Nitty Gritty Dirty Grief

Power Grief and Doritos

I’ve been off-line the last couple days……


I’ve been with my Garmisch sisters.

Pictures will be posted soon…..

And I have to say, if you have something you need to sort out in your life, if it be death, divorce, heartbreak, bankruptcy, in-grown toenails……go sit on a beach with your sisters.

Eat bags of Doritos and drink margaritas. To hell with yoga, aligning your chi, high cholesterol, counting calories…..throw it out the window, at least for the weekend.

Go sit on a beach, stare at the waves. Discuss important topics such as which sea bird would be the best to go drinking with?

The answer? A pelican (of course)

Howl, howl at the crazy moon. Go skinny dipping in that cold, cold Pacific at midnight…..moon that moon right back.

Curse God, love God, love your sisters, cry, hug, laugh until you think you might throw up….and then laugh some more.

Talk about your daughter, talk again and talk some more…..no one listens better than your sisters.

Sing Jimmy Buffet at the top of your lungs….top that off with Melissa Etheridge and the Steve Miller Band…..call it the Cougar Musical Trifecta.

Sit with a dog on your lap and a glass of wine in your hand.

Last but not least…..eat a corn dog and a funnel cake.

Get on that plane on Monday wondering why you’re so sore and wondering how you got those bruises on your leg. Sit on the plane laughing to yourself as you remember the weekend.

Sleep for two days.

No one said it would be easy but that’s power grief for you.

Thank you my Lovelies. Thank God for my Tribe.
Nitty Gritty Dirty Grief

Does it fit?

A couple years ago, I threw out all my tiny, revealing underwear.


I realize this is too much information.

It wasn’t that it didn’t really fit, just that it no longer fit my lifestyle. I was no longer the tiny, sexy underwear girl. I was more the practical, cover my entire hiney Fruit of the Loom type of lady.

My life is like my underwear.

It isn’t about what fits…I can fit myself into many, many things given the proper modes of support. But if it rides up in certain areas, if it makes me all squirrley and uncomfortable, it’s not worth it….no matter how cute the pink lace is. My life now is about what’s comfortable, whats makes me feel good, what makes me feel covered and supported.

After Samantha, I worried if my relationships based on Samantha would still be comfortable; would they still make me feel covered and supported? Even if the basis for the relationship was no longer there? Would I be uncomfortable? Would I try to fit into something that was no longer me?

Here I am with the Supermoms, after Samantha. It fits, it still feels good, the coverage and support is fabulous.

I am so very relieved 🙂

These pictures were taken during a Canvas and Cocktails evening fundraiser for our little friend Cici (the sweet little girl in my arms). It was wonderful to fit right in again….being part of the Fruit of the Loom….I think I’m the banana.

Nitty Gritty Dirty Grief

A Very Sweet Swing…..

It touches me to absolutely no end how many people are dedicated to the memory of our sweet girl.


She is constantly on my mind but I am her mom. She should be on my mind. What amazes me is that she is on the mind of so many others.

Do you remember Max? He was one of Samantha’s classmates and dedicated defender of her chair. Max’s mom, Rebecca and I have become good friends. On a July trip to Ikea, she offered to pick up a fabulous swing for Samantha for her birthday.

It is a wonderful swing……sadly, Lil’ Miss never got to use it.

So Rebecca thought it would be a good addition to Max and Samantha’s preschool.

Here is ‘Samantha’s Swing’ at the school…..

She made a button so the kids know who is swinging right there with them…

Carrie Martin preschool has dedicated the year to Samantha….

Rebecca makes these fabulous buttons and magnets and is quite talented; both her and daughter Caroline made this for Samantha’s birthday……

It’s a magnetic whiteboard that stands up on its own. She enclosed buttons with bright colors, animals and pictures of her friends. She thought it would be a good therapy/vision board for our girl.

Unfortunately we didn’t have a chance to meet up before Samantha’s birthday and she passed away just after. Rebecca thought I would like it anyway.

Like it? I love it. It would have been perfect, perfect for Samantha and it is good for my heart. I adore the buttons.

