Grief during the holidays: remember them next year

This is borrowed from a blogger I follow: Wise words for this time of year.


For many people, this is not the “hap hap happiest time of the year.”  They may hang a decoration or two, maybe even wish you holiday cheer; but underneath it all is lingering grief.  2014 was a difficult year.  We said goodbye to grandma, my friend’s sons lost their father, and my childhood friend lost her child to cancer.

stephI think as outsiders we feel helpless to easing their pain because really, we can’t.  So maybe this year we try to do a little more: dropping off holiday cookies, running errands, offering a shoulder to lean on.  We know that this first holiday without them- quite frankly- sucks.

What we often forget, though, is that second year.

I was a kid when my dad died.  I remember that first Christmas felt like everything was just going through the motions.  No amount of gifts, eggnog, or caroling was going to bring back…

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I See You

I see you
Behind me in the
Checkout line at
You have two items to buy
I have a cart full.
I wonder, if I wave you
Ahead of me in line
Will you then wonder if I only
Made the move because
Your skin is brown and
Mine is white and I feel the
Need to show you that
I Am Not Like “Those”
Those who shoot
First and are
Not indicted later.
Those who hide
Behind a
Badge or a
Law that says
“Stand Your Ground”
Even when that
Ground is a
Public space, but
I Am White
You Are Not.
How can I
Prove my
Convince you
I am
Not the enemy
When time
Please, I smile
I’m in no
You go
You smile back
A thank you.
I promise, this is
Something I’d have
Done regardless of the
Colors of our skin.


Friendship Tree

One of the bloggers I follow put together this lovely poet-tree using short poems submitted on their blog. I think it is beautiful!!! Check out on wordpress.

Poems and Petals

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Silver Alert

Electronic highway signs in Florida often flash the message “Silver Alert” followed by the color, make, and license plate information of a car being driven by a lost and/or confused elderly person. Today the message said,

Silver Alert
’94 Bronze LeSabre
FL Lic. #A98LMG

Of course every time I spot one of these alerts I begin scanning the traffic around me. And today I thought how great it was that the confused person was driving a bronze car. White, black, silver, and even red are too common; whereas, bronze would perhaps catch the eye of someone looking for this wandering senior.

My next thought, logically enough, was why don’t we create car colors especially for senior citizens? Once one hits the age of 60 (that’s me in less than two years) one’s car gets a colorful makeover for a nominal fee.

How about this one?:


Or this little number?:


Personally, I think I’ll go for the rainbow motif. Try to ignore me in this baby:


A Family Was Born


December 20, 2014, marks the 4th Anniversary of the birth of the Stephen and Ashley Houzenga family, the day when Stephen formally adopted Garrett and McKayla and forever changed all of our lives for the better. We love Stephen like a son for many reasons–the way he cares for and respects our daughter and the love he has for our grandchildren top the list.

Happy Family Day to Stephen, Ashley, Garrett, and McKayla. (And to Harper who joined the fray some time later)!

Weekend To-Do List

My weekends are so stressful.

Sleep in (way past eight)

Snuggle with cats (won’t that be great?)

Feed cats (tuna flavored treats)

Shower (scrub my feets)

Eat (the most important meal)

Do Laundry (regardless of how I feel)

Drive (to the nearest town)

Shop (time to lose that frown)

Eat (wherever I want)

Nap (wait! I forgot to drive home!)

Movie (am I still asleep?)

Eat (I’m so confused)

Feed cats (again?)

Read (did I ever undress?)

Sleep (finally.)

Repeat (with less stress)


Memory of You

One of my favorite bloggers/poets.

DoubleU = W


It’s been years

since our last pleasantries,

since we last fellowship’d.


How you were,

remains steadfast in my mind,

frozen in neural time capsule.


It is my hope,

that you have changed very little.

I’ve used this memory of you for years.



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Mom and Dad married on this date,
I’m not sure of the year.
1958 or 59? Maybe ’60?
I wasn’t very old when Daddy said he did
and my mom said she would
and the three of us became a family,
A trio bonded
By vows and a ring.

Happily ever after was in their hearts,
and they did their best to make it so.
I remember fights and make ups.
Tears and kisses.
Two people
who weren’t sure they were
worthy of being loved,
trying desperately to love.

My brothers connected us
Gave Daddy his boys
And me, my co-conspirators
My victims, too.
Jealously overshadowed love
But love won out
Over and over again.



Achy, throbbing sinus cavities

Got you down?

Same here.

Well, suffer no more!


For a limited time only

You can have a


I’ve booked mine and






I’ll probably miss my head now and again, but

I won’t miss the headaches and congestion.


I Wish

For as long as I remember
I wish has been part of the
Vocabulary shaping me
Shaking me time and again.

I wish I were cuter
Smarter, funnier
I wish I were shorter,
Sported a prettier smile.

I wish I were less awkward
Around members of the
Opposite sex and sales
Clerks in upscale stores.

I wish I’d been a more
Patient mother, less
Cranky, more careful and
Aware of the special times.

I wish I’d been a better
Daughter, sister, wife
Less selfish, open to the
Needs of others.

I wish I’d paid attention
All those times some
Everyday miracle occurred
Right here, right now.

From now on
I wish is
I will and
I am and will be.