Best Friends

Sturbridge Village, Massachusetts, October 1994
Marry your best friend.

I do not say that lightly.

Really, truly find the strongest,

Happiest friendship

In the person you fall in love with.

Someone who speaks highly of you.

Someone you can laugh with.

The kind of laughs that make

Your belly ache, and your nose snort.

The embarrassing, earnest, healing kind of laughs.

Wit is important.

Life is too short not to love someone

Who lets you be a fool with them.

Make sure they are somebody

Who lets you cry, too.

Despair will come.

Find someone that you want

To be there with you

Through those times.

Most importantly,

Marry the one that makes passion,

Love, and madness combine

And course through you.
A love that will never dilute –

Even when the waters get deep, and dark.


20 Years and Counting

Get it?
Get it?

Yes, it was 20 years ago today. Some days it’s hard to believe how the years have flown, and at other times I think only of the time we’ve been together.

Sturbridge, MA October 1994
Sturbridge, MA
October 1994

We bought a house, and wondered how we’d ever pay back that huge loan (month by month, it turned out).

Heartbreaking infertility taught me a lesson I still remember: to be grateful for what I have, and not despair over what I lack.

We got a puppy! Oh, the love and companionship of a dog. Jessie may be gone, but Bonnie is sunshine every day.

Jessie 1997-2009

We traveled – each of us had vacationed extensively before we met, but together we explored England and pretty much all of New England. And Europe.

On Lake Lucerne
On Lake Lucerne
Williamstown, MA
Williamstown, MA

Yes, I wish we’d met each other earlier in life. But we live without regret. We find humor in everyday absurdities, and enjoy the journey, hand in hand.

What was, still is.

No More First Dates

Our first telephone conversation:

Him: “Would you like to meet for lunch?”

Me: “Sure, that sounds good.” (Lunch for a first date is a good idea. After an hour, I’d have to get back to work)

Him: “How about this coming Monday?”

Me: “What are you, crazy?”


(Oops. I should explain)

Me: “I mean, this Monday is Valentine’s Day. That’s a lot of pressure for a first date.”

Him: “Would Friday be better for you?”

Me: “Yeah, Friday works.”

And so we met for lunch on the Friday after Valentine’s Day. No pressure. And this time, after countless bad dates and failed relationships, this time it took. Twenty years after that first date, each day is (still) Valentine’s Day with him.

photo by M. Reynolds
photo by M. Reynolds

A Thrill of Hope

Do you feel as though 2012 kicked you to the curb, sucker-punched you in the jaw, sent you sprawling?

When I think about 2012, I will remember:

  • Newtown, Connecticut, and 28 people killed by one — the second-worst school massacre in U.S. history.
  • Hurricane Sandy – 128 people dead and over $50 billion in damage.
  • Trayvon Martin shot dead by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida.
  • Aurora, Colorado, where gunman James Holmes killed 12 and wounded 58.
  • A September 11 assault in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans.
  • Penn State and its sex-abuse scandal. Joe Paterno’s legacy tarnished and Jerry Sandusky convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys.
  • The “fiscal cliff” that will trigger automatic tax hikes and spending cuts and our elected leaders unwilling and unable to come to a fair compromise.
  • Over 3,000 coalition deaths in Afghanistan as part of ongoing operations since the invasion in 2001.
  • Europe’s debt crisis that has hit Greece, Portugal, Ireland, and Spain the hardest.
  • Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old Pakistani shot in the head for demanding education for girls.

We are a weary world, and we need a reason to rejoice. Well, here it is.

You are not alone. You have reason to hope, and hope pushes away despair and grief. We can mourn and rejoice together this Christmas – mourn and remember those taken from us, too soon, too horribly. But we can rejoice in the expectation and hope of a better life after this one. A thrill of hope.hope

Wishing you peace and love at Christmas, and always.

Each Day is Valentine’s Day

My husband and I first met on a blind date.  We were fixed up by a mutual friend (someone who, ironically, is no longer a friend).  He had telephoned me on this day in 1994, and, after the dreaded obligatory small talk, asked if I’d like to have lunch with him.  Lunch is good for a first date, much better than dinner, in my opinion.  Lunch meant I would have to get back to work within the hour.  So I agreed.

“How about Monday then?” he asked.  I didn’t say anything right away.

Then I said, “You’re kidding, right?”  Silence.  “I’m not having our first date on Valentine’s Day!  Too much pressure!”

I laughed it off, but really, I’d experienced plenty of miserable Valentine’s Days in the previous twenty years, and I wasn’t about to risk yet another.  And he didn’t realize it was Valentine’s Day.  So we agreed to meet for lunch in downtown Providence the Friday after Valentine’s Day.  Four months later we were engaged, and four months after that we were married.

Since then, Valentine’s Day has offered us both sweet and heartbreaking memories: violent stomach bugs, flu, a disastrous getaway, a new puppy, miscarriage.   February 14th is really just a day.  Show some love (to anyone: a parent, child, pet, stranger!), try to avoid the nonsense, make dinner reservations for the 13th or the 15th.  Seriously.

Make every day Valentine’s Day.