Category Archives: Hard Road

All Will be Well

Things with Brittany have not been quite the slam-dunk we had hoped they would be, but we do truly believe all will be well.

Brittany and Andy – October 2020

She is strong, courageous, and still keeping us laughing, even while facing both chemo and radiation. Her posts on CaringBridge tend to include bits that could legit be the basis of a stand-up routine.  I especially liked her R.I.P. to her old boobs, written just before surgery on February 3rd.

Since I go pretty much NOWHERE EVER, I’m the perfect person to be on call for transportation on days Andy shouldn’t really need to miss work. I was able to pick Brittany up from her latest surgery and spent a couple nights with them last week. It was great to see them in person, and I am very glad to be able to help. I’m still super committed to mostly staying home and NOT being inadvertently part of the spread of the wretched virus, especially when it costs me so little to stay home, but Brittany’s needs are and will continue to be worthy exceptions to my self-enforced solitude. 

Since I have barely left my home in a YEAR, I’ve been enjoying the notifications on my phone with photos from years past. Like Folly Beach, Charleston, and environs . . .

Middleton Place – Near Charleston, South Carolina – December 2104
Folly Beach – January 2015

As well as Key West, where we spent February and the first week of March 2015 . . .

West Martello Tower – Key West – 2015
Key West – February 2015

. . . especially these of David, taken one afternoon upstairs at Louie’s Backyard, one of our favorite Key West restaurants. Ah, the many expressions of David, possibly hamming it up extra for the camera. Such great memories . . .

We loved Key West. Click here, if you want a bit of warm vicarious travel. It’s the first post of the five weeks on Key West.

So yes, we are all to varying degrees on a hard road right now. May the memories of past joys, hope for the future, and gratitude for both warm your heart and see you through. 

Sunset – Key West – 2015

 

The Sweetness of Memory

David – August 2011

I’m writing this on the eve of David’s birthday — he would have been 68 tomorrow — and he is still so very much missed. But in the midst of the missing, I am so frequently flooded with fond memories of our nearly forty years together, I find myself more often smiling and feeling grateful than weeping and feeling sorry for myself. Admittedly, there are a few of those moments, too.

But I am so profoundly glad we had both the opportunity to have so many adventures together and the  . . . whatever it took to grab onto them with both hands. I think about so many great times in La Rochelle . . .

La Rochelle 2014

BBQ chez Pascale et Jacky 19 juin 2014

. . . and on the Outer Banks . . .

Sunset over the Sound — Outer Banks, North Carolina – 2014

. . . and Folly Beach . . .

Sunset on Folly Beach – January 2015

. . . and Key West . . .

Sunset from Sunset Pier, Key West – 2015

. . .  and of course, Sunapee . . .

Sunrise over Lake Sunapee – 2015

. . . and so many more. None of these are possible right now, so I’m enjoying the memories and making the most of being home. I’m still taking my weekly French lessons via Skype and doing a lot of writing as part of those. Apparently I’m writing my memoirs . . . in French. 😉

Although I haven’t needed to buy gas for my car since February, I have taken a few bike rides recently, loving the cool of a summer evening, and occasionally finding something so gorgeous, I have to stop and snap a photo . . .

Evening beauty from the bike trail

. . . but I’m still very much a home-body, while this pandemic tortures so many. There just haven’t been many good reasons to go out.  The bike trail at dusk is a pretty good one, though.

Poudre River from the bike trail

Sunset from the bike trail

I remember David and I had such big plans for our new bikes and all the rides we would take together. That didn’t happen, but it is certainly something I can enjoy on my own.

Our lives are not going quite the way we had imagined they would.  I don’t think anyone would say they are. So many are suffering so many losses right now. All the anguish in the news has been so troubling, I spent an evening in the ER a few weeks ago and had to follow up with a cardiologist.  But it’s heartache, not heart disease, fortunately.

So for now I start my day with as much of God’s peace as I can soak in. Then I read as much good news as possible, and there’s more than you might think.  Of course it’s important to stay informed, and I do, but I have to try to resist the pull of the black hole of endless heartbreaking and/or infuriating news stories and videos.

I hope you are finding ways to cope as well. One of the few things I can do is offer you a bit of beauty and a few words of encouragement. Please know I hold you in my heart. There’s room for you there as well as David.

 

Quick Update

Since I mentioned I was tested for COVID-19 last Friday, I thought I should let you know my results came in this morning and were negative. Woohoo!  Also, I’m beginning to feel much better than I did last week, so will not trouble the doctor with my now minor symptoms.

Here’s a little beauty and serenity to help soothe your possibly frazzled nerves:

Ile de Ré, France

Lake Sunapee, New Hampshire

Lake Sunapee Dawn

And one more:

Full Moon Rising Over Lake Sunapee

All photos from previous years’ posts, since I’m still housebound, but hope you enjoy them anyway.

Still praying health and peace for all of you!

Ebb and Flow

I started this weeks ago and never posted it, but since it is honest and true, even though I’m doing better now, here it is:

(Written April 4): I haven’t wanted to write this. I sort of wanted to pretend I was still at Folk School leaving the grief rock among the daffodils, as if I’m now skipping into the sunrise, but that’s not really how things have been going since I got back.

I was okay for a while. A friend hosted a fabulous French cooking evening that was a super fun group effort as well as delicious…

. . . where I won this . . .

Julia Child Prize for “#1 Best attitude about mistakes or messes

. . . which I would not have won without an epic fail in the kitchen during my part, let’s be honest. But it’s true, we did all cope and laugh about it, and I ended up with a cute new apron.

And yes, I did paint the little 4 x 6 I mentioned in the comments on the last post, and I still like it, especially framed:

In the knowledge that creative things seem helpful to my general well-being, I even finished a piano composition that’s not bad. Admittedly, George Lopez, a music professor at Bowdoin College and a traveling concert pianist who offers lessons when he’s in town every few months, was not impressed. Oh well. I worked on it a bit after that lesson, and my friends have said kind things. And I guess most important, I like it and I feel a sense of accomplishment having done it, so there’s that.

Yesterday, I spent four hours at an art workshop with kind people and a patient, encouraging teacher. Here’s one I started there and finished (maybe) at home last night:

Still, it was hard driving home from that workshop on a glorious Sunday afternoon, knowing David and I, on such an afternoon, would probably have headed straight to the Rio patio for margaritas, but I was headed home alone. All my closest friends happened to be out of town, so I couldn’t even show up looking pitiful on one or the other of their doorsteps. Surely you don’t want to read about me feeling hopeless, but there it is. It seems right to be honest.

Today, April 27: Here I am a few weeks later, and I’m doing better again. I’m recently back from a quick Easter weekend trip out to Portland with my three daughters, which involved only minimal weeping, but I’d better save that for the next post.

I guess this grief journey is still about ebb and flow, even if the grief waves crash over me less frequently and are less likely to knock me off my feet. Thanks be to God, my rock among the shifting sands, and thanks also to you, my dear ones, who hold me and many others in your hearts. I know I’m not the only one walking this rugged shore.