What’s important is love. All the rest is noise.

I’m going to have to get a new coffeemaker.

Standing in the newly remodeled kitchen that he lived long enough to use, to make his last pot of chicken soup, his last vat of spaghetti sauce and his last signature mashed potatoes, I’m looking at the coffeemaker.

Why the hell do we have a 12-cup coffeemaker?

We never drank that much coffee, ever. We never have (no, wait, I mean “had”) anyone over for coffee. If I made four cups we’d still throw 2 away.

So I guess I’d better get a new coffeemaker.

A one-cup-at-at-time coffeemaker.

So I got one. And now I’m filling it three times every morning, drinking three cups of coffee. More than I ever did before. He died, I mean. Before he died.

Died, and now I’m a widow. And a middle-aged Mom to a young adult on the spectrum.

It’s been over a year now, and I’m trying to figure out how to live the rest of my life.  I’ve learned a lot from all this about what’s important.

And what’s important is love. All the rest of it is just noise.

So that’s what this is about – learning to live a life based on love after loss – getting to the other side of grief as a better person. I can’t do much (well, I can sing, and I can improvise and I hope we’ll decide that I can write, and I’m pretty good at making people laugh, sometimes even intentionally) but in the face of everything that has happened and especially the Things-Much-Bigger-Than-Me-That-I-Feel-Helpless-In-The-Face-Of, I started to think there wasn’t really anything I could do to make this world a better place.

But there is.

I can love. I can live a life where every day I try (and believe me, it takes a lot of effort for me – which you’ll see as we get to know each other better) to be someone who makes the choice, as my pastor says (and it is a choice, requiring conscious and continuous effort, for me, anyway) to live as a source of love in this world. And laughter. Maybe some of that, too,

So when I’m on my third cup of coffee in the morning, I’m asking myself, “how can I put some love into this world today?”

Let’s start by not putting not-love into it.

Meaning trying to be a nontoxic woman.

We’ll get to the ridiculous part next.