I used to think in my early twenties that I would either make a go of the world, let go of my black and white, get elbow deep into the muck of the world, or move to Vermont...
I used to think in my early twenties that I would either make a go of the world, let go of my black and white, good vs. bad thinking, get elbow deep into the muck of the world, or move to Vermont... read more here

Category Archives: Memories of Mom

My Mother’s Blue Eyes

I haven’t really thought about the light blue of my mother’s eyes since I last saw them 18 years ago.  Closer to my memory is the sound of her laugh, the harmony of our voices singing in alto side by side in our pew at Mass.  I often feel like I hear her now when I sing in church, as if she is still right beside me.  I think about the way my childhood home felt when I would come home from college for a weekend visit; greeted by her open arms, the hugs, the chats over tea, the way she made everything comfy just by her presence.  I remember her sense of humor and how she would try to get me to take myself a little less seriously, especially when I was in college (I had a hard time with that one, still sometimes do).  I have pondered the irresistible twinkle in her eye when she had an especially fun idea she wanted my brothers and I to go along with.

One of my sons commented the other day on how my eyes are a light and bright blue in comparison to the blue of 5 of my sons who all have a variety of hues of blue, while the other two boys have shades of hazel like my husband.

I think that comment planted a seed for this morning.  Wet hair drying, no make up on but contacts lenses in, I looked in the mirror and… saw her.

Maybe it was the way the light shone in the window, but I could see in my eyes, her beautiful light blue eyes.

So small I know friends, why am I even writing about this?

Remembering the exact shade of blue of my mothers eyes made my heart shake and loosen and want to love more and love better.

It was like finding an unexpected letter from someone you miss and love in your mailbox, opening it, drinking in the love while you hurriedly read it at your doorstep, and then standing there holding it over your heart as you smile.

With love, from the doorstep of Vermont,


Mom, the Pats Won the World Series

Mom, the Pats Won the World Series

Ummm and yes that was my title till my lovely husband corrected me.  Ha ha!  Properly humbled.

Hi Mom,

I thought it might be a good idea to write down some of the stuff we were talking about this morning.  Well the biggest thing of course is that the Patriots won the Super Bowl last night!  Kevin … you know him, that guy I had been dating for six months but you knew I would marry, and our four oldest sons watched it.

I remember watching The Pats with you, Dad, and the boys when I was a kid (ha ha funny how “the boys” meant Rocky and Larry my two older brothers, and now “the boys” in our house are my 7 sons).  Anyway, the noise from football games used to drive me crazy, and truthfully I didn’t do much watching, I mostly sat on the couch in the same room with you all and read a book and looked up when I heard everyone yelling at the screen.

I have to admit that I still only have a peripheral knowledge of the game, but yesterday the kids really wanted to watch.  So we put together a little Super Bowl meal of mini meatballs with dipping sauces for dinner and homemade cream filled donuts that Kevin made earlier in the day for dessert.  Umm yeah, I married a man of many talents!

The three littlest boys were up to watch the start of the game, but by 8 they were tucked into bed.  The rest of us curled up on the couch and floor together and dug in.  We are not a football family and Kevin had to give a refresher to some of us as to what was going on, but everyone caught on pretty quick.

For most of the game…  it wasn’t looking good.  In fact it was looking terrible.  The Pats got in their stride late in the game and turned it completely on its’ ears.  Kevin kept saying “The game isn’t over till it’s over.” to sour faced boys and grumpy mumbles.  Someone thought we should just turn it off altogether and end the misery.

And what if we had?  What if we had?  What happened in that game was nothing short of miraculous.

I’m not going to pretend I can talk football here.  But in just a few hours last night we went from dejected and almost without hope to elated .  At 10:30 after it was all said and done I called Dad and Marge and shared in the pure joy together.  The boys knew how upset “Papa” would be if they had lost, so they were extra happy, for him, that the Pats had won.

Kevin and I sent the kids to bed knowing it’s school for most of us in the morning.

