Blog Posts

Monkey Bars and Grief

“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” – C.S. Lewis

Monkey bars were

never my thing

I was always afraid

of letting go

to grab onto

the next bar

to move forward

to the other side

to get to

the finish line

where I was

no longer

uncomfortably hanging


in mid-air

feet dangling

wondering when

I was going

to fall…

C.S. Lewis was correct

you have to let go at some point

in order to move forward

sometimes progress is slow

and it’s one rung

at a time

other times,

I can do two

and then I look back

and swivel around

to the rung before –

because it’s comfortable.

I’m not ready to leave –

I don’t feel ready to let go

and move forward

but then the dangling feet

and uncomfortable feelings

start again and

I have to let go and move.

Grief is fluid

always back and forth

up and down

letting go and

falling down

but getting back up

to grab the bars

always trying

sometimes failing

sometimes stalling

many times afraid





176 XO Lisa


So I have to tell you something freaky that happened.

I have been listening to the song “Reason to Fight” by Disturbed nearly nonstop since Monday (the first time I listened it nearly broke me). After the 100th time it became comforting because I imagined my Love singing it to me. Now it’s my anthem reminder that I will survive.

Tuesday evening as I was listening while reading a book in bed I heard my Love say my name


just one word


It was his authoritative voice… probably telling me to get myself together.

After the shock subsided

and the tears started

I managed a soft “thank you, sir.”

You see, the book I was reading was one of the “Fifty Shades” trilogy by EL James. I was reflecting on how our lives were similar to those of the characters (without the intrigue, riches, youth, and beauty).

Like the fictional Mr. Grey, my Love gave up a lifestyle he enjoyed because his love for me was deeper.

In the process he tamed my wild, broken, untrusting soul with his strength and unconditional love. For that I will be forever grateful, blessed, and his.

I miss him so… but i did sleep all night for the first time in forever.

Truth can truly be stranger than fiction.

P.S. – I am still stubborn… some things will never change.

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.

In Loving Memory of…

Dana Long VanAntwerp 1965-2004

My beautiful sister Dana

who would have been 55 years old


was a bright light

in our family

and lives on in our memories

Her sense of humor was endless

She loved deeply,

especially her girls…

lived her life with abandon

and left her footprint on many.

She would have chosen hamburgers with sauce, “California” (cauliflower) with cheese sauce, and Pumpkin pie for her birthday dinner. We would have had a blast trying to get all those candles on that pie. I am sure hilarities would have ensued when the lit pie was topped with whipped cream… I am laughing at the thought, because wherever Dana was there was sure to be laughter and practical jokes.

I am going to rock out to Kiss, AC/DC, Aerosmith, The Cars, Eagles, and Journey today in your memory.

Happy Birthday my sweet, loving, hilarious, practical joke playing sister.

You will never be forgotten.

All my love forever,

I miss you more each year…

Your big sister Lisa.


Bee Love Award – Honored to Have been Nominated

Hi everyone. I hope you’re having an exceptional Monday. I am honored to have been nominated for this award by Rising Star “Inspiration and Motivation is the Key to Success“.  Rising Star writes about confidence building through motivation and success. His posts are truly amazing. If you haven’t checked out his work, take a moment to visit his blog and get lost in his motivational posts. Again, I am honored to have been nominated for this Award. Thank you!


  1.    Attach the BEE LOVE AWARD LOGO on top of your post.
  2.    Ping back to Grief to Beautiful Sorrow Blog
  3.    Thank your fellow blogger who nominated you.
  4.    Share your Definition of LOVE and How You Live Out LOVE.
  5.    Nominate your fellow bloggers who live out love and inspiration on WordPress Blog.  (Love knows no limits, so nominate as many fellow bloggers you’d like to shine your light on.

My definition of LOVE:

I believe that in its purest form love is unconditional with the power to heal. My husband loved me with unconditional love and I him. He always had my best interests in mind and would do anything in his power to help me be happy. I could always count on him to provide cheer when I was down, support me when I needed lifting up, and be a constant source of laughter.

In my humble opinion, the best definition of love is in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 (NIV) “Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

How I live out LOVE:

The love I feel for my grandchildren is just indescribable. My mom used to say that if she would have known how much fun it was going to be having grandchildren she would have skipped having children. I agree. My grandchildren are the lights of my life. I love my children and bonus children with everything in me and would literally consider killing anyone who hurts them. I think that’s love. It could be sheer craziness, but I have been known to do some crazy things once or twice.

I try to uplift people whenever possible, even when I feel down. There is really no point to being negative. I have a few close friends who I can vent to if I am feeling particularly upset and ready to tear someone’s head off, but they know that mood will pass quickly. Otherwise, I try to live in the positive, choose to be happy, be grateful for the love that I have been blessed with throughout my life, and never, ever, give up.

I Nominate:

Betty Draper

Glitzy Ritzy Mommy



and my very first follower


because all of these bloggers (and more) have shown love to me by commenting, liking, and supporting me on my journey.

XO Lisa

Flying Forward to Infinity

I read somewhere that Arrows must be pulled back before they can fly forward.

As I am trying to move forward with my life, I think of that whenever I experience sadness.

Now I have a permanent reminder on the underside of my left wrist- hidden, but accessible.

Just one glance will remind me, when sadness comes, that I must dig deep to reach behind for a new arrow of strength from my quiver, place it on the bow, then pull it back-

to fly forward…

to infinity.

214 & 26/365 XO Lisa

Rant Ahead – Reader Beware

I recently exited social media (except my blog page and occasionally to look at memories on my personal facebook page when I think I can handle it) because of negative people who thought it okay to post personal attacks.

Well guess what? I received my first personal attack from a WordPress member in my Spam folder last night. I was a bit taken aback, because it was truly the first in the six months that I’ve been blogging.

