Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Memories...............on Your Angel Day

I shall remember the good times - I shall remember the feeling of your arms holding me - I shall remember the sound of your booming laugh - I shall remember your love and care - I shall remember that we loved and loved, through sickness and health - I shall remember cuddling in bed and dancing in the kitchen - I shall remember driving fast in the Porsche with the roof off, laughing - I shall remember that you always said you would marry from the first day we met - I shall always remember you.  My darling, lover, my flyboy, my friend.  

Monday, November 05, 2012

Grow Up Time


My sister, Marilyn, and I.  I have not seen my sister for somewhere around, ummmmm, 35 years.  Yes, that's right, 35+ years.    We will be together this week in Yountville.    

Mother is walking her new path.  We will be with her and with each other.  Shanti.

Sunday, November 04, 2012


This is the month that brings so many memories.  I am glad that we cannot see the future, no matter what we might wish in hindsight.

It is amazing to me that Tom has been dead for over 3,000 days.   If he appeared before me today, he would not recognize my life, everything is different.  Our home, the City of St. Paul, the little community where we live and most of all our country.  Eight years on November 14th since he flew away.  I miss him and I will always miss him.

My steady Eddy - my husband, my lover, my friend, my flyboy - I love you and never more than on these days of remembrance and love.

Saturday, November 03, 2012


My life has been a bit difficult recently as I have been suffering almost daily migraines - not always the headache but certainly the aura.  After a couple of months, your brain gets weary.  

I rarely have had any uncontrolled migraine episodes as I am able to control them using bio-feedback.  I had one uncontollable episode in 1994 and one in 2011, in both instances a month on a beta-blocker and I was good to go.  I am now beginning the third month and yes, my poor brain is tired.

And yet, I am so blessed.   During this time, I have forgotten to pause and think about how grateful I am for so many things in my life.  One huge gratitude:  I had a Cranial MRI a week ago (the neuro doc just wanted a look to be sure) and it was "normal".  That's a thing of beauty and something to be very thankful for -- headache, yes - strange things growing in brain, no! 

I am grateful for my business partner, J, who after almost ten years is my family.  Our values, our approach to work and life, our dreams for the future mesh so well.  He is a joy and blessing to my life.

My circle of friends who I adore and who love me in return are so dear to me, thank you for unconditional love.  My sister, Joan and the fact that we now live in the same city, only three blocks apart.

My home.  My little townhouse with the big backyard, the vegetable gardens, the patio and deck for relaxing in the sun or eating an alfresco meal and the 100+ year old cottonwood tree that stands sentinel over all.  How fortunate I am to live here - 18 years, the longest I have ever lived anywhere in my life.

I am thankful for my little cat, Miss Kitty, purring right beside me as I write this - I love her. 

The Grief Project, I am so grateful to be able to be a part of something that holds out the hand of hope and companionship to those who walk the difficult Widowed Road. 

I have never really had health problems - a year or so ago the doctor thought I had a mild stroke, it turned out to be the migraine stuff not a stroke (I am grateful for that).   I had surgery in 1995 but that was over in a heartbeat.  Even with all the things that are going on now, I am fortunate to be as healthy and strong as I am.  I am grateful for my health and for this physical body that has carried me and continues to carry me these many miles. 

I am a blessed woman and I am humbled at how much love I have in my life.  Remembering today to express my gratitude makes me ever more grateful for life. 

Monday, October 01, 2012

Life Goes On.........

The past two months have been amazing.  Hurtful at times and joyful at times - isn't that life as it is?  I have reorganized my house - rearranged the living room furniture - packed all the guy's things that had accumulated over the past two years - organized my studio for easier writing, painting, collage, and other creative endeavors and just plain tried to redesign my life for the road ahead. 
Two weeks ago I went on a solitary, spiritual retreat in a rural retreat center northwest of the Twin Cities.  I was there Wednesday through Sunday - silent and solitary in a small hermitage in the middle of a great pine forest.  It was transformative.  I slept, I ate, I walked in the woods, I read, I drew, I walked in the rain, I wrote, I reflected on my life in the present.  It was transformative - oh wait, I said that already.  But it was. 
I came home with a peaceful center in my heart.  I came home with love in my heart.  I came home in gratitude for all my blessings and blessed I am.   I came home with a new idea for my future........
I am thinking about making some rather large changes in my life in the next 18 months.  Not retirement - that sounds yucky - but refinement.  Taking more time to do what I want!  Being able to give more of my time and only working for pay a few months a year.  A very big change is definitely on the horizon.   I am excited - I always thought I would work until 70 at least - I am young, strong, healthy and do enjoy what I do for a living and now something else shows itself on the horizon.  
A refined life - what does that mean???  It means having time to wake up and do nothing.  It means giving of my time to causes I care about - including (especially) The Grief Project.  It means taking a daytime yoga class - walking in the woods - writing, disciplined writing.  Or it means doing nothing, if that's what strikes my fancy.  
I means the biggest transformation in my life since Tom died.  Whenever I think about it I am filled with a sense of excitement and anticipation (and a tinge of fear too) - I am preparing to step out into the next great adventure of my life.   Another Journey to a New Life.  There is much more to come...................

