Grief and Joy

My father passed away 7 years ago today.

He was powerful, confident, loving and complicated.

For 30 years he filled up my world.

For the last 2,555 days I have walked this road without him physically present.

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Grief is a strange thing.

I liken it to a wound that scabs over but never completely heals.

You never know when the scab will break open and the contents its covering well to the surface.

Experience has taught me that the marking of the days and years since his passing does not lessen the grief  but rather shifted how close it sits to the surface.

I know this day is coming so I can center my focus- away from the pain and towards the joy.

I will attend a work event tonight and channel him. The man who loved the art of connecting with people.

Reaching out a hand for the greeting, I will think of  the feel of his well-worn hands.

His eyes will glimmer in mine this evening as conversations are unfolded. The dance of one topic to the next and I will be reminded of his boundless energy for words.

And his smile;

I will think of it a million different times tonight. I will remember how it would take over his face. How you couldn’t help but feel accepted when he turned your way. I will pray my smile reflects the same openness.

I know there will be days ahead that take me by surprise.

Days where I unexpectedly ache from his absence.

But today

because of how he taught me,

because of the way he lived his life,

I can find the joy.











To Run


Monday morning found me in the desert logging 7.5 miles.

Surrounded by the most breathtaking views.

Sun rising as I ran; red glow, clear air.

I focused on my mechanics.

The planting of my feet,

the moving of my hips,

the rhythm of my breath.

At least 5 of my runs each week are spent on the treadmill.

It’s just the nature of my life.

When given the chance to log miles outside, I feel completely free and unencumbered in a way that’s almost impossible to articulate.

I recognize how lucky I am to have found this sweet spot in my life;

this place where I can quiet my head and hear my heart.

I am anxiously awaiting the clear, crisp fall air this Sunday morning as I stand at the starting line with 18,000 others for the chance to run 13.1 one more time this year.

And for these opportunities, the moments to run, I am incredibly grateful.



Saying Goodbye

peter pan quoteIt came quickly;

saying goodbye to this magical place.

A place where little girls grew in confidence and Momma’s watched dreams take root.

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I don’t know that it would have been any easier had she (or I) seen it coming.

The closing of those barn doors,

the selling of the horses,

the disbanding of teammates turned friends.

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Teaching a 10-year-old to say good-bye is hard even when her life has not been immune to change.

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Her riding was and is her refuge.

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This place was our families safe spot.

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Many hours logged here on horses and playing in pastures.

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How do you teach children the value in saying good-bye? How do you show them there is as much to be gained in the farewell as there is in the hello?

We talked about how it’s ok to sit in the moment, cry and grieve what no longer will be;

that good-bye is a requirement to take part in the next step on the journey.

I’m not sure I had the right answers.

She laughed at my attempt to turn yet another moment into a life lesson; rolled her eyes at the absurdity of my words.

But, we are moving forward.

Each day more resolute that we will find that safe spot again, that place where her dreams can take flight.

Waiting for that hello.