Tuesday, February 28, 2017


Yesterday I mentioned the idea of "soaring" and it reminded me of my favorite ride at Epcot in Disney World. It's called "Soarin'" and it's really an imax movie,  but rather than sitting in a regular stadium seat you're in a bank of seats that lifts off the ground and moves with the video, giving you the sensation of actually flying in whatever it is that's taking the photos - helicopter, drone, whatever.

The ride even has other sensory enticements to go along with the video - orange smell when soaring over an orange grove, and mist when flying low over the ocean. Its quite genius and really wonderful..

Unfortunately its also very popular so as much as I'd have liked to, I couldn't go on it three or four times when I was there in November. The movie had changed since the last time I'd been there and it was more thrilling and more real than I remembered it from years before.

Two years ago when I went to Florida I visited the Kennedy Space Center where I sat in on two long imax productions and they were pretty great as well. But there was no moving seat and no other senses being teased into thinking I was actually out in space.   Then again, nobody does it like Disney.

Anyway, since I wrote that blog I've been thinking a lot about the concept of "soaring" and I've decided that this will be my goal for the year. I may not be able to soar quite yet, but with time, and as long as I'm working toward it, I may just get there eventually. I may have to forever fly with a wing that was broken and healed, and there may always be pain when making swoops or taking off, but I think I can soar again. At least I'm hoping so. And that's going to be my mantra now: It's time to soar!

Monday, February 27, 2017


I've been asked twice in the past week when I would get back to blogging and I have to honestly say I hadn't thought about it. I was in a pretty dark place two weeks ago when I decided if I couldn't write anything cheerful I shouldn't bother - so I just stopped.

Although its helpful to me - therapeutic really - to put things down on paper (or in a blog, whatever the case may be!) it shouldn't necessarily be public and I realize there is a point where it becomes airing dirty laundry and nobody wants to see that.

It should be noted that I've written over 3000 blogs since I started back in 2008, so I'm not sure I have all that much to say anymore, but I do enjoy writing. Now, I've decided to give it another try, and maybe come up with some new things to talk about here in this space.

My life has been difficult this past eight months and I know the tone of these missives have often reflected that. However, I believe that there is still joy to be found in the world if I can bring myself to look for it. There are times when its not easy to even manage the "looking" part and I confess to often wanting to accomplish nothing more than getting out of bed and doing my hair and make-up to feel as though I've triumphed. But I want to do more than that. I want to see the light again and I want to feel happy again. So I think this place can be an opportunity to pull myself up from the depths and actually achieve that.

I'm choosing to think of today as a new day. I know its not going to be all peaches and cream from here on - there will still be bad days and I expect the bumpy ride to continue - but perhaps the good ones will outnumber the bad ones soon. That's my hope. That's my prayer. And if there are readers out there who want to take this ride with me, I'm happy to have you! Here's to 2017 - hopefully a better year than 2016, and one where I can once again feel the ability to soar.

Friday, February 17, 2017


Yesterday was bright and sunny out and there was so much snow melt the day before that large patches of green were visible in the field across the street. My driveway is nearly clear now and that's always a big indicator of the warm weather because its in the shadow of the house next door and always take a long time to thaw. So we are clearly in the warmer days now and this weekend promises to be no different.

I'm not looking forward to the weekend really. Its a long one and I have no plans - none at all - and I fear boredom will set in. I have ways to combat that enemy, but they aren't very exciting and could be dangerous. Shopping, for instance, is always a possibility but money is tight and its not a good idea. Unless I shop for Christmas at all the sales. Then I can justify the expenditures. So that's a possibility.

The temperatures are supposed to be mild so a walk on the beach might be called for. Always more fun with a friend, but most people are busy doing their own thing this weekend. I rather anticipate doing some work around the house - I still haven't completed the closet clean-out and reorganization. Mostly out of laziness but I have been busy and its been shoved to the back burner. Perhaps that should be my main focus. I have lots and lots of empty spaces now so I need to vacuum, dust, and then start deciding how to organize my much smaller wardrobe. It could easily take me the entire day on Saturday but what a sense of accomplishment I would have by the end of it! I think that's my goal. I could use the sense of organization and place in my life right now. It would be a good antidote for what ails me.

OK - Its settled then. I'm spending Saturday in my room. I'll be cleaning, sorting, folding, and hanging for hours. And then I'll feel really good. And maybe a little lonely. But hey - its a good start for a long weekend! I'll report back later.....maybe even with photos.....

