A THOUSAND TINY STEPS

Twenty Years of RB (and Molly)

Ryan Brown, Gracie, Barb

The muggy weather has returned and my mood has lifted considerably. While I truly enjoy the fall weather here in New England, I feel strongly that said weather should refrain from making an appearance until October. Needing a sweater for my morning coffee on the porch in August is just wrong. I am writing this […]

Is This Really Broadway?

Top photo: Derek standing behind Molly in 2016. Bottom photo: Derek with Barb family after the show 2023

We drove to New York City on Sunday. This in and of itself is no big deal, I have driven to NYC many times. I have gone there to see my larger-than-life billboard in Madison Square. I have gone there to deliver cats to JFK airport. I have run track and cross-country meets there. I […]

Aggie and Me on the 4th of July

Barb and Aggie

It is the fourth of July. I have timed road races on this particular holiday for most of my adult life. In small towns like Bradford New Hampshire to Gillette Stadium in Foxboro Massachusetts. When Molly died this became one of several things I stopped doing. It was simply too difficult to manage. I have […]

Too Busy to Think

Bethany, Barb, Ashli at track camp

I am on my porch. It is a sunny muggy Sunday evening. Track Camp should be over. This next week of rain should be permission for me to stay inside and re-do my office. This is not my reality right now. I have another week of camp. I am tired. I am overwhelmed. I am […]

What’s Age Got To Do With It?

20something athletes at crossfit vs Golden Girls

In my younger years I coached three seasons of high school running. I easily spent 20 hours a week with teen aged girls. I knew all the songs and all the popular TV shows. I was also infused with their energy and zest for life. My twenty years as CHS Girls XC Coach were wonderful. […]

Jack Makes His Debut

jack dressed up for debut

I recently had a podcast interview with a mother who has (like me) suffered the loss of a child. Also like me, she is living with this reality in her best possible way. It can be so refreshing to talk with someone about grief. Not too many folks are comfortable with the subject. Death makes […]

MollyB The Musical

MollyB theater sign in neon pink at Capital Center for the Arts

When Molly died, one of the first challenges was how to recognize her life. How to present her to all of her elementary and middle school aged friends. As Kenny and I stood on either side of her, surrounded by visitors on that Thursday night in early May, we decided a show was the way […]

When No One Comes to the Party

Molly’s Grave on May 7th 2016 (left) and on May 7th 2023 (right)

This has been a tough week. Molly’s death week anniversary, the changes in how we recognize this time period, and my expectations of how others in my life should take part took a larger toll this year than last. I always feel like if I don’t organize everything and make sure it happens then it […]

Two Years, a Moment, and a Lifetime

Gracie and Molly when each was in 7th grade

They are now bookends. The beginning and the end of their life together and their life in theater. The bottom pictures were taken in May of 2015. Although Molly was on life support for seven days in May, she was already gone. The only actual Molly pictures for the month of May stop in 2015. […]

The Time Is Now

Molly's yoga mat with can of nuts inside from 2016

Physical movement is a common symptom, by-product and/or coping mechanism for a variety of conditions. Anxiety can produce nail biting, fear causes an increase in heartrate and handwringing, people who experience joy often jump up and down with glee. Trauma is no different. Movement and the compulsive need to move is a common by-product of […]

Marathon Monday 2013 A Reposting

boston marathon medal

It is 2:50 p.m. as I begin this…precisely the moment just 24 hours ago that the Boston Marathon was changed forever. I have written my thoughts down in my head all day, talking to myself out loud in the car, crying quietly, trying to wrap my head around what happened and what sort of person […]

Sister Sister

Lisa, Pam, Taylor, Polly. My chosen sisters

When National Siblings Day rolls around my heart strings get pulled a bit. I have always wondered how “only children” feel. They grow up without compatriots with whom they could share childhood escapades and experiences. It is why I had Molly. I wanted Gracie to have someone to share Santa and school, toys and movies, […]

A Birthday Celebration

Family and friends for Molly14th bday, 20th birthday

Molly would be twenty years old now of she had not died at age 13. Her birthday is always difficult because I am reminded that all the things I thought would happen the day I gave birth to her that are no longer possible. As happy as that day was, at the time, it is […]

The Consummate Patient Tells Her Story

Barb and brother in 1969. Barb giving speech 2023

I love to talk. It is one of my favorite things to do. As a child I was in trouble for this all the time. I grew up in the era of little girls should be seen and not heard. I had a hard time living with that societal standard. Not only did I like […]

Jack’s Arrival

Barb pregnant with Jack, newborn Jack with Barb

As you read this, Jack Jack is turning two. I am not sure how this happened but here we are, two years after he made his early arrival. I remember it all too well! (Taylor Swift reference here). Throughout the entire “creation of Jack” process I had been able to maintain quality detachment. I was […]

How CrossFit is My New Track Team

Barb at crossfit. Barb and Emily Monaco. Barb in high school, @Boston University

I completed my 11th CrossFit Open on Friday March 3rd. This worldwide competition takes place once a year and it the first step for CrossFit Games competitors to secure their spots. I well remember my first one in 2013 at White Mountain CrossFit. I was just 18 months into this life changing sport and was […]

Yin Yoga and Toy Story

Gracie, Jack and Barb getting ready to watch Toy Story

I took a yin yoga class this week. It is the very kind of yoga that makes my skin crawl. Very slow, very deliberate, very quiet. I can feel trapped enough in my body on an uphill 8 mile run, during a 30 minute chipper WOD in CrossFit or jumping out of an airplane, so […]

Tom Walton

"Traditions Worth Preserving" book cover, Tom Walton boy and adult.

As I begin this blog I am reeling over the death of Tom Walton. He is just someone I didn’t expect to die. Although he was 74, he was the picture of health and strength. He is just someone I thought would live to be 100. Sometimes it makes no sense. Why him? Why now? […]

A Valentine’s Day Journey

Valentine's Day cookie that says "Love you Barb"

A love letter for a Valentine, who once was me! I am sitting in my sunny bedroom at 2:30 in the afternoon. I am in pajamas, although not the ones I slept in last night. It is warm and sunny out so I have the window open. Jack is at big boy school and Kenny […]