by2020

Written by Trish Vradenburg

and Special Guests

By 2020 Blog

June 11, 2013 - Karen G

Editor's note: This piece originally appeared on Karen's personal blog 'Missing Jim' 

TO FRANCES AND BRAD, MY BEAUTIFUL, LOVING, INTELLIGENT CHILDREN:

My promises to you:

I promise to try to stay sane through this whole long process. Sometimes I don’t feel like I will be able to, but when I am with you, I know I can.

I promise to love you with all of my heart. Loving someone doesn’t mean giving them ice cream and chocolate every day.

May 12, 2013 - Trish Vradenburg

My mother had a cleft palate.  It was fixed when she was three years-old, and you could never tell anything was wrong by looking at her, but it left her with two impediments: her speech and her mother.

May 10, 2013 - Alan Arnette

May is a special month for me: Everest and Mother’s Day. The connection is significant.

I summited Everest in May and Mother’s Day, well, it is Mother's Day.

Ida Arnette, my mom, was the memory keeper for her extended family. With my mom’s eight brothers and sisters, there was a lot to track. 

Mom did it all while raising two sons, working full time and still finding time to cook amazing holiday dinners and an out-of-this world pecan pie.

May 8, 2013 - Gee Gerke

As a little girl in what is now North Korea, my mother, Bock Sill, watched as the communist regime dragged away her grandmother to kill her. In the horror, she found strength.  She relied on that strength as she fled to South Korea during the Korean War. She used that strength to find a job, meet my father, Tae Hun, and immigrate to the United States to provide a better life for her children. Today, she relies on that strength to care for my father, who has Alzheimer’s disease. 

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Activists
May 2, 2013 - Lisa Hirsch

With another Mother’s Day approaching I can only feel blessed that my mom is still alive and still able to know who I am. For me each day begins with phoning her, because I am a long distance caregiver. Just yesterday I asked if she wanted to speak with me. Her sweet reply was, of course she wants to speak to me, “ for I am her daughter and she loves me.”  As she shared her words and sentiments with me, it brought such warmth to my heart and filled my eyes with tears.

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Activists
April 30, 2013 - Trish Vradenburg

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Chicken Little was in the woods. A seed fell on his tail. Chicken Little said, The sky is falling.” So he ran to tell the king and everyone in the kingdom.

February 14, 2013 - Trish Vradenburg

Dear Abby: I have always wanted to have my family history traced, but I can’t afford to spend a lot of money to do it. Have you any suggestions? — M. J. B. in Oakland, Calif.

Dear M. J. B.: Yes. Run for a public office.

Such was the incisive wit of Pauline Friedman Phillips, known to millions as Dear Abby. Affectionately nicknamed “Popo” by friends, Dear Abby was the advice maven of a generation – or rather, generations.

Dear Abby: Are birth control pills deductible? — Bertie

Dear Bertie: Only if they don’t work.

February 10, 2013 - Trish Vradenburg

It occurs to me that my mother never told us some basics about what she wanted should she ever have Alzheimer’s. True, few people think in those terms, but since both my grandmother and mother had Alzheimer’s, there’s a good chance I will be next. So, here’s my first list for my husband, daughter and son:

1. I must have a puppy to lick me and stay by my side and think everything I do is wonderful.

2. Hair: I must always be a blond with shoulder length hair. No pixie cut. Only Mia Farrow and Peter Pan can carry that off.

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DaughterList
January 29, 2013 - Trish Vradenburg

Marilyn Monroe had beauty, fame, riches, and men. But, in the end, she had nothing.

Unable to remember lines, totally unreliable, and often falling into deep despair and paranoia, Marilyn increasingly turned to booze and drugs. In August of 1962, her psychiatrist Ralph Greeson, who had prescribed so many of the drugs she used, found Marilyn Monroe dead in her Brentwood home. The coroner determined her was due to “acute barbiturate poisoning” leading to a probable suicide.

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Brain Damage
January 14, 2013 - Trish Vradenburg

Rita Hayworth was a dazzler. Women wanted to be her; men wanted to be with her.

She was a graceful and electric dancer. Her mother was in the Ziegfeld Follies, but wanted her daughter to act; her father, a renowned dancer, wanted her to dance. They both got their way.

Margarita Carmen Cansino was born in Brooklyn in 1918. In 1937, feeling that her name typecast her, she dyed her brown tresses a blazing red and became Rita Hayworth. She was on her way to fame, fortune and a life in the sun.

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