We lit your candle tonight / Eloise Haamann (Mom)Read >>
We lit your candle tonight / Eloise Haamann (Mom)
It's Valentine's Day and we treated ourselves to a meal of corned beef with dumplings and cabbage boiled in the corned beef broth. We usually also boil turnips, but tonight we used daikon and liked it even better.
Of course I thought of your love for corned beef. You've been getting extra views on Facebook. I'm wondering if people finished reading your Brad Pitt book and were checking you out.
At some point I want to do a relaunch. I'm not sure when, but I'm thinking if I ever get a decent following that would be the time.
At any rate, it was delicious corned beef and we lit your candle. Despite being an essential atheist I can't help but think there's something at work that's behind the propensity for life even in the most hellish of places. I often marvel at that bag with your name on it on the cruise to celebrate our 50th anniversary. Thank you for the congratulatsions as I like to think of it.
Heather sent us flowers today. Kenn bought me roses and I bought him some deer proof calla lily bulbs.
Tomorrow I begin volunteering for this year's San Francisco Writers Conference.
I almost forgot / Eloise Hamann (mom)
Shannon, I forgot to include the news you are most interested in.
My marketing plan involves connecting with readers who like my writing and send them occasional newsletters with good content. As a Christmas gift to them, I set your ebook of "Brad Pitt Won't Leave Me Alone" free for five days before Christmas. A little over 200 people downloaded it so your readership increased a lot.
I was excited.
Love, Mom Close
2017 Holidays / Eloise Hamann (proud mom )
We thought of you over the holidays. They are not over yet. New Year’s is coming up. Of course we lit your candle.
I spent several days before Christmas sorting pictures thinking it would take hours not days when I began. We don't print pictures any more, but I'd never sorted your Nana’s pictures after her death nor other photos people gave us for years. I found I needed to fold them into my last sort probably 10 years ago and do more careful labeling. Mainly, I want to be able to find a particular photo if need be. On the anniversary of your death, I pulled out all of the photos of you. I found a caricature of you we had done by a sidewalk artist in Disneyland years ago. You looked about six. I remember you didn’t like it and gave it to your Bumpa, a passive aggressive gesture, no doubt as he used to try to tease you. I recall you gave him no reaction so he eventually stopped.
Your cousin Jeff died suddenly over the Thanksgiving weekend and Heather was able to find some pictures of him as a child to send to his family from my previous labeling. However, there were collages and notes from my mother, and other items which were unlabled, which I gathered together into a notebook and labeled. Then we had photos several places in the house, which I got down to two sites with three new albums and 3 photo boxes. Good job done.
I don't remember if I wrote you about Yvonne passing last August. I am only glad she didn't have to suffer her son's death. She wasn't in her right mind for over a year.
In general, I have been taking a break from writing and marketing and will continue to do so until January. I am very happy to have a marketing plan that I like, just creating maintaining a good sized email list of people who like my writing. I accumulated over 1500 from an anthology of short fantasy stories called Glimpses. Not many will want to be on 16 authors' lists, but I am going to try to keep a substantial number with a non-salesy newsletter. I'll keep writing my blog so my marketing consists of writing content rather than ads.
We went to The Hard Nut, a spoof of The Nutcracker.yesterday for a Christmas Eve matinee, which was gift from Heather, then came home to one of our family favorites, Gumbo, which I had made in advance to heat up. The Hard Nut was a visual feast with lots of chuckles.We took BART because we had heard about a street closure near the Berkeley campus, the site of the hall where it played. A charming 6-year-old little black boy sat across the aisle from us across from his sleeping mother. He immediately bounced over to Heather (We were lucky to find facing seats.) I forgot what he asked, but he was obviously gregarious and not prone to sitting still. Heather gave him a flavored cough drop. In fact he left his seat so often, another black woman got up and woke the mother suggesting she keep a better eye on her child, but her eye just closed again. He cracked us up when a guy walked by him, and the kid called out, "Pull up your pants." Evidently, he did so.
