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!

Goodbye My Friend

Today I learned that a woman I had known and admired for over thirty years had passed away. Her name was Lila Jean.

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She was a remarkable woman, having gone to college and married her college sweetheart. He was an officer in the Army and she was a wonderful military wife and mother to their children. Lili Jean and Bill were together for over seventy years.

Although I am sure Lila Jean had moments of sadness and despair, what drew me and everyone who knew her to her, was her bright positive personality and the fact that she chose kindness over hate every time. And she did it with gusto!

I met her when I was a new wife to Jack. We attended a Reunion and I knew no one. But soon Lili Jean was at my side and I found I had a friend. She made me laugh and smile and suddenly I felt like I was a part of something.

Over the years we met up each year at the Otter/Caribou Association Reunions all across the country. She was always the first person I looked for. In the last few years due to Covid, none of the Reunions were held. So I hadn’t seen her for a while, but we kept up via Facebook.

Still, the sadness I feel at her death has really moved me. God Bless you, Lila Jean. I will miss you and one day, I hope, I will see you on the other side.

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Happy 50th Anniversary ~ Melodie & Ron!

Fifty years ago today, I stood by my sister’s side as she said her wedding vows. Melodie was marrying her soul-mate, Ron. I watched them look into each other’s eyes, and I knew their marriage would last. Here is what Mel has to say about her life with Ron and a short montage after.

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“Ron and I celebrate 50 years of marriage today! We are so blessed to have each other and still be so in love! We did not have beautiful wedding photos so during the past year we dressed up and took many pictures of us at several special places! It was great fun! Once we had taken all the photos my dear sister made a wonderful slide show set to our pick of music! Thank you Maribeth for doing this for us!! We hope you all enjoy it!”

Happy 50th Anniversary!

For The Love Of My Dackels

Back in 1996 when I brought home my first wirehaired dackel, I didn’t realize how much these little creatures would change me and the world I lived in.

SHULOOKBaby Shubi.

Shubi was my first wirehaired dackel and honest to God, she changed my life. She was my little Army. When I listened to Jamie Reagan and Eddie Janko say their wedding vows on Blue Bloods, it made me think about Shubi and how she saved me from depression.

“I will always have your back. If you fall behind I will wait up.
I will earn your respect and pay you respect every day we have.
I’ll be your scout, your night watchman, your cavalry.
Your medic, your chaplain in our army of two.
No retreat, no surrender. You can count on me.”

Shubi came into my life at just the right time. I was quite lost after the death of my six-year-old daughter. I was going down and there was very little I cared about.

But when darling Shubi came she was just 3 months old. She needed to be fed several times a day, walked, and we even went to doggy school so she could train me.

MUNICH6Walking with Shubi and a friend in Bavaria.

After so much sadness, Shubi gave me a reason to get up each day, and soon I was not only working my way out of the depression, but I was starting to enjoy life once again.

Shubi was an only dackel-child for 8 years before Greta joined us. We flew to Germany and went to the breeder’s home and picked up our girl. I was sure that no dackel could be as wonderful as Shubi, but I was so wrong. Where Shubi was a Beaty Queen, Greta was fierce and unafraid. I still recall the Easter afternoon when Greta cornered a garter snake (not poisonous) and barked loudly to protect me from it. Remembering that moment still makes me laugh!

Sadly Shubi left us shortly after her tenth birthday. She had contracted a very rare illness  GME (granulomatous meningo-encephalomyelitis). That was a very difficult goodbye. Shubi was so special.

greta at sunsetMy darling, Greta.

I did not have time to grieve as Greta went to her first German Dog Show, was rated Excellent and a boyfriend was found for her who was from German stock. Ten months later, Greta gave birth to her first litter and my love grew with the addition of Arnie and Anneliese.

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Baby Anneliese and Baby Arnie.

We were so lucky to have had Greta for 14 and a half years, Anneliese for 14 years and one month, and Arnie for 14 and three-quarter years.

April 02 10 010Anneliese and Arnie.

Right now I am alone. Well, I have Lili I know, but as sweet as she is, she isn’t a cuddler and she is very much a protector of the home and hearth. This is funny because there is not a mean bone in Lili’s body, yet when we did have that daytime break-in back in January of 2019, fierce Lili was the heroine of the day.

