Friday, August 2, 2013

Lemons into Limoncello

Many of you have written to me to ask about the book recommendation I gave one of my commenters.  I love comments and I know it is difficult to leave them and so I may move to another format soon.  I will let you know.  I love lemons too - my grandmother's hands always smelled of them.  She used them in her iced tea, for homemade lemonade, for cleaning, hair washing.  She was all about natural homecare and used lemons in a furniture polish she created too!  And when we were sick, she gave us honey with lemon juice to ease our scratchy throats.

I've mentioned that my daughter is leaving home.  She's going to be married sometime early next year.  I've raised her alone since she was a baby.  I was a single mother and was happily devoted to her.  I still looked after myself but motherhood was my greatest role.  Single parenting is so hard it's almost impossible.  It's lonely, grinding, exhausting.  But there are untold blessings too.  My daughter and I are close - she is a dear.  People will often tell me how wonderful she is.  I am especially proud when I hear this from her fellow teachers (she is a special education high school teacher and they adore her).  She is gifted.  And when  people tell me how wonderful she is, I have to admit - I had good raw material.  She was born good.  Except for age 4, when there were a few days I thought she might be possessed, she never gave me any trouble.  She is as golden as the hair on her head!  So you see, I will miss her terribly.  When she's home, she will be a guest. There will be dark nights I will return to this house and I am sure I will still see an image of a little girl at the window with a cat in her arms.  Sometimes, that girl (and the cat) would come right out to the car to greet me. I will miss not having her at the nightly dinner table and I know that will be especially hard.  Did I say already that I will miss her terribly???

Anyway, the book recommendation.  A few weeks ago, I happened upon "Lemons Into Limoncello" by Raeleen D'Agostina Mautner, PhD.  It is a quick delightful self-help book with CONCRETE suggestions and ideas for those suffering a loss based on Italian culture.  The author's beloved husband died suddenly, but the book is for any loss: job, health, home, and yes, even those of us who are or will be empty nesters (that will be me in spades).

Dr. Mautner has the education to back up her advice and I love her smooth soothing tone of voice.  I feel as though she is a friend.  She covers everything - what to cook for just yourself, who to call, what to do, etc., etc.  I will be turning to it over and over and over again.  I really like this author and I think she takes you by the hand with this book, and gently leads you on into your future.  Please let me know if you cannot find the book and I will help you. 

As for me, I am going to be strong and smile and wave as my one true love walks out the door as a resident of this house for the last time.  I will consecrate and bless her and the fine young man whom I am growing to love too.  He understands and I have no fear he will come between us.  I am so lucky.  I do have one short story to tell you though.

My obstetrician, a father of 8 children, was pleased one day in the hospital to discover that I was breastfeeding. "It will give you your first lesson in letting go", he said.  I wasn't quite sure what he meant at the time until a few months later when my daughter graduated to a bottle.  Suddenly, I felt inexplicably sad and then remembered what my doctor had said.  Each "graduation" in my daughter's life has always been bittersweet for me.  I loved every moment of being a mother to this girl.  And I will miss her terribly.  (Did I already say that???)

So, limoncello it is!  Who will join me?


  1. How very, very kind of you to stop everything and take the time to write this post, just as you responded so warmly to my plea for help.

    I dreamed of him last night and that was wonderful. But then morning came and I awoke to another day of overwhelming sadness. If this is my life now.....

  2. I wish you all the best in this new big step in your life.

  3. Thank you so much for book recommendation. I've looked through it at the Amazon web site and find it really good. Meanwhile I subscribed to the author's blog.
    Kind regards,

  4. I'm so glad you shared this recommendation, Donna! It's wonderful how one woman's experience can help so many others when they share! I'll be looking into this book, too, even though I have no Italian background that will enrich it as it has for you. Warmly, Kay