Saturday Shares – Three Husbands

Saturday SharesSaturday Shares is a feature on from the sticks to the bricks and back again that promotes deliberate re-blogging.  What is deliberate re-blogging?  A concerted effort to re-blog the posts of other bloggers deliberately and not randomly.  I have found that I am less likely to re-blog because I might be reading someone’s post at a time that is inconvenient for me to post or comment.  By saving links throughout the week, I can schedule my re-blogs instead of randomly re-blogging five posts all at once – a practice I find annoying.


Originally posted on momsalzheimers.

Three Husbands

Mom is sitting at her table across from Donald, and they’re smiling at each other. When she sees me, she beams.

“Hi Donald,” I say, as I lean over to kiss my mom.

“Is that his name?” she asks. “I’m so glad you told me!” She has an impish grin on her face.

They have their meals together every day, and they spend a lot of time sitting across from each other at their table between meals. I wonder if they ever get up.

“Let’s go for a walk, Mom,” I say. She needs the exercise.

“Okay,” she says, but she seems a little reluctant.

Continue Reading on momsalzheimers.

right number, wrong person …

My first blog post was about my mom on her birthday. Hard to believe that it has now been nearly ten years since she passed away and that today would’ve been her 80th birthday.

from the sticks to the bricks and back again

Today would’ve been my mother’s 78th birthday had she not lost her battle with lung cancer nearly seven and a half years ago.

It’s a day I try to observe in some way – some years I take the day off and honor my mom by spending time with my sisters and my nieces eating fried fish and spending some girl time together. Mom love fried seafood and over the years, we observed many of her birthdays at different clam shacks along the New England coast. Mom’s kitchen also was the original location for many of our family girls’ nights.

Other years, I observe her birthday in other ways. This year, the first entry in my new blog, from the sticks to the bricks and back again, is about her and I will visit her grave to pray and place flowers. I gave her lots of flowers while she was…

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 Finding My Saving Grace

In Writing 101 there were three assignments that were to be written as part of a series. It took me over a year to finish all three, each one harder for me to write than the one before it.  The first assignment was Serial Killer was about losing something and I wrote Working Through The Pain with Chocolate and Chardonnay.  The second part in the series was Serially Found which was about finding something and I wrote Not Quite Me.

This is the final part in the three installment series and it is about Lost and Found.


The first time I held your cousin Jennifer Christina in my arms. I drank in her new baby smell and cried softly in her pink sleeper. My due date was ten days prior to the day she was born.  I was supposed to be holding you in my arms, her big cousin by all of less than two weeks, when she arrived. Instead my arms were empty.

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Blogging 101: Be a Good Neighbor

Blogging 101: Be a Good Neighbor

Get out your calling cards, and leave comments on at least four blogs that you’ve never commented on before.


For this assignment, albeit a couple days late and crunched for time, I decided to use the topics in my reader and scan until I landed on the first four posts that caught my eye. Here they are in no particular order except that in which my eyes landed on them.

Moving Upward, Forward and Onward

Under the topic Racism in America, I found Moving Upward, Forward and Onward, written by a college age woman named Sabrina.  Her posts are written from her refreshing perspective and in a fashion as she says in her tagline the Ramblings of a College Age Woman.

In Hello Friends I come to you with more on Racism she discusses the responsibilities white America in particular should take for the existence of racism in America.  She in a rambling fashion with posts published in between homework and whatever else is going on in her life that day tackles some serious topics such as sexism and racism in our society.  And I believe she is on point in her discussion of microaggressions (jokes, stereotypes, etc.)  feeding racism in America.

The Dad Letters

Under loss, I came across The Dad Letters, written by a group of five dads who record their impressions on life’s journey in letters to their children.  I found one of the Dads, Ralph Amsden, under loss in my reader.  In a letter to his sons, Ralph discusses the loss of his mother at a young age in Would Have Been

His words are eloquent and in Would Have Been and the previous posts he links to regarding his mother he made me smile, cry and laugh.  In one post he shares his mother’s words “I hope I can pass my knowledge, patience, love and everything else that grows in me from the seeds my parents planted, on to my son to help him grow as a person also.”

