From Gratitude

Never ‘Less Than,’ Thanks to You

It’s my father’s birthday today, and just before I fell asleep last night, I started thinking about my childhood and the way my father interacted with me. I realized that he is most likely responsible for me never having a feeling of being ‘less than’ simply because I was a girl. It’s important because it translated directly into who I am as a woman.  The thing is, I took this for granted as a kid. I had no idea that some might feel there were things I couldn’t do, couldn’t handle, couldn’t attempt or succeed in because I was a…

To John on His Sixty-Seventh Birthday

Today you would have been 67 and since it’s your birthday I’m taking a rare glimpse at what might have been. Given our mutual love of champagne, I’ll pop the next cork in your honor and enjoy a glass or two for you. I can’t even imagine what you’d be like at this age and yet I have a feeling you’d be so much more vibrant than what your last two decades allowed you to be.  I bet you’d still be running; perhaps even have some personal bests to feel proud of. You probably would have wrapped up your career…

What Sustains Us

Our family had an incredible loss a week ago when my son and his wife experienced a failed adoption, six weeks after a beautiful baby boy was placed in their arms, given their last name and told he would be theirs from that day forward. What transpired since that first life-changing day resulted in the awakening of such love for this sweet boy and full-on immersive 24/7 parenting until they received word this past Tuesday that they would have to surrender their son to his birth parents. The details are not mine to share other than to say this has…

We Want to Know We Mattered

My mother’s day was made over the weekend by a visit from an old friend of my brother’s and his wife. While my brother hasn’t seen this friend in decades, my mom had seen the couple off and on through the years about town – or stopping by in her car to say ‘hello’ if she saw either of them in their yard. She thought the world of them but didn’t necessarily expect they felt even remotely the same. When Christmas rolled around this past December, and they didn’t receive a card from my mom, it made them consider the…

A Wild Ride Through 2017

As 2017 winds down its final week, I find myself – like so many of you – reflecting on the year we experienced and thinking about what’s ahead. We can never be fully prepared for the inevitable changes, even those that are a part of the ever-moving circle of life, and 2017 really drove that…

Unpacking the Past

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not much of a singer, but if you get me in a car all on my own then I can belt out a tune like nobody’s business and with such gusto that you’d think I was singing to save my own life. Thank god no one can…

What No One Tells You About Aging

With November as the month of my birth, before long my age will have a new designation, which in general means I’m another year older. The truth is we’re all another year older, every single day from the year prior. The only difference on our birthday is the number changes. For many, especially as the years begin to climb, this becomes a dreaded occasion. People tend to put a premium on youth and forget the importance of each subsequent year. For a while, I may have bought into that mindset. Not anymore. Here’s why; with every year I have more…

Reunion: You Can Go Home Again

Lyrics and literature have told us throughout the years that you can’t go home again, but this past Friday night I did. In a year when the childhood house I’ve known since I was barely six was sold, changing so much about what now feels like home, it was a welcome respite to go to…

What We Never Leave Behind

This past weekend, we did the final cleanout of my parents’ house – my childhood home – and while I knew it would be emotional, I wasn’t as prepared as I thought I would be. What was toughest to deal with was seeing my dad’s garage empty, devoid of personal items. Funny, it’s been 16 years that he’s been gone, but I still think of the garage as his – and for a man of few words, someone rather hard to know actually, that garage provided a glimpse into who he was and what mattered to him. And as my…

To Mikey, on His Wedding Day

From the moment you were born, you became our Mikey. While it took a bit of convincing for your father to agree if we had a second son, we’d name him Michael, he finally acquiesced. We kicked around nicknames during the decision process, and when I said Mikey, he said no way; he’d never call…