Grieving the death of a spouse is like trying to hang-on to a 50-pound yo-yo. Grief plunges you to the bottom of despair, then raises you up for a brief glimpse of life, as you knew it, only to drop you again… and again. I never dreamed surviving the death of my second husband would make breast cancer seem easy.
In the last few weeks, two of my friends have lost their husbands to a serious illness. I’ve lost two husbands to death. I know how they’re feeling.
ME AND MY FIRST HUSBAND ON A TRAIN IN SWITZERLAND. I WAS 22.
So many of you have left comments on my blog, Instagram and Facebook and even sent me emails, telling me how much you like my writing and urging me to write my story… a memoir. Thank you, sweet friends, for supporting what are sometimes difficult things to write, but that’s what I do. I’m a writer, and our stories are not always pretty. While I haven’t decided whether writing a book is something I want to do, you’ve made me think about it. In the meantime I found a piece I wrote 20 years ago for a writer’s workshop. The assignment was to write the first page of your memoir. For your consideration… xoxox, Brenda
I’ve often wondered if he liked to possess me just as some men like to own fast cars. “This week she landed on an aircraft carrier, cooked a gourmet dinner for 12 and won a race at Texas World Speedway.”
I was fast and sleek and hung my ass out over the edge. A risk taker. A reflection of him.
My favorite fall sweater had several loose threads when I packed it away last spring, but I wasn’t ready to consider throwing it away. A few days ago, it wasn’t even out of the storage box when I started twirling and tucking the loose threads, thinking I could magically reattach them.
Discarding things has never been easy for me. It’s not that I’m a hoarder. I’m a fixer. A serial fixer. There… I said it out loud. Moving on from people hasn’t been easy either.
Recently I heard a young woman say dating is obsolete. “Really?” I asked, to which she replied, “No one has time for that silliness anymore.”
Fourteen years ago I left an abusive relationship with the clothes on my back and no shoes on my feet. I was done with love and my dreams of that knight in shining armor riding in to save me was history. I was too old for fairytales. Continue Reading
It’s every woman’s lament at one point or another. But this time, it’s not about my clothes, and it’s true. I feel a little bit ridiculous. No… a lot ridiculous, ever thinking we were in good shape. Over thinking I had everything under control, over how many trips I took to the thrift store. I’ve decided the thrift store visits were my philanthropy for this year. And even after all of the prep work, I’m shocked at how much stuff we still have that has no place to live. Our coach looks like something from the television show “Hoarders.”
To use one of George W. Bush’s best words, “I think we have sorely misunderestimated how much stuff we could bring!”
Did I tell you I had my first date since James died? I met him at a bus stop. LOL! Weird, right? It was almost midnight, and I was waiting for the airport shuttle to take me to my car. I’d been to New York where I was in a commercial, and he was returning from surfing in Costa Rica. He was about my age, tall and nice looking. We struck up a conversation. He has a house in Costa Rica and goes once a month to surf. I also learned where he went to high school.
Can you believe I gave him my phone number?
April’s baby was not the first giraffe born in captivity, and there was nothing exceptional about the event other than thousands witnessed the birth via social media.
What was it about that giraffe and her baby that drew people in and had them incessantly checking notifications on their phones?
In between the packed and stacked boxes, the work piled on both of our desks, and the boxes yet-to-be-packed–only 3 weeks to the move–things are messy. I pause and survey my kingdom. It’s disorganized, and I am dismayed, but I also have faith in Nietzsche’s saying, “Out of chaos comes order.” Continue Reading
Used throughout Europe as a way to cleanse the palate between courses, intermezzos are usually a light and refreshing treat. Today was my Intermezzo. I took a much needed break from sorting what to keep, what to let go of, what to sell, and doing the work to get it where it will be seen–and bought–by someone who will enjoy it. A break from separating my emotions from my “things,” be it clothing, a stereo cabinet, or a set of martini glasses.
A dear friend invited me to meet him for lunch at a chic little French restaurant. I felt a momentary twinge of guilt for abandoning my post… then, like any sane woman would, I gladly accepted!
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