Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Eid Mubarak

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Too numb to grieve


How does One describe the "feeling"

of being numb?
T'is an emotion
yet One feels none.

One feel not anger
nor love.
Not hurt
nor comfort.

One does not feel
the tears that stream
down emotion worn cheeks,
nor does One feel the passing
of time through endless weeks.

One cannot feel
the sunshine on
tender skin,
nor the biting of cold wind.

Frost does not prick
at One's heart
and One cannot tell the warmth
of love apart.

So how does One
"feel" numb?
And when One feels
nothing at all,
what has One become?


Oh so softly
Does my head ever spin,
With all these thoughts kept within.

The feeling that I find
The hardest to bare
Is this feeling of nothing
Just of body, flesh and hair.

I have no emotions,
No feelings,
No cares
I am just a body existing
A black hole if you will,
Where everything reflects off
I cannot even feel a single thrill.

Oh so silently
Does my mind become,
A complete nothing,
For it is perfectly numb.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Paying Tribute

Yesterday was my mom's funeral. It was a picture perfect day. The weather was wonderful, the church we used for her service was nestled amongst beautiful oak trees, and the celebration of her life afterwards at our home was memorable.

Although feeling extremely numb and almost emotionless, it seems to have been beneficial as my dad asked me to speak on behalf of the family during my mom's funeral service. He did not want someone who didn't know her speaking about the woman she was to us.

One just never knows what's going to happen in a day that is going to cause them to stretch beyond their already seemingly stretched limits, and certainly yesterday was no exception.

Truly I know that when writing this tribute to her as well as sharing amongst a full congregation of people it was God's work because in hindsight when I go over it I don't know how it was accomplished without completely crumbling into a puddle of tears. Honestly, we serve a loving and merciful God who is guiding and carrying us through every aspect of life.

Please allow us to share with you a glimpse of my mom’s life.

She was born Linda Kathleen Seran, weighing 4 pounds, 2 ounces in Canton, Ohio. Her family migrated to southern California where they established their home in Reseda. She came from a small family and is survived by her mother, Oneita Lauretta Helzer, and her sister, Karen Lee Wilkinson.

She used to tell us she was her father’s son. She loved working on cars with her dad as well as going camping and fishing. She shared many memories of her youth with us; her special relationship with her sister as well as the closeness of her family.

She had a great affection for all animals, but really enjoyed dogs and horses.

When she was 20 years old, our dear friends, Bob and Judy, introduced she and my dad to one another, and there was an immediate connection between the two of them. They got married in a little chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada, which began her and my dad’s 45-year journey. They had two children, my brother, Clint, and me. She devoted her entire life to us as well as to my dad.

She raised and showed Alaskan Malamute dogs as well as American Quarter horses. She also enjoyed bowling and played on a league for quite a few years. As kids, Clint and I can remember countless times watching her and her friends bowl and then going back to one of her girlfriend’s home to play Yahtze for hours. All the while hearing her laugh and tell stories.

She was very social and opened her home to anyone and everyone. She was a stranger to no one and loved by all.

She was the type of person that was game to do anything. She seemed to fear nothing and was always open to any challenge. She especially liked the camping trips, the jeeping trips, the picnics in the park, the days we’d take a drive just for the sake of taking a drive, visiting the ocean as well as entertaining in her home. She also had a great affection for photography.

In 1976 we moved from southern California to northern California to a small town called Penryn where we as a family constructed our home and began establishing our roots.

She served as a FH leader, soccer team mom, baseball team mom, softball team manager, PTA room mother, as well as sideline cheerleader for all of our other events. In addition to serving these positions she also served as my dad’s supportive partner. His rock!

She worked at Target for 15 years and loved her job. She was a people person and would come home sharing countless tales of the people she had met throughout the day. She would light up when she spoke of the fun she had at work and the people she met, along with seeing people she knew.

Her home was open to everyone, and she was a “mom” to many aside from my brother and I. She always felt better when Clint and I and our friends were at her home rather than anywhere else. Over the years there were a number of people that lived with us and she treated them as if they were family. I think one of the ways she was able to keep her house so full was luring them with her chocolate chip cookies and her infamous chocolate chip cake.

She and dad did some traveling, and by far her favorite destinations were Alaska and Hawaii. One of the ways you could always tell if she really enjoyed going somewhere or seeing something was by the amount of pictures she took.

She was an extremely strong woman and never ever let any of her health issues keep her from living her life. She loved her life and told us often how lucky she was to have the life she had.

She had great stories and loved to share them. She loved to laugh and would get tickled to see others laugh as well.

