Monday, May 26, 2014


Today is not my thirteenth wedding anniversary, and that feels strange.

With my wedding present, Adam gave me a fiftieth anniversary card because he believed we would see that day. Even in our rockiest moments divorce was never an option, but because of that card we used to joke that we'd renegotiate the deal when we made it to fifty years. These days, when I'm frustrated with the estate process, I grumble that he reneged on our deal.

This has been one of the more challenging days for me in this year of firsts without Adam because there was not a logical thing to do, no traditions to guide the choice of how to mark this day. Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter are all holidays which continue to be celebrated even without Adam because each of those days contains its own reasons and rituals. This anniversary, in contrast, commemorates a marriage that ended when death did us part.

Today may not be day to celebrate thirteen years, but it can become a day to remember the twelve amazing years and one month that we had. So, this evening, I pulled out our wedding album and tracked down the music Fellowship of Sound sang for us that day.

Fellowship of Sound (May 26, 2001): Nate, Stuart, Kate, Kate, Brad, Chris
Then, I opened the envelope of memories.

I am so grateful to the friends and family who took the time to answer my call for stories. For most of this year, though, I hadn't been able to bring myself to read them. As they arrived, I just slid them into their designated manila envelope, saving them for a nebulous 'later.'

I'm really glad later was today. Your stories capture Adam's boundless creativity,  his gracious hospitality, and his joyful laughter. Thank you for writing his portrait. 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

a glimpse of cousins

She's waited a long time for a first cousin. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

seeing myself

Adam used to reflect me back to me, so that I saw myself in his eyes. Not in the sense that I let him define me, but in the sense that he was the reality check on the person I thought I was presenting to the world. He could separate the insecurities in my head from the flaws visible to others. He could see the potential that I doubted.

Now, I feel like I triangulate the feedback of others to get the same picture.

Like when John wanted to help me sell Rambling Farmhouse right away because he knows it was never my house, never the place I would have chosen for myself. Which reminded me of the first time Mark came to visit, and said, "Kate, I don't know what I expected your house to be, but this is not it."

I saw myself as free to leave this house behind.

Like when Erin talked about me balancing into the burdens of the last year.

I saw myself making progress and gaining confidence.

Like when Dorrie's words about the writing process made me realize that my problems aren't grief problems, but writing problems.

I saw myself making excuses.

It is so hard to dwell in this wilderness between end and beginning. Sometimes I feel like I imagine Moses must have felt, able to see the promised land after many years' wandering, but unable to cross over.  I yearn to move on, sometimes blaming paperwork and sorting for keeping me here, sometimes resenting Adam for leaving so many loose ends.

In more insightful moments, I understand that I'm still here because I'm still learning to see the self I am becoming.

Pardon me while I gather today's manna.