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PCT Hike Update

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My daughter’s hike on the Pacific Crest Trail continues…and I am more amazed at her tenacity every day.  I’m so grateful she has a GPS device that allows her to send messages in addition to ‘pinging’ her location when she has service.  She has been faithful to let us know where she is each day, and we’ve seen her about once a week when she crosses into civilization and we resupply her.

She’s grubby and hungry when she walks off the trail, and we’re sure glad to see her!

After a 26 mile day near Mt. Rainier

After a 26 mile day near Mt. Rainier

She craves fresh fruit the most!

She craves fresh fruit the most!

Grubby Tootsies!

Grubby Tootsies!

She hit mile 325 when she made it to Steven’s Pass over the weekend.  We picked her up there and brought her home for a 36 hour rest and resupply.  She’s done about 275 miles alone, meeting some interesting characters along the way.  Her husband did a stretch between Mt. Rainier and Snoqualmie Pass with her.  They experienced rain, thunder, lightening, hail, and a new forest fire! More

“Mrs. M Died Today”

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Robin Williams’ suicide continues to touch raw wounds.

I have the honor of sharing a deeply touching story from “Mary” today.  She very eloquently describes what it’s like to be left behind the wake of a suicide.

 

“Mrs. M died today,” read my diary. 

That’s all that’s written.  Looking back, I just don’t think there was any more to say.  How in the world could I explain it to my diary when at age 10, my best friend’s mom died and left us all bereft, swirling in a pool of uncertainty?

Now more than 30 years later, More

Mixed Emotions…

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Our daughter is fulfilling a Bucket List dream, and it’s got my momma heart twisted all sorts of ways.  I’m proud, immensely proud, but of course I’m also nervous.

 

A journey of 500 miles begins with a single step...

A journey of 500 miles begins with a single step…

She’s hiking over 500 miles More

Mommy’s Green Dress

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When I was a little girl, my mom had a beautiful green dress hanging in the closet of our guest bedroom. She’d worn the dress to parties in the post WW2 era. It was exciting just hearing her talk about the dances and parties.   I must have shown too much interest at some point, because I remember being forbidden from touching or playing with it.

Well, once it became taboo, it might as well have had a Denise-magnet sewn into the fabric. I really wanted to wear that dress. Green was my favorite color back then, so that made it all the more alluring. And that sheer fabric over the satin, oh how it beckoned me. Mom rarely got angry with me, but when she did, she meant business, so I only admired it from the closet door.

Until it became worth the risk.

The summer I turned seven More

From Estrangement to Reconciliation

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Estrangement stories cross my path often lately.  It’s a painful and sensitive topic, for both sides.  Some people are hurting because they’ve chosen to estrange themselves, others because they don’t understand why a loved one has estranged.  Still others long for the relief of estrangement, but the pain of setting that boundary is clearly too difficult.

The journey of coming to terms with why we need to estrange ourselves can be grueling, depressing, and exhausting.  Desire for belonging to family is strong, and it took considerable pain – and 3 attempts – before I was finally able to definitively draw my line in the sand.  More

Polished by Loss

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Grief over the loss of a loved one cuts deep to the core; sometimes there just isn’t enough time together.

My guest today, Kathryn Clarke, writes eloquently about allowing pain to polish us as we journey through grief.

Kathryn Clarke

Kathryn Clarke

Terry Tempest Williams wrote that endings are often difficult to detect.  This one, though, I saw coming. My mother’s belly enlarged as if she were pregnant, but her cheeks were sunken, her eyes glassy.  When her oncologist called me on a sunny afternoon in November and told me there was nothing more that could be done to treat her lymphoma, my voice was steady, although I found it difficult to breathe. “Yes, I know. Thank you for trying.”

Denial can be an enticing elixir, but I didn’t need to be a nurse to know my mother was dying. She had received care from the finest doctors in the finest cancer centers in the world.  And she was dying of her disease. More

The Mom Factor

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It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since my mom and I reconciled after a 12-year estrangement. It’s been quite an adjustment having a renewed relationship with the truth about my dad as the foundation. Though it’s not perfect, I’m very grateful for the opportunity to reconnect with her. It has been an incredible time of healing for us both, I think.

Depression and PTSD rendered so many dreams and goals in my life impossible and I had given up on most of them.  The long-term effects of Mom not protecting or believing me have been devastating. The good news is I’m seeing (and feeling) the boost from just knowing she believes me now. It amazes me that no matter how old we are, a mom can make such a difference.  There are some very deep emotional holes being healed as we nurture the relationship.  I believe there will always be scars, but the open wounds are closing.

Another gift our relationship has given me is More

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