thanksgiving

Celebrating Lev’s Birthday

March 3, 2016
top of the mountain

I have made it over that mountain of immediate grief, loss and aloneness—past the minefields, through the sinkholes, around the boulders that made the climb so arduous. I have not emerged unscathed, inadvertently injuring myself and others along the way. Now the road is mostly wide and smooth in front of me, just an occasional rough spot, boring stretch or sinkhole to trip me up. …

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Gratitude > Generosity > Joy

January 24, 2016
Key 12 Ph. 4:18

Key 12 to reclaiming joy: Be generous in sharing with others. Since October I have worked my way through the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi, examining 12 keys to moving from grief to joy. These keys are not simply principles. Paul provides an order—a road map—for moving from discouragement to joy. His letter opens with his gratitude to the Philippians for their …

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Bloom Where You Are Planted

December 20, 2015
Philippians 4:11

Key 10: Be content, whatever your circumstances. A young friend dropped by to invite me to participate in a major fundraiser for the local hospital. When I thanked her for her involvement in the community, she said, “I had some difficulty when we first moved here, but someone advised me to bloom where I am planted.” As a college student I dreamed of going 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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Memories of Christmas Past

December 3, 2015
Christmas 1967

To Grandmother’s House We Go In the early years of our marriage, we alternated between Lev’s parents in San Antonio and mine in Texarkana, a not completely satisfactory arrangement. Christmas in San Antonio was a very formal, adult affair, traipsing from open house to open house on Christmas Day. The tree was artificial, on a small table in the dining room, decorated by the housekeeper. …

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Advent: A Season of Hope

November 29, 2015
Advent wreath Ph. 3:13

Key 7: Let go of the past; embrace the future. Throughout November I focused on gratitude. Now I want to turn my attention to hope and anticipation. It’s a natural progression, for the connection between gratitude and hope is strong. Without gratitude for the past and the present, we will have difficulty finding hope for the future. Advent can serve as our springboard. Today is …

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Wishing You a Blessed Thanksgiving

November 26, 2015
Giving thanks-a montage

Almost immediately after Lev’s death, I began to worry about the Holidays, more than seven months away. Having always loved everything about Christmas—the tree, carols, presents, cards, cookies, candies and lavish meals—I did not want to lose that too. How could I move from loss and grief to the joy of Christmas? In early fall, I set goals for myself, borrowing literally from the word …

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A New Spin on Thanksgiving Dinner

November 20, 2015

Holidays are not easy when there is an empty chair at the table. Families must learn how to “do” Thanksgiving, and sometimes it seems easier to abandon traditions rather than be reminded of what (who) is missing. But in 2014, our family finally got it right. The Dallas clan came to Corpus Christi, and I had many joyful weeks anticipating and planning our time together. …

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Cranberries: For Sauce and for Breakfast

November 19, 2015
CRANBERRIES

Cranberries date back to the Pilgrims. One can imagine that the Indians brought them to that first Thanksgiving meal in 1620. Having now visited Nantucket for three consecutive summers, eating chocolate covered cranberries and imagining autumn, when the island turns red from the cranberry bogs, I appreciate cranberries more than ever. I added French toast casserole with cranberries to my holiday menu last year. This …

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De Tocqueville’s Advice for Widows

November 10, 2015
Philippians 2:4

Key 4: Look out for others’ best interests, not only your own. While I was reared by the Golden Rule—Do unto others as you would have them do unto you—I did not think of it until recently as the foundation of a philosophy of enlightened self-interes, the idea that we benefit when we find ways to provide a benefit for others. Since I have blogged …

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