I Hate Saying Goodbye

It’s a sunny day in Thessaloniki. The sky is indescribably blue and Mount Olympus is in full view, the snow capping its peak like marshmallow fluff. From far away snow is so pretty! I got up early, knowing that I didn’t want to be rushed, instead opting for a leisurely coffee and pastries. We came … Continue reading I Hate Saying Goodbye

An Old Love

Every night before they went to sleep, my dad would kiss my mom. Even during his final month of life, when he was feeling weaker by the day, the last thing my dad did before he fell asleep was kiss my mom goodnight. They would pray and then he would kiss her. He knew that … Continue reading An Old Love

The Holy Work of Grieving

"Why must holy places be dark places?"* Two days ago, my friend's dad died. In twenty first century vernacular - she "lost" her dad. "Lost" is such a silly thing to say - like she needs to just go searching for him and she will find him; like it's a child's game of hide 'n … Continue reading The Holy Work of Grieving

Christmas on Beacon Hill

Just a short walk from my workplace is Beacon Hill, a historic Boston neighborhood with narrow brick streets, antique gas-lit lamps, and row houses. Beacon Hill is beautiful and quintessentially Boston. Visitors from around the world walk through the streets, finally making their way back to the red-bricked Freedom Trail that winds through the city … Continue reading Christmas on Beacon Hill

Advent Reflection – To Love is to Hurt

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up … Continue reading Advent Reflection – To Love is to Hurt

The Season for Candle Time

This is the time of year where morning comes slowly and evening quickly. I feel melancholy as I wake up far before the sun rises over the Atlantic ocean, just a few miles to the east of us. As much as I want to embrace these days and all they hold, I am a woman who … Continue reading The Season for Candle Time

Thanksgiving for the Broken-hearted

Robynn and I were recently texting about Thanksgiving. This year both of us will fill our houses and hearts with people who are hurting. These will be the tables of the broken-hearted, chairs of the grieving, glasses of the bewildered, and dessert plates of the deserted. What do we do when our tables are filled … Continue reading Thanksgiving for the Broken-hearted

The Funeral Cocoon

November has come and the golden-red hope of Autumn is rapidly turning to bare trees and chilly winds. It is a cold time to lay a coffin in the ground. We sat in a small chapel at the Massachusetts Veteran’s Cemetery in Winchendon, Massachusetts.  Winchendon is the town where I was born, where I took … Continue reading The Funeral Cocoon

In Memory:Ralph Edward Brown, June 7,1926 – October 24,2017

On June 7th, in 1926, a baby boy was born to a family in the city of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He was fourth in the family, joining three sisters, a mom and a dad. Two years later his youngest sister was born and the family was complete. He was named Ralph Edward Brown and he is … Continue reading In Memory:Ralph Edward Brown, June 7,1926 – October 24,2017

Empty Spaces

I walked through the darkened living room just now and gave a little gasp as I looked toward your spot.  Your chair is so empty.  Gone is your big personality and sheer joy at being alive. Gone is the glass of water, the box of tissues, the tank of oxygen. Gone is your Swiss Army … Continue reading Empty Spaces

But Still – It Hurts

Dear Dad, I'm up early and all is dark outside. They say it is going to rain and even now I hear the drops splatter on the pavement outside. I woke up thinking of you - your life as it was before the last six months, your life as it was the last six months, … Continue reading But Still – It Hurts

A Fight to Live

On Sunday afternoons we observe post liturgical nap time. It is a sacred time where the apartment is absolutely still as we go to our respective spots and either nap, read, or rest in general. We have done this as long as we have been married and I don't believe it will ever change. This … Continue reading A Fight to Live

Roll, Cut, Measure & Mix – Love, Legacy & Pie

  We celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend. Many of the extended family came from around the world to see my dad and get together as a family. Celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving was a great way to feed the family while we honored the Canadian side of our extended family. All families have holiday traditions and ours … Continue reading Roll, Cut, Measure & Mix – Love, Legacy & Pie

Sacred Spaces

On Saturday, my youngest daughter, my mom, and I shared laughter and joy in an unlikely space - a women's fitting room. We began with tea and decadent sweets at a European tea house and restaurant. In an elegant space we sipped our tea while whipped cream, chocolate, raspberries, strawberries, almond cream, and meringue mixed … Continue reading Sacred Spaces

Remembering those First Days of a Newborn

It's my daughter Annie's birthday today. Annie is our firstborn. She ushered us gently into parenthood 32 years ago. On day two she slept so long that we sat around her woven Moses basket like we were humans examining an alien being. The conversation went something like this: "She's so perfect." "Yes. She is SO … Continue reading Remembering those First Days of a Newborn

On Birthday Cards and Aunt Charlotte

Each year for as long as I can remember, I would receive a birthday card from my Aunt Charlotte. It didn't matter where I was in the world - that card always came. While other aunts lived in nice suburban houses with picket fences and bay windows, Aunt Charlotte lived in the city - New … Continue reading On Birthday Cards and Aunt Charlotte

I Like Family – Family is my Favorite

In a faded, old photo album I read the words "Family makes you feel whole and strong - vibrant and needed." The words are typed on an ancient typewriter, long gone in our travels and moves from house to house and country to country. The pictures that surround the words have lost their color and … Continue reading I Like Family – Family is my Favorite