Saturday, March 15, 2014

Laundry with Lou Lou

Just about every weekend Lou Lou tries to give me money for doing her laundry. The convo is usually the same, but today's was particularly amusing.
LL: look under the clock and get some money.
Me: no
LL: please, sugar, it's the least I can do. 
Me: I'm not taking your money, Lou Lou.
LL: but it's just a little bit. You can buy a Co-Cola. 
Me: I don't want a Coke.
LL: well, then you can get a Pepsi.
Me: I definitely don't want that! 

Pepsi might be born in the Carolinas, but Coke Is It!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Buddy's new ride

Buddy and Bailey, aka 'the boys', will be 11 years old this month. I know they aren't young pups anymore, but I wasn't prepared for just how quickly Buddy would age. Over the past nine months or so, Buddy has slowly lost the use of his hind legs. It's a disease called degenerative myelopathy, or DM, a disease of the spinal cord that starts with his hind legs and progresses to the rest of his body over time. There isn't any medication for this, but luckily, he isn't in any pain.

We've been researching doggie wheelchairs. There are several types available, but most just didn't seem right for Buddy's needs and size. So, Jim built one. We determined what a basic design would need to look like and he made it come to life. It took us longer to purchase the supplies from Lowe's than it did for him to actually make it! When we put Buddy in it and he took some steps, I couldn't help but cry. Tears of sadness that he needs this assistance, tears of happiness that he was able to use it and get around.

Here's a little video of Buddy sporting his new wheels. The corners are a bit tricky, but with chicken as the prize, he'll do pretty much anything!

video

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mom's Music

About two months ago, I finally felt ready to go through some of mom's things. I decided that I would start in the basement where, as many of you know, she taught piano lessons. I took lessons when I was younger. A year or so from one of her piano teacher friends, and a while from her. (That debacle lasted about two weeks I think!) So often I am asked if I know how to play, and I have to say that I don't. Mom always said I would appreciate knowing how to play the piano when I got older. And guess what - she was right. I do wish I knew how to play now so that I could carry on the beautiful music she made and taught to so many.  

But I don't, and so what to do with all the 30 years of music, games, books, etc. that filled the basement? One of mom's very good friends and a fellow piano teacher, Polly, offered to go through the music for me, keep what she would like, and give the rest a good home. So after an afternoon of packing up the basement with the help of Claudia (luckily she's cheap labor and can be paid back with wine!) I dropped off a truck load at Polly's house. 

Recently I received the email below from Polly. It brought tears to my eyes, and I felt the need to share it with all of her friends and students. 

"Just a note to let you know what I did with your mom’s music. I went through all the music and took the books and items I thought I could use. It was a bittersweet time because I saw many things we had bought together and many of the games and books we had shared over the years. Then I put the rest out so the teachers in our teacher group could come by and see if there was anything they wanted. They had the same feeling I had --- that we were with Cree again and so in addition to trying to take care of her music, we had a time of remembering your mom.

Today Cecil and I took the music that was left down to the Raleigh Community Music School –located on Tucker Street in downtown Raleigh. They currently have 100 students enrolled – these are students who would normally not be able to afford lessons – and 15 teachers. Your mom’s music will provide these students with the books and sheets and some games they need because most could not pay for music. I gave the school your mom’s name and explained that the music was from her studio.

I also found a book of music quotes that she and I bought one year in Savannah when we were on our way to the International Piano Teachers Conference in Orlando. The book had sayings that we both loved. I took that book to Allen Herther who once worked for Burrage and now has his own music store and Cree thought highly of him. He came to her memorial service. I gave it to him on his 50th birthday and told him it had been Cree’s.

I just wanted you to know what happened with her music – that everyone was appreciative not only of the music but that Cree had been a part of their lives.   So her music will continue to help young students become musicians."

Mom, your music will live on. 

Friday, May 31, 2013

Gratitude

On this particularly tough day I'm thankful for all of the support and love that my friends and family have shown over this past year.

My grandma, Lou Lou, who after finding out about her daughter's passing told me, "I'll give you all of your mother's love." She is so strong and I am grateful to have her and still have that piece of my mom. We'll celebrate her 89th birthday tomorrow with her favorite, caramel cake, and my mom's recipe for lemonade cake.

My brother, who left his life in Miami and moved home. This has been a trying year for him but he has shown a love and maturity that is beyond measure.

My dad, the best diddy ever. Still taking care of us, still taking care of their rose garden.

My mom's cousin. We both lost our best friend and have found support in each other. Texts, wine, calls, and confidants.

My uncle, who helped us make difficult decisions and continues to be there for us and love us no matter what.

My friends, both new and old, giving me such support. Your phone calls, texts, hugs, notes, and gifts mean so much to me. I know it's hard to know what to say during something like this, but just knowing you are there for me is the best support you could offer.

My mom's friends. I appreciate you reaching out to us, offering your kind words and stories about my mom. I know she was so thankful to have you as her sounding board, counselor, and support system.

And last but not least, my husband. My mom loved you very much and was so happy that I found someone like you to be my life partner. I appreciate your love, patience, and hugs, even on my toughest days. Thank you for being my rock. I love you.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

One more night...

...and this nightmare year will be over. There will no longer be "firsts". My first birthday without her, first Thanksgiving, first Mother's Day. All of those are behind me.

I wish it was like a switch. When tomorrow is over I would magically feel better. But I know that won't happen.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

I can't say it was the best Mother's Day, but, it was a good one. I'm missing my mom a lot this month, but I also have a lot to be thankful for. Last year we had a really good day. My parents, Jim's parents, we enjoyed a nice dinner and good laughs. It would be the last time I'd see my mom alive. I'm so thankful for that day, and I know she was, too.

Today I got to see my grandma, Lou Lou. She lost her daughter last year, a loss I can't fathom even though it was my mom. But she was with her son and three of her five grand kids today. I hope she had a good day.

Today I was with my mom's cousin, a woman that lost her best friend last year. We have developed a friendship that I am so thankful for. Someone that I can share things with, laugh with, and drink wine with. I hope she had a good day.

And we had BBQ today. With hushpuppies involved, it HAS to be a good day!

Happy Mother's Day, mom. I miss you.
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