The Last Day of Innocence

The last day of innocence was an ordinary day. It was May 19, 1988.

It was my mother’s birthday and I brought my two children, ages 5 and 6 to my childhood home to celebrate with her. I grew up in Hubbard Woods Illinois. Hubbard Woods was so small it did not have its own zip code, but it did have a stop on the train line and a small downtown just west of the train station, so to us it was a town.

As a child, I walked to school there every day. I stopped at Kuecks & Hanus Drugstore for candy before school and ice cream on hot summer days. I wandered up and down all the shops with my friends, Fells to look at shoes, Mary Quaint to look at the latest mini dresses from London, and Charles A. Stevens for clothes. 

In the winter the village green opposite the train station was flooded so we could ice skate and in the summers we could walk to the beach. It was the late 60s and 70s and children were free-range and our town, like most, was safe.

Now it was 1988 and I was back on the Village Green with my children ages 5 and 6, my youngest was less than a month old in the stroller. The older children were playing on the playground while my mother and I sat and watched. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful spring day.

My mother wanted to leave and go to the bank in Glencoe, the next town north about one mile. I also needed to stop by the bank so I asked her to wait until the children were ready to leave.

She suggested that I leave them on the playground. “We’ll be right back and they will be perfectly safe,” she said. But again, this was 1988 no longer the age of free-range children. “No, I’m not leaving them,” I said and I gathered them up dealing with the typical complaints of children not ready to stop playing. I probably even bribed them with an ice cream cone at Baskin Robbins.

We went about our ordinary day, blissfully unaware that it was the last day of innocence.

The following day Laurie Dann barricaded herself in Hubbard Woods School, just two blocks from that playground, and commenced by shooting six people and killing eight-year-old Nick Corwin. The first child to die in a school shooting. She left the school and ended up at a family friend’s home where she shot Phil Andrews and then turned the gun on herself and died.

10 years later, When those same children were in high school, Columbine happened. A year to the day later my son called me from the school on a payphone begging me to pick up his sister. Her name was on a “hit list” and he was terrified for her. I immediately called the school demanding to know what was going on and how they were planning on keeping my daughter safe. I knew full well I could walk in any door of that school and down the hallways to the classroom and never be stopped.

They assured me it was a hoax and she was safe. She called me begging to pick her up and I immediately did so. Perhaps she would have been safe, but the school could not make that kind of assurance in good faith.

Now those children have children–five between the two of them. My son’s wife is a teacher. Now, almost exactly 34 years later, they worry about this almost every day, on behalf of their beautiful children. For his wife.

My daughter told me tearfully yesterday that she worries that she doesn’t know what clothes her children wear to school every day in case she’s asked. That she saw a line of parents waiting to share their DNA after the shooting in Uvalde not knowing if their child was alive or dead.

I’m not the only parent who remembers their last day of innocence and unfortunately, I won’t be the last due to the insanity of lawmakers who will not pass any restrictive gun measures.I have family members that hunt. I get that. I have friends with handguns. I trust them. They don’t need their guns taken away.

Why can an 18-year-old buy a gun? WHY?

Why aren’t there more restrictive background checks? WHY?

Why does anyone need a semi-automatic weapon? WHY?

Why won’t lawmakers make changes? WHY

No one should know their last day of innocence.

A Christmas Past–Black Velvet and White Gloves

When I was a child I was only allowed to wear black once a year until I was 16 years old. There used to be rules about how children dressed. Were they spoken, or unspoken? Were they just my family’s rules? I don’t really know, I just understood them. I was reminded of this when my brother, who is four years younger than I am, recently posted a photo of me and my parents before he was born. He thought it was on Christmas. I took one look at the photo and knew he was dead wrong. I was wearing a navy smocked dress. The record needed to be corrected.

Before Kindergarten there were smocked dresses year-round with bloomers, pants that covered your underpants so no one could see them. Once you were in Kindergarten sailor dresses replaced smocking. I was expected to wear a dress everyday despite the fact I was a tomboy.

