Missing Margaret

Beautiful Margaret, my beautiful mother, how could it be that you are no longer here? Five months gone.  I still can’t fathom it.  The impact of your death remains profound.  The pain of acknowledging this day, enormous. A motherless Mother’s Day—a first for me—a first not meant to be celebrated.  I am unable still to visit your grave.  Someday, perhaps.  Not now.  Instead, I will pay homage to you here—tell you—tell the world— that not a day goes by when I don’t miss you desperately—your smile, your laugh, the sound of your voice, your wisdom, your songs, your self-deprecating sense of humor—your fashion, decorating, and cooking tips and tricks—everything that made you a true original.  No one like you mom.  No one.   I absolutely detest the fact that since your death I have had to learn to speak of you in the past tense—detest it. But that’s life I guess.  I suppose at some point I will learn. in the meantime,  I wonder everyday if the cloud you’re sitting on affords you a view of me; whether you watched as I pulled the above picture out of my archives; whether you smiled as much as I did at the appropriateness of the shot, given this day; whether you noticed that just over your shoulder, the little girl looking out the window adoringly at you from the back seat of the car, is me.  That about sums up the way I have felt about you my entire life. I adored you then.  I adore you still.  Thank you for sacrificing so much in your own life to ensure that mine would be so blessed—and how couldn’t it be?  I had you.

Missing you today and always.



Things That Make Me Smile

Road Tripping

I’m off on another adventure—Yay—one that will take me to Nashville, Atlanta, Charleston, and parts of Florida. I’ve got my cameras and my favorite traveling companion behind the wheel—and away we go.  We’re as excited as two little kids!  Looking forward to making new discoveries along the way and sharing all with you when I return. Until then, I wish you a wonderful weekend—Hope you find countless reasons to smile!

Things That Make Me Smile

“There’s always something beautiful to be experienced wherever you are.  Right now, look around you and select beauty as your focus.”

~Wayne Dyer

The ordinary is always offering up infinite possibilities to become something quite extraordinary. A simple shopping expedition followed by dinner at one of my favorite spots with my two favorite people—that is experiencing the beautiful in life.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend—Hope you find countless reasons to smile!


art images created using my iPhone 4S and several apps, including Pic Grunger

I’ll Be Seeing You

A Daughter’s Eulogy for her Mother

~by Mary Murnane,  3 December 2011

Thank you all for being here today to celebrate my mother’s life.  She would be thrilled.  She always loved a good party and as she contemplated this final gathering in her honor, she truly wanted it to be a day of celebration.  No tears.  In fact, I can hear her saying as clear as day, “You’re not crying, are you?”  I am certain she would have forgiven us our waterworks today, but the truth is, my mother much preferred laughter to tears.  “You gotta laugh,” she used to say.  And even in this most difficult year she managed to find the humor in nearly every situation.  

When she took up coloring as a relaxing distraction, she often joked with us about the number of princes and princesses she was able to color in a day.

“What do you think?” she’d ask.  “This one has a spooky expression, don’t you think?”  Out of her newly discovered artistic talent was born comedic material that we’re still laughing about today.  When jokingly asked what she would tell all the struggling artists out there, she looked up and without skipping a beat and with perfect comedic timing said, “Don’t give up.  It’s so difficult in the beginning.  It takes so much time, so much energy.  I started out as a lowly novice, but look at me now.  I’ve ended up being brilliant!”  And then she burst out laughing.

That was my mother.  Even as she wondered to herself, “What the heck am I doing with these coloring books?” she found the humor in her situation, and kept us all laughing at the same time. 

Childhood memories of my mother are many.

~Her, appearing at the top of the stairs ready for her date night with my dad.  how she bowled us over with her beauty and how we delighted in the look on my dad’s face as she descended the stairs.

~Her signature scent, Windsong, floating on the air behind her as she left the room.

~How she made every one of our birthdays extra-special, baking our favorite cake and making our favorite dinner.

~Her cool hand on our foreheads when we didn’t feel good.

~How she loved to have her hair brushed.

~How warm and welcoming she was to our friends, so much so that when they came over, they didn’t want to leave.

~And of course, as you’ve already heard, how how she would break into song, anytime of the day or night, with a hit parade that included, “Forget Your Troubles,” “Shoefly Pie,” and “I’m Beginning to See the Light.”

But what I will remember most about my mother is simply wanting to be in her presence and never wanting our time together to end.  From the very first hello, she cast a spell over us, with her movie star looks, her ever-present laughter and song, and her unending love.  She captivated us in the most magnificent way and was not just our mother, but indeed, our best friend.

Her grandchildren adored her and she referred to them all as her “angel girls and boys.” They were her pride and joy and she humored them all in countless ways, watching endless hours of children’s videos, reading them stories, and joining in when they played with their legos, Barbies and American Girl Dolls.  She was an amazing grandmother, every child’s dream.

These past fifteen months, as she made her final journey home, only served to reinforce in us what we already knew about our mother.  She has always been a woman of great strength and courage; a tuff cookie when she had to be; a fighter who always put her family first.

She employed that same tenacity this year when she took on a formidable foe, disregarding her cancer like an uninvited guest.  When she did acknowledge her situation, it was always with a positive resolve that was awe-inspiring.  “You know,” she said, “I’m still in the race, and I want to keep running.”

And run she did, managing to get strong enough to go back home for a time and enjoy some normalcy again.  She did indeed fight the good fight, to the very end.

And last Monday she finished the race.  

Luckily for us, before she departed she left us with some profoundly wise words we will cherish forever.   Looking back over her life, my mother said she was astounded at how fast the years had gone.  “If I could tell young people one thing,” she said, “It would be to enjoy every moment.  Enjoy your family.  Enjoy each other.  That’s really what it’s about in the end.  Truthfully, I can tell you,” she said, “my family has been my life.”

And you have been ours, mom.  It has been our great honor and privilege to call you our mother.  You have impacted our lives in more ways than you will ever know, and you will forever be in our hearts.