If we're lucky, we're thrown one curveball at a time. But that's seldom the case, and in fact, sometimes in our despair over one unlucky turn, we wind up creating others. Like an unstoppable chain reaction.
I used to believe that all stories had a beginning, middle and end. While in the most obvious of ways, Brett's death was a finite end; it would take years for me to realize not only that the three of us could make a pleasing new life but that doing so meant rewriting our story.
I'm more entrenched in my middle years even as I taste the sweetness of my twenties and the far more bittersweet decade of my thirties. Fifty doesn't frighten me because at last I'm settling into myself.
Among all the lessons borne from losing my husband to cancer, the one I see clearest is this: The best way to memorialize a loved one is to choose life. When life feels hard, I tell myself to keep going. I tell my children the same thing.
Might we put aside our frustrations and be gentle with our children? Might we have real conversations about values? Might we all just stop and breathe and think about peace in our lives and peace in our world?
I ought to know that death pays no heed to the natural order of life. I first learned this lesson nearly a decade ago when my husband Brett died at thirty-nine years old. Until then, I'd been relatively sheltered from calamity, at least among family.
Nothing could steer me off course during my inaugural year in Denver. So when I read about the widowed news anchor who was selected as a 5280 Magazine's "Most Eligible Single" in February of 2007, it was only fitting that I should reach out.