As a widow, I know the pain that comes with loss. 

I thought I was immune to the fear of death.  

Like the heroine of a Greek tragedy, I could bear the worst.  

Yet, when I was diagnosed with cancer, my stoic wall crumbled.

I was terrified.  I could not focus.  I could not settle down. 

This was Friday afternoon. Surgery was scheduled for Tuesday.

A long time away.

Over the weekend, I turned to the Internet to research my cancer. A big no-no. The information added to my agony. 


The surgery went smoothly.

The wait for the results was  excruciating.

The days passed slowly.

My anxiety was through the roof.

I kept checking my phone for a missed call from my doctor.

When my doctor finally called to tell me that I was cancer-free, the relief was indescribable.

I could breathe again. I was giddy and thankful. Another chance!

And now

I  regret the time that I lost worrying and imagining the worst.

It’s easy to get caught up in fear, especially when death seems to be waiting in the next room. 

I hope to live in the present.

Life is too short to spend my days worrying.

My days are numbered. 

They always have been.  

My Super Power

I love to read.

I also like background music while I read. 

Soft, but not elevator music.  

My reading chair is close to my speaker. 

As I was reading today, I had to lower the volume in order to concentrate. 

It was then that I realized that I had lost one of my Mom super powers…the ability to drown out background noise of any kind.

I could read, talk on the phone, write a letter or make a list even when chaos was happening all around me to include the dog throwing up!

This skill kept me sane, especially on days when my rambunctious boys were confined indoors due to inclement weather.  

My sons are grown with their own domestic chaos.

My days are quiet and predictable.

Everything in its place, for the most part, day after day.

I relish this quiet even though, at times, I miss the busyness of parenting.

I miss being needed, being accountable for someone, to someone.

There is no turning back the clock.

I am grateful for my life.

Return of a friend

Over a year ago, my friend suddenly ghosted me.  

It was very painful as we had been close friends for over 20 years.  

My emails, calls and texts went unanswered.  

I had no idea what had happened.

Finally I stopped.  I moved on.  

Continue reading “Return of a friend”


Just off the phone with my daughter-in-law in Denver.

She and my son are at their wits’ end with their 12-year old son being bullied at school.

Three times he has been physically assaulted, knocked to the ground and hit his head.

Going through the school protocol for anti-bullying has not resolved the situation.

Just last week I read about a 14-year old girl who took her life after being bullied.

Also, kids do bring guns to school.

This feels like too much to bear.

Trying to stay calm and think clearly so I can be a sounding board for my son and his wife as they navigate this minefield.


My First Born

I could tell many stories about my first born.

This is one from the summer when he was 12 years old.

The start of summer.

That summer, he joined a year-round swim team.
He suffered from asthma and we thought swimming would be good for him.
We were right.

The end of summer.

By the end of the summer his breathing was much better. He did not have to use his inhaler as often. His wheezing was minimal. Also at the end of summer he swam in his first competitive meet. His event was the 500.
He was swimming against kids who had been in the program since they were 5 years old. Even though he was much better after taking lessons and practicing all summer, he was not as strong a swimmer as those kids.

They swam laps around him. They finished, exited the pool, and stood on the side watching him, now the only swimmer in the pool. The official stopped him and asked him if he wanted to quit.

My husband and I waited to see what he would do.

Without hesitation, he chose to finish the 500.
All of the other swimmers, the other parents and the officials waited while he swam back and forth across the pool.

The 500 is 100 yards freestyle, 100 yards backstroke, 100 yards butterfly stroke and 100 breaststroke. A really good swimmer can swim it in under ten minutes. He took about 30 minutes to complete all of the twenty laps.

He did not take home any medals that day, but he was a champion in our eyes.

He swam competitively for six years and earned many swimming and diving medals. His asthma was no longer an issue.

The story today.

He now is the father of a 12-year old son who is following in his path as a swimmer. My grandson has mastered all of the strokes and is doing well. He has not yet competed against other swimmers in a meet.

How he swims under the pressure of competition remains to be seen. I am confident that he will be a champion in the things that matter.

Once upon a time.

Did I ever tell you about the time that Christmas was cancelled at my house?

I was a little kid. 

My Father was dead.  

My Mother was left  with three little children.  

Like all little kids, we were excited for Christmas. 

It turned out to be the worst Christmas ever. 

Mother was upset.  

I did not know why but I felt as if I had done something wrong.  

There were no presents under the tree.  

All was quiet.  

I am an adult now.

No more tears.

Crying Time

These days, it does not take much for me to get teary-eyed or even to weep.

I weep when I read about someone’s good deed.

Or, I hear a song that brings back a memory, either sad or happy.

Continue reading “Crying Time”

Saturday Morning November 12, 2022

Good morning from chilly, but not rainy, Portland.

I surveyed my front and back patios to see if the leaves had taken over.

So far, the score is 1-1.

A friend loaned me a leaf blower so I have an advantage.

I hate using a leaf blower…so loud plus, I can use the exercise. Still, I am grateful to have it for the sidewalk and driveway.

When I am not in a hurry, raking leaves makes me slow down and smell the leaves.

Continue reading “Saturday Morning November 12, 2022”

Kindness from a stranger

It’s funny how you remember people. 

Take Linda.

I thought of her today.

She is not a friend, a neighbor, not  even an acquaintance. 

Her number is not in my phone.

I don’t know what she looks like, who her children are, if any.

She is a random person in my life from years ago. 

I had one encounter with her. 

I don’t remember where it was.

I  remember the day.*

I remember her talking to me. 

I did not answer.  I may have nodded.  I’m not sure.

My head hurt.  

I felt weightless. There was nothing tying me to earth. 

Her words came from a distance.  

You have  tough times ahead. You must take care of yourself.

Over the years I have often remembered her words. 

Unsolicited, barely acknowledged,

Granting  permission to rest a bit, 

To give up being in charge, in control, always needing a plan.

She reached out to a stranger in pain, in shock.

I am grateful.


*The day I  learned my Husband had a year left to live.  In writing this post I wondered what made me think of Linda. Then I realized, tomorrow is his birthday.

Giving thanks…

Mid-morning last Thursday I tested positive for COVID.

Immediately, my healthcare system (Legacy) kicked into gear with amazing results.

A nurse called to talk about treatment.

I opted for the drug Paxlovid from Pfizer.

Next was a call from a pharmacist from the hospital.

We had a lengthy interview to review the side effects.

Then, he placed the prescription at the only drugstore near me that had the medicine.

Within minutes, the drugstore called to tell me the drug was ready for pick up.

My friend picked it up and I started treatment right away.

If you have ever worked with the medical system in the US, you know that it is generally slow with lots of waiting around. Not this time, not with COVID.

Happy news….my symptoms improved within 24 hours. I took three pills twice daily for five days.

The only side effect was a bitter taste in my mouth. Eating fresh fruit helped. It reminded me that my late Husband experienced a bitter taste after chemotherapy. Chilled, canned fruit in heavy syrup, something he would never have eaten before cancer, alleviated the yucky taste.

Today, I feel so much better and am planning to resume my normal activities.

Thank you Legacy Healthcare!

Thank you to the scientists who developed the tests, vaccinations and treatments.

Thus ends my COVID story.


Our job as a nation is to continue to send COVID tests, vaccinations and treatments to nations not as fortunate as we are.