July 22nd. Sucks.


I think most people probably have a date or two on the calendar that looms in the distance, making its unwelcome stop for 24 hours each and every year before fading away for another 364.

9 years ago today my mom died.

And ever since then, 7/22/03 has continued to suck a small bit of joy out of those monumental days in my family’s life that should be nothing but utterly joyous.  You know the ones – my wedding day, the day Lily Bean was born, my brother and sister’s graduations (high school for my brother , college for both)…

But there are also all the little dumb things that I wish she could have been here for…  Lily’s first riding lesson, strawberry picking, Starbucks runs, watching a good snowstorm out the window…

9 years is a long time.  I have now spent almost one third of my life without my mom.  How is that even possible?  How is that even fair?  Well, it’s not fair of course, but sometimes life isn’t.

So I’m sitting here, thinking not just about my mom, but also about everything that has happened in my life and in the world in the past 9 years.  Some good, some bad.  I wonder what she would say about various events that have transpired.

Here’s what I came up with…

My mom would have been so pleased to see Starbucks and Cheesecake Factory restaurants all over the Northeastern United States.  My mom was a west coaster at heart.  Yes, she grew up and lived her whole life in Pennsylvania.  But she was obsessed with Southern Cali and all that it entailed – and she visited every chance she got.  Some of her favorite places on earth were Malibu at sunset, a stroll down the Santa Monica pier or promenade, movie star watching in Beverly Hills and Hollywood, a drive up the PCH or perhaps taking in a filming of Perfect Strangers.  Starbucks and Cheesecake Factory (especially the one in Marina del Rey) are staples in the LA area and have been for decades – WAY longer than out here on the East Coast.  She would be so pleased to stop for a Sbux latte after enjoying a Cheesecake Factory dinner of Shrimp Scampi, while jamming to California Dreamin’ by The Mamas and the Papas – all within 30 minutes of her home.

She would be so disappointed in the psychotic scallywag that is Mel Gibson.  So the whole Southern Cali obsession I described above?  I should also point out that she had some VERY favorite movie stars who topped her list of things to babble about.  Mel was one of them.  She revered him.  What a family man, father, husband, talented actor, funny guy, easy on the eyes, total package.  NOT!  I’m not sure which would have sent her reeling more – his drunken tirades and anti-Semitic remarks or the unsavory baby mama voicemails that leaked to the tabloids.  Either way, she would be PISSED (and I’d imagine she’d also be unloading much of her Lethal Weapon memorabilia on Craigslist.)

She would love that I ended up with a handy fixer man.  No matter how much she dreamed of living in a Hollywood Hills Bungalow, Bucks County, PA has always been her home – her happy place.  It would make her happy to see how good the homestead is looking these days – how much TLC we have poured into it – and how Bob is giving the house a Renaissance of sorts.

She would be horrified at some of the bogus song parodies featured in commercials these days.  Sometimes as I sit here working and the television drones on in the background, I’ll hear a song that my mom really liked, only to realize it’s the TUNE of that song but the words are different – twisted into some yappy commercial jingle.  Case and point – Xfinity’s High Speed Internet commericial with the song “Stream, Stream, Stream” which parodies the original song from 1958 “All I Have to Do is Dream” by The Everly Brothers. *shudder*

She would be thrilled that my siblings and I have all followed her footsteps.  Two of my mom’s biggest talents were photography and writing.  She was amazing at both.  My brother is a full-time blogger and photographer/videographer.  My sister runs her own photography business.  I, well, you know what I do.  Definitely some writing involved there.

I think she would hate that the world is still so full of social injustices, racial tension and ignorance towards anyone deemed to be “different.”  She’d hate that our well still sucks the big one and we run out of water every week or so.  She’d be disappointed that I threw away her Starsky and Hutch travel mug.

I think she would love Salted Caramel Mochas from Starbucks, that Bronson Pinchot found some work, Facebook, Trader Joe’s, and iPhones (especially Face Time).  She could not stand any kind of character-infused clothing on kids – but I’m willing to bet she would have melted at the sight of Lily twirling around in her Snow White dress.  She would have found so much joy helping me pack the horseshow bag and would always be up for a stop at Tabora.

She would have cherished and adored her two precious granddaughters.  I have made it through this entire post, but this is where I tear up, because this is the part that SUCKS THE MOST.  These two silly, giggly, bubbly little girls would have been her world.  She would have lit up at the thought of them – and I’m sure would have done more than her fair share of bragging about them.  She would have sat on the sidelines of my niece Ava’s soccer games, snapping pictures and enjoying a sip of Coke.  She would have met us early in the morning on Sundays to watch Lily ride in each and every horse show.

She would be proud, fulfilled and happy.

And on shitty days like July 22nd, these are the thoughts that get me through.

Love you, Mom.

