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My Mom, Ruthe

In the summer of 2006, we held a surprise birthday party to honor my mother who was celebrating her 80th birthday. Just before Christmas that year, she suffered a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). We might have lost her.

MomDiagnosed with a genetic blood disorder, she received appropriate treatment which seemed incidental:  a small incision in Mother’s jugular vein, an Inferior Vena Cava Filter (IVC) implanted to avert pulmonary embolism, and daily anticoagulants. I think she got two stitches. In reality, the condition was not so incidental, and when my mother vaulted off the hospital bed to leave, the doctor gasped, fearful one of the clots might be loosed and immediately strike her dead … but my mom refuses to live in fear.

Watching TCM‘s Shirley Temple features the other night (Heidi and The Little Princess), I realized both story-lines parallel Ruthe’s early life. In both films, the central character is suddenly displaced, but she never despairs … she keeps her chin high, her shoulders back and a smile on her face. She brightens the corner wherever she is. In another film, The Little Colonel, the main character (played by Temple) receives an honorary regimental commission. Throughout her film career, Shirley represented the model “soldier” for boys and girls everywhere. Continue Reading →

One of My Heroes . . . RIP

Today is my Daddy’s birthday. Were he alive, Norman would be celebrating 88 years.

My dadHe was the first man who won my heart. He wasn’t a perfect man, but he loved my mother and did his best to provide her and their children a good life. Never having finished the eighth grade, he made his way with hard work and perseverance.

Norman served in the Army in World War II, one of the many who landed (and survived) on the beaches at Normandy. The emotional trauma of D-Day took its toll and he suffered what (in those days) was termed a “nervous breakdown.” Refusing to be sent home, he received hospital treatment and drove a supply truck back and forth to the front lines until the War ended. Continue Reading →

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