Category: Remembrance (Page 1 of 3)

Flashdance….err I mean flashback…

On this day, 30 years ago….

  • On primetime TV: Matt Houston, CHiPs, The Jefferson’s, One Day At A Time and Trapper John, MD (also the Sunday Night Movies)
  • Playing in Vegas: Bill Cosby, Rich Little, Shelley Greene and Tom Jones
  • In fashion: shoulder pads, shell suits, Lycra leggings, leg warmers and Deelyboppers
  • Fads: Smurfs, Valspeak and Valley Girls, Chia Pets, Space Invaders, Atari, the Walkman, CB radios, and the keytar.
  • Top of the charts: Eye of the Tiger – Survivor; Hurt’s So Good – John Cougar; Hold Me – Fleetwood Mac; Even the Nights Are Better – Air Supply; Abracadabra – Steve Miller Band; Keep the Fire Burnin’ – REO Speedwagon;
  • Top Movies: Friday the 13th Part 3; E.T. – The Extra Terrestrial; An Officer and A Gentleman


yours truly marries her sweetheart (Mr. Vixen) in a lovely full mass ceremony at St. Matthias Catholic Church followed by a spectacular reception at a local country club.

Happy Anniversary to my best friend and lover.

Thirty years later and we still got it.


Always Remembering

Today is October 15th,Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

Light a candle at 7pm, tonight and join us all in remembrance of those gone too soon.

Stop by Band Back Together’s Wall Of Remembrance and show some love and support for those who have lost.


August 9

They are dead; but they live in each Patriot’s breast, And their names are engraven on honor’s bright crest

Memorial Day (or weekend as it has become for most) is a day to remember the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for their I heard that nearly 85% of Americans don’t even know what Memorial Day signifies. I find it quite sad that so many think of this national holiday as only picnics and barbeques. I will have a family get-together also, but it will be a day of remembrance for those who served and died.

That picture is Uncle Charlie, my Pop’s uncle. He was born in Oklahoma on September 20, 1922. At the tender age of 23, this beloved husband and young father of one, was serving  as Fireman, First Class. On April 12, 1945,

EDITED: If any of you follow me on Facebook or twitter, you may recall my frustration with my paid ancestry search results the day before this post. That is because Pop couldn’t recall the ship Uncle Charlie was on or any other details. In trying to honor him, I did the best I could with the limited information I had. It turned out he was not aboard the U.S.S. Abele Mannert. Luckily, his daughter found her way here and shared the true story of his last day and the future of his ship:

Hi Vixen, your father forwarded your blog to me. I am the daughter of Charles Evans Hughes. I really appreciate the tribute that you paid to my father. There are some discrepancy in your tribute. The destroyer, DD777, was the USS Zellars, not the Adele. Four (Jills), Kamikaze’s attacked the ship. Two turned to the forward part of ship the other two toward the aft. Two planes were shot down, the third found it’s target. It carried a torpedo and a fifty pound bomb. Torpedo broke loose and exploded, the bomb did not detonate. Forty-four enlisted and officers died, forty-five injured out of a crew of one hundred twenty-five. The Zellars continued to battle the Kamikaze’s and shot down a third plane.The ship returned to port with extensive damage. After temporary patching, it returned to the States for the major repairs. Returned to service after WWII. The ship was sold to the Shah of Iran. It was still in service as of eight years ago. Now known as the Babar.
Your 2nd cousin

The rest I wrote below is still true. I have actually been to the Memorial in Hawaii and I have a picture somewhere of his name on the memorial, which I why I tried to find out the details to share. Please excuse my previous erroneous information.

44 of the crew were lost with the ship and remain on duty. That includes my great uncle: Charles Evan Hughes. He received the Purple Heart and is memorialized in Honolulu at the WWII Memorial.

Please take a moment during your celebration today, Memorial Day, to remember the lives of all the men and women who gave their lives for our country and freedom.

Every baby born into the world is a finer one than the last

Today we participated in the March of Dimes March for Babies to help raise money for babies born too early. We exceeded our team fund raising goal and, I think, honored our beloved Collin. All in all, quite a success.

Been a little crazy up in here

Lots to share, no time to do it….but I will soon I promise!

