Celebrity Loss List

Alarm Clock

Celebrity Loss List

It is the time of year when the media outlets start showcasing the celebrities we lost this year. The actors whose performances riveted us in our seats. The musicians whose music we grew up singing to in the car. The authors whose books made us think in different ways.

But this year was a year many of us experienced personal losses; family, friends, coworkers, and our fur babies. Lives which ended before we rang in 2022.

I would love to take a moment to talk about a few of my losses. Losses I haven’t yet processed. Which don’t seem real yet, because I haven’t yet experienced the events they should be at, but won’t.

I am not doing this for sympathy, I would just love to fill our social media with the real people we lost this year. The meaningful relationships we all had, which ended in 2021. Please add yours and share. Let’s celebrate their lives today and always.

My Aunt Carol just passed away this week.

I’m not sure I can put into words the place she held in my heart. She was my Mom’s sister, so she was like a mom, but without all “mom baggage,” If that makes sense?

I received a tremendous amount of support and love from her. She was always the first to grab me in a huge hug when we saw each other. She also made sure to give me a hug when she left.

When I almost lost my daughter, she called and texted almost daily. Just to let me know she was praying, to send love, or for someone to vent to. It was a terrible time, and her love helped me to survive it.

When I was in elementary school, I got the privilege of spending a few days with her and her family. This was a big deal in a family of six to get sometime away. My Aunt may have secretly got my ears pierced while I was there.

My Mom had said no. So this was a big deal. Maybe, don’t share this, my Mom. It may trigger me to get grounded again. 😳

She was also one of the most creative and gifted artists I know. I have copies of the watercolors she painted many years ago. She was incredibly talented and shared her gift with others. Sometimes teaching classes, but recently, spending time with her granddaughter sharing her love of art with her.

I could go on and on, but I won’t. Her life and love gave me more than I could share and her death, well, I can’t give words to it yet.

Robert Troutman was a former coworker of mine.

He was doing God’s work in Detroit working on workforce development and education. Just his work changed the lives of thousands of children in Detroit. But to him, it wasn’t just working, it was a mission.

His smile lit up the room! But I also remember the days he was frustrated and came up to the lunchroom while I was there. Those were the days we would watch Jerry Springer because it put things into perspective for him. Otherwise, we were watching Days of Our Lives. Robert would have to fill me in on the many years of backstories of the characters. I have to say, I haven’t watched either without him. They just aren’t the same without his take on them.

He was also a fellow traveler who loved exploring cities. Our love of Detroit, Chicago, and NYC. The places I visited because he suggested it. We spend many hours talking about his trips and our love of travel. I have a long bucket list of places to visit from our talks.

I like to think he is off exploring and will be there with a list of things to see when we meet up again.

Robert Hughes was my husband’s uncle.

He retired and moved to Florida not long after I married my husband. But I remember him as someone who always had a smile and a joke. I will admit, not all the jokes were clean, but he always made me laugh. He was a kind-hearted man who left behind his wife, children, and grandchildren.

Just three of the many people I know who didn’t live to see 2022. The world is a little less bright without you, but you all made the world a better place while you were here. Thank you, and I will miss each of you.

What a difference a year makes

What a difference a year makes!

This weekend I was the last person up to the cottage for the July 4th weekend. Pulling up to the driveway I discovered, there were already six cars parked there, along the road, and at the neighbor’s house.

Walking into the cottage, I could see the boat and sea doo were gone. The family was already at the sand bar enjoying a beautiful Saturday.

The cottage floors were strewn with shoes and towels. The kitchen was filled with dishes. I had no idea where the three cats were. There were suitcases and duffles all over the place.

Generally, things which would make me mad, but made me smile! What a difference a year makes!

I took a walk down the street and noticed mine was not the only house overflowing with cars and campers. It was the rare driveway that was empty. People were ready to enjoy the long weekend.

And the homeowners were entertaining again!

Yesterday, back to the sandbar! The best way to enjoy a sunny 90-degree day. I have to say, in our 20 years of living here, I have never seen so many people there.

What’s more, the people were smiling. And I could see their smiling faces! There were volleyball games, tons of people floating on rafts, and I may have spotted a beer pong game or too.

This morning I went back out for a walk. The driveways are slowly emptying out. My driveway is down to four cars.

Friends have headed back home, and two of my kids have headed back to their lives.

There is a bit of me that is sad. Which is a normal feeling when the house empties out.

But honestly, I am so blessed I have a place they want to spend their time off. I am grateful they chose to spend their time with me. I have great kids, and they have great friends. This weekend has reminded me of just how blessed I am.