She loved her grandkids, Anthony and Amira, dearly and her husband and children even more. She was our biggest fan.

She is the foundation to our family. She is what binds us. She never liked to have attention drawn to herself, and always assumed the “behind the scene role” allowing the rest of us to shine, BUT in reality it is because of HER that each and every one of you are here today to celebrate her life. Although she would be very humbled by this attention, she would be so grateful and thankful.

Although we mourn the loss of an incredibly dynamic woman, she would want us to live our lives as if it were our last, to love as if we’d never loved before, to laugh often, to expect nothing but be grateful for everything, and to remember to surround ourselves with our family and friends --- for she knew they were the most important part of living.

To my mom I say, "I love you so very much. May God bless you and may He give us strength to continue on without you physically being here with us.

To all of you I say, "Although her journey ends here, her memory will live on in each and everyone of you forever. Thank you for being a part of her journey, and thank you for being her today."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Shock and Sadness

It’s with the greatest of sadness that I share the loss of my mom.

Yesterday she and my dad had decided to get out of town and spend a little time in the mountains, which they loved to do throughout my life. They were thrilled as well as anxious about taking a little trip as it had been the first since mom’s severe heart attack in May of this year.

They stayed at a beautiful campground with a beautiful view of the Sierra Mountains and a soothing running river in the background.

They were thrilled to be outdoors, enjoying the fresh air, sunlight, sounds of the mountains and being together, along with Cruiser the little puppy.

According to my dad, the day could not have been more perfectly spent.

Turning in for the night my mom was overly excited at the thought of sleeping on a cot outside under the starts with her dog. Something she did countless times throughout her life. During the early morning hours mom woke up and decided to get into their 5th wheel trailer when she fell hitting her head. My dad of course rushed immediately to her aid. He could tell immediately it was not good because she was throwing up.

Thankfully they had cell service, so my dad called 9-1-1 and reported the situation. The lady on the phone told him a helicopter was on the way along with medical personnel but that in the meantime my dad would have to give my mom CPR and provided him with guided instructions until help arrived. Once help arrived they airlifted my mom to a well-known trauma hospital in Reno, Nevada, which took my dad about an hour to drive there from their campsite.

Once to the hospital after several test the neurologist said there was very little chance of survival due to the severe bleed her head had suffered. So much so that it had already caused her brain to swell and shift to one side of her brain.

My father called both my brother and I around 4 a.m. and gave us little information other than mom was not doing well, so we immediately began heading to Reno, which took us over two hours to get too.

Truly nothing in this life prepares you for death. We can rationalize it, we can explain it, we can experience it, but no matter how many times, we can never truly prepare for what we will feel or experience after it happens.

I can say my mom for all intensive purposes passed peacefully for she never regained consciousness after falling. Moreover, she was so blessed to pass doing something she truly loved, and it wasn't even as a result of any of her medical conditions. You just never know when your time here is up.

We as a family were so blessed to have this precious time with her as well because truly it was a miracle she lived through the heart attack in May.

Of course during times such as these we find ourselves reflecting on so many things and for me a couple of them is not telling people enough how much they mean to me or not taking more time to live outside of just working. It seems we are so engrossed in our everyday lives and enslaved to our jobs for the sake of financial survival that we forget to tell those we know how much we love them and how much they mean to us.

My mom does know how much we love her as we not only told her but we showed her as well. She is the foundation to our family, the glue that seems to bind us together, the focal point that draws us all near. What an extremely precious and dear woman. I love my mom so much.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Courtroom scene

A farmer named Clyde had a car accident. In court, the trucking company's fancy hot shot lawyer was questioning Clyde.

“Didn't you say, at the scene of the accident, 'I'm fine,'?” asked the lawyer.

Clyde responded, “Well, I'll tell you what happened. I had just loaded my favorite cow, Bessie, into the...”

“I didn't ask for any details”, the lawyer interrupted. “Just answer the question, please. Did you, or did you not say, at the scene of the accident, 'I'm fine!'?”

Clyde said, “Well, I had just got Bessie into the trailer and I was driving down the road....”

The lawyer interrupted again and said, “Your Honor, I am trying to establish the fact that, at the scene of the accident, this man told the Highway Patrolman on the scene that he was just fine. Now several weeks after the accident he is trying to fraudulently sue my client. Please tell him to simply answer the question.”

By this time, the Judge was fairly interested in Clyde's answer and said to the lawyer, “I'd like to hear what he has to say about his favorite cow, Bessie.”

