Sunday, December 28, 2008

New Year's Resolution! Love, Mom

Letter dated Wednesday, January 1st, 1994. least she started THINKING about change. I'm hoping I'll see some results by the time MY kids are in therapy. Happy New Year!

I copied 4 pages of a book I read. I am in the process of making a big move-& it scares me because I don't know what is in store for me-
I saw a lot of myself in this book called-'How to take charge of your Life' by Berkowitz-I have to give up the feeling of being a help-less victim-It is not easy but I am going to try.
If, at times, I slip back-please don't get angry at me-It is all part of my growth. I need you to be understanding of a painful process I am in the process of-

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Throw Away The Key

Could this be what protects my family's hidden treasure?

Or is it merely a mysterious key my mother had kept and eventually mailed to me on December 23rd of 1997 taped to a single blank piece of torn-out white notebook paper with no attached explanation, leads, clues or a single solitary word as to what it could be used to open...or in fact, whom it might be keeping locked away...?


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Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Band-Aid On A Cut

I think it was my mother who once said to me, "The only thing we have to fear...,
is everything."

October, 1986
Dear Adam-
That tire has me concerned-you said that your tire was flat & you had it fixed.
Well-I don't know how they fixed it-but you can't ride around on a tire that has been patched up-that would be o.k. for a spare-but not for everyday use. It's like putting a band-aid on a cut-that won't heal the cut-
Please-go buy a new tire or as many tires as you need-You can put it on your credit card-You've had the car sometime now & I'm sure it needs tires-
It's nothing to fool around with-Adam-If the tires are not good-it's too dangerous-especially on the highway!

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Monday, December 8, 2008

Where I'm staying

Over the past 20 years or so, my mother has moved more times than I can remember. From apartments in South Beach, to houses in LA. From studios in Greenwich Village to a pad in Las Vegas. But the one thing I could always depend on hearing from her throughout each relocation, was the fact that in her mind, WHEREVER she lived...was way too dangerous of a place for me to visit. Ever.

Here's a short, sweet warning note courageously written to me from her ditch near the front line, Staten Island, New York.

December 2000
Just a reminder:
Over the holidays, it would be a good idea to wear your seat belt.
And don't ever go down to where I'm staying under any circumstances.

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Monday, December 1, 2008


Thanks to a wonderful company named VIDLIT, I am SO proud to announce the "World Premiere" of the video for, "Please Don't Eat Sushi, Love Mom!" That's right! It's a short little movie about my letters!

But wait! There's more! The narration was done by yours truly, and yes, my mother. She was nice enough to actually come into a recording studio and read 5 of her very own letters. (Though she still didn't find anything funny about any of them. The sound engineer was in stitches throughout.) I was going to ask Edie McClurg to play the voice of my mom, but realized that old adage about the truth being stranger...

Check it out! Tell your friends and family!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Three Weeks Ago

My mom, (who some of you readers may be used to by now), is an extremely different kind of person. Eccentric to some. Funny to others. Irritating to me. And the word, "manipulative" doesn't even begin to describe her ways. Sometimes though, I feel as though I'm the only one in the world who realizes this. Like I'm turning into Chief Inspector Dreyfus, while she pushes forth as Inspector Clouseau...and I'll be the one placed in solitary confinement twitching my eye in a sanitarium for the criminally insane somewhere.

Take this birthday card. Seems like a simple, (albeit completely plain), normal birthday card. Only problem is, I received it THREE WEEKS AGO and my birthday is on Christmas Day. That's over a month and a half too soon...!

Now listen. I'm not being over-sensitive here. If you receive a birthday card early, the sender usually prefaces it with that recognition. "I'll be out of town for a long time...didn't want to miss your birthday." Or..."Came across this cool card-know it's early, but it reminded me of you." Or that ol' standard...,
"I'm friggin' out of my gourd and just had to get this card to you today because I could be dead by tomorrow" rationale, right?

Don't you get it?

Here's what I think: She feels like she won't BE HERE by December 25th to wish me happy birthday. Poof. Gone. So she HAS TO send me a birthday card this early. Either that, or she wants to be the very first one to recognize my special day.

Is this ok or am I nuts? Normal people send cards ON (or right around) special occasions, yes?

Anyway, here it is. You be the judge.

And Happy Valentine's Day!

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Business Mail

I was 4 years old when this letter came for me in the mail. And it's NOT from my mother.

