Archive | September 2014

Funny Girl: Let’s Keep Laughing.

I have always been a Joan Rivers fan. I was a daytime fan of hers and would regularly watch her show during college.

And although I didn’t appreciate the stand-up of Joan Rivers until I was older, I always felt a kinship with her and her daughter. After all, our mothers were both  Joan, and we were both only children.

And I know for sure that my Mom and I would have had a hit E! series. We just had to find our niche. (Much in the same way my dad and I are working on our fantasy football team.)

What I loved about Joan Rivers was her ability to take the things we shouldn’t laugh at and make them funny.

Because let’s face it–we’ve all been there.

Who hasn’t been there? A wedding, funeral, performance review?

A few months after my Mom died, I was talking with a former colleague of mine. Like me, she had lost a parent at a (much) young(er) age.

I don’t remember now what prompted the discussion, but I had my Mom cremated, and we discussed the possibility of turning some of her ashes into a diamond.

And since shortly before I lost my Mom, I lost my Beloved Theodore, we discussed how I should have practiced taxidermy and had him stuffed.

(I envisioned Rowdy from Scrubs and had all sorts of ways that I could strategically place Teddy.)

We howled. Just howled.

Shortly after that conversation, the show My Strange Addiction showed a woman who ate her husband’s ashes. (And full disclosure here: I don’t make light of that.)

And that set us off again.

Sometimes, in the worst of situations, you find the humor in them. (Like when I was so upset at my Grandma’s funeral, I knocked off her clip-on earring and tried to dig down in the casket to find it.)

Thanks to Joan (Rivers) Rosenberg for always reminding of that.

And to her daughter, Melissa. Thinking of you, dear girl. We, at Askourmoms, are holding your heart closely from two daughters to another.


Meme and Bu



Recently I had a revival in my brain. Having spent so many years mourning my mother, my memories were clouded by a sicker, less vibrant memory of my mother. When I would think of mom, my foremost memories were of my sick mom, my mom riddled with pain, my frail mom, my mother dying before my eyes… painful and less flattering moments with my mom.

Fast forward to my brother sending me old family videos. I watched with amusement the video of my mother performing sign language to “Sunshine of my Shoulders.” She was so serious about her role and the fluidity of her sign language on camera. Her intensity in this video is palpable (the video was her final exam for the sign language class she took). While she considered rehearsals as her time to master her art of performance, my brothers and I painfully recall the countless hours of rehearsals and practice she did with John Denver’s ballad playing at deafening levels ON REPEAT. Over and over and over. To this day, in fact, I cringe when I hear that song. I am pretty sure my brothers do too.

My brother also sent me videos of birthday celebrations of years past. I watched intently, marveling at the woman I had grown up with. The strong, vibrant, thoughtful woman who was devoted to her family and her children. The woman who embraced a gag gift from her oldest child as if it was the crème de la crème of gifts (it was a polka audio tape – we are not polish). This woman had been pushed to the background my memories.

The memories came flooding back… my mother organizing the Parade of Nations (a huge, multi cultural stage celebration on Fort Leavenworth), my mother video taping and attending all of my brothers and my childhood events, my mother celebrating each and every birthday with pomp and circumstance- cake, gifts, food, my mother going to bat for her family time and time again, my mother teaching me how to sew, my mother staying by side hour after hour and day after day when I was in the hospital, my mother being there regardless on my youthful emotional outbursts, my mother holding my first born in her arms… so many beautiful moments forgotten in the cloud of mourning and then remembered because of old home videos.

It is difficult to recall all of the beautiful moments, but I am glad these old video camera moments have caused the revival of memories in my brain. Mom would want to be remembered like that.