Thursday, February 16, 2017


I'm trying to decide whether or not to entertain this weekend. I had company for dinner last weekend, and already have plans to have some next weekend, and wonder if I should take this week off or take advantage of the slow time of the year to cook again and have friends in.

My friends have been a real lifeline for me these past eight months and I love them for it. Within a week of my world falling apart, a friend called and said "Please come to dinner Saturday night. We'd love to see you!" It was the first of many invitations that have come my way and I treasure each one of them. Because they are expressions of love and I know they are the only way people know how to say "We're so sorry you're going through this but we want you to know you aren't alone" and that's the way I feel. Even on the loneliest nights I know there are others out there who would come in an instant if I called and said "Help!". It has sustained me as nothing else has, other than perhaps the love of my family. My children, my grandchildren, my brother and sisters and nieces and nephews - all have gone out of their way for me and done their best to help me through my crisis. Such things are never forgotten.

So company has become a bit of a lifeline for me. Having people come in has given me focus as I cook, clean the house, bake pies, etc. I think about the people coming and what they mean to me and I find joy in doing nice things for them. Its small thanks for all they've done for me.

But...I have been busy of late and it might not be a bad thing to take this weekend off. Thus the dilemma. Sit at home alone and risk feeling lonely, or spend Saturday working so the house can be full of laughter at night? Its a trade off for sure. 

I think I'll decide tomorrow. Because tomorrow is another day....

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


Yesterday was, of course, Valentine's Day, and I found myself all day thinking about the Valentine's Days of my youth. I wished I could return to grade school again, when we all loved each other and it wasn't about romance at all.

I seem to remember that every year we would make valentine holders of some type in class. They would be enveloped decorated with lace and hearts, or small boxes to keep our cards in. Then some luck person would be chosen to make the class Valentine box. I was able to do it a couple of times (my teachers all recognized my artistic bent from a pretty early age and I loved doing those kind of projects in class) and I remember covering a good sized cardboard box with pink and red tissue paper or construction paper and then decorating with hearts of all types and sizes. On Valentine's eve I sat at home with a class list and chose just the right little valentine for each one on the list. I signed them, stuffed them in their tiny envelopes, and then wrote the recipients name on the outside. The next day they all went in to school and into the big box on the teacher's desk.

At the appointed hour - no doubt after lunch and not long before school let out, the box would be opened and cards distributed. I loved opening them all and seeing the different sentiments and illustrations. There was usually a party of some kind with punch and candy or cookies. Then we would take our cards home and usually a gift for Mom and Dad as well. It made Valentine's Day about loving everyone in our lives and I liked that.

Once I became of age I knew what Valentine's Day was really about and for so many years I searched high and wide for the perfect gift for the man in my life. It had to be red, or pink, and I found all kinds of things to fit that criteria from sweatshirts to tools, always thrilled to find a perfect carpenter's level or nice corduroy shirt in bright red to wrap and give as a symbol of my love.

I don't have someone in my life anymore to give those expressions of my romantic love and I miss it. Its a sad thing for me because I still feel as though I have love to offer someone. But I do have people in my life that I love, and I still make sure my grandchildren get Valentine's from me so they know how much I love them. Its not quite the same as getting something from a sweetheart, but at this point it will have to do.

But if I could go back to grade school again, I would in a minute. Because I still remember those warm and fuzzy feelings when I came home with my stash of cards. Somebody loved me. Or at the very least cared what happened to me. And that was all I needed.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


We've had snow on the ground for days now and every time I drive down one of the lanes in the village I'm struck by how pretty it looks. There's something so clean and bright about the snow covering everything, and even though its fallen off the trees and they're winter-bare again, the side of the road is beautiful and every one's yards look pretty where the blanket still keeps the dirt and grass covered and the sun bounces around in every direction.

As I sit in my home office I look across the field to the cemetery and there's white everywhere. The tombstones stand out like soldiers against the backdrop of white and I can even see the individual pickets in the fence. Even the trees look nicer against the snow and I love that its managed to stay around a little longer than usual this time. The walkways are clear, the roads are fine, and its all good. 

