A Thin Thread

07_23_09.jpgI've always felt like I related to this art piece made by my sister-in-law. It reminds me of pain. Of strength. Of holding on. Of hope. Do you ever feel like you're hanging on by the thinnest thread? I had been running on empty for a while now... feeling dry and indifferent... Feeling like I had given everything that I had to give, leaving nothing left for me. 

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Peace

07_22_09.jpgIt's surprising to me how much peace one can feel in the middle of a couple of hundred people.

Yet that's exactly what I felt at "Camp Widow" (love the nickname, M!).

To be surrounded by so many women, and a great guy, who understand what I'm feeling before I have the words to describe it ...... is very peaceful.

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The Value of a Friend (continued)....

07_21_09.jpgI spent this past weekend at the first ever National Conference on Widowhood, an experience I now fondly call “Camp Widow”. I watched in awe as women from around the world met each other for the first time and talked for hours like long lost friends. 

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And Life Goes On

07_20_09.jpgDo you ever count the things your husband has missed since he died? Or think about the amazing things that have transpired since you last had one of those, "You will never guess what happened!" conversations with him? I sometimes catch myself marveling about the ability of the world to continue in the aftermath of death and tragedy

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It's Unimaginable

07_19_09.JPGLife hasn't turned out like I thought it would. Never in my wildest dreams would I have pictured myself standing before a room full of widows sharing with them my thoughts on finding hope in the aftermath of despair. Never. And yet here I am, and here you are, and we are here together.

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Unite

07_18_09.jpgThis past week Nicole (WSM) and I were both able to speak to military widows from the Vietnam era. Now we did it in different ways (mine was on the phone and hers was at the podium), but both brought us to the realization that we were overlapping two generations with one common thing, sharing our stories of love, grief and survival.

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Life does sure insist on happening...

07_17_09.JPGLife does sure insist on happening.

This weekend, while I am in San Diego for the Conference, my daughter will be putting herself on a plane for musical theater camp. She will take a plane to Newark, and then a bus. We have reviewed the itinerary maybe one hundred times. She is really tired of me. "Do you have your ticket? The confirmation number of the bus service? The notarized permission form? Death certificate? Money? Do you know what to do if there is a glitch? Do you have the Marriot number in San Diego?" And on and on.

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WINGS and Things

07_16_09.jpgMy coach once shared a quote with me that said, “Take the Leap and Build the Wings on the Way Down.”

That was in 2006, about a year and a half after my husband Rory passed away, when I found myself at a major crossroad both personally and professionally. To bottom line it, I knew I had to make significant changes in the way I worked, how much I worked, how available and present I was for my young son and it was also time for some self-care. 

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New Adventures

07_15_09.JPGThis is a picture from my vacation last week.  I'd love to tell you all that it was the most fantastic trip I've ever been on.  

That, however, would be a lie.  

It was mostly .... not fun.  It was mostly ..... lonely.  It was mostly .... painful.

I really, really needed Jim there.

But there is no answer for that need ..... and so I move forward.

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The Value of a Friend

07_14_09.jpgFor lots of reasons, but likely due to the National Conference on Widowhood this weekend, I keep thinking about my friend Michele and how different my life would be without her. She once wrote that God closed the door to Phil, but by an odd twist sent her the window that opened to me. Given the choice, she'd have slammed my window for sure... :) and I understand that. Not given the choice, we have been blessed by the friendship the new window gave us the view to.

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