The last three weeks have been full of harvesting, crushing and pressing. The sweetness of grapes has drenched and directed our days. This last winter and spring we experienced more rain and snow than we have in so many previous years , a gift from the heavens to your vineyard as it matures...
It's been seven hours and fifteen days......
I spent several days deeply grieving upon hearing of the passing of Sinéad O’Connor. I became familiar with her last year when her son passed. She was brought into my space through the online grieving community which has been an invaluable support to...
Part 2 of My Christmas Journey
I’ve had an “EPIPHANY”. Someone I love very much alluded to this realization quite a while ago. We are made up and affected by not only the time and place that we live in, but everything that has added up to it. I had learned this long ago in high school psych cl...
My thoughts about this Christmas season are a bit like friends who have toasted each other one too many times in an evening, or like the sparkling dot to dot constellations whose ancient images criss-cross over each other in the night. Stars and friends overlapping, making it impossible to focus o...
That’s us. You stood by me as I marveled at their loving beauty. It seems a timeless space of listening and learning, a place I can touch with my soul.
That's us. Loving forever shadows living in the gentle liquid waves.
A shadow with an impossible task before me.
Nothing on my calendar, but there’s a file in my widow's brain marked “ June 23rd, a day you have something important to do.”
Several days of wondering pass before I remember; 30 years ago today I was supposed to give birth to my first child. Every time someone saw that I was expecting they woul...
Back in 2017, it took me almost a year to figure out what was wrong with my hip. I had assumed the pain was a pulled muscle. I rested, stretched, used warm compresses, saw a couple chiropractors and sought physical therapy.
An X-ray revealed advanced arthritis, the surgeon stated I was too yo...
You dug down deep
In the earthy clay of my heart
With your golden spade
Then moved the dust aside
Gently with your fingers
In the palm of your hand
You stirred and admired its contents
Seeing value in
The stardust I am made of
You breathed your light into my...
Seated next to each other at a celebration, I scanned a linen covered table which stretched into the horizon. My existence felt familiar, as familiar as myself in my skin used to be. I breathed in your laughter, the smell of your leather jacket, the texture of your cheek and the intimacy of your...
I’ve been writing my dreams down in a journal for quite a while now. I know that dreams are often times the way our mind unravels the issues of our days; the things that we are concerned about become fantastic stories in the night. When I write them down it’s easier to find answers and directions...
Viktor Frankl’s concentration camp memoir Man’s Search for Meaning was recommended as a comfort and beacon as I attempt to regrasp meaning, an elusive and complex task for many widows.
Considered one of the most influential books of the 20th century, Frankl takes the reader through his exper...
It’s Ash Wednesday again. I made my way to the church and sat through mass under a black lace veil, filtering the prayers and the teaching like possibly tainted water. My chosen instrument, a wise quote meant to purify.
“One of the greatest sins is the unlived life.”
So as the ritual unfolded...
I met him as a new bride, days after celebrating our first anniversary and newly pregnant with our oldest daughter. Passing slowly, my heart and soul carried a flighty weight, a fullness of Florence and of wonder for Renaissance gowns and painted ceilings, fountains and grottos, an abundance of t...
January 12th We rose early, you sat poolside drinking coffee while I swam. You knew it was one of my favorite things to do and joined me to keep me company. I took breaks between laps and we visited, me feeling heavenly in the water looking up into your eyes. I was swallowed up in all the blue, i...
Have you ever heard these two words?
Any idea what they mean?
I had not. I followed a thread of discovery which reverberated within me until I felt it ask me to give it voice.
How did this gift of Wankan Tanka arrive? Through a mysterious piece of art and the laborious strug...
I wake inside of a storm.
What day is it?
The wind moves the whole forest while the rain splashes down in applause.
Am I in a dream or a storm or in eternity?
This is my life, every morning, while all of me searches for you in every aspect of every day.
I journal my thoughts and try ag...
Last night our son and his wife messaged us on their return flight from New York, their plane was directly overhead. We rushed into the sparkling cold crisp night and watched them flying through the stars. It was magical and mysterious and very real, us on the ground and them in the sky. I felt t...
The last days that I spent with you I must have said it hundreds of times. Part of me thought if I said it enough you would stay. And part of me wanted to make sure that you knew how incredibly, immeasurably grateful I was for you.
Back home, my mind desperately tried to remember...
I’ve been reading through some of my journals. Like everything, it’s difficult. I’m so thankful I wrote and so disappointed I didn’t write more.
Write, my friend. You and yours will never regret you recording the priceless moments in ink.
