This is grief

posted in: Faith, Uncategorized | 0

I thought I understood grief but I don’t.

I’ve grieved for miscarried babies and all four of my grandparents. I sobbed and I screamed. I was incredulous and surprised. I sank into sad music. Mundane annoyances became personal affronts. I was wounded. I was broken. When my dad died, I expected all these elements of grief to invade, but on a more acutely intense level. My father is gone, forever. I will never hug him hello and goodbye again. I will never again hear him sing to me on my birthday. He will never visit my home for a weekend. I won’t have to explain to him, again, how the remote works or how to override the coffee maker’s timer if he gets up before it switches on…read more

Bring on the Day and Its Worms

posted in: Nature, Parenthood, Uncategorized | 0

I couldn’t sleep last night because one of my kids made rotten choices, lied about those choices, and her future is threatened. It’s heavy and hard. My face hurt from crying. My head felt like I was wearing a helmet two sizes too tight. Over and over, I’d feel myself slipping into sleep, but something would jar me awake. My husband pulled on our covers. A kid woke up crying but was easily settled. I wasn’t. Then, the birds started to sing outside.

The chirping infuriated me. It was still dark. Birds have the ability to see sunlight before we can, and they are all for it: Bring on the day and its worms, they demand…read more

Punching George Bailey in the Face

posted in: Culture, Faith, Parenthood | 0

The email I composed to my daughter’s teacher was eloquent and angry. It was arch, crisp, devastating. I wrote words I knew would wound a person who dedicated her life to teaching elementary school children. She was a monster, a liar, a manipulator beyond reason. I was fierce and poetic, conjuring a vision of a little girl with a passionate love of school and learning left terrified to enter what was once a beloved place. I seethed and hammered keys. I marveled at how bitterness inspired twisting, clever phrases, even congratulating myself on one particular paragraph. My daggers were lined up and smartly punctuated…read more

She’s a Good Girl, Who Knows Her Physics

posted in: Parenthood | 0

Tom Petty laid out the criteria for a good girl.

She loves her mama, Jesus, and America too.

She’s crazy about Elvis. She loves horses. Last on the list, she loves her boyfriend, too.

I was driving with my teenage daughter. We were taking off on an adventure related to impending post-high school life. I pushed the seek button on the radio repeatedly. “Free Fallin'” was just starting. I assumed she wouldn’t want to listen to a down-tempo song from the 1980s, especially from the likes of Mr. Petty. When I tuned away, she screamed, “Hey! Turn it back!”…read more

The Watermelons of October

posted in: Faith, Parenthood | 0

In early September, one of my sons returned home from school one day with multiple plastic grocery stacks stuffed with dirt-covered vegetables, gourds, potatoes, and onions. His science class spent a day at a working farm where they were shuttled from field to field and told to gather what they could. He went overboard on the onions and could have harvested a few more of the fragrant, gorgeous peppers. We were proud of his haul and he was, too. It was a contribution to the wellness of our family as a whole. We’ve enjoyed the bounty.

But one of the gourds he brought home perplexed everyone…read more