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That’s right, Counselor

That’s right, Counselor

My dear daughter asks a lot of questions. Of course, I usually have no problem with this. As far as I’m concerned, the ability and propensity to show curiosity indicates a high degree of intelligence. On some days, however, the questions seem to shoot out of my kid’s mouth like a machine gun.

She also challenges us a great deal. On some days, we seem to bring to life that famous Monty Python sketch where the man goes in for an argument and in the end seems to get more than he bargained for.

“But I came here for an argument!”

“No you didn’t!”

Yesterday, Cecelia’s line of questioning only confirmed my belief that she just might make a great attorney. We could use one in this family, so if she does pursue this line of work, she has my blessing.

During our drive home and after picking her up from school, the three of us got into a discussion about our mothers, and Louise happened to mention that her mother once worked in a bakery. She remembered how great it was when her mother brought home items that they couldn’t sell because they were left in the oven a little too long. For lack of a better term, Louise called them burnt.

Cecelia asked, “Was your mom a good baker?”

“Yes, she was,” Louise replied, with a bit of pride.

“How can she be a good baker if she burned everything?”

And then five minutes later:

“What’s so funny? Stop laughing at me!”

Memorial Luncheon set for Elaine Garbin

Memorial Luncheon set for Elaine Garbin

We have set a date for a memorial luncheon for my mom, Elaine Garbin for Saturday afternoon, May 19, 2012 at one of the restaurants that Mom always loved. This is an invitation-only event, and we will be asking for invited guests to R.S.V.P.

We will be serving a buffet style lunch, while we remember mom with words, pictures, and plenty of good stories.

If you’re interested in attending, please let us know by emailing me at, by leaving a note in the comments, or by contacting me via my Facebook page.

Remembering Mom

Remembering Mom

Good to see all of Mom’s friends and family last night during visiting hours. All of mom’s neighbors, all our cousins, and many, many friends stopped I with kind words and good stories. Even her plumber, carpenter, and hairdresser came to pay their respects.

For many, mom left quite an impression. As someone who tended to speak her mind (maybe a little too often), this is to be expected. Most of the sentiments centered around my mother’s live of a good time, her children, and her determination to live life on her own terms. Indeed if anything impressed me most about Mom, it was her desire for independence, and indeed she raised three kids, intentionally or not, who picked up on that, entering adulthoods of self-reliance.

We hope soon to announce the time an date of Mom’s memorial service where we plan to more fully celebrate her life.

Visiting hours for Mom

Visiting hours for Mom

We’ll be having visiting hours for our mother at Sampson Chapels on 21 Tinkham Road, Springfield, Mass on Friday, April 13 from 4 to 7 P.M. We will be having a full memorial service at a date to be announced. If you’d wish to attend that service, please let me or my sisters know and/or leave us your contact information.

Elaine Garbin, September 20, 1929 – April 8, 2012

Elaine Garbin, September 20, 1929 – April 8, 2012

My mom, Elaine Garbin, died peacefully in her own house at 3:00 A.M. last Sunday morning. I was there with her when she passed.

This finally ends my mom’s seven-year struggle with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. While this stoic and hard-scrabbled French-Canadian woman managed to put up a good fight, adjusting to her condition admirably as it progressed, the one-two punch of heart attack and a bout of pneumonia triggered a fairly rapid decline.

When I arrived that afternoon, mom opened her eyes, so I believe she knew I was there. In fact, the house was full of people, my sisters, my niece and her husband, and later on some friends. Mom was surrounded by people who loved her in her last hours.

After everyone left later that evening, I went to bed only to be awoken by Mom’s aid at about 2:45 to let me know that she didn’t sound well at all, and indeed her breathing had slowed considerably. Less than fifteen minutes later, she let go.

My sisters and I will be announcing our plans for a memorial service for Mom soon. She had informed us in no uncertain terms years ago that she did not want a wake nor did she want people to buy flowers. She asked instead that if people wanted to, that they donate to the ASPCA, and we would also ask that donations be made in her name to the ALS Association.