• 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…

  • God,  Grief,  Jesus Christ,  Kingdom,  life,  Love

    Now

    Often beside a cluttered kitchen, overlooking a disaster of a living room, my family sits down to eat dinner (usually later than I’d like to admit). At the table next to a lamp we have a little chalkboard on which I write quotes I want to remember, things I want us to see everyday. Lately we have been memorizing this passage from the Talmud while we eat Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it. We say “enormity” round and wide. We say “NOW” loud and…

  • death,  Grief,  life,  Motherhood

    Eggs and Ativan

    I made eggs today. I woke up before the kids did (only by a few minutes, but still) and when two of the three were up and hungry I said, “Do you want eggs?” which surprised me a little and made me smile. A month and a half ago I thought I might be dying. I went to the emergency room because the pain in my chest was only getting worse after two and a half weeks of trying to convince myself it was just stress. I felt foggy and dizzy, I didn’t trust myself to drive and for good portions of the day I couldn’t mother in any active sense…

  • Family,  Grief,  life,  Love,  Motherhood

    We Mother

    During the 20 months of her diagnosis, I made several open-ended visits to my hometown about 900 miles from where we live to be with Mom. The last visit started out rough. The whole family had traveled from all over the country to be together. We spent time at a beautiful house near the beach. Then we passed around Strep throat and influenza despite our best efforts at quarantine so we cycled through lethargy and soreness and the fear of passing it along to anyone else. With three small children, visits to the cancer clinic, and no coffee options (because one hundred million Starbucks and a Peet’s do not count as “options”).…