Monday, June 27, 2011


Yesterday I was part of a group of people walking to raise money for research to find better treatments and a cure for Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis. Our family team was able to raise $2262 for the cause. Hopefully one day treatments will be found for my grandchildren and all those others who afflicted by this yucky disease.

Because we live near our nation's capital we had a beautiful route to walk. We met the other walkers on the grounds of the Washington Monument.

The walkers headed out about six in the evening, heading towards the Tidal Basin.

By the time we reached the tidal basin we (my sweetie and I) had fallen to the end of the pack and were falling behind. My not quite recovered foot and my arthritic knees were beginning to complain. When the other walkers turned left at the Tidal Basin to walk around the Jefferson Memorial, we turned right and found a bench.

We enjoyed the view and the lovely weather and then walked about a block to the place where the others would complete their journey around the basin and we joined the route to the finish line. We cut more than a mile off the route with our shortcut. We were strolling along when the first of the walkers overtook us. A father and his young son had obviously run the entire way and were far ahead of the rest of the pack. I heard the boy say too his dad as they ran past, “Wow, those old people really must be fast.”

We walked on past the world War II Memorial with the Lincoln Memorial in the background. It was a beautiful sight.

Approaching the end of the course we saw the White House and found a comfortable wall to sit and wait for the rest of our family. How many other places could you walk with such beautiful scenery?

We all crossed the finish line together. It had been a good day.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Golden Afterglow

I think we are both radiating a golden afterglow as reflect on the wonderful weekend our kids planned to celebrate our golden anniversary.

We began with a crab feast on Friday night with small gathering of family and friends at our daughter Ann's house. It was a lovely evening full of food and laughter. I was a bit distracted looking forward to the big party on Saturday, wondering what surprises our kids had in store for us.

Saturday we were told not to arrive for the party until it was time for the festivities to begin, so we spent the morning at a dance recital watching our thirteen year old granddaughter. Since we have no previous experience at celebrating our fiftieth anniversary we assume a dance recital is a normal part of the festivities. Finally it was time to put on our party clothes and head off to the church.

When we walked into the church hall the first thing we saw was my wedding gown displayed on a mannequin. Our daughter wore the same dress twenty-seven years ago, but it had been packed away since then. It is still as beautiful as I remembered it to be. We looked around and the next thing I saw was my three handsome grandsons all dressed up in white shirts and ties. This was not there normal attire and they did look beautiful. The room was decorated with flowers and candles and looked like a great place for a party. A big wedding cake filled one corner with a groom's cake next to it, decorated to look like a left handed dice.

Guests began to arrive and we were busy greeting them when our daughter called us to greet some special guests. There stood Randy and Edna. They had been our best-man and maid of honor. We have not seen them in over thirty years. We had all been best friends in college and for the many years after that. Careers and family have separated us, but our love and friendship has continued. I could not believe they were here. It took my breath away. What a wonderful surprise!

Our son-in-law called everyone to attention and we all sat down as he welcomed everyone and said some sweet things about us. He started talking about our wedding and how they had recently seen some color pictures of the event and discovered that our bridesmaids had not worn gray dresses. They had been a lovely blue. At that point our grandchildren entered the room dressed as our wedding party had been dressed fifty years ago. Our daughter had made the dresses to match those dresses worn at our wedding. Of course I cried as these beloved grandchildren of ours entered the room.

After the grandchildren entered, Gary went on to say that I always said I wanted a brass band to play, “When the Saints Go Marching In” at my funeral. The kids decided that if they were going to hire a brass band they would prefer to have me there to enjoy it. So they had hired a band to play for us. The band played and I cried. The band continued to play as we visited and laughed with friends and family. What an amazing, wonderful party!

We had a photographer for the big event whose pictures we have not yet seen, but I'll share a few now. Rest assured there will be more.

We concluded the day with a cookout at Laurel and Gary's house. It was good to have time to sit and visit with everyone and reflect on the day.

Just to make the week end complete all my children and grandchildren joined us for church on Sunday morning. It felt so good to worship surrounded by the people I love most in the whole world.

It was all perfect. We felt very loved and very honored.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


My in-laws twenty-fifth wedding anniversary came the same week as my graduation from nursing school and our wedding day. They had decided that there was no time to celebrate their big anniversary. We knew they had wanted a party, but there just was no opportunity. They hosted our rehearsal dinner. They had prepared and served a lovely dinner and were preparing to serve the pie they had fixed for dessert when people just sort of disappeared. They were a bit confused and irritated when they were summoned to the patio. The kids had ordered a small wedding cake in honor of their special day. My betrothed and I marched in bearing gifts of silver wearing the clothes they had worn on their wedding day. They were delighted that we had found a way to honor them.

Twenty five years later our children and friends surprised us with a silver anniversary party. We felt loved and special and we understood how our parents had felt when we surprised them.

It is twenty five years later. This weekend our children are planning a party to celebrate our fiftieth anniversary. We are very excited to see what wonders they have have in mind for us.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Fifty years ago this week I graduated from Pasadena City College's School of Nursing. Dressed in my starched white uniform, perfectly set cap, and a wool red and blue cape I marched into the Rose Bowl with my class of forty nursing students and a thousand cap and gowned regular college students. It was a hot day and that wool cape was uncomfortably warm, but I did look so professional and I felt so proud.

I chose wisely when I became a nurse. The career suited me. I delivered babies and cared for tiny preemies. I gave shots, started IVs, emptied bedpans, changed dressings, bathed and comforted the sick. I held both patients and their families while they cried. I cheered when they recovered. I learned so much about life and people. I have so many wonderful stories and memories. I loved being a nurse. Now I enjoy knowing that my RN stands for retired nurse.

On that day fifty years ago my parents were proud and happy, just as parents everywhere have always been on graduation day.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Sofie Graduates

Yesterday was Sofie's high school graduation. This was a different child and a different graduation, but still overflowing with love and emotion.

Sofie's class had seven hundred graduates. The audience filled up the big Comcast Center at the University of Maryland. Because she is a member of the National Honor Society she sat in the middle of the very front row and was among the first to graduate. We are all so very proud of her. It is hard to believe she is grown and leaving for college in the fall. The years have flown by too quickly.

You would think that after watching our five kids and now five of our grandchildren graduate we would have learned to less emotional about these events. It hasn't happened yet. I still cry every time Pomp and Circumstance is played.

All her happy parents and siblings

With her brother and sister

Proud grandparents

Thursday, June 02, 2011

DQ Graduates

Today we celebrated my son's birthday by attending his son's high school graduation.

Today's ceremony was much like all other high school graduations. Pomp and circumstance played as the graduates marched in. Proud and happy families filled the room. There were the routine commencement speeches. In other ways this was a most unusual graduation. DQ graduated from RICA, a special school for kids who have had trouble dealing with life. There were only fourteen kids in the graduating class, each with a special story. Today's joy was a very great achievement for them and for the many people who have helped them to get to today. I cried as he walked across that stage today. Along with his diploma he revived several awards and scholarships.

Here he is with his mom and dad.

And with his happy grandparents.