It's a little change of pace and I'm happy to share it. As a matter-of-fact, I still have a smile on my face after reading my father's letter. (For those of you unfamiliar with this blog, I should mention that he died of pancreatic cancer when I was 8.) Looking at his words, I realized that even then he probably knew about my mom, perhaps foreshadowed the mail I'd save from her, and the day I'd need to use it as proof. What if HE TOO had a growing collection of actual letters written to her? I guess I'll never know for sure.

What I DO know is when it came to my dad, there were no cuckoo warnings. No unwarranted fears. No loose change taped to a piece of paper. Only a father...who really did know best. Happy Thanksgiving!

Mr. Adam Chester
99 black Oak Ridge Road
Wayne, New Jersey

Dear Adam:
Here is some very important business mail for you to keep with all your other very important pieces of business mail that are filed away in exotic places on Black Oak Ridge Road.
With all my love to the best little boy in the whole world!
All my love always,

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Has It Been Ten Years For You?

Every year, we all receive our share of Happy Something-Or-Other-Day cards. Short. Sweet. Thoughtful. Nice reminders that somebody out there remembers a special occasion.

Every 10 years, I receive the following...

I was thinking how long ago I had a tetanus shot & for me-it's been about 5 years-
I don't know when you had a tetanus shot-Do you?- I know you're supposed to have one every 10 years-has it been 10 years for you? I know you had one in California-Do you remember the doctor that gave it to you? You could call & ask how long ago you had it if you know who gave it to you-

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Sunday, November 9, 2008


I give up.


Another reminder-
Don't ever let Michael (your uncle) into your apartment.

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Sunday, November 2, 2008

I Have To Go Now

This letter from 1987 contains one of the finest
stream-of-consciousness ramblings probably since Joyce’s, "Ulysses". Or is it more like Stephen King's Annie Wilkes, from "Misery"?
You decide.

Dear Adam-
Did you ever get the signal fixed on the car?
Also, did you ever get the contact lenses cleaned to your liking?
Otherwise, I have to call the office where I bought them.
Did you ever get Master Card? To find out about the $6.?
I paid them for the car and the additional air money.
I have to go now.
P.S. Enclosed find check for $50. to help with food.

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Sunday, October 26, 2008


This was SO close to being a normal postcard.

January 20th, 2001

I was laying out on the beach this morning-I was having good weather-Hope you have the same when you're here-

Be careful of the Jellyfish-

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Children At The Door

Just in time for Halloween, I found this one from 1995.

Dana=girlfriend at the time
Michael=my "evil" Uncle
Paper=The New York Post or equivalent

Dear Adam & Dana-
Am at my desk and thought I'd drop a line re: Halloween-
When you open the door to give out candy-Please make sure it's children at the door as they're having robbers go out on Halloween to rob people's houses-I read it in paper-
Also-When you go to Miami on Thanksgiving-Please don't give Michael a ride anywhere as he goes to 'bad' places & don't let him drive the car-Just stay far away from him-Really!!
I sent Nan the picture of you & me-Adam-in Boston that you gave me.
Take care of each other-

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Hawaii is Safe

This letter was mailed to me on May 17th, 2001, several months before Maria and I got married. We still hadn't finalized our honeymoon plans at the time, so of course, a good suggestion never hurts...

Adam & Maria-

You shouldn't go to South America on your honeymoon-I was just watching news on TV & the militia in Columbia just kidnapped some more Americans-They have been doing this in parts of South America & it is not safe there-It is not safe in Israel either-
Hawaii is safe-Please don't put yourself in harms way when you're just starting out together!-
P.S.-You're supposed to have a tetanus shot every 10 years-when was your last one given? I think I asked you before-

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Sunday, October 5, 2008


Dated 3/31/1998
My mother never remarried, but always keeps the hope alive.
Notice the "ME-MOM".

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Friday, September 26, 2008


I opened it. I read it. I put it aside.
Later that day, I rented, "'Night, Mother."

Sunday, May 10th, 1987

Dear Adam,
After you left today-I've been thinking-
Why can't you & I share an apartment in L.A. together-I'll get a job out there and I could pay half the rent?
We could get a 2 bedroom apartment so we each could have our own bedroom-I would be happy & you could pursue your career!
I would be so happy to get away from Miami and being near you.
If you don't want to-I won't-But-would you think about it?
P.S. It would cut down a lot of my expenses so that I would be able to give you more money-
It would cut down my:
I'd rather give the money to you.

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Being Of Sound Mind

I get one of these "I'll be dead soon" hand-written wills ONCE A YEAR since the day I left home for college. I was truly taken aback to count the more than TWENTY I'd collected. This one highlights the official notary seal of the State of Nevada. Please tell me this isn't normal. Please.

