Letter from Above.

Letter from Above.

Dear Alice, (or Cindy or Sarah or Melanie, or Woman),

I’m proud of you. You keep stepping forward in your life and toward your dreams.

Let’s take stock of the steps. You overcame your mother’s death.

You’ve fallen in love, moved, and travelled with men you meant to make it work with, and when those relationships deteriorated, you determined to grow forward.

You found your way out and onward without compromising your dignity or destroying those men.

You said goodbye when it was hard and hurt like hell.

You didn’t compromise on your soul. You took stock, acknowledged your role, and learned your lessons. Bravo, brave girl!

You became a woman. Your mother would be proud, for you’ve pursued something she didn’t have the courage to, not really. Not after round two.

Your mom died of a broken heart. You determined not to let loss kill you.

It’s not in the falling; it’s in the rising.

You sought sacred love long before you knew the term. You yearned for authentic communication, courageous emotional intimacy, and truth even while you were served the opposite.

You didn’t cave. Congratulations!

Then, one day, you let life surprise you. You let the Fire melt your walls and warm your heart. You embraced real love and connection, the kind you longed for your whole life.

What’s more, you gave love. You gave truth. You trusted. You accepted your own insecurities without allowing them to be your excuse for less than loving behavior or leaving.

You saw this man as he was–flawed and fabulous and you loved him in the way he wanted and needed. You wanted that, too.

You don’t just want to receive love. You want to be appreciated, understood and cherished and you want to understand, respect and admire the man you’re with. Well done, my dear.

You attracted that. You lived into it. You lost it–not because of something he did or you did, but because life sometimes delivers sh*t sandwiches.

Then, you did the most challenging thing: you allowed yourself to feel the pain. You  resisted society’s impulses: Get up! Get up! Get up!

You didn’t let your ego play a role in your healing. Honey, you had the courage to dive into the dark, sticky, gooey, messy, all-encompassing pain of grief.

Do you know how many people either can’t or refuse to go there?

Not you. You answered the call of your soul. You tended to your broken heart. That’s brave.

That’s always been your style–the phoenix rising. But first, the blaze burning what came before in order to transform you into more. Your life epitomizes the process of transformation.

This is what you were born for. Others don’t do it because they don’t have to, but it’s your path, your destiny. You’re a Scorpio.

How many steps have you taken in the name of transformation and education and becoming a better you? Numerous–and I’ve got news for you darling, news you’re finally ready to hear.

This pain, this loss, this rebuilding, it never stops. You can handle it. In fact, you chose this. You know that even when you want to throw it back.

You chose the challenge just as you raised your hand for the gifts. 

Haven’t you been lucky? Fortunate in love?

Not just love of men (although amen to that, sister!), but love of friends and family and the most fantastic sister, the same one you cussed out before your crossed the border to move to Mexico after your mom died.

There it is again: gifts, growth, transformation, love. It seems to be a theme in your life, wouldn’t you say? Isn’t the pattern as solid as the seasons?

You’ve learned along the way not to cuss winter for being cold, but to curl up with a hot cup of cocoa, build a fire, and find the lovely in the falling snow.

In your youth, you could be shivering (emotionally) and deny winter was going to be wicked.

No more. Not only have you allowed for the depth of pain, you’ve welcomed compassion–not the rhetoric of it, but the person-to-person, face-to-face understanding that we all go through something hard. We all deserve a hand.

We each deserve love–because we’re human. We all came into this world as little girls and boys, happy babies long before we got on our knees and backs on yoga mats, long before the world saddled us with society’s baggage or our own personal sh*t storms.

So, now my dear, now that you understand, you remember. You remember the joy and how life can surprise you, like when you went to Champaign, IL for a summer job and some redhead dude climbed down from his roof. Soon you said to your mom, “I want to share my greatest accomplishment and my deepest disappointments with him.” And you did.

Until you didn’t. Because you weren’t meant to stay, but you’re meant to remember life surprises us with joy.

A friend you’ve known for decades can embody something bigger than you ever dreamed–both in life and in death.

Love lives on. Love returns. Love surprises. Love arrives. You don’t have to do a damn thing. In fact, you can’t. You can’t prepare or predict.

You can only live and love: your sister and the club for two she’s created, your dog dancing as your true companion, green trees swaying against blue skies, learning to cook healthy, and a tribe of women who help you heal scars you forgot you had. And these women allow you to nurture them, hold space, and encourage them to seek their center.

