Divine Take Two

In 2018 I wrote a post I truly love called Divine. It was about how sometimes we pick up ‘baggage’ through life that may get carried around for years without even realizing it. It’s one of the best pieces I’ve ever written.

In it, I talked about how sometimes stuff begins to accumulate on us / around us that we take on, as our own, even though it was never really ours.

I talked of what an imaginary suitcase at my feet in my 20’s would have held. It was a hodgepodge of negative remarks and things. The kind of stuff that feeds self doubt and low self worth.

Then, I talked about yanking all of those things out- how freeing it felt to let go of all that old junk that had been hanging around for twenty some years.

After dumping things like:

  • not worthy
  • worries
  • not good enough
  • guilt
  • shame
  • no self esteem whatsoever
  • scars, bruises, and sadness

I replaced them with things like:

  • giving
  • loving
  • a good friend
  • works for God
  • big heart
  • worthy
  • sweet, kind, and funny

Yesterday, I wrote two posts and, honestly, I wasn’t sure footed in either one. At some point in the afternoon, I found myself rereading Divine. It was then that I remembered how freeing it is letting go of the old and welcoming the true.

Oh my goodness! That post hit home!

I forgot how easy it is to strap on words we pick up along the way. The Shoulda, Coulda, Wouldas. The ‘hurry ups’ and ‘too slows.’ Words that seem to stick and get piled and become SO integrated that we don’t even know how to start looking for them.


That can equal some heavy loads!

So, this morning, I decided to peek into the imaginary suitcase that was at my feet five years ago.

What would I find, a year into momma loss? Would it be as bad as the one in my twenties?

I mean, come on! Parent loss is h a r d.

Slowly lifting the imaginary lid, I saw a smidgen of self doubt, but not enough to break the scales. Also, there was this overflowing love that felt like a waterfall. Hmm… promising.

I also saw:

  • strength of a thousand trees, though sometimes I forget
  • a checker-inner
  • patches of sorrow and joy
  • more lessons learned
  • still sweet, still funny, still kind
  • still loving, still giving, still a good friend
  • a huge, gigantic, all encompassing heart
  • weathered from parent loss, but not broken
  • worn down from the stages of grief, but still holding steady
  • a caring sister, a great daughter, a passionate mother, a my-heart-is-in-it wife
  • a teacher, a learner, a try to make things better-er
  • peace and love and happiness bulging at the seams
  • sadness and missing and trying to understand loss and what happened and how we got to this point- intertwined with everything while trying to find balance and grace

Pretty good, considering all of the things of the past year.

Sometimes it seems like life is a series of

  1. taking what we’re given
  2. picking out what really resonates for us
  3. growing from there

Such a gift in that.

Here’s a link to Divine. My momma loved that piece, too.


Thanks for being here,


©️ COPYRIGHT 2023 Unmeasured Journeys

©️ COPYRIGHT 2023 Jessica Adam

Trying Again

I wrote a post this morning,

then I edited it about a thousand times…

Ever do that?

Get clearer about what you wanted to say after you said it?

Thank goodness there’s a way to change such things.

Some things I originally said didn’t feel quite right…

If you read ‘It IS Possible’ it got a name change.

If you saw the part about ‘it’s that simple’, it isn’t. That sentence is gone.

I’d said that I write just to help others in similar shoes, and while that is true, I also write because doing so just feels right. Where my heart leads, I follow in words.

When I reread the first one, it sounded like I was saying my only purpose in writing is to express what grief is like in case it could help someone else. That’s true, but writing also allows my journey to be supported.

Thanks to every single one of you who have been hand holders here since March 2022. Nothing about parent loss or writing about it easy, and for the most part, my posts have been met with arms wide open.

I truly, truly, truly appreciate all the love and support from everyone who reads my stuff. I feel like my first post this morning overlooked all the kindness and hugs that have come across the miles. And, I sure don’t want it to sound like that…

So, if you read my post this morning, maybe give it a look again. It’s now more of what I had in mind.

Thank you,


©️ COPYRIGHT 2023 Unmeasured Journeys

©️ COPYRIGHT 2023 Jessica Adam

Maybe It’s Possible


It happened again.

After not being able to write in f o r e v e r , I wrote

and in doing so

I was awarded with some remarks about how I need to




and how I just need to be happy.


At first that upset me so much!

Then, I sat on it for awhile.

Here’s the thing

I think something HUGE gets missed when I write about missing my momma or hard days or holidays or anniversary days or regular days or days I still can’t believe it happened:








Moments, yes.

But, not all the time and not all the days.


Because maybe it’s completely and totally possible for JOY to sit next to sorrow and for happy to live beside sad.

And, maybe joy, sorrow, happy, and sad can even hold hands and be friends on the very same days. And, heck! Maybe even in the very same hours.