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Retreat was Magic

The retreat was MAGIC.  The photo above was taken at the end of our release and remembrance ceremony - that is a very large sky lantern we are lighting.  Most of the weekend was spent in "Kairos" or spirit time - thanks to our wonderful Saturday morning speaker, Alicia  (you can meet Alicia at the blog, "Forever Changed" - she is on the blog roll to the right) we learned lots about Kairos and the healing power of the spirit time experience.

The Grief Project has completed a one year cycle of service to the bereaved and its impact is enormous.  So many widowed are talking about how "they have been changed/healed/transformed" by Sacred Journey and The Grief Project.  My heart is full. 

I returned home late Sunday, unpacked, did laundry, repacked and after an acupuncture appointment this morning, I will be headed to the airport to depart for San Francisco.  Tonight I will be in Napa.  I will stay in a hotel, get my car in the morning and then I am going to visit the Senior Services Center, a home health care agency and other gather other resources for the aging journey ahead for Mother (and me as her support person).

Wednesday afternoon, I will motor on up to Yountville to begin my visit with Mother.  I will be posting while in California.  A closing note:  I am humbled that TGP is really up and off the ground and that it is making an impact.  For those of us who work in the nonprofit sector - there is no better thing to hear than our work changed a life.  That is the reason to be.   Many blessings to everyone - I will catch you from California.  Big Hugs.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sacred Journey

I have not blogged much at all about the project that is so dear to my heart.  The Grief Project ( is a peer support organization that provides companionship, hope, healing and support to women and men who have suffered the loss of their life partner.

This weekend is our (second annual) widowed retreat.  I am so very excited - I began to dream the grief project in 2005 - and here we are.  This year the retreat has 3 times the participants of last year.  Rooted in participation and reaching out to those who in need - we are here to stand witness, to be a companion, to be there for those who are taking that devastating journey of loss and transformation.

So, my car is packed - the workshop presenters are ready - we have lots of gifts and surprises.  The gift in the grief project is my consulting group (*and the generosity and support of my business partner) funds the organization - that means the entire weekend costs $200.  We also hold one-day Gatherings several times a year - they are free.  My heart is so happy that we can welcome those in need and by that I mean heart and soul need without thought to money.   Of course, we are growing and so my next job is to begin to raise funds to make TGP sustainable over the long haul.

No mind for the future right now -- we are off to laugh, hug, cry, learn, be, eat, and be happy to be in a big group that 'gets it"  -  Yay!!!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

My heart hurts

I know this is the best thing. I know it was a long time coming. I know, I know, I know. i am grieving the loss of someone and something that was very dear to me. I will honor the grief. I will walk through to the next place. But damn, it hurts. Just saying.

Monday, July 23, 2012


Here I am - Monday evening.  Sucking it all in.  Mourning the loss of a dream - knowing that this was the best action I could take.

I am happy that I finally posted a photo of him ---- he is was so important in my life.  Saturday afternoon I told him that "we" were over.  I am sad but committed to myself and the future.

More to come...............................

Saturday, July 14, 2012


My mother continues to decline.  I have learned so much from her on this journey.   I am so grateful that I can be present to her.  When I was there in February, I bought her all new clothes.  At that point, I bought "what I thought she should have".   Once I returned home to Minnesota (after several phone conversations with her) I ordered the "travel knit" pants she likes to wear - practical as those cotton pants were (for someone with incontinence problems) those are not her style.  So what if the travel knits wear out faster and have a tendency to hold on to objectionable odors.  Who cares!  No matter her decline, she has always been a woman of great beauty and style.

Today as I was canning pickles, I thought about how far we have come on this journey of aging and loving one another.  Mother and I have always had differences of opinion - in the end of days here we are, the two of us.  Today I realized that I might have been unconsciously taking out some deeply buried "adolescent crap" out on her when I purchase her "practical cotton pants".    Mother has always been the definition of controlling, including every aspect of my upbringing and just maybe I was acting out some long held thing - who knows, who cares.  We are here together until the end of days and I am honored to companion her on this difficult journey. 

