This began on March 8, 2011.
It chronicles Mom’s journey of almost three years. Thank you SO MUCH for all your thoughts, prayers, cards, flowers and visits, beginning with her February 22, 2011, admission to Howard County General through her years at Lorien until she left this earth for heaven on February 17, 2014. She is now with the good Lord, and reunited with many family and friends who went before her. Regular blog entries ended on March 8, 2014, but periodic updates on news about the family will continue.
Mom would like that.
Hi Everyone – this is an update from yesterday’s post about Tyrone Snowden’s first album, A Glorious Day. I wanted to understand how people can BUY the CD, as well as download songs. Here is his reply. See the CDbaby link if you want to buy his CD. P.S. I guess this is shameless promotion; however, I can hear my Mom applauding as I type….
Hi Laura, thanks for helping me get an education. I have an answer for you. CD Baby is the only one that you can get a regular CD from. The rest of the partners (Amazon, iTunes, You Tube) only do downloading. So when you go on to the CD Baby website, you’ll see two tabs. You’ll see download and you’ll see cd-rp. Click on the cd-rp and it will take you to an address place where you can put in an address where you would like for the CD to come to. I hope this helps. Thank you for the question as always. Thanks for your support and helping me get through this stuff. Love you, Tyrone. Use www.cdbaby.com/cd/tysnowden2
After the most divisive Presidential campaign in history, or what seems so, cute pictures of puppies are the order of the day. Regardless of what side of the vote you were on, let’s pray for our country and for its future on the world stage and at home.
Updates on the family.
Wayne is doing well and seems to be getting a handle on the correct mix of Rx that he should be taking. He is working closely with his doctor on this and reports he feels better than he has in years. Not bad when you are 80 y.o. Randy is planning a trip to MD in December and I am hopeful, we can plan a large family gathering with him, Wayne, Andy, Nina and us. Andy and Nina continue to work on decorating their beautiful townhome and got a theater set up just in time for football season. Nice timing. Andy’s work continues to go well and offer exciting challenges which he enjoys. Nina is finishing her internship this semester and will earn her Master’s degree in School Counseling from Johns Hopkins University next month. She already has a two month assignment in the spring to cover for her mentor, who will be going out on leave. Scott’s son, Andy, is in his final year of his PhD studies at the University of Michigan and is heavy into his job search process. He just spent a few days with us last week and it was delightful to have him home. We have fingers crossed that he ends up in the mid-Atlantic region. I am finishing my final semester teaching graduate school at the Catholic University of America. After ten years, I am happy – and relieved – to give it up. My disappointment in the nasty attitudes and lack of commitment of my current cohort of graduate students is overwhelming, and my patience is being fully tested. Time to bow out. Things at DAI continue to be interesting and challenging. All good. Scott continues to love retirement and continues to sharpen his golf and tennis game.
We are all looking ahead to the holiday season that is fast approaching. Thanksgiving will be a two-parter. Wednesday night at Nina’s parents’ house, and Thursday afternoon at our house. I suspect food comas will abound shortly thereafter. Plans for Christmas aren’t solidified, and yet I’m sure they shortly will come together.
I am excited to report that Mom’s respiratory therapist, Tyrone Snowden, has released his first album – A Glorious Day. If you attended Mom’s memorial, or watched the video on You Tube later, you know the story. Tyrone was also Mom’s singer. She’d ask him to sing whenever he would come in to do her respiratory care. His rendition of Amazing Grace was one he sang to her often and he sang it one more time for her at her memorial. I was so pleased that he came to do that when I asked him. Tyrone sang to Mom all the time, and often entertained her guests.
After Mom passed, Tyrone asked me to be his coach. I have no idea why, and I told him that I didn’t recommend it as I have a reputation for being pretty tough. He said that is what he wanted. So, for the past 2.5 years, we’ve met, we’ve talked and more. He has done a great job of getting his health better managed by dropping a good deal of weight. He’s managed his personal life much better and has really leaned in to using his voice for good. Along the way, I helped a bit with funding some studio time, and he pursued getting his LLC and named his company, Pure Snow Records. And now, his music is available on iTunes, Amazon, CD baby and more. PLEASE google “Ty Snowden A Glorious Day” – listen, and buy his music. You won’t be sorry! http://redmp3.su/album/3914921/a-glorious-day.html
I hope this update finds you well and looking forward to this joyous time of year. Much love, Laura
I just love this time of year. The crisp air. The changing leaves. The anticipation of the holidays to come. Our fall vacation was an epic fail, though. Thanks to Hurricane Matthew. Our coastal SC and GA get away didn’t happen at all. Instead, spent time with family last weekend (lunch with Wayne on Saturday and puppy sitting and time with Andy and Nina on Sunday). Then a relaxing Columbus day and three days in Ocean City. Back to work Friday afternoon, unfortunately for a colleague’s funeral, dinner with friends last night and church/movie/football today. We made the most of Plan B! And I’m over half way done with my Christmas shopping! Yay!
