A weekend of neighbors helping neighbors, families enjoying each other and missing those who are gone

Our first Harborside “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” event is scheduled for tomorrow (Saturday, May 12) and several of us are signed up to go out and do some fence repair, weeding, tree trimming and flower planting for neighbors who are unable to do it for themselves. We get exercise, they get help and the neighborhood gets a little nicer; it’s a win-win-win situation.

Hoping the weather clears up and doesn’t interfere with the plans. A big “thank you” to Teresa Miller for coming up with the idea and taking the reins to organize the whole thing.

Sunday, of course, is Mother’s Day and I’m sure there will be many family lunches or dinners going on at homes throughout our neighborhood, as well as many folks who will be leaving to join their moms or children somewhere else to celebrate the day. I wish you all a wonderful time.

For me, this will be the first Mother’s Day of my life that I won’t spend either with my mother or my children. I guess I’m lucky that it took over half a century for that to happen. Mom has been gone since 2002; I still miss her every day. When something exciting happens to me, my first reaction is still the urge to call her and tell her about it and share my joy with her. When I’m feeling down, I want so much to hear her words of encouragement and love that never failed to put things into perspective and cheer me up. When I’m sick, I long for the days when I could crawl into bed and let her take care of me, and crave the healing powers of her homemade chicken soup.

I know how lucky I was to have had one of the best moms (and dads) in the world. What’s even more amaimagezing is that I was blessed with two of the best children, as well. I’m sad that they can’t be here this weekend, but I know that doesn’t diminish the bonds between us. My daughter is halfway around the world, in the middle of the Indian ocean on the island of Diego Garcia, where she’s stationed until November. Being a Navy mom isn’t always easy, but I am proud of her beyond words.

She’s been gone since last November, and I won’t be able to see her again until next November. At least this time isn’t quite as rough on me as the year she was deployed to Afghanistan; she’s relatively safe, just way too far away.

My son won’t be here for Mother’s Day this time, either. He’s working out of town for the next two weeks; his job requires him to be at the major chess tournaments, and those who make such decisions decided to schedule the U.S. championship tournament in St. Louis for May 7 – 19, encompassing the Mother’s Day weekend.

That’s okay – I’m proud of him, too, traipsing all over the globe, using his computer skills to analyze chess games and give advice to the former U.S. champion Hikaru Nakamura, who is one of the top ranked players in the world. And as soon as this tournament ends, he’s coming back to Dallas on the 21st, in time to leave with me for the U.K. on the 22nd. We’ll have nine days to spend together in Europe, so that more than makes up for the lack of his presence on Mother’s Day.

My heart goes out to all the moms I know who have lost children. I can’t imagine the pain of outliving your own progeny. That must leave a hole in the heart that aches every day. If you’re lucky enough to still have your mom with you, savor every minute you get to be with her. I regret the times I took mine for granted. dogs

Meanwhile, with no mom, no kids around, and no grandchildren on the horizon, I still have a lot to celebrate this Sunday. And I’ll be doing it with my current “babies” – who, unlike the human ones, will never grow up and go off to college and join the military and move to some other town or country.

‘til next time,


Debra Littlejohn Shinder

About debshinder

Technology analyst and author, specializing in enterprise security. Author of or contributor to over 25 books, including "Scene of the Cybercrime." Fourteen-year Microsoft MVP, married to Microsoft FTE Tom Shinder, and proud mom of two wonderful grown-up human children and three amazing Japanese Chin pups. In my spare time, I love to travel - especially on cruise ships - and write about my grand adventures.
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