Thursday, August 9, 2012


Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.
---Emily Dickinson

I have been away from blogging for a while--since March to be more precise. May first marked the one year anniversary of my father's death which sent me into a bit of a dark place, and then my mom died somewhat unexpectedly May 24th (at almost 81-years-old the imminence of death is always apparent). Thrown further into the darkness, I was just beginning to see light when the older of our two girls, the golden retriever, became suddenly ill. We laid Abbie to rest July 8th. It has been a dark, painful summer.

Despite it all, I've only gained about 5 pounds. At other times in my life, I have gained as much as 20 or 25 pounds in 6-8 weeks of much less stress. My nutrition hasn't been perfect. Neither have my workouts. But I have stuck to the basics as much as I could, and that has been my saving grace where my weight is concerned.

Over these months, I've found myself in a bit of a strange identity crisis. I am almost 39-years-old, but losing the last of my parents somehow felt like losing what was left of my childhood. Suddenly, with a few heart-wrenching words, I was thrust fully into adulthood as crazy as that sounds. The two people to whom I would always be a child were gone. I no longer had the safe haven of their unconditional love and acceptance, their glowing pride in me. I no longer had their wisdom or their friendship. I no longer had the one thing on which I could depend, no matter what, to catch me if I went into free fall. Or so my heart felt at the time. In truth, my dear hubby provides all of that, but in a different sort of way. That truth, however, was clouded by the sorrow and a feeling of utter isolation. I miss my parents and my babygirl every single moment of every single day. My heart often feels like a sucking wound, a hole swallowing up the light and goodness and joy around me, and I am ready to leave that feeling behind. I have come to the conclusion that I cannot do that while standing still. I must place that package of pain on the ground and walk away from it, keeping the goodness and happiness and wonder of parents who did it as well as they and a dog who taught me about love and the joy that can only come from a lack of expectation in only the way she could.
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Part of walking away from that pain is getting back to some of the things in my life that I enjoy. Posting here is one of them. So here's to new beginnings...


  1. Jennifer,
    I so remember the day my Mom died, I know that feeling you speak of when the last of your parents dies. It's a truly cold, mental feeling. No matter what the age we are, it does feel like a heavy burden of "now I'm the parent" thing. I'll never forget it. I'll also never forget them and for what they did/sacrificed to make me the person that I am today. I know they're proud of me. I know they are always with me through their spirit deep into my soul.
    To also lose a pet puts an empty spot in our lives. They are so unconditional and loving that we sometimes take that love for granted.
    My thoughts and prayers to you Jennifer as you transition things in your life. I pray that God wraps his arms around you and helps you along your journey finding peace.

  2. Thank you, Diana,
    I'm glad someone "gets" that feeling. It's such an odd thing that I think only those who have been through it can understand it.