Easter and Christmas had their own wardrobes and were quite exciting. Easter hats were purchased weeks in advance and required a trip to Chicago for the purchase. A new sailor dress might also be worn with black patent leather shoes and white anklets with just the tiniest bit of lace on the top of the sock–which was to be folded down. The coat was a unisex navy sailor coat with an emblem on the sleeve. I say unisex because they were passed down from my boy cousins and the brass buttons could be buttoned on the left or the right. Very important to know which side to button on for your sex, which I had to be coached on. The outfit was finished with white gloves for a church. 

The boys had their own rules. Wool short pants for every occasion through third grade. These were not shorts or pants they were “short pants” with built-in suspenders. Gray or navy, with a nice button-down shirt. The family still laughs about the super 8 movie of my brother’s first communion. My grandfather who was filming pans down the pew only showing the boys’ legs, all in long pants until you see my brother–in short pants! The only one! Apparently, all the other families did not know how to dress.

Christmas was the only time of year you could wear black as a child. A black velvet jumper, with one button on each shoulder and an inverted pleat down the middle, worn with a crisp white short sleeved blouse with puffy sleeves. This was also passed down, but only to the girl cousins! Again you wore your black patent leather shoes all shined up with vaseline for the occasion. This time of year you wore white tights to keep your legs warm, it was northern Illinois after all. This would be worn with a little veil at church and the white gloves. This was a Catholic Church before Vatican II and women and girls had to have their heads covered for some reason. I have a friend from a very large Irish Catholic family who tells the story of her mother pinning kleenex to her head when she lost her veil. God didn’t care if it was a veil or kleenex, he only cared that her head was covered. 

The Christmas coats were their own kind of special. A red and green tartan plaid with matching stiff dark green velvet leggings and a very uncomfortable green velvet hat that was wired to stay over your ears. I remember this clearly as my mother tried to send me to Kindergarten in this adorable and highly uncomfortable outerwear one day. This was in the days when your five-year-oldfive year old child could walk blocks to school by herself. I was in the afternoon class and distinctly remember making it about seven houses until I turned around and demanded my snowsuit if I was to go to school that day. My first wardrobe rebellion. I won and wore my comfortable and warm, worn red snowsuit and rubber boots lined with the Wonder Bread bags that kept my feet dry.

I almost forgot about the best part of the Christmas outerwear. The muff. This white rabbit fur child-sized muff was the ultimate accessory. It was soft and comforting while being highly glamorous. This is probably why the dog ate it shortly after Christmas. I never liked that dog.

I’m pretty sure all the dresses and coats had to be purchased at Marshall Fields as my grandmother had lunch there every Thursday for most of her life. So it was “our store.” This was the department store of choice for the north shore of Chicago, it was part of the fabric of my grandmother’s life as her father had been a vice president in his early career.

All these manners and rituals came through my father’s family, not my mother’s as you would expect. My father’s mother, Virginia Smith Martin, was born into wealth and society. She lived in the first “high rise” on Lake Shore Drive with a second home in Lake Geneva and spent her winters in Palm Beach Florida. She attended boarding school, as well as a finishing school. Although their wealth was lost post-depression, good breeding and manners can never be lost.

My mother relates this all with one story. The very first time she made dinner for my father after the honeymoon. She sat down and he said, “ can you put your shoes on?” Incredulous she said, “why?” And he said, “I can’t eat if you are barefoot.” My mother was raised by parents who seemed around the country on a whim, but always living near a great golf course. This was a whole new world for her, but her mother-in-law and my father’s sisters took her in hand, passed down the expensive children’s clothes and the unwritten expectations.

This was the late 50s for my older cousins and the early 60s for me. So many rituals around clothing and manners were thrown out the window by the time my younger siblings were born in the 70s. They NEVER had to curtsey or bow when my parent’s friends came over! By then I was wearing black whenever I wanted, but still never put my elbows on, or sang at the table or chewed with my mouth open. 

I will tell you one thing, my posture is better than the younger generations. “Beth, sit up straight,” said my father every single night at the dinner table. 

The ’70s ushered in personal choice in my holiday wardrobe and seemed to usher out the norms around formal manners and rituals. I eventually had my own family, created my own more relaxed holidays, less church, more laughter. Sometimes I miss the order of it all. 

Cue 2020, the year when traditions and rituals have been sidelined for safety. 

This year I will forgo all rituals and ski on Christmas Day with two of my sons, wearing a practical and warm “snowsuit.” No weight or ritual or tradition, but a holiday to endure until life returns to “normal.” In 2021 we will all treasure our traditions and the opportunity to get dressed up again, maybe I’ll even invest in some black velvet and white gloves.

