What I Did in 2012.

Just a few of the things on my big list of 2012.  Stay tuned for 2013.  It’s gonna be a great year.

In 2012, with a guardian angel watching over, I …

  • Took pride in my new home.
  • Planted things.
  • Helped people on the phone.
  • Advocated.
  • Journeyed with Alex to residential treatment.
  • Re-discovered the connection I have with my son.
  • Packed a lot of boxes.
  • And unpacked them too.
  • Sold the first house I ever bought.
  • Framed Hannah’s artwork.
  • Created an awesome room for my first/second grader.
  • Adopted another gecko.
  • Traveled.
  • Lived a whole year without my mother.
  • Said goodbye to my mother’s house.
  • Started cooking dinner again.
  • Wrote a lot.  Wrote poetry too.
  • Cried a lot.
  • Started running again.
  • Finalized a divorce.
  • Made new friends.
  • Went to the theater.
  • Invested in things I care about.
  • Made contributions.
  • Gave gifts.
  • Fell more deeply in love with an amazing woman.
  • Fell in love with her two chihuahuas.
  • Got engaged.
  • Celebrated Thanksgiving with Alex and Hannah and Aubrey.
  • Reclaimed my family’s collection of Christmas ornaments.
  • Added new ornaments for my new family.
  • Expanded my vision for the future.
  • Started planning a wedding on the beach.

For all these things, big and small, I feel very grateful.

Best wishes for a Happy Healthy New Year dear readers!


:~) Quote for the Moment (~:

autismhomerescue11241101“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face… do the thing you think you cannot do.”

~Eleanor Roosevelt

For women in challenging circumstances ~
It’s okay to begin again ~

Please feel free to message me, too!

 double koru

Today’s Gratitude List


Today I am grateful for:

  • Choice.  Whether I like to admit it or not, I have choices in just about every area of my life.  The times when I’m not able to choose the particular circumstance or situation, I’m still able to choose how I react to it.  Last night it occurred to me how lucky I am that I can choose to eat foods that are healthy and make me feel good.  I can choose to focus my attention on positive, happy stuff instead of complaining.  I may not always do that… okay, okay you’re right, I complain a LOT.. but the point is, I have the *choice* and that’s empowering, even when I’m cranky.
  • My girlfriend & the healthy, balanced relationship we have.  How amazing is it to be able to learn something new about yourself every day, to have a loving presence reflect back to you the things that you wouldn’t be able to see on your own?  I believe we are attracted to people who hold the keys to our self-development and who can help us grow into the fully alive, relaxed & joyful people we are meant to become.  Thank you, Aubrey, for being my mirror & being you & being with me.
  • Time.  Life keeps moving forward.  And continues on… and on… and on.  Last year at this time I couldn’t have imagined the amazing stuff that would happen for me in the future.  Today I don’t know what’s around the corner.  The fact that life changes and time continues… well for some reason today, that feels really reassuring and not at all scary.  Today I’m kinda liking the fact that I don’t know what’s in store for tomorrow, but I have a guarantee that tomorrow will arrive.


What are you grateful for today?

:~) .. the questions themselves .. (~:

ocean tide

I thought this quote deserved a special highlight today as it seems to perfectly describe my autism life journey.  If it also resonates with you, please share!


“Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart.  Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language.  Do not now look for the answers.  They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them.  It is a question of experiencing everything.  At present you need to live the question.  Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.”

Rainer Maria Rilke,
Letters To A Young Poet



The “D” Word

Here it is:   the big, bad “D” word I’ve been avoiding in my writing:


Fourteen years ago yesterday I was a real princess, a glowing bride in the most beautiful formal ceremony of my life.  My mother officiated.  I started down the aisle and actually saw– in reality– the vision I had seen months earlier when I slipped into my wedding dress for the first time at Kleinfeld’s in Brooklyn and turned to face the mirror.  A dear friend who years later would make her debut at the Metropolitan Opera graced us with her amazing voice, singing the Ave Maria.  Family members read poems, our friends stood with us to witness.  The weather was perfect, the day was long and fun and extended well into the night.  Everyone laughed, cried, danced and celebrated.  It was all perfect and I felt a joy and spiritual peace about the world and the start of my new married life.

People cheered us on that day because they loved us and they knew– beyond a shadow of a doubt– that we would make it.  If any couple could overcome any obstacle, could stick together through any storm, it was us.

… beyond a *shadow of a doubt* …

Our 99.9% “guarantee” on a happy life which our friends predicted that day did not include autism.  Or extreme challenges.  Or changes so overwhelming that we could not have possibly imagined them in any way, shape or form because we had no clue what it could be like to live in Holland—we were happily headed for Italy and we were confident.  Fast forward fourteen years…

The night before last after Alex was asleep, I sat down on the hard wood coffee table in the darkened living room to close my eyes for a few minutes and let in the reality of where my life had gone.  The bright light in the foyer shone down on the curtains on the front door and crept toward where I sat, just out of reach of it.  I took a deep breath and felt my feet on the ground, the table supporting my weight.

“This is what it is, fourteen years later.  Everything has changed, and Mom is gone.”

Soundless, warm tears welled up and meandered down my cheeks.  I let it in a little more, and breathed through it as if I were softening into a yoga pose, feeling that hurt, but knowing it was somehow a good pain.

I opened my eyes and looked toward the door.  At the bottom of the old, crinkled curtains, the light cast tiny shadows in the folds.  The shadows appeared to form letters across the edge of the fabric, as if someone had written in pencil in a tall, thin, fancy font. 

I closed my eyes again and mentally walked through the house, imagining how it had once been and what I had loved about it.  I felt the joy of caring for my home, my family, my married life.  I felt the pain and disappointment at the loss of those dreams.  More tears.  But this time with resignation.  Many times in the last few years I had come to a crossroads.  There was always an answer, a new direction to take.  Many leaps, always a net to catch me.

So what now?  I opened my eyes again and focused on the curtain.  What were those letters anyway?  Could I read them?  Bit by bit, I followed the penciled shadows across.

S.. t.. a.. r.. t   O.. v.. e.. r



Today’s Gratitude List

gratitude symbol 

Today I am grateful for:

  • The ability to take a “do-over” just because.  When I was a kid playing kickball & baby-in-the-air & all those outdoor neighborhood games in the summer, do-overs were a big thing.  Usually granted as a special privilege to the younger kids, a do-over meant you got to erase the last try, you weren’t really “out,” and you got to try again.  I took my share of do-overs granted by the older, more seasoned players, and when I became the older one, I granted them freely.  Somehow as adults we seem to have forgotten that we’re entitled to do-overs (or more aptly put– “new starts”) in our everyday lives.  Next time you’re not liking the way your day is going, declare a “do-over” and start fresh.  I promise you, it is liberating!
  • Yoga.  Hannie and I have been taking a yoga class together every Sunday for the past few months.  Our teacher Denise is amazing with kids and with her craft– and with me!  Today as we took the “yoga nap” as Hannie likes to call it, I felt the tears well up behind my eyes, ready to release all the tension the weekend had provided me to that point.  I am so grateful for the space and the place and the freedom to let it all go, release the tough stuff to the universe and stretch again.
  • My readers.  Like Moni, who reminded me that what we write and share makes a difference.  I am so grateful for the feedback, you guys!  If it weren’t for you all, I’d have put away my computer this week and called it quits.  But of course, I didn’t.  I’m taking a do-over!


What are you grateful for today?  Write it down & share it!