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Five Excellent Ingredients.

You know, they say with five excellent ingredients, you can create a masterpiece. I can attest to this.

I was blessed to go to a show this weekend. It was billed as ROBERTA GAMBARINI/HOUSTON PERSON/ERIC GUNNISON/CHUCK BERGHOFER/LEWIS NASH

My friends had seen Roberta Gamarini recently and have been following Eric Gunnison at venues in Denver for years, so when they invited me to the supper club of Dazzle to see the performance, I easily agreed to go.

I won’t claim to know much about Jazz and had never seen or heard these musicians before, but I can tell you my experience.

The show started with Roberta singing a solo a cappella. She showed her brilliant voice and range and soulful delivery and if music was a meal, this would have been a bite to satisfy and make you think you didn’t need any other ingredients.

This musical performance by all masters of their trade, did make me feel like I was having a meal for the soul.

The sax player was an older gentleman and when he played the saxophone, I could nearly swear that his notes had the words to them just as if he was singing alongside Roberta. I chuckled to myself when he first came upon the stage as his saxophone looked like it hadn’t been polished in years. I guess I’m so use to bright shiny instruments, that it caught my eye that it lacked the luster and shine of the normally seen on polished brass. But when I heard him play, it was as if he had allowed a bit of every note that had ever been produced in it to cling to part of it’s surface so that every following note had just a little more resonance from having come after previously played notes. As I sat there, it really did remind me of how they say that a good smoker/grill gets better the more it is used and that leaving some of the residue helps the next batch gain even more flavor.

The piano player used the piano like it was the backup singer who could have been the main star, but was content to play notes that sang along, and harmonizing beutifully with the main voice. His playing also created visions (at least for me) of a dancer, tapping and twirling off to the side while the singer sang.

The drummer, having those smaller and higher pitched drums than the rock sets, set the beat and accents to the tunes much as the piano player did. He would sometime lay down the beat with what felt like a caress of his drums and symbols and sometimes belting out his notes and showing the voice of his set had just as much range as anyone on the stage. Like the piano, his drumming would also allow me to think of him as another backup singer and dancer as his notes twirled and tapped on the opposite side of the stage.

And then there was the bassist – a gentleman who use to play with Frank Sinatra. Truth be told, they have all played with the greats and are greats on their own, but his years with Frank are the easiest for me to recall and relay. He knew how to let the star shine, but give them everything as a base to sing upon that brings it all together like a fine dish. I did keep coming back to the analogy of food when I listened to them all – together and individually. It wasn’t until the bassist had his first solo routine within a song, that it dawned on me, that in my food analogy, he was the amazing sauce that I smelled cooking throughout and didn’t overpower any bite, but brought it together so wonderfully.

Roberta Gambarini was not just the main attraction and was not just this singer whose amazing voice carried on the waves and flow of the notes the others layed down in accompaniment to her. She would lavish her clear full octave range singing upon us, and then suddenly, she would transform into another instrument on the stage. She would scat sing notes alongside all the other instruments that made for a fifth instrument that could again solo on its own.

It seems that Roberta travels and sings all over the world and picks up good musicians or already established jazz bands to accompany her wherever she goes, so this was one of those five-set shows, that came together with five incredible people that we were lucky enough to see on the fourth of the shows. This meant that they were five superb ingredients that in the food sense would each had been tasty on their own, but given the time to stew in the shows before us, we were served the masterpiece of a dish that had the time to cook and simmer and bubble until what we were served was perfect.

Such a good time and yes, all of those individuals will be playing individually or with different people in the coming days and weeks, but I feel so thankful to have gotten to enjoy them all together and will savor it.

Yes, we were only maybe 12 feet from the stage, so when I say it was an intimate concert experience, I mean it.

Thank you my pals for including me.

Happy Easter everyone. So much to be thankful for.

Love Sally

Poems

Poems are a funny thing. Not funny haha, altho some limericks come to mind that make me chuckle. Poems are words, sometimes set to rhyme and sometimes to a cadence and sometimes they just seem to just have words that the person penning it puts together in an abstract way.

