The Day After Valentine’s

Valentine’s Day was never a special holiday in our marriage. Instead, it was the day after that held all the magic. The day the Whitman’s Sampler dropped to 50% off at the Walgreens down the street. That day, Rob ran out and grabbed me the biggest box of chocolates he could get under our self-imposedContinue reading “The Day After Valentine’s”

A Last Gift of Love

When Rob and I became engaged, we traveled from Illinois to our old college town in Ohio for makeshift premarital counseling. Mostly, Rob wanted to hang out with his old English professor, and I wanted to visit my sisters who were in school at the time. Over dinner with the professor and his wife, theContinue reading “A Last Gift of Love”

Adventures in Cooking

We’d recently returned from our honeymoon when Rob invited friends over for dinner. We lived in a little garage apartment in rural Ohio, and I was excited to break out our wedding gifts and use our new kitchen. Through graduate school, I’d eaten like a pauper, subsisting mostly on white rice with a melted slabContinue reading “Adventures in Cooking”

The Open-Handed Life

We give Thee but Thine own,whate’er the gift may be;All that we have is Thine alone,a trust, O Lord, from Thee. William Walsham How, 1858 When we lived in Chicago, Rob and I attended a church that read 1 Chronicles 29:14 each week before the morning offering was received. “For all things come of Thee,Continue reading “The Open-Handed Life”

His Hand in Mine

Rob often lamented that his hands were too small to palm a basketball. He’d played basketball throughout high school, and he claimed his hands were his greatest handicap. With bigger hands, he said, he could have been really great. I’d smile as Rob retold the stories of his glory days — buzzer beaters and alley-oops.Continue reading “His Hand in Mine”

All Eyes on Me

Not long after Rob died, I ventured out to a social gathering, my first foray into the world post-loss, beyond the comfortably anonymous grocery store and post office. After a brief pep talk in the car, I smoothed my sweater, smiled in the rear view mirror and climbed out of the car. “Straighten your shoulders,Continue reading “All Eyes on Me”

“Not Gray … Hoary.”

I stand before the linen closet in the bathroom, a trash can beside me. I’m told that it’s helpful to tackle one space at a time, so I’ve decided to go through Rob’s toiletries. There’s not much really. The elastics from his despised Invisalign treatment. Trash. The half-used Chapstick. Trash. The dental floss. Might asContinue reading ““Not Gray … Hoary.””