It wasn’t till 5:45 this morning after my shower, getting ready and thinking about that glorious game that I remembered you Mom, and started thinking and talking to you.  It’s hard to believe that 18 years ago this morning you took your last breath here and your first breath… there.  And how in those days after you died how even with Kevin, and Dad, and “the boys” (my brothers, not my sons), I just couldn’t see how the game could turn around…

But it did, just not in 3 1/2 hours like last night, it took longer, but wow, I mean wow…

I know you know, but, I have 7 sons Mom!  And I moved from our home by the sea to Vermont with Kevin 11 years ago, and we make Maple syrup and on good apple years we press apple cider, I talk to Dad every day on the phone and love being an everyday presence in his life even though I live miles away, and I learned to love Jesus just like you said I would, and more and more and more.  And life still gets tough sometimes, just like it did when you were living, but I’m learning to love the way that came just so naturally for you, the way of loving people where they are at and looking out for the underdog.

And last night I got to watch a miracle of perseverance and hope with my oldest sons and their Dad and this morning after the three older boys were off to school on the early bus, I got to listen to my 8 year old plunk out the hymn “How Can I Keep From Singing” while he sang the lyrics, all while diapers were being changed, and morning clothes were warming by the wood stove.

And then just in memory of you I steeped some Lipton tea in your Willow Ware teapot mixed in a little milk and sugar and sat with that guy you knew I would marry (before I knew it).

My did God turn my life on its’ ears since you’ve been away Mom, and it doesn’t mean I don’t miss you, but it does mean the game isn’t over yet and I’m still playing.

With love from your little girl here on earth who is thankful to the Pats for never giving up, and praying for that kind of hope and perseverance for us all.


Autumn and my family tree.

Autumn and my family tree.

My mother was one of 14 children.  There were 5 girls and 7 boys plus one boy and one girl that died as infants.  I have cousins upon cousins upon cousins.  I was counting them last weekend at my brother’s wedding with one of those cousins and we came up with 47 though I’m notContinue Reading

Play dough and Being Made

Play dough and Being Made

There are just two of us today in our twelve passenger van making the 5 minute drive to preschool.  At 8:20am it is already a day busy with an agenda ready to sweep me away.  Hidden two rows back safely buckled into his car seat I hear my 4 year old ask in a wayContinue Reading

Face 2 Face with Who I Was and Who I Want to Be.

I had a very startling encounter earlier this week.  It has been swirling around my head for days making me dizzy.  How do I write about it, what do I say, what does it all mean?  I was confronted blaringly by thoughts of the woman I was, the woman I am, and the woman IContinue Reading

Easter Reflection – A Borrowed Heart

As I said in my previous post, it has been a challenging Lent on many fronts (in the grand scheme of things all little stuff, but challenging none the less).  Last night I attended Easter Vigil for the first time with my 10 yr. old son ~K.  He really wanted to go, it was aContinue Reading

Wish you were here…

  Found this postcard in my studio this morning, it must have slipped onto the floor a while back when I was going through an old box of photos.  I was up early trying to beat the morning madness and finally finish the painting I have been working on for the past year and aContinue Reading

Unexpected Rainbows and A Thursday Wedding…

As I got the kids ready for school this morning, I mentioned that their Nana passed away 14 years ago today.  Immediately ~V popped up to say that was 4 years before he was born.  Then for some reason I told them the story about how my mom thought I was marrying their dad onContinue Reading

Being Grateful – even at the scariest times.

“BGR8FUL” –  I wonder how many people this license plate touches each day?  Do you ever see a license plate number or name that totally speaks to you in the moment you are in?  This one was just right for my moment today… I was driving to my 19 week ultrasound appointment.  Kevin was followingContinue Reading

How my mom taught me Jesus’s love – in life and death

My mom filled me up.  Where I had doubts and insecurities and cracks in my soul, my mom was the caulking.  When I came to her with fears she allayed them.  She didn’t solve, but encouraged.   Of anyone in the entire world I knew, my mom loved me the most fully and unconditionally.  I knewContinue Reading

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