Never allow yourself to be defined by your past. It was a lesson. Not a Life sentence.
Monday, December 28, 2015
Saturday, December 26, 2015
Sunday, September 27, 2015
Thursday, September 10, 2015
I had the best Mother ever. I'm sure most people feel that they do, but in the case of my Mother, it is true.
Her first name was Emma. She never liked it, thinking it was old fashioned, so she preferred to be called Bette, (her middle name was Elizabeth). So, she was known as Bette by everyone except my dad, who called her Em.
My Mother was very pretty. She wore little makeup, mostly a little rouge, as she called it and red lipstick. But I think what made her so appealing was her smartness and her quick wit.
She had few friends. She didn't seem to need any. She liked her own company and preferred being with me and my sisters and my Father.
She loved to read and would get lost in a book sometimes and forget that it was time for dinner.(I now find myself doing the same thing)
My Father was a traveling salesman, so he was only home from Friday til Monday, so it was up to us, my four sisters and Mommy to hold down the fort.
Neither of my parents were the yelling kind. We would be lectured if we misbehaved. And I never heard my parents raise their voices with each other either. I can only remember them laughing and loving one another and having fun with me and my sisters.
Sometimes me and my younger sister would be clowning around, dancing and singing, while my Mother was reading or doing a crossword puzzle, which was one of her favorite hobbies, especially the Sunday Times crossword, which she always was able to finish. She'd watch us for awhile and tell us how talented we were. Then say, "you two should be on the stage." (pause) There's one leaving at noon."
In 1997 My Mother died from cancer. It was diagnosed too late and was told nothing could be done to save her.
Her final days on earth illustrate her strength, but above all, her sense of humor.
Before she died, my two sisters and I sat around on the floor by my Mother's chair, talking and reminiscing. By then, My Father had been gone since 1990 and our other sister Allene had died too.
Our chatting turned to the morbid details we had previously decided we needed to discuss with our Mother.
We asked our Mother when the time comes, what she wanted for her final testimonial. A funeral? Cremation?
Summoning up her eighty years of wit, she gave us an answer none of us will ever forget.
"Surprise me" she said.
As an ironic post script to this story, a few years later, I was diagnosed with cancer .It was quite serious, and the doctor did not give me much hope. He told me to "get my affairs in order".
(Don't buy any green bananas)
I didn't have health insurance and not enough money for cancer surgery.
I felt lost. I decided to go see my Mother's doctor, hoping his prognosis might be different. It wasn't.
He began to talk to me about my Mother, what a wonderful lady she was and how fond he was of her.
How she always made him laugh and never complained during her treatments.
He told me that after her surgery, when my Mother was terminally ill, he went to see her to tell her the bad news..that he had done all he could but she would not survive.
He teared up as he told her this. He said she put her hand on his arm in a consoling gesture. "Stop that now" she said. " You are a wonderful doctor. You did your best. Don't feel bad" Her words and her touch comforted him.
"Never in my career have I had a patient who comforted me, Vicki", he told me. I will never forget her.
He then told me he would perform my surgery for no fee. He said, I will do it for your Mother. Because, he said, he loved her.
So, he did. And eighteen years later, I'm still here.
You may say that my Mom's doctor saved my life, and that's true.
But it was my Mother who really saved my life. It was his love for her that made him want to help me and for no fee.
So, that was my Mother, beautiful, smart and loving. I think of her every day and miss her terribly. And in her own way, in my heart and in my mind, she never ceases to surprise me.
Saturday, September 5, 2015
His words in the back of the limousine were like a stab in my heart. All of the kindness of our courtship evaporated, his stinging words were an ending to a bizarre evening.
My new bridegroom's words pierced me so painfully that it sort of pushed a rewind button on the odd scenario I had just been through.
What just happened, I thought, Why was I standing there on The Tonight Show in this Miss Havisham wedding gown? This was not the dress I wanted to wear. I had chosen a lovely simple gown that fitted my small frame. This one was too large for me, and I hated it. It was made by a designer and I learned later, by a man who made only men's clothing. This was his first dress.
But I was not a complainer. I wore it so that no feelings were hurt.
I knew it was partly my fault, that we had arrived here on a TV show. I should have put my foot down in the first place weeks ago when Johnny Carson invited Tiny to marry on his show. But instead, I was just sitting there in the green room, watching my wedding plans crumble before my eyes on the TV monitor.
This was not what I wanted...the intimate wedding at my parents home with my family and friends I had always dreamed of. Not some sideshow for the entertainment of Late Night TV watchers.
"Isn't this wonderful" Tiny said after the taping of the show..Mr. Carson wants us to get married on his show..What a miracle" The only miracle is that I did not object immediately.
I just quietly said "Why didn't you ask me first? This was not what we planned. I don't want a public spectacle of our wedding"
" Oh Come on, he said, think about it! " Mr. Carson was so kind to offer. We can't disappoint Mr. Carson."
Wait, I thought ..disappoint Mr. Carson? What about me? But I did not have the courage to say this out loud. All I could say was " I wish you had asked me first, I don't like this idea"
My words fell upon deaf ears.
It was all moot by now. It happened just the way he wanted it. The TV extravaganza had come off without a hitch. And I suppose everyone watched, I don't really know.
But the painful part of the evening was yet to come. After the ceremony and the reception, which was not a reception for us, just flashbulbs and microphones in our faces, No opportunity to greet my family or any of the guests, after about an hour of press interviews, we were whisked off to a waiting limo by the two managers.
And here is what my brand new husband said to me. " I just want you to know that I will never be able to be faithful to you. There will always be other women"
I could not believe what I'd just heard. My heart broke. I didn't know what to say.
Should I jump out of the car? No, it was cold, and where would I go? And I feared those who might say "I told you so.This wouldn't work out. He's too old for you. You're too young. Only seventeen to his thirty seven."
I decided, through my tears to ignore what was just spoken.
The remainder of the ride to the hotel was uncomfortable and quiet.
We went up in the elevator to our separate rooms. (we would always have two separate rooms)
I felt numb.
And now, I had another problem. How to get out of this wedding dress... It took three people to to harness me into this dress with a hundred looped buttons up the back. I was alone now and could not reach all of them.
I eventually managed to wiggle out of it, sort of like Houdini from a straight jacket, now thankful it was too large for me.
Then I sat there on the edge of the bed and thought.. "Maybe he didn't mean it. Or maybe, he will change his thinking."
I wanted so much to believe that. And so, I remained.
I later learned that all of our hundreds of wedding gifts that were set on a table at the reception, had "disappeared". When I asked where they were, the two brothers who were Tiny Tim's managers told us they had been stolen. Every one of them. By uninvited guests, they said.
I have since learned that our gifts were actually stolen by these managers.
Along with all of my former husband's earnings.
Monday, August 31, 2015
When you get a reputation for something you've done, for an unfortunate choice you've made, you have a hard road ahead of you. You'll never be anything but what everyone claims you are, no matter how much you have grown, how much you have changed, or what you have done since.
Saturday, October 18, 2014
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Saturday, November 9, 2013
Monday, September 30, 2013
Saturday, August 17, 2013
Monday, May 6, 2013
Saturday, April 27, 2013
Monday, February 25, 2013
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Sunday, December 2, 2012
Sunday, September 30, 2012
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Onions and Squash from the garden, and lots of pickles...And baskets for gathering herbs and vegetables.
Lots of work in a hot kitchen.
But it was fun..and now we have plenty of sauce for the winter!