The gumbo and crab benedict tasted extra good this year. Ditto for the caramel corn. I deliberately made the toffee a little softer as that's how your dad likes it and I no longer bring it to other folks. Oh, I did give Pam some when she and Paul were out here for just one day. She had a flight into San Jose and he took advantage of her relative passes. We had picture perfect weather, went for a hike, wine tasting, and lunch. The men napped while I took Pam over to see Heather's house. Heather took the day off so was with us for hike through lunch.
We went over to Chris, Vic, and Astrid's for an evening meal on Christmas Day. We had no trouble enjoying it even after a big brunch of crab benedict, etc. at noon. We went to their house last year as well, which was perfect given I had not bothered with decorations since we had recently come back from Kauai. None of the Hamanns were into Christmas last year. I missed having Astrid open gifts at our house with no other kids around so this year I arranged with Vic to have them over NY Day for Astrid's gift opening calling myself the selfish grandma that I am. She readily agreed so now I am happy if we make this a tradition. Vic is such a great person. For months she made a huge cauldron of soup to take to a homeless camp in Oakland. She noticed I was so busy talking to people at the launch party for my book, Lower World that she offered to bring me a drink from the wine table. Late in the evening I remembered that I hadn't plugged in the coffee, but she and Heather were in charge of it all.
The jellyfish balloons from the launch party are mostly still inflated. There's a herd in the corner and one remains hanging from the lowest sill of our high windows.
Here’s a video Heather took of my little speech a Close
Thirteen years / Eloise Hamann (mom)
Here's my FB post. More of your friends go to your site there.
By the time I finish this post, it will be exactly 13 years ago that I received the fateful call from a New York policeman. I've been thinking more about you lately. I had a party for the launch of my second book. In toasting those who were there that contributed to my writing, I found myself talking about you and your work. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xGwF73-eEM
In putting up the Christmas tree decorations, which have been sea shells or creatures of various kinds for years, I remember the older ones and the reindeer that you put on the tree so they appeared to be ascending into the sky. I dug them out and now they ascend on the glass sliding door next to the tree.
I printed a new picture of you in a tuxedo coat we found in your apartment. The sun fades pictures in our living room because of all of our uncovered windows.
I will be spending the day looking at your photos and reading old letters from you. I'll also put this on your memorial site and reread some of the posts there.
PS: Family update: I don't think I told you Yvonne died a few months ago, and we were shocked that Jeff died very recently. He had been suffering from vertigo and may have suffered a brain aneurysm. Just glad Yvonne didn't have to suffer that. She became very confused in her last year, but I think she would have understood the loss of her son.
To continue the bad news, Lori's husband, Dan has leukemia. He has had a bone marrow transplant and has gone through hell. There is some graft/host conflict so things look iffy for a normal life. Julie's husband, Craig had heart surgery. That did go well, but it takes quite a while to recuperate.
OK, I"m a bad news/good news person, bad first. So now for good news. Your aunt Sandy dotes on her new cute Grandson, and Dan and Ashley have moved back to the Chicago area. Victoria has four grandchildren along with her large home and yard, full time job, and volunteer work for the Red Cross. She went through training so she can help in disasters.
Disasters we've had many this year. I wish you were here to talk about the one that bothers me most as you'd make me laugh. Close
Easter 2017 / Eloise Hamann (Mother)
Douglas McDonald and Chris were here for Easter. Tia's husband, Jeff, read your poem, Easter. Douglas did not have your poetry book so I gave him one and one for a friend he knows will enjoy it. We lit your candle with crooked lettering per usual.
Love, Mom Close
Easter Poem / Eloise Hamann (Mom)
I just got back from reading your poem, Easter at an open mic for poetry month. Seemed appropriate since next Sunday is the day.
I gave away four of Deathdoubledactyl, your poetry collection.
I'm on my umpty umph draft of my second novel, and have a complicated marketing plan.
