Paper snowflakes


I started writing this post last week. Then life happened and I had to crawl back out of a place where negative tunnel vision blocked my productivity.  So, here we are now, together, getting through this belated message:

It’s a week before Thanksgiving. Do you know where your holiday decorations are?

I’m amazed at the dialogue that centers around (early to some, not to others) holiday decorating. The feuds that have hijaked social media are another reminder of how divisive the masses have become.

If there is an opinion, there is an opposition, and a meme, and all the voices want to be heard.

The human dynamic is shifting. Anxiety is at an all-time high in our society.

No wonder. We’re constantly connected.

What are the side affects of this constant contact?

Sarah Wilson talks about this in great length in her book First, We Make the Beast Beautiful. Her blog enlightens and encourages people to be more introspective about their impact on society/the planet/themselves/their neighbors.

Much of our anxiety is self-imposed. I know that’s not the answer we want to hear, but it’s the truth. We’re so willingly connected that we are unconsciously disconnected. Too many find their value or self-worth in being opinionated. I want to find our similarities and use those to make our human experiences more meaningful.

I think holiday decorations are the perfect distraction from all of our distractions. No matter what your finances, you can decorate. One year as a single, poor mom, I cut-out paper snowflakes and the kids and I hung them around our place. Snowflake bunting to remind yourself that you are not alone and that holiday is about spirit.

I say let the people decorate! Let the people sing their Christmas tunes! Let thy stockings be hung, even if you’re just not ready.

There’s something magical in the shimmer and the glitter and the change of scenery this time of year. Just like a cardinal on a stack of browned, winterized leaves, the season gives us a glimmer of beauty.

I hope you can take a moment to disconnect, even for just a little bit.














Notice how we don’t have a word to commemorate someone’s death date?

Such a monumental event and we don’t even acknowledge a death date with a specific word.

We’ve got birthday and anniversary. Anniversary translates to “year turning” [= “annus” year…”versus” turning]. But, we no longer use a particular word to signify the date someone we love died. The word anniversary, according to secret society Middle English folklore (or this website), was initially used to refer to someone’s death date.

Other cultures and languages refer to the death anniversary specifically. Most other cultures celebrate the deaths of their loved ones each year, and publicly. Americans are so private and guarded with their grief.

I call it deathiversary. It flows naturally, and there’s no mistaking the celebration’s intent.

My father died ten years ago today. His deathiversary always aligns with the subtle changing of the seasons in Florida. If we’re lucky, we’ll have cool mornings and evenings. Some years, such as this year, the chill arrives and leaves swiftly.  I hop back into Tevas and jean shorts, complaining about the vicious and blinding sun.

The day of my father’s funeral in Springfield, Massachusetts, it was 22 degrees. The cold-appropriate clothing felt extra comforting as I hid my body, heavy with grief, into the layers.

During those days, in 2008 before smart phones had taken over, wherever I went, I carried my pocket size Canon Power Shot Elph with me. That point and shoot camera, which was 8.0 megapixels and had a color-accent feature that everyone was fascinated with, did so much despite it’s amature status.

I was able to capture moments like this throughout the day of my father’s service:


dad superman

It’s a tiny photo, but a giant memory.


Picture 24_copy

Margaret Street, Springfield, Mass. 10/22/2008


Picture 20

I haven’t returned to his grave, or Massachusetts, since 2008.