Meanwhile, if you can I would appreciate any support. I am walking in remembrance of my dear Collin for all the little babies:

Only Happy Tears

This song is just so beautiful…when Dolly’s voice joins in on the chorus if give me goose bumps. The lyrics are so uplifting and lovely, I shared them below the video. Happy Sunday.

When I get where I’m going
on the far side of the sky.
The first thing that I’m gonna do
Is spread my wings and fly.

I’m gonna land beside a lion,
and run my fingers through his mane.
Or I might find out what it’s like
To ride a drop of rain

Yeah when I get where I’m going,
there’ll be only happy tears.
I will shed the sins and struggles,
I have carried all these years.
And I’ll leave my heart wide open,
I will love and have no fear.
Yeah when I get where I’m going,
Don’t cry for me down here.

I’m gonna walk with my grandaddy,
and he’ll match me step for step,
and I’ll tell him how I missed him,
every minute since he left.
Then I’ll hug his neck.

So much pain and so much darkness,
in this world we stumble through.
All these questions, I can’t answer,
so much work to do.

But when I get where I’m going,
and I see my Maker’s face.
I’ll stand forever in the light,
of His amazing grace.
Yeah when I get where I’m going,
Yeah when I get where I’m going,
there’ll be only happy tears.
I will love and have no fear.
When I get where I’m going.
Yeah when I get where I’m going.

A child can ask questions that a wise man cannot answer

We haven’t had to deal with any death in the family with Ladybug and WhatAboutMe? (formerly known as Butterball) so we had never discussed the eventuality of attending a funeral with them.  Grandma Max’s death caught us unprepared and off-guard. In our shock and grief we just jumped into a car and headed to her town, wanting to be there for Pop. Looking back on it, I am sure there are tons of resources and books out there that could have helped and guided us with age appropriate ways to talk to a 5 and 3 year old about death and funerals. We had none of that and, in fact, the idea didn’t cross our minds until Tuesday as we approached the memorial chapel for the viewing. We quickly came to the decision that we would take turns inside the viewing room with family, while the girls stayed in the provided children’s play area–never to be any wiser as to the adult goings on.

Nanny had discussed with the girls that the next day we would be attending a ‘special event’. Not using the words funeral or death, she explained they would have to be on their best church behavior: quiet and still, knowing they were familiar with that and would understand. You can imagine my dismay when I arrived the next morning to realize it was going to be an open casket. We had ten minutes to spare, so I grabbed Nanny and asked her if we should prepare the girls in some way? Considering the room was only about 20’x30’, there was no way they wouldn’t notice a body in a casket in the room. She quickly came up with the idea of telling them that “like in the movie Snow White” there would be a lady sleeping in a casket at the front of the room, but they had to be on their best behavior and I told them if they had any questions to save them until after the service. It seemed as if it just might work, but I have learned over the years….never underestimate the brilliant mind of a child.

Scene: Inside a small memorial room with four rows of seats a beautiful woman of 92 dressed in a lovely pink gown, lies in repose in an ornate white casket, surrounded by a sea of fragrant flowers. A grandma, holding her 5-year-old granddaughter’s hand, makes her way to the back row followed by her husband and her eldest daughter who is holding on to her 3-year-old daughter. They take their seats and the 5-year-old begins craning her neck—trying to see past the other mourner’s heads to the front of the room and eventually scoots up into her grandmother’s lap to see better.

Ladybug: (whispering) Grandma? I still can’t see.
Grandma: (whispering) That’s okay, honey. You’re not missing anything. You’ll be able to see the pastor when she comes out to talk.
Ladybug: (whispering with a hint of pleading) But Grandma, I can’t see it.
Grandma: (whispering) Shhh, sweetie. Just hang in there, we’ll be done soon.

 There is quiet for a moment and then the child leans back towards grandmother’s ear:

Ladybug: (whispering) Grandma? Where are the dwarfs?
Grandma: (stunned) Huh??? Oh, ummm, well, they’re not here.
Ladybug: (normal voice) Oh. So it’s just Snow White in this show?

The grandma takes the little girls hand and quickly exits the room. On the way grabbing the mother & telling her they need another meeting out in the hall before the service starts.

 Later in the day, we were able to laugh about it, as did everyone who heard the story. At the time, I was too worried that she was going to grow up and tell everyone the story about the time “Grandma took me to see a Snow White show and all I got to see was a dead body.”

