The Worst Fight Ever (or Ridiculous? Me? Absolutely not!)

One of the worst fights Neil and I ever had was the night of his 25th class reunion. In retrospect, the reunion was a recipe for disaster even before it started; there was no way things could have turned out well. I worked night shift the night before and never slept that day. I knew no one in Neil’s graduating class, and although I was flattered that he wanted to show off his family, I was exhausted by the prospect of an entire day nodding politely and smiling constantly. Continue reading →

A Christmas Family

I brought up the decorations and the tangled tree lights from the basement and faced the huge stack with melancholy. Neil loved Christmas and overdid it every year. Not an inch of our house was void of Christmas cheer; from bathroom to basement, it was all decorated. And when he ran out of decorations, he put bows on everything, including the pets and the dining room chairs. I sat on the floor staring at those boxes and remembered another time long ago when I found myself sitting on the floor. Continue reading →

Lessons in the Waves

watching waves
watching waves

A few weeks ago I got to visit my sister, who lives near the ocean in New Jersey. After dinner one evening, we all packed up and went to the beach, her husband and three sons to play in the water and she and I to just relax on the shore. The sky was a beautiful mix of blue and white, and a gentle breeze blew through my hair as we sat. Without even realizing it, I drifted back to another day at the beach years ago………
I’m standing in the ocean, water up to my knees. Neil is calling me to come out farther, where he is only covered to his ankles. I am not a water person, but he is. The sun is beating bright; people are splashing and laughing all around me. I watch a line of pelicans fly overhead, and I’m suddenly brave. As I walk out toward Neil, the water gets oddly shallow and soon I find myself laughing with him on the sandbar. It gets hot out there is the sun beats down, without a cloud in sight. Continue reading →