Waiting for Tom

I’m in love with Tom and counting down the days until I can see him again.

Tom Brady, that is.

OK maybe I’m not “in love” with him, but I’m certainly in lust. In fact, if Tom were dumb, nonathletic and poor, I might stand a shot. Hey, he might be enamored with a rich old lady. But Tom is talented and, let’s face it, he has Giselle.

Recently I started wondering what Tom and Giselle could possibly argue about. Most couples “debate” finances, careers, and children. I’m pretty confident finances are not an issue. Their careers are in place and with the discipline that both Tom and Giselle have illustrated, something tells me they are great parents.

Maybe they argue about who is more beautiful on a specific day? I think Tom wins. And from what I have witnessed from Mr. Brady, he thinks Giselle is fabulous. In fact, he always thanks Giselle before his parents. (That might be his only flaw.)

They can’t argue about sex. Seriously, they must desire each other nonstop.

I have it! Perhaps they argue over which is more nutritious, kale or spinach. Or maybe they have heated debates over whether quinoa or brown rice tastes better. And can you imagine Tom’s anger if Giselle brings a bag of potato chips into the house? Hell hath no fury like a man who is a legend at 40!

I may never really know what happens behind closed doors. But I want Tom to know that if the arguments become too much to bear, I’m here! Even if you want a 24 hour reprise, please come to Hawaii and visit. I promise the only two words I will utter are “Yes, Tom!” And don’t you worry about my husband, Walter. He fully understands. Something tells me that Walter thinks he’s pretty safe.

The good news is that in just 9 days, I can feast my eyes on Tom. I respect his talent, I adore his passion and dedication to his game, and last but not least I think he is just drop-dead gorgeous!

If I can’t have Tom, do you think I stand a shot with Scott Eastwood?

Probably not. Sad to say Scott is young enough to be my son. His father, Clint Eastwood, is old enough to be my father, so that’s another no for me.

I wonder if Jon Snow and I would work out instead!

#TomBrady #patriots #NFL #gisellebundchen

How I Found the Fountain of Youth Through Hawaii Five-0

This morning we got a call from Hawaii Five-0. Yes, the TV show. They had previously filmed at our home and wanted to know if we would be interested in having them here again for an upcoming show.

Let’s be clear: When they film, a HUGE crew arrives at 7 a.m., and a single scene takes an entire day to shoot. It is quite disruptive. On the other hand, it is FUN!

So I said, “Sure, come by and take a look.” The protocol is for the director, producer, location manager, and four or five other staffers to visit to see if the location fits their needs and the plot.

As luck would have it, our pool was down to a cold 84 degrees (yes, I’m spoiled), so I had decided not to go in this morning. Instead I had showered, shampooed, and laboriously applied my makeup so I would look presentable. Since my sprained ankle is on the way to recovery, I even put on a pair of heels—with my flat shoes close by. And that was before I knew the crew from Five-0 was coming by. So I was “fluffed and buffed” when they arrived.

When the door rang, I put on my heels and greeted them. Both WJJ and I showed them around. Several of the gentlemen seemed to spend a good deal of time in Walter’s grand and rather intimidating office. The others took photos of the living room, the dining room, and the ocean view. The whole inspection took about 30 minutes and then Walter escorted them out.

When Walter returned, he noticed my flat shoes were on. He jokingly commented, “For Hawaii Five-0 you put on heels; for me, flats!” We both laughed. Walter then asked if I had heard what the gentlemen had said while in his office.

It seems they had commented, “Oh yes, we remembered this house with the painting of that beautiful woman who is still beautiful.” That woman would be me!

Now before you all start thinking just how conceited I am, let me remind you what hangs in Walter’s office. It’s the painting Olivia did of me for Walter’s 40th birthday. I was 35 years old, was working out twice a day, and was bone thin with big boobs. When Walter had a choice of a painting of me elegantly gowned in lingerie or me in a tight, black corset with stiletto heels posing very seductively on the floor, which do you think he chose?

Yes, the one with me in corset. The painting is incredibly provocative, but it is me.

