Tag Archives: cupcakes


Whimsy: – playfully quaint; fanciful behavior or humor.      






Dear Mom,

George Burns said, “Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family…in another city.” If he’d said “in another state,” it would have described us.

Each month when I come to see you, we do at least one special thing. This month, I planned a day of whimsy. From food to fingernail polish to field trip, we would be playful and fanciful.

The fingernails were fun, weren’t they? Your great-grand-daughter Grace sent her favorite colors of nail polish, and soon your fingernails were bright with lime green and orange. In solids, stripes and dots that made you wiggle your fingers and smile. Later we had a special snack: gourmet cupcakes! One was Coconut-Confetti (which we shared in memory of Dad, who loved anything coconut). To remind us of the upcoming election, the other cupcake was called “Bi-Partisan Red and Blue”—with bright-swirled icing, half blueberry and half cherry. We served them on the placemats your granddaughter Molly had a vendor make for you at Territory Days more than twenty years ago. Yours was a “ mock announcement” of winning the Pulitzer, and Dad’s was an award for being the Best Grandfather.

Then came our field trip. We used Dad’s old wheelchair because we were taking a long walk outside, around the facility to the pond where ducks paddled over to meet us, and to enjoy the bright mums and last roses growing along the borders. You hummed melodies, and I sang along with the ones I recognized. David stopped by to bring toilet paper because we were out and I couldn’t leave you alone to go to the store. You thought it was a special gift your son had brought for you. After he left, you smiled and said that was your brother Sam and he always brought funny gifts, which was a perfect finish to our day of whimsy.

That night, when it was time to get ready for bed, I laid out your fleecy robe and a nightgown with pink butterflies. You refused, pushing them away. When I asked if you wanted to wear something else, you shook your head solemnly. “Mother and Daddy are coming for me tonight,” you said, “and I have to be ready to go.”

You might not remember, Mom, but nearly four decades ago, a week after visiting your mother in Missouri, you sensed it was time to be with her again. That day. Right away. Even though you called Granddad and he said she was fine, you still packed a bag and started driving. You arrived as Granddad was fixing her some soup. You sat with Grandma, singing with her and talking, holding her hand as Grandma closed her eyes and took her last breath.

So this week, on the evening after our day of whimsy, when you said they were coming for you and you needed to be ready to go, I listened. You wanted the blinds open in your bedroom and the window opened slightly, so you could hear the rain and feel the fresh night air. I sat on the floor next to your bed and leaned against the wall, close enough to reach out and pat your hand.

The next morning you were hungry. I fixed you biscuits with sausage gravy, which you gobbled down. Your daughter-in-law Sharon dropped by with cookies from a local shop, and after your breakfast you ate part of one and then I took you downstairs to get your hair done. It was a new day, with neither whimsy nor foreshadow, and as I guided you down the hall toward the beauty shop, you looked at your orange and green fingernails, wiggled your fingers and smiled.

Leo Tolstoy said, “If you want to be happy, be.”




Filed under art, Dementia/Alzheimer's, lessons about life, memories for great-grandchildren

Choices For The Last Weeks of September

Historic school house ~ Fort Scott, KS (all photography by Marylin Warner)

Hi, Mom,

It’s our favorite time of year again, when the air is crisp and the leaves begin to change.  About this time each September, you’d begin asking what special dinner I wanted for my birthday, what cake I wanted you to make for dessert, and if there was a special something I wanted as a present. We didn’t make a huge deal of birthdays, but you always made them special. Because of your sudden spiking blood pressure during pregnancy–the doctors now call it pre-eclampsia–I was delivered quickly by C-section, more than 3 weeks early. You and I decided it was because I was determined to be born in September; I cut it pretty close, taking my first breath on the evening of the 30th.

Okay, Mom, just for the fun of it, during the last weeks of September there are some choices to make. We’ve already missed National Cream-filled Donut Day on the 14th, which Dad would have loved, and Make A Hat Day on the 15th (which you tried once, but we won’t talk about it, right?) Today, Sept. 16, there are many choices: Collect Rocks Day, Mayflower Day, National PlayDoh Day, and National Women’s Friendship Day. And tomorrow, the 17th, one of the choices is Wear Sneakers to Work Day. How’s that sound?

To make things simple, how about limiting the choices to food options: the 17th of September is National Apple Dumpling Day; the 18th is Cheeseburger Day; the 19th is Butterscotch Pudding Day; and the 20th is National Punch Day (we’ll assume this is the drink and not hitting). This year Oktoberfest begins on the 22nd, and the 26th is Johnny Appleseed Day in case apple sauce sounds good.  The 29th is Confucius Day, and you always used to have fun with fortune cookies.  On the 30th, there are more choices than just my birthday:  Yom Kippur; National Mud Pack Day; oh, and on this day in 1902, Rayon was patented, so we could celebrate that, too.  It can get silly, but it’s fun.

Tonight as I was working on the computer, Oldies But Goodies were playing on i-Tunes. Bobby Vinton was  singing a song: “…so let us make a pledge to meet in September…and seal it with a kiss…”   It made me smile. For years we’ve done that, meeting in September, on or close to my actual birthday. I drive from Colorado for my regular visit with you in Kansas, but I bring cupcakes so you can have a choice of flavors. When I sing the Happy Birthday song, you sing along. You usually ask if it’s your birthday (which we celebrated in July).                                                                 I tell you it’s OUR birthday, because it is.

The date of my birth was September 30th, but it’s actually a special day for both of us. It’s the day we became Mother and Daughter, and that’s something worth celebrating.

I love you, Mom.  See you soon…with cupcakes.     Marylin                       

Cupcake choices: Maple with Bacon (!), Chocolate Mint, Black Forest, and Peanut Butter Special


Filed under birthday celebrations, Dementia/Alzheimer's, lessons about life, Uncategorized

AMAZING BIRTHDAY with Grace and Gannon

Hi, Mom,

Your granddaughter Molly and your great-grandchildren Grace and Gannon came to celebrate an early 94th birthday with you. They had a great time, and now they are the guest bloggers with their story. Here it is:




Filed under art projects, birthday traditions, Dementia/Alzheimer's, making a difference, memories for grandchildren, memories for great-grandchildren, spending time with kids