A life in threes

Tag: family


Dear Bobby:

I woke up this morning, thinking of you.

When I logged into my laptop, with coffee in hand, Facebook reminded me how three years ago today, my husband, my youngest son and I flew home to Massachusetts.


Two weeks before, we’d gotten that terrible phone call.

They’d said you’d gone unconscious.

They’d said that you’d had a stroke.

We prayed so hard through the days between

You squeezing your mother’s hand suddenly

And when they’d said you had a long road of rehabilitation ahead of you.

We had so much hope that you’d come through this somehow.


Though what I remember most was sitting with you in the backyard on that warm summer day in July 2014.

We were listening to Amy Winehouse, drinking whiskey,  and talking about heartbreak.

(I mean, what a cliche, right?)

But what I remember most was how easily I had slipped into sharing details with you about my most recent hurts, the latest in the litany of pain that marked that horribly emotional, difficult summer.

But that was you – you were always so open, so easy to talk to, to laugh with, and to just be. You listened and allowed me to just be what I was that summer, which was probably sad, and maybe even more than a bit emotionally broken.

And I will never forget what you said to me that day, while I wallowed in my emotions.

You said:

I don’t know how I’m gonna help, but I wanna help. I’m hearin’ ya and I want ya to know I’m here for ya. I wanna tell ya, I’m here. I’m gonna be here for ya. I wanna help ya figure this all out. Always. I’m here. I’m here for ya.

And that was so you. You always had the blunt honesty to admit to me that you didn’t know what you could do to help me, but you offered me your presence, with a standing offer to be there to help me figure it all out.

Well, Bobby I never did figure it all out, but you listened, and you were there, and that was really what I needed. It did help me, you did help me. I will always be grateful for that, for your presence, and for your help.


It was hard to say goodbye to you, Bobby.

But I am thinking of you today.


A long awaited visitor… and unexpected gifts.*

*(Otherwise known as a ‘what’s new: my life edition’…)

Happy 2019!

If you are a long-time reader, you may be aware of the fact that not only am I prone to social anxiety, I am not a fan of transitions either.

Therefore, as you might guess, I am not a fan of the month of January for that reason.


But this year, no one is more surprised than I to realize that I am looking forward to 2019….and looking forward to this new year enough to mean it sincerely when I say those words.

You see, as I said in my previous post, 2018 brought me lots of busy….and as usual, some of it wasn’t a heck of a lot of fun.

I know, I know, you can’t appreciate the sunshine unless you’ve had some rain, but yeah… there was a lot of rain.

But then…something unexpected happened.

Something so unexpected that in the 27 years since I’d prayed for this thing to happen….

I’d almost given up on it ever happening.

It wasn’t a prayer for myself; it was, oddly enough, a prayer for this man that I’d met (that I was still two years away from marrying)

who began patiently waiting for a phone call

and then, heartbroken, awaiting the visit

of the visitor who never came.


Meanwhile, in the intervening years, the name of this long-awaited visitor was never far from this man’s heart (or  his mind,) even if his name was spoken less and less…

Because, simply put, when things are what they are, there’s really no use in dredging up past pain just so you can drown in it.

Especially when you know that you’ve done your best — all you can do is to keep the door to your heart open.

So that’s what he did.

And that’s what I did too because I began hoping too …. and keeping the door to my heart open in solidarity with this man.

                 And the years passed.

Sometimes, he would tell me the stories, or we would look at some old photos, and he would speculate what he would say, what he would do if he got that phone call, or if the doorbell rang…

And things started happening between us two! — and we made things happen too.

It was all the typical things you’d expect to happen :

We moved in together. We got married. We had a child. We worked. Our child grew. We lived in apartments. We had another child. We bought a house. We celebrated and we mourned and we argued and we laughed.

And the not-so-typical things:

I joined the Army. I left the Army.  We moved our little family three states away, down south. We spent two years at one address, three years at another, and then we moved back home up north again.

Then my husband became a ‘road warrior’ – traveling all over the country while I worked part-time and raised our kids where-ever ‘home’ happened to be, and my husband (and their father) came home on weekends.

Several more years passed and my husband got a government job, living and working in DC, and I would visit him with our kids during school vacations.

What a pair of strange nomads we were, moving away and back again at least a half dozen times more, each time further and further south.  But then again, each time, we’d return north again, to our home state, like bouncing magnets, like stars to a fixed pole.

Each time we returned north, we wondered….

What if…?

Had we missed that phone call?

Did we miss the long-awaited visitor?

Perhaps we’d made ourselves too difficult to find?

So we settled down.

We marked ten years in one state.

We marked five years in one home.

Next thing you know, our oldest child graduated high school.

We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary.

Our youngest child learned to drive.

Meanwhile, his name would come up once in a while. And as the years passed, it didn’t hurt my husband as much anymore to talk about him.

My husband wondered how he was doing.

I wondered if he had a family of his own now.

We both wondered if he knew that we had ever existed.


