Sunday, June 20, 2010
Our mom passed yesterday afternoon. She went peacefully with all four of her children around her.
As it turned out, the surgery, always a high-risk idea, was no longer a viable option. Mom asked for them to remove the balloon pump on her leg that was helping relieve the pressure on her heart. She went soon after that. We all had a chance to talk to her and love her before she could no longer communicate.
Our mom has always touched people. Growing up, all of my friends referred to her simply as “mom.” She adopted them into our lives readily and with ease and never let them go. Old friends and more recent friends of mine alike ask me about her every time we talk.
And you, her blog friends, meant the world to her. She mentioned you all to us often in conversations and emails. We were frequently directed to check out so-and-so's post today. You taught her things; you made her laugh; you valued her input. It was a whole new world to her that opened at the end of her life and added a dimension she was immensely grateful for, and so are we. Not only did all of you give her so much, she was able to give a
gain, too – not just to you, but to us – we learned a great deal about what mattered to her, some of it reminders, other things new discoveries about our mom. She got to matter at a time when her body was failing and so much was out of her control.
Friendship is something that I have been pondering in a serious way for some time now. I don't have any real answers, but part of what I'm learning is that friends, love and support come from where they are needed, when they are needed.
The ultimate example of the importance of who cares when it matters most would have to be mom's nurse in ICU, Maryanne. She was with mom only the last day - for maybe the last eight hours before she died. Maryanne had to have been one of the kindest, loveliest people I have ever met. She knew just what to do and say to comfort mom and us at each stage. What more could a soul ask for but to be escorted to the next dimension by such a loving, compassionate being?
We all know about the value of old friends, but there are new friends that arrive also, some of them suddenly and perhaps only for the briefest of seasons, like Maryanne. These friends are just as important in a life as the long haul relationships. Though most of you only knew mom a relatively short time and only over the internet, you were key players in her life. There are, as one musical has put it, Seasons of Love. You all came into the picture in the final act; and what power you wielded!
Our mom was passionate about many causes as you know and can see from her sidebar – so laden with links it takes forever to load the page and was the single impetus for my husband to install flash blocker on our computer! But truly, she cared. She cared about the world and all of you deeply.
When I asked her for the last time what she wanted me to post on her blog, she said,
“A picture of Isaac.” I will be adding a photo montage to this page (not just of Isaac, but of my mom) in the next few days, so you can look for that. And I will undoubtedly be writing about her on my own blog. I am already filling journal pages with thoughts.
Speaking for myself at least, I am so very happy for the personal notes addressed to each of us, the journals and all of her blog stories she left behind. My mom and I shared a love of writing and words that ran deeper than I had even realized.
As difficult as this loss is for all of us to grasp and accept and as difficult as it will remain for a long time, she was ready to go. She is finally where part of her has been looking forward to being for the last 34 years – with our father.
She is no longer Almost There. She has arrived.
With much affection and gratitude from the family,
Kitty, Bobbie's youngest daughter
Barbara Joan Petruccelli
March 16, 1932 – June 19, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
When she gave me administrative access to her blog, she seems to have left out the comment moderation privileges. I can't release the comments on these posts, at least until I get my hands on her very own computer. Until then, thank you for any good thoughts.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
There is no title on the post. I haven't yet discovered what it will be about. Oh yes. I guess it will be about me, since my thoughts are turning back in time.
For the first twenty-three years or so of my life I lived in a quiet suburb of Philadelphia. "The Big City" was the Philadelphia of the forties, and even that was not really a part of my life until I had reached my twenties. It wasn't exactly "Mayberry", but not all that far from it either. I dreamed of traveling to distant places, but they were very romantic, unrealistic and unsophisticated dreams. My thinking was still pretty much governed by my own very little world, and influenced mainly by my mother and our immediate circumstances. I was still seeing the people in my life through the eyes of a child. I had not yet questioned them, nor myself. Nor my friends or neighbors or teachers, or the government. I think I was still following my mother's method of getting through life by not looking too closely, pretending that all was right with my world and we would all live happily ever after.
I think it was 1956 when I became restless enough that, when a friend from high school called to ask if I'd like to move to New York with her, without even thinking twice I agreed to go. I suddenly felt free, and wasn't even sure what I was freeing myself from, or why. Life changed.
In New York, I came alive. Things were happening around me. People seemed to have purpose and ideas that were new to me, and my own mind shifted into higher gear. I was delighted to learn so much more about my own abilities and to develop so many more interests.
And I met a man whom I recognized very quickly to be the one who would become the center of my life. There was no question. We would spend the rest of our lives together. Anything else would be unimaginable. I was home. We were married about a year later, and did, indeed, live happily ever after. - It was really only for eighteen years after, until his death, but it was my lifetime.