I sometime will write a card to someone and make a poem out of it. Sometimes I will set to writing a poem and in that process of finding words and phrases that work, my mind digs into my heart and finds not what I set out to convey, but something else that flows out altogether differently than I had expected.

I have a poem somewhere inside of me for Ted, but I currently cannot even get it started. It feels like trying to pick up a grain of sand just as a dump truck has raised its bed and opened the gate. What you thought could be picked up is now buried under a massive pile.

The beauty of words and poems are that everyone has access to the same words and just through thoughts and ideas and creativity, these words can be put together in so many ways. That is why some days, we can read someone else’s words and you recognize them and identify with it and it feels familiar because if you could have, you might have done it the same way.

Well, that happened to me tonight as I read the following poem. It pulled the words out of my heart and put them in front of me to read and feel. So, while this isn’t my poem, it is very much one I say in my heart to Ted as I go to sleep.

I’ll still work on words of my own and who knows, I may even share it here.

Love Sally

Week of positives

This week seems to be setting up as a week of positives.

It began with finally putting the dress back on and getting it zipped. It didn’t spit a seem, so I’ll consider it good that I don’t have to try the shower method to stretch the fibers. I also found a pair of shoes. The shoes, in opposition to the fitting of the dress, are actually a bit big, but at least one part of me won’t be sausaged into its casing.

My cousin was here helping over the weekend and with most of our severe weather behind us (we hope), we decided to unwrap the bees and see if they made it through the winter. The bees look to be good and thriving and my cousin thinks we have enough to even split the hive and let one of the frames of bees create their own queen to give us a complete second hive. Pretty exciting.

We next got the truck running. We have a full size pickup that hasn’t been run in months as it has been snowed in and not dug out through any of our snow storms this winter. We hooked it to the charger for a few hours and got it going. It wasn’t until after we had a load of misc stuff full and taken down the hill and dumped at the office dumpster that I noticed that the plates had expired way into 2021. I’ll add it to the list of stuff that needs done, but at least I didn’t get pulled over for it.

Then one day this week, as I was driving home in the pouring rain, my driver side windshield wiper started to have an issue as it was clearing off the water as I drove. It was acting as if there was a bump in my windshield that it would catch and flop over each time midway through the upswing oF the wiper. Of coarse there was no bump in the windshield, but at the same spot on each cycle, it was having an issue. While I was varying the speed of the wipers to see if that had an effect, the wiper all of a sudden broke off and flung into the lane next to me. So now I’m still going 65 down the highway and have nothing clearing my drivers side window. I slide myself over a tad in my seat so that I can see out of the middle of the windshield that is still being cleared by the passenger wiper and try to figure out what my options were.

I made it to the next exit and as I pulled into a store filled area, I asked Siri to tell me where the closest auto parts store was. Siri recommended the Chevy dealership just down the road a mile or so. I was right across from the mall, but couldn’t think of anywhere in the mall that would have wipers. The Subaru dealership is also just down the road just past the Chevy, Honda and other dealerships that always seem to build in rows. Resigning myself to pay dealership prices, I head in that direction.

I know you are wondering what the positive is on this story, but I’m getting there.

I drove into the service bay at the Subaru dealership and stepped up to the counter and the nice gal asked what I was there to have done. I explained that my drivers side wiper had flown off on the highway, so I needed a replacement wiper. Seeming to not quite get it that I would show up in a downpour with no wiper, she went to check the car out for herself. She shook her head as if there was a sieve in her brain and with the slight jiggle, the pieces would sift through and begin to make sense. She got back to her station behind the desk and picked up the phone. I assumed she was calling the parts dept to bring up a high dollar Subaru blade but no one seemed to be answering on the other end of her line. She excused herself and left the service bay. A few minutes later she returned with two blades and had snagged one of the guys to swap out my blades. I told them that one of the auto parts places had just changed the passenger one a week or so ago, but they said that they replace in pairs. Great, I was thinking, now they are going to gouge me for two blade on some technicality.

