Feeling the love (from Tricia Muse)
Dear Scooter, Chris, John, Annie, Michael, Katie and Julie (Gotta mix up the order, right Scooter?)
When I think of your mom, I think of abundance--she always did things in such a big way-- no half-steps for her. Just consider the many hats she wore: judge, school committee member, business owner, devoted daughter, sister, wife and especially mother
This morning I was putting away an often-used small bowl. It was part of a set of lobster butter bowls your mom bought for me after she won the raffle at my local church. That money didn’t last long in her hot little hands. It was summer so naturally she would blow it on a lobster dinner for the crowd that was our two families. First though, she went to Crate and Barrel and got us outfitted with all the necessary accoutrement so we could properly enjoy the feast. That was Mary: win big and share big.
That abundance was a life-long trait. Even at age 13 her huge heart propelled her to take over care of her colicky newborn sister. She loved me to pieces from that first moment… and never stopped.
Her abundance narrowed distances. Always devastated when she went away, first to school, then to work in New Jersey, then to live in Texas and finally to settle in CA, I counted the days to the next visit and relished the calls and letters (we used to write those once). But her expansive love and care enveloped me from afar. She was close and very much in my life no matter the geography.
Her most generous show of abundance was bringing children into the world and sharing you all with the rest of us. The astonishing mix of genes from the force of nature that was your mother and kind, intelligent and gentle man that is your father combined to create 7 of the most spectacular people on the planet. It would have been tempting to keep all of you with her at all times but she sent you off to ensure you knew your east coast family from a young age and throughout your lives.
I treasure the summers in Marion when the rug rats (aka Julie and Katie) came across country alone and brightened Marion and especially Moonie and Big Bob with their laughter and joy. That was followed by regular visits from the entire and growing Muse-Fisher clan. It was also when Julie and Katie took over cousin entertainment duty, organizing plays and other activities. Then, in later years with boyfriend in tow (don’t show this to Dave), the emerging adults, Julie, Katie and Michael engaged with younger sibs Annie, Michael, Chris and Scooter and the ever-expanding brood of cousins. Joyous chaos! Those raucous events tested Moonie’s sublime patience and cultivated Big Bob’s Jameson’s habit but they would not have wanted it any other way.
After sowing the seeds of generosity and abundance, your mother and father reaped it ten-fold (or at least seven-fold). Each of you have spun off to share your boundless love and generosity with family and friends. I have heard it at family weddings and interacting at social gatherings. You are so devoted to others – friends, co-workers, extended family--and they to you. Of course, I experience it first-hand having been included in the Muse-Fisher events: graduations, weddings, baptisms and any other excuse for a party. I was so privileged to host Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners and periodic visits (and longer stays) at North Street. And, note to all, there is always room any and all of you on Pond Street.
And, of course, the beat goes on with the wonderful life partners you have all chosen who are so kind and loving to me and my kids and Jane. Remarkably, you have also managed to produce your own gorgeous and delightful, adorable children who, carrying that remarkable Mary and Bill DNA (in combination with that of the aforementioned wonderful life partners) continue to delight us all.
Abundance—I am so grateful to your mom for how she shared it.
I love you all beyond words.