Again, surprises–delivered by life and the rising.

You, my lady, you’re doing just fine. In fact, you’re divine.

Don’t forget it. Own it.

 

 

 

 

So, I drank too much wine and slept with a stranger last night.

So, I drank too much wine and slept with a stranger last night.

“The journey back to ourselves begins with wanting something to change.” ~ Jennifer McLean, Spontaneous Transformation

Sometimes joy rushes in like a child, “Mommy, there’s a pony!” Other times, she rises like steam from a hot cup of coffee.

Joy crashed my party last night, the welcome addition to friends swapping so many stories a line formed behind the laughter.

How did these friends weave their way into my world?

We met in a writers’ group and respected each other’s critiques for years before we started sneaking away for beers as a threesome after group. That’s when the conversations started to get good.

Then, like children lined up for spankings, we each got ours.

Death crashed like waves washing away all that didn’t matter and taking those who did: my beloved, Jeff’s brother, Sharon’s sister. Just. Like. That.

We formed a bond. We talked. We cried. We wrote. We listened. We laid off.

We struggled with our individual losses branding our hearts with sorrow. We admitted we weren’t good company and flipped off the angel of death collectively.

Now, over 12 months have passed since our latest loss. Our gaping wounds are healing scars. Our every conversation isn’t laced with tears and wretched sadness.

So, I invited them over to my place last night. Sharon brought her husband. I fell for him as easily as my Black Lab leaned into his long legs. The combination of Clint Eastwood looks blessed by a liberal bias, and one-liners that had me forgetting life isn’t the funniest joke I’ve ever heard.

Last night, it was. Roy was a hunk of authenticity and as comfortable as sweats on Sunday morning. However, when I say I fell for him, I don’t mean romantically or that I’m attracted to him.

It’s just that I don’t always dig my friends’ mates as much as they do. Of course, that’s ok. But Roy? He’s in the club. No application required.

In fact, I think I spotted a bit of a bromance between he and Jeff, as they talked about sneaking off together alone to share their well-developed music tastes.

But, hey, Jeff left me the Eliane Elias CD. Probably trying to expand my musical palette, which I appreciate.

It seems where the three of us had been holding the umbrella for each other, Roy showed up with the sunshine.

Suddenly, as if we hadn’t been saddled under grief, we swung on the laughter of life.

We’d planned a casual get together. It turned into a real party where I drank too much wine and slept with a stranger.

Her name is Joy. She spent the night, stayed for coffee, is still hanging around, and even planning our life together. You should see the smirk on my face.

The #MeToo Movement and How I Was Complicit.

I am my mother’s daughter, as she was her mother’s daughter. In an age when women stayed home, my grandmother took nontraditional jobs like welding.

My mom embodied the fight for women’s rights. She also believed education to be the great equalizer. When I was in elementary school, my mom earned her master’s. While I entered college, she completed her PhD. Her checks read Dr. Sandra D. K. Kelley.

She could shred me with one look of disappointment and shoot me into unwavering determination with five words: “Honey, you can do it.”

I rose as a national sales trainer just as she lost her job. We lived together in Denver while I travelled for work. She made sure I got to the airport on time and picked me up when I flew in. She took my car in to get the oil changed, ran untold errands, and made the mundane easy for me.

My mom set aside her pride and took jobs that were beneath her, like doing administrative duties on an oil tanker and selling encyclopedias.

Sandra Kelley was a woman warrior, but even warriors succumb to cancer. She died on April 28, 1995 at age 56.

For years, I danced for the affections of a woman now gone from this world.

It took me decades to see what my mother sacrificed in the name of women’s rights: her femininity. She couldn’t afford vulnerability. All that pushing down of emotions—propelling forward when two marriages fell apart and her only son died—ravaged her on the inside.

In many ways, I’ve marched behind my mother—two marriages in my wake, a couple of degrees earned late, and grief that threatened my desire to fulfill my destiny.

I carry my mother’s strength and I’m meant to be, do, and own more. Be more at peace in my own skin. Do what’s right for me, not just to prove my power. Own my feelings and truth.

Own this moment in history—mine and the collective. We’re our mothers’ daughters, but we’re so much more.

A friend of mine told me her mother wasn’t on the front lines of the fight for women’s rights. In fact, she advocated for no change and thought women like my mom were insane for trying to shake things up, jeopardizing the sweet position her mother held at home with the kids. She loved being a housewife. What?

