A Wondering Widow Post

I’m sitting in my living room in Killarney, Ireland watching Hurricane Ophelia roll into town. Not exactly what I thought I’d be doing today, but Mother Nature does what Mother Nature wants, and I’ve learned not to try and fight that. While most tourists (and some locals) are freaking out right now, I’m curled up with my coffee enjoying the show. I can’t EVER see a storm without thinking about Dan. Honestly, I kinda wish I was at the beach right now for a better view. (Don’t worry Mom, I’m not doing it).


Dan’s favorite quote while fighting cancer was Fate whispers to the warrior, “You cannot withstand the storm.” The warrior whispers back, “I am the storm.” To this day our inner circle still calls him The Storm, and the moniker suited his personality. Maybe we were fated to meet. My Dad called me Hurricane Lisa for years, and together Dan and I were the perfect storm.

After diagnosis, he became a symbol of strength and grace in the face of adversity and a losing battle. But for a few of us that were there that horrible-no-good-very-bad last day, the storm took on a new meaning. Summer storms are common in our part of the country, but typically you’ll see them in the late afternoon or evening. When I woke up that morning I could no longer deny the end was imminent. And it wasn’t like the peaceful BS you see on TV. He fought to stay. He fought so @#$%^&* hard to stay. With me. It was horrific to witness. Unbearable. But as the battle raged within his body, a storm picked up outside. It was surreal. The winds were whipping the trees around and flinging bark and leaves and twigs against the house and the windows as if the storm was trying to get inside. It was powerful enough that a small part of my brain even made a mental note to go out and check for damage later.

Our inner circle was on standby at this point, so most everyone was awake and watching the storm. It mirrored both Dan’s fight to stay, and the agony that was crescendoing through my entire being. And then, with one last breath, The Storm died. All the winds and rain outside stopped instantly. He was gone, carried away on the winds of the storm like a mythic warrior in an ancient tale.

So on days like today when a storm comes visiting, instead of worrying about it, I get a big smile on my face. My Storm is back to remind me that nature will always take its course even if it makes no sense, like a hurricane in Ireland, or a healthy young man dying of a weirdo cancer. He reminds me that love never dies and that in the aftermath of the storm, we have the choice to rebuild stronger than before. And he never lets me forget that while my Storm is gone, I’m still the Hurricane.

The Wandering Widow
Live Now. Dream Big. Love Fierce.