I am sorry that I sent out the wrong post a few minutes ago. What I meant to send was the following:

Alice’s 100th birthday was six months ago today. You were all a big part of it. I think about you all and miss you. It’s quite a change to go from the large, warm, connected crowd of us observing Alice’s life, her last birthday, and her passing to the presence, love, and understanding of a few close to me. All is well, in that life moves forward as life will just go ahead and do, despite monumental personal events.

And I’m okay, even without Alice. Nothing could surprise me more than this fact. I’m still going through her things and trying to make decisions about them, still have not taken her ashes to Iowa (that will happen this spring, I think), still haven’t found that secret path that leads to waking up in the morning and simply knowing she’s no longer here, still hate that little emotional lurch that happens when I remember that she’s gone, still haven’t responded to your comments on the last few posts, all of which I’ve read through several times and find so moving I don’t know what to say. But I will respond to them.

My hope is that the book will express some of my gratitude to all of you. And on that topic the news is good in that the project is moving forward and ready for final touches. Then off it goes to meet some editors. I’ll let you know the moment one of them accepts it.

Meanwhile, hugs and thanks and love to all of you. You know how much you mean to me and what you meant to Alice and me. You have to know that by now. Take good care of yourselves. I hope to be back in touch soon.

50 thoughts on “Six Months

  1. Again, so lovely to hear from my old friend about my other old friend…

    I am looking forward to taking the Alice Journey from start to finish when the book is ready – I think it may have been going on a year or so before I jumped on that Oregon-bound wagon!

    Kerry Scherer kerry.vincent@att.net Glass Art:  kerryellen.wordpress.com Creative Writing:  kvwordsmith.wordpress.com Make art.  Make a difference. Imagine a better world. Then go create it.

    1. Kerry, a few days ago I went through Alice’s jewelry and came across the pieces you sent to her. They are so lovely, and she wore them all the time. Both were so fitting – the tree for her passion for trees, and the lily, my father’s favorite flower. Thank you again. You’ve been a gift to Alice and me in many ways.

  2. I am holding you in my heart. Haveyou noticed the light is returning? More opportunities for us to get together when you have the time & mental space. Je t’aime.

  3. So very good to hear from you, Andrea. I think of you and Alice often, glad to know you are basically ok, and not surprised to hear that you remain a little disconcerted over the void created by her passing. It will get better, but it will probably never go away. Hugs to you. And I hope the first editor who reads “our” collective story snatches it right up.

  4. It’s just so wonderful to hear your clear, sweet voice again, Andrea. I’m so grateful to have been a small part of yours and Alice’s life and look forward with much anticipation to reading your book. Sending love and more love —

  5. What a lovely message Andrea! Yes there has been a void not reading you blogs about dear Alice but as you know and have said, life goes on. I look forward to your book! Love Carol

  6. I never met Alice except through your blog, and I was so happy to re-connect with you through your writing of it. I think of you often, have been wondering how the book was coming along, and sending loving thoughts. Let me know if you need/want a beta reader. And I’ll echo others by saying let me know when I can pre-order the book. Much love, sdh

  7. Hello, dear Andrea. I was so happy to receive notice of a new post today. Feel the love for you that is so obvious in these comments. All of us await your book with some anticipation. Your larger support group is still here. Caring about you. And treasuring our shared memories of Alice and you.

  8. I have been thinking about you, hoping you’re ok and processing all the stuff… I was happy to see you had posted! <3!

  9. Good to hear from you, Andrea. Think of you so often.
    Tom and I have been in Arizona for several weeks. Go home on March 8th.
    We will wait to hear when you plan to go to Iowa. So often wish we were all closer but hope to see you then.
    So happy to hear the book is moving forward. Very special.
    Memories are amazing😊
    Love, Mary and Tom

  10. I was so happy to see your email in my in box and to know you are well and getting on with living your life. I have missed you, and I will always miss Alice, but I’m glad to hear your news about the book. I can’t wait to hear it will be published. I’m confident that will be so, because how could it not be? Much love to you (and Alice, wherever she is now). Barbara

    1. Barbara, Alice has been coming for little visits, I think (or like to imagine). Sometimes in the middle of the night I smell the perfume she liked (and which I do not wear). It’s a strange experience. It doesn’t frighten me. I rather like it. Thank you for all your support, dear Barbara.

  11. Dearest, Most Darling Andrea –

    I have to confess that being absent from a computer for so long left me unaware that your Alice had passed on. And, I’m sad about that. I would have liked to have been present, at least in word, for you during that time.

    I have little to say about grief except that I’ve known its depth and longevity and the markers it leaves even in to the future – and that what I’ve learned is to hold it, be with it, give oneself all the time in the world, be gentle with one’s self.

