Happy 4th of July!

07_04_09.jpgToday marks another holiday that truly puts into perspective just all that our husbands fought, loved and died for.

I will not lie....Veteran's Day, Memorial Day and 4th of July used to be holidays that seemed to melt together. Besides separate months, fireworks and parades, I truly never felt to full capacity what each really stood for and meant to me.

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Death by Sunburn??

07_03_09.jpgMy (rather new) significant other is a geologist. A few months ago, he left (Martha’s Vineyard) for the desert West of Palm Springs CA to do field work. He called me each day, either before he left to do field work in the desert, or after he returned. All was well. I was, and am, bonkers over him. I enjoyed our telephone connection. We were a new couple so the phone calls were a daily surprise and not an expectation. Or so I thought.

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Perspective ....

07_01_09.JPG..... is in the eye of the beholder, is it not?

This picture was from our last vacation.  The last day of our last vacation to be exact.  In June of 2007.  Six months before Jim died.

It was a "different" vacation for us.  A different perspective.  Only half of our children were able to go.  The three girls were working that summer and could not go.  So although it was a "family" vacation ..... it was different.

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Thus begun our Dance

07_01_09_1.JPGIt was a clear, sunny morning on July 2nd, 2005, not an ugly cloud in the sky. I got ready in a room with the women most pronounced in my life at that time. I was escorted by the 8 beautiful women of my bridal party through the hotel and across the country club in California. I stopped briefly at the white fence behind the gorgeous gazebo before taking my place at my father's side. I wanted to take a peek at what awaited under the arched flowers... the sight made my heart race! ....There he waited... for me. At 11am I stood before my best friend, the man I went to for advice, comfort and love. I couldn't tell you what our Pastor spoke of that morning. I can only remember David's hand embracing mine and his eyes- the most pure shade of blue seemed to burn straight into my soul. I remember thinking "Finally... Finally..." It was on that day David took my hand, placed a ring on my finger, and made me his bride. Thus begun our dance.

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Chchchanges....

I'm meeting the moving company today to inventory my house and take the next step in the move from Houston back to Austin. It's a big and quick change for us, and I've been forced to think a lot about life planning and what my intentions are both personally and professionally.

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What I Believe In

06_29_09.JPGBefore Phil died I could have easily created a long list of my personal beliefs. This list would have included ideas about both the tangible and the intangible; broad concepts and specific ideals; God and mortal beings. There would probably even have been a mention of death and eternity...but only in the abstract because my beliefs about death were untested until August 31, 2005.

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Humbled

06_28_09.jpgI did not want to be a widow. In fact, it is safe to say that I would have liked to be just about anything BUT a widow. It took a while for the reality to set in...I was a WIDOW. Ugh. That word, the dreaded title, the image of a shriveled up person with a love that died, the imagined black veil, the wedding ring that no longer meant married...I hated every single thing about the concept of widowhood.

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The Joy

John Clarke once said, "True love is the joy of life." Now I don't know John but after this past week I have to add on to these words of inspiration he probably spoke many years ago.

Now as I personally know, true love is hands down numero uno in my joy book but the second greatest joy is being around others who have been touched by its graces. This past week, as Nicole mentioned in her blog, we've been at another AWP event. Skydiving with the Golden Knights and doing a "Celebration of our hero's lives" golf tournament was amazing, but seeing the smiles on the faces of my fellow widows and hearing their stories of true love is what makes these outings so amazing.

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Teens Taking up the Slack - Sweet Sixteen.

06_26_09.JPGIt is Anneke’s ‘Sweet Sixteen’ today.

On the one hand, I can’t really believe this day has arrived and her father is still gone. Like somehow, at some point he should have walked in the front door and with little fanfare saying “I’m back.” It has been 8 plus years. She has been without him longer than she had him. I should know better by now.

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Celebrating the Journey at Hole 8

06_25_09.jpgThis week is a big week for the widows in my life- the military widows of The American Widow Project. Wednesday, we had our first annual charity golf tournament for the organization. Each golf hole was dedicated to the soul mate of an AWP member. 

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