Tuesday, February 25, 2014


It has been a long day for everyone and I love them all for it!  So many loving words, I hope there is some way that v can know how much he is missed, what a hole he has left in the fabric of our life, and how much he was appreciated by the people around him.

In bocca al lupo.  m

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Things Left Behind

Now is the moving forward portion of my life.  But moving forward entails so much of what is left behind.  The process of sorting.  The process of letting go of some things and realizing somethings cannot be released, not now...if ever.  

What has been the hardest has been the slow, slow business of notifying people of v's death.  He spent only five days, out of all the days he fought, in the hospital.  Unfortunately, while he was in the hospital his phone, with all of his contacts, was lost.  v wasn't one to update his phone, or back up his information.  Over the past two and a half weeks I have been connecting through threads of association, of who knows who, and messages left in hopes they would be delivered.  In the meantime I've been receiving cards, and letters, and flowers from people I've never met and phone calls from people I've rarely spoken with from points international.  He touched so many people.  Sometimes I believe if I walked through the streets of the Monterey Peninsula, and beyond, with his picture on a sign I would collect a string of acquaintances the way the Pied Piper collected the children of Hamlin.

What has been the most remarkable has been the outpouring of support from our friends who haven't allowed me to fall into a pit of despair.  I have daily text conversations, email threads, phone calls, and visits.  I haven't returned to our shift at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, but I have been attending the Monday classes for the new guides.  It's like desensitization.  I hope to return next month.  I know it will be a bright spot in my weeks, but even the thought of the vacant seat next to me, the lost conversation on our way to and from, and the joy of exchanging what transpired through our day leaves me breathless still...

In bocca al lupo.  m

Friday, February 14, 2014


Just because things are, sometimes, impossibly sad here it doesn't mean I should let things go.  The garden has been a bit neglected over the past year and now we have a drought to contend with.  So, even though it's foggy and cold, I decided it's time to turn the compost. Better to do this on a cold day anyway.

Turning compost creates tiny dramas (well, tiny to me, I suppose it's as big as it gets for the ants and sow bugs)

It looks like the last moments of the Titanic whenever the compost is sifted into the wheelbarrow.

I was just noticing how much the sow bugs look like Lined Chitons except they don't raise part of the shell.  It's so nice to be able to compare the aquarium animals to the garden varieties.  It's a form of continuity.

I ventured back to the aquarium the other evening and it felt great, but also a bit emotionally treacherous.  There are still folks who aren't aware that v is gone and ask, cheerfully, why he isn't with me.  It's hard, but I really don't want to miss some of my favorite subjects that are lectured on every week during the current Guide Class. Guide Class is one of the best, best, best offerings to volunteers at the aquarium. I have v to thank for helping me step up and join.

In bocca al lupo.  m

Monday, February 10, 2014


It all changes. It's all the same.

I can't believe how much has to be done. I can't believe how much I'm getting done.  Is it in Alice in Wonderland where we find how fast one has to run just to stay in the same place?

In bocca al lupo.  m

Sunday, February 2, 2014

My Beautiful Valerio

In bocca al lupo.  m

"Pride Goeth Before a Fall"

Oh this saga could not go on for long without some calamity (large or small) occurring.  This morning one occurred.  v decided he'd had enough of being waited on and decided to get up on his own.  We don't have Lassie, but we have a small cat named Emily who came trotting, with purpose, from the bedroom area just as I heard a shout.  If you don't know us personally (and I believe most who read this do) you should know that v is not a big man, not in stature that is.  Thank God for that.  He's back to bed, he's caught his breath, and he is uninjured and neither am I. They do say "Pride goeth before a fall"...my, my...

This weekend v's daughter has been down from Portland where she lives, works, and goes to school.  He has been a happy man having his beautiful daughter here beside him.  It's been good to have the late night company for me.  It has also been nice for me, aside from the company she provides, that she is also far more techno savvy than I am. She has fixed a few of the glitches I've somehow created with my Mac and taught me about some convenient settings.  Sadly, she leaves this afternoon (though, last evening, v was oddly more concerned with whether I'd be able to set him up to watch the Super Bowl), but we're working on getting her back soon.   A quick reminder that the 49er's lost made the need for a sick room man-cave less urgent.  Sheesh! life goes on even if it requires more external support. Thankfully, the game streams live on-line (at least, it did last year).

Our friend Father Bill came by again yesterday to give v communion and read to us from a book called "Psalms for Praying" by Nan Merrill.  It's a new translation and more contemporary interpretation of the psalms. As he read from one that sounded familiar (but do I know it???) a passage about polluting the seas came up that I thought would be particularly appropriate for the aquarium and the message of conservation of the oceans and marine life. It actually read "you have polluted the seas" and God doesn't like it! A major influence, wouldn't you say?

In bocca al lupo.  m & v