While I walk by that painting every day, I never really look at it; it could quickly become very depressing. My sister Chris tries to convince me that I am getting better, not older. Seriously, no. I looked better back then, and I am 100% sure that these wonderful young men (young being the operative word) probably said, “Boy, she was one sexy knockout … back then.” And maybe they added that she is still a “beautiful older woman.” Or perhaps Walter added the “still beautiful” part. Who knows?

From today on, though, when I look at my painting, I will admire Olivia’s talent and my sense of self and confidence. Yes, I was one hot chick.

But I won’t let the changes to my body affect my mood. Instead, I will embrace Sophia Loren’s advice:

“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”

What Am I Feeling?

Several people have asked why I have not written any new blogs lately.
I have lots of reasons: I’ve been traveling. I’ve been busy. I’ve been ill.

But the truth is, I’ve been lazy and uninspired.

Normally, writing is my passion. If I had a dollar for every word I’ve ever written, I’m sure I would top Jeff Bezos as the wealthiest person in the world. I think, and then I write. But, in order for me to write my Tiffany’s Life-tini blog, not only do I have to think, I also have to feel.

It can be joy, happiness, anger, sadness, humor, fear, surprise, passion, or any other emotion, but I have to feel something. And the only thing I have felt lately was the “prick” of the needle in order to get my latest blood test. Then I have to await the results of my hematocrit and iron levels and my doctor’s decision on what to do next.

You might think that I would be worrying endlessly about each blood test. But here’s the scoop: I refuse to worry about what may or may not happen.

I will not put any thought or emotion into speculating what the results might be. Over the last few weeks, for example, the results have been bad, then worse, then slightly better, and finally somewhat better.

But think about when you experience lack of thoughts and feelings. If you think of nothing and feel nothing, then there is nothing. And that is exactly why I have been unable to write anything. I feel nothing.

Instead I’ve been way too focused on eating liver—lots of liver, enjoying kale & and spinach, snacking on eggs, ordering steak that is still mooing, slurping raw oysters, cracking lobsters, eating lentils, and indulging in dark chocolate—obviously not all together. Ironically, this iron thing has been a really good excuse for me to eat lots of dark chocolate.

As mentioned, thankfully, my iron level has risen. It’s far from normal, but it’s better. That’s the good news.

The bad news is they still have no idea what caused this chaos. The even worse news is that I’ve probably gained 10 pounds. And I can just imagine what my cholesterol level is going to be. I’m sure in a subsequent doctor’s appointment, I will be told, “Congratulations, your hematocrit and iron are finally back to normal. But your cholesterol is really high. So I want you to eliminate sweets, liver, eggs, all red meat, and all shellfish.” Anyone want to take that bet?

So, I’m back … and hopefully on the road to recovery.

How can I tell? I’m writing a blog, so I’m obviously feeling better.

Not Qualified

I really love taking those silly quizzes that appear online. For Example: “What type of Disney Princess would you be?” Or, “Who are you in one word?” I got Divine… I liked that! Of course I really LOVED, “Who is your Evil Twin?” It was Nancy Cosimini…of course.

I also love doing surveys. I do the Coke Survey, the Red Lobster Survey and even the CVS Survey. Secretly, I am hoping to win some sort of Grand Prize.

Today, I received an email from Amazon with a survey. You do know I am the Amazon Queen so I was delighted to be chosen. The email said the survey would take 15 minutes. Today was a rather hectic day, so I thought, “Why not?” Fifteen minutes of useless, relaxation time.

First Question:

Have you purchased women’s basics —t-shirts, leggings, or tanks in the last year?
Answered, “Yes”.

Next question:

Are you or any close family member involved in any of the following: Check all the apply:

• Market research
• Clothing store or specialty store
• Manufacturer of clothing or accessories
• Advertising or Public Relations
• Online retailer or e-commerce
• Bank, Brokerage Firm or Financial Company
• Publishing Company including magazines, newspapers and blogs.
• None of the above

Well I checked every category because members of my family are in all of those categories. The next thing I knew, I was told that I wasn’t qualified to take the survey. What do you mean —not qualified. So I then re-answered the questions and only checked off two of the choices. Still, “NOT QUALIFIED”. I then checked off “None of the above” and the survey continued. However by that time, I was bored.

