One of my favorite words is “beginning” because it conveys strength and hope. In the beginning everything is shiny and new. We’re brimming with good intentions and lots of can do attitude.
Beginning, again, is what our bodies do without our conscious awareness. With each new breath we refresh our brain and our other organs. It’s part of what God thoughtfully set in motion when He created man in His own image, and it’s one of the keys to our survival. Continue Reading
When a sudden storm descends it can unravel our lives in a blink. We’re forced to call upon an inner strength we didn’t know we had. If we’re lucky, we take shelter in the arms of family, friends, church and community. Often we’re forced to become our own strength. When James died unexpectedly that Christmas, his family wasn’t there for me, but then he’d predicted that.
“If I go first,” James once told me, “They [his family] won’t be there for you. I’m sorry, but you know how they are.”
A few years into my second divorce, I’m finding myself at an interesting intersection: My first marriage and divorce is diluted in my mind as I was (A) exceptionally young when I married and divorced, and (B) the process and ensuing contact over the years has been minimal at best. I’ve had non-marital breakups that were worse than what I experienced in my first go-round. Now as a middle-aged woman who shares three children with a man from whom I’m divorced, there’s an intricacy and intimacy to our post marital relationship I didn’t expect, and frankly, don’t know how to handle. Continue Reading
Sam at the vet the week before he died. Doesn't he have a beautiful face? When people would ask me what kind of dog he was I would say, "He's part Beagle and part Walt Disney." He looked like he could have been in "Lady and the Tramp."
This week I had to put my precious Sam to sleep. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Like me and Molly, Sam survived abuse and unspeakable heartbreak. Each of us were lost until James found us, and together, we became a family.
Sam was with me through breast cancer; losing James; Goldie’s stroke; mother’s death and Molly’s death last month.
Me and Molly a month ago.
This evening, Molly went to live with God. Before the vet administered the final medication, I laid on the floor and cradled her and told her how much I loved her; how blessed I was to have her in my life and that she was a lucky girl… She was going to live with God… and Goldie and James. I tried to keep my voice light and positive.
I didn’t want to scare or alarm her, but when I said “James,” her head whipped around, and she looked me in the eyes and held my gaze. I know she understood. It took my breath away.
I’m excited about Plum Johnson’s They Left Us Everything, our next 1010 Park Place Book Club choice. I hope you loved it as much as I did.
In this award-winning book (that would make an amazing film à la The Family Stone), Johnson chronicles the process of caring for elderly parents, and emptying and selling the family home. As she sorts through her parents’ belongings, she explores the idea of family legacy, validity of memory and how much influence our family has on who we are as adults. She focuses particularly on her often contentious relationship with her mother, who was a larger-than-life Southern belle.
I asked Plum some questions about her book. If you have questions, she’ll be hanging out with us in the comments field and is happy to answer your questions. Continue Reading
The book, The Top Five Regrets of Dying, made me think about how I’m living my own life. Author, Bronnie Ware, was a nurse who spent eight years in palliative care. Her patients made a profound impact on her, sharing their regrets as they faced their last days.
When people reach the end of their lives, they don’t wish they had more money, possessions or achievements. They tend to reflect on what’s deep in their soul, regretting that self-sabotage got in the way of authentic living and wishing they’d worked less, not more.
Here are their top five regrets: Continue Reading
I attended a funeral for a cousin whose death came too early. She’d beaten breast cancer, twice, but years of smoking and living around heavy smokers finally took its toll. The experience reinforced my desire to spend eternity fertilizing the earth instead of being locked up in a box and forgotten. Continue Reading
I was fresh off my flight from London when I received the text, “I’m sorry. I won’t be coming to Johannesburg for another five days.”
I could feel my heartbeat increase, and the anger bubbled up through my insides so violently it made my throat constrict. I decided to wait until it subsided before replying. Continue Reading
I am now officially a New Yorker. I have moved in, scoped out the neighborhood and bought groceries to stock my kitchen in an apartment that’s mine. Looking back at the last two weeks, I realize all of the friendship and fan support that’s gotten me to this point, and I am grateful and amazed at the love and generosity of them all.
When I last left off, I was filling you in on my life with a story about “letting it go.” That was weeks ago while I was still living in Colorado and boy, did I let stuff go.