 She has begun to have frequent falls.  Two weeks ago, she fell and knocked out one of her front teeth.  Luckily, that is something the dentist can repair.  It is now "good as new".  She fell again this week trying to hang the hummingbird feeder.  I hope she stays vertical until I arrive on August 1.

Of course, I worry.  Of course, I want her to be safe.  Of course, of course, of course.  I have learned to curb my worry and anxiety and not have it spill over onto her.  I try to honor her decisions and speak only lovingly and constructively to her.

Today when I called, she was baking cookies.  These are the prepacked "Nestle Toll House" cookies that you can purchase in your supermarket's refrigerated case.  She has been baking these for the last few years.  They are "her cookies" and she gives them to her neighbors and friends.  She would be mortified if she thought anyone thought she didn't mix the batter from scratch. :-)

When I spoke with her, I saw us - how alike we are and how much I have inherited from her.  She can't slow down and she won't slow down - feeling needed - doing things for others - being active - using her hands, these are all intrinsic to what and how she is.  I am so grateful to for that legacy and to have inherited that can-do spirit,  She is the energizer bunny and if she falls and hurts herself - she is living her life - not sitting on the shelf.  A priceless and precious legacy.  Thank you Mother.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Life on this last day of 65

This is a precious time.  I have been able to spend a significant amount of solitary time this past week.  This picture so accurately depicts where I am right now.  It is time - time to move out of my comfort zone and reach for the stars ahead.

I changed my blog template this week - this is the third template in 6 years.  The first was dark - black with white type, reflecting my life and my pain.  The second, blue with clouds and the new one, a pale golden background with a flock of birds in flight,  reaching for the sky.  How fitting.

Just as the template is symbolic, so too the tag line, which I also changed this morning.  For the first few years the tag was "when you're going through hell - keep going".  For the past two years, "the adventure continues" - the new tagline "embrace the magic" is fitting for what is ahead.

I am unsure about  what is ahead yet I know it is wonderful.  I feel it deep in my bones - something amazing.  I am going to (not tiptoe)  begin to take leaps outside my comfort zone.  Starting now.  I reach for the magic. 

The birthday weekend continues - I am blessed and grateful for this life.  And for YOU.  You are MAGIC.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Report from the beginning of the Birthday Weekend

Yep, here I am, sending my love to you all  - fairly late on the first night of my birthday weekend.    Sushi dinner - fabulous - my family of choice  -  triple fabulous. 

Thanks Mom ---- today and always

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Glimpses from the Road Ahead

I am feeling better.  I took your advice and kicked off my shoes, had a drink of cool water (and some wine), took a nap, walked in solitude, reflected on my experiences of the past 6 months and tucked all my blog sisters' comments and thoughts safely in my heart.   Moving forward - taking some giant steps, some baby steps - there is momentum and greater clarity.  Thank you.

Here I am at another birthday time of year.  This time of year has always been precious to me.  Time to reflect on the year just passed and the year ahead.  Birthdays have never bothered me much - you know, "OMG, I am (fill in the blank) - I am getting soooo old" - just hasn't been part of my repertoire.   

I am very blessed to be strong and healthy.  I have always enjoyed that irrepressible excitement and enthusiasm for life; the kind of enthusiasm that bubbles up spontaneously from deep in your bones.   
As my birthday rapidly approaches, I don't feel like what I imagined 65 - going on 66 - would feel.  (And no, sixty is NOT the new forty - gack!  It is 60, thank god.)  I treasure the years I have been on this earth.  I feel so blessed to still wake up each morning and have the privilege to learn, grow, serve, make mistakes and still be in my earthly body.   

This birthday is interesting because I can see down the road towards seventy.   It is not a vision in the far distant future.  It is a point that is within reach in a relatively short period of time.   Of course, those of us who have lost people very close to us know, anything can happen in the next minute, but until then - 70 is within my grasp.  

I feel a sense of excitement.  There is something out there just beyond my sight, I do not know what it is.  But I feel it, at times it takes my breath away.  I have no idea if it is personal, professional or a combination of both.  I will quietly and patiently wait.   The vigil and pilgrimage have begun.

This photo was taken on my sixth birthday - 60 years ago, whew!  Thank you to each of you who are still visiting and still reading and still caring about me.  I am deeply grateful that you will to share your guidance and perspectives with me.   Many hugs and much love.  Namaste.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Can't Walk Another MIle

That's right - there are no more words. 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Next Steps......

Letting go of illusions.  Living in the moment.  Letting go of what is so you can have what awaits.