Turns out, the passenger blade wasn’t even installed correctly and it was lucky that it too hadn’t come off. So, as I’m starting to feel lucky at any cost of this new set of wipers, the guy puts down the new blades and the girl says she will open the bay door for me and I’m free to go. Literally Free. They charged me nothing for the blades or swapping them out. How lucky was I to have it happen where there was only the dealership and not a parts store.

The week is of coarse, ending on the positives of two of my siblings being here.

My sister and her husband arrived last night and she is already making me laugh every time I try on the dress or shoes. I had to try it on to see where my necklace fell into place at on the dress (in case I needed to take it to be adjusted) and we laughed all the way through the fitting.

My oldest Brother arrives today, so more hilarity will be forthcoming with him as well.

I hope your week has had a good string of positives too.

Love Sally

Mixing sports

I went skiing last week and a hockey fight broke out.

Well, not quite, but nearly. Here’s what happened.

I took off one day last week to go skiing with two of Ted’s ICU nurses. The plan was for us to meet up at the ski area and I told them which parking lot I was shooting for, as it has a bathroom and you can ski into and out of it to begin and end your day. I was up early that morning, so I decided to go a bit early to see if I could get a good spot.

When I arrived there was a car in front of me to begin a row with a traffic cone next to them that I took for marking as far over as they should park. I parked right behind the car to start the next row, but knowing that I didn’t have a cone, that someone would eventually use the space available between me and the driving path between me and the bathroom to park another vehicle. I decided to throw out my skis and backpack in that spot so no one would park there.

While the parking lot was still mostly unfilled, no one seemed to bother, but as spaces became fewer I had a couple people ask but move on without issue when I said I was saving a space. That was until I noticed a young guy and his gal about to drive up and over my skis.

I got out of my car, and shook my head at him and said that I was saving the spot for a couple ICU nurses and he couldn’t park there. He rolled his window down and said that he was a medic and first responder, so he should get the spot. I shook my head no. He got out of the car and said he was going to move my skis. I stood firm and told him No, he wasn’t going to touch my skis. He approached me and then said he had also just gotten back from a tour in Iraq (I can’t keep up on where we have any bits of troops left abroad, so I wasn’t sure to call bullshit on that one, but it felt like he was fibbing). He then kept yelling that I was telling him that my nurses were better than him. After he stopped with that little mantra, I simply replied that no, I wasn’t saying that they were better than him, I was saying that I know them, and I don’t know him, and therefore my loyalty to hold this coveted spot is to them and not him. He then changed tactics that no one can hold a space in this lot, that’s not what this mountain is all about. Again calmly, I said well, today I am and continued to stand my ground. Exacerbated, he finally got into the car and left.

I texted the gals that they had better be close as I was just about in a fight to save their spot and they assured me that they were only minutes away.

Just then a truck pulled up and parked nearly in the drive path and close to my skis – not actually leaving enough space for a car between us. I got out to speak to them and saw that it was two older gentlemen. Shit. I could tell young folks to go find a farther spot all day long, but I don’t have it in me to tell somebody older to go pound sand. But still I knocked on the drivers window near me to have a conversation.

I told these two older guys about spending weeks upon weeks in the hospital and feeling blessed to have these nurses even willing to stay in touch with me and wanting to have a spot for them when they arrive. They were sympathetic, but when I started crying as I told them my husband passed away, they were fully vested and promised to allow the gals to park.

Turns out, that while I can’t say no to a couple of old guys, they also can’t say no to an older crying gal. 😁

The gals showed up, we moved my car a bit closer to the car next to me, the guys moved their truck over a smudge in the other direction and the gals pulled in right between us.

We had a really fun day on the slopes with good stories shared on lifts and in the lodge over a break, good laughs and good snow.