My wardrobe is now mostly black, with shades of gray. I’ve been accused of being scared of color, but maybe it’s just because it wasn’t allowed to wear black for so long, or maybe it just practical. I’m eternally grateful for manners, good posture, and having a heck of a curtsy and now wearing white gloves everyday makes good sense.

In My Lifetime

My grandson William, who is nine years old, loves to say “OK Boomer” to adults having no idea what constitutes a Boomer. I tried to explain to him that calling his mother that was not an insult and he better not say it to me, although I am a Boomer–born in the 50’s no less.

His mother is a millenial, as our three of my other children and two are Gen Z–which I had to look up because I can no longer keep all the generation monikors straight–because I am a Boomer! I would say the one thing we are all are feminists, including all four of my sons. They can call themselves feminists because they take women’s rights for granted and they are on their way to raising feminist sons and daughters.

The looming election and the passing of RGB makes me realize they have no idea of the changes that happened in my lifetime that affected my ability to buy a house as a single woman, get credit and what I dealt with during my career. My stories are small and not unique, but I want them to never take women’s rights for granted. As Kamala Harris asked Brent Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court hearings in 2018 “Can you think of any laws that give the government the power to make decisions about the male body?”

In my lifetime I remember my mother proudly getting her first credit card, in her own name, legally in 1974. I was in high school when this law was passed!

In my lifetime I was asked during an interview how I was going to manage being a single mother of three children and work full time. This was in 1990, and it was illegal and I had to the power to say you can’t ask me that question.

In my lifetime sexual harrassement was made illegal, but when I consulted a lawyer about all the inappropriate remarks made by my supervisor I was told, that’s just harrassment, not sexual harrassment. So when I walked into a meeting full of men and was told “I told you I don’t like that sweater” I could only reply, that is illegal to say, but I couldn’t do anything about it.

In my lifetime I took a second job to make up for the income I was not making at my primary job for 12 years. I raised five children, worked 40 hours a week at the job where my boss said the reason I did not make as much as the custodian (without a college degree) is because he was the breadwinner for his family. This was 1998-2012! Instead of pursuing it legally, I accepted it and worked an additional 20 hours a week to make up the income inequality.

So while many of these things were made legal or illegal in my lifetime and IN YOUR LIFETIME, they were not enforced, and I felt I could not rock the boat because I needed my job, married or single. I was not alone, and these are not the most egregious  examples but I need to document this for my children and grandchildren–especially the girls–so they know why we should not have to have laws that govern a woman’s body. So they know how quickly you can gain equality and how quickly it can be taken away if you take it for granted.

So children of mine, take nothing for granted, vote, learn more about ERA and other issues unique to woman that I can’t believe we still need to talk about in my lifetime!

To My Favorite 2020 College Graduate

Happy (complicated) Graduation Day.

Although you are graduating at a very difficult time in society and the economy, you are also graduating on a day where everyone you love is still safe and healthy. That is what is most important.

May you know how deeply you are loved and understand how many sacrifices were made to ensure you had the opportunities to attend a great school and earn a good education. Education is the key to a career and to opportunity. It’s up to you to put the key in the lock and open the door to your future.

May your perspective on life be shaped by gratitude for this, and all the other stars that aligned for you to graduate from college today. 

May you give away more than you take or earn starting with love, followed by time and money.

May you know that there are times to ask for advice and there are times to ignore advice and learn to trust your instincts. You ignore them at your peril.

May you also remember to put your faith in something bigger than yourself. We are all connected and there is a force much bigger than us that you must trust in–whatever you choose to call it. 

May you always take the road less traveled, choose the harder thing to do. It will make you stronger, more resilient and that is your continuing education that comes free. You can always go back and take the easier road, but it very difficult to go from easy to hard.

May you know what we know about you. You are a good, kind, and loving person. You have worked hard and it was worth it. Now it’s time to get creative about how you move forward. Creativity is something to draw on for the rest of your life. Creative solutions will carry you farther than giving up when things get hard. On the road you chose.

May you know that children don’t come with a handbook on how to operate and that your parents did the best they could. It wasn’t perfect, may you take the good and learn from the bad.