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal

I have lots of good times I have been meaning to share with you, but it will be delayed (how many times do you hear this from me and still come back???). My Grandma went to heaven yesterday (not Great, dear readers, but my other Grandma M), so I will be a bit out of pocket this week.

Memories abound, aloft, flooding my mind. Things not surfaced for decades. The smell of lemons Grama Max Birthday 1984and limes as we walked down a busy city street. Back in the days when it was safe to do so. A young girl and her best-friend; now sisters. Funny, how we always wished to be sisters, not knowing such a thing was possible. No one we knew had ‘divorced’ parents. And what were the odds that we, best friends, would have parents that divorced AND end up sisters? A gazillion to one, in our minds. And yet here we were in the heat of a crazy place called Fresno. Walking down the street to Grama Max’s beauty salon.

Grama Max was a BEAUTY. To me, older people looked wrinkly and unkempt, they smelled and were cranky. Maxine was the opposite of all of that. Grace, beauty, refinement, kindness and charm. Never rude, always kind; even with us kids she had patience immeasurable. That was unheard of in those days, we were always being told to be “seen and not heard.” She smelled of heaven and never had a hair or hem out of place.

We often made this walk, to the salon, out of boredom. We learned to crochet at Maxine’s, but only one of us took to it. Highly adorned ladies with names like Goldy and Pauline,  taught us the over and under, to hook and draw. The magic of Granny squares, numerous and colorful. We hung out in Uncle Rick’s semi truck, if he stopped by that weekend: Climbing all the way up into that cab, while the motor growled and rumbled was thrilling. Especially since we were alone, us girls, left to explore while he locked himself in his room, wafts of fragrant smoke escaping from under his locked bedroom door. Labor Day Weekend, was the time we were always there. That was back in the days when a person watched the Jerry Lewis Telethon and it was entertainment=enjoyable, at least for us.

The walks always included stolen pomegranates on the way and True Story magazines at the shop. Greatest magazine ever written, I thought. Couldn’t get enough of it or the stories overheard in the shop by the patrons: older women, under giant hair dryers, big rollers with their hair all the shades of a rainbow in a foggy storm: pale shades of pink, purple, blue and silver.

The days of my youth, marked by memories of my past, and held in check by my families growing and shrinking. Expanding and receding. A never ending flow of life, love, happiness, and joy expended to it’s fullest.Grama Max and family 1984

Shannon Marie Fava

Shannon Marie Fava (nee Nielsen), age 30, died tragically on September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center. She was bondsbroker at Cantor Fitzgerald.

Not a day goes by that I don’t think of your family. Although I don’t know you at all. We’ve never met. I don’t know any of your family. Until today I really didn’t know your name. There are just so many names, it is taking me years to get through each one. But I go through them. And search. To learn. To listen. To hear your stories. I pick a name from that horrible legacy of a list and I go.

Your name touches me personally. My family will know why. You share something in common with one of my own children. You were so young. You had so much to share, learn and give to your family. I know you are safe now, but I still weep daily for your family and so many other families.

Only 30 years old, just a baby in the long look of life. You met your husband, Frank, at only 18 and fell in love. I know he and your son Joseph Anthony, must miss you terribly and I feel for them. It seems you were very close to your brother, Dennis. His pain must also know no bounds.

I feel for your parents: so loving and heartbroken.  Your beautiful godchild, Alexandria and your nephew Dennis III, have you only in thoughts and memories from their parents, but I know you must watch over them. The pictures, they so remind me of our family and I feel pain for your loved ones. Knowing what it is like to lose a loved one. The wishing for more. The missing of what might have been. An animal lover myself, I know your dear little Zeus must miss you too.

I have taken a moment to get to know you a bit, as best I can. Not to intrude upon your family. But to help the world remember a lost soul. A senseless loss. A reminder that life is short. And a reminder to get to know your neighbor, because tomorrow they might be gone. And to honor you. You and your family.

You are one of many. This year, you are my one. I miss you. Even though I didn’t know you, I miss what ever you had to give to my world. I wish your family peace and solace. God bless you, Shannon Marie.

We will never forget.

(My previous 9/11 posts are here and here)

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