Thursday, October 29, 2009

Devastating News

For some reason, I didn't sleep very well last night. Around 3:30 a.m. I got up to get a drink. Just as I got back into bed, my cell phone lit up and dinged indicating a text message. I got up to read it and there was a message from my dear cousin, Ana, in San Francisco. The message said that her son, Steven, had been killed in an automobile accident and that her sister would be calling everyone in the morning. The last line said that she needed me. I immediately called her and heard the devastating news which is a parent's worst nightmare.

Steven and two of his friends had been in Las Vegas to hear one of his favorite bands. It was a break from his school work at San Francisco State. Coming back yesterday they were involved in a head on collision and Steven and his two friends were all killed. Steven had just turned 19 in September.

What does one say? There is truly nothing that can be said at a time like this. All I could say to her is that I love her. I told her that I would be there as soon as I could get there.

Needless to say, I could not get back to sleep. All I could think of was Ana and Steven's dad, Charlie, and Madeline, his little sister. I thought of his aunts Lena, Rosemary, and Romy and his uncles Michael and Eddie. And all of his cousins who loved him dearly.

I didn't know what to do other than say some prayers for all of us who are left here to deal with this tragedy. I didn't want to call anyone because of the time. I finally sent a text message to his aunt Romy and she immediately called me.

I didn't want to wake up anyone in our family here until it got closer to morning. I was very worried about my Aunt Teresa as she has been in Douglas and was all alone. Kerri and Cameron had just been out to San Francisco for Fall Break. And Patrick has always had a special bond with Ana. Around 5:30 I called Judy. She immediately decided to drive to Douglas to get Teresa. We decided to wait a few hours to call her. I then told my kids who were absolutely devastated. I spoke with Yaya as she usually gets up early. Teresa Ann and Cecilia called.

I remember when Steven was young. He loved to read and I would get him books from our book orders at school and whenever we had an author come to our school I would always get a signed copy for him. Kerri said that she always thinks about him when he was about 4 over at Yaya's house in his Ninja Turtle Underoos.

About three years ago, Steven and Charlie came to see us for the weekend to go to an ASU football game and to see the campus. At that time, Steven was trying to decide where to go to school. His grandfather, Bill, was an ASU graduate so he decided to see what it was like. We had a great time tailgating and visiting.

Last August when we went to New York for the wedding, Ana and her family were all there. Steven was absolutely darling. It was so neat to watch him and Charlie together. Steven looked a lot like Charlie and you could tell how much he loved his dad.

I have been "Facebook Friends" with Steven for several months and I enjoyed keeping up with him that way. Steven was very involved in AA and talked very proudly of that on Facebook. Like many young people today, he had been through some tough times and was working hard to better his life. I know how proud his family was of his efforts and successes.

A little while ago I read his wall on Facebook. The recurring theme was Steven's incredible zest for life and his overcoming obstacles. Many talked of him being a role model to them. He had many friends who cared about him.

Tomorrow Teresa and I are going to San Francisco. The rest of my family and many of the Arizona Scotts will be going this weekend. The services will be Monday night and Tuesday.

Last January when I did the eulogy for our dear Phil, I found a quote for Pat and I want to share it with Ana today. Alice Walker says, "Is solace anywhere more comforting than in the arms of a sister?" When I spoke with Ana she told me that her sisters had all been there with the family. I know how much her sisters mean to her and I know they will bring her solace.

As I write this, I am heartsick. I can only hope that I will also bring some solace to Ana and her family. Ana, I love you!!

And for Steven Patrick Dub,

May the road rise to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;

The rains fall soft upon your fields

And until we meet again


Please say hello to my mom, your grandpa, Bill, your grandma, Rose, and all of the rest of the family who I am sure were waiting with open arms for you, dear Steven.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Have a Happy Birthday, Judy!

Today is the birthday of my cousin, Judy Scott Feldman. Judy is the daughter of my mom's brother, Tom and his wife, Mary. Judy and her wonderful husband, Neil, live in Maryland close to Washington D. C. where Judy grew up. Their daughter, Anna, attends the University of Southern California in L.A.

Over the years, Judy and Neil have spent a lot of time in Arizona. For a period of time, they lived in Texas, making it much easier to get here to visit. I know how much my mom and Teresa looked forward to their visits. I have always loved being around them and talking to them about politics. Both Judy and Neil have wonderful insights and opinions on current political issues!

Judy has a Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in art history from Penn State and a doctorate in art history from the University of Texas. She has taught art history at the university level. Because of her love for art and history and Washington D.C., Judy is currently the chairman and president of The National Coalition to Save Our Mall. She is leading an effort to raise national consciousness of the Washington Mall's shabby condition, poor management, and inadequate Congressional oversight.

Judy has appeared on numerous national news programs in her efforts with this organization. Preserving the National Mall is her passion and her full time job!! I know our family is very proud of her. Judy, I truly admire what you are doing!!

We had a wonderful visit this past summer when we went back east for the reunion. Kerri, Cameron, and I spent one night at Judy's when we were sightseeing in Washington D.C.

We are hoping that Anna will come to Arizona and go with us to the USC vs. ASU football game in November.

Have a wonderful birthday, Judy. Hope to see you soon!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Memorable Anniversary

Today I went to Tucson for the 60th Wedding Anniversary Party for a couple who had a large part in my life growing up in Douglas. Judy, Teresa, Kayla and I went to honor George and Peggy Brady who were married on September 30, 1949. Judy, Teresa and Kayla were heading down to Douglas after the party and I came home.

Driving back by myself, I had much time to reflect and remember those wonderful years growing up in Douglas, Arizona. I have so many, many wonderful memories and so many people who meant so much to me in my formative years. There aren't very many of them around anymore, so going down for this celebration had a special meaning.