And may this timeless prayer guide you for the rest of your days.

God, grant you the serenity to accept the things you cannot change, the courage to change the things you can, and the wisdom to know the difference. 

Moving My Ladder

Joseph Campbell summed it up my past two years best when he said: “we must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

Two years ago this week I took a last look around my sweet house basking in spring sunlight and closed the door on both the house and my old life and started on a journey not realizing I was playing out an old story, a hero’s journey taken by many in midlife when as Campbell also describes beautifully. 

“Midlife is when you reach the top of the ladder and find out it was leaning against the wrong wall.”

Since that auspicious day, I’ve tangled with rattlesnakes, hiked mountains, traveled the world alone and spent meaningful time with friends and family. More importantly, I assimilated many valuable lessons and learned to live in a new way. 10 pounds heavier, but so much lighter in spirit and stuff (although there is that storage locker, ugh). Some of these lessons I’ve teased out through this blog, some I still have to document, many I’m still working on.

But here are my takeaways after two years.

  • Being alone is not lonely
  • It was not about travel, It was about leaving.
  • My story might be someone else’s guide.
  • My feet are now firmly on the ground, but my head remains in the clouds.
  • Living betwixt and between sharpens the senses
  • I am now the planner of my life, not the editor.
  • Important to move from theoretical to action.
  • Use outlines, not detailed action plans.
  • Deconstruct before you build.
  • Everything I need fits in the car, including a 70-pound dog.
  • Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other’s gold 
  • Community is fluid and always available.
  • Where you focus is where you go
  • Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
  • Living in an abundance mindset is so much better than a fear mindset
  • Liminality is reality
  • Resilience if forged not found
  • Homefree is more than a state of mind.
  • I don’t want to do what I’ve learned. I want to learn what I can do.
  • I have become the central character of my life
  • Home is in me, not outside me.
  • I have been forged in fire. Tempered by experience
  • The journey was to myself. 

Last, but not least, I’ve learned to trust in faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love.


P.S. Tag–you’re it Ellen!


Welcome to Liminality

“A liminal space is the time between the ‘what was’ and the ‘next. ‘

It is a place of transition, a season of waiting, and not knowing. 

Liminal space is where all transformation takes place
if we learn to wait and let it form us.”

Two years ago this month I chose to knowingly create a way of living that was unexpected for a mother of five and grandmother of five more. I moved from my house and home, my community and work into the unknown. More importantly, I also left my family. I only knew where I’d be living four months in advance and it was never in my own home.

  • I did not know how I would generate income in the future.
  • I did not know where I would end up living.
  • I did not know how I was “going to make it.”
  • I did not know my purpose.

I now understand that I was choosing to step into the central character of my life’s story. That my adult years up until my children were grown and flown were spent being a supporting character, and rightfully so.  And that I had an unprecedented opportunity, to be brave and jump into a new life or be scared and burrow deeper into safety and security.

I now know that I was seeking transformation by entering a liminal space. And now, the rest of the world has been forced into this liminal space. Welcome. 

  • You may not know how you will generate income in the future.
  • You may not know where you will end up living.
  • You may not know how you are  “going to make it.”
  • You may not know your purpose.

I can tell you that the times I was most fallow and unproductive ended up being the most productive. That reading and reflecting were the most important tools I had for personal growth. That is was not about the destination, but the journey, and it’s not over yet.

I can tell you that it was the friends, coaches, and sages that kept me moving forward one day at a time. Only one day at a time. When I was most fearful they stopped me and encouraged me to feel those feelings and then use them to create something new for myself. 

I can tell you that liminality is both extremely hard and very easy. That eventually if you embrace this space energy will flow easily, if you fight it you will drown in feelings. 

If you embrace it you will wonder each morning what the day will bring and embrace whatever happens– recognizing the synchronicity in what unfolds and use it to your advantage.

My best advice, avoid generativity and embrace rest and recovery, building reserves for what will come next. And learn to love liminality. 

Make New Friends, But Keep The Old

I served in the Brownies as a child–which I think has been replaced by Daisy’s. Not sure why there is name change but they no longer are required to wear brown uniforms as if they were in the service–just sweet blue bibs.