Each January I record my intentions for the year on a large sheet of paper and affix it to my home office door.  I am able to see it many, many times a day.  This year it took me until early March to record my 2012 Intentions - here they are: 
  • Believe in Transformation
  • Seek to Understand 
  • Work Patiently and Persistently at All My Goals
  • Love the Now - Live in the Moment 
  • Remember: all is well in my world
When I began this intention practice it was January of the first full year of widowhood (2005).  My intentions were to remember to breathe, drink water, read, and walk.   Basic survival.   In 2010 and 2011, my foremost intention was to practice self-compassion.

As I look at my 2012 Intentions I see that I have been moving in the direction of moving on.   Seeking to understand was the intention that moved me here - I do understand.  I do believe in Transformation.  I am working patiently and persistently at my goals.  I am so much better at practicing self-compassion.

There is still more to do.....I am not in a huge hurry......I am going to Michigan for a week over July 4th to visit my Norwegian blog-brother, Tor.    I am feeling compelled to visit Sedona, Arizona - I don't know why but I think I will just buy a ticket and go for a long weekend one day soon.  I also need to go home - my Mom is not doing well and needs me to just be there for a bit.

Baby steps, baby steps, baby steps into my future.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sad -------------

After nearly two years, it is clear to me that this relationship is not the lasting thing I thought was being built.  I can have a relationship, but on his terms and he seems stuck.  Stuck in the death of his wife nearly 15 years ago?  Stuck in his head?  Stuck - just stuck.  I have no idea what or where he is stuck - stuck he is.

I need more.  I need someone who is capable of having a deep relationship.  Someone who can move things to a new level over time.  I need someone who is able to express their feelings and someone who is able to give of themselves from their heart and accept in equal measure. 

I am very sad today.   This doesn't have to end.  I can still have this relationship as long as I have no expectations of next steps.  As long as I can just enjoy the laughter and companionship and not want any more than that.  As long as he never has to talk about his emotions or feelings.  That is not me.   The superficiality is making me crazy. 

I know it is possible to have a deep and mutually rewarding relationship.  I know that I have a lot to give.  I want to be able to share myself with another person - deeply, personally and generously.  And I want to have the same in return.

Or I can remain alone.  I have a wonderful life filled with things that I value and am surrounded by friends and family of choice that care deeply about me and I about them.

I see him quite clearly - he is a lovely person with such a big heart.  He is hurt inside and I cannot "make it better" - at this stage of my life I know you cannot "fix" another.   Does he love me?  Yes!  Is love enough?  Obviously not.  He has finally said that he does not have anything to give someone else.  It is not about me.  It is about him.

My heart is hurting today - it is a beautiful sunny day and I am just curled up alone - reflecting - doing a bit of crying - releasing the hurt and thinking about what I want.

Life is short -------------------- those are not just words.  I am strong.  I am joyful.  I am capable.  I am resilient.  I am creative.  I am giving.  I am generous of spirit.  I am ready to take the next steps into the unknown.   And yes, I am sad.  So much potential - so much love - not meant to be right now.

"The greatest thing you can ever learn is just to love and be loved in return"

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Life is Life......

It has been far too long since I wrote here.  Not only has my blog been silent, I have not been reading all my dear friends blogs. 

So, here I am back again - I don't even know if there is anyone out there who will read this but if so, hello - I am still here on the planet.

Life flows along.  My work is very busy right now, which is a good thing when you are a consultant - no paycheck job for this woman. 

The Grief Project manages to keep going - I am hoping to have a break from client work in the next couple of months to really put some more time into it.  This is the year to get "Stories from the Road" off the ground and going.  All in the all, it is not too bad.  We have managed to have two Gatherings since the last retreat and we will have another April 28.  We have a private support page on Facebook, which I update almost everyday.  And there is another retreat this summer - July 28 and 29th, so it is unfolding.

My BFF, Joan, just arrived and so I need to go for now.  But I am back and I will write more soon.  Love you all.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Just Reporting from Seven Years In...

No matter what - I am different and I celebrate that different.  I am quite clear - I am me and I must treasure me.  Nothing else matters.  It is liberating - OMG - 40+ years later and I am finally liberated - shall we all have a big :-) and yet is is true. 

My joy, my happiness, my well being, ME - I - ME - they do not depend on anything or anyone but me.  Oh sure, I still get caught up in the old tapes, the old dramas, the old habits...yep, that's living on the planet.   Living here in this skin - breathing - being here is a blessing.

Filled with wonder and gratitude.

Kisses and Hugs and Kisses and Hugs (as far as the eye can see)