In the Face of a Growing Pandemic

2020-03-13 Growing Pandemic

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Somehow, this week went from “growing concern” to “everything hit the fan” in the past 48 hours.

We have been following the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) since the outbreak in Wuhan, China.  I remember the spread of bird flu (H7N9) and swine flu (H1N1) years ago.  H1N1 in particular was spreading in 2009 when my son was an infant.  I remember being nervous, though I do not really remember taking many precautions.  It likely never reached the community where I lived at the time, so it was less threatening. Continue reading

Understanding Well Being for Myself

2020-03-11 The Definition of Well Being

Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash

Someone I know recently asked for help on Facebook with an article she was writing.  She wanted to know: What does “well being” mean to you?  What does it look like?

The responses were broad, and ranged from work-life balance, to stability, to exercising and eating well, to a sense of serenity and being present. Continue reading

Knowing When Something is Off

2020-03-05 Knowing When Something is Off

Photo by Ben Blennerhassett on Unsplash

A few weeks ago, I felt like my heart was racing and I could not get calmed down.  I know the exact date: February 14th.  Valentine’s Day.  The day after Iris’s birthday.

Ger and I had spent part of the day in Chicago, having lunch.  On the drive back out to the suburbs, I felt it.  Like I could not catch my breath.  It was odd, since I had no reason to be upset or nervous – in fact, we had just spent a lovely morning together.  I brushed it off, wondering if perhaps I was getting sick. Continue reading

When We Were Young

2020-02-26 When We Were Young

Photo by JR Korpa on Unsplash

“I woke up as the sun was reddening; and that was the one distinct time in my life, the strangest moment of all, when I didn’t know who I was – I was far away from home…. I wasn’t scared; I was just somebody else, some stranger, and my whole life was a haunted life, the life of a ghost.”

— Jack Kerouac (On the Road)

I was recently looking at a photo of Ger and myself, from 2005.  They were part of engagement photos that my aunt took for us in her backyard, nestled in the coulee where I grew up.  I was 21, and he was 22.  Both of us still in college, through I graduated in December that year and we were married less than a month later.  We are both smiling and looking at each other. Continue reading

It’s Never Just Valentine’s Day

2020-02-15 The Day That She Died

In the passing of years since my daughters died, I have become more prepared for the “hard days” – the hardest being their birthdays.  Nelle’s birthday was Labor Day weekend that particular year, so it ushers in multiple days of grief in the subsequent years.  And Iris’s birthday is February 13th – the day before Valentine’s Day.  As our family prepares to shower love on each other, I am slammed the day before with how she is not with us. Continue reading