This is part of the memorial engraved at my beloved Father’s resting site.
We miss you, Daddy!
You will best be remembered as a family man, kind-hearted, determined, giving, vibrant, proud, fearless, dynamic, a visionary, and entrepreneur. A loving husband, a true patriot, a mentor & motivator.
An amazing storyteller, an excellent Santa, a funny Daddy & math genius.
You were charismatic, creative, incredible and tough but fair.
But most of all you were larger than life!
God needed you and we thank Him for making you our Daddy!
To read all about my father’s story & see one of my *favorite pictorials*, click here:http://theletstalkmom.com/tea-talk-momversations/daddy/
The Bright SpotTM – Thanks for being such an excellent Santa, a man with great imagination, showing us fun sledding, skiing, boating, horseback riding, skating, bike riding, showing us how to work hard & spending time just chilling out with us, reading to us all the time, and most of all for just being such an amazing Daddy. My heart misses you so so much!! Love, me
“You might want to turn on the news, there’s been talk that a plane hit the Trade Center,” Phillip said to me that fateful morning 14 years ago as he headed toward Wall Street on the subway. The phone lines went down and I didn’t hear from my husband for another 8 hours. My mother-in-law was visiting from England and we turned on the TV, watching in disbelief the horror unfold minute by minute. One of Phillip’s cohorts was on the 1st plane. Phillip saw the burning towers and felt his building shake as they collapsed to the ground.
We knew 6 people who perished that day; we felt great conviction to attend the memorial service at Yankee Stadium September 23rd, 2001. Our 9-year-old son came down the stairs in his boy scout uniform, “Is this okay to wear?” We were so proud of him. Little did we know this shy young boy would appear in over 60 publications worldwide shining as a beacon of hope for many people. Credit: Associated Press
Years have passed. We prayed with our fellow congregants for continued healing and peace. Many of the 800 members of this church either work(ed) in New York City or know friends who did. It is very personal for this community.
Try to imagine voices of passion in our New England church, established 1731, singing the 4 full verses of America the Beautiful. I dare you not to cry as you read and soak in those incredible words. It just says it all – who we are, what this nation is, and where we came from.
Later, we visited the September 11th Memorial in our area; it’s on the water and faces where the Twin Towers used to be.
Someone found a rock in the shape of a heart.
The Bright SpotTM – God bless our country and our diverse people. We work our way through adversity by standing together.
Why won’t he commit?
Is he “The One?”
How does he really feel about our relationship?
Is there another woman?
If these questions ever entered your head…or heart, wonder no more!
For over 30 years, 2nd-generation psychic & spiritual adviser Louise Helene has answered these questions through thousands of readings.
She shares stories of heartbreaks and misunderstandings and teaches readers how to navigate tough relationship problems by using your intuition.
Louise is a recurrent guest on our Life & Love segments on “Let’s Talk!” and explains why it was love at first sight when I met Phillip and why we had no doubts getting married even though we had only been in each other’s company 46 days prior to saying “I do.”
All shows are archived on this site. Upcoming shows with Louise: November 10, 2015, December 15, 2015, February 23, 2016, April 5, 2016. If you have any questions for her, please send them to: Bianca@TheLetsTalkMom.com. Can be on any topic – life, love, finances, family, etc.
The Bright Spot – Find your special someone or find strength to end a bad relationship. Louise will help empower you to take control of your love life!
Find Louise’s book on Amazon.com & Barnes&Noble.com, recommended on GoodReads.com, available for your Kindle or in paperback. To contact Louise directly for a personal reading, click: LouiseHeleneThePsychic@gmail.com
Everyone kept asking me what Phillip was planning for my 50th. He’s arranged some pretty spectacular things for me over the years so I knew whatever it was I’d be thrilled. Our son captured the moment:
Good Lord! What could it be? Well, prior to opening this envelope, Phillip planned a weekend of delights including dinner at La Panetiere.
We visited the Cloisters on the northern tip of Manhattan overlooking the Hudson to enjoy the stunning array of more than 5,000 pieces of European Medieval works of art from the 12th – 15th centuries including the famous Unicorn Tapestries. The Cloister’s Library contains over 15,000 volumes of books.
Later, we toured the World of Wings butterfly atrium where I had my 1st opportunity to take photos with my gorgeous new Canon from my son. For the amount of time I invest in my photography, this latest Canon with touchscreen, image sensor & built-in Wi-Fi was the p-e-r-f-e-c-t gift!! Thank you, darling!
