into a nightmare.

So today, I honor my child.

I will always love you, Katie. I will always miss you. You will be, forever, in my heart.

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Happy 35th Anniversary to Us

Today, Jack and I celebrate 35 years of marriage. It doesn’t seem possible that it has been that long. In the grand scheme of things, 35 years is like forever in a Hollywood marriage. And at my age (64) it certainly is a large chunk of time.

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In our thirty-five years of marriage, we have had 4 White German Shepherds, Rex, Max, Fritz, and Lili. Five Wire-haired Dackels, Shubi, Greta, Arnie,  Anneliese, and Heidi, lived in four homes. One was a farm in Lyndeborough, NH; a very beautiful ranch home in Punta Gorda, FL; in a motorcoach here in Meredith, NH for 9 long months; while we built our current home, and lastly, this beautiful house, that Jack and I designed.

We had four children, between us. Three are living, and they have grown up to be really good people. We also have two of the most beautiful, and wonderful grandchildren on the face of the earth!

Marriage is never easy, even if you are married to your best friend. There are days you want to murder each other, but lucky for us, those days were few and far between.

Forgiveness is so important when you live with someone this long. People do stupid things, and if you can’t forgive them, then you are with the wrong person. I am the Queen of stupid things and I am married to the King of stupid things. So it’s a good thing we forgive and forget.

You will also find during a long-term marriage (or relationship) that there will be those days when your significant other just makes you crazy. Whether it’s how they are chewing their food, or even sipping their soup, you will sit there and wonder how you never noticed this before!

But then, there are those times when a little look, the warmth of a hug, or a gentle squeeze of your hand, will make you feel loved and safe. During my illness in 2017, when I felt like I was dying, I was so scared, and Jack just kept the home fires burning, cooked my meals, did the laundry, and did not allow me to believe that I was leaving this earth.

Likewise, not even six months after that, when he got the infection in his foot that led to the amputation of his toe, I made sure I was at the hospital each day. I brought him goodies to eat, stayed to speak with each doctor, and informed Jack, he wasn’t leaving me just yet.

No, marriage isn’t easy, but the pros far outweigh the cons, and life would be, so lonely, without my Jack.

Even after all these years, Jack is still the first person I want to speak to in the morning, and the last person I want to speak to at night.

I made up a short montage of our life together using one of our favorite songs. I hope you enjoy it!


Happy Anniversary Jack!

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Happy Birthday, Gail!

Many years ago, my parents sent me to a Summer Camp that focused on our Episcopal Church. The place was called Briarwood.

Briarwood had once been an enormous estate that was donated to the Episcopal Church. The Church put it to good use as a summer camp for teens.

So there I was at the age of 13, feeling a bit lost and very nervous. I met two girls during that time and we became friends. One girl was the type that would be voted most likely to succeed at anything. Worst of all, she knew it.

The other girl, the one that has been with me ever since, was, like me, just trying to find our way.

52055445729_04505130e3_oGail and I are right in the middle of the second row. Gail was a brunette back then and I was a badly bleached blond.

After camp, Gail and I began to write to each other. Long letters full of teen angst and news of our latest boyfriends. Back then phone calls were expensive so it was pretty much out of the question. Occasionally, my grandmother would have extra minutes on her old landline and she would allow me to use the phone for exactly three minutes. Her motto was, “If you can’t say it in three minutes, then write a letter!”

All these years, through thick and thin Gail and I have remained as close as sisters.

26826577730_3a9cfa1394_oYou can see that as we grew up, she became the blond and I became the brunette!

Today is Gail’s Birthday! And I wanted to take this moment to wish her the happiest birthday ever!

 

Happy Heavenly Birthday, Mom!

She was born Rosamond Ruth Prussman, to parents Frederick and Mary on June 28, 1929. She had a much-loved older brother, Robert, and a cousin George, (who grew up like a brother to her). In fact, until the day they passed, they really adored each other.

Mom’s brother, Robert, and his wife Cynthia.

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Aunt Betty, Larry, Janet, and Uncle George.

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She met my Dad when she was 13 and she was dancing and my Dad played the piano. I asked Dad once what made him look twice at Mom and he said “It was a bright red sweater that she was wearing! She looked so beautiful in it! I was hooked!”

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A collage of their life together.

They married early on, and Dad finished getting his teaching degree. They moved to Monument Beach,  Massachusetts,

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and lived in a little white cottage in the Burtonwood section, where my brother, Richard, and my sister Melodie were born.