The winter of 2017 will be a memory soon enough and we'll be marking headlong into spring in only a few short weeks. These are still not easy times for me and my heart is breaking more than its bursting with joy so I can't say I'm sorry to see it go. I know time is a great healer, but I also want to enjoy the beauty around me while I can. And that moment is now - never to return again. As I've learned all too well life is far too short. If only I had another 40 years left to re-do my mistakes! But alas, mine is reaching its end and nothing can change what's passed. The best I can do is savor the moments and enjoy every day, which is what I'm trying to do. I'm sorry the things I tried to do with my life turned out to be pearls before swine, but at the very least I can keep my head up and continue moving forward, enjoying moments of beauty and loving what I have. 

East Hampton is beautiful in the snow. And I'm loving it.    

Monday, February 13, 2017


Yesterday was President Abraham Lincoln's birthday. When I was young it was a day off of school - we had two in February: Lincoln's birthday on the 12th and Washington's on the 22nd. At some point when I was in high school (I think) they combined them into "President's Day", always to be celebrated on a Monday for ever after. I think we are missing something by not celebrating each of them as they were very special leaders in this country, and today with the sad lack of leadership we're experiencing it might be nice to be reminded of what good leadership truly is. And isn't. But - I am wandering into political territory here which I don't like to do, so that's all I'm going to say about that.

Regardless, I think the fact that we celebrated Lincoln's birthday every year led to more educational opportunities about him at school. I remember every year as we approached his birthday we would discuss in class who he was, what he did, and what made him a great president. Different teachers would find interesting ways to teach us about his legacy and the way his leadership changed the nation for the better so long ago. I wonder if that still happens to the same extent. We would often make art projects focused on his presidency and I remember more than one portrait of him being cut out and mounted over the elementary school years. I think its too bad we don't focus on him as much anymore.

Well it wouldn't be a bed thing to acknowledge, especially with our children, that honesty, integrity, and grace are the kind of attributes we value in our leaders. Abraham Lincoln had them in abundance. Perhaps if we stressed those things a little more we wouldn't be faced with the lack of integrity in our leadership today.

Of there I go again. Sometimes I just can't help myself....

Sunday, February 12, 2017


I had company last night. I made a pork roast in the crock pot, some scalloped potatoes, the homemade apple sauce made last autumn came out of the freezer, and a nice fresh chocolate pie together made for a nice meal. But more than that, it was reaffirming and encouraging to have friends in my home.

I've tried to keep a somewhat "normalcy" to my routine, despite the fact that my life will never be "normal" again as far as I'm concerned. But I want very much to move on and make a new life for myself, and a large part of that strategy is trying to do all the things I've always done and enjoyed. Some have been easier than others to accomplish but overall I think I've managed pretty well to do just that. Entertaining has been a big part of the effort.

My mother was a great entertainer. She loved having friends in for different celebrations and throughout my childhood I remember my parents having friends over on Saturday nights for dinner. I would hear the laughter floating up the stairs where we children were sent once the greetings were exchanged and we had politely said our hellos to whomever was arriving. I envied that "grownup" thing, entertaining and talking about grownup issues. And the laughter - always the laughter. So it was a natural thing to me to want to have people in to my home once I had my own. And I did.

I remember my first dinner party very well because I think I was overreaching a little. The first year of my marriage was spent establishing my relationship and being pregnant, so it wasn't until I had a two-month-old infant that I attempted my first one. I didn't quite anticipate how complicated that might be, and my husband and I spent the entire meal with a baby across one of our laps. She was not cooperative at all. Lesson learned.

After that I began to improve on my skills, but it took me years to relax and enjoy the process. For too many year I was uptight about the cleanliness of my house and how I might be judged. In time I learned that true friends don't care if there is dust on the mantel, and I also figured out that candlelight hides a host of things in its ambient glow. By the time I'd been doing it for twenty years I was finally enjoying every minute of it and company on Saturday nights became a regular part of our routine. Not every week, of course, but every few weeks we would gather friends and enjoy dinner around our little dining room table. Of course my dinner parties have never been as formal as my mother's, but that's a sign of the times. I remember my mother dressing in her nicest dresses, with lots of jewelry and make-up and everyone arriving the same way - suits and dresses and fancy accessories all around. The '50s and '60s were a bit more "dressy" than modern times and now my friends are more likely to arrive in corduroy and denim than silk and pearls. A little comfort is a nice thing! And I do like people to feel comfortable in my home.