And if anyone knows our family well, you’ll know why the logo above is so significant!! 🙂
As you can see, this day was magnificent with brilliant sunshine & deep blue skies. But 50 years ago, there was a blizzard and my mother arrived at the hospital with a police escort. That’s one way to make an entrance.
Mom recapped the story over dinner. Then she surprised me with a very special gift…a piece of jewelry I’ve admired for 45 years. It was given to mother by my father’s mother when I was 5.
I’ve worn it in the past with great delight (photo on right), but on this special night, my mother said it was now mine. Overjoyed is an understatement. It means so much to me on many levels.
So what was in the envelope in the opening pics? Let me first explain that my greatest gift ~ now & always ~ is being loved by my family & friends. Flowers & cards, emails & posts. All is appreciated. The kindness, the thoughtfulness, the time spent to make my day special. Thank you all!!
The above cards from my children touched my heart deeply. My son chose a card that says I make him feel understood, happy and loved. Wonderful, wonderful!! And our little one says I make her happy every day…down to even the school snack. What more could any mother want? Happy, thriving kids – this was, by far, the very best gift of all!!
16 years ago, I started the Harry Potter series with our son…reading it in “real time,” that is, waiting each year for another book to be published…standing in line at midnight openings with great anticipation for 1st edition hardcovers. We saw the movies, he had the posters, the comforter set, the throw pillows, the robe, Harry’s wand, etc. He even had a Harry-esque look to him, especially when he got his glasses.
Fast-forward more than a decade and our little daughter & her friends are relishing in the adventures, quoting the spells, whipping up potions and donning the robe. The perfect hardcovers have moved from our son’s room to our daughters’s bookcase. Over the holiday break, we watched all 8 movies (Yes, 8. The last book was filmed in 2 parts).
My friend, Sara, took one of our daughter’s best-est friends (since the girls were infants) to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter last month. The girls are now 9 & 10, the perfect age for the story. Sara posted this video of Platform 9 3/4 on her FB page & that was it!! What more fun could our family have than to venture through the fantastical world of wizards?
CoCo Key water resort & hotel:
We finished up the weekend celebrations with my favorite movie, The Scarlet Pimpernel, with Jane Seymour & Anthony Andrews. Luscious ~ Dreamy ~ Yum!
So many other details went into this weekend that I would just like to say thank you to my husband, my whole family and my friends for marking this milestone with great joy.
The Bright SpotTM – Thankfulness that my mother is feeling better, it’s on & off and for my birthday she was really “on!” Even sparkly! And thank you to all who sent wishes for a beautiful birthday weekend. So ready for this next great decade, bring it on!!
Is he a kite-flyer? Is he a trampoline-flipper? Is he a bike-fixer? Yes, he’s Superhero Big Brother!!
A hurricane protector, a shoe-tier, a cookie dough-maker, a tree climber, a boo-boo fixer, an Easter egg opener, a stuck zipper fixer, a skating racer, a perfect-pumpkin-picker, a snuggly dude, a super swing-pusher, the best storyteller, the technology teacher, the family-endorsed official opener of all packaged holiday toys, and, of course, an honorary member of the stroller posse! But most importantly, the kindest big brother who nurtures and protects his baby sister.
People often ask how we got such phenomenally-bonded children. As parents, when you show love, tenderness and respect to each other and to your children, it filters through the family, growing and bonding it together with immeasurable strength.
And from that strength, the freedom to love and express kindness and thoughtfulness is just natural.
Our son was 13 when our daughter was born. He was a part of the whole pregnancy journey, from building the crib and changing table with Dad, to using the zapper at Babies-R-Us to register for the baby. The baby shower was a huge party, not just for ladies, but for all friends, young and old, male and female, and our son was center stage as the new Superhero-in-the-making!
We put him in charge of opening the gifts which he unwrapped with great zeal seeing all the items he had zapped weeks earlier. He was an integral part of every step. And the day his baby sister was born, she gave him an I-pod, so, of course, she was just the coolest!
When he held her that 1st day, he marveled, “She can’t even lift her own head.” I looked at him wearily and smiled, “No, she depends on us for everything, and she will look to you to teach her the most amazing things.
She will always look at you as her Superhero for the rest of her life. We are very proud of you.”
The Bright SpotTM – Our daughter just turned 9 last week. Our son turned 22. He is a Superhero in our daughter’s eyes…and ours.
It was a long 2 years without Grandma but she came calling for Granddad in his dreams this week.
