Another Easter, Another Sinkhole

April 13, 2017
Easter lily

Pride goeth before a fall. I did not anticipate pre-Easter anxiety. I thought the weekend was all planned. I presumed too much—about myself and about my plans. During two years of blogging about grief and my snail-pace journey to reclaim joy, I have written repeatedly about those sinkholes called holidays, birthdays and anniversaries. They are tough markers for all who have lost loved ones. Widows, …

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God, the Celestial Bellhop

March 30, 2017
prayer meme Matthew 5:44

“Try not to pray against anyone, so that you do not destroy what you are building, and make your prayer loathsome.” – Evagrios the Solitary Recently, a New Testament scholar/professor/preacher friend posted this quote—without explanation—on his Facebook page. While I had never heard of Evagrios, knowing my friend as I did, I guessed correctly that he was one of those early mystics of the Church, who …

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Resolved: To Count My Blessings

January 12, 2017
Philippians 4:6

In my grief after Lev’s death, I could not imagine that life would ever be good again. I moved from despair when I started living in gratitude mode—counting my blessings, continually saying thank you, God. Only then was I able to find joy in my memories of the past and—eventually—in my anticipation of the future. I began to take time before lunch every day to …

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Allowing Time for Serendipity

December 1, 2016

My motto for widowhood is “Say Yes!” but in my frantic attempts over the past seven-plus years to stay too busy for sad and bad memories to take root, I have stayed too busy, too organized and structured, too proactive to react and say yes to last-minute invitations that promised joy-filled moments with family and friends. And sometimes I have said yes to things that …

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Seeking Peace in Troubled Times

November 24, 2016
Philippians 4:8

As we gather with family and friends this Thanksgiving, the words of the Apostle Paul seem more relevant than ever. I first reflected on his advice December 13, 2015, and I have returned to it over and over during the ugly election campaign. Now I am reminding myself to seek peace first of all with those I love most. That begins with me. After I …

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Autumn Anxiety Is Real

September 22, 2016

The Huffington Post headline proclaims, “Autumn Anxiety Is Real, And Treatable.” Huh? I never knew that the onset of shorter days could trigger a definable anxiety disorder. Until Lev died, I never paid much attention to the length of days, the hours of sunlight. Unlike most parts of the country, in South Texas fall holds the promise of a break in the heat, when we …

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Never Tell a New Widow to Relax

August 18, 2016

I have just returned home after two months on Nantucket—my happy place, the place where I completely relax, where even writing a weekly blog slips to the bottom of my list of priorities. It took me four years to get to this place—literally and physically—and so I keep going back. If I were wiser, I could create this mental space anywhere; but telling me to …

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Don’t Worry; Be Happy

December 6, 2015
Be anxious for nothing. Ph. 4:6

Key 8: Don’t be anxious; instead, be thankful when you pray. The lyrics of the 1988 song Don’t worry; be happy seem trite, but the song writer’s advice was about the same as the Apostle Paul’s 2000 years ago. I don’t know many chronic worriers who are happy, do you? Speaking from personal experience almost seven years into this role of widow, I will admit that saying my …

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Complaining Won’t Change Things

November 15, 2015
Philippians 2:14

Key 5: Do all things without grumbling or complaining. When I read the Apostle Paul’s admonition, memories of my great-aunt flash before me. She was the original grumbler and complainer, choosing to remain a spinster rather than marry a man who wore the uniform of a New Orleans streetcar conductor. On every trip back to New Orleans during my childhood, we made an obligatory visit. …

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October 18, 2015

Nothing prepared me for widowhood. That first month I was completely overwhelmed. I misplaced everything I set down, including Lev’s wallet with all his identity inside. I had amnesia. I still cannot remember much that was said and done, for I lived in a fog. There were days when I crawled back in bed and pulled the covers over my head. I had panic attacks. …

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