Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Christmas has come and gone and I realize that I made it through the season very well. Kenny and I were only together for a few Christmases, and had not really developed traditions of our own. He simply joined me in mine. So this year I did much of what I have always done, spent it with the kids and grandkids. Christmas Eve I went to my son's church for their service and then we all ate at the church's grill. After that, back to my son's house along with my daughter and her family where we all had peppermint sundaes and watched the kids open their Christmas jammies.

I spent the night at their house and the next morning we were up at 6. As I watched their three daughters come downstairs I was struck with how incredibly blessed these girls are. The house was all aglow with candles and twinkly lights and a fire in the fireplace. An enormous tree highlighted the room. Christmas music softly playing. Hot chocolate waiting in their own special cups. And presents! Each girl was met by their mom and dad with a big hug and a "Merry Christmas". Once we all were settled with coffee and hot chocolate, Nate read a portion of the Christmas story out of Luke. We opened the morning with a prayer of thanks and acknowledgement for the gift of a Saviour. And then the grand opening of presents and sheer delight filled the room.

We then loaded ourselves up and took the twenty minute drive to my daughter's house for breakfast. Beautiful home baked blueberry muffins, fruit salad, frittata and bacon....simple she said. With a few more presents opened and a time of lingering, I went home and actually took a little nap. I didn't mind this time alone on Christmas. I wanted it. I had all afternoon before everyone was coming to my house for dinner. I had most of my preparations finished the day before, so my afternoon was very stress free. I took apples to Red and shared with every horse there. It felt nice to be alone at the barn. Magical. And then they were all at my house and the activity began. From there, back to my son's for dessert and more presents from me to all of them. It was a fun, very fun day. And I was happy, not sad. I think Kenny would have been pleased.

I had also made it through another big day. Ken's birthday was on December 19th and he would have been 51. I knew the day was coming of course, and although I had not planned it this way, I ended up having a little party of my own. My son and son-in-law were going to the 49'rs game that night, so I had the girls and grandkids over for cookie decorating. We started out with a bowl of soup to counteract the huge amount of sugar we would be consuming later. We made our mess, ate our cookies, and had our fun. Kenny would have been pleased with that as well.

And so is over....but the Christmas spirit still lingers and that holiday feeling is still in the air. Strange as it may seem, I am finding myself more and more grateful for everything. Overwhelmingly, surprisingly, grateful.....for everything. I have been blessed. Truly.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


I haven't written for a long time because....well....not sure. Except that I feel I am doing so well and perhaps the need to write has not been so great.

Two days before Thanksgiving I was invited to a pre-Thanksgiving party here in Carmel Valley. The couple that threw the party are wonderful people and I was happy they reached out and gave me an invite. I went with Bridget as she would meet James there and drive home with him later. It always helps to walk through the door with someone else. Their home was big, but cozy and because they are foodies the fare set out was amazing. Wine was passed to me within minutes and I began the venture into the small crowd of people saying hello to those I knew and introducing myself to those I did not. I was having fun.

I ended up talking a bit with a man named Bill. His wife and Kenny both had the same prognosis about a year ago regarding how long they were expected to live. I had met him before, but this was the first time I had seen him in close to a year. His wife continues on with good days and bad.... Kenny of course met the deadline. Anyway, it was a nice, heartfelt talk we had about some of the things one goes through when living with a spouse you know is dying. And then I sat down with Linda, his wife, who was weak but all dolled up in her black skirt and boots. I took her hand and another very heartfelt conversation took place. I felt a genuine connection with her and I believe she did with me. I am not afraid to talk about things that for some would find uncomfortable and I think she appreciated that.

The night continued with more conversations that went beyond the light chit chat that so often accompanies a party like that. I got to know people and people got to know me. And then the night was over and after being walked to my car I sat down behind the wheel and I knew. Something felt different. Yet not really different, but actually familiar. My spark was back. I felt that the old me, yet maybe a better me, was back. I had felt it coming, but that night was different for me and it has remained so. That doesn't mean I don't shed a tear, or think of Kenny and wish he was here, but I know deep down that my life is good. Not going to be good, but good. Now. And that I am happy, and light, and able to think of others and feel their pain....or joy....or.... yes....I feel like I am back, alive and vibrant and so very glad I am!