To Whom It May Concern-
This being my last will-I leave everything I own-bank accounts included to my son-& I appoint him executor of my will.
If, God Forbid, he pre-deceases me, I then leave everything to my grandson-
Being of sound mind, I sign this-

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Monday, September 15, 2008

The Cat Knocked Over A Candle


Yahrzeit = a commemoration of the death of a Jewish person by a mourner (the child, sibling, spouse or parent of the deceased). The Yahrzeit candle burns for over 26 hours and is lit annually on the day of passing.
Hodgie = my dog's name spelled incorrectly.
Bonnie = my aunt.

The 27th is a Yahrzeit for your Dad-But-Don't leave any candles burning when you're not home! That's why I don't light the candle because the whole house can go up in a flame & the dog can be burned! Don't take any chances so close to the wedding-Hodgie is very important-
You can go to Temple & Pray-You don't need to light candles!
Bonnie almost burned her whole apt. down once long ago because the cat knocked over a candle when she was sleeping-

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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Two Spoonfuls

Ah my fellow Epicureans...observe the eloquence with which my mother juxtaposes images of a large ball of turd in her food with several recipes for luscious Chicken with mustard-tarragon sauce and the like. Observe! Digest! Run for the hills, great Marlboro Man!

October, 2003
Last night I bought a pint of ice cream from a local market & after 2 spoon-fuls I swallowed a wad of chewed tobacco & spit out a little-Anderson Dairy (after I called them) picked up the specimen to have it tested & would let me know the results-can you believe it?
{Let me know what the eye Dr. had to say}
Also-Enclosed find some recipes for Maria--

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Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Good Swimmer

So I found this letter and thought...Cool! Just in time for the long weekend! I better share this BEFORE it's too late.


Adam & Maria-
If you go to the beach on Labor Day-make sure you don't swim far from shore because there are undertows in the Pacific & being a good swimmer is not enough to deal with that-so-be careful-
Please-I know you're both grown adults-
But-I'm just reminding you to be careful-
You probably don't have time to go to the beach-anyhow-

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Screws On Your Windows

This letter, (envelope dated January 6, 1999) needs no introduction other than to say that the kid my mother refers to here was a neighbor I hardly knew named Allen. Back in the 70's when we were youngins, this loon would tell me that KILLER BEES were going to take over the world! He wasn't a very popular little fella. My mom..., loved him!

Here's a '20' to have lunch-
I hope you have screws on your windows-On the news-it said 'killer bees' are on their way to L.A.-!!-Remember that kid you knew in Miami that said that-
Encl. find check for ticket-

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Two Things To Avoid

I know. A lot of folks were worried about Y2K. This was pre-911, but not pre-apocalyptic thinking. I remember CNN's report suggesting people go buy bottled water, toiletries, candles, batteries, and plenty of canned food. Then came my mother's report written to me on Monday, December 28th, 1999. Now even though this letter seems 'appropriate' for the time, and some of you might have even heard these warnings, please try and understand that I grew up with this level of worry and anxiety every single day of the year. Y2K became the catalyst and justification for the masses to join in on my mother's perpetual Fear Fiesta.

In the year 2000-don't go up in a plane New Year's Eve & Don't go on an elevator!-Those are only the 2 things to avoid until we see how computers are working-

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Friday, August 8, 2008

American Cheese

Of COURSE, it all makes sense to me now, Doctor...

February 19, 1986

Dear Adam-

Just a note to let you know not to eat any kind of foreign cheese- They have found that some french and Spanish cheese is contaminated. So just eat American cheese.
Also-I know it's been raining there a lot and I want you to be careful-I know how the roads are out there when it rains so please wear a seat belt and be careful driving. I hope by this time, you have bought an umbrella.
I will let you know when I will be arriving. It will be in a couple of weeks.

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Monday, August 4, 2008

After Dark!

The reaction most moms would have when hearing they will soon be introduced to their son's new love, would normally be something along the lines of...Wow...can't wait to meet her! Perhaps the parent would make dinner reservations to hang out at a chic new restaurant in New York, (where my mom was living at the time.) Maybe arrange for us to meet for drinks at a happening bar. Or how about a casual little stroll through Central Park???

Oops. I forgot. We're talking about MY mother.

See the attached New York Post clipping she sent me in the mail about a couple of months prior to Maria and I making the trip. I guess she had other plans for us.

(ECU on POST article mailed to me May 9, 1999)

You & Maria are staying near Central Park-Don't go into Park after Dark!
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