In the short time his mother shared with him on this earth it appears that she succeeded in fulfilling her hope and Ralph is now passing the “knowledge, patience, love and everything else that grows in me from the seeds my parents planted” on to his sons.

I took a few moments to look around The Dad Letters and discovered that the Dads share an array of topics with their children, lessons on life and love, what it means to be a Dad, and difficult topics such as sexual abuse and domestic violence and everything in between. Daniel talks about sexuality and sexual abuse in To My Son #YesAllWomen and Christian talks to about domestic violence in a letter to his daughter.

Hope, Fireflies and Fairytales

Under Family in my reader I came across Hope, Fireflies and Fairytales written by Jenifer, a newly divorced, single mom of three.  In what appears to be her inaugural post, Fairytales and Fireflies, she proclaims how she still believes in fairytales even after a difficult year.  Looking forward to more posts as she searches for her happy in between and ever after.

The Boston Sports Fan

And under baseball, I found The Boston Sports Fan a new blog written by in their words “a small group of post-graduate, mid-twenties degenerate gamblers Boston sports fanatics who have been living the dream ever since Drew Bledsoe got impaled by Mo Lewis in Week 2 of the 2001 NFL season.”

In their second post they discuss the end to a horrible season and whether Derek Jeter will grace the Fenway Faithful with his presence on the field in the final Boston-New York series of the miserable 2014 season.  As a member of Red Sox Nation, all I have to say is let Jeter show up at the cathedral for a Boston farewell and just wait until next year.

Until 2015 opening day, I am looking forward to more posts by the Boston Sports Fan on Tommy, the Patriots, Bruins and Celtics.

Writing 101: Be Brief

Writing 101: Be Brief

You discover a letter on a path that affects you deeply. Today, write about this encounter. And your twist? Be as succinct as possible.

You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter.

Today’s twist: Approach this post in as few words as possible.


Quickly, I snuck up the attic stairs while my grandparents were sleeping. The two-family with a dutch flat that my grandparents never finished was eerily quiet in the early morning.  As I reached the top step, the cigar box that contained what remained of my Uncle Romeo’s life came into view.  It is what had me out of my bed so early on a Saturday morning skulking around the attic.

For all my 13 years, Uncle Romeo, my grandmother’s brother, had lived with my great grandparents. First, he was a sad broken figure of a man sitting in a wooden chair peering out a single kitchen window in the kitchen of my great grandmother’s home in a third floor walk up. Day after day he sat and surveyed the people on the busy street below.  He rarely spoke; uttering a soft-spoken word or two here and there and then mostly in Italian while all around him the hustle and bustle of our large and boisterous Italian extended family took place.

Why Uncle Romeo sat in silence was always shrouded in mystery and secrecy. Cloaked in sadness, he appeared to be searching for something through his window.  I asked my mother once why he just sat there.  She said something about the war and being shell shocked and a woman named Graziella but I should never speak of either.

When my great grandparents began to get feeble the three of them moved away from Uncle Romeo’s window to a nursing home. Suddenly the chair by the kitchen window he had silently occupied for several decades was replaced by a blue cushioned chair in a room in a nursing home without a window.

I opened the cigar box and a piece of worn stationery peeked out from underneath Uncle Romeo’s scant belongings; a pocket comb, a worn photograph, a ball of string, a Swiss army knife and an old savings account passbook.

I turned my flashlight toward the paper so I could read the words:

Dear Romeo,

Words escape me. But, I must tell you.

I enjoyed our time together and care about you deeply. But, I am no longer in love with you.

When you left to fight on the European Front your absence was too difficult for me. I felt so alone and miserable.  Pasquale was there to help me.  I am sorry, neither of us meant for this to happen.  As we spent more time together, Pasquale and I fell in love.   We are getting married on the second Sunday in May.

I hope, we both hope you can forgive us,

Graziella

In 100 words she shattered Uncle Romeo’s heart. Convinced Graziella would return to him, he spent a lifetime looking for her to walk up the busy sidewalk outside my great grandmother’s kitchen and return to him.  Until, he moved to a chair without a view.

