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Alisa. 37. New Hampshire. Married for almost three years to this wonderful, funny, smart guy. Previously married. Went through in-vitro fertilization to have my five year old magical son Keegan. Stepmother to the charming Isabelle (6). Gushingly in love with our baby boy Harper(1). Policy Wonk and dreaded bureaucrat. Lover of fine cuisine, honeybees, truly romantic moments and the underdog.
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Curried Beef Short Ribs

Note: I found this was more realistically four servings.

Finishing this dish with lime zest and juice brightens its rich flavors.

Yield 6 servings (serving size: about 3 ounces ribs, 2/3 cup rice, and about 2 1/2 tablespoons sauce)

2 teaspoons canola oil
2 pounds ...continue reading

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The Wisdom of Enlightenment

Dear Tom,

This past year of mourning you has been different from the first. The first one was so heavy with grief and l was almost numb at times from the sharpness of the pain. But this second was like a rubbing kind of wound with only the thinnest of scabs over the tender new skin. I still marvel that I can be so sad and miss you deeply still at moments and yet be utterly happy with my life. I think you knew that about me, that I had that capacity. And it is why you did not worry for me after the divorce.

Were you there? Two years ago at your service? Did you see me arranging the photos and the flowers. Greeting those who came. Your mother inconsolable, your father so still and quiet. Your sister, a rock, like she has been every day since. The faces of those who came to support me. So many faces I did not know of the people you worked with that I had never met. I wonder if they thought it strange for everything to be led by your ex-wife. Who so clearly loved you and was completely shaken by your death. And the monks who said a Buddhist prayer to purify your ashes. Twelve of the most spiritual minutes of my life.

Erika says she can feel you around sometimes. She believes you are a guardian angel watching over Keegan and Sammy. But I don't feel you near. I can not imagine you doing anything but gladly slipping the bounds of earth and being truly free. When you died I said that the best part of you lived on in Keegan. With each year I am more sure that is true. In the year after our divorce you and I thanked each other for giving us Keegan. We disagreed on so much but we knew he was the best thing that ever happened to either one of us.

Oh Tom, our boy is amazing. And I see you in him. His soft heart, the way his smile lights up his whole face, his love of animals, nature and climbing mountains. He wants to fly planes, skydive, hanglide. He must have the spirit of a bird in him like you. He also has your deep love of family and your excellent memory. Just the other day he told me that you had always taken good care of him and that you loved him. He will blurt out things you did together or one of your silly habits. What a gift that he still has those pictures in his head and his heart.

I wish I had someone close by to tell him all about you. I can only do it from the perspective of a wife and friend. Tom you were hard to love and hard not to love. He wants to know who you were as a boy. What you liked and what you did. I think he wants to see himself in you. And I want you here to love him in the way only his mommy and daddy can, to celebrate his triumphs and to worry with me when he goes off to find his own life. For he is an adventurer like you. Always wanting to explore and see the things he reads about and to travel the world and the universe. Already so independent at the age of four.

More years will pass Tom. And we will still miss you with the deepest parts of our hearts. I will still talk to you sometimes in my head, pass by the places that hold memories and yes even be angry with you for not being here. But I will love our son with every thing I have. And he will always know his father and how much you loved him. And someday I will get the strength to erase the last voice mail you ever left me.

Love,
Alisa

Thomas Troy Butler
October 1, 1970 - September 9, 2006

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