After our income fell drastically, we moved into a one-bedroom apartment at a great location; it’s only a 20 minute walk to Anisha’s school. However, it is not a big, character home like the ones her two best friends live in. Recently she said, “I wish we lived in a big house like my friends.” I can’t describe how hard the reduced income has been on me. For me it’s a lot harder than for my daughter because she doesn’t know any better since she doesn’t recall our previous home. I know I should not compare families. Various parent friends have told me, “Nothing good comes from comparing your family to other families. I know all of this, yet I still get frustrate when I see, or at least I think I see, other people enjoying easier lives.Read more
This Sunday it will be 6 years since Chuck died.
Just writing that number leaves me breathless, and not in a good way.
How can it be 6 years?
Though it might as well be 6 centuries. That's how it feels.
So, my thoughts on this fractured time as they meander through my mind...Read more
Chuck and I sold our home in NJ in May 2009 to go out on the road and travel our country together.
No more rat race for us.
Just time together.
We had just shy of 4 years on the road together.
He died April 21, 2013.
11:21 pm is when he took his last breath.
In so many ways, I did too.
Take my last breath, I mean.
My breathing hasn't been the same since the hands of the clock ticked to 11:21 and froze.Read more
I'm coming up on 6 years since Chuck died.
It's weird how my brain works with time regarding his death.
For the first 5 years I counted in days and weeks and months.
In the last few weeks, I've found myself saying almost 6 years.
Once April 21 comes...which is my New Year, by the way, instead of January 1, I know I'll say it's been over 6 years now.
I'll know exactly, because I have a counter on my phone and I track those smaller moments of time...months, weeks, days, minutes, seconds.
I'm not quite sure why. I just do.Read more
Holy shit, is it a real thing.
Michele, thankfully, speaks about it each year, prior to Sunday morning breakfast.
Fair warning of gales ahead, campers.
Brace yourselves.Read more
Anger, my good friend, anger.
You are so reliable, so constant,
sometimes I can’t see you, but then suddenly you appear, snarl and bite.
you are always there, always so patient,
you never shut me down and tell me to look on the bright side,
with you, I can ‘be dark’ and talk about death whenever and wherever I want.
You are always deep in the core of my chest, sometimes you are almost dormant,
other times you shoot lava everywhere,
and then I get to grunt, bark and scream!Read more
I met Christina Rasmussen, from Second Firsts, early in my widowhood, on her first book tour.
She was in Boston and I was in NH, so I drove to the book store holding the event, and heard her speak for the first time.
It didn't change the emotions of my widowhood, but her words, her philosophy about life after loss touched me deeply.
It was my first true indication that I wasn't alone on this road.Read more
I find that my deams often reveal the detail of my grief. In a recent dream, my wife was scolding me for my parenting approach, “You too often let her get away with not eating fruits and veggies!” Clearly, I have not moved on from feelings of self-doubt about my parenting skills. I know most parents struggle with healthy food options, but I know it would be A LOT easier to feed my daughter if Natasha were still here. She wasn’t just a good cook, she was a great food researcher: I didn’t have to read labels and search websites, Natasha would just say, “Buy this, and not that.” This is where relying on our community is very helpful.Read more
My motto, since Chuck died, is push your boundaries. Stretch your comfort zones. Go where you've never gone before.
It hasn't been difficult to do this, honestly.
Chuck died in southern CA, in our 4th year on the road.
I had no home to return to; we'd sold it, and our belongings, years before, to go adventuring.
So I was already well accustomed to living outside my comfort zone. Already living a different life each day, as we traveled from one state to another...hiking, climbing, visiting National Parks and monuments, meeting new people.
Living the traveling life suited both of our personalities.
And then he died...Read more
One of the most fundamental aspect of our species is that we are constantly comparing everything. Walking down the street, our brains are constantly comparing the faces of strangers to faces of people we know. Isn’t that? …no, she’s too tall to be her. Comparing helps us cross the street and be safe—we have an image of a safe crosswalk in our brains, and we compare what we see on the street with that image before our feet leave the curb. Most comparisons keep us safe and healthy, while others simply make life far more complicated than it has to be.Read more