It’s Ok to Step Away

It’s ok to step away.

One foot off the path isn’t usually trouble.

Remember, you know the way back.

Don’t be too hard on yourself, if you’re not ready to return.

Loss is only measurable by the strength of the relationship;

By  breadth of share, by depth of care, and trueness of the heart.


Experience hasn’t taught me what to say, but, that’s ok.

I’ve learned other things; to whole-heartedly listen, to laugh along.

To remain steadfast and patient; waiting for the heralding moment.

To acknowledge clear tears of realization; there will be no more memories made.

To stand by and let you know: it’s ok to step away.


Quote for the Week: 2019 05 14 It’s ok to step away jakorte

A Colder October

I don’t remember a colder October.

Nature’s real lessons – love and loss and longing – echoing yearly. Simple trees and simple leaves. Temporary slumbers; predictable, patterned, withdraw with a promise of likelihood. Coming back, coming back stronger, maybe reaching a little higher.

Occasionally, that’s not the case. Of course, majestics don’t worry about that. Perhaps affording optimism in squirrels and birds and other creatures. Although seeing fit to plan, return rote expecting rejuvenation. Coming from another season’s slumber, they lumber; sometimes dumbfounded when the memory is bare or barely there.

Much like those times you thought you were growing straight, turned twisted in time, searching for the sun. Vital pieces fall away, hacked, splintered, struck by lightning. How it happens; endless possibilities, all still no less of a shock.  

So, I welcome the colors, and I welcome the lack. It’s part of the process.

Lightly suffering through another falling season. It only seems ok because I’ve been here before. Somehow now it’s easier to see. There are no perfect trees.

I don’t remember a colder October, or colors that faded so fast.

Quote for the Week:

2018 10 16 there are no perfect trees a colder october jakorte


Tree First

After that news arrived, I began calling friends to see if someone could take me to the hospital. Jeff told me not to go to the hospital but go straight to Nannee’s because she was going to need me there. So, that’s what I did.

Shortly after I arrived at the house on Union Street, the doorbell rang. I opened the door to find a clergyman on the doorstep, and invited him in, offering him a seat on the couch. I was about to step away to give them privacy, when he turned to me and said, “You look familiar…” “Oh, no.” Nannee shook her head. “You wouldn’t know Jodi… she’s Jewish.”

It was then quite obvious where he knew me from, as he was the pastor who declined to marry Jeff and I.

Many hours had gone by when the decision to remove Sally from life support was made. The hospital was kind and let us wait for one of Jeff’s step-brothers to return to Michigan, so all her kids could all be together in one place. To say goodbye.

I don’t remember Christmas that year. We must have gathered at Nannee’s.

I do remember the next Christmas. We’d lucked-out at Meijer, finding an artificial tree in the markdown/discontinued section and having a $20 off coupon we could use, too. We bought indoor and outdoor lights, garland and a few bulbs to supplement our Bronner’s collection.

Jeff was sitting on the floor of our new home in Adrian, piecing together the tree first. As he secured one artificial limb, another would fall off. In frustration, the man almost incapable of  temper, viciously wadded up the instructions and threw them aside.

“Let me help,” I offered. “You can’t help me,” he sniffed, as a tear ran down his cheek.

“This isn’t fair” he stated bleakly. “She should be here. My mom should be here to see this.” Jeff was struggling to not only keep the tree together, but himself, as well.

I sat down on the floor with him, leaned in and held him close. We shared our tears for a while, then stepped away for a lunch break.

With his sandwich in between the plate and his mouth, Jeff suddenly stopped and looked up at me. “I’m sorry,” he said. “You don’t have to be sorry,” I immediately answered.

“I’m sorry for what I said… that I thought you’d be over it… after your Dad died.”

“You just didn’t know,” I replied. “And I’m sorry you do, now.”

Jeff’s mouth lifted in a small smile. “You’re the best wife. I don’t know how I got so lucky.”

“You didn’t get lucky,” I reminded him with a grin. “I had to use a rolling pin…”

It took all four hands, some wrangling and a bit of good-natured bickering, but we did get the tree up and decorated, and it was beautiful.

We hosted two Christmases that year, both of which meant a great deal to Jeff and I.  We welcomed families and friends, shared wonderful meals, laughed a lot and soaked up christening love; all gathered around our first tree.

