Thursday, August 25, 2011


Tomorrow my family will be attending the wedding of one my "other daughters".  This will be the second wedding I have been invited to, of girls that were amongst the best friends of my children, and I know my reaction will be the same as the first; I know I will start crying as soon as I see the bride's mother being seated.  I will watch Cheryl walk by me, as I did with Anna, and I will recall, with great happiness, the moments that we had together as we were raising our two little girls.  I will remember the laughter, as well as a few tears that we shed upon our journey as parents, and I will think how wonderful it was to have done so, together.
Next, I will see my oldest daughter Holly walk down the aisle, as she will stand up in this wedding, as she did in Alana's.  I will look at my beautiful little girl, now a woman herself, and thank God, once again, that He blessed her father and me with such a wonderful child.  What a privilege it has been, to have been given such a gift.  My daughters, as I have said so many times before, needed very little raising, because they were already perfect when we got them.  God, in His generosity, just let Dave and I enjoy His good work.
Next, I will see Stephanie walk down the aisle with her father, Jeff, and I will think, wistfully, how I wish I had known my own dad.  I will think how, whenever I witness the loving interaction between a father and his daughter, I feel great happiness for the two of them and that special relationship that they have.  I will think of my husband, Dave, and how important he is to our own girls.  I will think of the long hours of overtime that he worked to provide for them, and how he did so when lesser men would not have.  I will remember how, despite all the obstacles he faced with his Multiple Sclerosis, he soldiered on, uncomplaining, and instead, immersed himself in his daughters' lives; creating the bond that will ensure he will be a part of those lives, always.  I will think of his late night calls to colleges, just to say hello, or the movies on TV that he stopped to enjoy with his girls, and I will smile; knowing that he recognized our time with them was fleeting.  It has been during these moments when I watched Dave with his girls, and when I saw other good fathers like him and Jeff, that I would feel a momentary pang of longing for that kind of relationship for, although I have had a wonderful life, I will never know, firsthand, that remarkable love of a father for his little girl….and she will ALWAYS be his little girl.
Then, I will look at Stephanie, a girl who slept at our house, shared our lives and helped to fill them with wonderful memories.  I will remember how she played tug of war with our dog Sophie, and twirled that pup around like furry dust mop, as they played.  I will remember the powder puff football game with Holly, and the aching muscles that came along with the week of training for it. I will think of the days that followed, when they needed to move their heads up and down to brush their teeth, because their arms ached too much to move them.  I will remember the trips to Port Sanilac, and campfires with toasted marshmallows, and I will wish, for a moment, that I could do it all over again because those moments were so precious to me. 
Finally, I will think of the advice that I want to give her, about the new life she is about to embark on. It is advice that I have learned through my own experiences and that I have often shared before.  I want her to remember that all marriages have their ebbs and tides, but that the  moments worth remembering are the happy ones; time spent mulling over the lesser ones is only time wasted.  I want her to remember to never get too busy to enjoy her life with her new husband, because in order to have memories to cherish one needs to take the time to make them first.  And, finally, I want her to tell Matt that it is always a good idea to bring home M&M's and Sweetarts on a regular basis.  Candy, and the thought that goes into remembering to buy it for the woman you love, is often the glue that holds a good marriage together.  I should know; I just finished a bag of M&M's.
God Bless you on your wedding day, Stephanie and Matt!  May your lives together be filled with every joy that you can imagine...and a lifetime supply of M&M's!

Friday, August 19, 2011


Recently, my youngest daughter Olivia began wearing contact lenses for the very first time.  She did remarkably well when learning how to put them in and take them out at the eye doctor's office, and her first day as a contact lens wearer ended quite successfully... then came day two.  I received a phone call from Liv explaining how, while attempting to put her lens in her right eye, she somehow lost it.  Thus, she became acquainted with what is undoubtedly, the bane of every contact wearer’s existence; the issue of the lost lens. 
I have worn contact lenses for 35 years now, and as such, have acquired a virtual treasure trove of knowledge as to where an elusive lens may have disappeared to.  Over the years I have found missing lenses on my clothes, on the floor, on the bottle of solution, and occasionally, still in my eye.  The latter is perhaps, the most perplexing, because one would think that it was impossible to lose a lens in one’s eye and fail to realize it.  For those of you unfamiliar with contact lenses, I can assure you that it is not.  Somehow a lens can make its way up into your upper eyelid and sit there unnoticed, while the user spends hours looking for it in a myriad of other places, before realizing it is still in one’s eye. My favorite loss and recovery stories though, involved two of my friends’ lost lenses, and I share these remarkable tales whenever I run into someone despondent over the loss of their own lens. 
The first involved my friend Linda, who lost one while swimming in her above ground pool.  It never fails to amaze me that, given the gallons and gallons of water in one’s pool, not to mention the splashing of that water which, in a second, could propel it over the side, it is still possible to locate a clear contact lens intact, to lose again another day....Linda did it though.
The second happened when a group of friends from work gathered at a bar called “Roger’s Roost,” to show off our lack of skills while playing pool, and to watch some hockey as we shared a few beers to make the pool playing less painful.  This particular bar, for those of you who have never been there, provides baskets of peanuts for the customers to enjoy, and also, to make them very thirsty. To ensure that the customers don't have to waste time properly disposing of their empty peanut shells when they could be ordering more beer instead, the owners simply allow everyone to throw them on the ground to be cleaned up later, by an underpaid staffer, once the bar has closed.  Somehow in the midst of all this beer drinking, bad pool playing, and hockey watching, my friend Anna lost a contact lens.  The bar, of course, was very dark, which poses an additional problem when looking for a lost lens.  As our group gathered around her, scanning the floor for the proverbial “needle in a haystack”, a couple of gentlemen noticed our plight and gallantly offered some mini-flashlights that they happened to have with them, to help us in our efforts.  We rummaged through the discarded shells on the floor, now illuminated by our mini-flashlights, until finally, we became too parched to continue.  At that point, exhausted and thirsty from her efforts, Anna raised her mug to satiate her thirst and there, glistening on the side of it, was her contact lens!  We considered it a victory for beer-drinking, contact lens wearers everywhere.
In Olivia’s case, her lens could not be located, but the eye doctor graciously provided her with, not one, but three new lenses to address her problem.  She now has a lens to replace the one that she originally lost, and two more to replace that first set, when she loses those two tomorrow!