The way forward is slowly taking shape. As I’ve written before, I refuse to make sudden changes as I cope with the unexpected loss of my husband in July. My daughters are back in school now, and slowly healing. I believe in routines, and that they add structure, and help us to mend like a cast on a broken bone.
As for me, I’ve been taking things very slowly. I feel intuitively that this is a time for me to rest, reflect and get my affairs in order. So, I am taking time to see friends, sleep, read and lovingly care for myself and my teenage daughters like they were two years old again.
I am packing their lunches and driving them to school. Even my Senior in high school gets little zip lock bags full of cookies, apples, mini candy bars, and cheese puffs.
I then go back to my office and work on the “affairs” part of my life, or I don’t. Yesterday, my college friend Debra came into town, and we went to 4th Street in Berkeley and had breakfast at Bette’s Diner and then to the Yacht Club where we sat silently watching the boats sail in and out of the marina. My older daughter was home sick, so we picked up soup for her and cold medicine. Normal. The new normal.
Today, I talked to a company in Silicon Valley, and as I consider going back to a big job again, I realize life is moving forward. I can see myself at 5 a.m. driving to Santa Clara again, but I won’t be able to get my Sophomore from school, make her an after school snack, and take her to soccer, or move forward as quickly with my entrepreneurial ventures or continue to teach at UC Berkeley. Trade offs.
When I am in the getting my affairs in order mode I work on my trust, this is my number one priority, since I like to do dangerous things in my spare time, like ski and race on sail boats in high winds. As a result, I’ve been thinking about my legacy. I used to think my happy family would be my legacy, but we don’t always get what we want, so maybe my legacy is something else. Like my non-profit, or a building with my family name on it like my friend Sandra Floyd. Or even just my house in Truckee in the Tahoe Basin.
Before I was a sailing enthusiasts, I was and continue to be, an avid skier. We bought the Tahoe house in much the same way as we bought our Moraga house, the delapitated doll house, that I wrote about a few weeks ago. It was my girlhood dream to have a ski house, my husband was very apprehensive since no one makes money on a ski house. I’ll say that again, no one makes money on a ski house, and he was very apprehensive. However, he turned out to be the one who loved the house more than anyone.
The house has an unobstructed view of the Martis Valley and Northstar. You can see the Snow Cats at night grooming the runs from the upstairs living room. Even though we rent the house when we’re not using it, a giant family portrait hangs in the entry way, family photos sit in the bookcases, and the furniture is in exactly the same place as it has been since we bought the house almost ten years ago. It’s like walking into a time capsule.
I want my great grandchildren to stay there and learn to ski like my children did, I want them to sleep in the bunk room with the bear quilts, and learn how to play poker in the kitchen with M&Ms, and have pancakes at the island in their long johns and build a snowman on Christmas Eve, and all of it. So, the title to the house will be held in a trust with an endowment fund.
Forward motion into the future. Moving forward…