Tuesday, September 18, 2018

I received this watercolor in the mail yesterday. Originally painted in 2016 shortly after Adam's death. These things have a way of coming around when they're needed. With the Out of the Darkness Walk coming up, and all that represents for me, it is nice to have a surprise like this to brighten my day.

Yesterday morning after meditation, I was journaling per usual. I just write down whatever comes into my mind, an encouragement to myself, a goal, a poorly drawn sketch or pastel. Yesterday my mind was saying "soft touch." I decided I had just invented a concept called soft touches. These are things we give or receive that are usually small but give us that little boost we all need, and when strung together, represent a meaningful life. Later in the day, this soft touch came in the mail.

This soft touch was not so small, but it is so very soft, don't you think? The artist is Chuck Melvin, my ex Bill's, (Adam's father), roommate in college. A really funny, nice guy and super talented, even though he says he is not a watercolorist.

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Ashes to Ashes

Sometimes I just look at something and think "I put that there before Adam died," and I decide to leave it there forever. I was discussing ashes last night with a friend who was widowed young. It was an easy conversation. She spread her husband's ashes after 7 years, as per his wishes. Adam, of course, left no instructions or time to discuss such things. It was probably the last thing on his mind.

So his ashes, his remains, stay on the fireplace mantel. Bits have made it to Nebraska and the labyrinth at Spring Lake, even back into my body. As I consider Pat's and my own death (I know, but we do these things in "middle age"), I think about a permanent marker somewhere, probably in Macomb. If we pick out a plot and headstone, I believe Adam will be included there, but I can't say I'm in a real hurry. As my friend said, "You'll do it when you're ready."

Monday, July 23, 2018

Living a Life that Matters

While looking for a mindfulness book at the library, I ran across an older book by Harold Kushner of "When Bad Things Happen to Good People" fame. As an author and rabbi he has a clear way of explaining the Bible. The book is themed around the story of Jacob. All I remembered from my early bible teachings of the old testament was the song "We are climbing Jacob's ladder" and no idea what that meant.

Jacob is kind of a devious dude, who tricked his father into giving him the patriarchal blessing his twin brother Esau was supposed to get. Jacob then flees from a furious Esau to Aram (Syria). He meets and falls in love with Rachel, but is tricked into marrying her older sister Leah (Karma). He then works even more to earn Rachel, giving him two wives. Jacob then wrestles with an angel and wins, but comes out limping.

I'm not sure why I started writing this blog a few weeks ago. I guess Kushner's idea that to be human is to struggle with our conscience and need to be good people, while at times giving into the easy way out, even cheating or acting willfully mean, spoke to me. Kushner determines that it is good enough to play a supporting role in life, we don't have to be the star, the saint, the one who leaves behind a great novel, painting, or legacy. He says,  "no life is ever wasted. If a person has known love, has felt and given love, that person's life has made a difference."

I just thought I would share this picture of one of my loves, at the cool spot in Denver, Linger, housed in an old mortuary.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Bucket List

I never dreamed I would be able to tick off a bucket list item on this particular day. On our way down from St Mary's Glacier, there was a water fall off the path a bit. We detoured off and I suddenly thought, "oh I always wanted to do yoga in a waterfall. But while I envisioned being underneath the fall, I figured a nearby rock was as close as I may ever get so YOLO, why not?  Betsy readily agreed to be my photographer.

Downward Dog

So tired, I had to rest in Child's Pose:

It was really an amazing trip. One highlight was walking around our old neighborhood and taking a picture in front of the apartment building we lived in when Adam was born:

Here is Eli's Quintet for the week at the Rafael Mendez Brass Institute:

They really smashed their piece on Saturday. I thought it was so fantastic. He got along with his group so well and made new friends for life. The University of Denver has a stunning concert hall and music building. Just gorgeous. 

Friday, July 06, 2018


The image below came up on my Facebook memories today, and it took my breath away for a second.

This picture was taken on my parent's back porch deck on Cedar Drive. We had a cookout, Uncle Chris was there, Aunt Betsy, a nice reunion over a 4th of July weekend, seemingly. The caption I gave it was, "I took this boy back to Springfield today."


Image may contain: 2 people, including Susan Anne

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Bubble Wrap

We cannot wrap ourselves in physical and emotional bubble wrap and expect to live an amazing life.


I saw this meme today and while riding my bike got philosophical. Sometimes my mind is racing with things I want to do, and sometimes I am slogging through the mud. No, I'm not bipolar, but aren't we all on that continuum?

That person who stays in the plastic bubble will not experience the highs that life risks can bring. Believe me when I say I am not a huge risk taker, but I'm trying to do more things that terrify me. One example is public speaking, especially about suicide. I have always enjoyed calculated thrill seeking such as motorcycle rides, roller coasters, water slides, white water rafting, that kind of thing. I have taken many emotional risks with opening myself up to sharing about Adam's suicide. This has definitely brought me rewards in the form of friendships, bonds and more connections. I can't change the fact of Adam's suicide but opening up has brought unexpected joy.

Here's to more adventures and risks in life.  In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt:

The purpose of life is to live it,
to taste experience to the utmost,
to reach eagerly and without fear
for newer and richer experience. 

Friday, June 15, 2018

Dreams vs Alternate Reality

I dreamt Adam came back again. I just want to hold onto that feeling or go back in the dream, but I also have to write it down.

I was in his bathroom and found Dulcolax drops, and then he was there, and I asked him if he used them, and he said, "Just when I need them." I told him I have a new solution. It then began to dawn on me that he had been gone.

Then we were in the kitchen and this is what transpired:

Me: We need to talk about where you were.

Adam: I have an alternate Mom and Dad.

Me: Her name is Violet...(there had been previous talk of the name or color Violet).

I know it's not much, but it gave me hope his soul is still out there and I will see him again. Maybe there is an alternate reality where he is temporarily living. Maybe death is like a really long dream.