1. Debbie Cupp

    Thanks, Laurie for sharing this personal side of your mother. I never heard her say an unkind word about anyone. She was honest. She was kind. And I just gained two more goals today: Make fudge from scratch…and make excellent chocolate buttercream frosting.

    • Thanks, Debbie. You knew her about as well as anybody! And I would think that someone who has an email of damecupcake should have an easy time of homemade fudge and frosting! Just make sure to get real Hershey’s cocoa and a candy thermometer. I don’t think they put the recipe on the tin anymore, but you can go to the Hershey’s site and find it. Classic Cocoa Fudge. Let me know how it turns out!

  2. Outstanding. It brought me to tears. What a lovely, fitting, and honest tribute for your mom. Your writing is at its best when you write straight from the heart. I loved it.

  3. Don Taylor

    Thanks Laurie. That reminded me of my parents and our family in general. I lost my mother when I was one year old, so was never able to enjoy her like you did yours. My Grandmother and Grandfather took over for a few years until my Dad remarried.She always lived by the “Golden Rule” and I don’t know of anyone who didn’t love her like a mother. Our household was a generally happy one and when i saw the pics of you kids and your folks with the mustaches and glasses and noses I thought of my own little family’s pictures after Christmas or birthdays where we put on the bows and ribbons, etc and someone took pictures. We don’t generally show them to non family though!!!! 🙂 I keep a set of “NOSE GLASSES” on the top shelf of my closet along with my halloween masks, etc. I thought we were the only ones crazy enough to do that stuff. There’s nothing like a good laugh, even if it is about ourselves.
    If you are wondering who this nut is that is commenting on your great work…I am a former CIC man who was in the Army with your Dad. He was kind enough to share this and one earlier article you wrote about him! My wife and I enjoy reading your great work. Keep it up!

    • Thanks so much for taking time to comment, Don. It’s amazing to me how one person’s memories can jog someone else’s. And many of my friends have shared their own memories of my mom, some of which I didn’t remember. Since you’re another person who honors the high holy day of Halloween, be sure to go into my archives and read my post (and see the pictures!) from that story. True to form, I think I posted just after Halloween! 🙂

      I’m so glad you and my dad have reconnected. I know he’s thrilled to talk to so many people from earlier parts of his life, and I’m sure all the connections on the other end are happy about it, too! It touches me so much that he’d take time to share my writing with his friends. I have a feeling there will be many more stories about him down the road, so stay tuned!

      Thanks so much again, Don!

  4. Alice Simonds

    Your mom pops up in my thoughts more often than you know. I did homecare for your mom and dad for a few months. Being with your mom during those months was a gift because she was so much like my mom and I told her it was like getting a chance to be with her again. My mom passed away in 2005. Peggy and I laughed so much while I was there. One thing I still say that she would say is: “for every sock, there’s an old shoe” . I thought of her just the other day when we ran out creamer for coffee. One morning at Peggy’s I went to make her coffee but no milk, she just chuckled and said, well reach in the freezer and put a spoonful of vanilla ice cream in there. I had some frozen cool whip in mine the other day. That’s how she was, always found a bright side of things.
    I never got the chance to grieve for her. You see the very day that I got a message from one of you kids saying that she had passed was the day that my husband, kevin, had a kidney transplant. Both my husband and son, who was the donor, were in surgery all day. So when we left the hospital late that night for them to recover from what was a successful, happy ending, left me in tears after check8ng my messages. So this year, the 6th anniversary of Kevin’s kidney transplant I thought of Peggy, as I do every year and remind kevin of her passing. She was a gift to me that I feel I was supposed to receive. Another link we had was the death of sons. I took the home care job so I could get my mind off myself and onto helping others. Our 25 year old son died in 2006, one year after my mom. Peggy often shared stories about her David. Too many stories to tell here but I still remember them all. She listened to my stories too. She helped me heal. I feel guitly of receiving more from her than I feel i gave her.
    I had several homes I would visit each week and looked forward to them all. I vowed to keep in touch but it was never the same. I think I felt that those memories couldn’t be duplicated so it’s better to just stay away and not diminish any of the precious memories I have the need to say now that I connected with all my “clients”, as they called them, and genuinely fell in love with all of them. Going to Vince and Peggy’s was like driving to my mom and dad’s for the afternoon for a visit and to help around the houae. Writing this feels good to shed a tear and start my day thinking of Peggy and missing her. Thanks again, Peggy.

    • Alice,

      What a beautiful remembrance. I can tell you that the feelings you had for my mom were reciprocated a hundredfold. She dearly loved you, and you were such a blessing to her and my dad, and to our whole family. I think it’s so often true that when you are put in a position to help someone that you get even more in return.

      I also think it’s no accident that the day of my mom’s death was the day of Kevin’s new lease on life. There’s some kind of karmic connection going on there for sure.

      Likewise you and Mom talking about the loss of your sons. You may think it was only a comfort to you, but even those many years later I’m sure it helped her to talk about it. That is truly something that only someone who goes through that specific heartbreak can understand, and I know she was grateful to talk to you about it.

      Thanks so much for your many kind words. Much love from all the O’Connors to you, Kevin and the family!


  5. Debbie Cupp

    Wow! Is it bad that I loved this article all over again? Completely new to me, I swear. Darn stroke! I clearly remember a pan of brownies in your family kitchen….doesn’t matter if they were a box or from scratch to me. I was fell fed in your home…by nutrition and nonsense.

    • Well, Deb. At our age everything old is new again, right? But what stroke? (Forgive me if you already told me about it, but, as I just said…). No matter, you sure sound great, and hope that’s the case. And yes, no one starved in the O’Connor house!

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