I read my own story, and details of our first ann...
Archway of the Angels
Today I watched
The eternal sky
And the timeless ocean
Rage, in beauty and peace
I listened to
The waves splashing
Their endless rhythm
From an enormous stone
Who calls the sea it’s home
Waited just f...
We spent a few days at the ocean, stayed in a new place, in a town we had only ever driven past. It was our first “family” trip together, without him.
The Central California road we traveled on for miles, was the lonely color of lifeless dirt. A stranded feeling of hopelessness persisted that we...
One more day, and I ask you to join me, help me. It’s her golden birthday and I want her to feel you here, feel your love, our love surroundings her.
I’ve looked for three weeks, which is amazing since last year I couldn’t even think about gift giving, or card writing or even saying “Happy”....
‘“When you possess great treasures within you, and try to tell others of them, seldom are you believed “……. As the days passed the boy’s heart became more and more silent. The boy and his heart had become friends, and neither was capable now of betraying the other.’
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelo...
Truth and Love.
These are the greatest virtues.
Every other virtue must filter through these to be pure.
What does it mean- to love?
Since my youth this concept resonated with me. Deep in my soul the understanding of honestly extending love to others felt right. Gandhi and Dr. King,...
Of all the human beings that walked the earth
How could I be me
And you be you?
Discover that which alchemy reveals
Bottle up the flood
Know it’s value as it turns to ink.
In crystal vessels set on a pedestal before a mirror
Touch the fibers of your gown of Ophir
Last I held you, love flowed between us.
Love is fluid.
Living, creating, weeping.
A year ago I was coming to terms with understanding that our home, is now my home. It seems so simple, but I remember how difficult...
I woke early this morning to attend jury duty. Last night I asked myself, “Can you do this? In the middle of the memories of “the week” that happened 14 months ago.”
“I think we can,”my mind told my heart.
While there, I visited with a familiar face, answered the question how I...
'O the summer time has come And the trees are sweetly bloomin' The wild mountain thyme Grows around the bloomin' heather'
Out harvesting brightly colored squash flowers in the early July morning, I watched intoxicated bees working in our daughter's garden. After snuggling inside the giant yell...
Yesterday was a sweltering hot day, the kind that makes your thoughts evaporate leaving you wondering if your whole mind might simply vaporize. A steady stream of ice water allowed for the flood of feelings to flow around the project I was attempting.
The last time I saw her, your mom entrusted...
One Week, One Year
I’ve re-lived this week every month for the past year. Spent our last day together, the sharing and the loving, our last night together, repeated good night and I love you and good morning one last time, over and over .
Every month. A week of dates draws x’s like stakes in m...
It’s 13 months today.
13 months since what feels like yesterday. I am watching and reading whatever I can find about nurses, doctors and end-of-life Doula‘s who have experienced the bedside of a person dying. This isn’t the first time that I’ve sought comfort scrolling through what is availabl...
May 13 Thursday Ascension Day 40 days after Easter
Five years ago today we said goodbye to Venice again, passing bundles of sticks delivered in the night while lace dried overhead and gondolas squeezed under bridges. Even the kindling and the laundry are charming in Venice, so much so that ou...
Wednesday May 12
I read late into the night last night about early grief. How little is written about it. How people write about “moving on, healing, recovery” but the true agony of early grief is rarely written about.
In my waking, my soul I listened, surrounded by the buttery yellow of...
I’ve been listening to and meditating on Lectio Divina since Ash Wednesday which continues after Easter from the Catholic lectionary.
John 16:5-11 the verse numbers happen to reflect the date today.
I note Thursday coming is Ascension Day.
Listen and meditate on what stands out are the inst...
Four weeks later, it is our 26th wedding anniversary.
On this date you and I made a promise to love each other unconditionally. We stayed true to that promise. It is my own priceless treasure floating like a lily on the ocean of tears in my heart. I’ll embark on that royal flower today, anchor...
I left the restaurant and arrived at our car, my mind surprised at the fact that I was going to be the driver. Eleven months have passed since you last drove me. Still I'm surprised. After meals out, we would return to our car, and you always opened the door for me, always for 26 years. I pause t...
As I drove through the rolling green hills, giant oaks were standing and stretching the way they do so elegantly, I kept looking for places to stop. Hillsides blanketed in white wildflowers looking ready for a bride to walk toward her lover begged me to pause. So many memories of asking you to wai...
Last March, the blossoms were bursting vibrant and lively, while our daughters and I baked and filled our home with the aroma of comfort that only home baked bread can provide. Music was enhancing our lives with opportunities for enjoyment and entertainment and fires were burning larger than li...