For me, it IS possible:

  • to have happy moments even on a hard day
  • to have laughter even on a sad holiday
  • to smile through tears even on an anniversary day

And, on a regular day, when say like a song comes on and the memory waterworks start going?

Still possible.

I’m feeling like things about my grief and loss are a bit misunderstood. And, maybe if it’s feeling like that for me, it could feel like that for someone else.

Sure, grief is heavy at times. Sure, missing my momma takes my breath in some moments when I can’t believe she’s really gone. Sure, learning to live without someone I loved my whole life cracks my heart into a zillion pieces on some days, but you know what?

I can still smile on others.

Writing about parent loss has never been an easy road. I do so in hopes of relating to, resonating with, or reaching someone else who may understand what it’s like or who may be in a loss of their own.

Because, for me, life is about taking all of these experiences, learning from them, and trying to get through them however it is that we can do that.

Much love to all,


©️ COPYRIGHT 2023 Unmeasured Journeys

©️ COPYRIGHT 2023 Jessica Adam

I Admire You

If you’ve been through hard things,

I admire you.

If part of those things include loss,

I admire you.

If you’ve had moments you can’t quite get words around,

I admire you.

If you’ve stepped up to help a friend during their bumpy days,

I admire you.

If you’ve been through a super sudden loss then spent weeks or months trying to make sense of it,

I admire you.

If you’ve ever stared at approaching holidays in advance, knowing how hard they’d be,

I admire you.

If you’ve ever survived a Mother’s Day or Father’s Day without one,

I admire you.

If you’ve been on the receiving end of “I’m sorry for your loss,”

I admire you.

If you’ve shown up for a friend in loss,

I admire you.

If you took them a plant, a wind chime, a meal, or sent a card,

I admire you.

If you’ve asked someone what happened, then stood there listening while words and tears trickled out,

I admire you.

If you’ve ever driven 5 minutes or 5 hours on some random Tuesday to show your support to someone,

I admire you.

If you understand the intensity of loss but have never even talked about it,

I admire you.

If you’ve talked to your kiddos about how much someone loved them,

I admire you.

If you read something that tells you to forget the past but you say, ‘no way!’

I admire you.

If you’re reading this and it makes absolutely zero sense,

I admire you.

If you’re reading this and your cheeks are wet with tears,

I admire you.

If you can relate to this post in any way, shape or form,

I admire you.

If loss to you means a breakup, a friendship is ending, or that someone gained their heavenly wings,

I admire you.

Loss can mean different things to many. Wherever you are in yours,

I admire you.



©️ 2023 Unmeasured Journeys

©️ 2023 Jessica Adam

On Glimpses of Things

Yesterday we went to the river. During floating season, there are people all over the place and river ‘sounds.’ Things like: laughter, chit chat, boat motors, dogs barking, car doors shutting, music playing…

Currently, on the Current River, it’s the quiet time. The temperatures are cold in the water and in the air. I don’t mind the busy season, but I sure love the ‘nobody’s around you can hear nature’ time.

For instance, last night we were the only people there. For me, that brings nature back into sole view. Details called out. I noticed. There were pine trees swaying in the wind, leaves on the snow, pine cones sitting on overlooked paths, and my truck hood acted as a mirror.

January 27, 2023- pine cones at the river
January 27, 2023- snow as the perfect backdrop
trees on my truck hood- January 27, 2023
January 27, 2023- pine trees sway

On the way out, we were paused by a tree that crossed over the road. A gift really. A ‘slow down moment’ in days filled with hurries. So we did it, we paused.

tree leaned over the road- January 27, 2023

After going around it, I found myself looking, for color in the trees, for something that would demand a camera, or something that would make a stellar photograph.

Nothing really stood out ahead, but when I looked back perfection and grace were wearing the same coat.

My side mirror gave me a glimpse of what truck windows would notice, if they did such things. I stopped and got out. Here’s what I saw:

January 27, 2023- a scene that caught my eye
January 27, 2023- a window’s view

Glimpses of nature on some random Friday, filled up my lens, eyes, and heart with abundant gifts. Love when that happens.

Thanks for being here.



Tools and Things

Yesterday’s post was on handles. Today, I have some more cool pictures to share.

I love the idea that someday I’ll be reading my old blog posts and I’ll see these photos and remember traipsing around my dad’s tool shed, chasing the daylight.

Another thing I love, is that these things seem to have earned their places. They are not so new and a little worn, but they are still useful and somewhat charming, right where they are.

Hope you have a nice Monday.


small shovel
vintage cabinet
blue and red
wooden toolbox
lantern and minnow bucket
tools that have done their share of work


Sparkle in a Jar

A couple of years ago, there was a big craze with jars. Dried cookie ingredients in a jar, put gratitude on pieces of paper and stick them in a jar, salads in a jar, mason jars as gift holders, and more.

