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Castro, My Mother & a Piece of Cuba

Fidel Castro died, and I wanted to tell my mother. You know, she’s dead, too, and whether the Castro news is important to her now, I don’t know. But it would have been impp1000837ortant if she’d been alive because she saw his tanks roll into Cuba and destroy her island fantasy.

Single, childless and 30-years-old, my mother planned to move to Cuba. She was serious about it. She worked for a glass factory that was building a plant there. Mom was learning Spanish to prepare. She loved the tropics. Palm tree fronds wafting in the wind. The warm sun on her face.

In Atlanta, she’d met an airman before her visit to Cuba in 1958, the year before Castro came to power. Smitten, he’d written her that spring, and I found the letter years ago. It reads: “I hope that ‘police action’ in Havana didn’t interfere too awful much with your planned ‘siesta.’” Read more

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Grief & Gratitude: What To Do When Thanksgiving Sucks

Thanksgiving is a complicated holiday for people grieving over the loss of loved ones. After all, thanksgiving is about what we have. Grief is about what we lost.

I think this complexity is especially true if you’ve lost parents. They cooked the meal. They provided the centerpiece – love and warmth. And they provided the place, often our childhood homes.

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Grief is a Journey to be Shared

Welcome to my blog. I got an uneasy feeling as I prepared to write this first post. I’m not a terribly private person, but as the moment to bare my soul approached, I discovered I wanted to hold back, not put myself out there. Expressing grief is an exercise in vulnerability.

Perhaps you’ve felt vulnerable with grief. Instead of telling someone you aren’t okay, instead of shedding tears in a crowded room, instead of telling someone a piece of your story, you shy away and you hold it all inside. Read more