A couple of years beyond that lifetime, I moved to South Jersey with three of my children, to be closer to my sister and my mother. It seemed the thing to do. My husband and I had talked about this move for a long time. Just never seemed to go ahead with the plan. Life in New Jersey was very different than fast-paced New York. It was more relaxed. I was still in a sort of zombie-like state as a widow. My son was unhappy for a while, feeling he had been torn from his friends and the life he had known - although in truth, his friends had also left the home town to start their adult lives. My daughters thrived. We soon adjusted and slipped into the slower, easier way of life.
I like it here. I guess that's obvious, since I've stayed for thirty-two years now. It has to be obvious, even to me. But there are many things I dislike. There is the way-too-lay-back attitude of a large part of the population. The signs on the shop doors in the mall tell you that their hours are 10: to whatever. But If you arrive at 10:, they may or may not be open yet. When they straggle in they will tell you, "Oh, I didn't make it that early today. Something came up." If you call a contractor, he may - or may not - show up that day. "Well, the fishing was good." There are still an amazing number of locals who work all summer when the tourists are here, and then go on Workmens' Comp all winter. Between farming and fishing, it is only in very recent years that most of the kids do graduate from high school. Attitudes are changing. But slowly.
No, I don't like that attitude - especially when it extends to more important areas. Is it my imagination, or do doctors here not follow up on things as they do in New York or Pennsylvania? Is law enforcement just a little more lackadaisical? Well, that may or may not be so. (Pause here to look up that "l" word in the dictionary. That's what it says. A word I haven't used in a long, long time.)
But I like the quiet and slower pace, and the beauty around me. New development taking away so much farmland and forest makes me sad, but there is still much left. My mother and sister and many friends are gone now, but my own life is winding down and I find I have memories enough to get by on. My computer allows me to "travel" wherever I wish and to stay in contact with the rest of the world.
It's almost breakfast time. I should call a halt to this, find a title to fit if it's worth naming, and explore what my kitchen has to offer today. I may or may not decide to publish this. Not really very interesting. Oh well. Nothing else has presented itself. I always reassure myself with the thought that readers can always just hit "delete".
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Tracy, of Hey Harriet, is once again hosting Shadow Shot Sunday for us, and has many wonderful and fun shadows to show us. Follow the link to find them for yourself.
My shadows today are from my garden. Not too many flowers blooming yet, but these are a few of the early ones.
First, the day lilies are starting to open.
I do love Queen Anne's lace, and last fall I threw some dried flower heads into my garden.
It would seem that I had to get myself into the picture too.
And even the hanging basket had some pretty shadows.
Friday, June 11, 2010
If this is true, it is about the most outrageous thing I have ever heard. I understand that a petition is circulating on Face Book and Twitter, against such an idea. Who can tell me if this is true? To me, it is simply beyond belief.
I have not found anything about it on Fact Check or PolitiFact.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Give it a read. You might like it.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
My cousin Esther, in Ohio, sent me this lovely photo she took in her garden. She has orange butterfly plants, which came to her as a gift a couple of years ago. This beautiful fritillary butterfly paid her a visit, and she was taken with its match to the flowers. - As always, you can click to enlarge the picture.
I asked her if I might share it with you. Here is a closer look at the butterfly.
I have always admired butterfly plant, and this year I ordered some myself, along with a few other plants. Sadly, the nursery did not include it with my order, but substituted something else. I'll have to try again.
For this year, I will have to wait until my three year old butterfly bush comes into bloom. It's flowers are lavender. For orange color, this year I will rely on the daylilies and my nasturtiums, which are just starting to bloom now.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Tonight I am learning that at one time this river actually ran black. During the Industrial Revolution, it was polluted with human waste, debris and chemicals of all sorts. It was not until the Clean Water Act of 1972 that it began to turn around. It is difficult to understand how it was even possible that today it has returned to a state in which fish swim freely and that it is now the source for drinking water for more than a million people in Philadelphia.
My point is simply that all things ARE possible. As we view the horrendous mess in the waters to the south of us, which have made us all feel so frustrated and angry, and despairing that it will ever return to something near normal, we have to know that with determination and hard work and united effort, we CAN restore it.
I have been really feeling down about this. Tonight's program has lifted my spirits somewhat.
The young woman first asked me questions about the oil spill. I was willing enough to give my opinion on that topic. I did find her particular questions less than challenging or even especially interesting. She wanted to know if I thought BP was doing all it could to stop the leak, and if the President was doing all he could to make them get it under control. And would I buy gasoline from BP, and if not, why not?