Of course, this does not mean I won’t shed a tear or two while I track my kids back to their new homes. It just means I know just how lucky I am to have spent some part of their long weekend with them.

And that is the difference between this year and last year. Last year I was heartbroken to see my son head off to boot camp. Like ugly cry sad. This year I know how blessed I am when I get to see him. (I may still shed a tear though.)

May you also see the blessings in your lives, even when they make you sad.

Creating Space

Old Swim Coat Filled with patches

There is something invigorating about creating space. The calendar’s flip to a new year creates all sorts of space or the illusion of it. Pulling down the Christmas decorations creates new space in our homes.

This new space fills our soul with a sense of optimism. Or maybe a need to refill the space with something new.

I find I am more creative when the slate is clean. My desk is cleared off—the areas within my eye-sight with nothing out of order.

Maybe this is why I hadn’t been creating recently. My outer and inner spaces were filled with stuff. Continue reading “Creating Space”

I Failed 2020

Dead End sign

I have started my annual review, and I just have to say, I failed 2020. Yup, no bullshitting here, I just didn’t do very well this year, and if I am honest and needed to give myself a grade, I would be hard-pressed to say I earned anything other than an F.

I do not say this lightly or to be funny.

I simply did not rise to the challenges this year gave me. In fact, I crumbled under a few of them. I think this grade was fairly earned. Continue reading “I Failed 2020”

A Drive-by Christmas

Christmas House

This year was a first for us, a drive-by Christmas celebration. Since I met my husband in 1985, we have spent all but two Christmas Eves at his parents’ home. And those two times, we had chosen to spend the holidays in Florida with just the six of us together.

Last night was the first time in 35 years; we have not spent the evening eating, laughing, sharing, and spending the evening with his family. Continue reading “A Drive-by Christmas”

What if I am Wrong?

The Thinker

What if I am wrong? I have been thinking about this a lot recently. What if what I believe to be true is wrong?  

How does my thinking and actions affect my life? Is this a significant problem if I am wrong, or will it merely be a setback with my plans?

What if I was wrong to start my company. What was the worse thing which could happen? I left a job, which I had outgrown, but paid me fairly. I would lose this stability, but I was also going to leave anyway. If the company did not/does not work, I will have gained a lot of experience and will go back to working for someone else. Continue reading “What if I am Wrong?”

Mom Feelings

Today, as I sit in my kitchen trying to work, I am overwhelmed with mom feelings. This overwhelm happens each time a significant change is about to happen. Today, my son and his girlfriend are leaving the cottage and heading back to Wisconsin.

I have written before how this pandemic has given me strange blessings. And having my son under the same roof for the past four months has been one of them. He is 25 years old, and I knew several years ago I would never live with him again. All a part of raising kids is knowing someday, they move on with their lives. And they permanently move out of their childhood home.

I know he will be back on holidays. I know he will return to our cottage for long weekends next summer. But to live with me, that won’t happen. Continue reading “Mom Feelings”

Missing Out

Boy on Dock

FOMO or the fear of missing out has taken over the country. I have no other explanation for why it appears; otherwise, rational people would lose their shit. And to be honest, I fully include myself in this!

I always thought I wouldn’t fall into this trap. I love Instagram, but I don’t have this oh my gosh, their lives are so much better than mine thing when I am on it. I genuinely love looking at well-shot pictures, pictures of amazing places on earth, photos of great food, and fun!

It isn’t that my life is fantastic, it is just that I was, I guess, content where things were. I have a decent life: a mom, entrepreneur, daughter, sister, friend, no complaints.

And then the pandemic hit our country, and everything stopped. Everything stopped, but the fear of myself or someone I love getting Covid-19. I learned everything I could about this disease. We eased into our new lives of hanging out at home, getting groceries delivered, and staring at each other’s faces. Continue reading “Missing Out”

Early Morning Quiet

Mug on Dock

It is early on Friday morning, and all is quiet in my home. There are no other sounds, but the sounds of the ceiling fans whirling. The occasional sound of the refrigerator humming and the birds chirping outside.

These moments are all mine.

Mine with a big mug of coffee or two. But they are still all mine. There is no one talking to me. No outside thoughts, at least none that I don’t bring into my mornings. Just quiet.

Some mornings I get right to work. Marking things right off my to-do list. Some mornings I allow myself to get distracted by reading emails. Looking at social media, or plunging into cleaning up the kitchen. (Which somehow looks like a party happened while I was sleeping.)

This morning, the kitchen is clean. The house is quiet. Continue reading “Early Morning Quiet”