Now I want you all to read the above categories again. Seriously the only way that you would not have a close family member in at least ONE of those categories is if you were a sterile orphan who had never left their home. BTW for all you Direct Sales Diva’s and Divo’s …your website would be considered “online retailer”.

Obviously, the survey company had a specific demographic in mind. But damn if I can figure out who that might be. So if you got this survey and they invited you to participate, please let me know how you became “The chosen one”. Well I didn’t make the Cheer-leading squad in High School and now the Amazon Survey has shunned me. Life will go on but I may never be the same.

#amazon #survey

Lose 30 Pounds in 90 Days

You may not know this, but I lost 30 pounds in 3 months. This is not a joke. I absolutely lost 30 pounds in 90 days & I have the photo’s to prove it. Would you like to know how I did it?

Here’s my Monday through Thursday Diet:

Breakfast -Black Coffee –Grapefruit and 1 slice of toasted thin whole wheat bread with butter

Lunch–a bowl of spinach with one slice of melted cheese.

Dinner –Large salad with plain vinegar —Broiled Chicken Breast — broccoli. –Green beans with oregano and vinegar.

Friday:

Breakfast and Lunch -Same as above

Dinner –Substitute Broiled Fish for Chicken

Saturday:

Breakfast: Two hard-boiled eggs with ½ one slice whole English muffin. (Sometimes I splurged and made soft boiled eggs)

Lunch: One thick slice of turkey –sliced tomatoes and green beans

Dinner: Large Salad–lots of lettuce–tomatoes etc.

Sunday:

Breakfast: Coffee with Cream –One Stella Dora Cookie (50 Calories)

Lunch: Steak with ½ baked potato with small dollop of sour cream

Dinner: 1 cup of Progresso low sodium soup

Snacks consisted primarily of fruit. If I were ravenous, I would have a cup of Progresso Low Sodium Soup. NO WINE, VODKA, LICQUOR, SWEETS, CHOCOLATE OR CANDIES. My only “sugar” was sugarless gum.

And I walked or worked out just about every single day.

This diet is exactly what I followed for 12 consecutive weeks. I did not cheat once!

Did my diet work? You “betcha”… I lost 30 pound in 90 days. And that is 100% honest! I went from a size 16 to a size 8! Yes, congratulations are in order.

Oh…. Oopsie… I may have forgotten to mention that this was my 90-day diet, a few years ago –precisely when I was 21 years old. I went from 158 pound to 128 pounds. In addition, I completely transformed myself -that’s another story.
Hmmm, I sure had a lot of drive, determination and discipline back then. I had a “weight goal” and I was going to hit it. Congratulations to me!

Time moves on and those extra pounds have started to creep up.
Frankly, I would really LOVE to lose 15 or 20 pounds NOW. Ah, unfortunately I’m not sure the discipline and drive are the same. Actually I am sure. Nope–not there. I am just not willing to give up all the “stuff” that I enjoy. Last night we feasted on lasagna and red wine. Tonight we’ll probably have marinated pork with baked potatoes and a vodka martini! Though I gave up chocolate and nuts for Lent, I’ll probably have a Greek cookie and just a little Amaretto for my after dinner “treat”.

Whoa is me….. My latest dilemma — Loose weight OR enjoy life. Oh, I know someone is going to attempt to lecture me on “moderation” and portion control etc. Hello…. I have been 158 pounds and 104 pounds… so I think I understand all that.

I’d like to say that the reason it is so difficult to loose weight is age & metabolism. But truth be known, it’s not that at all. Stated simply I like my life and I like my food and I like my vodka and/or wine. I like my husband, I like being out with friends and enjoying good food and finally I like my extra little goodies. So… maybe it’s time for me to give up my size 6 pants and buy size 10’s or 12’s.

Or I could try to convince myself that I prefer to be “overweight”. After all, I don’t look gaunt…. My fuller face hides my wrinkles! And damn it, I look healthy.

Of course, when I look at the beautiful photos that David Kawika has taken of UndercoverWear lingerie and corsets with gorgeous Gerry…. I yearn for the days when my thunder thighs did not rub against each other. I lament about the size of my waist –Scarlett O’Hara I am not. Tears fill my eyes, as my arms will jiggle –just a bit. Again I say…. Whoa is me… The good news is that I live in Hawaii –where a good muu muu will hide a multitude of sins! Do you think I can find one in gold lame?

