Category Archives: rememberance

I Believe…


Believe what you will, but I know what I believe in…that our loved ones who have passed are always around us. I believe it with all that I am, and today reminded me, yet again, of why…

Today Alyssa told me, out of the blue, that she dreams of Rob’s mom. In fact, Rob’s mom came to visit her in her dreams last night. She said it’s the same dream she has always had…that his mother comes to her, hugs her, and tells her that she loves her. Last night she told her to always remember that she always wanted to meet her as well.

Rob’s mother passed away at the age of 44…far too young. We were only 19 years old, so clearly Alyssa never got to meet her. Alyssa has seen a few pictures of her grandmother over the years, but I wouldn’t say that she studied them enough to be able to describe her…but when she sees her in her dreams, like she did last night, she can do just that. When I asked her to describe her grandmother as she saw her, she was able to describe her as perfectly as we remember her….and it made my heart smile and my eyes fill with tears.

We have always said that she watches over us, and especially over Alyssa. She always wanted to have a girl, but was blessed with three wonderful sons instead. When we found out that we were having a daughter, we looked to the sky and thanked her. When we saw Alyssa take her first breath, we thanked her again and knew she was there smiling down on us, and on Alyssa.

Throughout Alyssa’s life, she has always been circled by tiny butterflies that flit all around her…sometimes white, sometimes yellow (which was her grandmother’s favorite color) and it makes us smile. To us, that has always been our sign that Bobbie is with us and watching over our daughter. Even in times when we are alone, those little butterflies will come flitting by us, and we are reminded that she is watching over us…and it brings us a sense of comfort and peace.

The day before Hurricane Sandy, when we were cleaning out our yard, we noticed one lone yellow rose that had bloomed on our rose bush. Yellow roses were her favorite flowers. Rob snipped it off of the bush, brought it inside, and put it in a vase. We knew she was with us and would watch over us….and we believe that she did. That yellow rose stayed hearty for a week, and we silently thanked it everyday when we looked at it sitting in that vase in the middle of our counter. I have yet to take that rose out of the vase. It’s no longer in bloom, but most of the petals are still on it. It’s our symbol of strength…

Today, Rob’s mother would have been 67 years old. We think of her constantly and always say “I wish she could be here to see this or share this with us” but Alyssa’s dream reminded us of what we already know…she is always around us. She may not be with us physically, but she is always here spiritually. She does see our lives, she does see Alyssa growing up, and she, above all, protects us. We’ve have plenty of signs from her over the years, and each and every time, we smile and are thankful for our Guardian Angel.

Happy Birthday Mom. We love you too…

Believe what you will, but I know what I believe in…

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Thank You


Thank you…two simple words that are easy to say and mean so much.

This Memorial Day weekend, I came across veterans sitting in front of the Wawa collecting for disabled vets. I have NEVER in my life passed by those men without making a donation, even if I have gone into the store on multiple occasions over the course of the weekend. In fact, I have amassed quite a few poppies over the past few days thanks to them. Aside from always donating, I always make sure I look those men in the eyes and say “Thank you for your service”. If you have never done that when donating, you really need to. Those men appreciate a thank you just as much, if not more than the donation itself. It always makes them smile and sometimes even makes them teary eyed. They deserve every single thank you that they get, and then some if you ask me. When I see people walk by them like they are invisible, it actually disgusts me. If you don’t have any money to donate, a simple thank you is what they deserve at the very least.

Also this weekend, the volunteer firemen were doing their drive by fundraiser by standing at the entrance of the Shop Rite parking lot. On my way out, I stopped to make a donation and thanked the man for his volunteer service. He actually did a double take, smiled, and thanked me for saying that. He said no one had ever said to him before. As I pulled away, I was pretty shocked. How could no one have ever said thank you to him before? That bothered me, as did the many cars that drove right by him without making a small donation. My father was a paid fireman in North Jersey. I hope people stopped to thank him once in a while for what he did for them.(I’m going to have to ask him about that!)