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  • McKays29

    I’m sorry you have to be without your Mom. I’m across the country from mine, but it in no way compares. I have to tell you that those are very beautiful pictures and I loved reading this. Made me tear up.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you so much for reading it, and for your kind words!

  • Jen F

    You mom sounds like an amazing woman, and I believe she was watching down on you and your family for each of those moments and many more. I hope today goes fast for you… <3

    • Anonymous

      Thank you so much, Jen.

  • Jennifer A Rasmussen

    This is so amazing! I lost my Grammy almost 3 years ago to Alzheimer’s Disease. She was only 73. She was here for the birth of my son but was gone by the time he was about 10. She couldn’t attend my college graduation because of her outbursts. Then, she was gone before she could see me get married. She was my world. She was supposed to live forever. She was te glue that held this family together. My heart has a hole in it that can never be fixed. October 25, 2009 is the day a part of my soul died. Thank you for sharing this. I don’t feel so alone.

    • Anonymous

      That is so heartbreaking – I’m so sorry for your loss. Even though the Hallmark holidays tend to make us feel otherwise, like everyone has living parents and grandparents, you are most certainly not alone.

  • Kathy W

    I have one of those days as well. May 9th 20 years ago I also lost mine. Just happened to be Mothers Day that year. Now that was a day that sucks and sucks each year x2. She was only 59.

    • Anonymous

      So young, and on Mother’s Day, too? That is truly heartbreaking. I’m sorry! 🙁

  • Debbies

    I lost my mom 6 1/2 yrs ago and your post made me cry. It really is the little things that I miss most. The things like her calling me telling me how hot is was, or how bad the traffic was. (I am from Los Angeles). We do our best to keep our memories of them happy, but yes, some days just suck!

    • Anonymous

      Agreed. I find that while sometimes the traditions that we keep that bring pangs of hurt as we remember our lost loved ones, also bring those silly stories and anecdotes that help us remember the happiest times.

  • August 20, 2006 my mom passed from cancer. My thoughts pretty much parallel yours. My Bunny is 3yo, and I cannot believe my mom hasn’t been here to see her first granddaughter, and watch me grow into an adult.

    I sure hope our moms found each other, and are giggling side by side as they watch our daughters put us through the same things we put them through 😉

    • Anonymous

      That’s a lovely thought – and I’ll bet you’re right. 🙂

  • Caitlin

    Love you!

    • Anonymous


  • Meredith

    It does suck–absolutely sucks and I’m so sorry. My mom died 4 mo. ago and the ache of all I know she is missing is what hurts the most. You created a wonderful tribute in this post for her!

    • Anonymous

      I’m so sorry for YOUR loss as well, Meredith. 🙁 Doesn’t get any cheerier, but it DOES get easier as time passes.

  • Sara

    What a wonderful tribute to your mom! I lost my mom when I was 2 years old and my grandmother (her mom) 8 years ago on the 19th. It sucks. It really sucks. I know they are both watching down over me as your mom is watching over you and your sister’s families. My husband and kids and several other blessings since their passing are all part of their angel handiwork!

    • Anonymous

      Oh wow, Sara – I had no idea. 🙁 It certainly does suck – but I do very much agree with “angel handiwork.” Definitely!

  • Liz

    I was privileged to know your Mum – she was truly a wonderful, very special, individual. The sort you just don’t meet every day. She was my first “internet” friend – all those years ago. We shared a love of a TV show … and horses .. and later we discovered quite a few other things. We chatted over the internet and then we chatted by phone and then I came to visit you all …

    We got to meet you, Caitlin, Brett and of course your Dad. I can remember being excited about seeing the place that she had sent so many emails to me from! Silly I know ..

    Every time I sit down on Facebook and see the pictures posted of Ava and Lily, I know how proud she would have been of them and of you, Caitlin and Brett. You are truly an amazing family that I am so glad to have had in my life.

    I still have her photo of the time she came to visit us in prominent position and it always makes me smile. I am still utterly convinced that she looks over my shoulder and I can hear her tut that I am no longer the ardent Starsky and Hutch fan that I am sure she would still be 🙂

    • Anonymous

      So sweet, Liz, thank you. <3

  • Such an amazing post, Dev. I’m sorry there will always be so much she doesn’t get to see and share with you. However, I’m sure she is watching all of it and so proud of you, your sister and your brother for the lives you are living. The fact that you’re all still doing things she loved, that’s the mark of a great mother.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Amanda – I love that thought of a mother’s legacy – so true! 🙂

  • Jllindsay

    I’m sitting at my desk with tears in my eyes. You’ve written and I’ve read a lot of posts, but this is without a doubt the most personal one I’ve ever seen from you. HUGS to all the Wilshe/Weaver/Domanicos!

    That last pic of the two little firecrackers is awesome!!!! They look like they’re gettin’ down with their bad selves, rockin’ out with the band and doing preschool ballet all at the same time. 🙂

    • Anonymous

      <3 Thanks, BFF! 🙂