Stephanie Vendrell

The Late Shift

I can’t sleep. I worked the late shift again, my usual schedule these days at the restaurant, so I’m not too surprised. Trying to sleep before one in the morning these days is difficult, when I don’t get home til half past 10 at the earliest. One does need to downshift for a bit after work, regardless of the hours. But this time it’s like something is calling to me. I can’t downshift, as I usually can. My beautiful magnesium powder is not working its usual magic tonight. So I give up, and get up.


I come out to my lanai, that place I will miss the most about this house, that place Mike loved most too, and notice how bright the light is. Geez what is that, I wonder in my daze? It’s the moon, I realize, so full and luminous it lights up the sky and the ocean beneath, like a surrogate sun. Literally glaring at me, daring me to be awake and gazing upon it. I go back inside to get my distance glasses from my purse so I can really see it.


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With a Smile

Like a freight train, time is bullying its way forward. Come February, which feels just around the corner, I will have been five years without Mike. I sit here in his chair on the lanai we shared in this house, looking down on the ocean view he loved so dearly, wondering how that is possible.


Because in this moment, and so many others, it feels like yesterday. The pain feels raw and real and the missing him hasn’t stopped. And yet I have been forced to continue to deal with life in this world all this time, without him.


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  • commented on Soul Searching 2017-06-09 00:17:03 -0700
    Thank you, Sharon. It’s strange to think of all the happy families secured in a kind of peace and security while we still seek that, or perhaps better, seek it yet again, after our losses, in middle age. But as you said, we have our own paths, and must simply keep walking. Love to you too.

  • commented on Killer Lonliness 2017-06-01 23:25:58 -0700
    Marilyn, what an experience you have gone through. I am so sorry for your troubles. I think you are absolutely right about the driving force behind addiction. Loneliness is indeed a terrible thing and due to our widowed state, a very stark and devastating reality for many of us. Thank you for sharing and commenting and being part of the community.
    Donna, I get that. I feel that too many days, existing, not living. I’m glad you have your sons. And grateful you can come here and share and get support. Lots of love.
    Sharon, wow the Camino how awesome!! I always wanted to do that! I think that’s a great way to get out there and look for peace and purpose. Meanwhile, so sad about the date today for you. Those anniversaries are so, so hard. But as I said to Donna I am sure glad we have this place to come together. Bless you.

  • commented on The Public Face 2017-05-22 01:59:58 -0700
    Cathy, you are right, it is all so hard to make decisions now. And yes, not to show how hard it is…feeling it, sister. Hugs.
    Indie, yes, a charade indeed. I feel you too. Wish I could hug you too, I could use it too.
    Linda, so much to think about, yes….too many decisions, where is that magic decision fairy??? Thanks for your thoughts and prayers, sending them your way too. If I have to be in this terrible club, I am thankful for all the wonderful souls who accompany me. Xoxo

  • commented on Smiling Through the Tears 2017-05-19 03:29:58 -0700
    Indeed Marilyn there will always be that but…hugs to you.

  • commented on Shifts Happen 2017-05-02 15:02:11 -0700
    True words Cathy, the book ended…and Lisa, indeed, who are we?? Sigh.

  • commented on Talking to Mike 2017-04-21 11:58:12 -0700
    Thank you Bruce, that was a beautiful and thoughtful comment. I will indeed.

  • commented on Mean Dreams 2017-04-17 02:14:53 -0700
    Bruce, I believe that. Just wish I could really talk to him.

  • commented on Times Gone By 2017-04-08 21:55:39 -0700
    I will. Something heartening to know you are going through similar changes. Somehow, we survive. Hugs, Cathy.

  • commented on Grown Up Problems 2017-03-23 13:54:29 -0700
    Me too Lisa!

  • commented on Location, Location, Location 2017-02-24 13:45:29 -0800
    Wow Cathy – on top of everything else, the adoption thing being in common in our lives, thank you for sharing that. And I hope to continue moving forward, yes, so many decisions. I hope my adventures lend strength to some, and I appreciate the sharing as well in return, it brings me strength too.

  • commented on The Path Less Traveled 2017-02-08 14:32:23 -0800
    Thanks Cathy – good to have the shared experience, and advice – and the idea that it gets easier. I guess I will eventually perfect the introductory info in a way that is dealable for me. Xoxo

  • commented on Limbo Girl 2017-01-27 06:28:19 -0800
    Cathy, I so appreciate your sentiment of difficulty when people ask your plans. In this time of our lives, after our losses, we have learned that what we plan often doesn’t happen. But other people have yet to learn it. And yes I am amazed this is my life too. Thank you for your continued presence and support.xoxo

  • commented on Overload 2017-01-25 06:37:05 -0800
    Congratulations on everything you are doing Kelley, and thank you, because your words will reach a lot of people who will benefit greatly. For me, writing about grief has been often difficult, and always also comforting, and cathartic. And I share your love affair with words, as well as the occasional feeling of being overwhelmed, and at a loss. I know you have a lot of followers here and elsewhere and we look forward to reading and sharing with you.

  • commented on Life speed bumps 2017-01-25 06:30:06 -0800
    I remember crying at the DMV too…I also cried at the bank dealing with his name on accounts there. I remember the people looking at me with confusion as well, but, apparently there are quite a few of us who react like this. Hugs to you Michelle.

  • commented on Another Runner Up? 2017-01-21 22:45:21 -0800
    Me too, Sharon. Man. Me too. Thank you.

  • commented on Felt Like Goodbye 2017-01-16 18:18:50 -0800
    Oh God, Kelley. What a thing to happen…I am so glad you had found her, and had that chance to tell her what you did…so many of us never get that chance, and thank God she is alive. Such big changes for all of us, never-ending f-ing changes. I think about you in your move this year. Sending love and hugs.

  • commented on Runner Up 2017-01-16 18:13:13 -0800
    Good comment, Gayle – that was then, this is now…wish non-widowed could see that too. Our loves are gone but that shouldn’t mean we don’t get other loves. It will never be the same though, and maybe some people are just more sensitive to that. Michelle, I am so sorry he said that. I have been going through that with my boyfriend too. I’m not sure where to go with it yet to be honest. Hugs.

  • commented on Permanent Markers 2017-01-17 08:12:10 -0800
    Oh, Indie, it is just so hard to know what to do. I think keeping things until you find reason to, or feeling to, change that, is not only ok but perhaps what needs to be. My heart goes out to you. Thank you for sharing.

  • commented on A Choiceless Event 2017-01-06 08:50:09 -0800
    Oh my gosh Marilyn, thank you for your comment. It made me cry. “My eyes are his eyes now” – that is exactly how I feel, and what a beautiful way to put it. I wonder sometimes whether what is going on with my life now will resonate here, so your reaction is precious to me. Many blessings to you, and hugs. We are in this together, hard as it all is.

  • commented on Ashes and Tears 2016-12-31 14:24:19 -0800
    I know Lisa, I shudder too. So here’s to peace, indeed.
    And I sure get that, Cathy – now we know what it means. Letting go can be so hard.
    Sharon, what a hard year for you, I am so sorry. I am glad you are doing better though…strange how we become “good” at grief somehow, maybe that’s not the right way to put it, experienced maybe. Sad, but probably true. I do think of our loved ones rocking out up there, I hope. Happy new year to you all, hope we can all find some peace. Hugs all around.

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