"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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Friday’s Five –April 12, 2019

It wasn’t all good, dear readers. I don’t want to leave the impression here that everything is hunky-dory every day. 😜

Because you know…life. 😳

HOWEVER, I can generally find at a bare minimum five good things from the previous few days to share here. And, I did! Here they are:

people to encourage and pray for; someone needs your prayers;

red clover swaying on roadsides—I really must stop and get a picture ASAP;

drive-thru with a special sale price for what I actually planned to eat;

a hairdresser who knows without description what to do–even though said hairdresser sees hundreds of people—she still remembers;

Little hands placing little seeds in little cups and little voices saying I so ess-ited! Me too, loves. Me, too.

However your week went, it is likely there were bumpy places. Maybe they were really bad. I’m sorry if they were. Maybe they were just medium bad. Or slightly. But in every day and every circumstance, there is room for a genuine good.

Maybe it’s a hand clasped in yours. Maybe it’s a smile or nod when you really needed it. Maybe it’s a patch of clover on a roadside, or how the moon waits for you to look at it. Keep looking.



Lent 2019–Day 3–3/8/2019 plus Friday’s Five

It’s the International Day of Women. I am glad there is another marker of this day that I can look to because it is also the anniversary of my husband’s death.

And even though the days pass (Google informs me it’s been 1826/these five years), there is still not a day that passes that Sam isn’t on my mind. The days are easier though. For any mourner who reads these words, the days do get easier.

I am still writing about the process of grief, of loss, of all the things that are connected to it.

But today I am also looking out with a firmer resolve to take care of the days I might still see.

So, in honor of women today, my Friday’s Five asks you to do this small thing:

Think of five females who have made your life better. Call them, text them, write to them. Let them know.

And as we journey on in this weird and wacky world, may we make it easier in some way for someone. Today.

Peace. ❤️


Sunday’s Song: Smiles and Sentimentality

This week brings me to another marking of time. March 8 will make four years since Sam left this world. Five years since knowing we were in a very bad place. Terrible, terrible times.

I look back sometimes and wonder how we made it. I would not wish what we experienced on anyone.

But if you just keep moving…

Today, our daughter Skyped with me from 5,000 miles away. She’s been ice skating on a frozen lake. She tells me of her adventures, the friends whose names I did not know five years ago. We laugh, we visit, and I am aware of the arrival of a new day. Happiness. Joy. Peace. Living.

I sit with our son at Mass. I visit his family  tonight. Laugh at the constant motion, constant buzz of his house, filled with family and laughter. Good food, good conversations. Laugh at the antics of two little girls we did not realize would be  coming to us.  Happiness. Joy. Peace. Living.

Never ever could I have predicted the days we lived five years ago. Never ever could I have predicted the happy circumstances my family lives today.

Smiles from living in the moment we are in. Sentimentality from remembering a good man who would be smiling at all of us.

Wherever you are,  whatever sadness might stun you, overwhelm you, paralyze you, breathe through it. One day, it will get better.

Maybe not in four years, or five. Maybe later. Maybe sooner. Just keep at it.

Walk —when you cannot take one more step, take just one more. Sooner or later, you will walk into sunlight. The ice will glisten like diamonds on a frozen lake and you’ll marvel at all the colors you see.

Wait—when you cannot wait one more second, a child might arrive. Or two. And they will bring laughter from a well that until then was unopened.

I have watched my children’s smiles return. I have seen real joy in their eyes.

This is a gift from walking and waiting.

So, smile when you can and remember what you must, but know that a lot of good is right down the road. Live to see it.

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Sunday’s Song: Remembering

It’s been a good Mother’s Day. Samuel, Sara, and Daniela went to mass with me. We ate at a great pizza place (my Sam would have loved it), took pics of course, opened thoughtful gifts.
Then Sara and I took off for coffee and shopping. We all met back up later for conversation and just the familiarity of home.
I received a call this morning from Carolyn Moor, the founder of Modern Widows Club; not a club I ever knew existed, but one I’m glad I know about, now, thanks to a mutual friend.
It was good to talk with another woman who understands that grief isn’t over in a snap of the finger, that it has a way of returning over and over and over. I’m learning to live with that reality. Life does go on, but it is different.
Yesterday, Sara and I set up shop for a day in our downtown. It turns out that one of the building’s owners showed up at my house a few months ago in the middle of the night to troubleshoot Sam’s pain pump. We talk about that time. How she knew she should just come. Her mom had been a hospice patient. She knew it mattered. It did. And now, she’s opening her home and doors to us to set up shop and to return for other events if we want.
How can I do this now?
I do not know. How can I not? What am I to do? Sit and stare? Every day? Forever?
Sam’s words ring in my ears:
Do what’s best for Agnes. You’ll get going on an even keel. You won’t see me, but I’ll be running ahead. I’ll be praying for you.

A year ago, I sat beside my Sam on his hospital bed in Little Rock. He hadn’t had his stomach removed yet, but that day was around the corner. A year ago. I think of all the days and events since then. Mind boggling.
I pick and choose what to focus on, most days. Tonight I remember Sam holding my hand like always. Telling me I love you. I have a card for you at home. Thinking of cards and gifts and me when his whole world was crumbling. Our world.
I pull up notes on my phone from that day, a year ago. I’m right there again. I see it all.
Sometimes that’s what I need to do.
I share this because someone else is going to need to know it too. I’m sure of it. You do what you’re led to do.
Grief is a powerful motivator. I am going to do my damnedest to let it motivate me to remember the most precious moments.
Let me name a few:
I am the mother of his children. I can still see his face when I told him I was expecting. Pure joy. I see him standing on our porch at Beech Street decades ago, touching my belly. Saying Take care of this baby as he’d leave for night shift.
Bringing me my first Mother’s Day gift before I was actually a mom. I was a mom to be. He always celebrated the life we created.
Today, I’m honoring memories. Life. The fact that our children are part of him. That he will always live in them.
I’ll always cherish the fact that I can celebrate Mother’s Day. Because of Sam. How can I be sad knowing that?
Sweetest gift…
Today, remembering is what’s best for me.
Happy Mother’s Day.

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Friday’s Five

I’d have to look back pretty far to see when I decided to start this recounting of blessings. It doesn’t matter when I started. It matters that I continue.
Keep marching. The gifts are there when we look.
Sometimes the days are stormy, like today. Sometimes, they’re serene. Within each one is a treasure or a memory.
I know my days have changed in ways I don’t fully understand, ways I can’t even bring myself to want to understand.
So, I’m glad for the rituals. Routines. Friday’s whisper to remember.
Here’s five from the week. Surely, more to come.


Japanese fireglow maple

Tulip tree debut blooms

Morning geese

Silent lightning flashes

and #6…

…seeing more than what is there…

Oh, the gift in that.