I’ve told you I was afraid
Afraid to winter without you
Afraid of the cold
Of the dark
Of the frozen dormancy
The garden has been a daily comfort
Delicately drawing my soul
As blooms fragrantly share
The undeniable truth
They warmly declare
That beauty c...
The wind pulled them
Into a Waltz
Like an evening fire
The sun winked warmly
A bittersweet embrace
Setting blossoms ablaze
Under a silvery canopy
Flaming rose and apricot
Veiled in grey
In the candled reflections
They exhaled the burning fragrance
Gnarled gray memories
Over my world
A season of newness
Of pale promises
Buzzing pink whispers
To my soul
Seeds of heal...
Hemmed in my heart
Threads of childhood
Bloom in humble blue
Delicately laced decay
An intricate skeleton
Into the air
Tender and fragile
In a neglected bloom
A miniature meadow
I wonder if I had a job right now, if I could keep track of time. Maybe I could tell what day of the week it was and the time of the day.
Greif is painful work.
I wake in the middle of the night and the silence whispers-“ your job right now is to take care of yourself.” So in the morning,...
These precious Valentine memories are frozen in fate, like blossoms under the snow,
glistening in the grief,
and full of pure tender romance.
My husband watched me as I captured these images. He listened to my confusion in the poetry I saw revealed in nature’s...
Each “anniversary “, each month, though I determine not to, my heart, mind and soul process the days.
Writing and art happen, I watch and listen to God's creation, weeping and exhaustion are constant, while a deep longing and loving and life continues. Mostly I feel like I’m almost waking f...
I can’t even remember what I was thinking when I left the house two minutes ago. I know I’m thinking about cookies. About writing something positive. About thinking something positive. About wrapping up the pain inside of me in something sweet and good, like Christmas cookies.
A castle with a moat around
Acres surrounded by vines
Silently waiting to be found
In celebration- my Love and I
The walls of stone so strong
Each stone placed with such care
The builders labored long
We walked into a world Olde
When I see clipped flowers, something deep inside me desires to get them into water, so they can last as long as possible sharing their beauty, fragrance and joy. A bouquet sitting out of water is actually distressing to me, the vision translates to moments of joy being lost.
In the middle of t...
I woke today
There was nothing
To comfort my soul
The air has cooled
The blooms have too
The garden has slowed
And my heart still aches
Our rose vine
In a tangled heap
Of blushed memories
Of God knows what
I woke early, prayed, said good morning to my husband And thanked God for the day. I slipped my feet into Angelo’s shoes, then placed my hands inside his gloves- “how beautiful are the feet that bring good news.”
Out in the Vineyard a covey of quail sang in flight, three bunnies hopped away, a...
This morning I wept in our shower
The downpour a trickle compared with my tears
My heart agonizing over being separated from you
Over past times of separation caused by immaturity, misunderstanding, my own foolishness or distraction are all real regrets that my conscience grieves
“Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done.” C.S.Lewis
“That doesn’t have to be your story.”
A dear friend spoke those words to me and I’ve been contemplating them ever since.
Sometimes we make choices to make something happen and sometimes things...
As I retell the story of the days before I said goodbye, echoes of your conversation with God stir in my spirit.
I imagine He must have told you, "I'm calling you home my precious son."
And you must have answered by praying for us, as you always have, not only for strength, but for our f...
In the warm seasons
I stayed outside most hours of the day
watching all the creatures in the garden.
I watched what was happening all around me,
All that I had no control over
I was embraced by the beauty and my soul was touched....
As we were cleaning up after dinner my daughter noticed that my husband’s cross was missing from its place over my heart.
For years, Angelo wore a necklace with a cross which his grandmother had given him. It was a part of him. It glittered over his children in the sweetness of summer rest and...
Why do I write?
Two wine barrels, weighty beyond what I could ever manage in my own strength or experience, are before me bursting with priceless liquid and only me to tend them.
I could watch as the overflow spills, disappearing into the ground.
I can carefully gather every possi...
With the generous gift of
Maintaining the integrity of our home
Comes a decision
That will involve
Heartache and sweet memories
Toil and thorns
Wrestling and wanting
A twisted journey
A Gentle warning
To consider well
The future of
A climbing rose
Her weighty effec...
There are two pictures I will always wish had been taken.
One was on Good Friday, and the other was on Mother’s Day.
On Good Friday the girls and I went for a hike that led up to the top of the hill that overlooks our town. It was a beautiful day to take an adventure, I was looking for, but n...
