Skip to main content


Showing posts from November, 2013

Yes Virginia, there is a Thanksgiving!

The holiday season is upon us. The malls and the stores are all decorated with their Christmas finery, and Santa is there greeting all the boys and girls.   Carols are playing and gingerbread is baking. The only issue is that it isn’t even Thanksgiving yet.   Every year it seems that merchants and advertisers are making the Christmas holiday season longer and more deliberately in your face. When I was growing up, the official Christmas shopping season did not begin until after Thanksgiving. The turkey was carved, and the trimmings were packed away in the refrigerator when the shopping lists would come out. The first time we would see Santa was in the Thanksgiving Day Parade.   He would be making his way to the department stores for all the good boys and girls to visit. In Philadelphia, Santa climbed a fire truck ladder into the Gimbels’ Department Store at the conclusion of the parade. This was the official start of the holiday season.

In Loving Memory of Loretta R. Sparks - 1924 to 2013

My mother passed away on Friday November 1, 2013.  The priest, who came to the nursing home to deliver Last Rites, advised us that that it was All Saints Day.  You are never prepared to let go of a loved one, especially a parent, but as a Catholic my mom left the earthly plane on a fitting day. I know that my life changed on that day.  I will never be the same. The mother who gave me life, held me in her arms, dried my childhood tears and always believed in me is gone. I can’t see her, call her on the phone or go visit her at Shady Lane Nursing Home. There is a pain in my heart that only the grief process and the support of family and friends will help relieve. The night before her passing my mom whispered to me “I am always here for you.” I truly believe that my mom’s spirit is watching over me, and I have the best guardian angel ever.  I wrote the following as a tribute to my mother to be read at her funeral service.  I share it here on my blog to provide a lasting rem