Thanks to the gals for meeting me and to the guys for helping me save them a spot in the parking lot.

Love. Sal

It’s Hard

People have been mentioning that I haven’t been writing lately and of coarse they are correct. It was not hard to write everyday while Ted was in the hospital because I was just updating everyone on his condition and adding a segment or two of my day in as well. Now that he is gone, it’s hard to find the points that feel like people would be interested in. I mean, good things happen every day, but when I think I may write about it, it’s hard for me to sit down and formulate the words and get a story out. At the root of it, is that every story right now still has Ted interwoven into every weave and thread of the narrative and it makes me cry and so I decide I don’t want to write and just relive all of my sad moments for others to read when there is enough heartache and sadness out there in this mixed up world.

I will though, relay some info to keep the interested updated.

Currently on our immediate horizon is Galen and Ciara’s wedding on 4/5/22. Yes it is a Tuesday. It is the same date that Galen bended a knee and proposed, and it also happens to be off season and a less expensive day for the rental of the lovely Evergreen Lake House where the nuptials will occur. It is a small affair with just a few family and friends. Honestly, our input into this event has been minimal as we are all struggling mightily to face such an important day without Ted’s physical presence.

A few weeks back when I was asked to choose a song for the mother son dance, I struggled. Online suggestions included many country and western ideas, but we are more of a rock and roll family. I was texting Ted’s ICU nurses and mentioned I could use some ideas and they quickly responded with some good selections. They had after all, listened to Teds play lists for many weeks as he was in their care. I then messaged those selections to the kids and also received a thumbs up from Ciara. The following day, I called Galen to speak to him personally to see if he was indeed ok with the tune, or if I should keep looking. He suddenly needed to stop what he was doing and try to gain composure as he admitted that he hasn’t been involved in any of the music and couldn’t hardly stand to even think of it now. As he choked out the words, that every tune that he would or could think of, was all of Ted’s play lists, and it just hurt too much to think about it. He relayed that it was hard for him to even think about his own wedding sometimes. I then realized that I too had been avoiding asking about and offering input about the day. I hadn’t even seen an invitation, so, it wasn’t until Ciara’s bridal shower recently that I even thought to inquire what time the actual ceremony was at. Noon is that answer.

We are all on the struggle bus right now.

It dawned upon me last week that I had purchased a dress to wear for the wedding before Ted was hospitalized and well, being the emotional eater that I am, I may not even fit into it. I started my spring cleanse in hopes that I can drop some of those grief and stress pounds. I finally slipped it on the other night, but it has a long zipper up the back that is hard to zip two handed and with myI lack the arm flexibility to reach back there, let’s just say that I still don’t know if the dress will close.

I brought up my dilemma of not fitting into the dress last night while visiting some friends. One of them asked what kind of fiber it was woven of. She relayed, that given a natural fiber that can stretch, I could put it on and stand in the shower to wet the entire dress down, and then wear it till it is mostly dry and it would then have formed to my body. I have to giggle at that idea, but I know that I’ll look at the label now just to see if the option is there.

So, I’ll let you know how it goes after another week of low cal eating.

Love

Sally

Gauging the Fog

I have recently returned from a quick trip to Seattle. My peeps had just purchased a home when I had last visited, but had closed on the property the day after I had left, so while I had seen the outside briefly, I didn’t really have a sense of the space. So this was my first time seeing the new home and the extraordinary views they now had of the Seattle Bay.

After a few mornings of just standing in their beautiful home and looking out, I decided that waking up each morning overlooking the bay in Seattle epitomizes my life right now. There are days when the view is clear and your eyes and heart are drawn beyond the structures in front and you feel transported out into the very arms of nature and life. Possibilities and adventures are there and can keenly be felt.

