The Continuation of An Era

Today I am grateful for the cardinal that joined me for a few strides of my run earlier today. I also so appreciate all the students, faculty and staff, and parents in the school community in which I work. We were able to have a really meaningful year, however odd and grueling it was at times.  When grieving, it helps me to keep writing and keep doing what feeds my body and soul. Running is key to that nourishment.  Here's the writing that came out as I considered my last marathon: Miles of Grief  Each stride  laden with grief, the fresh kind . . .  sister died of  the same disease  that laid me flat. And the stale kind,  long buried and  unrecognizable . . .  decades of gut level  unworthiness,  emotionally stunted. The last miles of my final marathon  were as painful to  my soul as to my body.  And as liberating.   LV June 5-7, 2021 And here are my feet in my freshest pair of running shoes, my reliable Brooks Ariel, size 11, model 20:  The era of marathons may be over for me, but

The End of an Era

Living gratefully today, I say thank you to the Universe for two legs to run on, good running shoes in my Brooks Ariel model, and all that I have learned and let go of as I have moved a stride and a mile at a time over thousands of miles.  I started running when I was 12 or 13. It has contributed to my overall wellness in so many ways since then. At times, it was the only healthy thing I was doing.  I started running marathons when I was 39, when Darcy and I, my sister Ruth, and my niece Katie and her husband Danny ran the Chicago Marathon on October 10, 2004. I kept running them until marathon #17, the Sioux Falls Marathon, on September 8, 2019. There is a rich and joy-filled journey I took on each of these 17 marathons. There was joy in just getting to the starting line in Chicago. Joy as I passed each mile marker. Joy as I saw the 26-mile marker and rounded the corner, tears in my eyes, to the sight of that first finish line. The joy was buried under grief as I took to the starting

Siblings and Cousins

Today I am grateful for the many miles of safe travels my family had this weekend. So grateful for the time together that those travels made possible.  We were gathered in Sioux Falls for the graduation party of our niece Jordyn. Congrats Jordyn and all the best in your future endeavors!   With the pandemic limitations for over a year, it has been a long time since we were able to be together, all of us. That includes my mother-in-law Marlene, Dana and Mitch (Jordyn's parents) and her sister Maycee.  And it was also an opportunity for our own family to be together. That means so much to Darcy and I. Arthur, Alyssa, Aaron, Emily, Leo, and Sam. Here are the siblings: Emily, Sam, and Arthur.  Proud of our children and their families. Proud of the parents that Emily and Arthur and Alyssa are. They are moving further into adulthood with their visions and dreams right along with the busy day-to-day lives they have.  And here are the cousins, Leo and Aaron:    This was treasured time toge

Well-intentioned Words

Today I am grateful for naps, air conditioning, forgiveness.  This is a repeat of the quote I used in a post the other day.    "A loving silence often has far more power to heal and  to connect than the most well-intentioned words."  (Rachel Naomi Remen) That post focused on the first part of the quote. Today, I turn my attention and writing to the second part.  Well-intentioned words. I like to think I choose words well both when I write and speak, but there are certainly many times I fail, and a loving silence or blank page would have been the best choice. Regrets. Remorse. Wishful thinking. Do-overs.  Silence can fail to convey what we might want it to convey, but it has the distinct advantage of also limiting the potential damage.  It is safe to say my tongue has been more hurtful than my silence.  With words come expectations or our own meaning that may be misunderstood. We think others will interpret what we said or wrote in similar fashion. They may not. Words can get

Revisiting a Loving Silence

Living gratefully today, I offer appreciation for the energy that is around me and within me.   Here is my post from April 24, 2019, with a quote that I came across again recently: Today I am grateful for sweat and endorphins, for their cleansing and energizing properties. I am also grateful for the written word. Consider these words:  "A loving silence often has far more power to heal and  to connect than the most well-intentioned words."  (Rachel Naomi Remen) I practiced a loving silence as I sat with my mom the other day. For so long, I had many thoughts, and honestly plenty of judgments too, as I watched or listened to Mom. Now, the best I can do, should do, is love and accept her. I have always loved her. She's my mom. But this loving silence is newer, more meaningful, unconditional. I practice loving silence as I think about my sister Mary Jo, across the miles. And across the chasm of cancer. I pause, pray for her, send energy to her. She deals with nausea, pain, re

The Sign of the Cross

Living gratefully today, I appreciate sleeping in, the birds singing, and playful squirrels. I love how the outdoors is teeming with life in late spring.  I offer sincere thanks and remembrance to those who have died serving our country, and I bring to my mind's eye my father's grave, decorated with loving reminders of his life. I bring to my heart, my sister Mary Jo.  I have always had reverence for cemeteries and what they signify, and today find them more interesting than anything. Like many things from my Catholic upbringing though, I have more appreciation now than I did growing up.  That goes for the sign of the cross too.  My husband Darcy, a deacon in the Episcopal Church, just gave a sermon for Trinity Sunday. In it he spoke about the Catholics in his hometown using the sign of the cross, but not his family's church (German Reformed) and many others in the area. I had never even thought about that.  The sign of the cross is an integral part of the Episcopal service


Today I am grateful for the plethora of colors before my eyes as I sit on our patio and look at flowers in bloom and the various greenery that is keeping company with the blossoms. I am also grateful for recovery connections that matter. A few of us, a general mix of recovering alcoholics and addicts, were talking about love the other day. Such a topic can go in many directions, and it did, but they were all beautiful. People who have known deep self-hatred and self-loathing in their active addictions go on a journey of self-acceptance when they decide to get sober.  And isn’t acceptance really about love? Loving ourselves as we are when we arrive in recovery—flawed, imperfect, full of remorse and feelings of unworthiness. If I couldn’t find some acceptance and forgiveness, it’s likely I would pick up a drink again. There are many places unconditional love is evident and felt, and one of those is anywhere people seeking recovery are gathered. It is one of the many blessings that having