My Weekly Calls

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When my mother’s aneurysm rupture occurred in August of 2004, I immediately thought of two elderly ladies whom I considered surrogate mothers: one was my mother’s sister Jean, and the other was a dear friend of my mother’s and mine, whom everyone referred to as Frenchie. With my mother hovering over the edge of death, I made a sudden realization that I needed to reach out to these surrogate mothers more regularly. Anything could happen in an instant and forever change the lives of these women whom I adored.

My mother was in the Neurosurgical ICU at UCLA for two weeks, then spent another week on the med-surg floor recovering from two coil embolization procedures. Shortly after my mother was released from the hospital, I decided to call my aunt Jean and Frenchie every week to say hello and to check up on them. With only a few stark exceptions (such as trips out of the country), I was able to keep my promise to myself and to them over the years. To this day I still call Frenchie every week to chat.

Sadly, my aunt alienated the majority of the family four years ago and refused to speak to me for a year. Once she allowed me to contact her again, things weren’t the same, and what further complicated the situation was that she developed amyotropic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in early 2016. ALS eventually robbed my aunt of her ability to speak, and she eventually passed away on December 20, 2016.

For any of you who keep pushing off contacting old friends or relatives, I implore you to contact them NOW. If you wait, it might be too late when you finally get around to it.

Teddy Bears

My early days...see the white bear on the right?  This is the bear that started it all...

I got my first teddy bear when I was a baby (see photo above), and it seemed to spark a teddy bear obsession, particularly white ones. Though I don’t like collecting stuffed animals per se, I do have a small teddy bear collection, which features a 42 inch tall white bear named “Grandma Fresca” by the manufacturer. I am very attached to this giant bear, primarily because my mother gave it to me.

Grandma Fresca teddy bear

Grandma Fresca teddy bear

My collection is tucked rather discreetly in two small nooks in my bedroom so as not to disrupt the design flow of the room. Though I don’t consider myself a stuffed animal fan, and don’t pay any attention to my bear collection, I feel a very strong sentimental attachment to the largest bear, and to one of the smallest in my collection, which served as a litter mate to a three week old rescue kitten who is still very much a part of my family today. I find it rather touching that there is a mother-child asociation associated with both of these teddy bears.

My little rescue kitty with her teddy bear littermate!  Shima is 5 years old now and a sweet and wonderful cat...

My little rescue kitty with her teddy bear littermate! Shima is 5 years old now and a sweet and wonderful cat…