Flashback Friday

For the first time ever, I am linking up today with Web Savvy Mom and Cathy over at Antsy Pants for Flashback Friday!

I love this photo because it showcases three generations: my grandmother, upon whose lap I am perched (Betty), my mom (Julie), and lil' ole me. I guess I was about a year old when this was taken because my little brother Mark clearly wasn't around yet. My mom looks radiant, although I imagine she and her mother were arguing just before this was taken because of the smile that's not quite on Grandma's face... or it could have been due to the manic depression she suffered from. I didn't know Grandma Betty very well because she lived in Wisconsin and we lived in New Orleans. It looks like this was taken in a hotel room. Not sure of the details behind it, I just know I've always loved it. My mom looks breathtaking, my Grandma is beautiful, and I'm just hangin' out with two lovely ladies!

My mother doesn't like having her picture taken, and neither do I. But for my daughters' sake, I'm working on that, just as I've been Embracing My Body. It just so happens that my mom is coming up to visit us in two weeks, and I'd like to get some three generation photos while she's here. Mom, will you embrace yourself and do it?

Tomorrow is my Grandma Betty's birthday, so I'm posting this in her honor. We lost her when I was in college, and I'm sad that due to the distance I never got to know her very well. I love and miss you, Grandma!


Embrace Your Body Challenge with The Mommyologist

Mary The Mommyologist is once again getting us to think hard about how we view ourselves with this week's Embrace Your Body Challenge. If you go here, you can watch her vlog and hear what she likes about herself. It made me pretty nervous, but I let her thoughts marinate for a bit.

Ultimately I did my own vlog below about I like about me. It was difficult to do, as it's much more my speed to obsess over all the things I can't stand about myself. But the reality is that I have two young girls watching me every minute, so I need monitor myself and censor what I say out loud. I've got to start thinking more positively too, because they are perceptive and can sense a lot just by watching me as I get dressed and ready in front of a mirror.

So here it is---this was my first shot, out of breath & in the rough, right after failing miserably at a new Jillian Michaels dvd The Father Load bought. Still and all, I managed to find one positive thing. I am going to work hard to find others.

What do you like about yourself? Why not link up at Mary The Mommyologist's place with photos or a vlog and tell us?


Helen Jean Trillin, Grandmaw Extraordinaire: 1924-2005

Grandmaw (Helen) and my MIL, Carol, at our wedding, 12/05

Her name was Helen.
Grandmaw extraordinaire and mother of three.
Her cooking rivaled Julia Child's.
So tiny was she that I towered over her and worried I would
Crush her in her fragility; she was like a freshly picked flower--
Radiant, delicate, and beautiful.
Her smile could change my day from awful to amazing.

We both loved the color pink ("paaaank," she'd say it, smiling)
And once for my birthday she bought me a pink Kate Spade purse.
She let me call her Grandmaw too, though I was not her grandchild,
Just married to her grandson. But I considered it a privilege to play
The part of granddaughter, something she never had.

When Grandpaw died, she began her slow descent.
The greedy thief had been hiding, hovering in the shadows.
He leapt out suddenly, voracious, devouring all that was hers:
Memories, familiar faces, motor skills and even her personality.
Alzheimer's is a nasty, steadfast thief who quickly dives,
Pouncing on innocent victims and shredding their precious lives.

We visited her often. We tried everything.
But she was slipping away, her eyes lost, her mind locked.
Sometimes she'd come back to us, if only for a few minutes.
Still, we talked to her as if nothing was wrong,
As if she wasn't ill, as if there was no monster in the room.
Carrying on conversations with ourselves, or Grandmaw's shell.
Going through our own private Hell.

We told her of the babies thriving, finally, in my womb.
We told her she was going to be a Great Grandmaw.
Surely this news would wrestle her from the thief's jaws.
It did not. Then we told her I was carrying two girls.
We thrust my burgeoning belly in her face and planted her hands on it.
Nothing. The thief wouldn't release his hold for even one second.

Towards the end, we sat with her. Held her hands. A vigil.
Several times we thought it was over, but it wasn't.
And then, in that final moment when he took her, it seemed unreal.
I stepped out into the hallway to start making phone calls.
My voice mechanical, tears slipping down my cheeks.
Mad as ever at Alzheimer's, that wretched thief.

How can YOU help? How can YOU get involved?
If you are here in KC, go here to learn about our Memory Walk on 10/2. Walk with me (there is a 1-mile walk and a 3-mile walk, your choice)! I am desperate to get the word out, and there are plenty of ways to help. Even if you can't walk, you can do something as simple as putting a sign in your yard. Just ask me for one!

Please consider sponsoring me as I walk in Helen's honor (or donate to another walker you may know). You can find my personal fundraising page here.

Alternatively, it's easy to find a Memory Walk in your state/area. Locate one by going here. They are all taking place around the same time in October.

We all have causes we're passionate about. If Alzheimer's isn't one of yours, I encourage you to seek another out and find a way to become involved. What organizations or charities are special to you? There are so many groups out there that need our help. What are you waiting for?

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