He He became deaf, and she turned blind just a few years ago, but they always sat beside one another for 60 years, and when she was gone, he lived in silence beside an empty chair in the den. Click here: Is This The End?
Granddad fell in love with Grandma instantly. She was engaged, but that didn’t deter him. He knew she was his only one and promised to love her till the end of her life. They married and he fulfilled that promise day after day.
He was determined like that. He fibbed about his age to defend his country in World War II saying he was 18 when he was really 16.
He was stationed in France, and worked as a specialist sending morse code messages when his communication’s truck was hit by a mortar and his arm was blown off.
A female physician – rare to have a female doctor in the war zone in France at that time – sewed it back on…it functioned perfectly!
Granddad was sharp as a tack with very dry humor. Once, he was in the hospital for a respiratory illness that required a chest x-ray. The doctor came into his room looking shocked. “I don’t know how to tell you this,” he said, “but you only have 1 lung and it appears where your other lung should be is a black mark that could be a tumor.” “Oh, that other lung shriveled up years ago,” Granddad answered matter-of-factly, “forgot to tell you.”
Grandma & Granddad gave our little one Tidmouth Sheds for her train table. I put a photograph of them next to it so she could link that the gift was from them. I do that with many special presents so the kids know from whom it came.
Our daughter said she will never give up her piano from Granddad even if she plans for a grand piano in her future. “It will go somewhere special in my house and I will keep it forever!”
Just as Granddads do, he was the explainer of all things.
No place was better than on Granddad’s knee…
…& on his back!
Or hanging out grabbing a drink at the pub.
Granddad slowly went deaf in his late years. Soon he could only hear female voices. Later, on the phone, he could only hear mine – high-pitched & loud, I’m told. But then came the day when even my voice was inaudible.
It was crushing for me because I like family to stay connected especially because we are so far away.
Granddad was 88 years old. He wasn’t on a computer. I immediately printed out this website and Phillip had it bound and we sent these 300 pages of family stories and photos to Granddad in book form so he could read them over time at his leisure and keep up with family news he could no longer hear.
He was kind and sweet and dear and loving. He will be deeply missed by the family. But he’s in his beloved’s arms once again and that gives us great solace.
The Bright Spot TM – We did not lose Granddad, for someone is only lost if their memories aren’t kept alive. We’re a picture-snapping, video-taking, storytelling family, so Granddad lives on. Thank you for sharing his story.
I answered my cell on a sunny Friday while I was upstate with the kids. “I’m going to marry my sweetheart on Tuesday,” said the voice. “I was wondering if you & your family would come and represent my family since I’m alone here.”
Incredibly touched, I said it would be our honor! And with that, we attended a beautiful wedding 4 days later. Our friend was from Haiti and his family could not fly in for the ceremony.
My husband was father-brother-friend all wrapped into one, our daughter was a flower girl & I took delight in capturing memories on film.
Our friend was marrying into a loving, close-knit family.
His bride was stunning.
His in-laws were welcoming & kind. And we were moved by the warmth & joy that surrounded all of us this beautiful August afternoon. May we all be so blessed to have such an affectionate family.
The Bright SpotTM – Blessings to you, our friend, and your radiant wife. Peace on your journey of life together. See update 2015 below 🙂 b~xoxo
It’s been a few years & look who’s arrived! The sweetest, darling little baby boy for this wonderful couple. Love those eyes, love those cheeks!
Thrown off a Connecticut beach for wearing a bikini, my Mom still rolls her eyes at that story & declares the beach keeper a crazy man.
Coming from a country where they play volleyball topless on the beach, they were lucky she even wore the bikini!
My parents met one evening at a beach club & married 2 1/2 months later. So it was no shock when I announced I was getting married after 4 days. “You know when you know,” she said. Phillip & I married after only spending 46 days in each other’s company and she was right.
Mom loves to garden, paint, decorate & read, read, read! She’s like a walking encyclopedia.
She’s an incredible photographer, interior designer, writer & artist. I love her drawings, portrait paintings, and my favorite, this ceramic chess set she painted nearly 40 years ago.
Mom’s a fantastic cook and prepared wonderful, healthy meals for me the entire 9 months I was pregnant!! She made sure I had the best foods when I was a baby and did the same for my kids.
Mom & me 1960s Little Petal & me 40 years later
and, of course, she gave me my 1st chocolates & Easter goodies…yum!
Folks who’ve met my Mom totally love her. She’s funny, talks straight and is the life of the party. She smokes, drinks, swears and gambles. She doesn’t apologize for any of it. She lives life to the fullest beating to her own drum.