The funniest thing happened on Monday before we left for the beach. I’ve been wanting a new black leather blazer as the one I bought about 15 years ago wasn’t particularly high quality and was so worn that I gave it away in a recent donation. I’d been pricing them and shaking my head over how much they cost! $450-$500! Yikes. Later the SAME DAY, I was putting some things away in the coat closet and ran across Mom’s London Fog raincoat. I’d forgotten that I had it. Then, I felt something soft and supple next to it. What did I pull out? Yep. Mom’s black leather blazer. I’d CERTAINLY forgotten that I had that, as well. I put it on and presto – it fit beautifully. Who says that our loved ones who have passed don’t connect with us? Ha. THANKS, MOM! I smiled to myself when I wore it to church this morning.
Hope you have a great week ahead! Lots of love, Laura
It’s been a month since my last post. A month of wonderful travel. Barcelona for a staff member’s wedding. London for a week of work meetings. Then several days in Chicago for work meetings. Lovely weather, too – so nice opportunities to get away. I’d not been to Spain before and Barcelona was my city of choice if I had the chance. It’s also been a month of a good deal of no-travel work, time with family and friends, and a look to the fall, and hopefully weather that will move into crisp days and beautiful leaves. I hope your summer has been great so far as it winds down to its final weeks. So, let me take you with me for a bit. Antonio Gaudi was a famous Barcelona architect who died in the mid 1920s, but not before putting his stamp on his home city. The first picture is at Casa Batllo, a house he designed and where the wedding reception was held. His most famous work is in the next two pictures, the Sagrada Familia or Holy family cathedral. It has basically never been finished. The detail of the outside and the light in the inside are both breathtaking. Gaudi also designed the unsuccessful Parc Guell, which was to be “homes of the rich and famous” away from the water up a BIG hill overlooking the city. People didn’t want to be that far away, so after several homes were built, it fell into disarray and eventually became a tourist destination. The next picture is of the Old City in Barcelona. I took a walking tour which was fantastic. I couldn’t resist the next one of our Board members during our London meeting taking a picture from the glass elevators at the 40th floor when we went to Sushi Samba for dinner. Lovely view up there, but funny watching everyone take out their iPhones. Finally, a picture of my beloved son and the sweet new puppy, Cosmo (who was born on Mother’s Day this year) – both appropriately dressed for the start of Ravens football season. I hope you are enjoying these last days of summer. Love, Laura
Mom’s 86th birthday! Wow! This is her third birthday that I haven’t been able to celebrate with her feet on this earth. But as you know, I have been working on new traditions. Last evening, I arranged a dozen long stemmed red roses and they are beautifully on display in my kitchen. I will make HER mother’s crab cake recipe tonight for dinner. The recipe card is in my Mom’s handwriting, which always warms my heart.
I went to yoga class last night and looked around the room, having about an hour of quiet time before people began to arrive. I began my yoga practice at this lovely private studio about 5 weeks before Mom passed away. That yoga studio was such a help to me in finding peace during the weeks and months after Mom’s passing. Also, thanks to yogi master, Beth Beard, who was one of Mom’s respiratory therapists. I now alternate between Beth’s Tuesday night class and Mandy’s Monday night class. Not sure I am any better at yoga than I was in January 2014, but likely so incrementally! Last night when I got home from yoga, I was convinced that Mom was waving to me on my deck from this beautiful sunset on the eve of her earthly birthday. If you are a FB friend, you already saw this…I intend to continue celebrating this week as I head to Barcelona for a wedding of one of my staff members. The Basilica of the Sacred Family, Park Guell and Old City and many other venues are on my itinerary during my three day stay. Then onto London for work during the week of August 8. I am blessed to have a job that allows me to travel, sometimes even to nice places! 😀
Family-wise, Scott and I got to puppy sit for Andy and Nina on Sunday so they could go to the movies (Star Trek, of course!). Doesn’t get much cuter. Cosmo is 6 lbs and likes to sit on your feet. Laika is about 9 lbs and a little more refined and elegant.
Wayne is doing well. We visit about every month and sometimes Scott stops by after a round of golf in Mt. Airy. His tomato crop is outstanding this year, but it pretty much is every year. Randy’s recent e-mail says he is working 70 hrs a week and just put 800 miles on his car for a client in an attempt to catch up for the time he’s taken off from work to go on his Alaska trip and the photo trip to New Mexico with Wayne in late June.
