independence

Solo Travel: Analyzing Risks

October 6, 2017
Ring of Kerry

While in Dublin recently, I had my third wakeup call—another reminder that we take certain risks when we travel alone. Ireland was a typical trip for me. I hopscotched across the U.S., visiting a cousin in New Orleans, stopping for a few days in Dallas, attending a program at Colonial Williamsburg and spending time with a cousin who lives nearby before I flew to Shannon. …

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Memory + Anticipation = Joy

June 8, 2017
Joy! Corpus Christi bayfront

Both heart and mind are overflowing in anticipation this week. My bags are on their way to Nantucket, and in just a few days I will be too. Already I am imagining moving into my summer home, debating where to go for lunch Saturday (fried clams or lobster roll?), worship the next day in my summer church, brunch with Nantucket friends and then—two days later—the …

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David Rockefeller: A Worthy Role Model

April 6, 2017
Colonial Williamsburg

Lev died April 7, 2009—eight years ago tomorrow. There I was, unprepared for all that I must do, immediately confronted with practical and legal realities. Overnight, I moved from the role of smiling spouse and gracious hostess to that of executor, trustee, CEO and—most dreaded of all—matriarch. I am not sure that anyone had confidence in me. I certainly had none in myself. Because I …

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13 Ways to Prepare for Widowhood

February 11, 2016
until death do us part

Absolutely no one (except possibly fortune hunters who marry older men for their money) wants to consider the prospect of widowhood. We are all in denial. It as if by refusing to acknowledge the possibility, we shake our fists in the face of the gods. But the facts are undeniable: The most recent American Community Survey, published in 2014, estimates that there are almost twenty-five …

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Limits to My Freedom

September 10, 2015

I call it God’s compensation. The loss of a spouse is completely overwhelming. In place of that unique relationship, in place of that companionship, surviving spouses receive an enormous measure of freedom and independence. Like many women my age, I went from my parents’ home to my husband’s home. Except for a three-month internship at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times in the summer of 1962, I …

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Remembering Our Founding Values

July 5, 2015

My Independence Day celebration began in the 1809 Unitarian Universalist Meeting House in Nantucket. The annual program was billed simply as the reading of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, but it was much more than that. First, I was surprised by the crowds. It was like walking to church on Sunday morning used to be. Everyone on the street Saturday morning …

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Happy 239th Birthday!

July 4, 2015

America, the Beautiful O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain, For purple mountain majesties Above the fruited plain! America! America! God shed His grace on thee, And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea! O beautiful for pilgrim feet, Whose stern impassion’d stress A thoroughfare for freedom beat Across the wilderness! America! America! God mend thine ev’ry flaw, Confirm …

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#2. Try Baby Steps

May 26, 2015

Tip #2: Try baby steps at first. Start out by spending a few days alone in a familiar city before or after joining friends or family on vacation. I have observed that anything that I did for or by myself while Lev was alive is easier to do as a widow. Moving from complete dependence to independence overnight–especially after decades of ingrained habits and customs–is …

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