And then, my husband received a phone call around 9:30pm on December 7th, 2018 – from him.

Our long-awaited visitor.

At first, I admit that there was a lot of awkwardness.

Next, there were the ‘prepared’ questions…. and the ‘long-anticipated answers.’

And yes…It was so much more than everyday conversation.

You see, my hope, my prayer from 27 years ago had been:

Please may that little boy look for his father one day….

Please may he call on the phone…

Please may he come to find V…

And a few years later that hopeful prayer became

Please…may he come to find us someday.

And here they were: the answers to our hopes…and the long-awaited response to that prayer of so long ago…!

I am not ashamed to admit that after a moment or two of utter speechlessness,

V and I both burst into tears of overwhelming joy.

You see, he told us of what he’d been told.

He told us how he had wondered.

He told us that he had been looking for us for the past 6 years. 

He didn’t know for certain what our last name was until three months ago.


And we found out that he still lives in New England – still living mere miles from the area that our hearts would’ve called ‘home’.

He served two tours of duty, one in Afghanistan, and one in Iraq, and he is a decorated war veteran.

He has been married for 10 years, and he and his wife have three children – two sons and a daughter.

And if that wasn’t enough of a gift – to hear in his voice that breathless mixture of relief and joy at having finally found his father at last – it was even more so in that he wanted to meet us.

I’m sorry, but is it OK? I don’t want to be pushy. You have no idea how long I’ve wanted to find you….

So he flew down to Florida to spend New Year’s Eve with us.

And it was amazing and it was wonderful….and though it was 27 years in waiting, it was one of the sweetest moments of my life to see my husband V finally embracing that boy – his son (!) – at the airport gate

It was truly a wonderful, beautiful way to end 2018!


Month for Loki, Day 28: Celebration.

(Psst…I am aware I am a wee bit behind, but here we go…)


Did you know that July 28th is Peruvian Independence Day?

Well, I did not.

So, this past Saturday, my husband and I were invited to the home of the parents of my son’s (Peruvian) fiancee -to celebrate! 🙂

Much like Fourth of July in the US – Peruvian Independence Day is celebrated with much food, drink, and revelry in the form of dancing, music, and singing.

Yes, we drank and ate some great barbecue.

And, as it is a tradition in her family, both my husband and I were persuaded into not only singing karaoke, but dancing.

(As for anyone who has been following me for a while – the reason why this experience may fall under the auspices of an offering for Loki, is that I am prone to social anxiety. This sort of situation – a large social gathering that most non-socially anxious folks would consider an enjoyable party – is a one-way ticket to a panic attack for me.  The added aspect regarding family and hospitality was a not-so-surprising feature of the day, and the importance of that was not lost on me as well. Besides, one might recall that I have been promising Him that I would dance and/or sing at a social event for years.)

And so, I finally did just that.

I danced several rounds and I sang not one but several songs, much to the surprise of my husband and children.

There was such an air of joyful celebration throughout the day.

My husband and I felt honored to be invited to share in that joy, and I can honestly say that the hours (yes, hours!) flew by.

It was truly an amazing day.


And one of the most delightful surprises of the day was in the traditional drinking of a particular cocktail – the Pisco Sour:

It consists of Pisco – a clear brandy made of fermented grapes which originate from Peru.

The traditional form of the Pisco Sour contains a shot and a half of Pisco, an egg white, a dash of simple syrup, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Or, in the case of a quick fix  – a shot of high-quality Pisco, a splash of ginger ale, and a few lime slices.

It was rather tasty – and the ‘quick version’ as you might imagine, is deliciously similar to another of my favorite drinks -the Irish Buck 🙂



On Saturday night, my family and I attended a lovely wedding held on a beach in St. Petersberg, FL.

We arrived a bit early, so to pass the time before the ceremony began, we looked for shells on the beach.

Almost immediately, my husband V found this shell, and thought to save it for me, as he pointed out that there was a rune on it.

At first glance, V saw Sowilo.
When my son K looked at it, he thought it was closer to Kenaz.
Meanwhile I saw Othala.

I thought that Othala was rather fitting, as we were attending a wedding, and Othala strikes me as a rune of family and heritage, of community and ancestral/spiritual wealth.

I thought it appropriate since a wedding is a family event, that involves communion between two families, wherein often guests (of perhaps several generations) gather to celebrate.  (We briefly considered giving the shell to the couple and explaining its delightful appropriateness in regards to us finding it on the day of their wedding, but then I recalled that the couple were rather devout Christians who may not have appreciated runes as being significant -let alone a spiritual/ancestral blessing – upon their union.)

It was a pleasant and surprising thing, and upon arriving home, I posted a picture of the shell, asking others what rune they saw.

While most agreed with me that it definitely looked like Othala, one friend mentioned that she’d initially seen Gebo a moment before she noticed that it was Othala.  When I told her about the circumstances in which the shell was found, she agreed even more so that the seashell was a sign of blessing of the ancestors upon the wedding — and truly a gift from the sea. ❤