The other day she dropped off another very special button for us, it’s a magnet with Samantha’s signature picture….the one with her huge smile and crazy spiky hair…..just like the picture on the swing.

If love and thoughtfulness were something physical; a healing balm or potion, I feel like I could bathe in it.

Thank you for keeping her right there, right there in your hearts with us.

Nitty Gritty Dirty Grief

The Last Reading

There is one last reading I wanted to share from Samantha’s service. I wanted to space them out a bit because I think they can be a tad overwhelming….it can be hard to hear the words of parents and grandparents.

This is my letter to Samantha……

Dear Samantha,

From the time that pregnancy test registered a faint, tiny positive sign, you have been a gift to me; a reminder after Jack that life goes on, a continuation of our growing family, a chance for your daddy and me to be parents.

The day you were born, your daddy was so proud, he looked like he could eat you up. I’ve never seen a smile so big….he was holding sunshine, he was holding gold.

Being your mother, no matter how hard things have been has been the best thing I have ever done in my life.

“Are you Mom?” Doctors would ask when you were very sick.

“Yes, I am Mom.”

I am Mom….I am Samantha’s Mom. See that cute little cherub? See that gummy smile that would melt your heart? That is my child.

You are my child. And you are such a gift.

I hope you can see all of the people here for you today; family, friends, teachers, doctors, nurses therapists. You have touched the lives of all of these people. Without ever saying a word, by just being the person you are.

You taught us all patience. You taught us the power of hard work and perseverance. You taught us how to read the little subtleties in life. You showed us that the very best thing in life is that infectious smile, the power of a good, healthy day and the lovely simplicity of cuddling with you on a summer evening, rubbing your Buddha tummy and listening to you breathe.

You have made me a better person. You brought together a village. In a world where value is based on intelligence, power, athletic prowess and speed, you made us all slow down, celebrate tiny accomplishments and rub your buttery, peanut feet.

I love you Samantha. I love you with a fierceness I have never felt; a power that tried to move mountains, stop time and keep you here for just a little while longer. You are my child. You are my gift.

You left this world so quickly on Sunday. I know now that your quick departure was another gift you gave your daddy and me because no matter how sick you became, I would have never let you go. I would have held on forever just to sit by your bed, hold your warm hand, smell your perfect skin and watch those long, lovely eyelashes flutter. It is selfish I know, but when you are given a gift as perfect as you, you will hold on for eternity.

Thank you for being my daughter, for making me so proud, for being such a sweet child, a little girl so easy to love. Thank you for giving me this precious time, four short years to look in awe at the strong, determined Lil’ Miss you are.

I will miss you forever and hold you close in the deepest, safest, warmest chamber of my heart.

All my love and even more,

Your Mommy.

Nitty Gritty Dirty Grief

She is in the Wind

A couple weeks ago I went to Redfeather Lake with my friend Laura.


We took sleeping bags and laid out on the deck to watch the many, many stars. Our galaxy looks completely different outside of the city.

“Which star do you think she is?” I asked.

“She’s the bright one.” We laughed because every star out in Redfeather is bright.

We went hiking the next day and stared at the amazing panorama.

“She’s in the wind,” Laura said.

And just then, a little breeze blew through the trees. She was right there in the wind. We chuckled at the irony and told her we were happy to have her join us on our hike.

The wind is light, airy and travels the world.

We even found her in England

My cousin Lowrie sent this to me along with this note:

Our travels this past weekend took us to Beachy Head at the southeastern corner of England. It is part of the chalk cliffs along that part of the UK. We were 530 feet above the English Channel. Strong winds and beauty surrounded us. We seemed somehow nearer to Heaven and talked about Lance’s mom, my Dad, and sweet little Samantha!

There were little pieces of the rock making these incredible cliffs scattered on the ground. So, we gathered them and made a heart for Sam.

It is most certainly an awesome spot on this earth. . . . Huge cliffs yet very fragile and ever changing. Just like us, I guess!


I think Samantha would like England. I think she would like being on top of Stormy Peak in Redfeather. I think she would like traveling on the wind.