Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Beautiful Dreamer

Hey there-

I was busted last night.

Both boys (7 & 11) had teeth pulled yesterday. Or should I say they had teeth wiggled out yesterday. Apparently that is what the dentist likes to say so she doesn't have kids bolting from the room after they hear words like extracted or yanked. Both of my boys are very stoic in these situations and they came out of the room with slight smirks on their faces and bloody gauze hanging out of their mouths.

The dentist had told them they deserved something special from the tooth fairy after being so brave so they both left notes for the tooth fairy so she knew these teeth were pulled and didn't just fall out. I dutifully snuck into their room later to exchange the teeth for the loot. (I give $1 per tooth.....OK I splurged and gave them each $2 after the nice dentist practically forced me to....) I had trouble finding Arthur's and had to dig around a bit before locating the baggie with his note neatly taped to it; "This was pulled" was all it said. After securing the money and the note I (the tooth fairy, sorry) wrote for him; "Good work" under his pillow I moved on to Henry's tooth.

I crept to his bed and stretched my arm up to reach my hand gently under his pillow and..........his little head popped up with a huge smile on his face.

"The dentist told me I was too old to believe in the tooth fairy," he said.

This coming from a guy who, when he was 5, told me he didn't believe in the Easter bunny.

"Why would a bunny leave eggs for people? That just doesn't make any sense."

You're right, Henry, it doesn't make any sense.

I went upstairs to share the story with Mike who was absorbed in the extra inning of the Brewer's game (Go Brewer's!) and could not have cared less at that moment about me being busted as the tooth fairy.

So I went into the bedroom and started crying. Why, you may ask. I think it has a little something to do with today being Bob and my 15th wedding anniversary and a little something to do with the sainted dead spouse syndrome. Of course, if Bob were here he would have stopped whatever he was doing and given me his undivided attention and laughed appropriately and sentimentally at my tooth fairy story. Better yet, if Bob were here, he would have crept around the room with me and seen Henry's head bob up for himself and we could have laughed together later.

I am sure that is what would have happened. If Bob were here he would celebrate every silly milestone involving our boys with me in exactly the way I would want him to.

It all would be perfect, if Bob were here.

HA, beautiful dreamer.

Well, if Bob were here, we would have celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary today. Instead, I am packing for a trip to San Diego where Mike and I will speak about the challenges and joys of marriage after widowhood. We talk about the sainted dead spouse syndrome and the anniversary dates that can be tough for both of us. I bet the tooth fairy story will be brought up this year. I bet we laugh about it.

Nothing is perfect, except maybe the weather today which is the exact same weather we had 15 years ago.

Happy Anniversary, Bob. I miss you! Love, Renie

Thanks for checking in-


Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Hey there-

Can grief be sexy?

Let me explain. The other day I attended a fundraiser for the FaceIt Foundation ( My friend, Mark, founded this organization to help raise awareness and provide support for male depression. He has been riding his bike from California to New York this summer to raise funds and awareness for this worthy cause.

The event was lovely, but could have had a better turn out.

I feel the same way about Camp Widow ( where Mike and I will speak next week on the joys and challenges of remarriage after widowhood. I also feel the same way about the Life Lights Celebration, an annual event that benefits the Horizon Grief Resource Center. ( Mike and I serve on the planning committee for this last event.

Mark (FaceIt Foundation) and I have discussed the difficulties of garnering support for our passions: depression and grief.

"They aren't very sexy topics," Mark said, with a laugh and a shrug.

I think grief is sexy. What is not sexy about crying and screaming and possible throwing of items? You can't tell me heartbreak is not sexy. Funerals?, now there is some sexy stuff; people dressed in dark outfits, milling about and talking in hushed tones, that is sexy. And what about grief support groups?, the Kleenex, more crying, the great chairs you get to sit in, sexy. The thank you notes, the flowers, the head tilt of empathy, the paperwork, the holidays, the anniversaries, the hard (like climbing a mountain of sand) work involved with moving forward, all of it very, very sexy.

For real, though, I think grief can be sexy.

The way child birth is sexy. It's messy and there can be screaming and crying and maybe drugs and you have no idea when it will end. There can be a point (or two or three or 18) when you might think you don't want to go on, or you can't go on, but you have no choice at that moment.

You have no choice.

You know that feeling that you get at the top of the mountain or after you run a marathon (I hear) or after a fantastic bike ride or after you clean your entire house and it smells like lemon or when all the laundry is done and everything is folded in neat piles or after a successful presentation you were really nervous about or when you finally birth that baby. You know that tired, satisfied, glowing feeling you get after a hard job well done, when it feels so good to be in your skin and you are so proud of your accomplishment. It may be a feat you didn't expect to complete, or didn't necessarily even want to, but you did and you have to smile despite yourself because you feel just a little invincible.

Surviving grief can make you feel like that.


Don't give up on your grieving before you get to the glowing, satisfied, sexy, feeling good in your skin, invincible part.

Getting your glow back.........that is sexy!!!

Thanks for checking in-