Today is the winter solstice, the darkest day of the year. It is the beginning of the holiday season where most everyone disappears into family time. They look within, and to their loved ones, and show up to participate in the crazy intimacy of family dynamics.

For me, it is the anniversary of my father’s death. Today I think about grief and its affect on my life. My father’s father, the Colonel, was hospitalized for some time and died when my father was eight. My dad’s entire life was marked by that grief which crippled him emotionally. He was not really available for me to attach to, though I loved him very much.

In honor of my dad this buy tramadol without a prescription morning, I was riding on the back of a horse on a trail ride near Austin. My father was a cowboy. He loved western swing music and animals and being outside. He could yodel to “Long Gone Lonesome Blues.” The longest physical contact I ever had with him as a kid was on horseback, sharing a saddle with him, and trail riding so long I fell asleep against him.

Today I am in conversation about grief, about endings, and hope that as the days grow lighter, I am present for my children and able to ground them through daily intimacy.