Anyway, keeping that tradition alive has been a real gift for me this year. And last night reaffirmed my commitment to entertaining. The conversation and obvious affection of those around the table was affirming and wonderful and I went to bed feeling like my old self again. Then this morning when I got up and came downstairs to check my messages there was an email from one of the guests thanking me for the lovely evening. The last line, which I knew to be a word of encouragement and love, was :"Life can be good". I got the message. And indeed it can.

Saturday, February 11, 2017


The snow is melting nicely today and its seems to be paralleling my own emotions at the moment. After a particularly difficult week, an emotional roller coaster and physically not feeling up to par, I'm finally beginning to melt as well, in a totally good way.

Sometimes the ice forms around our hearts and souls just the way it does in the winter season up north. Its easy to let things built up when we should be chipping away at them while they're easy to manage. I knew during the snow I needed to go out every couple hours and work on clearing the deck and walkway or it would be way too heavy to deal with when all was said and done. And its the same in my heart. If things are not dealt with - and many have not been - they can build up to a point where everything stops working properly because of the log jam.

Today I'm finally feeling the jam break and the anger dissipate. Its was building all week, and I finally went in and set off the dynamite needed to get things open and moving well again. There are still remnants hanging on the the sides of the river, holding on for dear life, but I know they'll eventually be pulled into the stream and disappear around the next bend.

Sometimes all it takes is information to get things moving again, and facts are powerful. Sometimes we need to express our anger, our disappointment, our pain -
and then the way becomes clear. But something needs to push that pile of debris until it finally gets beyond the place where its caught up. Sometimes we just need to work harder on that area, just like the clogged pipe in the kitchen sink, and suddenly everything is working again.

Today I feel the emotions letting up and the calm that I fought so hard for returning once again. And I'm very glad.

Thursday, February 9, 2017


Well so far the big storm is a bust, but if the result is what they're predicting its still to come.  So far there is some icy white stuff on the ground and when I want out for the paper it was sleeting sort of - at the moment its not even raining I don't think. But...they say the worst is still to come.

I'm prepared for the snow day. I have my knitting and I have plenty of projects to do. I still have closets to clean, and my home office is a disaster area still awaiting redemption. Unless it starts to snow I'll feel guilty sitting around knitting though. I'll be forced to do something really necessary, like cleaning.

I think in the meantime I'll work on getting some records together for the accountant, and work on the eulogy I'm writing for tomorrow. At least that will make me feel productive.

The snow will be much prettier than this sleet is. But I like the fact that this is holding down the total accumulation. I used to enjoy snow days because it meant an unexpected holiday with my husband at home. Now that I'm alone I don't like the idea of being holed up here quite so much. Its more boring than anything else. One more thing to add to my long list of resentments. I'm not sure I'll even understand the situation I find myself in. Not because bad things don't happen to people, but this was somebody else's choice for me, not mine. Somehow seems very unfair. But then, what in life is fair? Shattered dreams and disappointed souls are just part of the deal I suppose.

Well - let's see where the day takes us. Traffic is light and the world seems slow, and I guess I'll just relax and enjoy.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Storm watch

So I guess we're going to get our winter storm tomorrow. I knew it was inevitable and I 'm happy I'm not traveling or have other big plans, but I wish it wasn't going to be quite as much as they're predicting.

Well we are more than halfway through winter and this is only the second significant snowfall so its to be expected. Hopefully, like the last one, this one will be over and melted before long. I don't mind as long as the temperatures warm up nicely and we can get melting before ice forms. That's the perfect kind of snow for me. I don't like ice and now that I am alone, especially, I worry about falling. Its one of the dangers of winter weather and knowing I could be on the ground for days without anybody knowing it is horrifying. Well I don't like to think the worst and I am very careful in icy conditions so I'm not going to let myself go there.

Today I have meetings and errands but tomorrow I will happily sit at home finishing up the sweater I'm making for myself. One of my goals has been to complete that this winter while I can still wear it and I think I'm close enough that tomorrow could see me cross the finish line. Not a bad way to make good use of a snow day.

I'm not looking to this, my first snowstorm on my own. The snow blower sits on the back deck but try as I might I can not budge it, so I won't be using it. Hopefully someone else will come by and do so. Time will tell. But snow comes, like it or not. I'm just happy not to be on ambulance duty for the next few nights!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017


Not a happy camper today. I seem to have developed an upper respiratory infection that is making me really feel lousy.

