January 7, 2017 · By Vocab Girl Leave Comment

Longwood Zoom

Quinquennial: consisting of or lasting for five years.

Five years. It is a long time to be without someone important.

Did you know that word? I, for one, did not. I know annual is yearly, and biennial is every two years, an olympiad is every four years, perennial is again and again., centennial is one hundred years. I randomly stumbled across quinquennial….which if I ever manage to play it in Scrabble – look out! I can’t believe it has been five years since I lost my Dad. The “five year plan” was always for those who couldn’t do it in four years….perhaps that was me. I was looking for a rain check on my grief. I wasn’t equipped to process it when it was handed to me. “There are no words,” was basically what everyone who hugged me as I held my seven month old daughter at the funeral had said. We had already been to too many. This was number three since I had gotten pregnant. It took an awful lot of soul searching to get to where I am now and learn what I should have already known: Happiness is an inside job. A plaque on the shelf at HomeGoods told me so.

I was desperately looking all over the place, externally, to find the answers to my loaded questions. I was searching so hard that it burnt me out annually. Each year I would make it a little farther before crash landing. I wrote, I took pictures, but I kept most of it to myself. Who else cares? Who would want to listen? Grief is such a personal struggle. You are basically plucked out from your relatively comfortable position in life and plopped at the trailhead for the AT – “the granddaddy of all hikes,” according to Bill Bryson. I should know because I read this excerpt from his book “Into The Woods” upwards of 300 times with all of my SAT students. So grief feels like you are put on the Appalachian Trail without ample rations or time to prepare yourself for a journey that will pretty much be endless. Each time you think you are “out of the woods,” you are greeted with more woods. It all looks the same at some point. You look for signs. You have a ridiculous number of one-sided conversations. Those aren’t a lot of fun when you are seeking guidance or reassurance. It is hard. The struggle is real, and it is daily. While in spin class this morning, singing along to Usher’s ‘DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love,’ a song the instructor likes to close out class with and make everyone put their hands up….I was stopped dead in my tracks by the lyric, “So dance, dance, like it’s the last, last night of your life, life.” Five years ago today it was the truth for him. We speak so casually of death…that we are dying of difficulty, of embarrassment…J even keeps saying that she “loves me so much that she could die on me.” – please don’t!!! All it takes is a song lyric on a Friday morning to knock the wind out of me.

It has been very hard to keep moving along, as if there isn’t this gaping hole. Initially I had no clue how it was even possible. Five years after the fact I have a lot of answers that I will be sharing in future writing pieces. They have not come easily. Bottom line: How do I do it? I honor him by going for it for me!
Welcome to my website! I bought this URL- www.vocabularygirl.com in October 2015. It dawned on me that words were my thing. Between the SAT Tutoring that has been my full-time gig for thirteen years, and my writing that has been filling pages, and my big words I love to teach my little person, vocabulary is my passion. I had big ideas but was not sure how to execute them….so it sat. I wrote 50,000 words in November 2015 and they sat there. In October 2016 it was time to “use it or lose it,” as Michael loved to say. I started planning the design. I realized that it is time to stop hiding and start getting my work out into the world. Sharing my gifts, if you will. I was very fortunate to have a gifted and creative family. I have always been drawn to writing…especially when the going got rough. I collected quotes starting in high school. My Dad was always very encouraging of this and bought me many collections of them. He had two big bookshelves on his side of the bed, instead of your typical night stand. He read the actual dictionary to prepare for going off to college. He instilled in me from a young age a love of science and learning and being observant. All things that have helped me sharpen my mind and my eye. When I launched my photography business, Photo Synthesis Designs, he asked me daily, “What are you doing today to work on yourself?” He believed there were three types of people in the world, “Those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened?” “What’s happening?” he would always ask when he called me, usually when I was driving (pre-hands free)! Dad, I am making it happen. Everyone else, I hope you enjoy reading. I hope that you share my words with anyone who you think they will resonate with. The Press page has links to all my articles that I have written. I look forward to having a garden that I can plant with words and flowers. “To plant flowers is to believe in tomorrow.” I am filling my house with flowers and herbs this winter to keep the blues away.

Purple Planting Fields Plant

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Comments :2

Tracey K.

Congrats on the new site. I look forward to future postings.


I have mostly tears and only one word … beautiful.

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