Clyde thanked the Judge and proceeded. “Well, as I was saying, I had just loaded Bessie, my favorite cow, into the trailer and was driving her down the highway when this huge semi-truck and trailer ran the stop sign and smacked my truck right in the side. I was thrown into one ditch and Bessie was thrown into the other. I was hurting, real bad and didn't want to move. However, I could hear old Bessie moaning and groaning. I knew she was in terrible shape just by her groans. Shortly after the accident a Highway Patrolman came on the scene. He could hear Bessie moaning and groaning, so he went over to her. After he looked at her, and saw her fatal condition, he took out his gun and shot her between the eyes. Then the Patrolman came across the road, gun still in hand, looked at me, and said, 'How are you feeling?'”

“Now tell me, Judge, what the heck would you say?”

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Fountains

Last night my girlfriends and I took the kids to a new outdoor mall called The Fountains which is still in the process of opening. We wanted to see what all the buzz was about this place because apparently everyone that's been there seems to go on and on about this place.

So we took off to get Big Spoon Yogurt which is a self-serve frozen yogurt place that has every topping imaginable you can put on your frozen yogurt. Your yogurt is weighed and charged by the ounce. I think the excitement over this place is that fact that people get to serve themselves. For some reason humans just like to feel like they are somehow always in control......lol Anyway, it's a pretty tasty treat nonetheless.

After having our treat we made a way around the corner, we found a fire pit with nice comfy chairs around the perimeter of the pit.

Strolling along the sidewalk looking at all the stores that have opened we made our way to the center fountain. Now this fountain was impressive to all of us. We must have sat and watched it for an hour or so. It's interactive with music so the water show coming up from the center of the fountain is keeping beat with whatever music is playing. Although disappointingly it didn't play very many songs, BUT even when it wasn't playing music the fountain was still performing. It was lit up with all different colors and every so often mist would emerge and then float over the crowd of on-lookers. Amira and her friend, Michael, were having so much fun waving their hands up in the air trying to touch the water that I couldn't help but at one point to jump up and join them. :-)

Love spontaneous moments such as that one.

P.S. I will leave you with this video clip that someone recorded of the show.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

6 weeks , 6 months, 6 years . . .‏

Dating process:

6 weeks : I love U, I love U, I love U.
6 months : Of course I love U.
6 years : GOD, if I didn't love you, then why the hell did I propose?


Back from Work:

6 weeks : Honey, I'm home.
6 months : BACK!!
6 years : What did your mom cook for us today??



6 weeks : Honey, I really hope you liked the ring.
6 months : I bought you a painting; it would fit the motif in the living room.
6 years : Here's the money. Buy yourself something.


Phone Ringing:

6 weeks : Baby, somebody wants you on the phone.
6 months : Here, for you.
6 years : PHONE RINGING.



6 weeks : I never knew food could taste so good!
6 months : What are we having for dinner tonight?
6 years : AGAIN!!!!



6 weeks : Honey muffin, don't you worry, I'll never hold this against you.
6 months : Watch out! Don't do it again.
6 years : What's not to understand about what I just said??


New Dress:

6 weeks : Oh my God, you look like an angel in that dress.
6 months : You bought a new dress again?
6 years : How much did THAT cost me?


Planning for Vacations:

6 weeks : How do 2 weeks in Vienna or anywhere you please sound?
6 months : What's so bad about going to India on a charter plane?
6 years : Travel? What's so bad about staying home?



6 weeks : Baby, what would you like us to watch tonight?
6 months : I like this movie.
6 years : I'm going to watch ESPN, if you're not in the mood, go to bed, I can stay up by
myself . . .

Saturday, September 6, 2008

An ingenious example of speech and politics

An ingenious example of speech and politics occurred recently in the United Nations Assembly and made the world community smile.

A representative from Palestine began:

'Before beginning my talk I want to tell you something about Moses. When he struck the rock and it brought forth water, he thought, 'What a good opportunity to have a bath!'

He removed his clothes, put them aside on the rock and entered the water. When he got out and wanted to dress, his clothes had vanished. An Israeli had stolen them.'

The Israeli representative jumped up furiously and shouted, 'What are you talking about? The Israeli weren't there then.'

The Palestinian representative smiled and said, 'And now that we have made that clear, I will begin my speech.'

Thursday, September 4, 2008

For All You Chocolate Lovers

4 tablespoons cake flour (that's plain flour, not self-rising)

4 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons baking cocoa

1 egg

3 tablespoons milk

3 tablespoons oil

3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)

a small splash of vanilla essence

1 coffee mug

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well
Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
Pour in the milk and oil and mix well.
Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla essence, and mix again.

Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed!

Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.EAT! (this can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous).

And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world?
Because now we are all only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night!