I'm not the type of person to let a simple "cold" get me down. And I never missed a day of work because of one. I think we just need to soldier on when the cold hits. But this one is different. This one if not in my head as much as my chest. I have a cough with congestion and my whole head seems to hurt. My jaw, my temples, my neck - everything aches and feels badly. Its only the second URI I've had this season so I can't complain, but this one is a doozy.

I'm not at home nursing this thing - I was out all day yesterday on appointments and errands, and I'll be out most of today as well. But I wish I could crawl into bed and stay there for the duration. Of course, I reason that I'm going to be miserable whether I'm in bad or not so why not get things done? In some ways its a distraction to be busy. On my walk yesterday morning I kept thinking I would not finish my usual route, I kept wanting to turn around and cut it short, but then I kept on walking, knowing it would be better to get a walk in that to go home and collapse.

I really do not like the common cold. Especially the ones that aren't all that common, like this one. I know it will run its course and I'm taking my zinc and sleeping with the help of Nyquil, but man, I want to feel good again. I think because of my fragile emotional state this year (and yes, I'm still trying to come to terms with my situation) any little thing seems that much worse. Like this cold.

Let's hope tomorrow is a better day...

Monday, February 6, 2017


Nothing's quite as good, when you live alone like I do, as overnight company! Especially when it s a grandchild who thinks the world revolves around her and the people she loves. 

Piper is almost seven now and she's been a delight since the day she was born. She has one of those sunny personalities that lights up the room and can turn the saddest day into a joyful one. So she's always fun to have around. And on a Saturday night its especially nice since I'm home alone so much on weekends now. I loved having her come and stay with me.

This morning I took a bagel out of the freezer and thawed it in the microwave and she was thrilled to have that for breakfast. We're both dressed for church and will leave for that shortly. We also have to make an important phone call, to her cousin Silas, to wish him a Happy Birthday. Today he's a year older and a bit bigger and very much more accomplished than he was at his last birthday. He's a talented guy and I'm so excited to see where life takes him.

So today I'm feeling very much like the happy grandmother who has many blessings in the form of very special grandchildren that I love with all my heart and who love me back in equal measure. Life is about love and the people who create it for us. And despite my traumas of the past year, I have plenty of that in my life and I know I am blessed. With Piper, and Silas, and Daisy, Tucker, Micah, Lucy, Elijah, Sandra, Coral, and Theodore in my life I will never be wanting for love. I really can't complain about anything now, can I? 

And now I don't even need a sermon - I have an beautifully illustrated one right here with me at the moment.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

The heart

More than once I've used the expression over the years when someone unexpectedly ends up with an partner not one was anticipating, or someone else left one partner to be with another, or some other type of romantic pairing that took people by surprise: The heart wants what the heart wants. 

I find myself in that category lately as well. Things I want to feel I don't, and things I don't want to feel I do. And it makes me a little crazy that my mind can't control my heart. Why should our heart rule the day? Actually I don't think it does for some people, but for me it seems to. And that's frustrating.

I want to shake myself at times and say "Snap out of it you fool!" but I don't need to because there are other people around me happy to do that for me. I know I'm on the wrong track, but getting to the right one is easier said - or thought - than done. It shouldn't be a bad thing, having so much love to give. But sometimes it is. Sometimes its very painful and sometimes it allows damage beyond repair.

This is all pretty cryptic I know and probably makes no sense, but this is where I am today, and therefore it goes from my head to my fingers and comes out on my blog. At times I simply cannot hold it back.

The pen may be mightier than the sword but sometimes the sword should take control! In my case it doesn't seem to. The pen and the heart -  are winning right now.

Saturday, February 4, 2017


Today we'll bury my old friend - one of the few (maybe the only) people left on the earth who were around to remember me as a baby. And going to the cemetery always makes me stop and think about life, and death, and the meaning of it all.

Life can be so hard, and this past year I've known more pain than I ever thought was possible to endure. In fact there were times I could barely endure it and thought it would be easier to end it. But life won out and I prevailed and I think that's because life can also be exhilarating, fulfilling, thrilling, and so worth the struggle. The love of family and friends, the ability to worship God and feel his smile and blessings, the smell of a spring morning - so many things that bring joy and make life such a gift. So when life wins its a good thing. But sometimes its not easy. Often, in fact.

This old friend had a pretty blessed life, never having to worry about financial issues and being pretty healthy up into her 90s. But the past few years have been hard for her and make me wonder about the difficulties of living. We all have our crosses to bear and the world can be cruel, but at the same time she knew the best of it. She lived in a beautiful place, enjoyed the plenty of wealth, and had meaning to her existence.