I'm over my depression in the sense I feel like doing things again.
Love, Mom Close
51st Birthday, 2017 / Eloise Hamann (Mother)
It seems these posts aren't dated so I guess I'll mark it in the title. I seem to have missed a Christmas greeting in 2016. We passed on Christmas and took a trip to Kauai with Heather.
On your day people are sending postcards to our new unduly elected minority president. Words cannot describe how awful he is or, more to the point, the awful potential consequences of his election. Many words have been wasted on this racist, narcissistic pathological liar who has cheated and bullied his entire life so I’ll stop there.
We’ve already celebrated your birthday at Heather’s new place, which she just finished settling in with her new dining room table. She is so excited, and so am I as I looked forward to her being able to make full use of her cute place.
Next month is National Poetry Month, and I think I’ll read your Easter poem at an open mic in Pleasanton.
I’m working hard as a writer and have a complicated marketing plan, which involves giving away e-books to get email addresses to help sell your next book.
Love, Mom Close
Recited one of your poems in a staff meeting yeste / Tia Woodward (Friend)Read >>
Recited one of your poems in a staff meeting yeste / Tia Woodward (Friend)
Shannon, I recited your poem as an example of passive vs. active voice yesterday when presenting to the staff in SF and LA. This is how I remembered it, but don't know where I'd find the original now:
Mother said to Inga returning from college
Inga, your brother was hit by a train
Never use passive voice
You sound like an illiterate
Wish we could talk / Eloise Hamann (Mother)Read >>
Wish we could talk / Eloise Hamann (Mother)
Two sad events in my life. A despicable man was elected president and Leonard Cohen died. Maybe the latter is good news for you if you meet up or he continues his songwriting wherever you are.
The despicable man has zero redeeming features although one or two of his policies are OK. He is against a bad trade agreement and claims to support family leave. He has very few articulated plans and is volatile so... We can kiss efforts for clean water and air goodbye.
He is mysoginist and racist. The Washington Post revealed a tape on which he bragged that his fame allowed him to grope women and get away with it. He denied he'd ever really done it. It was just locker room talk, but 17 women came forward, all liars (according to him) accusing him of grabbing them inappropriately. One woman was just standing on the sidewalk and when she acted horrified, he asked her if she knew who he was.
He made fun of a disabled reporter, and his awfulness continues. Oh, I guess you might remember him since you lived in New York. His name rhymes with Frump.
I am depressed and was so even before the result as the election was so awful and the media followed his daily outrageousness.
I am working on distracting myself from it all, but people are protesting in large cities all over the country. You'd no doubt be marching in NYC.
One distracting thing is Heather's move to Alameda across the bay. Andrew's girlfriend will be moving in so...
Alameda is a great small city with a sense of community. Free parking and Heather can take the ferry to work. I think she will really like it there.
Happy Birthday! / Scott Goodno (Friend)
Happy Birthday, Shannon!
I wish you were here to goof on this year's madness.
You'd likely (faceetiously) declare support for Cruz or Trump just to infuriate
those who weren't paying attention to your pantomime.
You've missed a lot. Matt's as beautiful and cantankerous as ever.
Blake's has a wife and two little girls. He somehow manages to embarrass himself with every food server he encounters. He's talented like that.
And you've been missed a lot. We sure could use you in Minneapolis when the gang gathers for Mancamp® this summer.
But you'll be remembered. Close
Happy 50th Birthday wherever you are / Eloise Hamann (mom)Read >>
Happy 50th Birthday wherever you are / Eloise Hamann (mom)
Your Dad and I took a walk in Sunol Wilderness today. In an area called Little Yosemite we scattered a bit of your ashes. I'm sure you've hikded there with us.
Surprised to see a tribute from Heidi Witte and a candle from Muffin. I love it when that happens although your old friends are sad you've left us.
Heather did your corned beef party this year and showed the super 8 movies of your childhood.