#davidkawika #diet #undercoverwear

It’s My Turn Monday!

Have you thought about how often you put others first. I’m sure every day of your life, you are doing something for someone else. While that is often necessary and certainly admirable, I strongly believe that occasionally, you should put the world “on hold” and take some time for you!

So today we are going to take “baby steps”. We’re going to talk about things you can do just for you that will NOT take a whole lot of time out of your busy life. And they cost virtually NOTHING!

So I have 3 assignments for you to complete this week. Are you ready?

Assignment One:

• My last blog talked about “mindfulness”. Mindfulness is simply TRULY being in the moment and putting your full emphasis on what you are doing. As an FYI, while I sometimes fall into the trap of multi-tasking, I do not believe it is effective. I think that doing one thing at a time truly does work. But that’s a whole other topic.

So for your first mindfulness assignment, I want you to make a cup of coffee or tea and get a piece of toast or a donut or anything else you chose to enjoy with your coffee. Now comes the hard part. I want you to sit down in a quiet place –no music, no cell phone, no newspaper, no distractions –and I want you to CONCENTRATE on simply eating your toast and drinking your coffee. The only thing you are going to think about is the taste of the toast and coffee. Drink your coffee as if you were at a wine tasting. Feel the crunch of the toast. Don’t just chew it -savor it as if you were enjoying Crème Brûlée. If you’ve added butter or jam, how does that feel on your palate? Do you prefer the taste of the toast or the flavor of the coffee? Oh. I know, someone is about to say, “Tiffany has lost her mind”. No, Tiffany is trying to calm her mind and re–generate her brain. As easy as this assignment seems, if you do not practice meditation, then most of you will NOT find this an easy task. So go ahead and try this and please share your results.

Assignment Two

• This one is easy–I want you to pick up the phone and call someone you care about and with whom you have not spoken for at least 3 month. Make sure that you put the time aside –with no interruptions. Stay focused on the person and truly LISTEN to every word they are saying. Don’t have your “hidden agenda”. Hmmm for my Party Plan gals…. Kinda sounds like recruiting. LOL Several years ago, a great friend of mine, Chris Hemmeter gave me an immense compliment. He said, “When you are talking to Tiffany James, you feel like you are the most important person in the world”. I kindly thanked him and replied, “When I am speaking to someone, at the moment in time, to me–they ARE the most important person in the world. “ If you are taking the time to talk, take the time to listen and take the time to care.

Assignment Three

• Break ONE pattern that will make your life more pleasant. Each morning I wake up and I put the news on the TV in my dressing area. That’s important here in Hawaii –because by the time we’re up…we’ve lost 5 East coast hours. Then of course I do the “morning ritual” you know, brush teeth, contacts in, and shower blah blah blah. I have always kept the news on. Now, after I get up and put on the news and thankfully the world is reasonably safe, I shut the TV off. I then put on “Happy Music”. If you wonder what “Happy Music is…let me tell you what it is NOT. It is not “Look Down” from Les Miserable or Dance With my Father by Luther Vandros or Someone Like You by Adele. No, that’s depressing music. I listen to “Chicago” both the band and the play. I love Grease. And my favorite vocalists are Pink Martini! BTW, if you are “daring”, put on Polka music. Yes, you heard me correctly Polka music. I know you think I’m daft, but WJJ puts it on in the car and believe it or not…. you can’t help but smile and start taping your foot. Yes, Polka music is Happy Music…just ask Lawrence Welk … “And a one, two, three.” Oh and yes, it’s true… as a teenager, WJJ toured with Lawrence Welk and Myron Floran the accordion player. For my Hawaii friends, we all know it is our Christmas Eve tradition that we all sing-a-long as Walter plays the accordion and I lead the chorus. Except this year, where our wonderful friends the Carungi’s joined us and brought their daughter Amanda’s and her friend–who just happened to be Glen Campbell’s beautiful and very talented daughter Ashley. Somehow by popular opinion, Ashley took my role. And damn it… she is good….really good! Guess who’s not going to be invited next year? Just joking. You really should listen to this gorgeous young lady sing.