I’d never considered that mindset. I didn’t know this friend when I was a child in the 70s. I believed every woman felt the calling to rise out of her current circumstances.

I also couldn’t fathom that my friend’s mother would feed her scraps of judgement on homosexuality and therefore invite my friend to hide hers—even from herself—until her mid-30s.

We’re our mother’s daughters, but we’re not our mothers.

Every movement, every step of progress, brings challenge.

To compete with and find our place in the workforce dominated by men, we often became like them, never letting them see us sweat or struggle or cry.

That “never send a boy to do a man’s job; send a woman” still implied the job belonged to the man.

We’ve journeyed far enough down the historical line to prove a woman’s place is wherever she wants to be and works her way into.

However, along the way—maybe as backlash to the women’s movement or maybe a salute to Disney’s influence—little girls weren’t told they could be President or queen, but that they were princesses. Pink became the perpetual color of a generation of women who could be my daughters.

Too many either didn’t know or forgot the lessons of our mothers. I heard young women in my own family laughing off flirting bosses and other men who were clearly crossing the line.

I know educated women in their 30s and 40s who chose to vote with their husbands and invested less time researching issues and candidates than researching their next vacation or home decorations. Because their husbands knew better?

Use it or lose it applies to our voices and our votes. Just because you showed up doesn’t mean you voted your conscience or what’s good for your kids, especially your daughters.

The Me Too Movement was born after we individually and collectively tried to brave the worst of circumstances.

Here’s the sickest truth I know: the man who raped me likely raped my mother.

I can’t prove it and since she’s deceased I can’t ask her, but I’ve never seen my mother shaken like I did after the night she went out with him.

She was a woman warrior—the kind who would’ve sworn before that she would make sure a rapist would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Many years prior, she’d won a discrimination law suit in my hometown when a less qualified man was hired into a job she’d applied for with the school system.

In 1988, I continued a friendship with my manager and continued working for him after the night I tried to forget—the night he raped me.

Shortly after my brother died on December 10, 1989, this man—let’s call him Dick—called my mother’s house to speak to me and ended up talking to my mother for over an hour.

I didn’t know then, but I can see it now. Dick began grooming my mom in the way a career criminal and master manipulator grooms a grown woman who’s fresh into the storm of grief over the death of her only son.

I can’t go on with that story because even now I want to deny what I know is true—how my trying to be strong was wrong. I did my best. Still, I think: what have I done?

What have we done? Me too. Me too. Me too. Me too. Me too. Me too. Me too. Me too.

Men are the culprits (typically), but have we, at times, been complicit by keeping quiet?

No longer. This is our time. I applaud Andrea Constand, Victoria Valentino, Ashley Judd, and yes, Stormy Daniels.

Because every voice matters. Because truth matters.

Because Harvey Weinstein, Larry Nassar, Bill Cosby, and other men who abuse their power can’t be taken down by a few women, but the collective rising is a mighty force.

We’re feminine and fierce. We’re vulnerable and strong.

This is our time. We collectively call out the BS so the Me Too Movement can move us into honest, challenging, and courageous conversations that pave the path forward.

Now, we’ll scream if we must. We will be heard. The daughters of future generations will be treated with respect and dignity.

Women have the power to change society. Like the women who came before and the women who came before them.

We say Me Too. We call BS. Enough. No more princesses. Let’s be warriors and queens.

 

Dear Suicidal Teenager (and those who love them),

Dear Suicidal Teenager,
I believe you. I believe you when you say you hate your life.

For you, life is constant pressure to conform and perform. Your world holds more challenges than most adults imagine.

Most of us have forgotten what it’s like to be 16, 17, 18, or 19. We talk to you from our adult minds and increase the disconnect. We listen to correct or inform, or even encourage, but we don’t hear your truth, experience, and perspective.

You know that. So, you say what you think we want to hear and too often you’re right.

You navigate through teachers, parents, coaches, and bosses who have little idea what you’re thinking or feeling.

In many ways, you’re smart. That’s your survival tactic.

I see you looking for a way out and screaming for help in ways no one hears. Those who do seem to make you feel worse.

I’m sorry you’re going through what you’re going through. You have more pressure than we ever did when we were your age.

And yet, even without the same chaos you’re dealing with, I was a suicidal teenager.

