Revisiting The Baby Book

In honor of Mother’s Day, I thought I’d revisit a story about Bev; I shared this on the blog shortly after she passed away. I know she was laughing her heavenly azz off.

My Mother was a very special kind of Mom.  She was the kind that loved us immensely, but also thought we could figure things out ourselves; you know, the opposite of today’s helicopter parenting ways.

  • She was the Mom who worked long/late hours as a waitress after my parents divorced.
  • She was the Mom that laughed a lot, but also the kind that yelled when her kids were slobs. And we were.
  • She was the Mom that didn’t really teach her kids how to NOT be slobs, but expected us to know this.
  • She was the Mom that filled out every page of the baby book given to her when her babies were born.

Wait. WHAT? I meant to say is she was the kind that filled out every page of the baby book given to her when her FIRST child was born; you remember him, Mark the most beautiful child on the planet.

       Here is the first of many pages filled out  in Mark’s book.

                       There is a family tree for Mark. 

Here is Suzanne’s first page of vital information. 

 Here is a family tree for Suzanne to cherish for the rest of her life.

You can’t read invisible ink either?

Actually when I found this completely blank book after she’d passed away in 2015, I had a really good laugh.  

The fact that she’d kept the book for 48 years was astonishing. 48 YEARS. I know she was laughing with me. 

Hey, she was busy for those entire 48 years; it’s not like she wasn’t gonna get to it.  Right?   

Although, I was pretty excited to see that I did get mentioned in Mark’s book for his Fifth Christmas. 

                                                                           

New sister is Suzanne.

Beverly, I wasn’t THAT new; I was 3 months old and I did have a name.  Gosh I wish she were here when I found this; we could’ve laughed about this one forever.

I miss you Bev!

{The poll was a flop, I couldn’t get it to work properly, so it’s GONE}

And in case you’re wondering, I finished the baby books for both of my girls. What can I say? I was an overachiever when it came to Mothering.

Happy Mother’s Day to all my mothering Friends; whether you are mothering humans, critters, or friends. Taking care of other’s makes the world a better place.

XOXO

The One Where I Talk About Bev. Again.

Yesterday was my Mom’s birthday and this was the first time since she’s passed (6 years) that I didn’t celebrate with Mexican food & a margarita with two of my besties in her honor. Don’t ask me why. I can’t blame the pandemic because even last year the three of us zoomed together.

My mom was fairly simple. She loved margaritas, music, baking, her family, Latin men, lottery tickets, dancing in the car, striking up conversations with total strangers (which horrified me as a kid, but I do it now), The Price Is Right & QVC.

Beverly on her 70th birthday.

I recall the conversation when I phoned her months before her 70th. “Mom, I’m gonna take you away for your birthday; I was thinking maybe a B & B in the mountains, A cute place on the beach, A spa stay or we could go to Vegas.”

Without missing a beat she said: VEGAS!

Vegas it was. We had a lovely time; we stayed in a nice hotel, enjoyed nice dinners, Mom played the slot machines as much as she wanted and we saw Jersey Boys and LOVE. Since Coach and a bajillion airline points, I met her in ATL and we flew First Class; her first time ever. Boy am I ever glad we had that get away together because just under two years later, she was diagnosed with effing ovarian cancer.

Mexican food and a margarita on her 72nd birthday. She was feeling like hell, but put on a smile for a few hours.

I stayed with her off and on durning her treatments; 2-3 weeks there, go home for a week or so, then back again. It was a good time to be with her and she really appreciated our time together. She never really complained about being sick, but I did see her cry a few times and she would say she was just feeling melancholy. Chemo was a bitch and I know she felt horrible. In hind sight, we should have skipped that altogether.

She passed away 6 weeks after that little birthday celebration and I still miss her terribly. I’ve said it before, my Mom was not a conventional Mom, she was honest when she said that Mark and I were raised by wolves. We were basically left to tend to ourselves, but hey, look how amazing I turned out?

She didn’t have an easy life. She was never financially secure & she was a notorious, self proclaimed: Poor Pecker Picker. She endured a horrible marriage to my father and watched her son slowly lose his battle with AIDS and die at 26.

I still can’t even imagine how she forged on after Mark’s death.