So those are your assignments: Be Mindful –Listen to a Friend & Break One Pattern in your life to make your life better. Bottom line: These simple steps allow you to put YOU first –even if it is only for a moment, an hour or a day. I am a strong believer that in order to helpful to others, you really have to take care of YOU! That is NOT selfish. That is merely a way for you to stay focused, stay strong, stay positive and stay healthy! And guess what? You deserve a little “time out” for YOU!

#mindfulness #partyplan #ashleycampbell #selfish

Tiffany’s Random Musings

As I’ve been told many times, I think too much. So today, I have decided to share my rather random and unconnected thoughts with you. And believe me, there are plenty more where these came from!

Deal of the Day!
It’s Lent and as practicing Catholics, we observe the “No Meat” on Friday restrictions. So, WJJ and I had an early dinner at Red Lobster — It’s Lobsterfest! Our wait server Keisha was amazing!!! WJJ ordered the Lobster Lover’s Dream. Two lobster tails, one “rock lobster” and one Maine lobster. This is served with a creamy lobster-shrimp linguini. I ordered the “Mix and Match” Lobster special. 3 Maine Lobster tails stuffed with seafood! We enjoyed Caesar Salad, their yummy cornbread, baked potatoes, broccoli and two drinks. The bill: Under $100 AND we brought home a ‘doggy bag” which will certainly allow us to enjoy one or two other Lobster meals. WJJ is planning to make Lobster with whiskey sauce–a recipe from our old “Ritz Boston” day. Yes, Red Lobster is my personal “Deal of the Day”. In case you are wondering…this was NOT a good Diet Day!

I’m beginning to become more and more like my Mother and her diet. Every Monday, I start and by Friday, I’m finished, only to start again on Monday. Guess what? It’s not working!!!

Odd
Speaking of Lent, I asked my sister Chris if she got ashes last Ash Wednesday and she replied “yes”. I asked what Mass she attended. Here is her answer. “Oh I didn’t go to Mass –I went to Starbucks. There were two clergy administering ashes–so I got mine. “ Hmmm Coffee to go –Ashes to go… Not sure how I feel about that…. What say you?

What to buy on Amazon: First, become a PRIME Member!!
I am the Amazon Queen –I buy ALMOST everything on PRIME –so here are my recommendations for this week.

Books
My wonderful friend Linda who is stunning, successful and an inspiration to all women, gave me a book called “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young to give to a friend of mine. It is a daily devotional. It helped Linda immensely as she was going through a very difficult time in her life –which was caused by others not Linda. And boy… did Linda come through –with flying colors. I loved the book so much –I bought one for myself. My friend and I read the passages daily + we often do it together over the phone. I highly recommend “Jesus Calling”!

The Miracle of Mindfulness –A guide to Meditation by Thich Nhat Hanh. Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist Monk and Peace Activist. He has published more than 100 books. .

If you have a mind that never seems to stop –buy this book now! Just try practicing “staying in the moment”. My first day was Thursday. I lasted one hour. As I walked down our corridor towards the kitchen, I actually looked out towards the ocean and SAW the ocean. I was once asked, “Do you take time to stop and smell the roses?” I responded, “I don’t even see the damn roses”. 2017 I am working on that.

All of Thich Nhat Hanh’s books are inspirational –but I strongly suggest you start with this one.

Health:
Cystex Liquid Cranberry Complex–A sip a day keeps UTI’s away! It’s that simple –I LOVE this product! It’s available in pill form, but be careful the pill form has NDAID (like aspiring and Ibuprofen) so it should be used only when you get a feeling that a UTI is “on the horizon”.

NEWS Of THE DAY:

SHOCKING:
Arnold Schwarzenegger has quit & will not be returning to the “Celebrity Apprentice”. Did anyone watch it? I did—-once!

MORE SHOCKING:
President Trump tweeted that Mr. Schwarzenegger was fired -he didn’t quit “Celebrity Apprentice”. In fact, truth be known, the Russian government conspired to have Arnold fired.

Tj’s Words of Wisdom–These are my own personal mantras –Enjoy!

Life is not a spectator sport –Play to WIN!