When she lost my father 15 years ago, it devastated her. Their love and building a life together for their children was unsurpassed. They were a team in everything they did.
My Mom’s parents absolutely adored her.
Those were some smoochable cheeks!!
My mother grew up on the water (the Baltic Sea and with Aunties & her Mom above at their beach guest house in Pommern) and could out row anyone. When she was young, she liked to ice skate, bike, dance and travel.
And she always loved animals!
Mom was always very close with her parents, as were we all.
My mother & father taught me I could be anything I wanted to be. They supported my achievements in school, my activities, my music, my whims & fancies, my travels, my moves around the country for my career, and my exciting year as Miss Connecticut & all the wonderful memories of representing my native state at the Miss America…
…including helping me pack trunks & boxes & shoes and shoes and shoes for the 2 weeks in Atlantic City for Miss America.
My Mom traveled with me to Vancouver to put me on a ship that circumnavigated the globe for 4 months.
Mom – who saves everything – threw away my clothes after a week’s caving trip…they were really dirty for her to have thrown them out!
We traveled around Spain, Gibraltar, Barbados & Germany together & tons of other places. (left with my sister)
Years later, Mom drove with my dog & me across the country & decorated a house I found for cheap…really cheap…only to find out it was a former drug depot…so I left the house a short while later along with all the painting, bordering, curtain-hanging and decorating she had done day & night the week she dropped me off for my new job.
Mom sewed countless costumes (above) for me and for my sister & my sister’s students.
Mom (her passport pic) me (headshot taken by Mom)
She took photographs of my wedding in England when the photographer there slacked off and almost ruined the day. Phillip gave him an earful and my mother took the photographs and she and my sister created a surprise wedding album for me when I returned from England.
My mother also saved hundreds of newspaper clippings, magazine articles and memorabilia from my Miss Connecticut year and painstakingly glued them into several beautiful scrapbooks to cherish always. She did it for a year and I never even knew it. Another wonderful surprise. You can view some of the clippings here: Miss CT in the News.
She’s always there to goof around and she’s there for all the tears like when we just lost my Uncle recently. He is with Daddy now. 🙁 🙁
(pregnant with my sister)
Mom has always been great at photography and even gave me her precious long-lens Canon in the 80s on the ship trip. A treasured item, so I was, indeed, very grateful.
She’s developed her own photography and taken headshots for actors & personalities over the years. Definitely helped save a bundle on my own headshots for TV over the years! Here are some snaps from Mom:
Thanks, Mom, for making my life great growing up. Thanks for all you have done for me. I love you!
In tribute to her, I hope I captured my mother’s life in this pictorial. Please say a prayer for her. She had heart fibrillations recently and was rushed to the hospital. It’s been constant testing every day.
Seeing her weak & tired is unnerving. Fragile is not a word I would ever use to describe my mother. Sweet but tough, robust & resilient, soft-hearted but strong-willed.
My mother prides herself on honesty and has never lied a day in her life. She is someone you can trust. She loves her daughters, grandchildren and animals. And we all love her.
The Bright SpotTM – I believe in the power of prayer. Please pray.
Peace, tranquility, a vacation like none other – cliché by no means! Let me explain.
We were looking for a family vacation & what we found was something above & beyond in Runaway Bay, Jamaica.
It wasn’t the cozy sleep on the flight or the magnificent sunsets or the spa on the stone jetty in the <Caribbean Sea. It wasn’t the climb to the awesome 100′ slide or the fire-breathing master.
The FDR resort is an all-inclusive, 78-suite, ultimate family experience consistently rated among the best in the Caribbean. It is Jamaican-owned, Jamaican-operated with Jamaican restaurants so you get the true flavors of this beautiful, tropical island and its people.
It’s not an oversized resort with a Starbucks, Burger King or Payless Shoes. I didn’t leave the States to find a mini-USA.
What took the experience at the FDR resort to the level of “phenomenal” was an intrinsic feeling of being transported back to the days of summer holiday camps like Kellerman’s in Dirty Dancing. Everyone knew everyone at the resort, and if you didn’t, you were welcomed with warm smiles and a handshake.
I was stunned to find that families have been going there for 25 years. Folks e-mail each other dates of when they’re returning. Families plan around other families they don’t otherwise see but once a year. We’ve been e-mailed by guests – now friends – about the next holiday. Unless I’m visiting friends, I never go back to the same places on Earth so I can explore new territory. So I was intrigued when the 1st family I met said they had been coming for the past 10 years. “Why??” “You’ll see,” smiled the father. By week’s end, I was looking forward to re-visiting this very special & unique place.