Today on the way to my parents house, we drove past a coin toss for a different volunteer fire company. My daughter had never seen that before, but happily scooped out a bunch of change I had in the car. I slowed almost to a stop so she could throw it out the window at the target. The firemen all smiled, waved, and yelled thank you to us. As I drove away, my daughter remarked how happy the firemen seemed that we donated, and smiled at how they had so heartily thanked us…then noted that no one else had slowed down and done the same….and it bothered her too. On the way home we passed them again, and once again I slowed down so she could throw a big handful of change at the other target. This time they beeped the fire truck horn at us, smiled, and yelled thank you. Sadly, again she noted that no one else had slowed down and thrown their change. She said she hoped that we weren’t the only people that participated in the coin toss, because in her words, “It’s just not right.” I assured her that we weren’t but she didn’t seem very convinced that too many other people had tossed some coins, despite the signs preceding it for about a mile.

If I have taught my daughter anything in life, it is the value of “thank you”. Every time she sees a veteran collecting or anyone in a military uniform, she thanks them for their service. When she sees the firemen or ambulance squad doing their fundraising, she always says thank you for volunteering as she makes her donation too. I’ve taught her that anyone who makes a sacrifice for others should hear a thank you from the public. It’s a shame when a 10 year old knows better than the adults she sees around her…but I am pleased that she notices it and points out that it’s wrong. Tomorrow she is excited to go to the Memorial Day parade in town, so she can wave at the veterans and give thanks to them. I hope there is a decent crowd on hand, for her sake and theirs. It’s a sign of respect these men and women deserve, but often don’t receive enough.

To all of the men and women who currently serve or have served this country, I wholeheartedly say THANK YOU for your sacrifice. (Thank you to the Police Officers, Firemen, and EMTS too!) My daughter and I appreciate your service.

Thank you…two simple words that are easy to say and mean so much.

Don’t forget to use them as often as possible. Those two simple words matter.

Zenfish Dog Drawings – Simply Amazing!


Rory's Dog Drawing

I need to step away from my usual posts for a day to tell you about a new business venture my friend has started: Zenfish Dog Drawings. As you can see from the photo above, she did one for us of our dog Rory. When she presented it to us, we were stunned at the beauty and detail! She truly captured every wrinkle on his giant noggin!

It all started with a simple picture I took of Rory, laying at the top of our stairs, that she really liked. She created a drawing of it, and we are still amazed every time we look at it. Every single person who comes into our home, without fail, remarks on its beauty and unbelievable life-like quality. She also made the beautiful wood frame his drawing sits in, because she is multi-talented!

If you have a dog and would like a lifelong, one of a kind keepsake for your home follow the link to her site. You can either click on the highlighted one mentioned above, or go to my Blogroll on the main page of my blog and you will find it there too. There you will see some other work she has done that is equally striking.

I am thrilled that she has started this business venture, because she truly is talented!. I wish her the best, and know she will be quite a success!

RIP Hermy the Hermit Crab (AKA Poor Bastard #12) 8/11/11 – 1/21/12


Happier Times

This morning my daughter realized that her “beloved” pet Hermy was dead. I can’t say he died with much dignity. She found him naked in the middle of his cage, a few inches from his old shell, and nowhere near his spare, bigger shell that we thought maybe he would switch to someday.

Funny thing about this is I just asked her yesterday how her pal Hermy was doing, and her very paused response told me that yet again she forgot all about the poor bastard. This is the same child who literally begs us every single summer to get her a new hermit crab or two when we go to Fantasy Island in LBI. Every year I cringe when my husband and daughter happily stroll into the shop to make her yearly purchase. I know how it’ll end for the little innocent creature(s) she brings home, but nobody ever listens to me…I do need to mention that we did not buy her Hermy. She conned her grandparents into it one night when they were watching her. Mama didn’t raise no dummy.

Anyway, Hermy is officially the 12th hermit crab taken down by “The Hermit Crab Slayer” (What we affectionately call our daughter.) It always starts out great. She will give him (It’s always a him for some reason) some well thought out name, take fantastic care of him for about a week, and then it’s all downhill. The other 11 that she has owned didn’t make it very far past 2 weeks…maybe a month tops. This one went the distance in our house.

