As you might imagine, I've been keeping company with Death quite a bit lately. What's funny is that this period of time -- the last month really, overlapping perfectly this rapprochement with Carla, at the very end of her journey -- has been one of such intense work, for both The Husband and me....more
My little sister, Gail, died of MLD (infantile-onset metachromatic leukodystrophy) when she was two.
I was four at the time, and my older sister was seven. MLD is a rare, terrible, genetically-inherited disease that a child is born with only if both of their parents are carriers. My older sister and I were born normally, without the disease, and Gail seemed completely normal for the first year of her life....more
When my MIL passed away, one of the things I was most upset about was having to tell Emmy it happened. She had taken the news of Braddock very badly this past summer, and I thought the news of her grandmother being gone would just wreck her. Skip and I were out in PA with the family when it happened, so at least we were able to compose ourselves to tell her the next morning. ...more
A couple of weeks ago, my best friend lost her precious baby girl. Victoria Grace "Torie" was 1 year and 7 months old. She was beautiful and special to so many.
If you go back to the day she was born, it was a whirlwind. I waited anxiously for her to call me after the c-section and let me know just how precious her little girl was. You see, I had a meeting that morning and I couldn't be at the hospital. So instead I sat with my phone next to me waiting and waiting for that call or even a picture of sweet baby Torie.
When I was a little girl, we lived in a very small town in Illinois. (Picture me singing “Little Town” from Beauty and the Beast…. But without all of the dancing and bucket swinging and French.) Ice cream at home came from a plastic Prairie Farms gallon bucket in the freezer. But ice cream with my grandparents was something special....more
This is the stack of gratitude journals on my nightstand. I started this practice in 1999, while reading Simple Abundance by Sara Ban Breathnach. Her idea is to keep a journal by your bed so that you can record at least five things from that day for which you are grateful. It’s become an essential habit for me to close out each day and get myself in the right mindset for another run at living. Some people say prayers. I write in my gratitude journal....more
If I count backwards through the gifts that Richard gave me, they all end with the house and everything in it, left to me in his will. Eleven days before that, he gave me a band of diamonds. The night before that, two silver bracelets at the rehearsal dinner. Then back three weeks more to Valentine’s Day 2005, when he surprised me in his hospital room with a box of chocolates and a card tucked between the hands of a teddy bear wearing a little sweater with a red heart on it....more
A few weeks ago I hauled all six kids to a doctor's appointment for Fikir. She is my seven-year-old recently adopted from Ethiopia. She had a skin issue commonly seen in kids who have spent time in institutional settings with lots of germs and close quarters. It was out of control, getting worse even though she's been here in the US six months, and the doc, who I adore, squeezed me in for the last appointment of the day. I left five of them in the waiting room that was well stocked with books and toys, and took her in. We were the only ones left in the office so I didn't worry too much....more