When I think back to those years, there were many people that were family friends and I absolutely value those relationships in so many ways. Two families, the Hubers and the Bradys, were constants in my life as a child.

In 1960, the Hubers, the Bradys, and our family decided to buy a cabin together. That was the only way that everyone could afford it. I remember going up to the different areas in the Chiricahuas looking at different property. On Christmas Eve of that year, George was reading the newspaper and there was a cabin for sale in South Fork which is in Cave Creek on the eastern slope of the Chiricahuas. This cabin turned out to be the one that we bought. I have written much about this most beautiful spot on earth!

I was in 6th grade that year, and the oldest of all of the kids. The Hubers had six children: Kathy, Patty, Christy, Marian, Cecilia, and Joe. The Bradys had five: Margaret, Mike, John, Steve, and Mary Pat. And then there was Judy and I.

It seemed that almost every Sunday after church, we would all pack up and go to the cabin for the day. We all had whistles that we had to wear just in case anything happened. I remember getting to the cabin and then taking off to climb the mountain and explore the big rocks, often finding small caves to hide in. Or in the warm weather spending the entire day at the creek. I don't ever remember having a fight with any of the kids--kind of hard to imagine with that many. There was just too much to do!!

Through the years when my kids and I spent our summers in Douglas, we would often spend time at the cabin. Peggy and George were up there many times when we were there. George always had a joke to tell and a little hard time to give!!

Today all of their children and families were there to honor this couple. Two of the Hubers were also there, Christy and Marian and her husband.

We talked about the cabin and what needs to be done in order to keep it. We have to make some improvements so John, Christy, and I will be getting together soon to decide what and how to do it. Even though I don't see them very often, I know that we will maintain this incredible relationship so that we can keep the cabin.

The cabin is my favorite place on earth. It has been there through all of the stages of my life. Although I don't get there as often as I would like, I can't imagine not having the opportunity to go there. It is someplace that one can truly get away from the rat race that life can be--no television, no radio, no cell phones.........HEAVEN on Earth!!

As I said, I had much time to think on the drive back from Tucson. I would like to thank George and Peggy for being a big part of my life for so many years. I am so glad to have been there today. I know that they can't read this, but Paul and Dorothy Huber were also very much a part of my childhood and I thank them, too. These two wonderful families mean so much to me and I would like to say "THANK YOU" to them!

I feel very blessed to have these wonderful childhood memories!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hope You Have a Wonderful Birthday, Lisa!

October 8th is our cousin, Lisa's birthday. This is a very special day because it is her birthday, but it is even more significant to me in that October 8th was also my mom's birthday!!

Lisa is the youngest daughter of my Aunt Mary and Uncle Tom, my mom's brother. Lisa is enough younger than me that I didn't really know her growing up because they lived back east in Washington D.C. Her two sisters were closer to my age. Lisa and her two sons, Jeremy and Ben, came to family reunions in Arizona. Lisa was here two years ago for Teresa's 85th. It wasn't until this summer when we went to Virginia that we really had a chance to just visit. And I can tell you that I truly enjoyed getting our visit. I just wish that we lived closer!!

Lisa lives in a small town in New Hampshire. She has a very old house that she is refinishing. Last summer, our cousin, Pat, and Kayla went back to New Hampshire with her from Virginia. I asked Kayla to tell me something about Lisa, and she said that Lisa loves to garden and has a wonderful one at her house. Kayla said that she had such a good time in New Hampshire.

Pat told me tonight that Lisa has done an incredible job with redoing her home. She said that Lisa has such an incredible work ethic, whether it has to do with her career or remodeling her home.

I love Lisa's sense of humor and her easygoing way! I am so glad that we had the opportunity to be at "The Farm" in July!! I hope that we will be able to get together in the very near future!! Happy Birthday, Lisa!! You share this day with a very special lady!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Happy Birthday, Tommy!

Happy Birthday to my east coast cousin, Tommy! Tommy is the youngest child and only son of my Aunt Mary and Uncle Tom, who was my mom's brother. Tommy and his wonderful wife, Michele, have two great daughters, Teresa and Hannah. They live in Virginia where Tommy is an engineer for the federal government.

Tommy and has family have visited us in Arizona several times. This past summer, Tommy was the "mastermind" for the family reunion that we attended at The Farm in Virginia. Having been involved in several family reunions myself, I truly know how much work there is to put one on. And Tommy put on quite a party!!! We had a wonderful time and hope to attend more in the future. Cameron had such a great experience at The Farm and has talked about it a lot since we have returned.

I shared a story this past summer that Tommy and his sisters had not heard before. My mom and their dad were fairly close in age with Tom being about 2 1/2 years older. Their dad was one of the nicest gentlemen that you could ever want to meet. For those of you who knew my mom, she was a "spitfire" to say the least. Well one day when they were in grade school at Loretto in Douglas, my mom got word that there was a boy beating up her brother, Tom, on the boys' playground. In those days, there was a boys' side and a girls' side. (and when I went, too. Can you imagine?) So needless to say, Margaret went running over to the boys' side to take care of Tom. She proceeded to take down the boy who was beating up her brother!! The nuns had to call their dad as well as the parents of the other boy. The next day the family of the boy that Margaret had "beat up" showed up at school to find out what had happened to their son. Sister brought Margaret in to show them the small, short girl who had gone to the aid of her brother!! Come to find out, this happened because the other boy was jealous that the Scotts were having another baby--my Uncle Bill. So this probably happened around 1925 when my mom was eight and Tom was 10! I love this story!!!

So, Tommy, hope your birthday is wonderful! Hope that we can get together again in the near future for some fun!! Happy birthday, cuz!!! Thanks for the great time in July at the Farm!!!