May 27, 2009


"Life sure is a humdinger." That's what Delle used to say, quoting her wise auntie. The Nurse is in, well, nurse mode, but it's just a completely different thing when it's family. No machine. Waterfalls of tears. And reserves of strength you didn't know you had. Ah, I'd do just about anything to make it all better — but the simple truth is that I've got no control. None of us really do. I've got a shoulder to cry on and a lap to fall asleep on for an hour or so. And a whole lot of love for The Nurse and her family. I continue to be amazed to witness what the human soul can bear. Be kind to each other today.

May 19, 2009


On my usual route getting the kids to the bus stop and then down the block to catch my train to work yesterday morning, I spied a yard full of hundreds of lilly of the valley which stopped me in my tracks. I just couldn't resist, so after looking around quickly, I crouched down and started picking them. Just a small handful to carry along to work with me. Ah, they are one of my favorite flowers, rivaled only by fellow May-bloomers, the lilac. The urban valley I live in — created thousands of years ago by Lake Michigan and melting glaciers — is the perfect habitat for these shade-loving beauties. Their sweet smell and dainty bell-shaped perfection made the walk down the used-condom strewn street a little more bearable. Take some time to smell the flowers today.

May 14, 2009

Life goes on....

Well hello there Anima Sola readers! It's been well over a month since I've posted anything, so I'll try to do a little update here of things that have been preoccupying me. I've thought about writing a few times, but as I so often do, I write it in my head and don't always manage to get to the keyboard. Anyway....Spring has finally sprung in Chicago and it's a glorious day — at least 70 today I'd say, with plenty of sunshine.

I'm getting into the groove at my new job; I had my "90-day Review" on Monday of this week and it was actually refreshing to hear some constructive criticism as well as praise. Overall, it was very positive and I was told what a good job I'm doing. After my review, I cleaned out the "job search" email folder that I'd been hanging on to — with well over 200 emails stored of jobs I'd applied for. A nice little cleanse.

Of course, becoming gainfully employed has not made each and every hurdle in life vanish — stumbling blocks and challenges are still a regular appearance. I have accepted that this is simply the nature of life. We are not in control, just along for the ride. We try to roll with the punches: stress, money woes, illness, death. And try to look around and see who is there with us as we face the darker moments. These are the people who matter. Live a good life and I believe you'll find lots of these people in your corner.

One of my latest guilty pleasures is Facebook. I've had fun reconnecting with long lost friends and keeping better tabs on people that I don't usually have daily contact with. The brief "status updates" are nice little check-ins with people who might otherwise slip through the cracks on most days.

This Saturday, Little M and J are making their First Communion, which we are all looking forward to. And this past Easter, The Nurse was initiated into the Catholic Church. It still sounds crazy to say that, because a part of me wonders how anyone can rationalize joining our crazy church, but then I realize that our community at St. G's is pretty darn special and unusual. There is an abundance of light there that really pulls people in. Perhaps it's greatest gift is that so many of the parishoners are deep thinkers who really have done the theological study and spiritual house-cleaning to be able to be Catholic on a local level, while resisting Catholic nonsense from the hierarchy. Anyway, The Nurse and I have really deepened our relationship by connecting spiritually and sharing a faith path, which means so much to me.

OK, this is getting a bit long, but I'll try to check in more often and write again about more topical stuff. I can't believe it's already mid-May and I'll be (choke, choke) 37 next week! How on Earth did this happen?