Thu09182014

News

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates


Nine candidates have filed to run for three open seats on the Mountain View City Council in the Nov. 4 election – none of them incumbents. The Town Crier asked them to introduce themselves to readers in the following Q&A format. We knew the...

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Schools

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The Los Altos School District’s newly expanded Facilities Advisory Committee met for the first time last week. The 28-member committee’s first task is to prioritize campus improvement projects.

The Los Altos Scho...

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Community

Sports

New-look Lancers find their footing

New-look Lancers find their footing


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Jenna Adams, left, and Carly Deale attempt to bump the ball Friday night. The juniors combined for 28 kills.

This year’s St. Francis High girls volleyball team faintly resembles last season’s squad ...

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Special Sections

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
An estimated 75 supporters of higher teacher pay turned out for the Sept. 4 Mountain View Whisman School District board meeting.

Teachers, trustees and administrators are recovering from a dramatic Mountain View Whism...

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Business

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Esthetician Marjan Kashi showcases one of the treatment rooms at her new studio, Pure Serenity Skincare at Rancho Shopping Center. Kashi provides services including microdermabrasion and various light and heat energy the...

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Books

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation


During World War II, Virgilia Short Witzel, a young mother and U.S. Navy officer’s wife, grappled on the home front in Menlo Park with wartime rationing, shortages and loneliness. During the ensuing Cold War, she experienced adventure and misadventur...

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People

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

Resident of San Jose and Los Altos, California

July 21, 1931 to August 4, 2014

Born in Arimo, Idaho, to Jerald Emmett and Rebecca Henderson Nelson Christiansen. Raised in Davis and Riverside, California, with summers in Downey, Idaho, and in Loga...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

Pear puts on a pair of plays

Pear puts on a pair of plays


J. Smith/Special to the Town Crier
Dan Kapler (as Teddy) and Betsy Kruse Craig (Trish) star in Pear Avenue Theatre’s “House.”

The Pear Avenue Theatre production of two interlocking comedies by Alan Ayckbourn – “House&...

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Spiritual Life

Back to Church Sunday offers opportunity to recommit

The children in Los Altos are back to school, and I can still hear parents cheering. Summer is officially over, even if the calendar doesn’t quite think so.

Parents have attended Back to School nights to meet their children’s teachers. B...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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With all my heart

“I don’t care who started it!” my mother screamed at her four arguing children. “Don’t make me come in there.”

During my childhood, my mom had a litany of one-liners she’d yell at us to get her point across. There was, “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride,” “Eat everything on your plate – children are starving in China” and, of course, her tried-and-true explanation for everything, “I just want the best for you.” But my favorite was, “I love you with all my heart.”

In the 1950s, I found her statement odd. What did love have to do with a fist-sized muscular organ responsible for pumping blood? Equating that mushy thing beating in her chest with how she felt about me was a little unsettling. Nonetheless, those words were etched into my mind and somehow made me feel safe.

As we became teenagers and young adults, the last thing she wrote on every card or said as we walked out the door was, “Remember, I love you with all my heart.” Not a day went by that I didn’t hear those endearing words.

Years passed. I too became a mother of four. I tried to follow her example of what it meant to be a good, moral woman. And just like her, I found myself repeating such “mommyisms” as “Life is unfair,” “Because I said so” and “One day you’ll thank me.” Strangely enough, I steered clear of her signature trademark.

Was I too cool to be so sappy? God knows I adore my children and gush over them ad nauseam. Perhaps I felt the words were a bit old-fashioned for this hip mom to say. But one moment changed everything.

From the time my mom turned 57, she suffered one excruciating ailment after another. Over the next 30 years, she survived on an arsenal of narcotics as each limb and organ disintegrated. Outside help was unheard of in the Madden family, so I was placed in charge of her medical care. There was nothing I could do to alleviate the constant pain of the most important woman in my life.

One day, in 2003, as she lay writhing in pain, I bent over to gently kiss her and fluff her pillow. I’m sure that my teary eyes made my inner sadness evident to her. Besides knowing our time was limited, my personal life was in ruins as I struggled through my divorce. My entire world was crumbling and she could see it.

Being the quintessential lioness whose first instinct is to protect her cub, she put her own pain aside. Pulling my 51-year-old body into her bed, she held me close, trying to soothe my aching heart.

“Jackie,” she whispered into my ear, “always remember, I love you with all my heart.”

In that moment, the intensity of those words reverberated in my soul. It suddenly became crystal clear: No matter how old we become, nothing in this world will ever compare to the love a mother has for her child.

A week later she was gone. Standing by her bed, holding her hand as she slipped away, I knew I’d never be loved again to the depth she had for me, and I wondered if my children really knew how much I loved them.

Now, when I bid my adult babies adieu, I lovingly call the same words my mother made so rich with meaning. I’m sure they think I’m weird, but I don’t worry. When they are parents, they will understand what it means to love with their whole heart – beautiful, unconditional and eternal.

Jackie Madden Haugh is a Los Altos resident.

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