She soon abandoned BP, and started asking me about other topics. Now I was sorry I'd started with the whole thing. She touched on many subjects I cared absolutely nothing about. She wasn't too happy with many of my replies, since I told her several times that it was too trivial or absurd for me to even have an opinion. I resorted a few times to, "Who cares?" She asked if, under any circumstances, I would consider allowing a TV crew to enter my home and film a sort of "reality show". I answered that one by saying I never watch "reality shows" because they never have any resemblance to reality, so no, of course not.
When I questioned what possible interest some of her questions could have to any viewers, she told me simply it wasn't information for news programs alone, but for several other types of shows. And then she wanted to know, if I were to break a law, which law would I choose to break? She listed five or six for me, like speeding, or public intoxication. That was one I chose not to answer. It was just too preposterous. Nor did I tell her the amount of my income; and when she asked my race, I told her it was "Human". She sighed, and said OK, she'd type that in.
So, ladies and gentlemen, if your telephone rings some evening soon, and your Caller ID tells you it is a TV network calling, be forewarned. If you answer and agree to a survey, it will waste a whole lot of your time, and you may find yourself answering a long list of inane questions.
Monday, June 7, 2010
Thinking Green is hosted by Michelle, at Random Woods - the Road Less Traveled. She's looking for good news these days. If you've heard some really good news concerning our world and ways we can help to keep it green, why not share them with us. Make us all feel a little better despite things like the infamous oil spill.
The good news I've heard recently is that the State of California has a bill which has
already passed their State Assembly by 41-27 on June 3rd. The governor is all set to sign it. All that remains is for the State Senate to pass the bill, and it looks as if they will. This bill will eliminate all single use plastic bags. This is super good news. It isn't just old plastic bags ending up in our landfills. They have become a very serious problem when whales and many other forms of wild life swallow them and die as a result. As you can imagine, California is particularly concerned with this, being a coastal state.
Individual cities have passed such laws in the past, but this is the first statewide bill. Wouldn't it be great if we could see every state pass such a law?
Photo from MBA Sea Notes blog.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Unless of course there is a horrible, destructive great cloud of oil moving through our waters - And a major heat wave making our lives miserable - And of course we mustn't forget the wars still being fought - somewhere - over there - for whatever insane reasons.
Could Mr. Lowell ever in his wildest imagination have conjured up June 2010 when he wrote about "...the high tide of the year - And whatever of life hath ebbed away comes flooding back..."?
Still - it is a beautiful poem. And it makes me recall a time when a June day made me feel that life was, indeed, perfect. Was I ever that young?
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Michelle is thinking green again. Please go to Rambling Woods - The Road Less Traveled and see what she has to say this week. And please join us with a post or photo on this beautiful, green world of ours.
I am so longing for my garden flowers to start blooming this year. It's barely begun. Summer time in our part of the world is like heaven to me, with its flowers, butterflies and birds. But it hasn't really got a good start yet here.My youngest daughter lives in California, where flowers bloom all year 'round. For today's post I just want to dream about such a place. Here are some photos she has taken of her own garden - some from last year, some from this. Enjoy!
She grows beautiful vegetables too!
Hoku fledged at 8:03 AM, Pacific time, on June 2nd. You can watch it on video if you like.
This little bird has been trying hard for a few days. We watched it perch on the edge of the nest, beating its wings.
Then finally, with a blur of wings.....
And now - an empty nest.
Nesting season in California is ended for this year.
We will be able to return in October to see it all once again.
All three of the eaglets have fledged. They can still be seen on the branches near their nest. Sometimes very interesting, moving from branch to branch.
The redtailed hawks have not yet left the nest. They do explore the ledge, and are quite large. They are sometimes hard to see, since they are nearly the same color as the nest. They will be leaving soon.
We are fortunate enough to receive three of their stations in South Jersey - one from Delaware, one New Jersey and one Pennsylvania.
Two of these aired two great concerts last night. BUT - somewhere between our receivers and where they were coming from, there must have been a really big storm, and when I played back the DVR's, I wasn't able to see or hear much of the first one. It was my favorite a capella group, Straight No Chaser. I only got to hear two complete numbers of that. I'm hoping the third station will be airing it soon.
The second concert was Carole King and James Taylor. The beginning didn't look promising when I played it back, but then the storm must have ended, and the rest of the hour and a half was a real pleasure. Great music! They are quite a pair! I hope that many of you got to hear it.
It looks as if today it's going to be our turn for the storms. Hot, hot, HOT, and humid. We'll be seeing thunder and lightning later.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
But as you see, Phoebe is still feeding him. Here he is, begging for food.
And here she is, feeding him again.
A moment after she had finished, and left him on his own again, he was stretching, and beating his little wings a hard as he could. He will fledge very soon for sure. He stands up on the edge of the nest, and keeps trying.