I whistle all the airs from that infernal nonsense Pinafore.

December 24th, 2013 @ 8:12 am
Christmas Eve, 2013

This is our second Christmas without mom. Last year I wrote a little bit about our Christmas Eve traditions, but I don’t have it in me this year. Christmas will be exactly 500 days since she died, which is simultaneously meaningless and important. I miss her so much.

December 20th, 2013 @ 7:20 am
Friday Five: Awesome Things About My Dad

DadToday is my dad’s birthday, so this Friday Five is dedicated to him. Here are five completely random awesome things about my dad:

  1. He can effortlessly play the guitar, mandolin, violin, and piano, and has the uncanny ability to learn new instruments with ease.
  2. He is a fantastic photographer.
  3. He taught me to love making frozen orange juice in a blender.
  4. He walks faster than anyone I know.
  5. He completely surprised me by falling in love with a silly little white dog.

Happy birthday, dad!

October 14th, 2013 @ 7:46 pm
Vincent Albanese (1918 – 1986)

Today would have been the 95th birthday of my Papa, Vincent Albanese. He was born on October 14th, 1918. He was incredibly handsome and my grandmother often compared him to Clark Gable. He fought in World War II as a member of Merrill’s Marauders and married Anna Sofia DiFolco when he returned. He became a […]

September 22nd, 2013 @ 5:13 am
Sixty-Five

Today would have been mom’s 65th birthday. My little sister took this photo of me hugging her just before Mother’s Day last year. I miss her so much that it hurts, a phrase that people use frequently but not literally. But I very literally feel an ache in my heart. The last time I saw […]

August 16th, 2013 @ 7:49 am
Friday Five: Memories

Kathleen A. GagneMonday was the first anniversary of the death of my mom. Here are five things I really miss about her:

  • the sound of her saying my name
  • desperate fear of every hurricane, tropical storm, earthquake, forest fire, volcano, etc.
  • singing together
  • the ticklebug
  • always — always — having someone to call who was guaranteed to be excited to hear my voice
August 12th, 2013 @ 8:10 am
Kathleen A. Gagne

My mom died one year ago today. It simultaneously feels like it was only yesterday and like it was a thousand years ago. I miss her so much that there is an actual ache in my heart. She died much too young. It was undeserved and unfair and unjust and I still rage inside that […]

April 7th, 2013 @ 6:27 am
Eight

Today makes it eight months since my mom died. She died on August 12th. I was sitting in the car in the parking lot of Centinela Feed on Pico, waiting with my son for my wife to get some cat food, when my phone rang. A nurse at Woodland Terrace named Ida Alvis — a […]

February 12th, 2013 @ 6:00 am
Six Months

Today marks the six month anniversary of my mother’s death. She died on Sunday, August 12, 2012. Not every month is the same length, though, of course. And should I consider “a month” to be “every four Sundays” or simply “the next 12th on the calendar”? It’s the sort of question she would call to […]

December 24th, 2012 @ 8:15 am
Eve

We were always an “open your presents Christmas Eve” family. UPS packages from my dad and Nana Rainy and extended family would start arriving weeks before Christmas, and my sister and I would pester my mom incessantly about opening some early. She would always cave and we’d get to open one each night for a […]

November 11th, 2012 @ 2:53 pm
The Dogs of War

Happy Veterans’ Day! Celebrate by watching this compilation of videos of dogs welcoming their masters home from the field. And a special hat tip to my maternal grandfather Vincent Albanese (1918 – 1986), who fought in WWII as one of Merrill’s Marauders, and to my paternal grandfather Walter Gagne (?? – 2010), who fought in […]

October 30th, 2012 @ 7:25 pm
Are You OK?

Mom Just Called To Make Sure You're Not Under That Dangling Crane http://t.co/R6ctjwx9 #Sandy — The Onion (@TheOnion) October 30, 2012 Leave it to The Onion. I’m sure everyone can relate to this in some way, but my mom was particularly neurotic about this sort of thing. (She died just a few weeks ago, in […]

September 14th, 2012 @ 1:43 pm
Hate

I have a friend who always snaps at anyone who dramatically uses the word “hate”. If someone says, “I hate the layout of this website,” or, “I hate getting stuck at this traffic light,” he will respond, “No. You don’t.” “You don’t hate this layout. You hate cancer. You hate communism.” He’s right, of course. […]

August 17th, 2012 @ 7:28 pm
Death and All of His Friends

I went on a five mile run this morning. It was awful. I just finished a 5.35 mi run with a pace of 9'58"/mi with Nike+ Running. http://t.co/CPyF3QUo #nikeplus — David Vincent Gagne (@davidgagne) August 17, 2012 I just can’t believe that my mom is dead. It’s the worst feeling ever, really. Here are the […]

June 13th, 2012 @ 9:31 am
Dealing

My tolerance for stupidity, ignorance, and imbeciles is jaw-droppingly lower before about ten o’clock in the morning, which means dealing with my mother’s health care on the East coast from the West coast has been just awful. By about noon every day for the last six months or so I’ve been feeling really, really stabby. […]

May 3rd, 2012 @ 5:15 am
Finding a Box of Family Letters

The poem featured in today’s episode of The Writer’s Almanac on NPR is Finding a Box of Family Letters by Dana Gioia. It’s so lovely that, like many of the wonderful things which I find on the web and fear may one day disappear, I’ve decided to copy it here.

July 4th, 2011 @ 4:45 pm
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

With the exception of my senior year of high school — when I was out of my mind with piss, vinegar, and hormones — I spent every childhood 4th of July in Bristol, Rhode Island with my dad. My son is (astonishingly) ten months old now and I have spent most of the day wondering […]

March 8th, 2010 @ 12:01 am
Three Gagne Men

Walter Gagne – William Gagne – David Gagne Good night, Walter. I hardly knew you. I’m sorry.

November 11th, 2009 @ 10:06 am
The Dogs of War

Happy Veterans’ Day! Celebrate by watching this compilation of videos of dogs welcoming their masters home from the field. And a hat tip to my grandfather Vincent Albanese (1918 – 1986), who fought in WWII as one of Merrill’s Marauders. Thanks for everything I have and am today.

July 19th, 2009 @ 1:04 pm
The Bats Are Coming

It’s when you can’t hear the bats, that’s when the bats are coming. That is what is printed on the front of the birthday card I received from my brother-in-law. On the inside it says, “Other than that, I have no birthday advice.”

July 3rd, 2009 @ 6:45 am
Friday Five: 4th of July Edition

4th of JulyFavorite Things about 4th of July in Bristol, RI

  1. biking to The Parade
  2. lobster and steamers with the family
  3. fireworks
  4. celebrating my birthday, my little brother’s birthday, my aunt’s birthday, and my grandmother’s birthday
  5. the concert in Colt State Park