#redlobster #celebrityapprentice #makeamericagreat #amazonprime

Another Lesson–Damn It!

WJJ and I love to watch Jeopardy. Watching that show keeps me very humble.
Sometimes I’m really good + most times I’m adequate at best. But WJJ and I love to watch the show, answer the questions and often times, we will comment on the contestants.

Most often we make harmless remarks like, “She might be smart, but she sure isn’t savvy”. Or “Someone should tell him to get a haircut.” These contestants are perfect strangers and it’s just Walter and I making small talk.

Several weeks ago, Jeopardy had a contestant who just kept winning. Obviously, she was incredibly intelligent, but it seemed to end there. I commented that she had an awful haircut, didn’t smile and seemed to have no personality. She won six consecutive games and over $100,000. When she finally lost, I said that perhaps she could take the Dale Carnegie Course “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and then a makeover.

Shortly thereafter, Jamie (our son) asked if I had heard about the Jeopardy Champion who had died before her episodes aired. I hadn’t. Well in fact the contestant who died was Cindy Stowell –the very same contestant who I had chastised for her appearance. Cindy did not have a sudden horrible accident. No, Cindy died of cancer some three weeks before her episodes aired. In fact, when she appeared on the show, she and only a handful of staffers including Alex Trebek even knew she was sick.

Her lifetime dream was to compete on Jeopardy. So with Stage 4 cancer she went through the preliminaries, the in-person test and of course competed and won. Cindy Stowell donated all her winnings to cancer research. Fortunately, Jeopardy sent her the episodes beforehand so she and her family could watch before it was aired and before she died.

So why am I sharing all this? That’s simple. When I found out about Ms. Stowell, I felt horrible. I had made snarky comments about this dying woman. It doesn’t matter whether or not I knew in advance. It doesn’t matter that I was home and only talking to WJJ. What does matter is “nasty” is still “nasty”.

I said several prayers and asked forgiveness –from both God and Ms Stowell. And further I have decided that whether it’s a Kardashian’s bum or a bad facelift, or a non-smiling person—no more negative comments from this woman.

You know, just when you think you learned your lessons, God in his infinite wisdom teaches you a few more. I just have to keep remembering what my Mother said, “If you don’t have something good to say then say nothing at all.

#jeopardy #lesson #kardashian

Divorce

Are meatballs grounds for divorce? Last night my husband WJJ made the most amazing meatballs EVER–yes, Mia Pisacano-Pompi & Mirella Monascalco. The best meatballs EVER! (Better than my Nanna’s)

To prepare them, I know he used our Country Gourmet Home– Mama’s Italian Blend Seasoning Mix and Mama’a Meatloaf Mix both of which will soon be part of our Wine Decadence Gourmet Food products. But he won’t tell me what other ingredients he used nor will he tell me exactly how he made them.

We had pasta and meatballs and thanks to Shirin Brenick’s suggestion, we enjoyed our Altvs wine with this yummy Italian meal. Our dinner was fabulous –the meatballs were “to die for”. HOWEVER, WJJ refuses to give me his meatball recipe. I’m serious. He said “If I tell you –I’ll have to kill you”. After all, he is Agent 007

Walter is an “only child Leo” and he doesn’t really like to share. Actually nor do I. But come on …it’s only a recipe. And I NEED that recipe so I can share it with my friends, family and our Wine Decadence Consultants.

I am now developing my strategy. I’ll check the kitchen to see if he wrote the recipe for future reference. I’ll remind him it’s the Holiday Season.. the Season of love and SHARING. And finally, if all else fails….. remember I was in the lingerie business –so I just may have to resort to….”The Power of the Bedroom”.

I’ll keep you posted.

#winedecadence #divorce #meatballs #undercoverwear

Long Awaited Friendship

Several months ago I was contacted via Facebook about my 50th high school class reunion. Now I can certainly go into a diatribe about how quickly time flies and how it is impossible to be this old, but I won’t. By the way, I was the youngest member of the class just in case you were wondering.