I think of her daily and I know that she would be SO darn proud of our girls and she’d be beside herself with us having a home in the Georgia Mountains. My Mom was born in New Jersey, lived there as a kid, then Florida as a young adult and then moved to Georgia when I was 12. You’d never know she’d lived anywhere other than Georgia as she was the embodiment of a Georgia Peach, right down to the accent. I can still hear her answering the phone: Heeeyyyyyyy

I actually started my blog for my Mom. She and I had not lived in the same state since I was 15, so this was a nice way to keep her updated on our family. My blog brought her a lot of joy, especially when I wrote about my childhood shenanigans. She would call me sometimes and we’d laugh about all the nonsense and how I’d survived it so well.

The Coach and I ended up going out for an early dinner yesterday, so I was able to have a margarita in Bev’s honor. I had to substitute a Greek salad for Mexican food, but she wouldn’t care since I could do no wrong in her eyes anyway.

If you are lucky enough to have a parent or two, call or write a note to them today. When I think of the times I did let my Mom’s calls go to voicemail when I was semi-busy, it makes me want to take a spoon to my eye.

Big hugs!

XO

It’s A Miracle We Even Survived; Christmas 70’s Style.

I originally wrote and shared this post in 2010. I was thinking about this post when I wrote the Santa one this past week, (and then my second Santa post!) then my friend Kari found and read it while looking for info on my brother Mark (but not in that stalker-ey way) so I’m re-blogging it because frankly, it cracked ME up and I wrote it. I recall that when I shared this, my Mom died laughing too. Just to be clear, The cancer killed her, not my witty-as-hell blog post.


My Brother and I certainly were not spoiled or even overly-attended-to children. I can’t say we were abused or neglected. But maybe there’s a version of that: Neglect Light? Unattended But Loved? Raise Yourselves, I’m tired? But it all changed when Christmas came. Along with Santa, came my Grandparents {my Dad’s parents} they loaded up their car in Miami with as many games & toys as they could fit in their trunk and back seat and spent each Christmas with Mark and I. Mind you, my parents were divorced and they chose to spend Christmas with my Mom, their ex daughter in law; they adored my Mom, Mark (of course Mark!) & I. Those few days of attention and fun were what we craved terribly.

One year I recall them opening the trunk and all I saw were two huge plastic garbage cans with lids on them. They were so clever, they knew my Mom needed new cans and inside them were all of our wrapped gifts. That takes Oscar the Grouch to another level.


My very first Christmas. I looked a little scared, but I had no idea what was to come in the future. I should have climbed back into Beverly’s lady kitchen and hunkered down because these people might be insane. And in case you’re wondering, no, we didn’t want ANY ONE else to have tinsel, we we took it all.


I must have been around 4 here. G’ma is trying to help Mark and I find our way through the bazillion gifts; I am lost, confused, and beginning to go into shock.  It looks like 12 kids live here. Also, being a NOT spoiled child, I was gifted a rescue siamese kitten this year, she’s on the rocking chair. Chrissy; oh I adored her. She was my constant companion until her untimely death 7 years later. We really can’t have nice things.

X

Please note the fire safety hazards: The brown electric heater in front of the fireplace loaded with paper, a bottle of whisky and the ashtray filled to high heaven on the coffee table. I’m certain there was a can of gas lurking under the couch. 


Mark and I Christmas Eve {Suz 6?} That is my G’pa in the background; gosh, I loved him so much. I bet you a million dollars he was playing solitaire and smoking cigarettes in one of those weird filter thingys.

Christmas Mark and Suz

Now, look at that tree above again. Is it just me or does it look like Helen Keller was in charge of the garland application?

Christmas morning: Mark has bed head and I look perfect. Probably because I didn’t sleep all night; when the adults were knee deep into the rum balls I found a liter of coke in the kitchen and consumed it. The liquid soda! I didn’t do real coke until 4th grade. KIDDING. I’m holding my doll Cindy.  Right now Cindy is in my hall closet wearing a one-shoulder nightgown and suffering from a severely bad haircut, thanks to my Brother. Pogo Sticks: because breaking your ankles should be more action packed. Check out the typewriter on the floor, it had windows 5.

Christmas Mark and Suz 2


When I got older, there were fewer gifts. Heck, I was not even allowed to open this ONE gift without performing first. I look traumatized, whose idea was this? BTW: This was in the haunted AF townhouse.

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I am guessing this is a wrapped bottle of Jim Beam.  Thanks Mom.

My how times have changed. There is no smoking, electric heaters or tinsel at our house, but my girls will each get a box of wine this year along with bedazzled/personalized shanks.

Ok, maybe it has not changed that much.

xoxo