Love, Mom Close
Say it's not true! / Heidi Witte (Old Friend )
Shannon's name popped into my head this morning. No reason, it just happens from time to time. I decided to Google- see if there was some, any connection or reflection of Shannon. Sadly, I stumbled upon this website. I read entry upon entry of Eloise and her pain of losing a son. This didn't look like the freckle faced, curly auburn haired wide smiled kid my sister Muffin spent hours playing with at the pond. When I read further and saw an entry from his sister Heather, my dear long lost friend, I knew it was my childhood Shannon. I am so very sorry to hear that Shannon is no longer on this earth. Please accept my heartfelt sympathies. I have no idea what happened to that loving boy but I am so saddened to hear he is no longer with you. Lovingly, Heidi Witte Close
Holiday time / Eloise Hamann (Mom)
It's the week between Christmas and New Years. We lit your crooked candle in your memory as usual. Chris and Vic now come over the day after Christmas as Chris is always wiped out from overtime delivering packages for UPS. Astrid is 8 and growing like a weed. She is a lovely child. You would love her.
Your dad had his left hip "revised" on the 8th of December. It was replaced 23 years ago and not expected to last more than 15 years. He is using a walker, but is more mobile every day.
I'm now determined to market my writing, and yours as well. You once said writing was a lot of work and indeed it is, but marketing seems even harder or perhaps you were including that aspect in your comment.
I created an author website---ratemydoodles.com Let me know what you think.
California is getting a much needed break from a long drought. It's an el Nino year.
I love you,
Eleven years ago / Eloise Hamann (Mom)
Thinking about you today. I recently entered your novel, "Brad Pitt Won't Leave Me Alone," in a contest which would connect me with movie and TV producers.
Your dad is going in for a second hip replacement on the same hip this Tuesday. He will probably have a knee done next year as well. The other hip replacement is also old so we don't know how long that one will last. He is not looking forward to a spate of surgery.
Heather is doing her Tech Guy show midday today and then will come out for dinner. I need to get Leonard Cohen music going soon. I appreciate him more each time I hear him.
I am working on polishing a second novel. Even more than you were alive, one needs to work as hard at marketing as on the writing. I hate marketing, but have resigned myself to trying.
I'm weary of working on politics, weary of spending so much time and never knowing if I'm accomplishing anything. I guess I do add to a crowd which sometimes highlights stuff.
I'd love to be talking with you about the ridiculous clown car of Republican candidates including a braying, lying Donald Trump and a man claiming to be converted to Christianity and lives in lala land.
Bernie Sanders is doing well. I thought the socialist label would hurt him big time, but people are liking what he is saying. He wants free tuition at public universities and to grow a movement to lessen the influence of big money in government.
Has Nana found you? / Eloise Hamann (Mom)
Your nana died on the morning of August 10th. She couldn't live alone any longer, so she was living with Victoria. I went to Iowa for her 91st birthday last January and took her back with me for a few days and then flew her to Portland. She declined rapidly and at last was not recognizable as your nana.
I flew to Portland when V said she was in her last days, and she died the day after. Then I flew to Iowa so visited mortuaries on both ends. She would have liked the service as nice things were said about her. They made her look good which she would also like. She wore a wig I bought her which was lucky as she refused to leave V's house for anything even to get her hair colored.
I brought back the poems and remembrances she liked to write for deceased friends and relatives. Here is yours:
A Grandmother Remembers
This grandmother remembers a tousled, sandy haired little boy who came to Bumpa and Nana's farm every
Christmas with his Mom and Dad and sister, Heather. It was such a joy for cousins to be together
and the opening of gifts.
In the summer when the Moms and Dads with my
grandchildren descended on our farm, they would have
such fun on the momemade tractor/mower made by their Bumpa. Of course, he would start it for them,
and had as much fun as they did.
I remember Shannon, Heather, and cousin Natalie feeding the bottle to the lamb, who had become quite
domesticated and enjoyed the attention
they so eagerly gave.
