I know there’s a bright side of the road—I can see it and sometimes even reach it briefly.  Utilizing the amazing skills of resilience that I learned from my late husband, guitarist Pete Huttlinger, I am working through the grief of losing him.



I know I’m not the only one who spends time thinking about what they are thankful for around this time of year. I’ve spent a lot of time, this past week in particular, thinking about what this blog would discuss as the seasons change. I already had something else written and then realized that it would be odd not to discuss gratitude specifically.

I decided to go back one year into the blog posts and see what I wrote previously around this time, thinking I would compare and see if I’d progressed emotionally since then. There was nothing on the topic. I tried to remember why I hadn’t written anything about Thanksgiving—then it occurred to me that I hadn’t because I couldn’t.  I was so out of sorts that I don’t even think I hosted Thanksgiving at my home, which would have been the norm. In fact, I don’t know if I remember Thanksgiving at all—just a grey blur moving too fast toward Christmas.

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This year I can think clearly enough, for long enough, to find gratitude. Through the worst of this grief I have been able to not lose sight of what I’m thankful for, and what I appreciate in life, but a year ago I couldn’t articulate it. Here’s a smattering of some of the random things, for which I’m grateful, that run through my mind on any given day:

When I walk past my desk and spot my passport, I am grateful that Pete took me out of the country many times. I had never had a passport until I was 43 when he invited me to travel with him to France.

I am grateful for my home and the ten short years Pete and I spent living here. Every corner is filled with wonderful memories.

I am grateful when I watch the Macy’s Day Parade as I try to draw myself into the holiday spirit, and particularly grateful for the memories from the one year Pete and Sean and I went to the parade to see my son James march with the Father Ryan band.

I am grateful for the pretty white roses I bought and placed in the entryway to welcome everyone as they arrived at my home for Thanksgiving dinner.

I am grateful as I pick Sean up from the airport, arriving back in Nashville safely from her recent gig, and watching her carry the guitar Pete gave to her.

I am grateful that this year I was able to host Thanksgiving dinner for my family and friends–that they pulled a chair up to my dining room table, and a few other tables around the house, and raised a glass to each other and to Pete.

I am grateful for my parents and siblings who all chip in so generously to help, and who share their own families with me, and I’m grateful that I can share my family with friends who join us.

I am grateful for Pete’s brother Frank, who keeps an eye on me and visits often.

And I am very grateful to you, for reading this blog.

Self Care

Self Care

On The Other Foot

On The Other Foot