“I’d like to go with,” I say. “Don’t you have something on Saturday?” “Just another funeral,” I say, stifling a small nervous laugh. Five funerals in six weeks is a record in my world. For the first time I grasp a glimmer of what it must have been like for my brother Tim during the…

Standing behind me he said, “I’m going to place my hands on your hips. Now as you walk forward, I am going to be behind you, slightly lifting up either side of your hips. Are you ready?” Wearing only my bra and underwear, I sought to set aside my nervousness. I focused. I began to…

I pull the thick flannel sheet a little higher over my shoulders without opening my eyes. As I lie on my side in the morning darkness, the temperature is in the single digits and the wind chill puts it below zero. Winter is really here. I roll on to my back with my eyes still…

I slowly unpacked my essentials: Journal √ Stack of books√ Yoga mat√ Candle√ Herbal tea√ White satin slippers√ Each winter I take a solo retreat for reflection. While living alone gives me ample opportunity for solitude and sitting on my sofa, I know myself.  Without a boundary of distance and drive time, my mind quickly…

When I was a child, I rarely interacted with any of my extended family members. Uncle Leonard sporadically sat at our table for a fried chicken dinner. Two of my father’s sisters occasionally brought panic with unannounced visits to our home. And I cannot recall a single birthday, holiday, or wedding celebrated with a cousin….

The enthusiasm is palpable. I see energy in the actions. The new gym membership. The new meditation practice. The new juicer. My coaching calendar fills with appointments. Recovering from the holiday hullabaloo, we set our sights on the year ahead. Some set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-based) goals. Some identify intentions. Some resolve to…

Arlyce asked for two things. One: To celebrate on the actual day. Two: Cards. Arlyce was clear. Her birthday falls four days before Christmas. For decades it has been gifts “for your birthday and Christmas” wrapped in Santa paper. She understood that the birth of Jesus trumped her special day. But still. After too many…

I didn’t notice that the paper was red and green, only that it was beautifully wrapped.  It was three days past my December birthday. I assumed the gift awaiting me at the end of a long day did not want to wait another moment to be opened. I removed the plaid bow. I carefully lifted…

This week marks a decade since Howard died. Like my father, he died within weeks of a lung cancer diagnosis. Dad had died on Christmas day, Howard the first week of December. Two years later my mother’s would also be a December death. With the arrival of my December birthday, my heart memory reminds me…

I love to talk. It is a natural state for me. I think by talking aloud. For 25 years I made a litigator’s living by talking. The fifth of eight children, talking was a serious survival skill. I enjoy talking to a room of hundreds or walking into that same room and making a connection…