Sunday, December 31, 2006

Farewell 2006

"The present was an egg laid by the past that had the future inside its shell."

Zora Neale Hurston

Looking Forward

Continuing with the theme of the last post - when you are ready: the top of the small bookcase in my office, began with a couple of pictures and grew over the last two years into a shrine of sorts to Tom. Angels, crytals, rocks, shells, pictures, quotes, sweet grass wreath, and candles, candles, candles.

This place became a focal point of Tom's spirit for me. Tonight, I carefully packed away all the angels and polished the top of the bookcase.

I love the remaining picture. He is standing in our kitchen one night after work, which was our special time to share a cocktail, talk about our day and reconnect.

I found that picture in a pile of snapshots, after he died. Our brother Steve scanned it and sent it to me named, "Thomas the Great." My sister, Photogirl, used photoshop to clean it up and make it 8 by 10. When I look at that big smile, those beautiful hands - it is just Tom to the core.

A month ago, I would not have thought of dismantling "Tom's spot." Tonight I was ready. What is readiness? I do not know. It is not a certain number of steps on the widda road. I remember in the first year I asked, "how long will it take?" Today, I have no idea what "it" means because I will never be "over" the death of my husband. I am a different woman than the one who held Tom as he made his final journey.

I am ready now. At the end of last year I said, "I am moving to a new seat in the auditorium." Tonight I say, "I am moving to a new auditorium." We create our world with our thoughts - we are connected each of us - and tonight, I am looking forward.

Friday, December 29, 2006


This year is drawing to a close. This past month has been one of searching and inner turmoil. I moved on - giving away the rest of Tom's clothing. Letting myself wander and wonder. Not sleeping and just letting it be - up until 3 am, sleep until 9 am. Me, the woman who is up by 5 am and never uses an alarm. I have just let it be. The transition is playing itself out.

In the early days, widows who had walked the road before me, repeatedly said, "when you're ready." Today, I understand so much better what, "when you're ready" means.

Making meaning of this experience has always been important to me. It was one of the reasons I began this blog, never dreaming that the blog would bring an entire new world to me.

Making meaning. I have not posted in the past few days as I have been doing just that - making meaning of the experience. I will be here over the New Year holiday and have things to post as the year winds downs.

For tonight - the transition is leading me to a new place. I remember when all I wanted was a little postage stamp of reality upon which to place my feet - just to keep from losing my sanity. I stand with my feet planted in the here and now and my heart is full of warm memories of unconditional love. More to come.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

So Blessed

I am so grateful for the support and love that surrounds me today and everyday. The comments left on my last post just filled my soul. I sat here in a pool of sunlight and cried - tears of gratitude and love in return. I hope that each of you has a wonderful day and many blessings of this season. Thank you for being in my life.

Friday, December 22, 2006

To and Fro

Pushing myself towards the future - being pulled into the past. Such a crazy time. I miss Tom - I am in transition - such a crazy time. This time of year is so difficult. I am home in solitude. Push/Pull.

Tom was not Jewish. We did not put up a tree but we did celebrate both holidays. In other words, there is a Christmas tradition around here. Push/Pull.

I am cleaning files and organizing the office in preparation of the New Year. Yesterday afternoon I found our financial plan that was created in 2001; the plan we were working from when Tom died. Our financial planner created a new plan for me in 2005. Push/Pull.

If Tom showed up on the doorstep tonight, he would not recognize this remodeled house. Yet, the furniture is the same. Push/Pull.

I know that Tom is dead. He is not coming back. It may sound strange for me to write that after two years. Things come in layers in this grief journey. I have had to learn things over and over; it is a matter of degrees. I know he is dead. His spirit rests within me - he is not coming back. I am alive. This is a new and major part of this transition. I am alive.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Winter Solstice

Today is the first real snow in St. Paul. Yep, we have had some tiny flakes floating in the sky, which looked like real snow. Nope. Today, the shortest day of the year, a little freezing rain and then, real snow on the ground in my backyard.

I woke up this morning with the beginnings of a cold. I have spent the day moving slowly, drinking tea, napping and working on cleaning the files in my home office. If I felt better, I would bundle up and light my outdoor fireplace to mark the winter solstice. Shortly I will light the Hanukkah candles and then light many, many candles throughout the house to banish the dark and mark the longest night of the year. Be warm my friends.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Happy Hanukkah

Tonight I had a lovely party with many friends. I cooked for two days and this evening made a zillion latkes. It was nice to light the candles - laugh and play with people I love. To all of you - may you be warm in the light of those you love.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Come as you are Party

Pentha extended an invitation to a "Come as you are Blog Party - so I took her up on the offer. The challenge is as follows: Take a photo of yourself RIGHT NOW and write a description of the photo . . . why you look the way you do in the photo, what you’re doing, whom you’re with, etc. No apologizing for the way you look because after all, it’s a “come as you are” event.

I do not have anyone to snap my picture, nor do I know how to use the time delay on my camera - so I just took the photo sitting on the stool at my center island. I just came back from Home Depot, where I bought a new faucet for the kitchen sink in one of the duplex units and furnace filters. I am alone and I did not go brush my hair or anything before I took the picture.

It is a beautiful day here - 40 degrees and sunny - not a drop of snow in sight. Gee Toto, are we still in Minnesota???? I am about to go use the elliptical trainer and then watch "An Inconvenient Truth" on DVD. A very quiet and enjoyable Sunday.

So, my dear friends, take up the challenge and come as you are.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Just a little fun on a SNOWY (finally) day

What kind of Tarot Card am I????

You are The Empress

Beauty, happiness, pleasure, success, luxury, dissipation.

The Empress is associated with Venus, the feminine planet, so it represents,
beauty, charm, pleasure, luxury, and delight. You may be good at home
decorating, art or anything to do with making things beautiful.

The Empress is a creator, be it creation of life, of romance, of art or business. While the Magician is the primal spark, the idea made real, and the High Priestess is the one who gives the idea a form, the Empress is the womb where it gestates and grows till it is ready to be born. This is why her symbol is Venus, goddess of beautiful things as well as love. Even so, the Empress is more Demeter, goddess of abundance, then sensual Venus. She is the giver of Earthly gifts, yet at the same time, she can, in anger withhold, as Demeter did when her daughter, Persephone, was kidnapped. In fury and grief, she kept the Earth barren till her child was returned to her.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I am a work in progress

One of the things I do for a living is to provide facilitative leadership for organizations in transition. For the past two years, around the anniversary of Tom's death, I have taken time to reflect upon and facilitate my own change.

During my solitary retreat the week leading up to Tom's angel day, I facilitated my goal setting for the next year. It took most of the week to create these strategic directions at the left. The little piece of paper in the lower right hand corner says, "Live in the Moment." I did not rewrite the flip chart - what you see is the final product of the week of remembering, crying, reflection, and looking forward.

Last year my goals were so much more about basic survival (that flip chart page still hangs on the back of the door) - those goals were things like: drink water, walk, read, write, sleep, eat nutritious food, quit smoking (woo hoo - I did!) get enough sleep ------ very simple survival actions.

The year ahead is still full of memories and tears - but the pain is mitigated by time and gratitude. It will never be over - but my life goes on for now. Next steps, to write a little plan for my strategic directions. Life moves on - death is final - live today - live in the moment, it is the only one we have for sure.