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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Life In Yellow

07_13_09.jpgSo, it is Tourde France time. This may or may not mean anything to you, but in this house Tour Time is a big deal.

The Tour deFrance is the granddaddy of cycling races, made famous in recent years by the athletic feats of Lance Armstrong.  You will notice in any photo of me that I am wearing a bright yellow LIVESTRONG wristband. I took the band I currently wear off of Phil's wrist as I sat beside his beautiful body in the emergency room trying to grasp the fact that he was dead. He wore this particular yellow plastic circle for at least a year before his death, and I have been wearing it in his honor for the past four.

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More than a Guest Book

Being required to plan a funeral right after someone dies is cruel and unusual punishment. Yes, I know, arranging a final resting place for the deceased loved one is necessary...but putting together a thoughtful celebration of the person you love is incredibly difficult when you are still trying to register the fact that they are actually dead.


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The Ocean

I cannot think of any better example of this new chapter of mine than that of an ocean. Waves are a constant but there are days when all is calm, and then there are the days where they crash on the sand with all their power and might.

So goes the same with my grief.

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I am Talkin' !!! (Or...Our imperfect Marriages)

07_10_09.JPGWhat about the widow who was NOT married to her soul mate? What about the widow whose marriage was a challenge? Or, what about the widow who, after her husband died, had to grieve not only him, but who also had to grieve what didn't happen in her marriage? Who faces the reality of missed opportunities?

There are those women among us who married their soul mate, and there are those women among us who married a good mate, a mate who was right for them but about whom we might not use the word soul mate. Grief for these women is no less challenging.

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What Might Have Been

07_09_09.JPGLast night I was sitting on the front porch enjoying a gorgeous summer night. Wispy strips of clouds lined the sky and created a red and orange evening canvas. As the breeze blew over me I was reminded of the many summer nights I sat in the same place on the porch chatting with Phil. As I called up memories of July evenings past the driveway was populated with images and I sat back and watched them dance across the stage of reminiscence.

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Filterless

07_08_09.JPGTomorrow is the last full day of my vacation with Son #2 and #3.  

I knew this vacation would be "different" .... since it was our first one without Jim.  But I really had no clue as to how very different it would be.

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The Family We Choose

07_07_09.jpgThey (whoever they are) say that friends are the family we choose....

This opening was written by our Tuesday girl, Ms. Michelle Dippel...then a new job, a recent move, her little guy's ninth birthday, and a holiday weekend happened...and she could use a little help from a friend, so you'll hear from me (the other Michele) once again this week! I promise you will get a new writer tomorrow ;)

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On My Own Two Feet

07_06_09.jpgBefore Phil died I never questioned my ability to stand on my own two feet. Being in a relationship was something I loved, but I didn't believe that living life as a pair was mandatory for achieving happiness. My husband was my partner and my friend, but we were definitely two individuals with our own opinions and preferences...that didn't always line up. Then the world shifted, Phil died, and I was inexplicably unstable on my previously solid two feet.

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