Pumpkin Cottage

Pumpkin Cottage
sit and visit a spell

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Nicholas

Nicholas is nineteen today. I've been going through some old photos. Nicholas was so blonde as a little guy. Hope you have the best day. We love you so very much.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Road Trip

We are preparing for our road trip to VoVo's final resting place. We have been searching for just the right music to accompany us along the way. Amalia Rodrigues, Mariza, and Dulce Pontes.

The music is haunting.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

In everything be thankful. You never know where your strength will come from or that the family you are born to may disappoint or that the family you have created with your friends may surprise. These are the lessons we have learned this week.

God bless everyone that has prayed, cried and held us in their thoughts for your kindness will not be forgotten.

For these things, health, joy and memories we are thankful.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mae (Portuguese for mother)

God gave us memories so we could have roses in winter and mothers forever.

I don't know where I found that quote or who wrote it but it is so true. My family is sleeping we are all so tired, so sad, and lost. I've put a kettle on because that is what my mae would do at a time like this.

Our life had taken on a rhythm that surrounded the needs of our VoVo. For nearly five years, every day was planned around her needs. Saturday dentist appointments for months only to have her throw away her bottom dentures the very first week. Doctor's appointments, adult daycare, and throw in some fun every weekend, too. We vacationed together and stayed in motels that could accommodate the elderly and little kids. Now what do we do?

Abraham Lincoln said, "All I am, or can be, I owe to my angel mother."

Our mae was strong and she made us strong. She was strict but we knew she loved us. She set a fine example of a strong independent woman. In her suffering, I would whisper to her, "I am just like you; we are strong women." I wanted her to know that I would not leave her that I would do the right thing. It was my way of comforting her so she won't worry. We will all keep my promise.

Mae was a domestic goddess. Her white laundry was pearly white, the tile in our bathroom gleamed, her oven and refrigerator sparkled, and everything she did she did with love. Every thing was in order. She rarely sat down, but when she did, it was to knit, crotchet, embroider, or quilt she could not remain idle. She would always tell me she liked to stay busy.

Her garden was immaculate and included roses, sweet peas, her favorite geraniums, onions, kale, the ever present flat leaf parsley, fennel, mint, fresh lettuce... you name it she could grow it. Not only was her garden beautiful it smelled delightful with sweet ans savory scents.

I am sorry that my memories are rambling but I think that is how it will be for a while.

My niece, Staci, sent the photos from her last visit with VoVo. She loved her family the most.

A house needs a grandma in it. Louisa May Alcott

We were blessed to share our lives and our home. God gives us more than we could ever wish for ourselves. He knew that we would welcome her and that she would bless us more than we could ever bless her.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Day One

Lee and I had most of VoVo's arrangements already done. I understood that making decisions and grieving don't mix. Right now we are just preparing a slide show and a memorial (saudades) program. Joe is here and that really helps. He breaks ties and brings VoVo's flavor.

Thank you everyone that has sent messages of sympathy. You can not even imagine how much your words of kindness and prayers mean to us.

This photo was taken in front of our first house on Spruce Street, Half Moon Bay in early 1969.


Our father, Jose, my brother, Joe, our mother, Alzira, me, Dulce and Ilidio.

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Friday, November 20, 2009

VoVo Passed Away Today

My beautiful and courageous mother passed away today. She took a little bit of each of our hearts with her.

i carry your heart with me

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)
i am never without it (anywhere i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want no world
(for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

I carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

ee cummings

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mini Road Trip

Domnica, my mother's wonderful caregiver, not only provides what VoVo's hospice nurse describes as the best care she has ever seen, but friendship and comfort. Since June, she has spent hours with me sharing friendship, comfort, recipes and tasty treats. Domnica shared one of her favorite places Wholesome Choice with me. Today we had an opportunity to finally visit. Jacob and Holly had fallen asleep so Lee had one of those conversations: "You go in no you go in." This time he went in. Here is our instant message conversation:

Lee: I don't know what to do first.
Me: Ok, here go down the aisle let me know about it. Is it like Trader Joes?
Lee: No it more fantastic!!!

Lee: My pants are tight!!!
Me: What do you see?
Me: It is that wonderful
Lee: Food grocerys deli
Lee: Freakin heart shaped salami
Me: Cute stuff
Lee: Guy just gave me piece of gyro
Me: See if u see dutch or portuguese stuff. English.
Lee: Goin with sweets

Me: Take a picture of the outside of the store
Me: I like savory too
Me: It is beautiful (Lee is sending pictures)
Me: International gourmet cuisine. Goodness.
Lee: Shake the kids
Me: They are snoring. We will come back and enjoy together. Does it smell good as soon as you walk in.
Me: Get salami thats what we want. We have bread.
Lee: So overwhelmed
Me: Go slow
Lee: Can't honey
Lee: I'm running like retard (no offense)
Lee: Aaaaaaaahhhh!!
Me: What
Lee: Guy gave chicken goodness
Me:Now check the prices
Lee: Meatballsssssss

Lee: Its like united nations in here
Lee: I gotta go
Me: Is it separate vendors like LA farmers market
Lee: No
Lee: Like Heaven
Me: Are you hungry?
Lee: Need backup in too deep

Notice he didn't check prices or any of the other stuff I asked about but he did have so much fun.

Hope you all had a wonderful Saturday.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Good Day

I know I have been so glum lately but Thanksgiving and Christmas is coming. Bloggyland is full of stories so I can not help but smile no matter what the future brings.

Jacob received student of the month, Mark and I ate breakfast at the new Pancake House, and we have balloons in the house....

Monday, November 9, 2009

Feeling Alone

This photo represents so much of who we are. There is my brother, baby Holly, me and VoVo in the rear. For four years we all traveled together. VoVo is such a trooper always keeping up with us. And Lee documenting everything.

Honestly, I can not explain it but my brother said it last night and I feel it too. Such a sense of being "alone" not lonely just alone. Unless you have had to watch someone slowly slip away while acting normal and just going about your tasks you may not have experienced this type of alone.

I wouldn't wish this empty feeling with the sense of the crushing longing all at the same time. It's the feeling you get with a bad dream when you can not run away or scream. Who would hear you any way? It's a road I didn't need to travel to appreciate all the blessings in my life. A lesson I would have preferred to miss. But, what I really miss is the woman my mother used to be. There is a purpose in this suffering. A purpose in my mother's strength that she not only clings but is fighting for her life. Seek joy I keep telling myself. Seek joy and be thankful.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Events Leading up to Halloweenie

Bees fascinate.
Pumpkin weigh off.

Exciting adventure.
Halloween decorations.

So I am sick again. We just keep passing the sickness back...it's the stress.

Halloween and pumpkins are right up there as my favorite things. I thought I will would just share some of our recent photos.

Lee and the kids went to visit VoVo she was resting quietly. The kids played. We believe the kids voices comfort VoVo.