I hope you are enjoying your summer and as Mom would say, “Relax, enjoy your life!” Love, Laura
Sometimes, it is time to think and reflect. I’ve had many conversations lately with others about Mom, about the fact that her 86th “would be” birthday is coming up…and about establishing new traditions when those who were central to your life are no longer around. For the third straight year on Mom’s birthday, I will buy 12 long stemmed red roses. I will be sure to eat her favorite foods and will encourage others to do so. But, it won’t be the same. I will never forget what it was like when she was alive. The celebrations! The cards! The fun! When she was my Mom in this life….she was my place to go. My safety net in everything. The good Lord is ultimately that safety net…my creator and Saviour…and yet…My Mom…Wow.
Thanks to the good Lord and a communication channel I cannot fully understand… Mom sent a few words to me in the past couple of months…. “Relax, enjoy your life”…. I’ve worked on it…and then our Pastor Mark preached on it this weekend. The Lord wants us to FLOURISH! So we should… My prayer for you…as you follow this blog…is that you….relax, enjoy your life…..flourish as God intended you to… Smile as you do. Love and my best wishes, Laura
Happy Father’s Day!
Today was a special day. I spent a couple of hours with Wayne, aka Gingo, enjoying lunch at the Mt. Airy tavern and talking about a lot of things. It was just the two of us. This picture is a little dark, but it’s the best I could do with an iPhone in a dark place! Wayne surprised me with an outpouring of kindness and compliments (in the form of special words) on a day when it is HIS day – Father’s Day. I kinda felt like it was Daughter’s Day instead.
We had our ups and downs during Mom’s illness, and during those three years often I felt he questioned my intellect, my caring and my decision making. Today put all of that in the rear view mirror. Once and for all. In the long run, we both wanted the best for Mom and that pretty much sums it up. And it all worked out just like it was supposed to. Mom had an amazing three years and prayer was answered that she’d have the time to reconnect with those she loved and who loved her.
NOTE: this is an edited update of this post. Apparently, there was a misunderstanding and Wayne didn’t want me to post the last picture to the blog. It was kind of dark in the restaurant. ANYWAY, this picture (taken by Randy) is much better and Randy has emailed it to me and posted on Facebook, so I know it is o.k. for it to be on the blog. Ha ha! Plus it is a much better picture of him on his photo taking trip with Randy!
I was reminded that Wayne helped me heal some wounds in my relationship with my Dad in the 1970s. I remembered it all like it was yesterday. The feelings came back like a tsunami. I remember my anger toward my Dad and I remember Wayne’s advice – which I took. Later, he and Mom were so wonderful to Andy during summer visits with all the fun places they took him, plus Wayne took on the big project of building a clubhouse in the side yard. Wayne was also there in so many ways to help me after I moved to Maryland. When I took leave of my senses and married the second time, he built a walkway in his backyard for me to be escorted by my son to the altar. He helped with after care for Andy when my job in D.C. prevented me from getting home at a decent time. He cut down trees, built me an entire basement, and when I escaped a horrible marriage, he welcomed me back into the Hardy Road house with open arms for a full three months. I don’t think Mom ever fully understood how much it meant for me to park in a garage…since Wayne gave me his space and he parked outside. I needed the nurturing and re-stabilization that Wayne helped provide after I “got out” and before I moved into my own place. I also have beautiful wood pieces of art because of Wayne’s handiwork (gorgeous solid oak wine racks, cutting boards, banana stands, ink pens). My son and his bride have a handmade solid oak cradle for “someday”. Wayne was right when he said that he and Mom were meant for each other. Forty years of marriage and I never heard either one say an ill word about the other. Definitely the kind of marriage I aspire to… His focus on her…helping her to travel and see the world, enjoy beautiful jewelry that she never had and giving her the beautiful smile that made the difference in so many lives. Plus Wayne loves my Mom to this day. I know she is in heaven and I know she is aware I am typing this right now. She is watching over both of us. I know I will see her again someday and we will likely talk about this blog entry!
Wayne has been my dad since 1974. I only had my biological father from 1955-1980 (24 years from date to date). He was a good man. I’ve had Wayne for 42 years now, with more years ahead because he is supposed to live forever! Thanks, Mom…. You did good. I love you. And Wayne, too! Happy Father’s Day, Gingo!
So, Wayne and Randy have an exciting week ahead. On Wayne’s 80th birthday (Thursday, June 23) they both fly to Albuquerque, New Mexico for a quick trip to take pictures. Both are photographic geniuses. I couldn’t be more excited for them both and wish them a wonderful time making great memories. Ahhhh. Happy Father’s Day to all… Love, Laura