Monday, May 21, 2012

The Here and Now

My grief comes in waves, then abates. In the troughs, I know the waves will come again. That's how it is now. I'm dealing with it. I continue to look for my own time, and will have a fair amount next month with the kids at camp. Decisions, decisions. I continue to make progress.

Many kind souls continue to look out for me and my children, usually in small but not insignificant ways. One friend ordered a running book and had it shipped to the house. Another has set up an early morning Monday run. Yet another, this one anonymous, donated to one child's tuition next year. Some still contribute to the kids' tuition fund that we set up last summer. A co-worker popped in my door and started talking about what our story and this blog means to her family, her faith and the challenges we all face and endure. I said what most of you know, that this blog is for me, but I'm more than happy to share it.

At the moment, the hardest thing is not having Dori to hear what's going on in the lives around me. An old friend is experiencing turmoil. I'm helping him, but Dori would have helped cover every base, or reassured me I was making good, supportive decisions. I know other family members and Dori's best friends miss her counsel. We still talk and text fairly regularly, but I know they miss her dearly.

We all agree on several points. She was the best listener. Her instincts were amazingly sharp. She knew how to make you feel good, and she knew how to tell you to do better without making you feel bad. Sweet, tough love. I'm trying. She was better at it. I miss that right here, right now.

Since my last post, I have continued to run regularly. Last week, I ran five, six and six miles. Yesterday, I ran four hot miles with Pepper, and today, five cool miles with my Monday morning buddy. I'll make it three days in a row with an early Pepper run tomorrow. I'm feeling a gradual return of conditioning. The tough hill at Mile 5 this morning would have been tough at Mile 3 earlier in the month.

I thought I would conclude by sharing how amazing the kids look. My pride and joy ...

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Today, Kathryn will be confirmed in the Catholic Church. Next week is Mother's Day. Kathryn graduates eighth grade later this month. The one-year anniversary of Dori's death is next month.

My family is worried about me, protective and concerned. Obviously, we/I have a lot to process right now, as if the last year hasn't been enough. I'm in a much better place today than two months ago. I've done some things I've needed to do for a long time, which I'll share in a bit, and I've cleared the air with a few people I love dearly, which I won't communicate here.

First, I seem to be enjoying running again. The last year, some runs have been fine, but others have been no fun at all. In recent weeks, I feel like going out for runs, like yesterday morning's five-miler at Radnor Lake. I could have run 10 miles. I'm glad the fun seems to be coming back, because it's time to drop a few pounds. I'm about to go run later this morning.

Two weeks ago, I went to our school's auction. I was having a nice conversation, and was invited by three attractive ladies to go hear a band, The Mavericks, who were mighty awesome. I like to dance, which I hadn't done in awhile (ok, ages). So did my friends ... and we shut down that bar. I greatly enjoyed the company. I've actually been perusing local publications and the Internet for fun things to do. I plan to go to the Ryman Auditorium this summer to hear a few bands, among several outings.

My friend Felice and I had a good conversation recently. She runs programs at Gilda's Club, and we talked about how I'm progressing to new places. She said something that made me cry, that I will experience joy again. Funny, that's been a main mission this past year ... convincing my children that they should experience joy, even with their mother not here. I've done many things that bring them joy. I think Will's smile, which is a reflection of Dori's, shows he's genuinely happy with the activity in his life. That's a huge victory for him and us.

I've been reluctant to take my own advice, because I've been so focused on them. But I can't imagine it being any different than it has been. Taking care of me first would have been almost selfish, whether you agree with that or not. I didn't need or want to go hear a band three months ago. Now I do. With the help of my mother and others, I've spruced up our yard, deck and house. I have a new bathroom addition that looks fantastic. Our flower gardens are stunning. The back deck, where I recently hosted a backyard BBQ party for 20 friends, also looks great. And I have plans to do more. See for yourself. I know this is what Dori wanted me to do.