Monday, May 10, 2021

Endings and Beginnings

 It has been a sad week, with the loss of Theresa Kasner. Her warmth and grace reached across the miles. The unexpected nature of the loss makes it harder to grasp. Although death seems sudden no matter what. 

On Saturday, my friend Michael passed away from ALS. He has been declining for a year, so it should not have been a surprise. On Tuesday, hospice said he had less than a week. Still, when I got the call, it hit me hard. Michael was a world famous breast-cancer researcher at UW-Madison, and he was so kind and helpful when my mom had breast cancer. I've been friends with his wife (and thus him) for more than 30 years. 

So, there are two endings.

Of course I am thinking a lot about Michael. The enduring image I come up with is Michael walking into a party, always a few minutes late and always exuding positive energy. I am quite sure I never heard a complaint from him. He loved his family and his job. He used to say, "I don't know why they pay me. I'd do my job for free!"

Me, on the other hand, I'm kvetcher. I can complain with the best of them. But as I approach my new beginning (retirement), I have decided that I need to take a page out of Michael's book. I need to stop complaining. Full stop. I have a roof over my head, two great children, and an amazing husband. I have nothing to complain about!

And don't let me forget about my two darling cats!


I have begun thinking about how I want to spend the rest of my life. I'll have more time for my mom, more time for art, and some time to volunteer. I am very lucky to retire before my 62nd birthday. 


12 comments:

  1. Oh what a sweet, sweet picture of those two darling cats. I'm so sorry for you loss of Michael. And, of course, we all are feeling the void of where Teresa was. I guess, the older I get, the more often this will happen, but it is not fun and it is not pleasant and I will complain. I do love your thoughts about more time with your Mom (I miss mine so), more time for art, volunteering. And...retiring...as I've said before, I'm envious!!

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  2. Those kitties are precious. You will be amazed at how busy you will be after retirement. The upside to the Covid pandemic is, it slowed me down and gave me time to reassess what was important and what was just busy-ness. After being retired for 6 years I now know how to say "no". Enjoy you last few weeks of working.

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  3. I think I can see things in a negative light rather than positive all the time. I need to do better. I am so sorry for the loss of both of these precious friends. It is so hard when we lose those we love and admire. Thinking of you and sending you love.

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  4. You'll have more time to blog and we will NEVER complain about THAT!!!!

    I am so sorry for your losses. Theresa was such an exuberant blogger. Her photos were simply gorgeous every time. She will be sorely missed.

    Last year and this have just been terrible for deaths among my family and friends. I guess we are just getting to that age. :::sigh:::

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  5. I love the way you are taking your losses and from them are adding something precious to your life. Very inspiring, thank you for sharing with us.

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  6. It does make you stop and think when you experience such an unexpected loss. I started thinking about having a family member know how to access my blog so I wouldn't just disappear one day. I even thought about writing up my own obituary for the Tangled Web and picking out the photos I would want posted with it. Then I told myself that was just crazy.
    Congrats on your retirement. It's hard for me to believe I've been retired over 10 years now. Of course 7 of those years was as a caretaker to my dad. Those were hard years. Then there was the pandemic. I figure I should get those 8 years back. If only....

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  7. Thinking of you and sending my love. What a great opportunity for you right now . . . to decide how you want to live the rest of your life. My best to you. XO

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  8. The photo of your fur babies is sweet! We all can benefit from counting our blessings and showing gratitude every day.

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  9. Congratulations on your upcoming retirement. I found it to be so freeing. I loved my job but it took so much of my time and energy. I am sorry for your losses. It is always hard to lose a good friend.

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  10. I am sorry about your losses.You are going to LOVE retirement immensely and you deserve it!

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  11. I am sorry for your loss. I am happy you have been able to reflect on your friend. And I am excited for you to move into retirement. I am almost a year in and still not sure what I want to do with my life but now that things are opening up a bit, I have some ideas. I am definitely learning how to slow down and appreciate life.

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  12. Great post and reminder to cherish the things we do have! So sorry to hear about Michael and Teresa's passing; I've been out of touch for so long and have lots of blog-reading to catch up on. Hugs!

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