See-saws and raspberries.

Jun 1st

I know the key to harmony in all the universe, in every scenario. I know it and you probably know it, too. But most people don’t employ it and I only do on occasion.

It’s balance folks. A little up, a little down. A little right, a little left. Hard work and you should rest. Be selfish, but also give. Yin and yang. It applies to everything.

I think my marriage is a fabulous balancing act. We are different, but not too different. Similar, but not the same. Sweet and salty. Serious and silly. We’ve had great times, we’ve faced terrible times. Through and after it all, we are content. For fifteen years last week, we are a happily committed pair.

And about last week – it was long and sad, but thankfully there was balance. For every moment of darkness, there were incredible gestures of kindness. For all the cursing at fate and stories from the past, there was our anniversary to celebrate and the reminder that we have a great life, incredible kids with exciting futures, and lots of people who care.

How have your friends shown love and support during a difficult time?

It is humbling when an awful event happens and neighbors, friends, friends of neighbors, your kids’ teachers, the architect measuring your kitchen, all rise to offer genuine compassion. Notes and flowers and dinners. Calls. Messages. Beer. Cookies. Distraction. 

My running partner took care of Bunsen when we were gone all day. She offered and I accepted. I hadn’t considered that little, high maintenance detail. Letting out Bunsen is not so simple. On a regular afternoon, she’s difficult to motivate. When it’s hot… ooph.

Local friends brought us two racks of ribs cooked for something like 16 hours and another showed up with a roast chicken stuffed with garlic and lemons. Serious comfort food. Our very classy “neighbors up the hill” dropped off the biggest orchid I’ve ever witnessed in person. It’s like hotel lobby big and beautiful.

Our good friends from Baltimore came to visit on Sunday (we had planned it a long time ago) then came back on Tuesday for the service. That’s a lot of miles on I-95. And two of Jon’s college pals drove the super sucky 5-hour stretch of Pennsylvania turnpike from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia for the purpose of (literally) standing by their “brother.”

So much kindness that it even mellowed my anger at an unnamed relative who knows me well (or at least should know me well) but chose to ignore what she knows to instead make me uncomfortable at every opportunity with unwanted, wild hugs and empty statements. “I’m sure this is hard for you…” Thank you, thank you for pointing that out again and again. Of course it’s hard for me to watch my husband mourn. Despite your belief, I’m not an icy bitch. Backing off would be a great gift right now, but you won’t do it. Instead you’ll force me to dodge your crazy arms or counter with a snide reply. It is passive aggression at its finest, in the worst possible setting.

Sorry for bringing negativity to my blog. Nothing like a true tragedy to make you lose all patience for bullsh*%! I feel better now.


The good that see-sawed that bitter situation? My sister spent a few busy hours bonding with her goofy goddaughter. They hung out during the service because an 18 month old can sit still for exactly two seconds. Then she pops up. You can almost hear it. “Pop!” Speaking of sounds, Aunt Gwynie taught Bea to make raspberry noises. Which kind of backfired, because now when you mention Aunt Gwynie, this is her unflattering response. Ha!

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