• death,  Featured,  Love,  Poems

    Winter’s Song

    Winter comes in quiet, stage left, light focused elsewhere, and waits. She knows her line is coming, her nerves tumble around inside her She is a subtle addition to a lovely scene of oranges and browns and dark green As the players fall back after Autumn’s brilliant number, she moves on shaky feet When she steps into the spotlight everyone gasps – she is stunning Her homemade gown flings sequins in an orb around her as she finds her mark Standing now on solid feet, knees bent so she won’t faint, she listens for her cue Which is up to her: a break in silence whenever she senses we are…

  • death,  Grief,  life,  Love,  Motherhood

    Good Grief

    Every now and then some spirit of orderliness descends upon me and I tear up some corner or cranny of our house to take an inventory and reorganize it. Today the boxes of old notes and new stationary lured me in so I pulled them out from under my bed to sort. Before long I found myself scanning through the cards and letters for her familiar marks. My mom used a heart to end exclamation points and she mixed in cursive with her rounded print. She didn’t write a ton so what I have is essentially unicorn hair. The truth is some part of me is always searching for her…

  • Family,  Grief,  life,  Love,  Motherhood

    Lipstick Legacy

    I have it now; this little blue mug that says “MOM” on it all uneven like it was mass printed and sold for last minute gift-buyers on Mother’s Day sometime in the 80s. Maybe my Dad got it for her from me, their new baby, between sleep deprived shifts at one of his several jobs and maybe it made her cry the way you do when you’ve earned something that has not been easy. Mornings were quiet in our little cabin. Dad needed to sleep after his swing shift and Mom readied herself in the early, dark hours to join the other commuters on 101 by sunrise. Sometimes she would…

  • Family,  life,  Love,  Motherhood

    When Your Children Say, "We Got You"

    I did a scary thing. I auditioned for a show in which you read the words you wrote. Like, in front of people. On a stage. And before you can do that you read it in front of the showrunners who decide if your piece fits. And when you go to do this you sit outside the audition room with your printed copies and you make small talk with the other people auditioning and you have to tell them that this is your second time trying to do it which makes you feel like a loser even though you told yourself all the right (and true) things about how rejection…

  • Beauty,  Christian Teaching,  life,  Love

    The Gospel According to Wonder Woman

    Oh my gosh, see Wonder Woman. Like, close this window, buy a ticket, go. to. it. now. Done? Great. (Otherwise: major spoiler alert!) So holy crap, right?! The scene in No Man’s Land? GAH! The marketing team at Wonder Woman know what they are doing. Because they released this video wherein Gal Gadot (and honestly, what better name could Wonder Woman have than that?) gushes about her daughter and how playing a female super hero is so important to her and hints that Wonder Woman has a uniquely female approach to super-heroing and shows that she really honors the impact this will have on other little girls and cue the tears.…

  • Community,  Family,  Grief,  hope,  life,  Love

    On the First Anniversary

    People talk about the first year as though crossing that threshold is a thing. I used to hate it because it felt like there was an expectation that a person would be done grieving after a year. But I don’t think that’s it. I think it’s actually a hope for comfort. As if once you’ve made it a year, you will keep making it. You’ve proven to yourself that you can breathe, you can laugh, you can enjoy being her daughter even when she isn’t here the way she should be. One year ago, on June 19 my mother took her last breath. I waited up with the rest of…

  • Birth,  Cancer,  death,  Grief,  life,  Love,  Worship

    And Own that Love is Heaven

    This time last year we knew. Another tumor had presented and Mom’s doctor just told us that the treatment wasn’t working. Mom realized without trying to that she would not be with us much longer and she made peace with it, mostly. She was ready for her pain to end, she was ready to be done fighting, she was ready to “be with Jesus.” She wasn’t ready to say goodbye; really, for us to mourn her. She didn’t want to be the cause of our grief. So as she laid down to get through another headache and imagined at any point she may not wake up, she made us promise her that this…