As an introvert (yes, I was an extremely introverted child) Brownies was hell on earth–all that mingling, selling cookies and the campout–hell. Weekly they pulled names out of a coffee can for duties and my name was not called all year, which meant that it was pulled for the final duty of the year. Carrying the American Flag in the Memorial Day Parade in Northbrook leading the troop. An existential nightmare for a seven-year-old introvert. 

But I did love the handbook, badges and the songs. The verse that has stayed with me my whole life is “make new friends, but keep the old–one is silver and the other’s gold.”

This verse has been playing in my head off and on for the past two years as I uprooted my safe and comfortable life to take my hero’s journey into my unknown life. A journey I was not forced into but chose of my own free will–and equal parts terror.

I could not have done this without the support of my dearest friends–both old and new–who spent long hours on the phone with me, propping me up, asking me deep questions, providing advice and bearing witness to my personal growth. They held my hand.

I was able to step onto the path when I realized I had made some dear new friends in the year before I left. That it was easy to keep making new friends and this would serve me wherever I went.

I’ve made so many new friends since then in my new home and I realized something very profound. Throughout my life I have not made friends, I have recognized them long before the friendship. That my instincts told me immediately that they were to be part of my life–or their instincts told them. These women saw me through marriage, raising children, divorce, success and failure at work, and finally cutting myself loose from all that was comfortable and seeking new experiences in the world. Each of them profoundly impacted me, arrived just when I needed them and moved on when it was time, which is another important part of friendship.

Sometimes I pursued the friendship, sometimes they did and I recognized them. Sometimes the chemistry of friendship was immediate, sometimes it took longer. 

Friends are the most valuable currency, aside from my family, for my life. With them, I can afford to take chances, take deep breaths and keep moving forward. I can afford my choices.

They are my silver and gold.

On Solid Ground

When I was a child I had the bedroom of dreams, with a balcony off the bedroom that was all mine. I spent a lot of time out there feeling like a princess, staring at the treetops and feeling the warmth of the sun. 

I also spent time going over the wall of the balcony to sit on the ledge that was on the outside that skirted the entire bedroom. Sitting on the edge, dangling my legs was dangerous, even more, dangerous was walking along the ledge which was about a foot wide to the front of the house and sitting there. My poor mother said she used to come home to children sitting on the house instead of inside the house. Most dangerous was sneaking out at night in high school from the balcony–but that’s a whole other story.

Last night I dreamt I moved from a room full of people whose company I was enjoying to a ledge outside the room where many people were sitting facing outwards. I found myself asking to pass them, much the way you do when entering a row of theatre seats and everyone has to shift to let you go by.

I then found myself around the corner and now I was actually climbing the building horizontally, one handhold and foothold at a time. Terrified by determined to stay steady. As I was heading back to the relative safety of the ledge, I looked down–always a mistake! It was too far to fall or jump, but I realized I didn’t have to go back, I could just as easily go down, one handhold at a time. Focused, trusting.

I soon found myself on solid ground, confident and calm knowing I made the right decision. And then I woke up.

Reflecting on this very powerful dream I realize it is a metaphor for the past two years of my life. I stepped out on a ledge and walked away from safety, security, comfort and began a journey one handhold at a time having no idea if I would be successful or where I would land.

Two years later, I find myself in a new community, with multiple consulting projects, a part-time job offer, new friends and a much more active life. I’ve landed and am calm and confident that I made the right decisions. 

All that said,  I’m never, ever going to try rock climbing! But I would take these chances again, and I would highly encourage others who are wanting to step off the ledge to do it and build your wings and your courage on the way down. There will always be hands to hold, including mine.

Amazing Grace

What is Grace? A granddaughter’s name. A state of being. So hard to define. You know when you are in it and you miss it when you are not. It is “amazing.”

Most of my life was lived in the grace of family. The business of daily life. Now that my children are “grown and flown” grace is about solitude, quietness and the time to create.

I’ve spent the last year and a half living in a state of grace and have come to realize that not all time is linear–often it is divine timing. Adjusting to this way of measuring time requires recognizing the power of synchronicity and gratitude.

In order to co-create the life you want, you have to have faith in the power of setting intentions and not being attached to the outcomes. Creating space for grace to fill. 

How does one manage all of this? With patience, practice and creating habits that instill stillness. Meditation works–some days. But sometimes meditation is in movement–walking, yoga, skiing, and hiking work for me. Journalling and a gratitude practice foster it. It is found in listening instead of talking–a practice for me!

