Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I have been sitting outside writing in all 9 grandkids' journals. It's 9:00 p.m. and the mosquitoes are biting, so I am back inside. I made a final entry in my granddaughter, Ashley's journal which I have kept for her since she was a baby, Nana's Girl. I would say, "You're my girl!" and she would say, "You're my nana!" She will be 20 in a few weeks, and she and her boyfriend of 3 years are moving into an apartment. If you think I worried about her last week when they drove to Ohio for vacation, you can only imagine what I am feeling now. She is so smart and beautiful and talented. She will continue her college education and work part time; Justin has a full time job as a welder, and the best part is they live nearby!

Tears are flowing and my emotions have run the gamut: I sat outside and cried over our first grandchild leaving the nest, fawned over her baby pictures and photos of that litle blonde blue-eyed wild child in my class. I was her first teacher. I smiled at images of her with my mom who loved her to the point of obsession and just couldn't get enough of her. I am consumed with love and worry and hope and happiness for her.

I came in and checked email and laughed long and hard which brought more tears to my eyes, the good kind, when I read a personal essay a friend had written about when she first met her husband. The imagery is priceless.

The next email felt like a punch in the gut. My friend and fellow writer's guild member, Mary Menke lost her husband today to cancer. I feel her pain and sorrow, and I can't stop weeping. I also learned today that one of the senior citizens in the writing class I teach, passed away from lung cancer. I am feeling vulnerable and mortal. I ask everyone reading this to offer an uplifting prayer for Mary and her family.

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