Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
I tried to keep it light, I tried to be optimistic. I focused on the wonderful party we had recently and not all the other stuff that's had me down. These ladies are so sweet, they seem so together and so, I don't know, determined to make it all work. That's really inspiring. I was so excited to make an attempt at being a part of that...
30 years ago, my parents got married on their farm in South Jersey (not far from where we are now, actually) with lots of friends and family around. They had the ceremony and celebration there. They were happy, you can see it.
This exciting anniversary is not something my mom was really looking forward to quite the same as "normal" couples would. My dad's condition makes him essentially emotionally absent all together. These days he spends a lot of time in his room, maybe some time outside wandering and he doesn't talk much unless you prompt him with questions. It's just so sad, especially since he was such a caring guy...
Anyway, a few months ago while trying to figure out what we could do for our mom, my sister suggested we throw a party for my mom to help her celebrate ... a surprise party!
We put together invitations quickly - I had some good photos scanned and we put words together for the invitations. We put together lists of people to invite to the party and another list: a list of people we'd ask to send cards. The card list was mostly for people that were a distance away or we weren't sure if they could make it to the party. Then, our aunt, my mom's sister, was nice enough to print all the invites out for us.
The people that came were just so nice and so helpful. Everyone was excited and sitting around. There were some really good stories going around too, of my parents, the day they were married (there were several people there that had been at their wedding, including my mom's maid of honor and our friends from Florida) and some great stories about my dad.
Speaking of him, I say fate (or luck) because my dad was just remarkably like his old self. It was incredible! We had lined the driveway to surprise my parents when they got home (figuring the cars in the driveway would be a give away if not lol) and my dad got out, smiling and started shaking hands and hugging people. It was nuts!!
It was such a nice day and now, it's the 19th, their actual anniversary (we celebrated early since it was a surprise party)...
Happy Anniversary, mom & dad.
Thank you for being such a great example together for so many years.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Like many, I can tell you where I was - I was a senior in highschool in homeroom and my douchebag home room teacher (he really was. Serious neapolitan complex) wouldn't let us turn on the news to see what was going on. So, I quickly rushed off to my next class - something in the chorus room. Maybe theater appreciation? I don't know. I was in that room quite a lot. We watched it the whole time there. We watched the second plane hit and went through the motions of "This isn't some awful accident. This is being done on purpose." Serita was in that class/room with me and she was so upset over family she had never the trade centers. I think I was mostly in shock. I still am just re-watching the video from 10 years ago today and still am. As news continued that day in 2001, we all became concerned for more bad things ... was Philly going to be hit? What about nuclear plants? There's one right in Salem! And I guess I didn't really know I was holding my breath either until it all rushed out of me when the towers actually began to collapse. Ugh!
In the days to come, more sad news... when I was a super young swimmer, we had a great program on our team where some of the older swimmers helped the younger ones. My "helper" had been Nicole and she was just about the sweetest girl you can imagine! She's super nice, friendly, had a great smile and just a wonderful personality. Her brother was a lot like her. I had only met him a handful of times (he wasn't a swimmer), but there was something special about him, like Nicole. You just couldn't meet them and not be totally overwhelmed with their goodness.
On a last note, I'll add this - I was at one of Bruce Springsteen's opening shows in Jersey (right outside of NYC) in 2002 after releasing his most recent CD. The parking lot had been filled with flags on cars and posters referencing 9/11. This song and the audience that day ... To this day, it is absolutely one of the most spiritual events I have ever experienced. Here's Bruce Springsteen singing "The Rising":