Thursday, July 23, 2009


And sometimes when we touch
The honesty's too much
And I have to close my eyes and hide
I want to hold you 'till I die
'Till we both break down and cry
I want to hold you 'till
The fear in me subsides.

When was the last time I heard that song?
And why was it played that day? Art must
have been listening to the radio too. As
he came through the door to me I was on
my way to him.

We clung to each other as if we were
giving the other our life. We did not
speak, we did not move. Our embrace
was so powerful and emotions so
strong that we burned a permanent
hole in time and space.

We said good bye that day.

We never again discussed the hope
that a new treatment would stop his
cancer. The first surgery three
years ago. A year later two more
surgeries. Then two rounds of
kemo and endless blood
transfusions. Finally two series
of external beam radiation.
No longer to kill the cancer but
just to ease the pain.

The last trip for scans to show
where the cancer was spreading
was the first time I saw Art visibly
upset. He could no longer walk
more than a few steps and needed
a wheel chair to get to and from
the car. Two days later he went
back to the hospital.

I stayed with him those five days.
The last two he was on such strong
pain killers he was unresponsive.

I had stepped out of the room for
a moment to ask the nurse a
question and I heard Art sigh
heavily. I ran back hoping he
was again conscious. Art's
breathing kept slowing and
then stopped. I called the nurse
to note the time of death. She
said not yet, his heart was still
beating. It was exactly 2:30pm.

I placed my fingers on his neck
to feel his pulse in the carotid artery.
It was strong and did not slow at
all for 15 minutes. Then gradually
slowed and then stopped at 3:10pm.
His heart kept beating for over a
half hour... as if he did not want
to take his heart away from me.

That moment will cast a shadow on
me forever.

Like I said.... this would be a difficult
blog to post.... because this is the way
it needed to be said.

The picture is Art and I at Bryce Canyon.
The sun was behind us casting our
shadows on the wall on the other side
of the canyon. You can't tell in the
picture but our shadows were at least
40 or 50 feet high. We were giants!

The song by Dan Hill.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009



Monday went back to Curves.
Hardly made it around all the
machines one time. It's the truth,
especially with old people...

Then to complete the day I paddled
around in the pool for a half hour.
No swimming .... it's a kidney shaped
pool about 25' long.... two or three
swim strokes have do water
aerobics... which makes a person
look like a drowning spazzz.

Tuesday I went to Weight Watchers and
after downing the entire container of
chocolate chip ice cream I didn't gain.
I got a notice from AIM to download a
"fix" to connect to ICQ. Good thing,
my computer is such an antique the
new ICQ download wouldn't work.

While wasting the rest of the day
waiting for the AC repair man
I made a sun dress for a daughter.
So today after 6 months and 19 service
calls my AC is FINALLY working.
Yes.... 6 months/19 service calls!

I finally threatened my land lord I was
calling Turko Files (a TV news segment
that exposes rip offs, bad landlords, etc.)
So what did they say? They would send
a professional. PROFESSIONAL?
ell, that's quite possible,
last Friday the guy tried to tell me the
AC wouldn't work unless I set it for
20 degrees colder than I wanted
the temp to be in the apartment.
So if I wanted it to be 75 I had to
set it for 55. WHAT?

nd today, Wednesday, I went back to
Curves again, worked out for over a
half hour before my legs became
rubberized, then went to Costco and
picked up a new bottle of Happy Pills.
Diva take note! And last... I did my
spazz act in the pool and got some
vitamin D.

It's only Wednesday and I've gotten
my lazy rump back to working out,
doing water aerobics, working on my
tan and have an AC that actually cools.
I haven't gained any weight. I have ICQ
and can chat with my daughters again.
And I have a new supply of happy pills.


Hmmm, at the end of my 1st blog
I said the next one would be about
Art not being here anymore.
Maybe the next blog? It's a
tough story to tell.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


This is Baby. The best car
I ever owned. And I kept
her longer than any car.

She was born in Hiroshima
April 1, 1998 and became
my "Baby" April 27, 1998.

She had two seats.. pilot
and co-pilot. 5 speeds forward.
She loved mountains roads
like S6 up Palomar Mtn.
(5000 ft). Oh my how she
could hug those curves!
Poetry in motion.

On the east coast she took
me from Montreal to Miami.
Then across the US of A.
On the west coast from
Canada to Baja. If there
was something I wanted
to see in the Northwest
or Southwest Baby took
me there.

But she was 11 years old.
Showing and feeling her age.
I know that engine light
was her breaking heart.
And in August 2008 I
replaced her.


Not such a good pic of me but don't cha
love this car? We were on a cruise and
found this lovely vehicle in Juneau.
Weather in Ak that week was supposedly
"hot" at 55 degrees. Here in SoCal that's
winter weather. Juneau natives were out
strolling around in shorts and t-shirts.
There were actually kids swimming in
the bay with ice still floating around.
I have never been in the Pacific Ocean
unless I was in Hawaii or the bottom of
the Baja.... weather wimp that I am.

Never pass up an opportunity to go to
Alaska... whether driving or cruising.
Absolute pristine beauty... well except
for the towns and cities. The day we
cruised up Glacier Bay we were the
only ship there and the forest ranger
took us extra close to the largest
glacier. Listening to it crack, groan
and explode and seeing pieces break
off (calve?), crashing into the bay and
causing 10 foot high waves was awesome.
I was amazed at the size. We were
on a large cruise ship and the glacier
towered above us and was at least
a mile wide. I am glad I witnessed
this before global warming melts
it all. A most memorable trip.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Days Gone By

This is the last picture of Gene and I.
Taken Thanksgiving 1996. There's Gene,
as always in a shirt with a statement.
Our grandson, Gregory, daughter Anna,
and me, Mommie Dearest.

