Veuve Perdue

Widowed and Lost

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One of my readers has tried to guess the location of The Rock, wanting to get a sense of “place” as he reads my story.

I figured I’d share some of my old photos to give you an idea of it…

[Photos are captioned for you too]

Filed under photography The Rock our hell

5 notes &

Goodbye Chuck

I just got an email and it was from Charles, a friend’s brother in law I met at the dog park a few years ago… An older gentleman who was a huge fan of my work and we became pen pals.

But when I opened the mail, here’s what it read:

"Dear Friends,

Dad had asked me awhile ago to be sure to inform you of his passing when that sad event occurred. I’m terribly sorry to tell you that it has. He passed over today, 8/20/14 at 3:47pm.

He also asked me to remind you that he led a full and rich life, and that your presence in it contributed immeasurably to his happiness.

Finally, he wanted you to know, deep in your heart, that very nearby there’s another magnificent room graced by a splendid table where the feast continues.”

Filed under death a little sobby right now

9 notes &

Wedding Day Part III

When I came downstairs, I held my gaze low. I wanted Nick to be the first person I saw.

At the bottom of the stairs was a cousin and Franny—I really don’t recall who else may have been there waiting for me. I made my way to the living room and he turned to me and smiled. I took his hand and maybe said “Shall we get married?”

It’s sad I don’t recall such details…

But I took him into the empty living room, nervously said something to the notary, and very bossy-like told my family to stop taking pictures… I wish I hadn’t now.

The notary asked if we were ready, if everyone was there, I glanced around and figured they had to be. There were only eleven people there.

She began.

I cry at weddings. Even weddings in movies and TV. I’ve been known to cry at commercials that have a wedding in them. I don’t know why…

But somehow, I didn’t cry at my own. I even had a hankie in case the tears flooded, but no— I nervously laughed, but no tears. I just felt…. full. My heart was full.

I was at peace, I guess.
When it came time for me to say my vows. I followed the notary’s words and then, when she said, “Till death do us part,” I don’t know where it came from. It wasn’t planned. But I remembered the lines from Singing in the Rain…

And so I said, “Until the stars turn cold.”

Everyone laughed.

He kissed me. And I leaned into him knowing now the tears would come. And to diffuse, as I always do, I chose the silly path and turned to everyone and said in my best Eddie Izzard, “Champagne!”

And unless you’ve seen his “Definite Article” and know about his being an exchange student in the Champagne region of France, you didn’t get it. My groom got it, and so did Fran. The rest I’m sure thought I was an idiot asking for booze. To their credit— I am.


A cousin of mine had gotten married earlier in the summer. A massive, lavish wedding costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. She even converted to Judaism for this. She has already been divorced two years now. However, I learned of a practice… after the bride and groom are married, they are allowed a few moments to themselves— a few moments of quiet before the celebrations go on. I thought that was a lovely idea.

So, I left my friends and family to open more bottles, and bring out the cheeses carried in suitcases from Spain, and excused ourselves.

I took Nick outside. We each lit a cigarette and toasted each other. He took my hand and kissed it and looked at me— into me, as he always could.

"So, Catherine, how does it feel to be married?"

"Nicholas. I’ve always been married to you."

Filed under widow wedding anniversary remembering wedding day

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Wedding Day Part II

Around 4 I got up to check on my eye— it looked ok. I left so Nick could get ready.

He was out of the room and in the garden with others while I showered and put on a clean dress to meet the notary who arrived early. Nick came in and we sat here— where I am now— as she went over the vows. Simple, classic.

I ran upstairs with my dress and makeup bag. My mother, grandmother, friends and cousins were making sure I had something old (my great grandmother’s earrings), something new (the dress), something borrowed (my grandmother lent me her bracelet), something blue (my underwear).

Downstairs, a few others were milling about, drinking, smoking, sweating, trying to get pretty or handsome… Nick was somewhere…. being zen, I’m sure. I hope.

Once dressed, makeup on, no black eye— and my hair was unruly as usual in the summer frizz— so I decided a simple ponytail would have to suffice. I asked my mother to run outside, “Just cut me a gardenia off that bush I saw!”

She had moved in the day before, her garden was lightyears from being what it is today, but there was that gardenia bush full of flowers…

She came back in and I tucked it in my hair and called myself ready.

I asked everyone to leave me for a few moments; after the insanity of the day, I wanted to center myself…

I smiled in the mirror and said, “Today, you’re marrying Nicholas.”


The gardenia bush has been in decline… my mother fertilized it earlier this year and a few weeks later it bloomed. It’s had no flowers since.

But today.

Today I passed it on my way out to walk Lily, and there, alone, was one gardenia bloom.

Happy anniversary, my love.

Filed under widow wedding day anniversary remembering

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Wedding Day Part I

I had a day of zooming around— driving out to some suburb to collect my mother’s Honda, because the engine light had come on the very day Nick and I went to get our marriage license and they had it ready for us.

Zoomed to a cousin in need because his mother’s car had died in the heat and needed to be taken home to get ready before coming over.

Then around 3, everyone decides we need more beer and ice so Dave and Leens and I zoomed to a liquor store. I popped the trunk open and leaned in to put the case of beer in the back. Only the trunk had bounced back down so I smashed my eye into the latch. I literally saw stars and I thought—

"Well, fuck. I’m going to get married with a black eye and in my glasses."

As vain as I am, I didn’t seem to care too much.

I couldn’t see, I took out my lens, ripped open the bag of ice, grabbed some, put it to my eye and handed Dave the car keys. The car was silent on the way home. Leens says from the back seat, “Oh my god. Nick is going to kill us.”

I went straight to the room with ice. Nick was resting on the bed, “All ok?”

"Um no," I told him what happened and just lay there with him. Holding hands while people fussed outside the room unpacking what the movers had just delivered from DC— searching for the champagne flutes in my mother’s boxes.

Filed under widow remembering wedding day anniversary

10 notes &

"Mawwiage!"

Eight years ago tonight in this room, my betrothed took my hand in the dark beside me in bed and said something to the affect of,
“Catherine, I’ve never asked— will you marry me?”

And in the dark I giggled and responded,

"Well, I’ve got to now sweetie. We have the notary coming tomorrow at 6, some booze and Chinese food ordered and 11 people here for this. So yeah. I’ll marry you!"

Filed under Marriage Princess bride True love Anniversary Proposal Widow

7 notes &

Satellite Call

This one’s for the lonely child
Brokenhearted, running wild
This was written for the one to blame
One who believe they are the cause of chaos and everything

You may find yourself in the dead of night
Lost somewhere up in the great big beautiful sky
You were all just perfect little satellites
Spinning round and round this broken earthly life

This is so you’ll know the sound
Of someone who loves you from the ground
Tonight you’re not alone at all
This is me sending out my satellite call

This is so you’ll know the sound
Of someone who loves you from the ground
Tonight you’re not alone at all
This is me sending out my satellite call

Sara Bareilles

Filed under sara bareilles satellite call lost