Then there are mornings of heavy fog where only the immediate water nearby can be viewed and you can see nothing beyond. The mountains, the other shorelines, all points of reference, are now gone. And while parts of you are sure there is still the same views beyond, you can’t quite picture it fully without the slightest bit of reference to be had. With the view beyond restricted, you are forced to just notice that which is immediately in front. You feel forced to slow down and navigate with caution. When clear, it is easy to ignore that what must be passed through to reach the water and go beyond, but with the fog, the obstacles are the only points that seem to come into focus. The feelings of just cocooning and not venturing out are most prevalent. Grief is like those clouds.

The connection to the bay and the views from my friends home was an easy analogy to make, but the reality was that the morning fog that physically consumed the bay and skyline was truly contrasted by the sunshine that came each day from within the house with a lively three year old and the anticipation of another babe in just a few weeks time, and – surprisingly for this time of year – from the sunshine that burned off those clouds and made for brightness outside as well.

We practiced riding a bike with no training wheels.

We hung out telling stories and pretending to be Disney movie characters.

We walked to the beach nearby.

We spread some of Ted in the yard, and shared some of their memories of him, so that he is now part of their space too.

People ask “how are you?”, but don’t realize what an impossible question that is. The answer changes with every breath, every thought, every song, every transformative breeze that is felt, heard and sensed.

It might be easier to say how close or far the fog is in my emotional view than to answer how I am on any given day.

Rest assured that most days, the clouds might sweep in, but get burned off by the brightness of my friends and family who fill my life with support and love from the calls, texts and cards. Thank for being part of the sunshine in my life.

Love, Sally

Memorial Dates Set

The Memorial Dates have been set. I will try to get post cards out for reminders. Here is a copy.

I’ll have more info closer to the dates, but we hope you can come to one or the other.

Thank you for all who are stepping in to help out with the plans.

Love Sally

Update on yesterday’s blog on the chain saw carburetor replacement outcome. It started on the second pull and I was able to get the current pile of wood cut up as planned. Yeah for inexpensive parts and decent instruction on some YouTube videos.


Remembering Rob

Today is my coworker Rob’s funeral and while I had planned to go, I don’t think that I can. Its too much emotion to confine in this body and In public. I’d be crying for Rob, crying for Ted and a mess to be dealt with. I know Rob would give me a hug and tell me it’s ok.

Rob. Here’s what I know about Rob from my years of working with him. Rob liked adventure. I wouldn’t say he liked adventure as in you would find him alone in the artic or anything, I mean he liked adventure as in just his daily life. Rob had his pilot’s license and use to fly small planes to fun places. Crazy things would happen around Rob. Some were crazy good and some were crazy bad. I know he had at least two strangers die right in front of him on separate occasions. I know of several commercial flights he was on that had emergencies and the plane sent to an emergency landing area and crew and passengers sent down the evacuation slides. Once, on a business trip abroad, he and another sales guy were to be heading to one of the beaches one afternoon and since neither had packed a swimsuits, they each went off their different directions to shop and run errands. Several hours later, after shopping in completely different districts of the city, they showed up on said beach with identical swim trunks. I mean, that is so like a scene out of a cheesy comedy film, but that’s the kind of things that happened with Rob. Adventure happened with Rob.

People were drawn to Rob. He would get a sales call and before the call was over, he would know the life story of the caller. People would tell Rob intimate details of their life within minutes of the first Hello. Many of us would have shut down a caller that wanted to relay their current hurt and pain, but Rob would listen like he was sitting across the bar from them.

At work, Rob seemed to attract kids. We would laugh if we saw a big family pile out of a car about to come into the showroom and joke that they must be some of Robs customers because he always got the ones that took the most attention. Rob would have customers fly into Denver to try the chairs and literally bring their knitting and sit in a chair and knit for hours so that they knew what it would be like at home.

Rob was kind to everyone. Before covid, He would smoke on his breaks and purposefully leave about 1/4 to 1/3 of his cigarette out in a spot for the local homeless guys to come and pick up to finish.

Rob was a proud man. He was proud of his relationship and Marriage to Laura and proud of his son Cambell and the man he had grown up to be.

