agnestirrito

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


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Good Friday 4/14/17

I bought a rose bush this morning  to honor the memory of my best friend. A drunk driver took her away from me on this day five years ago. I spoke to her that morning. A few hours later, she was gone. 

I thought I’d die.

That year began a journey of losses and realizations and change. Over and over, death stared me in the face. Then, the very next year my  husband was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer. Again…

I thought I’d die.

Some days I really wanted to. 

I do not have the answers to why people suffer and struggle. And even though some say Jesus already suffered for us all, we know the reality is that we still suffer here. 

This isn’t a post about looking for the good. It’s a post about realizing even though.

Even though there is pain and loss and suffering…

Even though we sometimes live seasons when the world is falling apart around us…

Even though we are not sure how the light will come to us again…

I’m only here to remind us all…

The Light is in you. It is deep within you and will never be extinguished. It is waiting for when the day comes you are able to walk in it again. 

Unconditionally.

Today, I pray for the broken-hearted. For the world at large. For all those who suffer physically, mentally, spiritually.

Back to the rose bush. A dear and mutual friend gave me a rose bush to plant in memory of our friend. She planted one, too. Hers, five years later is blooming in yellow radiance. She sent me a picture of it. I confessed mine didn’t make it, but today I am  trying again. Pink double blooms for a woman named Waydean. 

When I drove up with it to the area I’d decided on, one lone cardinal greeted me as if it say Finally. 

The sun is bright here today. I can feel it. 

God bless you ALL…




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Open Your Eyes: A Lenten Journey 3/14/17 (Tuesday)

Today would have been my husband’s 50th birthday. It was not meant to be because an aggressive form of cancer took him from us three years ago. 

I share this with you partly because I realize there are hard journeys in life. I know if you have lived many years at all, you’ve had your share.

Today’s post isn’t about looking for the good or appreciating what we had.

It’s about opening our eyes to the suffering of those near to us.

Life is filled with turmoil, misdirection, unsurity. We are not alone in that.

Sometimes we can be present for someone. Not try to fix their pain. Not try to disregard their anxiety. Just be a witness. Stand with them.

Tonight, I offer a prayer for those among us who are suffering in any way. May our God send you people to pray for you, to love you, to let you know you are not alone.

Amen. 


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Lenten Journey: Open Your Eyes (3/11/2017)            When Chaos is OK

How are your Lenten plans going? Have you been able to keep your commitments? Have you even settled on something to focus on yet? Life happens. We live in busy times. Distractions abound. 

Case in point: I went to my art studio today to move a table to the hallway for storage later. Once there, I decided I could keep it if I  just rearranged a few things. Two hours later, a five minute task set me in a completely different path than what I had planned for today.

Then, that old enemy, Guilt, creeped in. How can you have this much junk? You’re a hoarder. Think of what you could have saved if you hadn’t bought this. What IS this? You’ll never get all this sorted out. Receipts from 2002. Really? 

And then I just sat down. Right there in the  floor in the midst of paints and papers and fibers and random boxes and piles (so many piles) of things I have kept for a reason. Or I kept because I was busy and would deal later. 

And in the shifting of things from one table to another, I found  photos I’d forgotten I had of my late husband. One in a leather heart case that needs to be repaired, one loose pic from our last Valentine’s Day together. I find a musical heart locket in a red velvet drawstring bag. My mom gave me that when Sara was born. It still plays, almost 26 years later. Love me tender…I found little give away makeup brushes that my granddaughters will have fun playing with soon. 

And then I decided to give my guilt to God. I obviously need assistance in getting things organized and in order. Maybe that day will come, maybe I’ll only have pockets of time, like today, to deal with it an item at a time.

Regardless, the chaos opened my eyes. I am human, and there are worse things than clutter. Even this much clutter. 

I’m going to focus on what I found today: a quiet moment to reflect, memories of people who matter to me, renewed resolve to do a little more each day, knowing more gifts are waiting to be revealed. 

And, since tomorrow is Sunday, who knows? I may actually get an extra pile sorted out. Because I want to, I am able to now, and isn’t that a blessing, too?

See you Monday. Enjoy your weekend and when chaos calls, open your eyes to what its message has for you.


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Friday’s Five

You know those moments you realize you didn’t record in any form? No photograph, no scribbled phrases in a journal, nothing but you and the instant of knowing this is real and beautiful. I had a lot of those these last weeks. I’m thankful.

And, for these moments with people I did not know 12 days ago:

Zee, a shuttle driver, who spoke to me about Ethiopian coffee ceremony; I can still see his mother dressing for the day and preparing for the family…and I’ll likely never meet her. Or see him again. But now I want that coffee, that ceremony, that experience. 

Mike, a member of Ketchikian’s Holy Name parish, who drove us back to town and offered to take my daughter and me out to see the totems in Saxman. He waited while we reveled in the artistry and then gave us insights into the area as we made our way back to Creek Street.

Marida, a California resident who was at Medusa’s for the free champagne (like me) and who danced with me for hours as we led other ladies and one appreciative man to the floor for the joy of moving to music.

The young guy on the plane to Seattle who was a theology student, a honeymooner sitting apart from his bride of eight days, talking with me and exchanging smiles and gestures with Sofia; his flight was delayed. They might miss their cruise. He laughed with us and hoped for the best.

The older lady on the plane from Seattle who rejoiced in the expressions of my grandchild; who shed tears as she told me of her trip to witness the burial of her brother-in-law; who listened as I told her  the realities of a widow’s journey.

Those five people are my five (of countless)  blessings  this week. Five I’ll probably never see again. Five I’ll always remember for their essence, their truths, their humanity.

We are so blessed to connect with one another in this life. It is never as random as we might think. 


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International Widows Day 2016

June 23. I never knew there was “a special day” for widows until I became one.

And now that I have lived as one and survived as one, I am ready to be a voice for anyone who thinks they cannot go one more step, take one more breath, answer one more question, relive one more memory.

Yes, you can.

 Except for those questions. Sometimes the answer is just “No.” (You really do not have to answer all those questions.)

You get to use what my dearest friend gave me in my darkest days: free passes.

I bestow them upon you today, on this June 23, 2016. They never expire. They never run out. Here’s how they work:

When you start thinking —

Maybe I should have… 

Well, they wanted to know…

Then, I said…

Could I have…

OR ANY version of any question–

Remember. Ah. I have a free pass. It’s my absolution. My getaway. My freedom. My (insert your favorite phrase). 

And you give yourself a break.

Because you have experienced a hell unlike any other and everything has changed. And for the moments you can remember to, you are going to love yourself and let it go. Whatever it is, whatever you thought or said or did not say or said too loud or whatever is causing you to second guess…

Free. Pass. Time.

You will survive the horrible days. 
They will backtrack and blindside you and send you crashing. Get back up.

You are not alone. 

Find your people who give free passes or let them find you. Or be one who gives them. It works every way.

My heart is with you today and my prayers are with you everyday.

 Every. Single. Day.