Yesterday, I received one of the coolest gifts I’ve ever seen! A ‘plant a bulb’ in a jar.

Like a flower bulb.

In a jar!

I’ve never heard of such a thing. Planting bulbs in the ground? Oh yeah, done that. In a jar? How fun!

Christmas was looking to be a hard one without my momma. So guess what one of my besties did? She found out that Amaryllis means ‘sparkle’ and she sent the bulb jar to me.

How sweet is that?

Because honestly, I haven’t felt very sparkly lately. Crying takes the shine right out. And, I’ve been doing my share of tear dropping recently.

Sparkle in a jar?

That grows and blooms into a gorgeous red flower?




Thank you, SanDee, for the pick-me-up. It makes me want to plant sparkle bulbs all around my ten acres. What a beautiful show that would be.

Love when friends ‘show up’ on days- well, on any days and all days. The ones in the beginning, the messy middle, and whatever kind show up after.

She’s been there for me and with me through so-much-stuff. Buckets full. Before my momma went in the hospital. During the devastating 10 days of tough diagnoses and all the days since my momma made her heavenly trek.

Sometimes, being in this, this parent loss thing, some things feel like an end. The thing I love the most about her gift?

It’s the beginning

of a life

tucked up in a bulb.

I took some pictures of it so you can see. The directions say that the roots take 2 weeks to develop, then in 6-8 weeks it’ll bloom. Then, the flowers are said to last 2-3 weeks.

Perfect timing.

That’ll put it blooming on the year anniversary when I lost my momma. She passed away March 26, 2022 at 11:11 pm. It’s already making a hard day better. In March!!! ❤️

Here’s to flowers and friends and things that show up and work out when we aren’t even looking for them. I’ll take those sparkles- now and in 3 months!

Thank for being here!


gift from my friend
bulb and growing medium


Dancing the Day Away

My grandma Wilma kept daily journals for years. In them is just regular ol’ stuff. Things they did, calls they got. I used to do that when my kiddo was little, so he could read it when he grows up.

I think I’m going to start doing that again. Here’s some things I’m going to put in it about yesterday, Christmas Day:

  • 80’s music coming from the kitchen
  • magic tricks
  • my husband making homemade gumbo
  • Santa
  • white Christmas
  • talking to my dad
  • ice sparkling on the swimming pool
  • staying up til 2 am reading Christmas books Christmas Eve
  • homemade sugar cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve
  • sunshine
  • messages from loved ones
  • the Christmas Vacation movie- where Clark goes down the sledding hill a zillion miles an hour, so funny
  • tears over my momma because she is missed
  • the cats walking around on the frozen swimming pool
  • listening to vinyl records on the suitcase record player after we opened presents
  • dancing in the living room to Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Fleetwood Mac, AC/DC, Leo Sayer, and a song my momma LOVED- Funky Town
  • playing games
  • working on a puzzle
  • laughter splashed all over the day
  • hanging out
  • my counting of blessings

Sounds like a wonderful journal entry and some great memory makers. Especially those silly cats, ha ha. My favorite parts were the gathering of gifts, magic tricks, laughing, and dancing.

My momma lovedddddddddd dancing. Years ago, we nicknamed her kitchen, “Diane’s Dance Hall.” It was surely fitting that we danced our day away, too.

Merry the-day-after- Christmas. Hope your holiday was what you hoped it’d be.


Funky Town Christmas tunes


Angels at Christmas

My heart is with you at Christmas.

Hope you have whatever kind of holiday it is that you need. Sometimes they look different for us all.

Sharing some angels today.

my momma gave me this angel years ago
angel from my friend Kristie
tiny angel on my tree
our tree topper- my husband gave me this angel in 1995
angel ornament from my momma
angel from my dad
past gifts from my friend Kristie
a gift from my momma years ago
angel in my china cabinet
angel from my dad
the angel with the harp is from my momma

I just love angels, don’t you? ❤️

Thanks for being here this year. All your likes, reads, and comments really do mean so very much. As my friend, SanDee says, ‘heart on sleeve.’ It’s been a very heart on sleevy year for me.

Your kindnesses and plain ol’ flat out support have been more than appreciated. They’ve been read, listened to, sat on, absorbed, and are becoming part of an ever growing strength.

Love how we all learn from each other, don’t you?

Merry Christmas.



On Vulnerability

Nine Christmas Eve’s ago, my cousin’s mom suddenly passed away, leaving us all shocked and devastated. In the nine years since, I have paid attention to how she has navigated the loss of her beloved momma.

Although I didn’t quite understand her loss, I tried to be there for her. One thing that I noticed was that she didn’t stuff the loss down to deal with it later. In my eyes, she bravely stepped right into the loss of “holy sh*t, I’ve lost my mom, what am I going to do?”