Now, I’m 53 years old. I recently told a close friend I’ve known since high school that I tried to kill myself my first semester in college. She said, “What? I had no idea.”

Of course not. We all keep secrets.

Dear teenager trying to get out of this world, this life, your life, I know how that feels.

People who’ve never truly hated their lives or their parents think your words are exaggerations or drama. They can’t fathom your daily pain.

Your pain is real. It feels unbearable. Hang on. It won’t feel like this forever. I promise.

During my first year in college, I lived with a nurse who had a refrigerator door full of prescription bottles. (I have no idea why.)

One night, I swallowed every pill I could and went to sleep hoping to never wake up.

I did. In a bed of vomit.

I told no one. Not my best friend. Not my sister or my mom who lived in town.

Not my boyfriend who kept trying to dump me.

I was a failure even at trying to check out. And in college, which I wasn’t cut out for at the time, I pulled a 1.9 grade point average. Stellar, right?

Looking back, I can still ignite the feelings that were all-consuming and impossible to communicate.

Two things saved me. One: I went to a counselor who made me PROMISE, NO MATTER WHAT, I WOULDN’T TAKE MY LIFE.

It was a real promise, one I couldn’t make to myself, but somehow made to her.

Later, when I had the impetus and opportunity to try again, my promise stopped me.

Is there one person you can make that promise to? One who cares about you to whom you can say, “I want to be dead, but I promise you I won’t kill myself” and mean it?

If so, please make the promise right now. If not, I raise my hand for you. Promise me.

Second, I got a summer job with Southwestern selling books on the other side of the country. This took me out of my circumstances and gave me a new focus.

It was an extreme step for a suicidal girl. I had to save my own life.

Sometimes, we need a complete shift in our environment to transform our perspective. When we can’t change how we feel inside, sometimes changing our outside world helps.

You can think your way into suicide. Please don’t! Choose better.

Stick around to see what the next chapter of life brings you. It may be your best yet.

Although I know the deep desire to end the pain, I don’t know your life. I’m not pretending I do.

I’m praying if you try to die, you get lucky and get it wrong, but we can’t count on that.

I’m praying you don’t get on the exit ramp. Drive yourself back into life. Find one thing worth living for. Just one. Let that lead you.

It’s a long road and there are many chapters to your life. You won’t always be in the situation you’re in now. I know it feels that way.

Your life won’t always feel like this. I promise.

Sometimes just staying alive takes courage. Stay. Alive. One hour at a time. Call up the brave one inside you for one minute, one hour, one day at a time.

The urges may follow you and you may have to fight them for a long time, as I did.

But, it’s worth it. I’m grateful to be alive. I’ve had multiple chapters of good and bad.

If I would’ve checked out at age 18, I would’ve missed: Spring Break in Mazatlán, falling in love—over and over again, holding my mom’s hand while she battled cancer, being my little sister’s maid of honor, getting married (and divorced), owning a home, flying on the swings at the Mall of America, laughing with my sister, traveling to Europe with eight women and one guy who didn’t like to shower, running the Chicago Marathon, waterskiing in Tulsa, Oklahoma, falling for Rod Stewart, meeting Billy Joel, learning to like jazz, barbeques on the deck, blueberry and raspberry flavored coffee, returning to college at age 37, becoming a writer, sacred love, Sedona, yoga, a collection of friends who unfold history with me (that I didn’t even know back then), watching my nephews grow from babies into men, living with my sister, dozens of road trips, being mom to the best dog in the world, making love, and best of all, being there for people when they’re going through one of life’s dark tunnels.

I would’ve missed. My life. Don’t miss yours.

This is the book of your life. Keep reading. New scenes will be written and new characters will walk in. It’s going to get juicy. Just you wait.

My Story

The first and only story from another I’ve shared on my site. Because it’s that good.

Ten Thousand Days

081417Sunset“Three more weeks and we will never have to say goodbye again.”  Those words have echoed in my head for over twenty six years now.

Thirty years ago I was a sophomore at the local community college. I kept seeing this cute girl walking to class that had the biggest, most beautiful smile I had ever seen.  I was head over heels, but far too shy to approach her on my own.  I would see her often talking to a girl named Gina, whom I had known since elementary school.  So I cautiously asked Gina about her.  She said “oh that’s Dana, she is such a sweetheart”.  A few days later she gave me her phone number and said that “Dana would love for you to call her”.  I called her that afternoon, we talked for two hours.  We went on a date three days later.

