letters into the void — wishing you a happy Fourth🇺🇲🎉

dear Mike,

(here’s me, with some Seattle’s Best in a mug my friend Dave made, with some good coffee and relaxation)

I’m supposed to head to Caramoor today with B; her husband, C, is playing with the band. Knitting, food, music, naps, staying pretty much baseline stoned all day, packing extra sunscreen and bug spray and water. Knowing I’ll need a way to go inside my own head when being surrounded by couples and families gets too overwhelming. I am grateful to my friends for including me in things, and the balance between this gratitude and feeling so very alone, so much “which one of these things is not like the other?” is shaky and blurred. Desperately wanting to go, to not be weak.

She and I went to a Yoga Nidra class last night, guided meditation, and while I’m the least woo-woo person I know, something about it was truly magical. It’s the second one I’ve been to in as many weeks with the same teacher, and after a lifetime of not being able to meditate EVER with this noisy head of mine, it appears that I’ve found the way for me. I don’t believe in chakras and stuff but she’s telling us to imagine the color orange when we inhale and exhale, to imagine that color coming from a place right above the navel. Orange. Feels like a fire to me, breathing in and out.

I was able to focus on the sound of the teacher’s voice, to allow the noisiness to enter my head and then just sort of flick it away, dismissing thing after thing after thing. It was harder, this second time; I’d been at the pottery all day, prepping for tomorrow’s firing, and thinking a lot about my upcoming move and everything I need to get done (and just how much I’m not getting done), feeling the pain in my shoulder and trying to disassociate from it, feeling that I want to share this with you, this destressing thing, feeling like you might find some value in it. Feeling energized afterwards and wanting to share that, too. Remembering after the last class that I was able to recall the feeling of peace I’d had even when at work, and that I was able to carry it with me. Wanting to share the small things that are helping me find a measure of peace and comfort in the hope that perhaps they might help you, too.

Having no idea if you even read these anymore and knowing I need to write anyway, that writing always soothes me, that it’s one thing I can do alone and anywhere that is at once cathartic and productive and that some version of this will make it into my work.


(after writing this and editing for an hour I’ve decided to not go to Caramoor. Heading across the street to K and B’s at 4 for a small bbq instead, then back here for an air conditioned bedroom and Netflix with Mojo.)

Eighteen months. 13 March, 2019

The juxtapositions of today are incredible. 
Eighteen months ago today I was sitting in a waiting room at Westchester Medical Center with my mother and one of my best girls, knitting, while doctors were feverishly working to save the life of my husband. They wouldn’t be able to. I have Become The Salty Widow, much as The Velveteen Rabbit Became.

Today, a year and a half later, I sat with a wonderful man in this lovely window seat at Kurzhal’s Coffee and began to teach him how to knit (at his request six months prior) in and around coffee and conversation. A normal coffee date. Normal conversation. Things that normal people in a relationship do. Everyday things, out in the sunshine.

I didn’t think that I could be this happy again. I didn’t think I deserved to feel this way again, for someone to feel this way about me. Someone who I’ve told some of my darkest secrets and has not only embraced me, but has promised to only use my confidence in him to help. Someone who is mindful of triggers. A careful, caring person. An interested, interesting person. A partner who wants the same things I do, not just in one area but all. Someone who meets me on every level, again, with feeling.

I can, I do, and he does. 

Compersion is an amazing thing. Communicating fears and feelings only helps, only makes things better, easier. The last year that Gary was alive we did a lot of work, a lot of talking about what made us us; what we meant to each other, what we needed, what we wanted from and for each other. The only people outside our marriage who knew are those directly involved, and my backup, my besties beyond besties. My best girls. 

Thank you, my love, for setting the bar high. Thank you, my girls, for reminding me to keep it there.