"Whatever you think you can do, or believe you can do, begin it, because action has magic, grace, and power in it." Goethe


Friday’s Five

Well, it’s technically Saturday, but I’m calling this my Friday’s Five anyway. I’m not worried about technicalities. Neither is a knitter named Jimmie who I met a few days ago. Several of us were at the yarn shop knitting, and I listened to her comments on this and that for awhile and told her, “I like how you think.” She smiled and said, Look, if it’s not cancer, it’s all good. Twelve years ago I had that bearing down on me. After making it through that, most everything else rolls off of me.
I am thankful for people like her. Ones who get it. She’s my #1 this week.

#2: Hospice of Texarkana plans to publish a story about my Sam this year. The kids and I sat around our table with one of the writers/layout designers. He listened to us tell stories about Sam and what a gift hospice was for him and us during his last weeks. I will always remember how the staff cared for and supported Sam, and
how they supported us.

#3: I’m grateful for any opportunity to honor the fact that Sam lived. He mattered in this life. My daughter, sister, son, and I are all involved in making and contributing handmade items to a vendor area at our local Christmas artisan marketplace. We are donating 50% of the proceeds to the Lt. Sam Tirrito Sr. Memorial Scholarship fund. It is a small but important way to keep his memory with many people, to help many people, and to create something beautiful for a world that sometimes can be anything but beautiful.

#4: Other widows. I’m not glad they are widows, but
I feel especially blessed to have stumbled upon two different sites that are filled with women like me. Women who face the same challenges and situations that I do. Women who, although they have suffered great sadness, get up and keep going. Women who support one another daily, with no reason other than
they get the walk.

#5: Motivation. On days when it seems lagging (or absent!), I remember there’s a lesson in everything. Sometimes the lesson is to try again. Sometimes it’s to let it pass and rest. Every time, it’s to remember to celebrate when I feel mentally and physically at 100%. I do not take it for granted any longer, and I have a new compassion and respect for others who really truly just can’t
some days. Until you experience something that has the power to control you mentally and physically, you really cannot imagine it. Grief can sometimes have that power. It’s a tricky, tricky thief.

#6 (it’s that kind of day) : Friends who stayed in for the long haul. It’s been almost nine months since Sam died. I still hear from some lifelong friends frequently. They teach me how to help others. They do not question me. They don’t judge. They have made my journey easier. So often, after a loss, everyone goes back to their busy life and routine. It’s natural. Expected. But I am grateful to say I have a few who never left. How do I explain what they do? It’s more than the text, message, card. It is a commitment to a friendship. Rare these days. I really see so many in a different light now than I did a year ago. I’ve said it before, but it is true:
after a loss–I think especially after the loss of a beloved spouse–you understand things you didn’t even have on the radar before. The best I can explain it is that it is an intuitive understanding of how people behave.
Note I didn’t say why they behave a certain way. I’ll never figure that part out.

And, since it is Small Business Saturday, here’s a shout out to some of my home town favorites:
Gayle’s and Abby Gayle’s
Fan Fare
The Yarn Garden
The Swoonerie
The North Forty
Christopher’s Framing
Chris Thomas Pottery
U.S. Lawns
These are just a few of my hometown favorites. The products and services are good, but the owners are the reason I keep going back. Nice people.
I’m sure as soon as I hit the publish key, I’ll realize I left out someone. There are so many good places and good people. When you find them, keep them.
Have a blessed week, dear readers.


Friday’s Five

Here we are, well into the month of November. I’ve returned to my daily posting on Facebook of things I’m thankful about. Not as many in my newsfeed are doing that this year. I almost didn’t either. After all, it can seem a little trite. Overused. Monotonous. Really? To be grateful?
Thinking about it like that motivated me to press on, as I do here. I don’t want to take blessings for granted. Ever.
It doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing or saying. It matters in my life that I express gratitude. So, I’ll continue that, even in the midst of what has been a difficult year. I think recalling blessings routinely has helped me develop a deeper gratitude and understanding about life. Here’s five great things from the past week:
a full day of rain on Wednesday (puddles for the first time in a long time)
a terrific book club group (We just finished The Perfume Collector–a good read)
a surprise coffee delivery from my daughter (perfect timing)
a museum photo text from an art friend (and plans to make more art soon)
works in progress (more than a few…and that’s ok!)
I can always think of the good things. I hope you can, too.