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But I was puttering around the house today and I had to go down to the basement and I said  “I’ll be right back Arnie” and then I realized he wasn’t here and I stopped and a sob caught in my throat.

I hope to find a new dackel-baby soon. I am just one of those people who has found the breed of dog that is perfect for them, and the wirehaired dackel is it for me!

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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). In fact, until the day they passed, they really adored each other.

Mom and Uncle BobRobert & Rosamond

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 had 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!

The Days Are Passing

Today has been a day full of thought. The skies remained gray and the air was warm. But after doing a quick grocery shopping, and coming home to make lunch, I found myself thinking back in time.

I remembered people I knew who I was very close to. People who helped teach me a lot about life. Life Lessons. Both are gone now, but the things we talked about, still remain in my mind.

Many years ago when I lost someone close to me, it was a terrible tragedy. They were too young to die! So much life left to live!  Now, with many of my friends being over 65, 70, or 80, when I think of those losses, it is the pain of losing their friendship. But they have had full lives and mostly I think they were ready for leaving this earth.

I’m sixty-two. I look at my life and think, I will see my 70s and 80s, but hopefully I will do this in good health.

I also look back and see all the life I have lived. Places I have gone, things I have done, and the moments, special moments I have shared.

I remember my pregnancy with Amanda. It wasn’t an easy pregnancy, as I nearly lost her early on in the pregnancy. But it was meant to be, and before I knew it, I was a mother.

1That was probably the happiest day of my life!

I was watching The Pioneer Woman’s daughter’s wedding this morning and I thought about my marriage to Jack.

I shopped and shopped for a nice, special, second wedding dress. Nothing in New England, so I went to Florida to visit my friend, Benn. I drove to The Miracle Mile in Fort Lauderdale and went to a Bridal Shop there.

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I found a beautiful cream-colored, lace tea-length dress there. It fit perfectly and needed no alterations. So It was packed up and I headed to Benn’s house where I proceeded to show him.

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He was quite nice about it, as I am sure that most men don’t get excited at the sight of a wedding dress. But Benn was kind and very brotherly to me. After all, in a few weeks, Benn would be the Best Man at our wedding.

I remember being so excited! And on the day of the wedding, I wore that lovely dress and felt like the prettiest of women.

 I remember being on an airplane with my first dackel, Shubi. I was the last to board and I raced to my seat and put Shubi, in her carrier under the seat in front of me. The man sitting next to me told me to put that bag in the overhead. I told him I couldn’t, as that was my dog. He then looked at me and said, “In my country, we eat dogs!”

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Yes, the memories flow, and the laughter and the tears. All my loves, all those times shared.  Gone in a second. I think this is what makes me wonder about the future, however long or short it may be.

I guess the best bet is to just enjoy each and every day and love those you are with.

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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, lives 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 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. 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, Auntie 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 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. When she died, he no longer had the will to live 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 special in their own way, and now, each greatly missed.

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

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Thinking About Katie

11/8/78 – 6/19/85

I had a lovely daughter, named Kathleen “Katie” Alynne. She was my youngest daughter and quite amazing. She was six and a half when she died after a car accident that occurred on June 13th.  She lived until June 19th, but she never regained consciousness after the paramedics pulled her from the car. So in my mind and my heart, the 13th is the day that she left us.

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People have wondered and actually said to me, that after 36 years I should be over losing her.

What I know is, you never get over losing a child. But you learn to go on and to make a new life for yourself. But on days like today, I like to remind everyone that once long ago, lived a beautiful little girl named Katie!

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This is so beautiful. I was crying by the second line, Written by Henry Scott Holland (27 January 1847 – 17 March 1918) was Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford.

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Katie 2A few years ago, an old friend was sorting through his pictures when he found this one of Katie. I’d never seen it before, and it was such a wonderful gift!

Most days I do well. I don’t dwell and I can look at her lovely face in pictures and smile. Then there are days that it hits me all over again and I am overwhelmed by grief. I don’t stay there long. Katie wouldn’t want that.

I miss you each day, Katie.