Posts Tagged With: sentimental

The Sentimental Journey Continues: The Christmas Season

The Snowman sits at his piano and pounds out three melodies:  Oh, the weather out side is frightful,  jingle bell rock, and finally have a holly, jolly, Christmas.  And David, my youngest son, still delights in watching the motion of this battery operated Hallmark toy.

Today, however, he didn’t do laps around the room.  David sat and reminisced about Nanna.  “It’s not the same, Mom.”, he said to me after the Snowman had entertained in his historical fashion.  The Snowman was so much more fun when he was at Nanna and Poppa’s house.

And then only seconds later, he and I were back at decorating the tree… Nanna’s artificial tree that she had given to us when she down-sized to a foot-tall model that sat on her stereo cabinet.

Was this the same tree that sat in a box for years in our basement?  Hmm.  David thought it was much smaller than he had remembered it being at Nanna’s house.

Yes, it is the same tree.  It’s just that now, this tree is the tree that Nanna gave to us – and that makes it special.  More special than a tree that we could chop down ourselves.

As David and I assembled the pieces, spread the malleable limbs,  and then wrapped the lights around it, we talked about Nanna and Poppa.  “What I like most about Christmas David …. is tradition”.  Tradition anchors us to our roots, our memories, our heritage.

“What I like about Christmas, Mom, is family.” , said David.

God bless him, that little boy.  His Christmas list that I opened to read today asked for hugs and kisses.

He is a sentimental little guy, our son, David.  I love to spend time with him – and I love lighting the tree with him – and talking about his memories of Mom and Dad.  I feel much more reassured that their memory will live on through our children when we remind out children about the wonderful things we shared.

This is the first time that we will not share it with Nanna and Poppa… yet they are everywhere … when I open my heart to them.  They are in the tree, the wreath, the photos, the children, the decorations… the list goes on.  Christmas is a season of memory – of tradition – of hope – and holly – jolly … or so the Snowman says.

TTFN

 

Categories: Family and Friends, Life After Dad, Life's Lessons, Mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

I am Larger Than a Bread Basket… What Am I?

I Am Smaller Than a Breadbox

The “Vase” that stopped a million deaths…

I am larger than a shoe box, but smaller than a piano.

I can hold enough liquid to nourish a giant.

I am blue.

I have a base.

I am “open” at the top.

My lip is smooth.

I am larger in my middle than anyplace else.

I was a gift.

What am I?

If you guessed a giant brandy snifter from the 1960s – you know the decorative ones that you hated as a kid but parents seemed to love – you are right!

I emptied the pot pourri that Mom had had in it for the past 10 years in total.  There was likely a bit of the smelly mixture from 3 years ago, mixed with some from 4 years ago, mixed with some from 10 years ago.  There was no scent left – but she thought it looked pretty.

I washed the vessel carefully.  This startled me – that I was so careful.  My entire life I’ve hated this thing.  It had been the source of angst for me for years as I encouraged Mom to, “get rid of that ugly thing”.  And yet – there I was being so careful.  It’s entire fate was in my hands – is in my hands and I cannot believe that I am treated it so … yes, carefully.

Mom always loved it.  I’m not sure she loved it because of it’s beauty – really, who could love it?  I think she loved it because it was a gift from the people she worked with and loved at the Simcoe Medical Group.  It was a gift to say, “good-bye” to her when she “retired” from nursing.  I parenthesized nursing because she actually never retired  and was often back in the office filling in for nurses that went on holidays or were ill.  She loved these people.  They had grown up with her – and it was these women who also claimed to have trained all the new “green” doctors who, at that time, were just beginning their careers.

I turned the thing upside down to dry and stared at it.  Like the Pier One Import commercial, the stupid thing seemed to speak to me.

