Saturday, June 6, 2009


As the school year comes to a close across the country, it's time to honor those who have reached milestones and achieved goals and so I congratulate:
  • Those students who achieved perfect attendance from kindergarten through 12th grade. No sick days, no vacation days, no missing in action due to a band trip. Nope. They were there each and every day: Cory Shank of South Hagerstown High, Travis China of West Orange High, and Stefanie Zaner of Northwest High. No doubt there were others - a few others - and congratulations to each of them and their families.
  • The families of the seniors at Centerburg High in Columbus, Ohio ( Your children were caught cheating on tests in a scheme so elaborate and pervasive that it was impossible for the school district to determine which students actually cheated or which just knew about the cheating and didn't report it. But it does appear that all 60 seniors at least knew about it and so district officials cancelled graduation ceremonies for the entire group. Rather than putting together your own ceremony to "honor" and recognize the "achievements" of these kids, you should let them slink off this fall to another venue where they can attempt more of the same. Be glad the district is still mailing your son or daughter their diploma. It is more than I would have done.
  • Finally, and best of all, congratulations to my niece (Marah) who will graduate on Tuesday! It hardly seems possible that she could be old enough to be headed off to college this fall (that time certainly went quickly!). Best of luck to her and all the other graduates!


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is mom's 84th birthday. Rather unremarkable I suppose except, that is, this will be the 5th time I mark this day on my calendar without sending a card, picking up the phone to call or making plans to treat mom to dinner on her special day.

I have a card. I'm always on the look out for a perfect birthday card which I carefully tuck in my "card drawer." I bought this one months before her 79th birthday. Unfortunately I didn't get to share that one with her and now it remains in my drawer since I can't quite part with it either.

Mom's passing meant that I and my sisters were officially "orphans." Now being orphaned at 46 doesn't seem like anything out of the course of nature and certainly I'm a very lucky gal. I have two amazing sisters who are not only my sisters but some of my best friends. I am blessed (most of the time) with an extended family, aunts especially, who occasionally check in on "us girls".

Mom was Irish. Being Irish is living life loudly - we've laughed till we cried, verbally sparred ourselves hoarse, told and retold many a family tale. I wouldn't have it any other way and I miss being able to share it with mom.

For the second anniversary of mom's passing, my sisters and oldest niece and I celebrated her life by combining most all the things she loved to do best (traveling, quilting, being with family, sharing stories and laughs) into one grand adventure by going on a quilting cruise to Alaska. I truly felt her presence. I know she would have loved it!

As a promotion for the event, one of the sponsors was having an essay contest to write about the creative woman who inspired us to become a quilter. The prize was a free cruise for two on this quilting cruise and since we're always looking for a deal, it wasn't surprising that both my sister and I entered the contest by writing about mom. I shared my entry with Dona then (had to make sure we were keeping our stories straight!) and in honor of her birthday, I share with you today this excerpt from mine:

  • “Mom used the sewing bench to teach me most of life’s lessons: keep busy; learn new things; whatever you do in life, take your time to do it really well; fix mistakes right away so they don’t become huge or irreparable; take care of each other.”

Mom continued to be my greatest cheerleader and occasional seam-ripper until she passed away in September 2003. During that time she imparted life lessons all the while trying to get me to sew an accurate 1/4" seam. I hope she knew I "got it" - both the sewing skills and the life lessons. I've tried to share her words of wisdom ala Forrest Gump with each of my children ("it takes three times as long to do it the wrong way as to do it the right way in the first place, so try to get it right the first time!").

Thanks mom - for the lessons, for the laughs, for passing on your fabric obsession to me and my sisters (okay that last one was really from each of our husbands and I'm not entirely certain that line wasn't delivered with a healthy dollop of sarcasm!)

Happy Birthday, Mom.

Love, Terri

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Mother of the Year?

I don't generally like to engage in enumerating the parenting "flaws" that I might perceive in others. I feel it just opens myself up to similar pointing of fingers, etc.

But clearly there are some (of late in the press) who perhaps should have had maybe a bit more "chlorine in their gene pool". I'm not talking about the "mothers of multiples" and their lives and the lives of their (rather large) broods who seem to be monopolizing the media right now. They are mere "runners-up" in the current Mother of the Year balloting.

No, today's winner goes to Cynthia Roberson of Phoenix, Arizona. This enterprising mother saw a rather creative way to create an income stream to replace the one her family enjoyed while she was employed. She organized her two sons (ages 12 & 14) plus their friends (ages 14-16) and 3 other young men (18-20) into a gang of armed robbers. (She herself drove the getaway car.) [Mom Guilts Kids Into Armed Robbery]

Now the youngest is in protective custody and all of the others, including mom, are facing criminal charges. Desperate people taking desperate measures.