Blog Posts

Why I Write

On 26 June 2019 we lost my best friend and husband Lawrence (Larry) Preisler. He was truly one-of-a-kind. The world is darker since his light went out. He could always make me laugh, even when he was feeling bad. He would be amazed at all the people who have reached out with stories of how much he was loved. But that was part of his allure.

The humble, loving, funny, renaissance man moved on to his next great adventure.

Although there was an instant connection for the 4987 days we shared since we met on 30 Oct 2005, 7 July 2019 would have been our 12th wedding anniversary.

He wanted to get married on 6 Jun 2006 and I sometimes regret saying no because of the numbers. Instead, we were married on 7 Jul 2007 – 11 years, 11 months and 19 days.

Our time together was extraordinary. Lawrence was patient, kind, passionate, and the most loving man I’ve ever known. He challenged me in a way nobody else has or ever will. I learned so much from him and will never forget being loved unconditionally for who I truly am. He dared me to step outside my comfort zone and try new things. He gave me a run for my money intellectually and there was never a shortage of things to talk about. He broadened my horizons and I challenged him as well. We encouraged each other through it all. We grew up in different worlds so the culture shock on both ends of the spectrum was very interesting. But we learned together, loved each other, laughed a lot, and lived our lives to the fullest.

He loved his children, my children, and our grandchildren with such ferocity. Every visit, picture, video, phone call, face time brought him immeasurable joy. The sweetest words to his ears were “I love you grandpa Larry” and “I love you Paw Paw”. One of his last wishes was that his grandchildren never forget him.

When he became ill, we traveled the dark road as one, fought the system, searched for answers, and cried together. It hurt my heart to see him in so much pain. He suffered so much during the last five years- more than most people know. The last four months were especially difficult. His pain was excruciating, even with palliative care involved, and it just got worse and worse the last two months. But through it all he still had his bucket list of trips he wanted to take after rehab, people, and places he wanted to see. He wanted to see our children and his grandchildren again; the ‘puppies’; the cross-country trip starting in Portland, to Omaha, to Madison, then home; Amish Country; NYC (his favorite town); and the World Trade Center Memorial to pay respects to his friend who was lost. Forever the optimist, he always talked about the future and even though he knew his time was short, still made grandiose plans.

But we also had the hard conversations about his funeral, shiva, and dying. I told him that if he died before I gave him permission I would get a Dixieland Band to escort him out of the funeral home, and we laughed. He dared me. But in the end, I knew what he wanted and he made sure that I would not go through the foreign process alone. I had orders and his wishes for a good send-off were followed. He made it clear that he wanted me to be okay when he was gone. Told me I was the strongest person he knew.

I promised. We cried.

His last day was a good one. He devoured the chicken stroganoff recipe posted on his timeline that I made and took to the hospital. He loved it- I hated it- the story of our lives. He ate more than I’ve seen him eat in months. We talked about our life together all day. In the evening I tucked him in as I always did then we hugged and kissed good night. I forgot my phone in the room and went back to get it- another hug, kiss, and see you soon- never good-bye.

Then 5:01 am the next morning the phone call came and time stood still.

The 4987 days that we were one person were the best of my life. Wherever my life leads in the future, Lawrence will always be with me in my heart and never forgotten.

His memory is a blessing.

Truth or Lie: Integrity

“Integrity: Strict adherence to a moral code, reflected in transparent honesty and complete harmony in what one thinks, says, and does.”

What a concept

that some don’t understand

“Transparent honesty”

What is hard about telling the truth?

Fear of rejection, perhaps? Habit?

The third part of this definition

is also interesting:

“Complete harmony in what one thinks, says, and does.”

If one says one thing but does another,

is integrity absent? Is there wiggle room?

“Strict adherence to a moral code.”

What a can of worms

Perhaps honesty and

complete harmony…

is enough to strive for.

One thing for sure,

people are not perfect and

only G-d is completely

transparent and honest.

The author and conductor of the

universe supplies discernment so one can decide if trust is deserved.

Here is something I wrote in 2002 about G-d showing a way forward:

The Road to Happiness

Joy comes after grief and pain
happiness after sorrow
freeing me to love again
on the path toward tomorrow.

The road may be strewn with bumps
and sometimes I may stray
but looking backwards to the past
may make me lose my way.

Never looking back again!
traveling straight at last,
the road to happiness is ahead
G-d, show me the right path.

G-d is in control it’s true
H-‘ll catch me when I fall
Whenever I need comfort
H-‘s faithful through it all.

Joy comes after grief and pain
happiness after sorrow
freeing me to love again
walking forward toward tomorrow!

© Lisa M. Stansbery (Preisler) 10/11/2002″

166 XO Lisa

Family – The Circle of Life

“Families are like fudge… mostly sweet with a few nuts.”

– Anonymous

As one gets older

the family member ranks


start to disappear

while the younger family

grows in number.

It’s inevitable

the circle of life

an ebb and flow

a continuing saga


all woven together

with tradition


and love.

Sometimes we let busy lives


with family time

then later regret

not remembering the stories

healing the wounds

letting go of the past

or fostering relationships

while there’s still time.

When we

remember those who’ve

gone before with love

speak their names

tell their stories


they remain in

our broken hearts

that heal

a little more each day

as their love

shines through.

165 XO Lisa

Roads Traveled

“Every journey taken always includes the path not taken, the detour through hell, the crossroads of indecision and the long way home.”
Shannon L. Alder

The roads traveled in my life

have wound through events

laced with happiness.

Then torturous curves

woven with challenges, grief,

and periods of indecision.

Sometimes traveling at the

speed of light,

often excruciatingly slow.

My travels have meandered through








great happiness



and triumph.

The grand thing about traveling

is that one is continually

moving forward

with rest stops along the way

to regroup and recover.

As soon as one feels like giving up

a new experience appears

around the next bend.

Regardless of where I’ve been,

my roads always lead to

where I am supposed to be.

Therefore, I resolve to

remember past lessons,

never forget my Love,

follow the light,

and look to the future

with great anticipation.

164 XO Lisa

Hope & Change

New starts


for growth

Some things remain

the same

Many things

have changed

Reminding myself


that change is necessary

to grow…

Hope is necessary

to accept


In changing

and accepting

new growth

my Love

would be

no- is


162 XO Lisa


You visit my dreams


Whether sweet conversations

or silence

we communicate.

Whether sixty shades steamy

or vanilla

we touch.

Whether travel far away

or staying close to home

we travel.

Whether a huge protective hug

or keeping your distance

still you come.

Whether I wake up

softly smiling, crying,

or gasping for air,

you visit

In the quiet or nightmares


with every dream

I miss you, my Love…

157 XO Lisa

Giving Thanks

On this day of pausing

to give thanks for blessings,

I remember lovingly

past gatherings

at my grandmothers’ tables,

in my parents’ home,

and with family and friends.

__________ 🍁 __________

We always took time

to give thanks for our blessings-

for each other and

for love shared.

Those who were missing

but not forgotten

were always included.

__________ 🍁 __________

Today I remember

all the people who

have influenced my life

and I thank G-d that

I have been so blessed.

__________ 🍁 __________

I give thanks

for family and friends

who have supported,

prayed, loved, and

lent their strength

when I had none.

You are my heart.

__________ 🍁 __________

I give thanks

for my Love

who showed me

that unconditional love

and marriage can be


That I am worthy

of such love.

__________ 🍁 __________

I am thankful for all

my children

who love me even if

I drive them crazy…

__________ 🍁 __________

And my grandchildren

the lights of my life…

__________ 🍁 __________

What are you thankful for?

__________ 🍁 __________

155 XO Lisa