“Stacey, I have so many stories to tell you.  I have been in your life for so long – just sitting and observing.  I watched as your Dad received news about the death of his Dad… I watched as your parents received news about the birth of their first grand-daughter, Megan, then JJ, then Ben, then Katya, and then David.  I watched as your Mom and Dad celebrated with their friends during summer swims, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and Valentine’s Day.  When we moved to the condo I was moved to the bedroom where I saw as your Dad rose in the morning and retired at night.  I watched as your Mom nursed him back to health from pneumonia, from his stroke, from his hip surgery, and then throughout his Parkinson’s.  I was there, Stacey.  I am a part of their lives.  Finally, I watched as your Dad took his final breath.  I was with you – and I’m with you now.”

Okay – so the Pier One Import commercial may not have their things speaking exactly that intimately – but, crap, that ugly blue bowl suddenly became important to me.  It got to me.  It is staring at me right now as it dries upside down in the sink.

What do I do with it?  How can I dispose of this “treasure” that Mom loved so much?  It’s big and it’s blue!!!!  For Heaven’s sake.  Do I put it beside the samovar – or the type-writer or Dad’s straw hat?

Good grief.

I am larger than a bread – basket but smaller than a piano.

I am sometimes blue with grief and sometimes red with anger.

My main role in this family is “Mom” and to my husband I am “wife”.

I have a heart larger than life and a memory shorter than a snail is fast.

What am I?

…A sucker for sentiment.

Categories: Life After Dad | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Really – reel to reel

Bill and Paula Duff with Bill and June Malloff in Nassau.

The box was larger than a bread basket, but smaller than a television (the old ones!),  and it was very well bound with packing tape.

The label screamed at me. “Bill and Paula Duff”.  Egad.  This was a real treasure trove!  Here, in this box, were Mom and Dad’s memories.

When Jamie and I were investigating the things Mom stored in the pantry of their condo, we discovered two boxes of reel-to-reel film.  Of course, Mom had also preserved the projector, splicer, and old camera and these sat well organized right beside the movies.  We took the old movies out to examine what was there.  “New Lowell, Duffs, and Malloff Clan”, read the labels from one box of movies.  This was the series that was to be developed first.

Costco prints old reel-to-reel to DVD at a very good price and so… off they went.. and yesterday …. here they were.

Finally, the box was freed from tape and I carefully open the flap.  There it was – ONE DVD.  On the outside were images (59 in total) of every “scene” that was contained on the DVD.  There was also a label warning that some of the film had been over-exposed, some under-exposed, and some with dust, hair… and whatnot.  How would the movies look afterall?  I didn’t really care – I just knew I was holding fast to history.  And it was to be a history that revealed a world through the eyes of Mom and Dad.  What had they seen?   What had they deemed to be important enough to film?  Who were their friends?  How had they lived?  All these questions would be answered – presently.

I slid the DVD into the player, with the help of my 9 year old I might add, and suddenly there they were – Mom and Dad in 59 scenes.  “Which scene would you like to choose?”,  opted the play menu.  I chose “Play from the beginning”.

Fantastic. Costco had added music – their music – the music of the 40s and 50s.

Fantastic.  Mom and Dad were dancing.  It was a party.  Mom and Dad were serving turkey dinner to guests.  Mom was showing off her beautiful new gown to the camera.  Dad was shoveling snow.  Don Duff was mowing his lawn.  Lou Duff was pushing her daughter Nancy on the swing.  The animals in the zoo were racing around.  The flamingos in Nassau were nibbling at their lunch.  The lighthouses in PEI appeared far below from the plane where Dad had obviously flown over.  The Hepplestons and Duffs were together – eating – laughing.  There was a lot of laughter.  It seemed everyone was laughing.  I think I saw Grandma and Grandpa Malloff – but I couldn’t be sure as I had never met them.  And there was the house that Dad built for Mom and Dad in New Lowell.

History.

It was rich.

I was watching history that no one else at that moment had access to.

I must figure out how to copy this history to embed it into this blog.

I must figure out how to copy the DVD to offer these special images to my cousins.

It is funny how video can transcend time.  I am so blessed to have known my parents as adults.  I am so curious now to know about my parents as a young couple.  I am so blessed to have just a little insight into the young Bill and Paula through reel-to-reel.

Categories: Duff History, Family and Friends, Life After Dad, New Lowell | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

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