26 March 2017

43 highly effective self-care tips

Self-care was something I didn’t do well in the final months of my husband’s life. Because I could do it all myself. Because I didn’t want to bother other people. Because self-care sounds rather selfish, self-centered, self-conscious.

But it’s not. Self-care is simply seeing to our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health so we can better care for others.


Photo credit: Unsplash


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6 February 2017

Widowhood: 5 mistakes I’ll never make again

Too bad it sometimes takes losing something of unspeakable value to appreciate what we had; that it takes mistakes to teach us some of life’s most critical lessons.

Photo credit: Kattaryna Stiles

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25 December 2016

5 life observations on this Christmas Day

While heartless unfeeling inconsiderate friends continue sending photos of piles of snow back home, I’m spending Christmas in New Jersey where there is no fluffy white stuff adorning the landscape.

But there’s been plenty of playing, laughing, squealing, listening to Christmas music, gift-giving, nerf gun wars, good eating, Chai tea sipping, Lego building, book reading going on here in Jersey.



Photo credit: Doug Oines


Which has contributed to 5 observations on important life issues this Christmas:

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18 December 2016

6 gifts to give yourself this holiday season

Christmas in New Jersey and I have the grands all to myself for a few days while The Parents meet up with The Aunt & Uncle in a place that involves sunglasses, fun T-shirts and odd-looking ears (hint: Orlando).


Photo credit: Unsplash


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24 November 2016

Top 14 arguments for why you are needed

This is a revisitation of a blog I posted a year ago during the holiday season, which — as you know — can be a no-tidings-of-great-joy time of year. Especially if you’ve lost something of infinite value.

Like your health. Or you’re dealing with the aftermath of cancer, or financial reversals.

Or you’ve lost that most perfect astonishing, believer-in-your-dreams, would-do-anything-for-you, would-go-anywhere-with-you person in your life.



Photo courtesy of Unsplash


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23 October 2016

You are missing from me

Dear Gary —

One of the tools from a widow grief class was letter-writing, beginning with these words: “My favorite memory of you is …” The problem with that: There are so many favorite memories of you. In fact, there are entire categories of memories.

Being the overly efficient person you married, here are some of my favorite memories. By category. And alphabetized. Just for the fun of it.



Dear Gary …


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22 September 2016

Top Ten things I miss about you

Tomorrow is the second wedding anniversary without Hubby, and there is still so much I miss about being married to him. So much.




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29 August 2016

Lessons on fifth-wheel-ishness

Chloe, one of my grand-dogs, is a Brussels Griffon. She doesn’t know what it means to be a fifth wheel because she assumes everyone wants to play with her.



Chloe, on left, teaching her lumbering friend, Noah, how to be a little more playful


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14 August 2016

So, um, this week’s date night

One of the things cancer did was motivate Hubby and me to establish a standing Friday night date. I’ve blogged about this in the past, and how — pathetically — I’ve maintained date night alone most Fridays since Hubby died.

This week’s date seemed more important to me. Perhaps because I’ve been out of town the last couple of Fridays, and I’m headed out again on Monday for a couple weeks.


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Deschutes River trail


And so I laced up my trekking shoes and headed to the Deschutes River trail. I can’t tell you how many times Hubby and I hiked along this river. Close to half a million times. Roughly. Give or take a few.

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21 July 2016

Sarah’s poem — I am still me

My young cancer-widowed friend, Sarah, let me read a couple of her poems recently. I was amazed. Beautiful stuff. She writes honestly and vulnerably as she wonders if she’ll ever find who she is again. And yet her work is hope-filled.



Jill Rosell Photography


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About Me

Hello, my name is Marlys Johnson Lawry. I’m a speaker, award-winning writer, and Chai tea snob. I love getting outdoors; would rather lace up hiking boots than go shopping. I have a passion for encouraging people to live well in the hard and holy moments of life. With heart wide open.

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