Thursday, August 31


I'm not mad... but its about me now. I have to focus on what I need, on what my family needs, what my relationship needs and what my friends going through the same process need, and surround myself with the people who are able to do that too. I don't have the head space, or the mental energy to focus on you, It has to be about me now.

And I know you don't realize you do this, but it is always about you. Sure I get my "how are you doing" and "tell me about this or that" but usually its not about me. That was fine until recently, I didn't need the attention, and there was history to be considered. Yet, when it was time to be about me, you didn't step up. You couldn't shift focus. But I did. Now its about me.

Maybe you'll realize it, maybe you won't. What matters is that I have.

Wednesday, August 30

Advising Myself

I've been told I give good advice. Sometimes I just give it unsolicited, and I'm sure it annoys people, but I find I can't help going into advice mode. Often though people come to me with questions and I impart advice. When I was in high school I was convinced I should become a Therapist, I gave such good advice so why not make it a career? Part of the reason I enrolled at Clark University was its well known Psychology program (the only place where Freud spoke before the US disgusted him too much and he high tailed it out of here). Something changed that summer and I decided English would better suit me and made my path in that major. But, I didn't stop giving advice. I honestly don't know where it comes from/how I do it, I just know what to say and how to say it and how to guide people to do it.

I've had IM conversations with friends in which I type out what I think they should say, using I statements, making sure to be assertive and they'll ask me to email it to them so they can print it out and have it when they need to have the conversation. Recently a work colleague has had me edit/proof a couple of hard to write emails. Even one of my older work colleagues who is dating will ask my advice on relationships and men. Actually I frequently listen to and give advice to many of my single friends, even though I've really never dated and have been with the same man for 6 years. When a close friends Mother passed away 2 months after my Father had she called me and asked me to let everyone know. When I called and told one person there immediate response was, "What should I do?" And, being me, I gave her advice. This was more relevant since I had just been through the same experience, and she still felt comfortable asking me, maybe knew I'd give her good advice. Like I said, I don't know where the knowledge comes from or why it’s so easy for me to impart relevant advice.

But, this isn't meant to be a brag fest about how great I am at giving advice. I've been exploring it, in myself, trying to figure out why I can do it, where it comes from and at the same time making sure I'm really listening to people and not just spewing out advice when what they really want is for someone to listen. I think I figured out that the ability to give it no matter the situation and how it relates to my life experience comes from my Dad. He's was always able to look at situations and understand everyone involved and the best outcome for each party. He took the most unlikely candidates for jobs and made it work for the manager and the employee and always stayed connected to both. My mom frequently talks about his ability to make her feel better no matter the situation and talk her through how to proceed. Even with me, I could tell him about drama in my personal life with friends or colleagues and he'd give great advice even though a female teenager and her friends are probably one of the farthest demographics from his. One of my Brother's friends once sought him out to talk about life and his future, and his parents to this day still remember fondly how helpful he was. And that is all in me, too. I'm so happy I realized how connected I am to him in this way, and now as I fill those shoes, a real piece of him will live on. One of the last things I told him was that I would keep making him proud and now I not only have a tangible way to do it, but it allows others who can recognize that piece of him in me to be proud of him.

Friday, August 25


Since most of my time is at work, I thought it would be interesting to do a "high level check-in/touch base" like what I have to do at work with my blog.

I started it to start writing again, it was lacking in my life and this was supposed to motivate me to do it. I have been writing more, which is great. When I started it some how these little essays and observations are what came out, inspired from what was happening in my life. I liked them, I continued with them.

My Mom recently shared that a close friend of the family read my blog and was enjoying it. Then she said, its been sad. My blog that is, not him reading it. And, it has. Many of my recent posts have been written while crying, or with my throat feeling full and the need to cry being stifled because I was at my desk at work. (See most of my time is at work). I started to think, is that bad? Should I re-shift the focus? Should I start using it really to write fiction/creatively. Thus, the check-in. Then I realized that its been good for me to get out what I'm feeling in this form and share my observations, as sad as they are. I'd also like to think that its a place where people can see how I'm doing too, cause I know they want to ask.

So- my blog is good- I hope. Its going in a good direction and I'm happy with it, as sad as I am and the tone of my posts have been.

Please, feel free to comment and let me know how you feel about it - this is also a check-in for the readers.

Thursday, August 17


I used to sing the Toys R Us theme song and really believe it. Being a kid had so many pluses. You had a carefree lifestyle, imagination could run wild, fun was easy to find.

