presence

Live Well, LOOK GOOD, Travel Light, II

April 26, 2018
My mother-in-law at my age

In August 2011—almost 17 months after Lev’s death—I took my first big step in traveling alone, as a widow. I flew to London, then took the train to Edinburgh, another first for me. On my arrival, I walked into a pre-dinner reception at the hotel to meet 40 strangers who would be my travel companions on the Royal Scotsman for the next week. Only four …

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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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Happy Birthday to Me!

March 17, 2016

I have lived to see three-quarters of a century go by, for today is my 75th birthday. Unlike those special days I associate with Lev, this is not a sinkhole. Because my birthday falls during Texas Spring Break—with my children and their families on different school calendars, going in different directions—we don’t have a tradition of gathering every year. In many ways that is a …

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Life Lesson #2: Get Dressed

January 27, 2016
Power perceived

Last month I wrote a blog titled “Life Lesson #1: Make Up Your Bed,” based on Adm. William H. McRaven’s speech, “Life Lessons from Navy SEAL Training.” I said that new widows are challenged just to get out of bed each morning, let alone make up the bed. This week I have realized that it applies to physical as well as psychological struggles. I cannot …

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Home Alone and (Almost) Ambulatory

January 17, 2016
leg propped on walker

Home alone. I managed to dodge my greatest fear for almost seven years—being sick at home by myself. Few widows want their children to physically care for them, but the alternatives seem worse to me—a stranger in my house who might rifle through my papers or steal small items, a rehab or extended care facility. I simply am not ready to be dependent! Actually, I …

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Family Unity Matters

November 1, 2015

Key 3: Seek unity and a shared purpose. Through the years I have heard the warning, “Be careful how you treat your children because they will pick your nursing home.” After Lev died, I needed my children desperately: Their blessings, their approval, and—most of all—their presence. I needed to feel needed. That surprised them. My daughter said later, “I never thought of you as a …

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