Thus today marked the end for our pal Hermy. (Technically he could have been dead for about a week, and my daughter just didn’t notice, but for all intents and purposes we will just stick with today.) I salute you Hermy…you almost made it a full 6 months…key word being almost. Unfortunately almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, so you will be joining the other 11 in our hermit crab cemetery, otherwise known as the spot to the right of the rose bushes in our yard. Ya did good kid. Well, ya did better than the other 11, at least…

What Is Your Life’s Blueprint? – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


I taught English for quite a few years before I strictly became an Algebra teacher. Every January, while everyone else taught “I Have A Dream”  for Dr. Martin Luther King Day, I taught this – “What Is Your Life’s BluePrint?” I absolutely adore this speech.

What Is Your Life’s Blueprint? 
Six months before he was assassinated, King spoke to a group of students at Barratt Junior High School in Philadelphia on October 26, 1967.

I want to ask you a question, and that is: What is your life’s blueprint?

Whenever a building is constructed, you usually have an architect who draws a blueprint, and that blueprint serves as the pattern, as the guide, and a building is not well erected without a good, solid blueprint.

Now each of you is in the process of building the structure of your lives, and the question is whether you have a proper, a solid and a sound blueprint.

I want to suggest some of the things that should begin your life’s blueprint. Number one in your life’s blueprint, should be a deep belief in your own dignity, your worth and your own somebodiness. Don’t allow anybody to make you feel that you’re nobody. Always feel that you count. Always feel that you have worth, and always feel that your life has ultimate significance.

Secondly, in your life’s blueprint you must have as the basic principle the determination to achieve excellence in your various fields of endeavor. You’re going to be deciding as the days, as the years unfold what you will do in life — what your life’s work will be. Set out to do it well.

And I say to you, my young friends, doors are opening to you–doors of opportunities that were not open to your mothers and your fathers — and the great challenge facing you is to be ready to face these doors as they open.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, the great essayist, said in a lecture in 1871, “If a man can write a better book or preach a better sermon or make a better mousetrap than his neighbor, even if he builds his house in the woods, the world will make a beaten path to his door.”

This hasn’t always been true — but it will become increasingly true, and so I would urge you to study hard, to burn the midnight oil; I would say to you, don’t drop out of school. I understand all the sociological reasons, but I urge you that in spite of your economic plight, in spite of the situation that you’re forced to live in — stay in school.

And when you discover what you will be in your life, set out to do it as if God Almighty called you at this particular moment in history to do it. don’t just set out to do a good job. Set out to do such a good job that the living, the dead or the unborn couldn’t do it any better.

If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music, sweep streets like Leontyne Price sings before the Metropolitan Opera. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well. If you can’t be a pine at the top of the hill, be a shrub in the valley. Be the best little shrub on the side of the hill.

Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.

— From the estate of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Beautiful

 

 

10 Years…


10 years ago I was very pregnant with my daughter and thought the world was ending…10 years later I stare at my daughter, remembering very vividly how I felt that day and wonder where those 10 years went.

10 years ago I prayed for the safety of my unborn daughter and wondered what kind of world she was going to be born into…10 years later I still worry about what kind of world she lives in, watch over her with a vigilance that only another parent would understand, and pray she will never experience a day like that in her lifetime.

10 years ago, I had to put on a brave face for my students while we listened to the jumbled news reports…10 years later, I still don’t know how I did it.

10 years ago I sat on the couch watching non-stop news footage and cried…it lasted for days….10 years later, I still cry whenever I read an article or watch any form of media clip about that day.

10 years ago I watched planes crash into the towers in disbelief…10 years later, I look up every single time a plane flies overhead.

10 years ago the New York Skyline changed forever…10 years later, I still look across the Hudson River directly at that spot and see those towers standing in my mind’s eye.

10 years ago, I heard a silence around me in the world that was actually deafening…10 years later, I can close my eyes and still hear it resonating.

10 years ago, I opened the paper and saw the last known picture of my childhood friend, Port Authority Police Officer Chris Amoroso, saving a life before losing his own in the collapse of the Second Tower…10 years later, I share that famous picture with all of my students and tell his story, as a tribute to him.

10 years ago, I cried for the emergency responders that gave their lives as heroes…10 years later, I cry for the heroes dying from 9/11 related illnesses.

10 years ago, I learned a new form of patriotism…10 years later, I am saddened by the way I had to learn it.

10 years ago I lost a piece of my heart and my life changed forever…10 years later, it hasn’t gotten any easier, because this is the one wound time just can’t heal.

I will Never Forget…

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