I remember being amazed at the pictures Shannon used to draw for his nana. Religious pictures of Jesus on the cross at Calvary, surrounded by Easter eggs.
So we remember Shannon with love and are consoled that he is in a better place, being greeted by loved ones, who have gone before, free from life's struggles, and is resting in the everlasting arms of Jesus.
Shannon, you will live forever in our hearts. We love you.
Nana (Myra Heuer) http://bit.ly/1Mytg9I
Love, Mom Close
Easter/ Eloise Hamann (Mom)
Andrew read your poem Easter at our Easter festivities. We had a riotous time. Chris, Vic, Astrid, Douglas & Chris, Andrew and his parents---Sandy and Lou were here. Heather came after work.
Much laughter! We lit your candle. Vic made lots more copies of Easter on quality paper. Remember we passed those out at your memorial.
Love, Mom Close
We remembered you on your birhday / Eloise Hamann (Mom)Read >>
We remembered you on your birhday / Eloise Hamann (Mom)
Corned beef dinner
Family picture with your photo
Lots of stories about you.
Miss you, love you
Christmas Time / Eloise Hamann (Mom)
Your aunt Maxine passed away this Christmas. On Christmas Eve, McKenzie had a baby girl. McKenzie is your cousin Julie's daughter. Eleanor Grace is her name. I imagine Maxine was told she had a new great granddaughter. Maxine's quality of life was poor so there is some relief, but it is still will be a big loss to her children.
Your nana is frail and not doing well mentally.
Chris and Vic will come over tomorrow to share Christmas. His job at UPS is so exhausting he needs to rest on Christmas day.
We had gumbo for Christmas Eve, crab benedict for Christmas brunch, and duck a l'orange for Christmas dinner.
I am writing another novel. I started it shortly after the election which turned out miserably. It was a good distraction.
Then as it was, then again it will be / Leif (friend)Read >>
Then as it was, then again it will be / Leif (friend)
And though the course may change sometimes
Rivers always reach the sea Close
Ten Year Reflection / Eloise Hamann (Mom)
The first year I often wore your black Cuba pullover, and a friend wondered how I could wear it thinking it was a painful reminder. She did not understand I needed no reminder of my pain. I needed comfort, and the pullover helped. It was the black top with flowers I wore to your memorial service which I can no longer wear. I love reminders of your life, but not of your death.
My friend could not wear her grandmother’s skirt because it was a painful reminder to her. Years later she lost her husband and she understood. She wore his shirt around the house.
I thought of you daily for about five years. Now it’s once a week. One visit to a museum I bought a polished rock in the shape of a heart. I’ve forgotten the special rock material, maybe . When I got home I decided it would reside in your ashes.
People comment on the painting of you by Attila when they first visit the house, and comment on how handsome you were. A few more people have read your book who have read mine. I’m almost ready to bite the marketing bullet.
Heather has scored me two interviews with newspapers: Sioux City Journal and the Spartan Daily---San Jose State’s student paper. Her angle isn’t the book, but the author. Mathematician turned writer is the hook. Never thought of that. I’m working on another book. I was bummed by the last election. I had turned to politics from writing as I was turned off by marketing activity and too easily angered at injustice. The book has a political message, but if I can’t garner some attention to the one I wrote, and I can’t get a publisher I don’t know if I will self publish. If I could get going I could get more attention to the Brad Pitt book and maybe the poetry book, DeathDoubledactyl.
You now have four first cousins once removed. Evan has two daughers, Erica a son, and Missy a son. I think he was only a couple of months old when you left us.
We light your candle with the crooked Shannon engraved in the glass on special occasions. Today Heather is coming out to help decorate for Christmas. We had decorated the day before you died so we try to decorate on the 4th or 5th in honor of your love of Christmas.
Your nana is not doing well. She has dementia and many aches and pains. I will to to see her for her January 28th birthday. Not looking forward to the Iowa winter weather.
Love from Mom Close