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

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

Everyone’s Gone!

Sun shines through lace half-curtains, creating a whimsical shadow on the floor. Through open windows, birds are loudly and happily communicating the joy of what life brings to them.  It is a picture-perfect day - and it is also absolutely quiet in our home.  Everyone is gone.  For the past eight days, there have been … Continue reading Everyone’s Gone!

Dear Dorothy – A Letter to my Mother-in-Law

Tomorrow I will board a plane and travel to Florida for my mother-in-law's funeral. Since we found out last week, I have been thinking about death - how final it is, how permanent it seems, and how unreal it is until you are actually back in a place where the person lived. I read these … Continue reading Dear Dorothy – A Letter to my Mother-in-Law

On Death and Living in the Moment

Today's post is from my daughter-in-law Lauren. She is amazing and I love her words in this piece. You can read more about her work here. Thanks for reading! New Years Eve, four years ago.  It was 9 days before my dad died, but we didn't know that then. Cancer doesn't give you a timeline. … Continue reading On Death and Living in the Moment

Foundations & Generations 

We traveled to Los Angeles this weekend for an early Christmas with our son and daughter in law. It was a beautiful weekend with sun and palm trees, the warmer temperatures a welcome change from an arctic freeze. Our East coast cold can chill the bones and the soul.  From eating our fill of great … Continue reading Foundations & Generations 

To the One Who Got Pregnant too Soon

I woke with a familiar pressure on my bladder. It was the middle of the night, and I needed to go to the bathroom. I came back to bed in tears. "I think I'm pregnant." I whispered to my sleepy husband as I shook his shoulder. "That's ridiculous" he said as he turned over and … Continue reading To the One Who Got Pregnant too Soon

Oh Canada

Today I’m boarding a plane and going home. While the Canada Goose is turning her beak to the south, I’m turning mine to the north. I’m off to Canada! Canada is where my story started. There’s a warm and weird nostalgia that comes over me when I think about Canada and all things Canadian: Coffee … Continue reading Oh Canada

Conversation and Laughter at a Funeral Home

The New Comer Funeral Home is in a primarily residential area in Rochester, New York. It is a one story, unassuming building and the only indication that its business is death is the word "funeral." We arrived at the funeral home on a bleak and rainy Friday afternoon for an appointment at 1pm. No one had died. There … Continue reading Conversation and Laughter at a Funeral Home

Until Next Time

His eyes are so much like his mom's that I am startled. He nestles into my shoulder, knowing that I'm not his mom, but that somehow - I am safe. I stare and stare and I have no concept of time. I realize that I could stare at this wonder all day. This wonder is … Continue reading Until Next Time

Love Goes the Extra Mile

We've just come back from a family vacation where we spent seven nights near the Smoky Mountains in northern Tennessee. Every morning we woke up to far off frothy fogs rising up between the hills and ridges across the horizon. Every evening we watched the sun's benediction settle over and under and behind the mountains. … Continue reading Love Goes the Extra Mile