Posts Tagged With: loss

Random 5 Monday ~ Bourdain, Beaches and Ducks

It’s Monday and it’s time for some random thoughts from the ever-swirling mind of yours truly.  Ready?  No.  Well get set, let’s go!

1 ) Still reeling over the loss of Anthony Bourdain.   I’m not even a foodie.  And I wanted to be one … watching him.  I wanted to walk into his kitchen, sit at his table,  have him flirt outrageously with me, tell a clever joke and have him lean in for the punch line.   Young, middle-aged, older – there was something about him that drew us in.   And kept us there.  This blogger sums up our loss beautifully –    #LOSS.

I hope he has peace now. 😦

2 ) Last week I took a couple of days off ~ I was, once again, up against the deadline.  Time to use vacation days.  Darn.   Thursday I packed tea, sunblock, my books and a beach chair and drove myself to Lake Michigan.  A place where stress does not thrive.  I read for hours, enjoyed other people’s children, watched a wedding, dug my toes in the sand and came home with beach hair & freckles.  And yes, I aim to repeat this many times over the summer.  #SUMMERGOALS.

~~~ ahhh ~~~
An Emjayandthem(C) Photo

3 )  The days are longer now that summer is officially here.  Celebrating my birthday I reflected on changes.  Much much stays the same ~ the work load, schedule, and expectations.  But I’ve changed – I’m a bit easier on myself than I used to be.   I’ve said “no” to others so I can say “yes” to me. I’ve slowed down. I’ve leaned in.   I’ve savored.  There’s a shift and I like it.  #SELF-CARE

4 )  Something I’ve realized – getting older – is that I’m a lot like Mom:  I don’t mind time alone, I crave it.  I get a little bit cranky with too many people and too much noise.   Yes I enjoy good conversation, music and such but I can – and will – easily spend days by myself.    A few nights back I imagined taking a week off and never leaving the house.   I found myself day-dreaming of how that would go:

  • Sleep
  • Read
  • Putter outside
  • Read
  • Write
  • Chat on the phone / visit with Hubbs
  • Sing/dance to music
  • Read
  • Putter outside
  • Read
  • Exercise/stretch
  • Sleep

I even had a fantasy food list ready.  It came to me immediately and goes something like this:

  • Strong coffee with cream
  • Grilled anything & Fresh veggies
  • Strawberries and watermelon
  • Iced Tea
  • Bacon & eggs
  • Fajitas
  • Avocados
  • Chinese Coleslaw
  • Margaritas and Fresh Limes

I realized that this exercise was really me manifesting my summer “wish list.”  Yep, time to book more days off.  #SUMMERGOALS

5 ) Saw two ducks on my walk earlier tonight … made me think of this:




Your turn:

  • Did a celebrity death ever leave you reeling?  (recent or not)
  • Are you making a summer wish list, too?
  • Got any bread?



Categories: Animals, Attitude, Beauty, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Food, Grief, Growth, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Men, News, Opinion, Personal, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Women, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Lions, Lambs and funeral luncheons

Mother Nature has been mercurial again – here March roared in like a lion, with freezing temps, bitter cold, blowing snow and lashing sleet.   All this after a mid-February warm up to nearly 70F.  The latest round felt like a mid-winter spanking. Are we safe to assume March will leave like a lamb?  I’m not so sure.

A friend passed away last Sunday ~ shockingly young, leaving a wife and two children plus a business and employees to take care of.  We struggled to absorb the news and rally around our friend.  As expected, a call went out for food and folks didn’t disappoint.  At the wake Friday night, were crocks full of hot foods like meatballs, macaroni and cheese, Sloppy Joe’s, Fettuccine Alfredo and Lasagna plus trays of cakes, cookies and squares, salads, raw vegetables, fresh fruit, deviled eggs, boiled shrimp, crackers and cheese, a  baked ham and the fixings for sandwiches.

There’s something so comforting about being able to help at a time of sadness. 

Many commented on the abundance of foods and I thought of Mom and my Auntie and all the times they’d done the same. It’s nice to be part of a community that comes together and provides sustenance when needed.

Later that evening, reflecting on the day, Hubbs and I chuckled at how we’d both observed the same thing: older gentlemen – every one of them had a big slab of cake (sometimes two), cookies or brownies on their plate ~ we laughed about how we could see my Dad or his Grandpa doing the same – how they knew enough to”go for the good stuff first.

Co-mingled in the sadness is a lingering feeling of fellowship, the memory of a room growing loud with laughter and toasts to a good man.

And as the wind howls outside here today, no lambs are in sight.

**   How does your family or community navigate loss?  Are you experiencing Lambs or Lions where you live? **


Categories: Confidence at any age, Faith, Food, Grief, Home, Life, Love, Opinion, Personal, Share, Thoughts, Traditions, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Beautiful people

