RIP Kobe Bryant


I got to see Kobe play once.

It was the semi final game of the 2012 Olympics. Team USA was playing Spain (I think). I remember thinking what a treat it was to be at the Olympics and getting to watch a group of people who had dedicated their lives to be the best in the world at what they did.

The last 48 hours I've been reflecting a lot on my own life in light of the tragedy of Kobe Bryant's unexpected passing on Sunday. There are a few thoughts that I want to pass onto you {First Name}.

Reflections on Life Lessons Learned from Death 10 Years Later


My Dad died on Monday February 1st, 2010.

I had the good fortune to speak with my Dad on Sunday January 31st, 2010.

I say good fortune because looking back on that day 10 years later,  I feel like I won the lottery having had the opportunity to speak with him just one day before his passing.

My Dad and I did not talk regularly – I held onto childhood baggage that I allowed to keep me at a distance.  Our relationship was alright, which I recognize is much better than the relationships many kids have with their parents.

Widows and Woodpeckers...What's the Connection?

From the beginning, when I first became a widow, woodpeckers began looming large in my consciousness. Woodpeckers were my late husband's favorite bird and began showing up around me almost immediately.  They were out back in my wooded back yard, they were in the front yard from time to time, they even followed me on vacation. They were around me so often that it became clear that someone was trying to tell me something! As I began to feel a calling to advocate for and help other widows, the calling was unmistakably strong. As one friend at the time said, "Mary Lee?

The Element of Surprise


By and large, my holidays have gotten better. They aren't grand and glorious and giddy, as they once were, but they are finally pretty happy again. I've found ways to celebrate differently now, but the one thing I really can't do is to inject them with the element of surprise. The element of surprise is missing entirely. Where once I could count on being surprised on Christmas morning with gifts I hadn't chosen myself and maybe an activity or two that I didn't organize, those don't happen any longer.