My high school days were not particularly joy-filled. I grew up in Lawrence, Massachusetts and before entering high school; I was very smart, pretty, popular and frankly quite amazing. We moved from Lawrence to Methuen and as a freshman at Tenney Memorial High School, I was completely out of my comfort zone and became insecure, unpopular, and not very smart. To illustrate my unhappiness, let me share with you that when I entered high school I weighed 94 pounds and when I graduated, I weighed 152 pounds. Can you say miserable???

So when I realized that Tenney High School was having this special reunion I was not particularly sure I wanted to attend. However, everyone I love besides my husband still lives in the area –so that was a good reason to go back to Methuen and attend. Plus I did have a few friends I would like to see like Theo, Ginny, Valerie and Cheryl.

My sister told me I should attend for one very important reason. She said, “You look really good for your age, you should go and show the men what they missed out on.” Those of you who know my sister Chris must be laughing hysterically. Well that was not exactly a driving force. But maybe it would be fun.

The committee had been working hard to organize this event. Dan, Sarina Patricia and Anne were names that I remembered. If my fading memory served me, they were all very nice. No, I wasn’t particularly close to them, but certainly I had no animosity. Attending could be fun.

As luck would have it, my niece’s wedding was 4 weeks before the reunion & it was being held in Boston. Now one might think that the timing would be ideal. No shot. There is no way, that I could convince WJJ to leave Hawaii and spend 6 weeks in Boston. So unfortunately, I decided that I was not going to go to my class reunion.

I was somewhat disappointed. And as the “reunion chatter” continued, I was eager to hear more about the activities. Anne was a driving force in encouraging all to attend. During the process, I learned a lot about Anne. She now lived in Florida. Her husband Dick had passed away from Cancer a couple of years ago. From all the Facebook posts, I discovered that they had a remarkable relationship that was filled with smiles, fun, laughter and lots of love. I also learned that Anne had achieved professional success. And I’ll be darned; Anne and I had the exact same political views. Part of me wonders why we never became friends. But that was a long time ago, and I’m sure we were both very different.

I became more disappointed that I had chosen not to attend the reunion. That would have been a perfect time to connect & reconnect with everyone especially Anne.

Shortly before the reunion, Anne announced on her closed Facebook page, that she would not be attending the Tenney High School 50th class reunion. She shared that she had Cancer and the trip would be much too difficult. Obviously, we were all shocked. There had not been one indication that she was ill. For the next few months, Anne’s post continued to be upbeat while she “talked politics”, talked about her husband, shared photos and briefly updated us on her health.

A few days ago, Anne shared that her Cancer has spread very quickly. As she said, “It’s everywhere.” Hospice has been brought in and perhaps she and Dick will be spending Christmas together.

So one would think that this is a devastatingly sad story. But it’s not. I’ve never spoken to Anne personally. All our correspondence has been through Facebook and Private Messaging. Anne is smart, witty, caring and loving. Although it’s only been months, I feel like I have had a long-standing friendship with this great lady.

Anne continues to be a ray of sunshine. Instead of feeling resentment and pity for herself, she embraces the fact that she will soon be back with the man she has loved–no, the man she adores. Soon she will be in Dick’s arms –which is where she wants to be.

There is no anger in Anne. She has handled Dick’s death and her illness with grace and elegance. And now, there is a sense of peace and perhaps even joy. While she has continued to breathe (with difficulty) each day and even on occasion to smile, laugh and enjoy life, it seems to me the day Dick died –he took Anne’s heart with him. Her body has been on this earth, but her Heart and Soul have been with Dick.

Soon she will join him. Soon he will wrap his arms around his beautiful wife. Soon they will be complete again. And unfortunately, soon, we will loose a remarkable woman. No, I didn’t know Anne in high school and that makes me sad. But in the last six months, I have learned to respect and “yes” love this woman for all that she represents.

More than likely, I will not have an opportunity to chat with Anne. That’s unfortunate. But I can assure you, that sometime in the future Anne, Dick, Walter and I will have our very special “reunion”. And it will be like “old times” where we talk about high school and Bea’s Sandwich Shop and what it felt like growing up in the Merrimack Valley.

In the meantime, Anne relax, close your eyes and know that soon Dick will welcome you with that same smile, warm embrace and tender kiss that you know so well. And finally Anne, thank you for sharing your journey and thank you for being my friend.

#reunion #dying #love #friends