Working Through The Pain with Chocolate and Chardonnay

Writing 101: Serially Lost

For today’s Writing 101 assignment I am re-blogging my original post from the June session of Writing 101. In June, I did not write the second or third post in the series. Couldn’t figure out a way to make it work; will try again this time around.

from the sticks to the bricks and back again

Sitting in the cold sterile hospital room waiting for my doctor to come speak to me, I remember the night you were conceived.  Your father and I had recently reconciled.

Your grandfather had passed away suddenly of a massive heart attack four months earlier.  The night before Papa’s funeral, your Dad, who has never handled stress or loss very well, announced he was leaving me after the funeral.   The sudden death of his Dad was telling him that there was something wrong with his life and we weren’t meant to be together.

Don’t try to make sense of that.  I lived through it and I don’t  completely understand his thought process.  At this point, four years into our relationship, I knew that when your Dad was upset the best thing I could do was assure him that I was there if he needed me and give him space.  Hovering and…

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Blogging 101: Say “Hi!” to the Neighbors

Blogging 101: Say “Hi!” to the Neighbors

Today’s assignment: follow five new topics in the Reader and five new blogs. A blog is just a diary unless there’s a community — start building yours.

Blogging is a communal experience; if you didn’t want anyone to read your posts, you’d keep a private diary. Today, begin engaging with the blogging community, the first step in building an audience.


When I saw the assignment for today, the lyrics to Mr. Rogers’ Won’t You Be My Neighbor popped into my head.  Crazy I know, but periodically throughout the day I have heard echoing in my head as I thought about this assignment:

It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood, A beautiful day for a neighbor. Would you be mine? Could you be mine?…

Managing to put Mr. Rogers and his neighborhood out of my mind, I thought it would take me 30 minutes, maximum. I already make it a habit of reading, commenting and following other blogs. In reality it took me hours.  I got lost in reading the posts of my fellow bloggers.

I learned how to use the reader properly. As much as a geek I am, I still surprise myself when I am technologically challenged from time to time.  When I first opened my WordPress account I selected two tags in my reader – Family and Red Sox, and never gave it much thought when I scrolled my reader.  As I was adding tags, I learned that the reader filters by tags and does not display all the posts together.  I have to click on the drop down box and my feed on my reader changes by topic/tag.  Who knew?  Apparently not me.  It sounds very silly; hopefully I am not the only who ever made that mistake.  I am usually pretty tech savvy; I am chalking this up to a brain freeze or a blonde moment.

I reviewed my tag cloud on from the sticks to the bricks and back again and added the followings topics to my reader:  Racism in America, Writing 101, Loss, Procrastination, and Blogging 101.  I also added Baseball (there were no posts tagged baseball which seemed wrong to me) and Softball (there were only two posts).

I decided to add my own twist in that I would follow one blog from each of the five topics I followed today. I connected with each of these bloggers on some level, sense of humor, similar interests or the like.  The blogs I followed today are:

Blogging 101 – I enjoyed the sense of humor in Running Away to Booktopia, that we both like The Walking Dead and she had my interest when she stated in her first assignment:  “My middle daughter was 3 years old before I finally finished the blanket I had started when I was 4 months pregnant with her.” Tugs at the strings of my procrastinating heart.

Loss – I was touched by the beauty and power of the words used by I Had It Here A Minute Ago in the post about her mother’s death.  I could visualize her mother’s last ride.

Procrastination – Reading A Scheltered Life, I immediately appreciated her sense of humor and loved her post Procrastination.  Guilty as charged, I can relate.

Racism in America – I found 20/20 Hines Sight to be totally candid and honest.  She calls for a much needed discussion of racism in America and starts one on her blog.  I am thrilled I found her blog and look forward to reading more.

Writing 101 – I found Grasshopper Girls to be delightful and whimsical.  I loved in her Writing 101 post on three songs she included  Disney’s Frozen on her list and not just because she’s the mother of two little girls.  I was impressed by her use of social media – no matter which platform you are on her brand is recognizable.  And in the true spirit of this exercise, she has already followed me back.

If you get a chance, check out my new neighbors on WordPress, their blogs are definitely worth a visit.