Sunday, March 8, 2009


This month I celebrate one of the aspects of our life together that my husband Gordon and I really enjoyed: traveling. During our 35-year marriage, we travelled in the US, Canada, and Europe. We lived in Germany for a year while I was a Fulbright exchange teacher and travelled there at least 8 more times with my students as part of an exchange program. After I retired, we discovered 'cruising' and figured out how to cruise on a retirement budget. We both enjoyed seeing new places and meeting new people together.

My square this month illustrates our last international trip together, a trip to Ireland in August 2005. My husband hated to have his picture taken, so I suspect his gesture reflects a "you better not be taking my picture" attitude. We were waiting for our tour of Newgrange (pictured in the background), a monolithic tomb, a bit northwest of Dublin. I found the coin among his things. The "photo corners" are beads that I used in a necklace that I made for him after the trip. I miss my travel partner.

As a result of our travels I have many wonderful memories and recollections of grand adventures together. It's nearly 9 months since my husband's passing. At this stage in the grieving process, I find that all those experiences are just a thought away. They will always be in my mind to offer comfort, provide inspiration, make me laugh, or any number of other needs and emotions. For example, my husband loved eggs and ham, so he thoroughly enjoyed the Irish breakfast. But I could never get him to even taste the fried tomatoes that typically come with an Irish breakfast. Neither one of us could ever figure out how pork n' beans came to be on the Irish breakfast plate either. Just little, funny, quirky memories of a lifetime together....

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! Celebrate with a shot of Jameson's Irish Whiskey as Gordon did in the distillery in Dublin!

Jeanette Shanigan