Now, I find, I'm so ready to grow up. I'm already in the grown up relationship... but why am I still living a state away from him and having to say goodnight over the phone? I want to come home to him everyday, I want to make plans with friends any night whether he's visiting or not and not worry about not seeing him, because I see him everyday, I sleep in the same bed with him every night. I want to cook dinner together, I want our things to be in one place... I want to really share space with him, settle in with him, not be constantly living out of travel bags in his place or mine on short weekend visits.

I want my own place, that I can do what I please with. A place I can leave my dishes in the sink and know they are mine and I'll clean them when I want (admittedly probably right away as I'm an anal cleaner) but if I want to leave them there I don't want to feel guilty about it! I want to fill the place with my own things, buy great furniture, hang up my pictures, paint if I please... decorate to stay not throw some stuff in to make it nice now, but not put too much effort because I know I'm leaving in a year, to two years.

I want to fast forward through this in between time. And yet, I have learned the necessity and meaning of living in each day, and cherishing what you have in that day. I'm thankful for the moments I get to spend with my family and friends, I know on a deeper level how quickly life can change, life can be taken away. Every moment I get to spend with my Bubba (a variation of the Yiddish word for grandma) learning about her life, allowing her to learn about mine and feeling the love passing between us I cherish. Visits with my grandparents now always end with I love you's. And I love them and their warmth, the happiness I feel coming into their home, how much I look forward to my Grandmother's cooking, the plans they'll make for us, the stories they'll share with us. I look forward to all the times I get to spend with all of them, I don't want to fast forward through that. Except, I'm so urgently looking forward to settling in with Matt, having a place of my own, maybe not feeling on so many days that life sucks. I'm sorry, I just can't think of a more poetic way to put it. Life Sucks.

Part of grieving is living through it, letting yourself feel and understand the loss you've experienced. I can do that, I know I can't fast forward through that. Yet, there are other things around me that compound the suckiness, I need those to be fast forwarded. I know I can't though. I didn't even see the movie Click, but I know what the moral was. If you fast forward to the good stuff, you miss the little things that matter, the major milestones you don't even see coming. Like realizing you can do it, you can live through the process of moving into the next step in your life, you don't have to fast forward to get there, you just will.

Sunday, August 13

Sunday Mornings

This morning the Boy and I woke up lateish, but not too late to feel like we'd wasted the day. It felt like a Sunday morning in every aspect and I immediately suggested breakfast. We made our way to a favorite spot. The Boy said it would be too busy, we'd probably have to wait, I had faith. I got in line while he parked and had a table within minutes. After breakfast we picked up a fresh copy of the Globe and headed to my porch. There was a soft breeze, plenty of light and enough news to keep us busy for a good hour plus. I must admit, it was delightful. Later in the day I cleaned up the apartment, and watered the plants. It was the kind of Sunday morning I always wish for. Feeling connected, enjoying each others company, spending quiet moments together that often mean more than the passion and romance most people yearn for.

Next Sunday will be our last opportunity for a Sunday morning like todays for awhile. Sunday mornings after will be the end of the visit day, and those days suck. In the grand scheme it isn't too long for us to wait until every Sunday morning will be an opportunity for breakfast out, the paper on a breezy porch and quiet moments. I'm just sick of waiting.

Sunday, August 6

With Extra Milk Please

This morning I took out the big coffee cup. I wanted lots of milk, and this one is perfect for that. As I sat at my Mom's kitchen table and started to enjoy it, I remembered all the mornings Dad had made me lattes in this extra big cup because he knew how much I loved my extra milk. I really miss him. Sure I miss the lattes- our espresso maker (Sylvia) revolted the day we called hospice and actually blew up when my Mom went to turn her on- but really I miss him. I miss weekends at home, coming downstairs and doing my best daddy's girl voice to get him to make me a latte. I miss drinking it slowly, taking it in, getting made fun of for letting it get too cold (I can't drink them when they're super hot) and getting to tell Dad how good it was. I miss him teaching me how to make them; with all the little steps he had created for it. The little things I would probably do if we had Sylvia back.

There is so much around me that makes me miss him, I got a flyer for an upcoming folk festival in New Haven- We went last year to see Richard Thompson and before Richard came on Dad and I walked around the booths looking at funny political bumper stickers and pins, waiting for hot water for tea and eating kettle corn- and immediately threw it out, I couldn't be reminded of it in that moment.

Sometimes its not as real, I can avoid the memories, avoid the moments in which the reality of his death is clear and present. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, like using the cup he probably last made me coffee into. And in those moments, I have to let the memories crash over me; I have to feel the pain and sadness that accompanies them and the other memories that float up too. They all crash over me. And as they do, my coffee can cool down.