Rob wasn’t perfect, but he didn’t pretend to be. He could take a good joke at his expense and even add to it. Rob was fun to be around and never boring. We have more office tales of Rob over the years than anyone. There seemed to always be a story to go with anything Rob did.

He hasn’t been in the office for quite sometime, but I still very much feel his presence and I think most everyone else does too. Rob was a good guy and we all miss him.

I’m glad I knew you Rob. Heaven got lucky getting Ted, you and Betty White all in the same month.

Love Sally

New Year

I say New Year, because I can’t quite give in fully to a Happy New Year. I’m not sure if I don’t want to acknowledge all of last year, if I want to hang on to the parts of last year that were good, or if I am just not ready to turn the page and see the new year as the blank page that many would have you think that it is.


What is ‘happy’ anyway? Right now, I feel like ‘happy’ is the glaze on a good cinnamon roll. It’s nice, but it isn’t the substance that makes the layers of sweet dough, butter, cinnamon and sugar come together to be the bit of heaven that a good cinnamon roll can be. I guess I feel like life is like that. If you roll up gratitude, adventure, love and connection, you have something that, like the cinnamon roll, is lovely on any day. And if you have all of those ingredients, then whether that day has the happy glaze or not, doesn’t really matter, as it is a good day none the less. (I probably should eat before writing so that my analogies are not food related. Fun fact: I don’t like alot of sweets, but a good cinnamon roll is my weakness – but please don’t send any as my comfort eating does not need the extra calories)


I guess that is how I am experiencing life right now – every day has the right ingredients, but it isn’t necessarily a happy day. People want to know every day how I am doing and there just isn’t one good answer to give. I am still sad alot some days. Not all the time, and not generally when I am with others, but there is just so much of everyday life that reminds me of what I have lost when Ted died, that sadness creeps in more than I ever thought that it could.


Yesterday, in preparation for the winter storm that they were predicting, I set about looking for the shovels, the windshield brushes, setting up the pallet and backstop so we could stack some wood up underneath the covered portion of the deck and trying to think of anything else that needed handled before the snows covered everything up . As I made my coffee – actually, I warmed up some coffee still in the pot from who knows when, but as I stood in the kitchen, I thought about how if Ted was here, he would already be outside doing all of those things. I would instead be making a full coarse breakfast while watering plants. I would feed him something like ham, potatoes, eggs and toast and he would go back out and continue to do all of the little things that I now must manage. Lucky for me, I have great neighbors and they said they were coming over to fix the gate by the garage (that wasn’t hanging quite right) and to make sure the snow blower would start. We needed some screws and they found them before I did – as I have said before, they have done many projects with Ted, so they know where Ted keeps lots of his extra pieces and parts. We got those projects done and they helped me secure the setup for the wood as well.

I was suppose to go to a New Year’s get together with my “Mom’s” group last night. The husbands were invited too. We will often include the husbands from time to time and the guys end up in one room and us Mom’s still get our time and hilarity together. I realized my perception has changed. All of a sudden, I was the single person coming to the couples gathering. I had to kick myself a bit and remind myself that it’s not like I haven’t gone to any of these functions without Ted before. He could totally decide an hour before we were to arrive that he just had too much to do and didn’t want to stop what he was doing, and so, off I would trot, without him, and never think another thing about it. I need to think of it like I’m just going without him, not that he will never be able to go again, or it is hard. Our gathering was cancelled due to the winter storm that had arrived and made the roads to hazardous to venture out on.

So this is a New Year, but really just another day. It won’t always be a Happy New Year, but it won’t always be a sad one either. I imagine it will be filled with many new and wonderous things and many memories. Every new turn might not lead in the direction I thought I was going, but I will trust that I am on the right road.

