While heartless unfeeling inconsiderate friends continue sending photos of piles of snow back home, I’m spending Christmas in New Jersey where there is no fluffy white stuff adorning the landscape.
But there’s been plenty of playing, laughing, squealing, listening to Christmas music, gift-giving, nerf gun wars, good eating, Chai tea sipping, Lego building, book reading going on here in Jersey.
Photo credit: Doug Oines
Which has contributed to 5 observations on important life issues this Christmas:
Christmas in New Jersey and I have the grands all to myself for a few days while The Parents meet up with The Aunt & Uncle in a place that involves sunglasses, fun T-shirts and odd-looking ears in a land called Orlando.
Photo credit: Unsplash
This is a revisitation of a blog I posted a year ago during the holiday season, which — as you know — can be a no-tidings-of-great-joy time of year. Especially if you’ve lost something of infinite value.
Like your health. Or you’re dealing with the aftermath of cancer, or financial reversals.
Or you’ve lost that most perfect astonishing, believer-in-your-dreams, would-do-anything-for-you, would-go-anywhere-with-you person in your life.
Photo courtesy of Unsplash
Dear Gary —
One of the tools from a widow grief class was letter-writing, beginning with these words: “My favorite memory of you is …” The problem with that: There are so many favorite memories of you. In fact, there are entire categories of memories.
Being the overly efficient person you married, here are some of my favorite memories. By category. And alphabetized. Just for the fun of it.
Dear Gary …
Chloe, one of my grand-dogs, is a Brussels Griffon. She doesn’t know what it means to be a fifth wheel because she assumes everyone wants to play with her.
Chloe, on left, teaching her lumbering friend, Noah, how to be a little more playful
One of the things cancer did was motivate Hubby and me to establish a standing Friday night date. I’ve blogged about this in the past, and how — pathetically — I’ve maintained date night alone most Fridays since Hubby died.
This week’s date seemed more important to me. Perhaps because I’ve been out of town the last couple of Fridays, and I’m headed out again on Monday for a couple weeks.
Deschutes River trail
And so I laced up my trekking shoes and headed to the Deschutes River trail. I can’t tell you how many times Hubby and I hiked along this river. Close to half a million times. Roughly. Give or take a few.
My young cancer-widowed friend, Sarah, let me read a couple of her poems recently. I was amazed. Beautiful stuff. She writes honestly and vulnerably as she wonders if she’ll ever find who she is again. And yet her work is hope-filled.
Jill Rosell Photography
When I married Hubby, we didn’t know each other very well. We met one weekend, wrote for nearly a year—continents apart—and then on our first date, he proposed.
After that first date, I re-boarded a plane, and we planned a wedding long distance. Which meant all our dating and getting to know one another took place after we were husband and wife.
Photo credit: Simply Kristina Lee Photography