Dana (pronounced Dan-na) was…

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How to Know When You’re Getting to the Better Side of Grief.

How to Know When You’re Getting to the Better Side of Grief.

When drinking out of that one striped coffee cup (his)—which you relegate to a special place and celebrate sipping from, holding the connection to him the way a child holds her Teddy Bear—no longer feeds you an emotional feast.

Of course, you still choose it the way you’d still choose your beloved were he alive, but its existence, meaning, and memories don’t grip as tight as they once did.

When you flirt with other men because you want to, not just to prove to yourself you still can.

When meeting potential suitors, you no longer seethe from your soul the words that rolled off your tongue fresh after his death: Every other man is going to be such a f*cking disappointment!

Although each one will say or do the wrong thing by virtue of not being the man you called Fire!.

He lit you, warmed you, melted you, and went out in the night while you each slept snuggled in the peace you’d longed for your whole life.

Yet, you remember you once gave him a hard time, too–even considered him unqualified.

Until he shattered your walls with his Southern, all-in, “I’m not those other guys” determination and dedication without expectation.

Damn. He showed you how a real man steps in.

So, you might be getting to the better side of grief when you believe maybe there’s more than one emotionally courageous man on this earth, even another for you.

You stop banking on your beloved coming back, although you still secretly believe.

Your fascination with the other side, psychics, and signs subsides.

Sure, the songs still come, like Summer Nights for your sister, the flash from her first date with her husband some 35+ years ago, before he died after decades of love and a devoted family foursome.

That same night in the Bahamas, gals sing and slaughter Ice, Ice Baby, the song that originated Fire’s nickname for you in 1988 when your friendship began, as playful as a paintball tournament.

You’re getting to the other side of grief when these songs, reminders, and hellos from heaven break a smile instead of your heart.

You find yourself fully present vacationing with your sister, letting the alligators in the Everglades and lobster on the beach in the Bahamas own your attention.

Easy, one might say, but to grieve is to always wish you were elsewhere: with him.

When every breath isn’t I wish you were here; I miss you so much! Although the thought still indulges your days, it’s not every. single. moment. Progress!

Now, you’ve done 30 Days of Meditation, cleared everything from your chakras to your lineage, and found your heart bursting with love.

Determination isn’t only in your head; you embody it.

Goals and dreams matter, rather than just trying to convince yourself they should.

You might be getting to the to the better side of grief when birds singing and feeding at the feeder that belonged to your beloved goes from bittersweet to simply sweet.

Morning air and the wearing of his KISS robe isn’t ripe with flashbacks of early country mornings, arising from his bed and arms to let your dog out, hearing your favorite holler, “Come back, Icey! Come back!”

When you stop betting 100% he will.

Once again, you start finding two pennies repeatedly. Then a nickel and a penny, hearing him say, “For your sixth cents,” laughing, and you laugh, too.

Your own laughter rings as real and unrestrained as it flowed back in 1989, before your brother died, when you called The Fire! only Kevin, and he helped you pack your Honda CRX hitched with a U-Haul, so you could haul your ass out west and run away from husband number one.

You no longer want to run away from your own life.

Instead, you lean into the laughter and how it feels in your belly and looks on your face reflected in the eyes of your sister, friends, and strange folks you’ve yet to know.

You could be getting to the better side of grief when gratitude doesn’t feel like false affirmation, when you look forward to time with friends, and frankly, you stop wishing you were dead.

When you don’t keep your eyes on the clouds, begging for the heart shapes so prominent and clear in the first year after he died.

You begin looking at all that is before you.

You stop carrying conversations on autopilot like your decades spent in sales. You listen to others’ pain as more than pacifier for why yours isn’t so bad.

You still yourself and speak from your soul without the deafening echo of his goneness.

You hear joy—theirs and yours—and let it rise like a favorite song you sang in your 20s. Passion!

I find I’m getting to the better side of grief when I want to grab every morsel of life.

I don’t want to miss out on one grand, or even mundane experience, like savoring coffee, because I’m so damn busy missing my beloved, my Fire!, although I always will.

I crawled through the dark tunnel of grief after experiencing the ecstasy of sacred love.

It hasn’t died. His love lives in me. I’m forever his Ice Baby.

