Tag Archives: Daughter

25 Things I Learned from my Dad…

25 Things I Learned from my Dad…

1. How to swim in the ocean.

2. To always take my vitamins.

3. How to use a thesaurus to improve my writing.

4. Army songs… (I left, I left, I left my wife and a 15 kids, over there, over there…)

5. That a freshly showered man in a nice suit is something to behold.

6. To smile often because I’m pretty when I smile.

7. That daily exercise is an important part of keeping fit.

8. To honor my mother.

9. That it’s perfectly acceptable to break out in song wherever and whenever.

10. The gift of hospitality.

11. To always be optimistic, dash negativity, visualize the life you desire.

12. The fine art of networking.

13. How to underline meaningful sentences in my personal books and read them again and again.

14. That everyone I meet is a potential friend.

15. That I am actually a princess.  (Didn’t you know?)

16. That fresh figs are God’s most perfect food.

17. How to write a love letter.

18. That people make mistakes and need forgiveness.

19. That real men cry.

20. Passion

21. How to let a man lead on the dance floor.

22. That ” it is what it is” and “that’s a crock of bull”!

23. To say I love you always and often.

24. To never give up.

I had a different relationship with my dad than my five older brothers had.  I’m sure their blog about Edmund Francis Shaheen Sr. would be quite different.

Therefore the twenty fifth thing I learned from my dad..

25. There is no denying the special bond  between a father and his little girl.


Love you and miss you, Dad.






Remembering Mom

Remembering Mom

I love this picture of my mom holding my son Robert when he was 3 months old.  That joy you see in her expression and the contentment in little Robert’s face says it all.

Dorothy, Dottie, Dot, Auntie Dot, Sittie, Mom…   She answered to many names whenever and whomever called and needed her warmth and generous love, her comforting down home cooking or just her calm presence and her sensible outlook on life.

25 years ago today my mom left us for what we fantasize as a “better place”.  25 years ago her five sons sat around her bed in her home and waited with her for the angels to come.  I got the call at 3am, having gone home to nurse a hungry baby- my mom would have wanted me to do that.

We celebrated her life with family and friends and of course plenty of food.  She is the woman who taught me that food is love.  And she would have wanted us to eat and laugh and take care of each other in our grief.

When she died she left such a palpable void in our lives and I would guess in almost every life she touched.   I often wonder what we would have done together in the past 25 years if she were still here.  Mother daughter things…  shopping, pedicures, talking every day on the phone.  What mistakes might I have avoided and which decisions would I have made differently under the auspices of her motherly wisdom?  What kind of woman would I be today if I had had the benefit of her nurturing, her advice, and her confidence in me?

I can see her mushing over my grown sons, petting them and cooking for them and asking them questions that would be totally off limits for their mother to ask of course!  And they would answer and tell her everything.  Because she is their Sittie and they  love her and she would be an integral part of their lives as she was for all 13 of her grandchildren.  No words can express the sadness when I stop to think of how our lives would have been enriched by her unlimited and unconditional love for us.

Mom, we carry a torch for you.  We embody all the wonderful things you taught us.  Don’t fight with your siblings.  Be honest on your tax returns.  Love everyone and feed them if you have the opportunity.

We will, Mom, and we do.  We do it with you in our hearts.