From the Ashes

The last year has perhaps been the most difficult one of my life. Last summer, my husband Andy and I began to seriously discuss abandoning our life plan of forever living among the poor in the slums of India. As we talked, we stood on a rooftop garden overlooking the snowcapped Himalayas and the small […]

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 […]

Some Clear Joy is Coming

  TRIGGER WARNING: Description of miscarriage.   *Portions of the second half of this post are from a piece written shortly after the event.    Father John in the driveway comes here to bless me. My Father in the morning will bend to hear me. Some clear joy is coming on some slowest train, I am […]