Laying anyone to rest is thought-provoking and makes us examine our own lives and what we've done with them. I'm not unhappy with the life I lived - I valued my integrity and lived an honest and faithful one. I'm not ashamed of the things I've done and even the worst of them were not so bad. And I'm leaving behind a legacy of wonderful people that I brought into the world and raised and loved and who will make it a better place long after I'm gone. And while I may have had pain and never known
financial security or wealth, I have been blessed and I know that. Hopefully when its my turn to become ashes again the ones who lay me in the ground will be able to say I lived a good life and they'll smile at the memories. That's my prayer, at least. What else is there to want?

Friday, February 3, 2017


Yesterday I sat, for the fourth time in my life, at the bedside of a dying person. It is always a soul stirring experience.

An elderly friend, who has had her challenges physically these past few years was at the local care center after a fall last month, and we got news that she was soon to be leaving the earth. I hurried over and sat with her for the next several hours. She was unaware of our presence, and was not conscious at all, and yet I always feel as though people should not be alone when they are making their transition to the next world. I don't know why, I just feel that way. Perhaps its because my medical training informs me that the hearing is the last thing to go, and I tried to assure her verbally every so often that we were there, she was not alone, and it was fine for her to go to sleep and rest whenever she was ready.

She didn't actually pass until after I got home, but it was a soul stirring time to be there with her, at such an old age and after such a blessed life, and to watch her peacefully leave the earth. I hope for such a peaceful, gentle transition some day - we all do - and yet with all the tragedy and sadness around us its hard to imagine being so lucky. I sat the same way with my dear friend only three years ago as she died and she was only 60 years old. Not quite so easy to take. And of course there are times we see very young people die, as happened recently here in East Hampton. Those passings are much more difficult.

I will miss this lady's presence in my life - she was my last connection to my mother as they were good friends and I always felt as though when I was with her I was with Mom as well. It was a comforting thing to talk with her and be in her presence for that reason alone. And since I've known her all my life it was like saying goodbye to a little piece of my history as well.

It was bittersweet to be sure. And yet, my heart was not heavy with it. Just very content with the way it's supposed to be.

Thursday, February 2, 2017


There was enough snow on Tuesday to cover everything, but as I look out my office window I can see only small remnants of it around the perimeters of everything - the cemetery fence, the driveway, the sidewalks. For the most part its gone completely, but what's left highlights areas of the landscape like shadows.

The sun is not all the way up yet - the trees across the field are totally illuminated, but the expanse of grass is still darker, not quite in the sun. I'm glad to see blue sky along the horizon as they're talking about clouds on the weather report right at this moment. Sun is always nice, even in the dead of winter, which is where we are right now. Since its Groundhog Day the news is full of anticipation over that event to happen shortly, but as we all know it really doesn't mean a thing in the grand scheme of things. Well, an early spring would be nice - I do love spring.

I hope to get back into the studio tonight to work on my art, but that's not confirmed yet. These days the studio is my truly happy place, so its something to look forward to all day. If its doesn't happen at least I enjoyed that! Hopefully it will. I'm ready for some art therapy. Its been a week of ups and downs emotionally and I know its still to be expected, but its disappointing when things have been moving so nicely in the right direction. I'm tired of sadness and ready for the spring in every sense of the word. I still can't quite comprehend what's happened to me in my life, but acceptance has occurred and that's a big step forward. Now to just keep making progress.

Its not quite 7:30 now so the day is just beginning. I'm going to make it a good one. Sometimes determination is all that's really needed!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017


Each new months seems like a major step forward for me - another month I've survived, another month I've made it through, another giant leap into my new life. I like seeing progress.

We mark out lives with time. We remember things that happen to us in terms of years, months, days. I can name the days I had my first chemo treatment for instance, and my surgery. I remember the date of my husband's heart attack. These are like touchstones we cannot forget and they enable us to make sense of the timelines of our lives.

For me, each step toward July 1st is a good one. Because that will mark the day my world fell apart. And when I reach that date I'll know for sure that I've survived - I'll know I can prevail - and I'll know nothing can hurt me ever again the way that day did, so I've been through the worst of it.

February is that much closer to July. And March will be closer still. And I am marking off my calendar in terms of days, weeks, months, and finally a year. It is a year I'll never forget and the memories of it will always be painful. But its a year that will seen be over. And for that I'm so grateful.