Reflecting on the past year, I noticed that 2023 was the Chinese Year of the Rabbit, meant to symbolize a year of hope. I think that it lived up to its promise, for me. I made my way back to my hometown of Cleveland after a fifty year hiatus and learned much about my family, and myself. I travelled to Ireland with my daughter and her family, and to Portugal on my own, where I connected with dear old friends. I trained for and completed the Columbia River Gorge Half-Marathon. I met my newborn grandson four hours after he was born, and throughout the year, watched my nearly three-year-old grandson grow and flourish. I progressed well on my new book, which has to do with my beloved dad, who died when I was ten.
In Cleveland, I visited my dad's grave, and the graves of both of my grandmothers. I had never visited their graves before, and in the case of my grandmothers, had no idea even where they were buried. The photo above is of my grandmother's grave, my dad's mother, Mary, or Tamara who died in 1908 of tuberculosis, when Dad was seven. The day had turned cold and rainy by the time my friend and I found the old Jewish cemetery where Tamara was laid to rest, and we still had to locate the grave among thousands of crowded, broken-down headstones. When my friend yelled that he'd found it, I was amazed. My grandmother, a woman to whom I had become drawn, who gave birth to nine children and was herself the eldest of nine siblings. She had loved my dad, and here she was.
Hope you all can spend a little time reflecting back, as the new year comes upon us!
If you would like to learn more about my three-year sailing adventure with my husband and young daughter, go here to find my memoir, Holding Fast: A Memoir of Sailing, Love, and Loss.