The owner, Franklyn D. Rance, for whom the FDR resort is named, says he has welcomed repeat international families for 25 years, he has watched couples come when young Moms were pregnant, and then watched their children grow up year after year, and then watched those children marry and come back annually with their own kids. I’d never heard of such a thing; it was fascinating to me.
I felt like I was back in the 60s or 70s ~ where parents of other children cared for, bandaged up, and guided with love the children in their midst. If you’re 40 and over, you’ll know that comforting feeling – a mix of common sense, “old school neighborhood,” and family amongst friends. And all the staff members knew everyone’s name, had fun with the parents, and the lifeguard swam with the kids.
Frank was one of the original 3 partners to found “all-inclusives” 30 years ago. He and his partners built resorts throughout the Caribbean and, now retired, he enjoys his days at the FDR sitting under a palm tree with his advisors. He envisaged a relaxation haven for parents when he created the Personal Vacation Nanny service.
Each family is matched with a specially-trained, private nanny to follow, entertain, swim with, play with, keep safe and care for every need of your child or children so parents can completely relax – body & mind. Your personal nanny takes care of your suite as well, bedding, towels and even brings up platters of evening treats you request.
I wasn’t into it at first. I watch my kids. I play with my kids. This is family time.
Well…guess what…there’s plenty of family time and one can always play and swim with the kids, Nanny is there to assist from 9-4. She will run back to the room if you forget your sunscreen or hat, she’ll get a drink for you at the bar and, once I was completely comfortable and knew how happy my little one was with all her new friends and their nannies, I could actually take a romantic morning walk on the beach with my husband… or a little afternoon siesta…imagine that…on a family vacation!
We loved our nanny so much that we asked she bring her child to work so we could spend time with her 2 year old. We gave her a little dollie and hope she remembers us till we return. We love FDR. It’s not a mega-huge resort. It’s kid-friendly and families are welcomed back year after year with handmade signs on their door.
Another delightful and unusual thing about this trip was that each night dinner was served in a different restaurant, or on the beach or on one of the piers throughout the resort. Location & time were listed on the chalkboard by the pool. We didn’t get that at first and went downstairs when we felt like it for dinner. Everyone was finished and going to the dance floor area for entertainment. Whoa, what happened? Families came up and said, “Hi, we missed you at dinner.”
The next night we came down between the 6:30-9:00 time for cocktails on the pier and dinner. Everyone was there.
Children ran around & played and parents talked about their great day. Amazing! It was so delightful. So friendly. So engaging. So comforting. So not the era we’re all living in now where everyone’s consumed by their handhelds, Facebooking, texting, tweeting, blah, blah, blah. Here everyone was unplugged and relaxed – Eating together. Dancing together. Singing together. And, in Phillip’s case, entertaining us with some funky stick dance on his butt~! LOL!
The trip was simply wonderful, rejuvenating & exciting. We enjoyed the resort’s glass-bottom boat, spa, our private wedding anniversary dinner with our 7 year old on the pier, the children’s talent show, the daily activities, the Rum treasure hunt at the bottom of the pool, board games, water trampoline, swimming with the dolphins & stingrays, snorkeling, diving and all the exciting adventures the Caribbean has to offer.
The Bright SpotTM – It was hard to leave Jamaica but e-mails from other families we met there have been flying in: “When are you going again?” I can tell you it will be very soon. A real pleasure and, indeed, the ultimate family experience!
Daddy left me this note decades ago.
Phillip left this surprise note for our little one yesterday before he headed away for a business trip.
Small gestures, time well spent together, little notes…they all go a long way.
These notes mean something when we find them. They mean a whole lot more when we lose those we love so dearly.
Daddy, I miss you!!!!
I see so much of my father’s tenderness & care in my husband. I don’t take any of these moments for granted.
The Bright SpotTM – Write your kids a little note today. It may be something they cherish for the next 40 years.
Indeed, the cards, poems, drawings, gifts, flowers, those are all very appreciated, loved & cherished on Mother’s Day.
But the best part of the day was not the wonderful breakfast with smoked salmon or our afternoon in New York City, it was watching my children’s silliness & laughter wrapped in hugs & snuggles topped by kite flying with my kids in the early evening.
Running, playing, enjoying a gorgeous Spring day with the family.
The Bright SpotTM – Be present with your kids, they are your future memories, they are what makes Mother’s Day possible, they are the gift. Happy Mother’s Day, Moms~!! 🙂