Monday, January 16, 2017

Love Is Eternal

Now the gold polish has nearly worn off.  My two youngest daughters bent on knees on the floor, bathed my feet and made them sparkly for the fall wedding.

Our fingers entwined, my husband and I walked onto the dance floor.  Our dearest friends sharing the space with us, we danced.  Just the two of us.  With everyone else.  He held me close; our bodies swayed sometimes together and sometimes not.  My husband did not complain.  The pain consumed him.  Yet, he wanted to dance. "I know you like to dance," he replied, after I scolded.  Dancing was too much for him.

He never really recovered.  The pain of unknown cause, a constant companion.  Our last dance.

Silly, but I can't bear to remove the polish and I dread when the last of it rubs off.    It is just another little reminder of the man I love and how he constantly, selflessly thought of me and loved me and still loves me so.  Love really is eternal.

Saturday, December 10, 2016


He walked passed me twice, his eyes averting my direction. I was a mess sitting in the lobby of the hospital-a high traffic area; tears streaming down my cheeks while choking back audible sobs and snorting. Grieving comes in waves. I have learned I can never prepare or predict when it will roll in. While waiting to check in for lab work, the doctor who diagnosed my husband's cancer walked passed me. I said hello and without hesitation he hugged me, and then asked how everything was going.  I was unsure he heard the news about my husband.  "You, you know Jerry passed away, right?" I asked.

Shaking his head, his eyes lowered in the direction of the lab request I held in my hand, "Are you OK?"

Assured I was fine. He walked off. There was so much that was unsaid. I sat. I cried. His voice has remained in my head for six months both reassuring and ultimately disturbing, "Don't worry, he's not going to die from this. Look, he's  not going to die from this." He reassured me over and over during that first appointment and then each time we saw him thereafter.

My shoulders heaved, my eyes lowered to the floor. I had no tissues. My nose ran and the flow of tears was steady. Hospital visitors, patients and staff walked by as I tried to muffle the sounds of grief.

A stranger stepped forward, "Would you accept a hug?" The woman probably in her forties had been on her phone chatting with someone when I first entered the hospital and then later texting. Her arms wrapped me. She whispered comfort into my ear, "It won't always be like this. It will get better." This compassion was touching.

As I moved closer to my turn at the lab, still crying, I shifted in my seat seeking comfort, I noticed a full sized Christmas Tree on display nearly touching my elbow. Fabric stars with names hung from the branches. I scanned the tree and found a star in honor of my husband. I smiled. He is with me always.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


I am broken,
Like every other
As I should be.

In striving
For perfection,
I fear
The whole,
The light
The dark.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

A Love Lost

When I was nine, maybe ten
I met my Great-Great Aunt Lizzie.
She lived alone in Portland,
Not far
However, I had not known of her.

It was hard to imagine
That my aging grandmother
Had an aunt,
Nearly one-hundred,
One who survived the Pandemic of 1918
When many many others did not,
Among them,
My grandmother's sister,
And Aunt Lizzie's love,
The man she was to marry.

A constant reminder of
Tragic young love
Sparkled on her wrinkled finger
Until the day she died.

Saturday, July 16, 2016


Motherless arms
Hold the baby
Free of akward
The newborn
Sinks into
The fleshy cradle
While mother looks on,
Sadness catches in her throat.

Motherless arms
Hold the baby.
Does the longing ever fade?

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Mother Load

I carry the lightness as well as the load that motherhood brings.  It is a part of who I am.  Coming to escape, my children are on my mind. Wandering campus for a place to write, I find an unoccupied picnic table shaded by trees. Settled in I find “MOM!” carved into the surface of the table.  Snickering, I realize, I can never fully escape my maternal role. My heart is filled with the good, the bad and the ugly.  This is the life I chose, a commitment for better and for worse. 

Hope carries me through the anxiety and fear that missteps may narrow the possibilities presented to my children as adults.  This too, is part of growing up.  Even after more than three decades in this mothering role, I too continue to navigate my way in this world, as a wife, mother, and human accepting the messiness that goes along with "adulting."

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Proceed With Caution

Sometimes fear is useful; in cases of survival. Lately it feels like I have been walking a wobbly tightrope between fear and caution. 

A kid about seven years old cut across the yard, grabbing a handful of grass that had grown to half his size. As he kicked through it to the asphalt, I had all I could do to not grab the mother by the arm, look straight into her eyes and say, "Check your kid for ticks."

So far, I am lucky. I found my tick; took doxycycline  for six weeks and have been bothered by a few aches and fatigue. 

Some I know have been unable to work. One friend explained her brain function has been impaired and she has particular trouble with calculating figures. Another found it taxing to care for her children due to chronic fatigue and brain fog. You see, I am lucky.

Presently, we await results of blood work. It is suspected my husband has Lyme. 

My favorite path to walk is lined with a wispy hedge of grass. I continue to walk it, although I no longer brush my legs against the soft growth. This is not fear, but common sense and caution. Ticks like to cling to grasses and hitch a ride. 

Check for ticks. Check yourself, check those you love and wear a repellant. I am told that on MDI about 50% of ticks carry Lyme. Fear will not replace the peacefulness and sense of well being I feel on my walks in the woods, however sensibility and caution travel with me now. Proceed with caution.