You are always welcome

Thank you for hanging in there with me. I’m still recovering but getting a bit better every day! Just getting out of bed, showered and dressed is an accomplishment. I spend my days lounging around the house between naps. Being in the house for weeks can feel isolating. It is great to know that I’m not really alone.

During one of my lounging sessions, I caught the movie Moonstruck on TV. My favorite part is the last 20 minutes or so. If you haven’t seen it – SPOILER ALERT.

The movie centers around an Italian family. This final scene takes place first thing in the morning. The mother is in the kitchen cooking oatmeal and, one by one, people arrive – either from upstairs or through the front door. First the daughter (Loretta, played by Cher), then the brother of Loretta’s fiancé, followed by Loretta’s aunt and uncle, Loretta’s father, his father, and, finally, Loretta’s fiancé, each joining the crowd in the kitchen, until there are more people than chairs assembled around the table.

When I first watched this movie in the 1980’s, a coworker from a British family told me that she loved the movie but the ending was unrealistic: People don’t just show up at your doorstep! And why would the mom make so much oatmeal?

But for me, growing up in an Italian family, that scene was the most realistic scene in the movie. Friends and family are WELCOME to show up at your door, anytime. And of course there is always food on the stove, plenty for everyone.

As I watched this final scene last weekend, I realized how incredibly grateful I am to everyone who just shows up. Sometimes it is at my door, which helps to alleviate isolation and adds color and dimension to my day. Sometimes it is online, or through meals, or cards, or a myriad of other ways. You are so very welcome. And while I don’t always have something on the stove, I am happy to share whatever I have. Again, you are always welcome.



Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah is beautiful in so many ways. That melancholy tune kept running through my head following this past chemo session.

The last round of chemo hit me hard. I returned home on Tuesday, went to bed and stayed there until Saturday. On Sunday, I moved to the sofa and parked myself there.  I had a lot of pain, some bleeding, and a phenomenal amount of head fuzziness. I couldn’t think, read (even emails), watch TV, or knit. I could barely speak and I certainly couldn’t carry on a conversation. I hadn’t eaten since Monday, surviving on ice chips and small sips of water. My body had pains I never thought it could have.

I wondered if my body was at the beginning of a final downhill slide. My weight was lower than ever and I looked skeletal.

I had been absent from the family for so long that the kids were losing their grounding. My husband does a great job of being father and mother during my chemo weeks, but it is all-consuming. He needed the weekend to get some work done and maybe even exercise, but that wasn’t going to happen.

Plus, I haven’t had those huge messages from God and the angels that I used to have. I still believed they were out there, but I didn’t feel connected. When I looked at my life, I couldn’t find a sliver of anything I wanted, and I wondered in many ways what death would be like. My thoughts and emotions were dark.

As I lay in bed late one night, the lyrics to Hallelujah again ran an endless loop through my head. I decide to listen to the Leonard Cohen version one more time and as I did, suddenly noticed these words, which lifted me:

And even though it all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Yes. Because even through all this crap: Hallelujah.

I started to look for the blessings. I had to really look, but I was, indeed, getting a little better each day. Not as fast as I would like, but definitely improvement. It was a start.

This cancer path makes everything feel like it is just wrong: This isn’t the life I was supposed to be living. It felt broken and crappy but I had to admit, I am still grateful for it.

Even though all this felt so very wrong, if I were to stand before the Lord at that very minute, I like to think that I would still say, Hallelujah.

Love and light,


(Those lyrics are around 6:10 on the video.)