The SC began her day with meditation and yoga, preparing for anything that what might come her way.

This was the day that N’s office was painted, after years of attempting to avoid the use of any form of what could be perceived as a noxious substance in the house during the time of his illness.  The colors had been carefully chosen with the help of a dear friend, and the prep work was complete.  Time to walk up the stairs, turn to the left and gaze into a different reality.  I wasn’t  prepared for my internal lack of balance and the feelings of disorientation.  Had I erased memories with the swipe of a brush and a roller?  Does this mean that I have created more distance from the life that I knew?  From the man that I loved?  It’s tricky to live the fine line of maintaining my memories and moving forward.

Didn’t I choose this transformation?  Was it not my intention to focus my energy on my home and garden with as much spirit as I focused on caregiving?  One of my yoga teachers expressed that turning yourself upside down on purpose in the morning can help adjust to anything that happens during the day. Electing to playfully swing off the branch of a tree is a conscious choice, as was the decision to paint this sacred room, which is now light and bright and beautiful.

Why not balance on a rock in City Park in polka dots from head to toe and admire the vibrant colors below?  Nothing about this transition is life or death. Why not be grateful for the ability to change and accept ‘what is’ no matter how long it takes to gain my footing.

Photos by Diana

Vintage black/white polka dot dress, vintage red patent leather belt, vintage straw hat with polka dot ribbon, vintage red and black bangles and red earrings – estate sales, polka dot peep toe heels – boutique on South Broadway.


  1. Your grid of polka dots is a wonderful counterpoint to the nature around you, although the dots could also be a finely planted field of white flowers. You are radiant and your balancing photo really captures what you wrote about the struggle between hanging on and moving ahead. Clearly in the last shot you have found your footing on a solid rock! This is a beautiful piece.

  2. A loved ones life is permeated into our walls of memory much deeper than any fresh coat can cover. But the new brightness that now layers your rooms can enhance your thoughts of the past and give you hope. I wish you peace and contentment in your polka dots today. 😉 You inspire so many!

  3. I have always loved polka dots. They are playful yet urbane at the same time! Of course, that same sense is echoed in the photos you present today as well. Wonderful!

    My dear SC, you provide the insightful musings that I need today. Your statement, “Why not be grateful for the ability to change and accept ‘what is’ no matter how long it takes to gain my footing” is uncanily fitting for what I need today. The enduring relationship with my partner, that I thought would continue until our last days, ended suddenly a week ago, and since I was caught off guard, I am reeling with shock. I am, however, a survivor, and your words help remind me that just as I have met every other challenge life has presented, I will regain my footing. — I hope that, like you, I can do it in style.

  4. You look fantastic in those polka dots, Judith! The hat is charming and your peep toes are so cute.
    Memories never fade, home decor does. It would be a shame not to keep N’s special space beautiful. xxx

  5. I wish I could borrow this hat from your collection. I love it. And the polka dot shoes.

    It doesn’t surprise me that every step forward feels like leaving a little more of the past behind. I like to think Nelson moves forward with you.

  6. I am so sorry to hear of your loss Willa. How painful this must be for you and I thank you for sharing you life and your feelings.

  7. You look just as beautiful and elegant as can be in that lovely dress and matching hat, and you do look to have found a way to balance, after all. I like Vix’s idea that your husband’s study should remain beautiful, and as you say, light and bright. That’s a fitting memorial, among many, even though change is difficult. The colour of the paint in the room won’t change your heart. xxxx

  8. Judith, you said it perfectly – “Nothing about this transition is life or death. Why not be grateful for the ability to change and accept ‘what is’ no matter how long it takes to gain my footing”. You will find your footing as you have been over the last year, and your balance may not be as good some days as others, but you will prevail… polka dots! I think that Nelson’s room should be used, and enjoyed and a fresh coat of paint will encourage the creation of fresh memories for the room, while preserving old ones.

  9. All the colourful flowers are just the right background for your beautiful outfit! I love the red belt and bracelet, very nice touch!

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I recently lost my stepfather so I see my mother going through the same as you now, and however painful, changes are necessary.

  10. This outfit is so, so cute and fun, Judith…I just love it! I know it is hard…but you can’t go back or stay where you are…you must move forward! You are doing an amazing job!

  11. Judith – what a thoughtful and meaningful post to all of us who have lost loved ones and were faced with the challenge of moving forward with our own lives. As always, your outfits are beautiful and inspirational. You are like a painter always presenting yourself in the most delightful and unique way.

  12. I love the story this post tells! It is such a lovely outfit and the photo of you standing atop the rock captures the daring quality of the changes you are making. I love what you wrote about starting the day upside down…and now I’m going to go see if I can still do a shoulder stand.

  13. I spent the first year after my dear husband made his transition by painting my entire townhouse, including the inside of all the closets. Do you know how hot it gets in a closet in July? It was therapy and I have not regretted making my home fresh and clean. The memories are still here–the spot where he played guitar almost every day of his life, the lovely smell of his aftershave still haunts me after 12 years. I can almost hear him now.
    Wear those polka dots and live your life. It’s not how you planned your life but it’s what you were given.

  14. Hi Judith –

    This was taken from your post – Why not be grateful for the ability to change and accept ‘what is’ no matter how long it takes to gain my footing –

    I like that – my way of thinking – I have issues with my parents – things i have to accept and change – not easy but working on it –


    Ariane xxxx

  15. Judith, how lovely you look! When my mother passed, I felt like I had to keep EVERYTHING of hers. I almost felt it disrespectful to get rid of something that had been hers. Little by little though, I have given away or passed on to others many of her things. I’m okay with it now because I realize it doesn’t change how I feel about her and I also can almost hear her telling me, “Come on Nickipoo, get rid of that! You don’t need to be holding onto that because of me!” And she would be right. She knows I love her and my memories of her are stamped in my heart not in objects. Move at your own pace sweet Judith and be kind to yourself. Tons of love to you! ~Serene

  16. Judith, I just love your attitude about change – you seem so serene. When my dad died, it took my mom a few years, but she gradually started to redecorate the house and make it her own. She said it doesn’t take away from the memory of him living there, but she couldn’t keep it a shrine either.

    You look wonderful in this black and white (with red!) ensemble. Love the polka dots!

  17. Lovely polka dots! Thank you for setting such a good example. I am pleased to report that I have been meditating daily again. It has been so good for me. You were my inspiration.

  18. That’s the great thing about polka dots, I think, they don’t need any balancing, they just are…

  19. The oufit and the setting are so pretty. I appreciated the “stream of consciouness” writing as well. Life truly is a balancing act if one strives to live well.

  20. Dear Judith,
    Your writings have a certain resonance that goes beyond the incredible outfits.
    As you well know, the clothes mean nothing. They are like an armoire that can
    collapse and trap you. The poignancy of this posting is not lost on me.
    As you balance in polka dots, you balance in life – and life on you.

  21. Judith, what you say is oh so true. Acceptance and gratitude for the entire process is key. Not always so easy to do but when I get to a place where I accept and am truly grateful for every bit of it, all falls into place. So your outfit, is PERFECTION!!! I am mad for polka dots and red now!! I want a skirt, with polka dots and pleats!

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