A week ago today, I was awakened at 6 AM to strange guttural sounds. At first, I thought it was coming from outside, then my dog downstairs, and as I leapt out of bed, I knew instantly it was my beloved cat. There, on the closet floor, just under the hanging clothes, my cat of 15 years lay on his side as he struggled to breathe. I got down next to him, gently caressing his head, saying, “I’m here.” My voice caught in my throat and I called to my husband, “Bill,” and the way I said it Bill knew. … [Read more...] about How to survive loss; the transformational power of art; and being fully present
I sit in one of the folding metal chairs that lines the perimeter of the gym. It’s Friday night dance class at Bryan Junior High in 1977. I’m wearing a skirt, pantyhose, and white gloves as per dance class dress code. Girls sit with one ankle behind the other and hands clasped together on laps. Boys wear shirts and ties and sit with both feet on the floor and palms faced down on each thigh. None of these formalities, however, will save me from the embarrassment of what’s to come. We all … [Read more...] about Choose Your Story, Change Your Life
When my dad died at the end of 2019, my mom was thinking of selling her house in Elmhurst and moving to a condo nearby. She and Dad had lived there since 1972. It’s where I grew up and subsequently where our three children spent a good deal of their childhood visiting their grandparents. Even before Dad was gone, with coffee mugs in our hands, we used to gather around mom and dad’s dining room table and imagine how fun it would be to build a family compound together. My sister Cat was planning … [Read more...] about Why There’s A Waitlist To Live In Our Basement
Based on the following three opening lines from three new bestselling books, which one would you want to read first? 1) Of all the rooms and halls and landmarks that make up the White House and its grounds, it was the West Colonnade that I loved best. For eight years that walkway would frame my day, a minute-long, open-air commute from home to office and back again. It was where each morning I felt the first slap of winter wind or pulse of summer heat; the place where I’d gather my thoughts, … [Read more...] about Which Book Would You Read First And Why?
I don’t know the name of the guy who delivers my UPS packages. In all this time, I never asked. And he never uses my name, even though he must know it after delivering oodles of packages over the years. I wonder if it’s an unstated rule, not to address recipients by name. On my walks, his brown truck frequently passes me on the street. We enthusiastically wave at each other. He often gives me a thumbs up. We discovered years ago that both our boys were serious tennis players, and, on … [Read more...] about Should You Tell The Truth To Your UPS Person?