Happy 100th Birthday, Mommy!

Sometimes, caring for a terminally ill grandma is a beautifully tragic way to learn compassion.

Best mom and grandma EVER.

She was born February 9, 1915
and would have been
one hundred years old today.

I’m often asked where I learned how to cook and bake. I learned it all from her — everything from scratch, and that’s how I do it, too, carrying on that tradition.

Once in a while, tugboat man will surprise his crew by baking for them and it’s her recipe he uses: The Compleat Apple Pie…Deconstructed 

You know how I love to clean? That’s because she made a game out of washing windows, polishing silver; even ironing. She made it all fun, never a chore.

When Angel Boy had his medical scare a while back, it was my mom whom I channeled in the hospital. I remembered every single thing she ever shared with me about being a strong, assertive patient advocate — how to interact with doctors and staff — and to NEVER leave the side of a loved one, which is the reason why DIL and I were there 24/7 for the almost two weeks he was hospitalized.  We all firmly believe this is one of the reasons he’s here today. REALLY.

On a happier note, all I  know about fashion and style, shopping and Chanel, I learned from my mom and I’m more than happy to carry on that legacy.

When I spray on my favorite scent, Chance by Chanel, before I leave for the gym, I remember more of my mom’s words of wisdom:

“Don’t save good perfume for special occasions. Wear it every day just for you.”

When my mom retired from nursing, she moved in with us. After suffering from months of unexplained stomach pain and nausea, she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Sadly, she didn’t live very long after that.

We cared for her with the help of hospice and she died peacefully at home.

Toward the end, after school, my seven-year-old son would climb on her bed, tell her about his day and feed her a couple spoonfuls of soup.

Sometimes, caring for a terminally ill grandma is a beautifully tragic way to learn compassion.

Angel Boy and my mom had a special bond; she would play Candyland for HOURS with had endless patience. When he was two or three or four years old, whenever he’d call out “MOM!” we would both answer, because for the longest time, that’s how he referred to us both– until he named her “DangDang”, which is how his brain processed the sounds in “Grandma”.

She would have been so very proud of him.

When Angel Boy finished graduate school, I bought him an Hermes tie because that’s what Grandma would have done — memorialize the occasion with an amazingly extravagant gift.

I can think of no better way to honor her memory than to shop for a little something special, ‘cos that’s exactly what she’d want me to do!

A few of my favorite vintage photos:

Stylish nurse ensemble.
I still have her cap and velvet ribbon tucked away, wrapped in tissue paper. 


Lovely afternoon skirt, blouse, and contrasting belt to highlight her curves.

Me (very yellow with frilly socks) with Mommy, attired in a full-on Jackie Kennedy look minus the pillbox hat.meandmommy

Frank Sinatra was one of her FAVES.. She used to annoy me SO much by singing along with Old Blue Eyes whenever this song came on the radio: “It Was A Very Good Year”