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Then they moved to Falmouth, Massachusetts, and shortly after, Mom had me.

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My parent’s stayed married for well over 60 years.

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Mom was with him until the end of his life, and really until the end of hers too.  She never remarried. I think in her mind and her heart she was always Jimmie’s girl!

Her last days were spent, not in fear of dying, no, Mom knew Jesus Christ and she knew she would see Dad again. She just worried about Mel and me and all of our cousins.

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Me, Mel & Janet with Mom.

This was the last time we were together before Mom was diagnosed with Liver Cancer. It was a wedding. Mom was so happy to be with us all. I almost didn’t go because of my facial surgery, but I am so glad I did now. Seeing her so happy and sharing that day with her, left us all with wonderful memories.

The last time I saw her, at Hospice Care, Mel and I, sat there, with Janet and the four of us were talking quietly. I asked Mom how we would know if she was with us. She smiled and said, “You will see butterflies, and that will be me.” This really surprised me because she always related to beautiful flowers in the past.

But you know what? We see beautiful butterflies all the time. And we smile!

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Happy Birthday, Mom!

MomWe  Love you and we miss you!

Katie Alynne ~ November 1978 ~ June 1985

I’ve been thinking a lot about my daughter Katie. After you lose a child, you learn to go on. Some days are better than others, and then a time will come when you are thrown back in time emotionally and the pain is overwhelming.

You all know that Katie lived. She was my youngest daughter, and a very sweet, kind, and funny girl.

item3Our Katie.

Most of you know that on June 13th, 1985, our car was run over by a box van truck trapping Katie and me inside.

I have no recollection of actually being in the car. I do not recall Katie being in or out of the car after the accident. In time I knew we were out of the car. But it just didn’t make sense. It was a warm sunny day and I recall seeing bright blue skies once the roof was lifted off of us.

Katie lingered in a coma until June 19th. Then Katie went home with God.

It’s been 37 years since that horrible day. One might think that the memories and the pain would not be as sharp. But it is. My arms still ache for her, and I wonder what might have been.

I’m allowing myself a little bit of grief before I pack it all up again and go through the motions of the days.

My life is a good one. I have many loves in my life. I am blessed. But until the day that I pass from this life to the next, I shall miss my girl and look forward to meeting up with her when I open my eyes in a whole new world.

Happy 34th Anniversary to Us!

Today, Jack and I celebrate 34 years of marriage. It doesn’t seem possible that it has been that long. In the grand scheme of things, 34 years is like forever in a Hollywood marriage. And at my age (63) it certainly is a large chunk of time.

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In our thirty-four years of marriage, we have had 4 White German Shepherds, Rex, Max, Fritz, and Lili. Five Wire-haired Dackels, Shubi, Greta, Arnie,  Anneliese, and Heidi, lived in four homes. One was a farm in Lyndeborough, NH; a very beautiful ranch home in Punta Gorda, FL; in a motorcoach here in Meredith, NH for 9 long months; while we built our current home, and lastly, this beautiful house, that Jack and I designed.

We had four children, between us. Three are living, and they have grown up to be really good people. We also have two of the most beautiful, and wonderful grandchildren on the face of the earth!

Marriage is never easy, even if you are married to your best friend. There are days you want to murder each other, but lucky for us, those days were few and far between.

Forgiveness is so important when you live with someone this long. People do stupid things, and if you can’t forgive them, then you are with the wrong person. I am the Queen of stupid things and I am married to the King of stupid things. So it’s a good thing we forgive and forget.

You will also find during a long-term marriage (or relationship) that there will be those days when your significant other just makes you crazy. Whether it’s how they are chewing their food, or even sipping their soup, you will sit there and wonder how you never noticed this before!

But then, there are those times when a little look, the warmth of a hug, or a gentle squeeze of your hand, will make you feel loved and safe. During my illness in 2017, when I felt like I was dying, I was so scared, and Jack just kept the home fires burning, cooked my meals, did the laundry, and did not allow me to believe that I was leaving this earth.

Likewise, not even six months after that, when he got the infection in his foot that led to the amputation of his toe, I made sure I was at the hospital each day. I brought him goodies to eat, stayed to speak with each doctor, and informed Jack, he wasn’t leaving me yet.

No, marriage isn’t easy, but the pros far outweigh the cons, and life would be, so lonely, without my Jack.

Even after all these years, Jack is still the first person I want to speak to in the morning, and the last person I want to speak to at night.

I made up a short montage of our life together using one of our favorite songs. I hope you enjoy it!


Happy Anniversary Jack!