Traveling this week for business, I found myself tossed into a sea of humanity.

Rolling suitcases. iPhones & ear buds. Cell conversations continuing as doors are closed. Electricity charging areas in airport waiting rooms.  Subtle manners not consistently displayed.

Standing in line, I noticed something consistent in every airport I waited: no one looked at each other, everyone looked down …thumbs moving.   All this technology connects us yet people seem more isolated than ever.  ~sigh~

And then there she was.

An older lady, traveling alone, looked me in the eye and smiled as she took the seat next to me in Detroit.

photo source:

photo source:

Heading home to St. Louis, she’d been in Boston, visiting a daughter who doesn’t come home much anymore.

Her husband, too frail and fearful to travel these days. Her son, picking her up when the plane lands. Her stories.

About the longing in her voice when she talked of the pace of the trip, wiping away her tears as she cautiously stated they’d not seen much of each other in the five days she’d been there.

About how she really didn’t go to be a tourist, she went to see her. To be with her. To know her.

I couldn’t help but think about my Mom and the times I’ve traveled to see her.  Some of our best times have been in the absence of others.  I thought of the  laughter, our meandering conversations, and the complete lack of schedule – on purpose.

We got off the plane and I walked with her until I spotted my colleagues; she stood there, small and quiet and a little bit lost. So I did the only thing I could think to do: I hugged her.  She hugged me back like I was hers and it was in that very moment that I wished Sally’s daughter in Boston could understand that Mothers don’t just come to visit.  They come to matter.

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

 : : :

Today marks 3 years as a Word Press Blogger!  You can read my first post, “Who’s the Turkey?” here

Categories: Beauty, Faith, Family, Home, Life, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 41 Comments

To everything there is a season

Autumn leaves are falling and the colors are turning again.

near Kingsley, MI

near Kingsley, MI


The yard down the street

Frankie loved Fall

Frankie loved Fall best.

Yesterday was a long day – a day of laughter, a day of tears, a day of sorrow, a day of cheers.

But … there was a time for all of it and this passage was of comfort to me as I woke on this day, the first day of a new season.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. –  Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Categories: Beauty, Faith, Friendship, Grief, Personal, Seasons, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Farewell to a fur-ever friend

We had to say good-bye to our fur-ever friend, Frankie, earlier this week.

13 years & 22 days with the world’s greatest dog.

So lucky, yes we were.

Smart and hilarious, I found him at the Humane Society of West Michigan.   More about his adoption story here. In his honor, we are going to pay it forward and sponsor the adoption of another mutt for a another lucky family.  He was all about sharing and I think he would have appreciated that.

Frankie as a wee one

Frankie as a wee boy

Frankie arrived when our boys were 6 & 14; He was a first class salesman (he always got the order), champion bed warmer, professional greeter and happiest .. near us.

We enjoyed a great weekend with the kids & grands by the grill (his favorite), not knowing it would be his last.

Frankie's last grill night with us .. just last Saturday.

Frankie’s last grill night with us .. just last Saturday.

He developed a vestibular disorder suddenly,  which as traumatic as it was to witness, had to have been terrifying for him.  But I know in my heart that our presence, our touch, our kisses, tears, sorrow and hugs .. served to comfort him in his hour of need.

Frankie finds contentment easily

He enjoyed cuddles like this one the last night of his life

Thankfully, the situation was short-lived.

I’m grateful for that.

Thankfully, we were home.

I’m grateful for that, too.

It was obvious we had a decision to make that, as sad as it was for us, was absolutely right … for him.

He deserved no less.

And so we stayed with him as he passed on, petting him, kissing him, whispering words of endearment that will never be enough to say all that we really felt.

We bucked up, carried on and, with tears streaming down, did our best to convey our gratitude to the kind of friend you wish could stay in your life .. fur-ever.

Rest in peace, sweet boy.

Frankie’s farewell … an emjayandthem (C) photo

 “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” ― Will Rogers


Categories: Animals, Faith, Family, Friendship, Grief, Life, Personal, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

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