Tag Archives: Loss

Dispatch from the Hideout

“In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion.”― Albert Camus

“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” ― C.G. Jung

For me, the past week has been one of introspection and retreat. It began with the 18-month anniversary of my mother’s death, counterbalanced by joyful anniversaries and celebrations of the living — birthdays, graduations, and more, of family members and loved ones — grief and gratitude. This unfolded during a critical period in the political landscape when our leaders were charged with designing and implementing a promised healthcare plan, first, repeal then replace, which when brought to a vote in a number of forms, failed again, and again, and yes, again.   Continue reading

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With a Little Help from My Friends

“Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends
with a little help from my friends”
— Songwriters: John Lennon/Paul McCartney

It’s the Memorial Day weekend. There are many traditions associated with this holiday. From Wikipedia, “Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. The holiday is currently observed every year on the last Monday of May. It marks the unofficial start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its unofficial end.” Continue reading

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Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

“I watch the ripples change their size
but never leave the stream
of warm impermanence
so the days float through my eyes” — David Bowie, Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

The summer is beginning to wind down and autumn is right around the corner. I often muse about the changing seasons this time of the year and reflect on my life, time-hopping from the past to the future, then back to today. Though it’s common to look back at the preceding year on New Year’s Eve or look ahead to the coming year the next day, I usually follow the school year calendar and my annual staycation. Some habits are hard to break. Continue reading

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A Grateful Daughter: A Father’s Day Tribute

“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.” — Jim Valvano

As my friends, family, work colleagues, and regular readers are already aware, I recently finished moving. I now have only one set of keys, and my material life resides in a single location for the exception of a dozen totes that a friend generously volunteered to store in her basement.  Moving seemed like a never-ending process and I’m grateful it’s over and I can stop writing and talking about it (I will, I promise).  I can now direct my energy to other things, which brings me to Father’s Day and the tragedy in Orlando at Pulse LGBTQ nightclub. You might ask, “How are these two subjects related?” Continue reading

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Without Her: A Mother’s Day Lament

“The death of a mother is the first sorrow wept without her.” — Author unknown

On this Mother’s Day I want to express my gratitude. I’m lucky. My eyes first met my mother’s over 66 years ago on the day I was born. She was the first person I ever experienced in life, whose flesh touched mine, her smell familiar, whose breasts nourished me, and whose arms held me close to her heart. I’m sure I was comforted by the sound of her soft voice and steady heartbeat that I heard while still in her womb. Every year on my birthday I felt intimately close to her. We often shared tears, tears of gratitude and joy. This year was the last one we’ll ever share together. Mom died 10 days after my birthday. This is my first Mother’s Day without her. Continue reading

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The Loud Family Loses a Loved One

We Say Goodbye to Our Matriarch

First, a little background:  In 1973 American TV audiences were introduced to a groundbreaking 12-part documentary series on PBS entitled An American Family featuring the Louds, an upper middle class family in Santa Barbara, California. This was considered the first reality TV series. Keeping with its irreverent tradition of satirizing American culture, Saturday Night Live in season four, episode six, created its own Loud family, starring Jane Curtin as Mrs. Loud, Bill Murray as Mr. Loud and their daughters, Gilda Radner and guest host, Carrie Fisher with supporting characters played by John Belushi, Dan Ayckroyd and Garrett Morris. Continue reading

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The Tale of Two Quilts

“What goes around comes around.” — The basic definition of how karma, the law of cause and effect, works.

“And in the end, the love you make is equal to the love you take.” — Lyrics from the Beatles song, The End, composed by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon-McCartney. It was the last song recorded collectively by all four Beatles from the album, Abbey Road.

This is a tale of two quilts, two long-term relationships, two sisters and two lessons about karma.   Continue reading

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When All Else Fails — Laugh!

“I know why we laugh. We laugh because it hurts, and it’s the only thing to make it stop hurting.”  ― Robert A. Heinlein

“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.” ― Audrey Hepburn

The past few months I’ve found myself questioning my behavior. There has been a lot of tragedy in the world while political and cultural wars erode our humanity and equality; most of it feels like it’s outside of my control or influence, or my awareness of it has simply become keener; my ability to remain in denial, diminished. Recently, I am more apt to rage against the machine and see the glass half empty, rather than look to what is good in the world that fills the glass ―and my heart ― full. This is uncharacteristic for me. Continue reading

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The Legacy of a Life

“Let your very existence be your song, your poem, your story.
Let your very identity be your book.
Let the way people say your name sound like the sweetest melody.”
 ― Charlotte Eriksson*

The end of the year draws close. For some of us it’s a time to take inventory, to review the past year and look ahead to the new one. For others it’s marked a passage, an ending, hopefully to be followed by a new beginning. From Wikipedia:

In ancient Roman religion and mythJanus is the god of beginnings and transitions, and thereby of gates, doors, doorways, passages and endings. He is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks to the future and to the past. It is conventionally thought that the month of January is named for Janus.” Continue reading

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The Third Act of Life

“It’s okay that you’re old; it means you’re not dead.”  ― My niece, Gemma, at the age of 4.

Some say, “Out of the mouths of babes comes wisdom.” This was certainly true the day seven years ago when I buckled my then four-year-old niece, Gemma, into her car seat.  She examined my face closely as I leaned in to safely strap her in the backseat of my car. Continue reading

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