Category Archives: Motherhood

Mary Anne O’Hara’s Last Song Request

Our mom, Mary Anne O’Hara, made her final exit on August 7, 2001. She was 74;  the mother of eight kids in 12 years. (Her best quote ever: “The ’60s are a blur and it’s not because of drugs. It’s because of kids.”)

I was smack-dab in the middle of the procreation. As the years unfolded, it became increasingly clear that the dynamic wasn’t working for either of us.

In time, I became a “troubled teen,” and my already tenuous and strained relationship with her continued its downward spiral.

I am now almost 58; the mother of just one daughter, now 24.

(I now can understand how overwhelmed she was, yet still empathize with that middle child starving for attention and lacking self-esteem.)

Shortly before my mother died, we had a pivotal moment. I asked her to share something that would be a sign; a signal that would instantly convey that she was there with me in spirit.

She thought about it for a few seconds, and then her beautiful blue eyes shined even more brightly.

“When you hear this song,” she said, that will be your sign.” It was “I’ll Be Seeing You.”

(Superb choice, Mom. ❤️ you, until we meet again.)

I’ll be seeing you in all the old familiar places
That this heart of mine embraces all day through
In that small cafe, the park across the way
The children’s carousel, the chestnut trees, the wishing well

I’ll be seeing you in every lovely summer’s day
In everything that’s light and gay
I’ll always think of you that way
I’ll find you in the morning’ sun

And when the night is new
I’ll be looking at the moon
But I’ll be seeing you
I’ll find you in the morning sun

And when the night is new
I’ll be looking at the moon
But I’ll be seeing you

Written by Irving Kahal, Sammy Fain • Copyright © BMG Rights Management US, LLC



A Rainy Monday with My Sick Millennial

img_3354Nothing so far today is going as planned, and yet I’m exactly where I need to be.

My 24-year-old daughter is sick; she suspects food poisoning–but it just as likely could be the flu.

I have the Presidents Day holiday off, thankfully, and was easing into the morning when I heard a gentle knock on my bedroom door. (It’s a new chapter in the life of “Bree’s Company.” I’m in the midst of getting my entire kitchen and bathroom floors redone after a dishwasher leak turned into black mold and rotted subfloors. I’m currently staying with Gabriella, Jeshua and his younger brother. “Marcy and the MIllennials,” we could also call it.)

I’m working towards leasing out my entire house soon; hopefully within a few months. Bree has gone back to school. She’s taking Chemistry and Biology plus working as a nursing assistant caring for dementia patients–with the goal of starting nursing school in the fall. So the plan is that I rent a room from them, greatly reduce expenses–and help them out. We also all agreed that we’ll be completely honest all around if the arrangement doesn’t work.

Which is why I was here this morning when that gentle knock came around 9:30 a.m. Gabriella opened the door, and I could see instantly that she wasn’t well; pale and weak-looking. Her glazed eyes and pained expression spoke volumes: “I’m sick, Mom. I think I got food poisoning.”  

A few days ago, I caught the nasty cold that everyone seems to have or has just gotten over. So, I’m somewhat of a wreck–but no matter. I’m able to be here–tending to her, bringing her liquids and Alka Seltzer, and checking in on her as she sleeps soundly.

(Mama’s here, Monkey–and there’s no where in the world she’d rather be.)




“Bree’s Company”

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I’m living a sitcom life.

It’s called “Bree’s Company,” and it features a colorful cast of quirky characters.

Let’s start with me, a young-at-heart freelance writer, former “Valley Girl” and bonafide late bloomer. (At least, that’s what I like to tell myself.)

The cast also include Gio, my ex-hubby. We divorced 8 years ago, right when the Great Recession was taking hold. Our daughter, Bree, was going to start 10th Grade, and after renting expensive apartments for a while–we decided to pool our resources and buy a modest rambler. The plan was for all of us to coexist until she went to college, at which point I’d move out, he’d stay and we’d continue gaining equity over the years.  Plans didn’t quite pan out that way, though. (I’ll explain more later.)

Gio has a great relationship with his girlfriend of several years, and most nights stays at her place. But all his stuff (a lot of stuff!) is here in this little 3 bedroom/1 bath rambler with no garage and limited storage options. He and I both have accumulated way too much stuff over the years — but happily, downsizing is in full swing.

Then there’s the star of our show — Bree. Her full name is “Gabriella Mary,” and she also answers to “Gabby.” She’s a senior at Western Washington University, a creative writing major with a psychology minorr. She and her fiancee, Jeshua, moved in last month. he’s taking two online classes this summer, and will finish up in December. Jesh is busy looking for a job in tech. Their entourage also includes two cats, Giles and Charlie, who have fortunately settled in peacefully with our Jake.

Last night’s revelry involved an abundance of red wine and a magnetic poetry smackdown followed by an hour’s worth of wrangling over where to order pizza — and you know what? It was a great Saturday night.

It’s “Bree’s Company”– and so far, it’s working out swimmingly.

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