DAYTON -- The winter has been a rugged one and, now that it’s Spring, it’s time to get out and enjoy the good weather with our loved ones. To help families do just that, the Dayton Christian Center (DXC) is holding a Family Fun Day on Friday, May 15.
Two of my favorite mothers:
From left to right, Missy and Mumsie.
Missy was my Alaskan Malamute who adopted me as soon as she met me; Mumsie was my mother-in-law who "adopted" me as her son-in-law when I married her daughter.
Both have now passed from this world, but both were wonderful mothers to not only their own offspring, but to those whom they "adopted" through their love and friendship.
Happy Mother's Day, folks.
This 60-minute interview with the Obamas is full of substance, beginning with a discussion of the question of a bailout for the automobile industry. Obama's comment (paraphrased) was: I am looking for management, the union and shareholders in the industry to come up with a plan for a sustainable future for the automobile industry. This has to be a bridge loan to somewhere.
It is amazing how much can change in a year... how outwardly everything can seem exactly the same, but in reality nothing will ever be the same again. Most days slip by unnoticed, flowing from one into another quite seamlessly and we scarcely remember them after they have passed. Not so with birthdays. Birthdays are special: they are a time to celebrate, but also to look back. We take stock of the past year, or many years, and remember to actually live in the moment and celebrate the day. These days can be joyous; occasionally treacherous.
Posted with permission from Nicholas Benton, Owner/Editor of the Falls Church News Press.
News like that about Sen. Ted Kennedy last week comes like a kick in the solar plexus. It stops everything dead in its tracks. All the jockeying, all the bickering of political and personal lives is put on hold and a deep collective sob is heard issued forth from every mere mortal.
Music and memory are both powerful influences on life; it's not surprising, therefore, that we can often find music and memories mixed throughout human history. In Part I: Stir of Echoes, I reflected upon the passing of my mother-in-law in light of several strange happenings around our house that suggest to us her continued presence and apparent intention to watch over us. I ended by describing how I'd assembled a playlist of music that helped me keep my memories of Mumsie alive by evoking that special stir of echoes that manifest within my heart whenever I hear certain music and melodies. This piece delves into the elements of the playlist and the memories each one embodies. By sharing it, I hope to further share the unique experience of knowing Mumsie as I had come to know her during the twilight of her years.
Sometimes within the brain's old
I hear, far off, at some forgotten
A music and an eerie faint carouse
And stir of echoes down the
-- Archibald Macleish, "Chambers of Imagery"1
Hawkwife's mother -- my mother-in-law -- passed away December 19th, 2007, at the nursing home where she had lived for less than a year. I affectionately referred to her as "Mumsie" and had served as her primary caretaker from the day Wifey and I married until the time we moved her into the nursing home. Truth to tell, I continued the role even afterward, working to ensure due diligence in her care and facilitate understanding and communications between Mumsie, the staff and us.
The house felt quiet, somewhat empty, when we moved Mumsie to the nursing home. I felt somewhat empty, somewhat relieved, and a little as though I had betrayed not just a friend but a person who had grown to depend upon me to be there to help her.
There are so many ways to second guess the decisions one makes in life, regardless of whether it pertains to something major or minor. With major decisions -- those which impact not just your life but the lives of others -- the tendency to second-guess can explode exponentially into a multitude of "what-ifs" and "if onlys" until the mind and spirit strain under the weight.
We were spared some of this.
Some of it.
We missed Mumsie, but were no longer able to care for her at home without assistance, and we didn't qualify for the assistance we needed.2 It was the best thing we could do to ensure the high level of care we'd established for her, albeit at a cost of a level of interaction that I still regret today.
In the aftermath of her passing, as days stretched into weeks and the weeks into months, we've come to believe that she gently lingers with us in both memories unbidden and incidents of awkward recognition -- her life spirit, echoing through the halls of body, mind and abode. It is a reassuring feeling, comforting on several levels even while a touch spooky and otherworldly.