Love Sally

Tangled Lights

Last night, I was laying down to sleep and my mind was so lost that I couldn’t even pick out what it was even trying to focus on thinking about. Then, out of the blue, an exercise popped into my head. It was the one where you write yourself a note or letter. One where you are objective and look at yourself as an outsider and offer some kind words and understanding. I realized I was a jumble of tangled emotions and the picture of Christmas lights popped into my head. You know, the ones where in haste, the lights are thrown into a container and somehow during the storage period, they all get intertwined and when you reach in next time to use them, they are so tangled that it feels like it would be easier to pitch them and go buy new ones.

And so I wrote: Dear Sal, I know it hurts and you just don’t even know how to feel your way through all of the emotions. You feel sad, alone, unsure, doubting and like all of the emotions are wrapped in a knot that feels like it won’t ever be undone. You use to have this other person to love, to blame, to lean on, to have an excuse about and now you don’t. Now its just you and you’re not sure where yourself really starts and stops because it was always intertwined with Ted. Now there is this scary prospect of finding out who you really are, where you want to go with life, what you want to do. Take your time and think about that. Be honest with yourself. I know you are mad too. Mad that you have to deal with shit you don’t want to even look at. Tired of thinking about what needs to be done. tired of waking up and not getting back to sleep. So desperately not wanting to deal with bills and decisions even though you have been the only one to pay bills for 32 years.

Then I got a text from a friend who’s sister also just lost her husband. She said that she was thinking of me and her sister and that today would have been their 33rd anniversary. She also included the photo below. (it wasn’t the first time someone sent it to me, but I’ll include it because it is a good one and one I agree with)

I tried to think of a response, but was feeling so raw in connecting my pain and her sister’s pain and knowing that while similar, we are also different, that again, my emotional christmas lights were too jumbled to untangle so as to even write a message in response.

I simply fell asleep and actually slept till around 4 in the morning. I awoke thinking about my friend and her sister and how to formulate a response. I finally responded to the anniversary reference.

“Thirty three years. My Ted and I just celebrated 32 in August – a few days after Koo’s birthday. I hope it has been a good day for her. One where she picked a few things to do or eat that she knew they both would have loved to do together. I hope this one day was free of the mess of emotions that follows the death of a long time love and spouse. I cry for her or maybe I’m just crying for me. Or both. I hope she is able to look in wonder at what must be rushing in from all corners of her life to fill the void of the loss of a great one. It’s hard to not just get stuck in feeling the void. I know, as I feel her void and mine so deeply right now. For me, it is like looking at the Grand Canyon. It is beautiful and daunting and you can’t ever see or capture all of it in one look or picture, so you feel like you can’t really ever describe it fully. Hugs to Julia and to you both for your friendship.”

I thought I had felt through enough emotions in the past many hours, but when I got to work, I remembered that our owner and one of the sales guys had gone to visit another of our sales guys who has declined in health rather rapidly and was just put onto hospice. In recounting their stories of their visit, it brought me back to Ted in the hospital and his last decline. It was relayed that if I wanted to visit, that I should get to his home soon, as it wasn’t looking good. I had to admit that it might be cowardice, but I wasn’t feeling like I could face that situation right now. Seeing him in near coma and having to look at his wife in her desperate need to keep him alive felt like I’d be standing in front of a mirror that was on magnification and in that moment of contemplation, just didn’t want to see myself in his wife’s eyes.

The decision was not necessary, as he passed away before we even made it to the lunch hour. I thought about his wife and family again and how they will now have to work through having such a void in their lives and learn how to live in a space without his body but still so full of his spirit. Our entire office was sad and quiet for most of the remainder of the day.

Through all of this onslaught of events that were thrown at me today, through trying to convey responses and basic communications, I felt the tangle of emotions loosen. It felt like a few bulbs made their way out of the mess and more were readily available to lay out for use as well. I know there are still more tangles in there, but to get half a string free feels better.

And to balance out the heaviness of the past 20 hours or so, I received a message that my pregnant friend was heading to the hospital to have her baby. As I write, they are sending me photos from the hospital sharing their story of the birth of their first child. Happy hospital drama this time around. I’ll be glad to shed some tears for joy later when baby Rio arrives.

Love, Sally