July 14, 2018

Bottle of Wine, fruit of the vine....

Today is would be my mom's 90th birthday. She missed it by 62 days.

I think she would have preferred it that way. Mom never told anyone how old she was, and she wouldn't have been able to handle anyone, absolutely anyone, wishing her "Happy 90th Birthday"!

Spent the day at Mom's and Dad's old house. Alone on the river felt good. Cleaned out her bathroom and all her personal items; 70+ bobby pins, several of her lipsticks, and shampoo and all that stuff. Two bags in front of me; one for tossing stuff out and one to save...tough call, TOUGH CALL.

Moved on to the table next to her chair. Discovered some of her stories, more cards saved that we kids sent her for Mother's Day, birthday, Christmas, Valentine's Day. My sister was really good about sending cards, so was my daughter, Nicole.

My brother called me while I was there to see if I was okay, knowing it was Mom's birthday. We both kind of felt we were doing okay, just okay.

Our family never really seemed to have time to grieve Mom's passing because Dad seemed to take a downward spiral, keeping our hands and days full.

Dad shared so many stories in the two months since Mom's death. He suffered survivor's guilt in a major way but also recognized that he was hanging on to life prior to Mom passing because he had made a promise to take care of her for the rest of her life. Dad did not make promises he couldn't keep.

He discussed with me several things he wanted to do prior to passing. First was to go to Lake Tahoe...we didn't make it. Next he wanted my oldest grandson and youngest granddaughter to be given a check that would help them 'get established'. I promised him I would make sure it happened, in fact we wrote out the checks and put them in the Trust to make sure. Then he said he wanted his 4-wheel drive vehicle to go to my oldest granddaughter who is moving to Colorado. Moving from LA to Colorado, she would need a 4-wheel drive and he wanted his 'pride and joy' to join her in the snow.

He was so proud of all his grand-kids and great grand-kids and great-great grand-daughters. His last two months, he fell in love with his great-grandchildren all over again. Their dedication to music, to education, to knowledge, their work ethic, their spirit of adventure and wanderlust, their creativity and honestly, their resistance to be squeezed into a box and be 'one of the crowd'!

He respected and honored their dedication to be authentic to who they were, just like him.

Lots of sharing here. Can you tell I finished off a bottle of Riesling all by myself. Good stuff, and guilt free high! I asked my guardian angel if I should and she said, "Hell yeah!"  Seemed to go fast, I really hope she wasn't sneaking sips. I know The Guy wasn't, the only time he drinks is when he asks me for a sip when I try a new wine...can't even make the man take an aspirin!

So, hard day. Tomorrow will be a new day. The Guy lost his dad 50 years ago and says it will hurt forever. I agree. Both parents gone with two months of each other changes all our lives, children, grandchildren and siblings.

Okay...got to let this go. Seems to be stream of consciousness or stream of Riesling or just stream.

Tomorrow will be another day. Let's see what that brings.

Mom. Dad. I miss you.  I love you.

p.s What were you doing with all this shit?
p.p.s. Mom, love your stories, say hi to Grandma and tell her I miss her, though I am sure she knows.


  1. good memories, toni. my husband had the same reaction as you in cleaning out his parents house: "too much shit". your dad made some awesome choices.

  2. Sweet.
    Having lost my mother ten years back I can say it never gets better, but it does get a little easier.

  3. I am so sorry, Toni. I know this story well. My dad went into himself, closed down, and passed away a few months after my mom. He could not live without her.

  4. Such a personal space our parents fill. Your parents filled your life with grace, so you could sort the "shit" and not resent it. My mother wanted to live to see the new century. She missed by three years. I would give them back to her, if I could.

  5. Sending you lots of hugs, Toni xo

  6. Lovely read Toni - lots of happy memories and thoughts here ... take care and so glad the Riesling was enjoyed remembering life ... cheers Hilary

  7. Oh this was bittersweet. After just returning today from spending a week with my failing father I get this. I lost my mom at 13. My dad is 90 and he is not well. Not looking forward to this upcoming day.
    And your friend is right, it never goes away. I think of my mom daily. It is still incredibly painful. I wish you some peace and comfort while through this journey.

  8. I somehow missed last post. I am so very sorry that you lost your dad Toni. I have been reading your blog for a little now. Long enough to know that your mom was a complex woman but I have often wished there were more men in this world like your dad. I wish you warm memories and dreams that are peppered with his presence.


Comment Please but Play Nice!