Quote for the Week:


Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:

Christmas:  why trees and tinsel?

Holidays: and grief

Grinch Song: just because

Edmund F

History is always a lost turn in Trivia Crack.

Songs about the Civil War – that’s what I remember the most about many years of history class. Johnny Horton’s Battle of New Orleans, specifically, and while I appreciated and still do, knowledge more easily remember attached to music, I didn’t ever imagine songs like this as radio worthy.

Of course, I missed the fact that many like this were indeed played on radio stations. A little later in life,  there seemed to be another significant round of historical story-telling. I lightening flicked stations when songs such as, “Calypso,” and “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” found their way into rotation. I didn’t care if I landed on sports or talk, as long as I wasn’t listening to a lament about a ship.

Unfortunately, when I wasn’t in my room, I wasn’t in command of the music. The ballad of the Edmund F would run straight through the car radio, the living room stereo. The fact that my older brother adored the song shouldn’t be surprising to anyone who knew him. He loved all things history.

Knowing the song by heart wasn’t really a choice I made. Yet, here I am, all these years later, with the words embedded in my brain. What’s interesting is that I never, in any of my future-forward plans, had any intention of moving to the Great Lakes state. I’ve been here 16 years and counting. The logistical relevance never once occurred to me. I never even considered the connection, and might have never made it on my own.

The reason all of this is relevant, is that I found myself at my regular hair salon last Saturday, a little bit early. I arrived with my own pictorial aim collage, but thought I’d check out the usual stash of hair magazines and books, in case there was something more fabulous.

There weren’t any, though. Neither hide nor hair of a hair book to be found. Instead there were a half-dozen neatly stacked children’s books on the under-rack of the tiny table near the three-seater sofa. Stumped, I figured I was looking in the wrong place. It was a salon! The hair-oriented periodicals had to be somewhere else. The only possible somewhere else, was cornered across the way, next to a single seat. On another tiny table next to the lone chair, was a lone book. “The Edmund Fitzgerald.”

My first thought was that it was a strange, not light-reading choice for a salon.
My second thought was the doomed stanza, “..the wreck of the Ed-mund Fitz-Gerrrr-aaaald” streaming on instant internal audio loop.
My third thought, wasn’t so much of a thought as a smile at the unlikely reminder that our loved ones never really fade away.
They leave us with memories we gladly connect to coincidences.

Quote for the Week:

2015 06 02 leave me with memories jakorte


Enjoy this Week’s Discovery Links:



Strange Pull:

A Moment of Choice

There’s a word we are supposed to use, but I won’t.

With lack of intentional and circumstantial disbelief, its purpose is too succinct. It cannot and never will encompass an eternal reality for a moment of choice.

There’s just too much confusion. Parlaying between what I’ve come to understand and what I pray to be justifiable exception.

I’m not seeking lip-service. I am not seeking to be assured rules bend.

I’m just wondering if we don’t have all the details: explicit caveats, assured exceptions.

Maybe there are other branch outcomes. Much like speeding limits posted, everyone knows a tick or two higher or lower usually isn’t jail worthy. There’s a little give and take that inherently comes with variation in calibration, design and plan.

So, in what case is an offense not an offense? When it’s a defense? When it is a coping mechanism? When the voice of GOD says, “Now.”?

Who’s to say?  At a funeral once, an officiate declared this as afterlife; “We hope they have ascended to heaven and are sitting at the right hand of God.” Adjacent, and unfamiliar with this religious vein, an astonished voice whispered, “He hopes? He doesn’t know?”

I’m not sure the declaration was a singularly aimed question of absolute in- or dis-clusion, rather just a reflection of an honest expression of unsureness. Perhaps it is assumptive to believe what I believe. Perhaps there is a divine humility in any cautionary advisement of the unknown.

I’d like to think this was something special; that it was not seen as a cut and dry affront to doctrine of any kind. I’d like to think this event found welcome – with open, healing arms of grace and love and reward for having been so perfectly incapable of anger or rage or malicious intent. Because, after all, God knew before he was born.

I just hope the angels realize what they have.

Quote for the Week:

Perhaps it is the job of angels May 19 2015

Enjoy this Week’s Discovery Links:

Out of the Darkness:

Angel of Grief: