Sunday, July 30, 2006

Happy Birthday Son

Today is my eldest son's Birthday - the first picture is he and his wife M on their honeymoon twelve years ago - the second was taken last year in NYC with his son E.

I was only 18 years old when B was born and we literally grew up together. I am justifiably proud of the husband, father, son and human being he has become.

It is astounding when our children become the age we were when we felt that dawning of, "oh my gosh, I'm in my 40's - how did that happen?" B is an amazing man - he works hard in the hospitality industry as an executive traveling between three major east coast cities; he is a loving family man, a thoughtful husband and to cap it off is smart, caring and funny.

I awoke this morning and thought about this day 42 years ago - B was born at 12:31 am, it was a Thursday - I was a child myself - but we did it. A couple of years ago, he and I were talking about his childhood and my journey to maturity and a professional career and B said, "well Mom, all I can say is every year it got better."

When B was a little guy, he used to love running around with a towel for a superhero cape - he named himself "Superdog" and for the longest time that was the only name to which he would answer, until it stuck. For quite sometime, B was Superdog to everyone and as the years progressed, became simply "SD." So today, with love, with gratitude and with deep respect, I say, "Happy Birthday Superdog." I love you today and forever.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Quick Update

Wow - what a busy week - my real job is unusually action packed these days. Busy is a good thing when you are a consultant and small business owner but it really interferes with blogging and other pursuits. :)

Just wanted to say that today is my 94th day as a nonsmoker. I am happy and sailing right along. One of the "rewards" that I set up when I began the nonsmoking trip was to buy an ipod as soon as I had saved enough money from not buying nasty icky sticks. I bought my IPod a week and a half ago!!

So empowering to set goals and meet them --- life's challenges make us strong. What goals have you set for yourself recently - I would love to hear.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Summer in St Paul

After a couple of weeks of very high humidity and soaring temperatures, I awoke early to a day that defines why we live in Minnesota. Puffy clouds, blue sky, sunny and no humidity. As soon as I had my coffee I got my body outside.

On my way out the door, I grabbed my camera. The first stop, the Farmer's Market. Here is summer in St. Paul - the market and the Mississippi River. These are the days to remember when we have snow up to our bumms and icicles hanging off the roof halfway to the ground.

In keeping with the beautiful fresh vegetables, I came home and made a lovely batch of Ratatatouille - tiny baby eggplants, little organic zuchinis, fresh red onions, garlic, red peppers, capers, tomatoes, olives, balsamic vinegar and my own fresh basil. Yum -- that and a Caprese Salad is summer dinner at my house in St. Paul tonight.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


From the first steps on the widda road, I have been surrounded by angels - born up in their arms and supported when I could not take one step forward on my own. These angels are not supernatural beings but rather my friends on this earth who have comforted me, held me, checked on me, kicked me in the behind when needed and have been at my side through the last twenty months.

One such angel is JZ - a new person in my life since Tom died. He is not only my friend but the guy who helps me with the heavy outdoor work, including the lawn care at the duplex, and just about any type of routine repair and maintenance that needs doing.

The morning of my birthday party I walked outside and sitting on the patio table were two packages - the wrapping - a gold towel torn in half with a duct tape bow on each. Under the packages was a note from JZ - inside two angel statues that light up. They are old and they are beautiful and they are on my Tom memorial in the office. JZ - sent from the Universe to be one of my angels on this earth. Who are your angels on this earth?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Minnesota Gathering

What a wonderful weekend - lots of laughter and some tears. Great food, fun and really hot, humid weather. It is amazing to meet people in person to whom you feel so close but have never met outside the virtual world of the world wide web.

This was the special weekend that brought the widows/widowers from GROWW to Minnesota. How comforting to be with others who have walked this painful road. There are things we did not need to talk about because it is in our eyes and forever in our hearts. It filled my spirit to sit with those who have held and supported me through the early, hard days of widowhood. It filled my heart to be able to hug and say, "thank you" to those that made such a difference in my healing. A worthwhile weekend; another blessing on the journey.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Back from the Gathering

It is Monday night and I am back from the Gathering. It was a success. People had a good time and we raised money for GROWW in the process. Tonight I am a tired woman. Sunday evening, I had a few folks from GROWW over for dinner and one of the widows, who I just adore, spent the night. Of course we had to stay up late and talk, talk, talk. Today, we spent most of the day talking some more until I left for meetings and she got on the road headed for Montana.

I have a low-grade sadness tonight - missing you know who very much. So, it's off to bed for me tonight.
Thanks for all your wonderful comments and good wishes the last few days. I will post pictures and talk about the Gathering in the next post.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Widows are Gathering in Minnesota

I am very excited. For the past six months, another widow and I have been planning a widow/widower gathering in Minnesota. We have 20 people arriving from all around the country beginning tomorrow until Sunday afternoon. We will have over 25 in attendance with the Minnesotans. All the folks who are attending are from the online grief support group - GROWW.

With the exception of Tigger, who is the co-chair with me, I have not met any of the people who are arriving - yet I feel as if they are friends. It will be wonderful to put faces with names and to sit with others who walk the widowed road.

As a new widow, GROWW saved my sanity. I signed on to the chatroom just about every night for months. Some nights all I could do was read what was being written and sob into my keyboard. GROWW folks reached across the gulf and held me close when I did not know what to do next. They were the ones who told me that I wasn't going insane - I was grieving and all those horrific thoughts, inability to concentrate, raw pain, disconnection, confusion, and on and on and on - were normal to the territory. They told me - "it will get better, even if you don't think it will." And they were correct.

I am looking forward to holding them close this weekend in gratitude.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Word for the Day - is a feature from, which is a wonderful website that happens to be my homepage. Each day I receive an inspirational quotation in my inbox. Today's quote jumped right up in my face as it seems to describe my life right now. I have taken a deep breath and moved on in my grieving. It is a relief - a stopping place of sorts for now - to catch my breath - to reflect on the meaning of the journey in a new way.

I live in a place that I love, doing work that I love - a place to abide. I have many new ideas for my work and am blessed to be encouraged and supported to take risks and do those things by my business partner, JSB - a place from which to move forward. I love my home but don't feel overwhelmingly attached to it - I am open to change, to transformation, to the mysteries of life and spirit. A good place to remain and a place from which to go on.

Early in my widowhood, I felt compelled to make changes - I did not make those huge changes because those ahead of me on the widda road cautioned against hasty changes in the midst of raw grief. I no longer feel compelled to make those huge changes. I am open to what happens next - we make our choices and our choices make us. The journey continues.

PS After I posted the above thoughts, I visited one of my favorite writers, artists, thinkers - Rain - who blogs at Rainy Day Thoughts. On Monday, she posted a wonderful piece on choices and how our decisions impact our lives. Drop by her site - it's always worth reading.

Monday, July 10, 2006


I have a Tom place in my office/sitting room. It has his Air Force picture/medals/insignia/dogtags in a shadow box hanging on the wall. Surrounding the shadow box are angels from different cultures, the dragonfly legend and other meaningful things. Sitting on the top of the book case, under the shadow box, are other things - crystals, candles, two angel statues, a rock inscribed with the word "Love", a fossilized sand dollar, the framed memorial news clipping from the 1st anniversary of his death and an 8 X 10 picture in a frame.

Since I created this space, the picture in the frame has been one of Tom's Bar Association pics that I particularly liked. It was a formal, "solemn" picture as it was used in the Bar Assn Directory.

Yesterday, in keeping with this new, lighter feeling inside, I changed the photo to this - it is just Tom. I took it one night right after work when we were getting ready to sit down to have our cocktail and review the events of the day. It was our loving ritual and one I miss. That smile, that hand held just that way - oh Tom. I miss that man to the bottom of my soul. I will love him forever and am filled with gratitude for our time together. Namaste.

Saturday, July 08, 2006


It was 2:30 am last Monday and I had not been to sleep. For much of the night, I read and reflected on the two weeks surrounding my birthday.

I had been walking around the house in the dark thinking about the nearly 20 months of my grief journey. In the midst of my wandering, all of a sudden it hit me -- "I am tired of being sad and I am tired of crying."

I certainly have experienced that thought before - but NEVER with that intensity. As I paced around looking out the window at the night sky, it was as if a huge weight lifted from my shoulders - I felt light - I felt free - I felt clean.

I have made a transition to a new part of the grief journey. When I look at Tom's picture it is as if he is saying, "go baby, what took you so long." This is not to say that I will never have a sad thought about Tom's death again; it doesn't mean I do not miss him; it doesn't mean I still don't have a hole or two to fall into; and it certainly doesn't mean that I will never shed another tear. It means that I am beginning to put the pieces of my new life together - to honor the past and build the future.

Friday, July 07, 2006


When we walk to the edge of all the light we have and take the step into the darkness of the unknown, we must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something to stand on or we will be taught to fly.

-Patrick Overton

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Tiara Chronicles - the last post

It is an amazing thing to begin one's seventh decade. So, here I am at my party - just a few hours short of actually turning 60 years old.

My eldest son Brad created one of the loveliest surprises of the evening - he contacted Chef Theo and arranged for two bottles of 1998 Dom Perignon to be given to me at the beginning of the party. We drank one of those bottles with incredible handmade truffles at the end of the party.

Blessed that is the primary word I have for my life. I am wealthy beyond measure; grateful for my good health and the love of family and friends.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Independence Day

Happy Fourth to all my friends and loved ones. Have fun and stay safe.

By the way, I am happy to share with all of you that today is my 72nd day of independence from smoking cigarettes.

I am and will remain a joyful nonsmoker.