Faith

How Does it Feel, Now That You’re an Orphan?

The question surprised me, since I’d never thought of myself as an orphan, but I immediately recognized the truth of it.  With my father’s death some years ago and my mother’s death more recently, I had become part of the “older generation” in my family—fatherless, motherless, an orphan. My father’s death was the first death […]

Substance and Empty Space

For a couple years after my father died, his belongings continued to inhabit our home. A neat row of ironed dress shirts hung in his closet; a soldering iron rested on the workbench in the garage; his favorite books held their territory on the shelves. As the months passed, and I finished my freshman year […]

This is a Post About Loss

This is a post about loss. I write this over and over again. Ambling through the labyrinth trying to think of just the right thing to say. I don’t think there is a right thing anymore. If you haven’t become an intimate friend with loss, with the emptiness that comes from the missing, then you […]

Letting Down Church Ladies

God gave me a mother, and the church provided several more. They were matriarchs varying in age and economics. Strong resilient pillars that held the church building upright, sitting in its pews each Sunday and rearing the next generation of parishioners. On days like today, when Drew and I failed once again to make it […]

I Did Not Want to Go to My Grandmother’s Funeral

The night my already-sick grandma took a turn for the worse, my husband asked if I thought I’d go to her funeral. “Oh, hell no,” I said, without thinking. He looked startled, there in our bathroom. We were getting ready for bed, letting our bodies slow down for the end of the day. But now […]

Riding the Grief Wave

My hand grabs a heavy plastic bag as I reach to the very back of the closet. I couldn’t place it at first, and then my heart wrenches when I see the blue sweater. Justin’s sweater, and a blue polo shirt that I had carefully saved from his belongings. His sweet scent and the faint […]

I Didn’t Want to Start a Conversation About Desire

I think I’m becoming an expert in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Not because I study them, but because I live them. They seem to follow me and buzz, like a fly, around my ear. Unwanted, with no sense or reasoning, but at a tempo that hums so softly it pulls my attention away from all […]

I’m the Only One. But I’m Staying.

I spent my summers hopscotching through neighborhood Vacation Bible Schools. VBS, as an inner-city kid was the closest I ever got to attending a traditional camp. Who needed a lake to swim in when there were water balloons by the buckets in the church lawn to splash through. I never felt deprived of mountain trail […]

Suicide and Sweet Potato Fries

Unexpected Healing in Sharing Your Story “I have your dinner reservation confirmed. Is this a special occasion? What are you celebrating?” the voice on the other end of the line said.   I didn’t know how to respond to her question. Because the dinner I’d planned with other women was a special occasion—but it was an unusual […]