The children have planted an olive tree for their Daddy here at home now. Several people gave us olive trees to honor this man of peace. It has taken so much heart energy to do these meaningful tasks.
Olive oil is a staple in our kitchen and I wonder just how much of it has flowed through our...
When our children were young we began lighting an Advent wreath at Christmas time. Tasha Tudor’s idyllic holiday art inspired me to bring loveliness into each season of their childhood. We would light the candles and then go around the table three times, each person reciting the same verse fr...
Last Christmas season we were able to join our friends for a Christmas celebration. I remember how much we were both looking forward to visiting with friends we’ve known for years, and how excited our children were for us to have fun.
We all dressed up, ate amazing food , drank great wine, ta...
Our sons and daughters have been lovingly helping me to accomplish the daunting task of bringing energy and light more efficiently to our home.
Energy and light.
Accomplished the daunting task of
bringing sons and daughters
to help me bring love into our home.
Plants and flowers have communicated symbolically for centuries. I remember discovering that there was an ancient language linked to most everything that grows, it seemed a revelation of a mysterious timeless sensitivity , where fragrant scents speak and leaves can be listened to.
I keep trying to catch you before you fall
Seeking to save our future that’s all.
Every dream slips through my black lace,
At an excruciatingly highspeed sluggish pace.
My hands keep reaching to cradle your head
My body keeps searching for you in our bed,
My heart, my lungs, my...
The last rose and I
We watch each other
As she reaches for the sky
I wait for her to open
She waits for me to cry
Threatens to steal
Her abundant beautiful bloom
Timidly I cut her
And bring her to my room
If I’ve helped or
Untended and aging
She was loosed from her structure
Left in a heap
To await her destiny
And legacy honored
Gnarled and twisted
In the pure white cold
Awaiting her fate
Until only the uttermos...
Standing all around me
To be chosen
Your life work
Outsmarts the rain
Despite the tears
Twice I cried my way to the post office this week. The process of sending out a memorial card has been long and painful. Accomplishing a task I never ever wanted to do, and doing it excellently evokes indescribable feelings. Honoring Angelo and beginning the collective grieving process for friends...
The hours of tears that flowed through my day now rest in a heavenly vessel, placed between two bookends. Two widows, morning and evening held me up. They held my story, your story, our story as treasures. They used their own stories to extend compassion and share words of hope written on the pag...
The air is cold, as the leaves fly
The weeping of the great oaks
Falling, blanketing the woods
Power is paused
Attempting to outsmart ferocious fires
Leaving us in darkness
Seed pods stand intricate in design
Queen Anne's l...
There’s a space in the night
where the truth of eternity waits.
It’s a moment,
a split second between sleep and dreaming
that I grasp,
because in it, you are here.
In that moment there’s no pain,
in that moment my mind is at peace
in that moment you are here...
Tonight our surrender flag
Hangs under the midnight stars
Blankly staring at my heart
Our dreamless bed unashamed
Tenderly waits to comfort me
As I wrestle with where to lay my head
And I remember ……..
That day you fell to the heights of Glory
My world turned upside down
Gravity pulls on my soul
Paralyzed in my grief
I break the last commandments
Falsely accusing God’s own creation
A ripe cherry, permitted by the Creator
Dangles from her beak
And my heart cries out angrily
“It’s mine- you can’t take it!”
Away she soars in the sunligh...
You can come home now
Everything is still the same
Your clothes hung in the closet
For whatever has kept you long
I’ll even take the blame
Your chair at the table
Your sweatshirt by the door
The reality I am unable
To except anymore
My arms are open waiting...
One leaf is firey red
As I gather from the vine
I’m stepping where you’ve tread
Visions flashing through my mind.
I want to shout to you”Look-
They’re so beautiful and full!”
But Winemaker, from me you took
My heart, but never stole.
The varied colors of the leaves
He rises early
The vessels to be prepared.
With arms surly
The barrel he’ll take her
With the others to compare.
Back and forth he rocks her
She’s washed clean with such care.
The wire he lowers
Suffer that burns without air
Our white rose bush is blooming. Autumn’s faithful blossoms are far more delicate than the hardy springtime blooms, yet just as fragrant. One tiny blood red rose bud presents itself, suffering alone.
Today we press.
Your father and your sons, they’re here to press the grapes.
And you, yo...
I walk through your vineyard as a bird is caught in a net and I can’t untangle it. Your hands, I can see your hands, you would’ve been able to untangle it. It wouldn’t hurt your heart.
