Fri07252014

News

Downtown green park pops up again in August

Downtown green park pops up again in August


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Third Street Green debuts Aug. 3 on the 300 block of State Street in downtown Los Altos.

Another temporary park is poised to pop up in downtown Los Altos this summer.

According to Brooke Ray Smith, community devel...

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Schools

MVLA rolls out laptop integration this fall

MVLA rolls out laptop integration this fall


Town Crier File Photo
Starting in the fall, daily use of laptops in the classroom will be standard operating procedure for students at Los Altos and Mountain View high schools as the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District launches a pil...

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Community

Generations blend behind the scenes at 'Wizard of Oz'

Generations blend behind the scenes at 'Wizard of Oz'


Altos Youth Theatre and Los Altos Stage Company rehearse a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.” ELIZA RIDGEWAY/ TOWN CRIER

A massive troupe of young people and grownups gathered in Los Altos this summer to stage the latest iteration of a childhood sta...

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Sports

Football in July

Football in July


Town Crier file photo
Mountain View High’s Anthony Avery is among the nine local players slated to play in tonight’s Silicon Valley Youth Classic.

Tonight’s 40th annual Silicon Valley Youth Classic – also known as the Charlie...

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Comment

Pools should be included: Editorial

Los Altos residents should be receiving calls this week from city representatives conducting a survey to determine priorities for a revamped Hillview Community Center.

Notice that we did not say “civic center” – chastened by a lack of public support...

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Special Sections

Looking for life without lows, local diabetic tests artificial pancreas

Looking for life without lows, local diabetic tests artificial pancreas


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Dr. Trang Ly, left, reviews blood sugar readings on a smartphone with Los Altos resident Tia Geri, right, and fellow participant Noa Simon during a closed-loop artificial pancreas study for Type 1 diabetics.
...

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Business

Palo Alto law firm coming to 400 Main

Palo Alto law firm coming to 400 Main


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Longtime Palo Alto law firm Thoits, Love, Hershberger & McClean plans to open an office at 400 Main St. in Los Altos after construction is complete in November.

A longtime Palo Alto law firm plans to expand int...

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Books

"Frozen in Time" chronicles harrowing WWII rescue attempts


Many readers can’t resist a true-life adventure story, especially those that shine a spotlight on people who exhibit supreme courage in the face of adversity and end up surviving – or not – against the odds.

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People

RICHARD PATRICK BRENNAN

RICHARD PATRICK BRENNAN

Resident of Palo Alto

Richard Patrick Brennan, journalist, editor, author, adventurer, died at his Palo Alto home on July 4, 2014 at age 92. He led a full life, professionally and personally. He was born and raised in San Francisco, joined the Arm...

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Travel

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway


Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe offers fall getaway packages that include spa treatments and yoga classes.

Fall in North Lake Tahoe boasts crisp mornings and opportunities to spend quality time in the mountains. Specially ...

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Stepping Out

PYT stages 'Shrek'

PYT stages 'Shrek'


Lyn Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Dana Cullinane plays Fiona in Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Shrek The Musical.”

Peninsula Youth Theatre presents “Shrek The Musical” Saturday through Aug. 3 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts...

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Spiritual Life

Foothills Congregational: 100 years and counting

Foothills Congregational: 100 years and counting


Courtesy of Carolyn Barnes
The newly built Los Altos church in 1914 featured a bell tower and an arched front window. Both continue as elements of the building as it stands today.

Foothills Congregational Church – the oldest church building in L...

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Magazine

Festival features fun for everyone

Festival features fun for everyone


TOWN CRIER FILE PHOTO
The Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival boasts more than 375 craft and arts booths.

This weekend’s 35th annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival promises to be jam-packed with fun activities for just about everyone. The eve...

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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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