Wednesday, August 22, 2018


 1.    Foremost, I miss Craig’s unconditional love for me, which was both romantic and practical. I knew in my heart, because of his actions and his words, that he wanted only my highest good. We told each other we were loved every day. 

2.     I miss the security he brought to my life. I always felt safe with him. If we were apart I knew that if something went wrong, if I couldn’t, he would come take care of it…and never begrudgingly. I’m not ashamed to say that, at times, he was my knight in shining armor.

3.  I miss his strength, both emotionally and physically. He was a rock…of good character, spiritual wisdom, faithfulness, and courage. Physically, Craig did not have a ripped body, but he was all muscle (well, not all :), and would lift a car off you if pinned. Many times, he would carry or lift something that seemed impossible…like the lawn mower out of a wet ditch with me still on it! And those powerful hands…wrapping around mine every time we walked together. And most of you can testify about his bear hugs…or handshakes!

 4.    I miss our true companionship (a phrase from a Marc Cohn song that we adopted as our own). We could and would talk for hours with one another about anything and everything. We loved each other’s intellect, and the transparency and vulnerability we cultivated in our marriage.

5.     I miss his examples of loyalty and generosity towards friends, family, work and co-workers, and any organization he was part of. He was truly a faithful man.

6.       I miss the nicknames (new ones practically every week), the notes we left each other, the film quotes, the inside jokes, the silliness that would overtake us at times, the pillow talk, and the “making fun of all the weird people.” (an inside joke)

7.       I miss his kisses – small pecks on the cheek and passionate lip-locks, as he would call them. He was a really good kisser!

8.       I miss his “can do” attitude. I now realize he was the fuel behind almost every spark of inspiration either of us had. I will need to learn to be my own incendiary device going forward.

9.       I miss his encouragement. Craig’s full-time job early on was to remind me I was not as deficient as I thought I was. He often verbalized how grateful he was for my gifts and talents…and in the end I began to believe him.

10.   I miss how his mind worked. He taught me new ways to look at things. He was strategic – in everything from buying a refrigerator to playing a board game to voting in a primary election. It’s why he loved baseball I came to understand. He solved problems. He negotiated deals. He built bridges…and never burned a one.



Tuesday, August 14, 2018


As I sit here half asleep, half awake, a fog is descending. Or rising, I’m not sure which. Or maybe it is just the rays of light exposing what was already there; last night’s settled dew seeping out from the leaves and petals and feathers of sleeping birds. 

This morning before dawn, the barren, leftover bulk of a once-magnificent sycamore fell, crashing so hard it woke me from sound dreaming.

While the faint light held, I stood before the stripped-down trunk, marveling in my slippers at a great many things. How was it still mostly intact? See how it landed neatly in a clearing beside a 50-foot hemlock and a taller tulip poplar, taking very little with it. What sounds had it made right before the full uprooting and collapse? Had there been the slightest breeze, or the extra weight of a woodpecker that caused it to surrender to the pull of the earth?

I thought about how many squirrel nests it housed high in its branches year after year. And I thought about the poem, When Great Trees Fall by Maya Angelou, shared by a friend just a few feet from this fallen sycamore during my husband’s second Remembrance Gathering. That tree, like my husband, was in its prime twenty-seven years ago when we bought our home. Over the last ten years it kept shedding its glory one limb and one branch at a time. Then with no warning, like that other horrible, groggy morning in August, the tree fell; and a great soul also died.

This landscape, this yard, will always be changing and adapting. What is in the shade will eventually be in the light. What was planted in the sun will someday flounder in its absence. Lives, like the kingdoms they inhabit, come and go, remembered for two or three generations, then a name on a page of history. But still, there must be a great journey from this ever-shifting world, where splinters from falling branches can pierce our hearts; someplace where it is cool and perfect under the blazing sun.