Tomorrow we harvest without you. The children are looking forward to the harvest while I'm tryi...
Our kids did exactly what you would have done- found more grapes, and harvested within days. Again we had sweet help and support from friends, who were able to experience the joy of fullness in the fruit and abundance in the vineyard.
Again we feasted to celebrate. In my exhaustion I pray...
This morning I sat in your office chair and looked out your window at the orb lighting you made from wine barrel rings, in the background hangs the family vineyard sign. I know this view made you happy as you accomplished your office work in the mornings. I took deep breaths trying to find your f...
This morning I went up to the Vineyard to water the lilacs and saw new growth. I said thank you. I wondered about what it will be like to enjoy them when they bloom. I wondered if I’ll still be here and I felt the emptiness . I thought about celebrating our anniversary, and I wonder how we’re g...
I woke up this morning from a dream of a dream of being in your safe embrace.
It was so very real, I heard your voice and then I kissed your face.
The lucid memories of the emotions of our first year.
Are replayed in my heart with every falling tear.
Too much goodness for me to comprehend...
When everything I’ve ever known becomes the unfamiliar
When evening skies are green chartreuse
Changing my world to other hues
When waking colors of the morning are unfamiliar too
The Change is everywhere and touches everything
Making all I ever knew nothing as it seemed
Where are yo...
When I was a little girl, before I understood the complications of adult relationships and responsibilities, of the disease of alcoholism, or of how neglect and abuse can impact an individual, all I knew is that when I visited my grandmother, she or my grandfather would go out early in the morning...
“The memory of the righteous will be a blessing, But the name of the wicked will rot”- Proverbs 10:7
Today I’m feeling incredibly grateful for my amazing husband, such a wonderful friend, a gentle leader, a man of integrity who chose to walk in righteousness. Being an optimist and always beli...
How long has it been since I saw you last?
A day, a week , three months, a year?
Time has become abstract, unreal
Immeasurable without you here
No thought of future, present IS past
Every moment so hard to bear
Numbing stinging pain is all I feel
The empty lifelessness of air
At sunrise I wake-
What do I do when half my heart is gone?
Run into the firey morning searching for love's embrace.
Beg the rose colored heavens
That this dawn he’d touch my face.
I weep at the thought of another day of asking countless times-
How do I eat,...
Last night I saw the roses that I was supposed to gather this morning. Eighteen of them, growing against a background of ripening grapes.
Organically beautiful compliments.
As I peacefully arranged my gathering, I was overwhelmed by the fragrance surrou...
I woke this morning to the sound of a dove. I thought I was dreaming, but the laughing sound of its flight repeated every few minutes, her wings speaking good morning to me on the wind.
“Wake up sleeper, come out to the Vineyard there’s so much to hear.”
Doves flit peacefully through my mem...
The stairway is emerging
Fragrant visions of Italy in the air
Blood red roses broken hearted watch
Wish filled prayers delicately ascend
Pure and surrendered I rise
To swallow up the sun
While budding rose and reaching grapevine intertwine
Creations poetry unveiled
Purple represents royalty, nobility, wealth, extravagance, creativity, wisdom, dignity, peace and mystery.
Two months since I gathered up all the purple to share with you, reminders of who we are. Two months since I felt the overwhelming joy of creation’s abundance colorfully communicating fo...
When I was a little girl, I used to run out to the field at recess time searching intently for the perfect spot.
All alone, in early spring, and somewhere deep within myself I knew I had a job to do. I had to create a home with walls and rooms, an entrance, windows, a bed to rest in and a ki...
How do you make your bed in the morning with such care?
Do you see the act as sacred-holy?
Would you if this evening he were not there?
The troubles of this world
which steal the truth and cause us pain,
Sneak into this holy space
Causing Heaven to refrain.
The plot of ground had been decided
The measuring and placement designed
The seeds ready for the soil
The children delighted to help you
We were just planting a garden My Love
The path is fallen leaves, history’s lace framed with a blanket of tender blossoms
Dreaming of unified frui...
Today, I knew today was coming. A few days ago I couldn’t sleep because my mind was trying to do the math. Math, it’s not my favorite, I’m capable, I just prefer the other side of my brain. But in the middle of the night my mind kept trying to do the addition and subtraction of coming up with the...
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Jesus- Luke 4:18 Isaiah Is 61:1
As long as I’ve been a guest and my in-laws house I’ve had the same view when I woke up in the morning. My husband by my side, I’d look up and there would be the Pieta and their 25th anniversary photo, both made smile.
Angelo took me to Rome just a year after we were married. The Vatican, where...