When you can’t control the weather

When you can’t control the weather

There are events so big we plan for them for months, sometimes years. We do whatever we can to make the day perfect. We agonize over every detail. We think about Murphy’s Law and try to mitigate the risks. Then about 10 days before the big day, we begin obsessively checking the weather forecast. We become engulfed in emotions over the one thing we have absolutely no control over.

This past weekend we were doing just that as Kurt’s son and daughter-in-law prepared for their three-time rescheduled wedding celebration in North Carolina and many of our friends were about to toe the starting line of the Chicago Marathon. No one got the weather they wanted.

The garden wedding ceremony was moved under a tent. Marathoners slowed their pace and adjusted time goals to account for the higher temperature and humidity. Disappointment abound of course, although isn’t it all a metaphor for life?

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

Vivian green

Life itself is as unpredictable as the weather and nothing is certain. I was a much different person 28 years ago when I got married the first time. I have come to understand what makes it all so much better now is that in becoming a more mature adult, I’ve learned to dance in the rain. I’ve learned to let go of what’s out of my control and embrace the surprises that come with the ambiguity.

August 24 in Chicago was a horrendously hot and humid day. Although the sun was shining and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. I cut my morning run short because of the heat, but was optimistic about the rest of the day’s forecast. Heat I could handle. This was our wedding day.

We met on the Wabash Avenue Bridge and walked slowly toward our ceremony venue in Maggie Daley Park as our fabulous photographer captured each moment. Then a storm cloud appeared. Frantically checking weather apps, we hoped one would show it moving away from us. But that was not to be. Someone was sent back to the hotel to get the six matching umbrellas I had decided just an hour before to leave behind.

The ceremony was marred only by a little wind that threw a few hairs out of place. Some family photos, and we were on the way to our private dinner reception at a restaurant about a mile away. This is when the skies decided to open up. Without hesitating we agreed this was going to create some pretty spectacular photos and we were right. We got drenched. We laughed. We ate dinner wrapped in towels.

Whether we are training for a marathon or planning a wedding, some uncertainly has to be acceptable, because that’s all life has. In being able to manage disappointment in the things we have no control over, in playing whatever cards we’re dealt, we can find joy, contentment and happiness. A marriage is no less a marriage and marathon is still a 26.2 mile spectacular achievement. Plus crappy weather makes for a much better story.

Focusing today on who I’ve become

Focusing today on who I’ve become

World Suicide Prevention Day. My 7th since becoming a survivor of suicide loss. With every passing year I become more distant from that event, although I still feel compelled- maybe obligated is a better word -to say something.

I haven’t written anything here in months. I was interviewed for an article for WomensRunning.com in the spring in which I said something about it not being a good idea to train for a marathon if you’re also starting a new job or planning a wedding or moving. The only thing I haven’t done this summer is move. Or write a blog post.

So, yeah. Kurt and I got married on August 24th. I’ve written a blog post about that – in my head. I went back to working full time with the Chicago Area Runners Association on June 22nd. I’ve written blog posts in my head about that too and a lot of other things but haven’t dedicated the time to put anything “down on paper” so to speak. I will. I promise.

Much of that, I believe – and my conscious decision back in January to no longer be a slave to weekly blog posts – is that much of the purpose this blog served was bridging the gap between who I was in the year following my husband’s suicide and who I was becoming. 

We will “Never Forget” 9-11, but the 20th Anniversary tomorrow, after eighteen months of quarantines, mask mandates, working from home, vaccines, and 4.6 million dead worldwide (674,547 in the US), will pass somewhat unceremoniously. We will be at the Cubs game.

I guess what I’m trying to say is life goes on. That’s what’s supposed to happen.

We cope.

We survive.

We grow.

We thrive.

We never forget, but we learn to live and love again.  And maybe we no longer want to be defined by the tragedy, but by who we’ve become. We honor our losses with our resilience. We become better people from the experience.

I will always be an advocate for mental healthcare. I will tell my story to anyone who needs to hear it. I will urge people to look out for each other; to never take a loved ones mental health for granted. I will support legislation that makes life easier to live. I will do all of that every day if I can.

I’ve had a lot to say in the last six years:

Please feel free to re-read them, and share them. I just think I want to focus now on who I’ve become. I no longer want be to someone who commemorates World Suicide Prevention Day with a blog post.

Vernon Hills, Illinois. September 2021
On this day

On this day

The feeling begins to emerge right after summer ends. When school resumes, not the official end to summer weeks later, long before the temperature dips and I start thinking about bringing out the sweaters, I start thinking about this day. This was the day – October 6th – that fell on a Monday that year and would forever change the course of our lives.

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When Rules Don’t Apply to Me…I get anxiety

When Rules Don’t Apply to Me…I get anxiety

Rules always apply. For everyone. I’m a “rules follower.” I always follow the rules. Doing the right thing is something that was ingrained in me in childhood. I hate getting scolded. There are times though that the choices we have to make aren’t so black and white and put our values in direct conflict with the rules.

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