Wanted: A Church to Call Home

October 26, 2017
Nantucket church steeple

The spiritual is one of the universal dimensions of grief, along with the physiological, psychological and social dimensions. What we believe—or don’t believe—affects how we grieve. I grew up seeing widows in the church, actively involved until very old age. I took for granted that the church would meet my spiritual and social needs when I was widowed; but as many other widows have found, …

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Hope for the Holidays

October 20, 2017
Christmas decor

…or would today’s blog be more appropriately titled, “Help! It’s the Holidays”? When Holiday promotions start showing up in the stores, when the days grow shorter, when daylight savings time ends, I am again reminded that I am approaching the time of year when I struggle to find joy. If you have experienced loss in the past year, if the Holidays this year will be …

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Really? I’m an author?

October 13, 2017
Ella at desk

With a contract for RECLAIMING JOY, I can now legitimately call myself an author with a forthcoming book. Those words have very specific meaning in the publishing world, and I have to pinch myself to make sure I haven’t dreamed it. After having an unfinished manuscript hanging over my head for more than three years, I am not quite sure what I do next. I …

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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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When Stress and Diet Collide

September 8, 2017
egg muffins

Stress and diet are an impossible combination, at least for me. In the years of Lev’s declining health, I gained 10 pounds. After his death, I gained 10 more. In the 28 months I have been blogging, I have written often about widows’ need for self-care and healthy eating, and I have shared my efforts to get my weight under control. I did well for …

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In the Aftermath of Harvey

August 31, 2017
damaged gate post

I am safe. My house is fine. The power is back on. Damage to my yard is minimal. Returning home to Corpus Christi Tuesday evening after five days as a Harvey evacuee in Dallas, I was awestruck as I walked around the house and saw the lack of damage. Other than piles of tree branches piled along the curbs, some downed fences and broken traffic …

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The Winters of Our Lives

August 24, 2017

What a surprise! What a blessing! And what a learning experience for me. Last month on Nantucket, I led a conversation on moving from discouragement and loss to joy during four Tuesday afternoons of Porchtime at the Parsonage. Our small group turned to the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians for inspiration and practical advice as we admitted our own struggles and shared our efforts …

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Return From Neverland

August 17, 2017
Lest We Forget

Like Wendy Darling in Peter Pan, I realize I cannot remain forever on my personal Neverland island of Nantucket. For two months I didn’t turn on television. I paid scant attention to the headlines of the newspapers for sale in the pharmacy. America seemed very remote. With decidedly mixed feelings, I packed my bags and returned home to the real world last week. Those first …

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You Might Not Like Nantucket If…

August 10, 2017

Walking is not your thing; neither are stairs Traffic is about the only stress on Nantucket, and walking is the best way to avoid stress, especially if you stay in town. In fact, it’s why I stay in town.  While there are taxis (and the arrival of Uber has made that situation better), several dozen excellent restaurants are within a one-mile radius. It’s faster to …

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The Parable of Two Sons

August 3, 2017
mother and son

Once there were two elderly, affluent widows whose oldest sons served as executors of their fathers’ wills and as trustees responsible for managing their mothers’ finances. Each son was the mature, responsible, oldest child in his family. Both women lived for decades after their husbands’ deaths. One widow complained, “I can’t buy a new outfit without asking my son’s permission.” The other widow happily traveled …

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