"Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity." ~ Gilda Radner

Friday, March 19, 2010


All kidding about wearing a taffeta ball gown to meet The Moody Blues aside...

I am quite serious when I say that their music takes me back -- and not always to the happiest times of my life but times that have shaken me to my emotional core. Times that I will never forget...times that have, however, taught me important lessons about life, love and family.

I can be sitting at work, doing dishes in the kitchen, driving in my car...no matter what day it is, no matter where I am, if The Moody Blues' song Tuesday Afternoon comes on the radio, it is suddenly Tuesday, October 21, 1969. That is the day my mom passed away. I was just a few days away from turning 13. One day Mom was there, the next day she was gone. Seemingly, in the blink of an eye...

At the same time, it is suddenly Tuesday, March 17, 1997. That is the day my sister and I moved our father into a nursing home in Battle Creek, Michigan after hewas diagnosed with lung cancer and given three to six months to live. My sis and I stopped at a Burger King for a bite to eat after an emotionally grueling day, and what song is playing? Yup. Tuesday Afternoon.

I couldn't help but think that Mom was with us there, in loving spirit, that difficult day.

Dad passed away two days later -- Thursday, March 19th -- just hours after my sis and I had said, in forced cheerful voices, "Bye, Dad! Love you! See you in a few weeks!" as we reluctantly headed out that Michigan nursing home door down the long, solemn road back to our respective homes in Iowa.

"Love you, too! Everything is going to be fine!" my dad had said from his nursing home bed, sounding uncharacteristically optimistic, I later reflected...

Of course, life seemed anything but fine after Dad died. We'd been somewhat estranged for many years for various and sundry reasons. He barely made it to my high school graduation. He was not there to see me graduate with honors from Ohio University. He was not at my sister's wedding, nor was he at mine. He never met my sister's two children, or Daniel. No birthdays or Christmases celebrated together, so many thanksgivings spent apart...for decades. I mourned the many missed family opportunities...

It occurred to me weeks later, however, that in the end, when it truly mattered, when Dad needed us and we needed to be with him, we were, indeed, together. And we made our amends. And we had some laughs. And we shared some tears. We were, if only for a few fleeting, final moments, a family again.

Memories of those last precious days with Dad have been a great source of comfort to me over the past 13 years. They have also served as yet another constant reminder that every moment of every day spent with loved ones is a gift not to be squandered.

Is there someone in your life you love but have been at odds with of late? Someone you've been meaning to visit but just haven't found the time? Remember, folks...NOTHING is as important as THIS day!

So seize the moment! Cherish this day! Leave work a tish early if you can and enjoy the afternoon! Live! Love! Laugh!

Miss you Mom. Miss you Dad. Love and Hugs.

Tuesday, afternoon,

I'm just beginning to see, now I'm on my way.

It doesn't matter to me, chasing the clouds away.

Something, calls to me,

The trees are drawing me near, I've got to find out why...

Those gentle voices I hear, explain it all with a sigh...


Anonymous said...

My folks are both still with us, both are 77. As much as I become aggravated with them I know that their time is limited. I suck it up and deal with what my friend Lynn calls "their lack of a social filter."
You reminded me again with this blog how very important it is to sometimes just deal with their old age attitudes. They won't be here too much longer and for all of their misgivings, I love them to pieces.
Thanks for the reminder to all of us just how precious that time we have left is to us and to the ones we love!
Love YOU Annie!

Annie said...

Oh, Trish! Your mom and dad are so awesome...I miss you and can't wait to see everyone this summer...It has been SUCH a long winter...hell, such a long year since I was last in Cinci...Love YOU, Trish! Hugs and Smooches!

Anonymous said...

Dear annjanuaryann...
My life has changed since I met you, rather reconnected, as such, January 1, 2010. Our year, 2007 was wildly, your most prolific Homestretchin blogagmania, but sadly my realization of bringing a 23 year marriage to an end. Your Tuesday is my Thursday. I have been blessed to have my parents well into their golden years, but alas, so far from the norm of being Parents or Grandparents as they reside in southern Arizona. It's not the same.
You lost your parents.
I am deeply appreciative of a very happy and secure childhood, while your childhood was suspended with your mothers' passing, and your father's other life taking precidence over your critcal teenage through adult years. We cannot choose our immediate family; born or perhaps adopted into it, each one of us has a story to tell. I am one of thousands who know your life stories, and have become entagled because of the gift you possess in retelling them so eloquently. It's intoxicating to read great journalism, any day of the week. But now, Tuesday has taken on a new understanding. And my dear new old friend annjanuaryann, recites now and is living the phrase, "Nothing Is As Important As This Day", as her Tuesday, my Thursday, someone elses Saturday and so on..and we know to love passionitely, laugh deeply, drink in the moments, and tell eachother just how very special they are for as long as we can. Ann, I love you,
hhahahahaha, glug glug glug, and by the way you are so very, very special..I'm a quick learner ~ MM