It was on the Holidays and Grief post and basically (but in significantly more words) the ‘person’ said that he shouldn’t have wasted his time reading and I should spend less time feeling sorry for myself.

Seriously? I wonder what is wrong with people that they feel that their negative, scathing opinions are necessary or wanted?

I sincerely hope that the tortured individual who took the time to write the scathing paragraph to me – someone he does not know, instead of just scrolling by, never has to experience grief firsthand. Although I am positive that everyone will at some point in his/her life.

So a message to mr. negative: “If I want your opinion, I will ask for it. Furthermore, if I seek opinions on how to grieve I will ensure that they are from educated professionals and not someone like yourself. If I want validation, I will seek out those who love me. There are plenty of people here, unlike yourself, who are supportive and uplifting. Perhaps you might want to think about choosing another platform to voice your negative opinions- or at least keep them to yourself. In plain words, (just in case you don’t understand) I don’t give a flying duck what you think.”

I deeply appreciate all my friends and followers and would never consider posting a negative comment on their pages. I believe that it takes courage to put one’s thoughts out in public for all to see.

214 & 26/365 XO Lisa

“Funeral face !”

Beautiful- worth using google translate to read!


Eram sedată, m-au drogat o zi si o noapte pe motivul ca a doua zi aveam un vizitator, iar in ultimul timp lângă mine doar asa te puteai apropia ,când eram drogata cu tot felul de sedative . Am fost nebună,dar imi plăcea piesa de teatru in care jucam . M-au îmbrăcat în camasa mea de forță, deja avea cusut numele meu pe ea si m-au așezat la masă din sala de vizite . Nu am realizat ca acolo mai era doar aceea masa .

-Iti amintești de mine , am auzit o voce in surdină.

-Depinde, atata timp cât esti personajul bun din piesa mea de teatru ar trebui .

Am nevoie de tine ,stii ,sunt copleșit uneori , ma simt doborât si nu stiu cum să reacționez asupra tuturor măștilor din jurul meu .

-Și eu ce sa mai zic, am întrebat eu in timp ce radeam…

View original post 435 more words

Strength II

“My dark days made me strong. Or maybe I already was strong, and they made me prove it.”

Emery Lord, When We Collided

Many have said that I am strong

at this moment I am doubting them.

What is strength?

Crying in my pillow at night?

Missing my Love whose life

I tried so hard to save?

How could grief

the endless feeling of

being utterly shattered,

aimless, and

scarred beyond recognition

make people perceive me as strong

when I feel weak?

Perhaps the difficult process

of putting the broken pieces

back together while

staring the disappointment

of death in the face,

then testing the waters

of trying to live,

starting to laugh,

and begin again

even through tears

can soften the

hard scar tissue of grief

that remains?

But what if the scars

will make me stronger

than my previous self

and their strength and shield

are meant to show me that

the only life I can really save

is my own?

214 & 26/365 XO Lisa

Just a Word or Ten for the Wise Men Out There

This quote just struck me as funny, with a few grains of truth:

“One of the perks of dufferdom is an increased capacity to appreciate people. Friends. Spouses. And, for me, women. All women.When I was 20, I had eyes only for girls my age. Any woman over 30 was ancient, over 40 invisible. Today, at 65, I still appreciate the 20-year-old for her youthful looks, vigor, and (occasional) sweet innocence. But I equally enjoy women of my own age and beyond, and every age in between. I’ve learned that each has its own special wonders, attractions, magic and beauty.

As I grow in age, I value older women most of all. Here are just a few of the reasons senior men sing the praises of older women:

An older woman will never wake you in the middle of the night to ask, “What are you thinking?” An older woman doesn’t care what you think.

An older woman knows herself well enough to be assured in who she is, what she is, what she wants, and from whom. By the age of 50, few women are wishy-washy. About anything. Thank God!

An older woman looks great wearing bright red lipstick even in glaring sunlight. This is not true of younger women or drag queens.

And yes, once you get past a wrinkle or two, an older woman is far sexier than her younger counterpart!

Her libido’s stronger.

Her fear of pregnancy gone.

Her appreciation of experienced lovemaking is honed and reciprocal.

And she’s lived long enough to know how to please a man in ways her daughter could never dream of. (Young men, you have something to look forward to!)

Older women are forthright and honest. They’ll tell you right off that you are a jerk if you’re acting like one. A young woman will say nothing, caring what you might think of her. An older woman doesn’t give a damn.

An older, single woman usually has had her fill of “meaningful relationships” and “commitment.” Can’t relate? Can’t commit? She could care less. The last thing she needs in her life is another dopey, clingy, whiny, dependent lover!

Older women are dignified. They seldom contemplate having a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won’t hesitate to shoot you if they think they can get away with it.

Most older women cook well. They care about cleanliness. They’re generous with praise, often undeserved.

An older woman has the self-assurance to introduce you to her women friends. A young woman with a man often will ignore even her best friend because she doesn’t trust the guy with other women. The older woman couldn’t care less.

Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to an older woman. They always just know.

Yes, we geezers praise older women for a multitude of reasons. These are but a few. Unfortunately, it’s not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coifed babe of 70 there’s a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some 22-year-old waitress.

Ladies, I apologize for us. That men are genetically inferior is no secret. Count your blessings that we die off at a far younger age, leaving you the best part of your lives to enjoy and appreciate the exquisite woman you’ve become. Without the distraction of some demanding old fart clinging and whining his way into your serenity.” ⁃ Frank Kaiser

What say you? Agree or disagree?

I’m one of those over 50 women, so guess what? It doesn’t matter! Tee hee… But feel free to comment!

212 & 24/365 XO Lisa