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Don't send me flowers when I die-- give them to me now so we can appreciate their beauty together!

-C. Leslie Charles


"Sink Reflections," by Marla Cilley--the FLY Lady.

Yes, I confess.  I bought her book.  I thought maybe I could learn enough from the book I could turn off the bazillion e-mails that come each day reminding me to shine my sink and put on my shoes.

also (since I can't just read one book at at time):

"Portrait of a Killer--Jack the Ripper Case Closed" by Patricia Cornwell.

This is a much more riveting story than her last book, "Blow Fly" and she makes a believable case for the true identity of Jack the Ripper--who can deny DNA evidence?

also (since I can't just read two books at at time):

"Virtual Mutts," a compilation of vignettes by Karen Derrico

This is a "keep by your chair" book for reading when commercials come on...a feel good book.


"Two Weeks Notice"

I'm a sucker for those Hugh Grant screwball's just the part of me that enjoyed Cary Grant doing his thing as well.  And Sandra Bullock is growing on me. 


No music--just a PhotoShop tutorial on using filters.


Breakfast:  oatmeal with blueberries

Lunch:  Leftover dinner from last night

Dinner:  Cajun chicken and rice


15 minutes on the exercise bike while watching the movie.

Shoulder strengthening exercises with the rubber tubing


8 December 2003

She was 44.

I didn’t even remember that her name was Miriam.

She was married to my cousin’s son, so that makes us related by marriage in some weird connection I’ve never mastered (my second cousin-in-law, an in-law a couple of times removed? I never did get those degrees straight).

She had come from the Philippines, a Filipina in a family of Caucasians.

She was quiet and I can’t remember if we ever spoke more than a word or two.

patrick.jpg (43275 bytes)I first met her at our first big family reunion. She was there with then-toddler Patrick, who captured everybody’s heart. She, her husband and Patrick returned for each of the successive family reunions.

The last time I saw her was a year ago at my Uncle Bill’s funeral. I passed by her and smiled. We didn’t speak.

miriam.jpg (14511 bytes)I looked to see if I had a picture of her. Me, the compulsive photographer. All I could find was a group photo where I could kinda sorta make her out.

She died last week.

It was a "massive stroke," reports say. How do people of 44 years have a stroke? She would surely recover.

Two days later I heard they were "taking her off life support."

She lived just seconds after the tubes were removed.

Her funeral was today.

Miriam was 44. Patrick is 7. I never spoke with her. I know nothing about her, and I feel very sad about that.

Once again I am reminded of the fragility and the uncertainty of life.

In an all-too-appropriate bit of irony, today I received two somewhat related e-mails.   In one, a friend we have not seen in many years wrote to tell us he has been diagnosed (for the fourth time) with cancer, and has been undergoing chemotherapy.

In the other, I received one of those pieces of inspirational emails which float around the net from time to time (if I was supposed to pass this on to 5 of my closest friends so my life would be blessed, the sender thankfully removed that bit of sop from the was the message itself which was important).

The piece talks about how we put off doing things because the time is never right. It mentions all the women on the Titanic who didn’t have dessert (maybe that wasn’t the right thing for me to read!)

But it talks about the things we are going to do "later" or "when I have time" or "when I get around to it."

I think about the years that Paul promised to go have a one-on-one lunch with his grandmother, which he never did.

In this family we know, perhaps all too acutely, how important it is to seize the day, to do those things that you’ve always wanted to do because there may not be a tomorrow. It’s not a fatalistic thing; it’s just reality.

If there is one thing we have learned it is to speak our love–not only for those whom we romantically love, but to the people in our lives who make a difference, the people we admire, whose friendship has been important to us. We try to tell them what we think now, while we have a chance.

I can remember after Gilbert died when I made a point of telling the people he really cared about the good things he had said about them. He was not a person who felt comfortable being open with his feelings and why he confided in me, I don’t know. But more than one person was astonished. "I had no idea...." they would say to me.

I want the people in my life whom I love to "have an idea." I want the people I admire to know how I feel about them. I want to die with as few regrets as possible. I want to seize the day and make it my own.

I wish that I had said more than "hello" to Miriam.

Just for today, tell someone important to you why you are glad they are in your life...and then do it again tomorrow.



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Vince (from Malaysia), Tom in his new 49er finery, Felix (from Croatia)

For more photos, please visit My Fotolog and My FoodLog

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Weight Lost to date:  55.6 lbs

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Created 12/08/03