I don’t know about you, but when a friend or relative loses their mom/ parent, I pay attention. There are lessons that live in someone else’s experiences. I hadn’t been IN her shoes, but when she talked about her days that came with her loss, I listened.

I still do.

A couple weeks ago, she said something monumental to me. It was about her view of grief. She’s nine years in, to mom loss.

I’m nine months in.

Her words were soothing and healing, instantly.


I’ve tried to write about it for two weeks. I’ve typed, backspaced, typed, backspaced. Words jumbled up. Couldn’t get them out in the way that I wanted.


Well, not everyone understands the roads we are on.

Some do. But, everyone?

No, not really.

Writing about loss and vulnerability is sooooooooooo hard. It’s somewhat edgy. Talk about it a little and it’s acceptable. Talk about it a lot and it’s ‘you’re grieving too much.’

Vulnerability is like a coat that nobody wants to put on. A hundred and fifty degrees below zero and there’s a coat of vulnerability laying there? Forget it, I’ll freeze.

With vulnerabilities come shame. Being nine months into mom/parent loss, I can see why people don’t talk about losses.

Grief isn’t discussed much. Sure, people throw out lines of “take your time”, “everyone grieves in their own way”, “deal with it however you need to’ while at the same moment, there seems to be an invisible time limit on when someone’s grief is enough and they should just move on or that there’s some particular way to get through it.

Twice this week, I’ve felt judged about my mom loss. That I’m not doing it right or I’m taking too long. If I just move on, my holidays won’t be hard.

Grief with stipulations…

Writing about the last nine months has been a gift, a privilege, and a heartache all at once. I write because I know that I am not the only one dealing with loss.

My hope is that if someone somewhere reads my words, that maybe they’ll find a smidgen of comfort or something that makes them feel a tiny bit better.

You know?

Loss with stipulations?

It does not work for someone like me, who is in it.

Stipulations only add to an already overflowing plate.

And, hey, I get it.

People mean well. Nobody wants anybody to be sad. I’ve said similar things to people myself to try to help them feel better fast.

Now I see that it really doesn’t work. It probably just pushed them away…

Yesterday, I cried most of the day over feeling like my grief is taking too long and that I’m not doing it right,

Most. Of. The. Day.

It was prompted by the phrase: ‘ohhhhhhh, you’re not doing very well, are you?’


Very well compared to what? That started kicking up self doubt like you wouldn’t believe.

What I’m getting at here, is that being open about how momma loss feels is super tricky. Do I have to talk about it? Not really. Would grieving quietly be better? Safer? Perhaps.

Hmm… trade vulnerability for quiet healing?

Maybe I should…

On the other hand, look at this space that sharing my journey has created here!!!

It includes things like:

  • being able to share similar stories
  • real honest to goodness compassion showing up
  • a place to talk about sad days, sudden tears, and hard moments
  • connecting to others who are in loss too
  • learning from each other
  • stumbling around in how to write after being so open
  • being transparent and being met with kindness and support
  • opening doors to conversations about parent loss
  • peeling off layers of crusted up, protective hearts (including mine) to let some things out and in
  • lessons shared
  • hugs sent
  • tossing old stories of time schedules in grief to the curb
  • opening the heart for new ideas instead

I think I’ll just stick to what I’ve been doing. Sharing. Because if I cry for a day, I cry for a day. The best I can tell, putting myself out there is making me stronger, too.

Thanks for being here and for reading.

Big hugs,


this photo is for SanDee


Commenting Issues

One thing I love about blogging is being able to read and comment on blogs. I’ve had this blog for seven years and have never had an issue being able to comment on other blogs until recently.

I’m not sure what’s up, but I want you to know, that I have been reading and commenting, but when I go back and check later, my comments are gone!

I don’t get it!

In fact, yesterday, I did test comments on a friend’s blog. They did post. One even showed for 4 minutes… then was gone.

Guess it’s time to figure it out.

Anyway, just thought I’d tell you in case it appears that you’re commenting often on my blog, but I’m not commenting on yours…

Also, several comments on my posts keep going to Trash. If you have any solution ideas, I’d love to hear them.

Thanks for reading.


flowerbed rocks


Booth Update

Just got home from checking on the booth. Before going in, I asked my kiddo how we’d feel if we sold nothing. He replied that we’d feel great! Indeed!

The doilies, potholders, hankies, and books seemed to fit right in. They sure give it a warm ‘pull up a chair and we’ll drink tea while visiting’ feeling. Sort of rooted, in a way. Not quite how sitting at a grandma’s kitchen table feels, but down home.

I thought I’d show you how it’s coming together.

new things in the booth
books I added
I got some magnetic hooks to hang the vintage pieces on
added potholders and hankies
flower face potholder above the trinket boxes

So fun!

P.S. We’ve had the booth one week and a piece of my art made it into the world!! How exciting! I’m so grateful!

Thanks for reading!