Saga Continues Post

My, I was quite the serious little blogger yesterday wasn't I? Sheesh! Somehow I can't be quite as serious today...I have to take it in small doses with a bit of time between sharing stories. So the tale of that period when my parents died will be resumed at a later date. It's just a little too intense to re-live so close to the holidays.

However, having just re-read my post, I'll go on a little further with my tale. Maybe it's because I'm listening to Pandora's R and B and Pop holiday music. Makes it hard to feel sad to that kind of music. Plus there's something about this saga that's begging to be told. Can't explain it...kind of a gut feeling, nagging at me. No guarantee how far I'll get.

Thus back to this little memoir.

Just so you know, we didn't stand my dad's casket up in the corner or slug back a shot in his honor. Lol! But the grieving began. There's no escaping it. Here I am, more than ten years later, with tears welling up and the memories are as clear as if it all happened yesterday.

My mom was in a wheelchair at the funeral and had the most vacant look on her face. Almost like she was watching a play. When we got back to the house she said she kept thinking it was all a bad joke. That any second my dad would pop his head in and with a twinkle in his mischievous Irish eyes say "Surprise". But he never did.

Per his wishes, my father was cremated. My brother and I hired the caretakers full time for my mom. He lived on the East coast and I on the West. My parents home was in the middle. As I said, I should have just stayed there, time is such a gift and gone so fast.

My brother tried to convince mom to live with his family so she wouldn't be alone. But try as he might, she wouldn't budge. With dad gone, I think the house and her memories were all she felt was left.

My husband was still the man I married (not the doltoid I divorced years later) and upon arriving home he had a trip to a bed and breakfast in Wales followed by a visit to my penpal in the Netherlands lined up. We were gone ten days. Wales is stunningly beautiful in Spring, the countryside soothed my aching heart. I would love to live there. The time with my friend in the Netherlands was just the icing on the cake of life. But the experience was short lived.

Upon returning to L.A., I called my mom to let her know we had returned from the trip.

A day and a half later she died in her sleep. Just 29 days after my dad. I was devastated. It was like she held on until she knew I was home safe and sound.

The funeral had to be delayed a week due to the Memorial Day holiday weekend. On the flight to mom's I was awfully disoriented. Discombobulated would be the perfect word to describe it. I even left my calendar with it's history of six months of pain, on the plane when I got off. I had documented all the trips to and from the Midwest. All gone...as quickly as my parents.
Siskel (R) and Ebert (L)
Deja vu. It was like a bad re-run of a crumby movie. "I'll give it two thumbs down Rodger". My brother once again swung into action. Okay, need to stop here, this little walk down memory lane will be continued.

On a lighter note, Laurie at Crazy Aunt Purl asked about chili recipes (12/7/11) so I sent her this one. My mom used to make something almost identical when I was growing up:
Shirley's Fantastic Ohio Chile (where my friend came up with the name, I'll never know)

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 - 1 green bell pepper, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 can dark red kidney beans
1 can regular stewed tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
dash chili powder/cayenne red pepper to taste

Brown meat. Drain fat (if any). Add onion and bell pepper and sauté lightly. Then add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered. Serve with chopped onions or sour cream or grated cheddar or all of the above, on top.

This recipe is easily doubled.         

Changing the subject yet again, this little blog had 162 visits on Monday, 119 of them from Slovenia. I almost fell over when I saw those numbers! Hello, and thank you for visiting!

While listening to Pandora radio, the male a cappella group Straight No Chaser came on singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Totally divine! I LOVE that group, they have such wonderful voices and their music arrangements are amazing! Have a look for yourself, I think you'll enjoy it.

Sorry this was so long. Thanks for reading!

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