    At the risk of repeating what you’ve probably heard one thousand times by now, I must say that your dedication, tenacity, patience and endurance with your mother was nothing but encouragement and aspiration for me. The way you found to introduce her to ideas through children’s books touched such a tender cord within me – it still brings me to tears.

    One of the things I like to say about myself is that “I attempt to stand at the intersection of grace and reconciliation.” It’s, of course, one thing entirely to say it, another thing to say “I attempt,” and a bird of an entirely different species to be the person who actually lives it out. Which is what you are/were with your mother/Alice. Grace and reconciliation – two spectacular gifts which can’t be measured and are more witnessed, as we were privileged to do reading the writes about Alice.

    As always, I wish I could sit and have a cup of coffee or tea with you. But I’ve learned over the years that you share yourself with a select few and I respect that. Ironically, I am the same way. So – just know I send you a love which was sewn so many years ago in that first class I took from you and has stayed with me all of these days.

    Love. Always Love. Skye

  12. I’m glad to hear that things are going okay. I am all too familiar with the “emotional lurch” – still having those pangs eight months on from my dad’s passing and expect I might always have them. We would not wish our loved ones back under the circumstances but we do wish they were not gone forever.

    Take care, know you are being thought of, and I hope the book comes to market soon.

  13. I can now say, that I understand, to an extent, what your loss is like. This August marks 3 years since my mother died suddenly. And there are moments that catch me unaware, my heart beating a mourning song for her. I’m so glad I learned about you and Alice.
    Sending huge hugs your way.
    Cara

    1. Oh Cara, I did not know your mother also died in August. It’s a kind of gateway month, isn’t it? Leading to autumn and all that beautiful dying that surrounds us. Not a bad month to say good-bye, but yes to the heart’s mourning song. I understand. Hugs back to you.

  14. Hi there! I have been out of town and it was with great joy to find your email in my pile. Something on the order of “She lives!” You have great carrying capacity, you are finding out, for absence as well as presence. I love you! Hope to see you soon.

  15. Andrea, I am so glad to see a post from you. My father died unexpectedly just nine short weeks after Alice left this earth, and suddenly I had something in common with you that I never wished for. Profound loss. I have wondered how you were faring, and wish you continued healing and peace. I still miss you and Alice, and your wonderful stories, and look forward to the book.

    1. I wouldn’t have wanted us to be on this part of the journey together either, but here we are. I hope you’re doing okay, Dawn. Thank you for being out there for Alice and for me, too.

  16. Andrea dear,
    Six months. Wow. I realized in receiving your blog post how grateful I am to you for so generously sharing yourself, your beloved mother and your life with us. I have missed our ‘talks’ via your blog.
    I love you and wish you well.
    Catherine

  17. Dear Andrea,
    Just came back from my mom’s 95th birthday celebration and a great week w my sibs. Mom is in advanced dementia, present and gone. Thought of you and your reflections often:

    – poster in the Spiritual Life Circle that she slept through: “The wonderful thing about memory loss is that you are always meeting so many new friends.”
    – looping for the 25th time, “If I’d known I’d have such a great party for turning 95, I’d have turned 95 a long time ago.” (She was a math major, valedictorian and first woman president of the student council at Marshall College in Huntington, West Virginia.)
    – Immediately recognizing my partner of 40 years with great joy but me not once. However remarked often, ” Imagine at this late stage meeting someone I have so much in common with! Living in Miami Florida, having Marge and Peggy and Inez and Bootsie for neighbors…was your husband with Pan Am too?”

    Thanks for knowing so deeply and sharing so completely the love and joy and grief of all this… I too want to pre- order your book. Have you tried Barrett- Koehler? I know someone there if you’d like me to intro you …and also that they ask about the following/ community you already have for your book-to-be…you’ve got a big one! (We didn’t.)

    Xo your never-met-in-person but maybe even better through-Rhoberta friend Barb

    1. Those quotes are gems, Barbara. I’m glad you sent them Your mother was clearly glad you were there, known or unknown but how bittersweet to be appreciated and yet not recognized. I’ll check into that publisher and may write to you about it. Thank you! And thank you for being here so faithfully with Alice and me.

  18. I’m sorry I’m such a slow poke in responding to your incredibly loving and supportive comments. I had to return to the manuscript, which has moved forward since this last post, but is not quite finalized. Stay tuned and happy spring to you all, commenters and noncommenters alike.

  19. So good to hear from you Andrea . Am getting really excited to read your book. Stay strong, Anne

  20. Let us know when we can pre order your book. Please. So looking forward to it.
    Know that I think about you and Alice often.
    Sondra

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