I’m all that he fell for—broken, vulnerable, smart, strong, feisty, funny, and beautiful.

We were crazy, sexy, cool. He still is; I still am.

I’m alive, eager for the moments before me, and excited for the chapters unfolding.

I feel like me again. I’m a woman who loved unbounded and grieved with every fiber of my being.

I’m not a fool. Grief will grab me again. She can knock me down with the power of a colossal ocean wave. I accept her power, her nature.

But, we may be getting to the better side of grief when we once again feel our own power and God’s grace within this brutiful life.

And giddiness! There’s no such thing as giddiness in the grip of grief.

So, if you’re in it, I extend my hand in hope to hold with your honorable despair.

There’s another side to grief. May I see you there.

How Grief Lives in our Cells.

“To be broken is no reason to see all things as broken.” ~ Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

I live with my sister. We’re both in our 50s, which means we’re perfectly capable of taking care of ourselves and we value communicating and checking in with each other.

We’ve learned accidents do happen and people we love sometimes die.

We balance these not-fun facts with our inclination toward optimism.

Last night, Jayne went out with a friend, which is also a treat for me, as I relish my time alone. I used it well last night.

I skyped with an advanced editing class from my old alma mater (Metropolitan State University, Saint Paul, MN). The students asked me thought-provoking questions about my blogging process and purpose.

After the meeting, I took notes about what I learned from them and how I’ll implement some of their ideas.

Inspired by virtually being in the classroom, I dove back into a book assigned in my first politics class: American Democracy in Peril: Seven Challenges to America’s Future. How far-fetched that felt in 2002!

After reading, hunger overtook me. I noted the time: 10 pm. My sister would be walking in the door soon.

I made cauliflower rice with sautéed kale and cabbage and plopped in front of the TV.

Around 10:30, I texted my sis just to make sure she was ok. It’s not typical of her to stay out late on a “school night.”

On Scandal, the old Olivia Pope had returned—or had she? The President was going down—or was she?

My sister still hadn’t texted back. Again, not like her. She’s an IT manager and the constant bing of work messages is her norm. She’s the prompt texter backer.

I told myself she was fine, as fear felt its way into my body, the kind that says saying things are ok doesn’t make them so if they’re not.

After all, the day my boyfriend Kevin was due to arrive but didn’t, when worry hung in the air, my sister’s boyfriend said, “It’ll be ok.”

I even tried to convince myself Kevin would burst through the door, larger than life, wrap his big arms that felt like home around me, and spin some crazy story the way only he could do.

But, we were wrong. He would not be walking through my door or anyone else’s ever again. He would never tell another story with his Lentz-man vocabulary.

Everything was not alright.

My beloved died in his sleep of a heart attack. That cruel fact cannot be overridden by my mind.

The news, the truth, the day my life transformed lives in my cells. My body knows.

So, until I heard back from my sister, I suppressed the possibility of a reality I’ll never be ready for.

I didn’t even know where she went to dinner, some Mexican restaurant. She could be anywhere in the city.

God, please let her be safe.

How would I find her if she didn’t respond? I could find her friend on Facebook.

Would I call her son, the cop in Michigan to ask him what to do? Or the one here, who called the police for me and got them to search the freeways Kevin intended to drive on, and then his home where they found him in his bed?

I wouldn’t want to worry my nephews without reason, but what if my sister was in a situation where time was of the essence and could possibly save her life?

Silly, these thoughts, I tried to tell myself. I’m not a worry wart, but my mind played the sport while I simultaneously resisted the churning in my stomach.

Until Jayne’s text: “I’m sorry. I’m good. Coming home soon.”

Ah, the message of peace. I crawled into bed unscathed, tired and happy.

This morning, on her way to work, Jayne apologized again. I’ve done it to her, too. It’s no big deal.

But, then I cried because I can’t bear the thought of going through that again. And because I don’t have to.

Not now. All is well.

My sister admitted she’s been pierced by grief’s arrow threatening the worst repeating.
After all, her husband determined to beat cancer, but that day never arrived.

Like our brother who didn’t make his destination from California to Tucson and died on the side of a desert highway (car accident).

Still, I believe in the power of prayer and positive possibility.

Beautiful memories like falling in love, dancing under the stars, and splashing down water slides also dot the map of my life.

I refuse to live in the worry zone, but sometimes I take a trip there, making me grateful to return home to my current safe and sweet realty.