I had no idea he was ill. In fact the following
week he played 18 holes of golf. Around
Christmas he seemed to have a bad cold
and was winded.

By New Year's he really looked sick. Like
any man he didn't want to go to a doctor.
But I insisted. He was immediately sent for
xrays. The doctor put it up on the viewing
screen and I nearly fell through the floor.
It was obvious he had lung cancer. One
lung was completely consumed and part
of the other was already shadowed. And he
was only complaining of being a little short

This was the first week of January. He died
February 16, 1997. It was all so fast and so

Allow Me to Introduce Myself

I am Mommie Dearest to three
daughters. Evamaria, Anna Marie,
& Marybeth. Evamaria's blog is "Dailey
Dose of Diva" where I often comment
under anon because until today I had
misplaced and forgotten my pass word.
Today I changed my password and hopefully
I will remember it. Today, as you can see,
I am also starting my own blog.

I am most certainly "lolwa". Not your
average little old lady. I indeed have
"attitude". I was born in 1939 and
consider 39 to be my age. Consequently
all my daughters are older than I am.
Would you believe some people actually
believe me and ask if my three daughters
are step children. DUH. Geez, look at my
wrinkles, of course I'm lying!

I am twice a widow. Gene died in
Feb. 1997. What a shock. I was only 58,
the love of my life was gone and I was alone
and deep in debt. I had retired when I was
49 via a buy out from the RCA/GE merge,
not presently working, and not old enough
for retirement benefits or social security.
I thought I was set for life. Gene and I
would spend our time in our silver bullet
(Airstream) and float around in lakes and
rivers in our little putt putt boat waiting for
a good fishing day.

Now, on his $1200 a month annuity there
was no way to pay the mortgage, utilities,
and payments on five maxed out credit cards.
I knew Gene was a financial disaster and had
been squirrling away money for 20 years just
in case. Now, what I hoped would be future
travel money would now have to be used just
to survive. And those five maxed out credit
cards? I was only aware of two... how did he
hide the other three?

All of the insurance money went to pay
off the credit cards and for his funeral.
So what would be the wisest financial plan?
I found a bag of quarters that Gene used for
his weekly poker games and decided to invest
it in video poker at the Hilton in Atlantic
City. As fate would have it that bag
of quarters hit the grand jack pot.

So I graduated from quarter poker to dollar
poker and kept winning. In the end I was
over 60k ahead. Then I had two loosing days
and quit because I wasn't about to give it all
back. But this had some nice benefits. The
Hilton was intent that I would eventually
loose it all and endlessly awarded me with
free meals, free shows, and free rooms any
time I asked. I was having a grand time on
their money.

Bought some gold jewelry, paid for materials
to build a new porch on the back of my house,
and paid for almost half of my new car and still
had change left so invested it in the stock market.
You ask.... Half of a new car? Okay, so I blew
10K of my IRA on a new car.

During this time one of my daughters convinced
me to buy a computer and go online. What
happened next I am sure still shocks at least one
or two of my daughters. But then they didn't
know what Mom was like before I was married.
Going back to my old habits was far easier than
I imagined. No, I wasn't TOO old. The old me was
there waiting to be reborn back to the younger me.
I even surprised myself.

I started to surf the vacuum of the internet
and discovered meet and date sites. Most of the
men seemed to be real loosers. But there was one,
from NY, who claimed we had previously met
at more than one financial conference.

I had been talking for a few months with this
curious man from NY. He did not meet my
criteria of being single and retired. He had been
separated from his wife for 18 years but still totally
supported them. After he retired from IBM he
went into a consulting business with several
other retired IBMers. And worst, he was living
with another woman for the past 15 years and
they had a mortgage together on their home.
a good prospect. But I was lonely and
bored and finally agreed to meet Arthur at the
Hilton Hotel/Casino in Atlantic City. I told him
we would meet at the bottom of the main
stairway by the grand piano scene with the
dummy. You'd have to have seen it to know
what I'm talking about.

Arthur had never sent me a picture and
although I knew a lot about him and we talked
easily and endlessly, I had no idea what he
would look like. There, at the bottom of the
stairway was this skinny little man, probably
no taller than me, with gray hair and thick
brown rimmed glasses. I asked, are you Art?
He said yes, I am Arthur.

Oh my god, a total nerd!

We went upstairs to a little bistro and over
coffee we talked non stop for at least 5 hours.
I had met a soul mate. How could this be?
Every man in my life had been the he-man
type, sports minded, the strong silent type.
And here I was totally knocked off kilter by
this little nerd... but a little nerd who was
actually interested in what I think, totally
interested in me, and talked. I had lived with
Gene for 35 years and in 5 hours I had more
conversation with Art than in my entire
marriage. We ended up spending the weekend
together. And cover your ears and eyes
daughters.... it's true that nerds are far more
detailed about everything! EVERYTHING!

He went back to NY and immediately left his
girlfriend. The next year is a blur of occurances.
For Art and I it was lots of travel, he sold his
house as well as signed over the mortgage on
his 2nd house to his ex girl friend. Then Art and
his son moved in me. We immediately started
plans to totally downsize and started fixing
up my house to sell.

Then we went to see my adopted sister in
San Diego County. I immediately fell in love
with the beauty of SoCal and the wonderful
weather. We got back and put my house up
for sale, sold my Airstream, the Suburban,
and the boat. Houses in my area were taking
9 months to a year to sell. We thought we had
plenty of time. To my shock the first couple who
saw the house offered the asking price. I had two
months to get out.

And the rest is history. I rented an apartment
sight unseen via the internet, gave most of my
stuff away to my daughters or charity, packed up
a truck, stuck Baby on a trailer and moved to
sunny California. I've been here since.
But unfortunately Art is no longer here with me.

That is my next blog.