These lyrics have spoken to me my entire life for different reasons at different times.

Amazing Grace, How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found

T’was blind but now I see
T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear
And Grace, my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed

Through many dangers, toils and snares
We have already come.
T’was grace that brought us safe thus far
And grace will lead us home…

Grace has lead me home, to myself, a journey that is far from over that would not have been endurable without the divine timing of grace.


Leadership Begins at Home

It’s been two years today since my father’s passing. It was not a sudden death. We were blessed in a way with his diagnosis of cancer a year and a half before that to realize fully the fragility of life, and then with his remission, the ability to take it for granted again.

On top of that, he hovered between life and death for a week in hospice, primarily in a coma, which allowed our family to come together in communion and community, to reflect upon his impact in our lives, acknowledging the easy and the hard parts. 

Loss shapes us, but it does not destroy us.

As I check in with myself today in meditation I find that I am not in mourning. I no longer feel grief–a complicated prism of emotions that where many truths are held in one container.

Today, in a sense, I feel closer to him. I now feel like I can talk to him anytime I want rather than having to pick up the phone or stop by the house. I never knew when he was alive whether I was going to get the brusque busy man or the Irish storyteller. But now I always get his measured advice as I interpret it. Do as I did, not as I said is the one that comes through the most often.

It is his stories I miss the most, for holding valuable lessons. Sometimes not at first but in reflection.

My father was an organized man, a planner. Several years before he died he began to prepare me for the inevitability by stopping by my office unannounced to discuss his wishes upon passing–and a list of who to call and when and what to say–underlined in red pen. He loved his red pen.

I was out of town planning a move to Colorado when he received his diagnosis of lung cancer. I immediately dropped my plans with the intention of being on the support team for his illness–which never happened as he took care of it all himself for as long as he could, valuing his independence and still working every day at age 86.

Upon my return from Colorado he called me over to the house and I assumed we would be revisiting the final plans but I was wrong. We sat across the dining room table/office desk and he pushed his watch which was a fixture on his wrist across the table towards me. “This is yours now,” he said. 

I was confused and surprised assuming something that personal would go to his namesake and my brother, but I am the eldest child in the family. It was not the watch that held the power of the gift, but the symbol of the watch, and the story of how he got it that had the lesson and the message.

The watch was a gift from his enlisted men on Christmas Day in 1954 on the island of Okinawa, Japan.  While the inscription is factual and brief–it is the back of a watch, after all, it was why he received it that mattered.

Machine Guns Dog Co
2nd BN 95H Marines
3rd Mar Div
Xmas 1954

My father went into the Marine Corps as an officer straight out of college during the Korean War. Shortly before his deployment to Japan, the conflict had ended. Many of the men in his platoon Had just seen battle in Korea and had the scars, both outward and inward, to show for it as well as some Purple Hearts.

He told me that he felt as the leader it was not his job to punish but understand when fights broke out or the men got drunk and disorderly that compassion and practicality were a better way to deal with the situation. He would often find a jeep and bring the men back to the barracks and let them sleep it off rather than put them in the brig. My use of language here in regard to the Marine Corps may be inaccurate but my audio recording of this story was lost when an iPhone fell into a puddle and the details with it.

On this particular Christmas morning in 1954, after inspecting the barracks, one of his corporals stopped him and told him they had something for him–the watch. Later my father was told that enlisted men rarely give their officer a gift and that he must be doing something right to earn their respect.

He had their back. He let them make mistakes. He understood where they were coming from and that judgment and due process are not always the remedy. He led from behind. He respected that they had endured the horrors of battle and he had not. That is was his job to protect them as much as it was to lead them. 

At 24 years old he had mastered the most important lessons of leadership. 

My father later became a salesman, a good storytelling one. He never managed a single person and for most of my life, I did not see him as a leader. The watch taught me that he was always a  leader and that leadership starts at home. 

The watch was a symbol for me to remember that it was my turn to have the back of my family. To lead from behind, let them make mistakes, honor them and try to understand them before judging the situation.

Although it no longer works, I wear the watch often, as a reminder that grief passes, leadership is quiet, stories hold lessons and time does stop ticking for all of us.