Learning to Let Go

Who is the woman in black? Is she you? Is she me? Is she a woman with stunning beauty, wearing a little black dress? Is she a woman hiding her body, hoping to distract you with a slimming dark color? Is she a woman in mourning, grieving a loss so deep? Or is she a…

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Unpacking Muttsy

I had begun to notice Muttsy’s decline about three months earlier. She’d developed a little cough, which wasn’t unusual, considering we’d gone on a month’s stay in Austin, which had a polar-opposite climate to Northern Colorado’s in the winter. Like most minor health annoyances, I figured this one would come and go.

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Bless the Black Turtleneck

“The Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.” Romans 8:26 I notice the black turtleneck as we meet. As we sit down, I hear her sigh deeply. She looks at me, eyes searching. Neither…

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On Living While Dying

“The irony of man’s condition is that the deepest need is to be free from the anxiety of death; but it is life itself that awakens it, and so we must shrink from being fully alive.” — Ernest Becker I have been struck recently by some people’s freedom to talk about death. The number of recessed…

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Thank You for the Moon

It had been the sweetest day spent with some of my beloved ones. As our time together was coming to an end, a child whom I adore noticed the bright, full moon outside my east-facing windows. “Oh, look!” she said. “The moon! Can we go outside and look at it?”

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Pandemic-Era Parenting

It was dinnertime on a Sunday, which means the countdown to bedtime had started a little early and was slightly more enthusiastic than normal. I had been craving cauliflower for a while, which isn’t something I’m particularly proud of, but here we were. My husband and two daughters looked on as I picked up the…

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Taking a Tumble

Finally. After weeks of pain shooting up my spine and into my neck, I was finally getting some relief. I had been okay with makeshift back-cracking mechanisms—over my desk chair, bending over with my arms pushing against the wall until I felt a crrrriiiickkk go up my back—but that could not go on any longer.…

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The Last Straw

If you’ve ever experienced pain that cut so deeply and despair that lingered so persistently that you didn’t know if you could get past it, perhaps you know what “The Last Straw” feels like. There are situations in your life that you can’t seem to shop away, sleep away, sex away, work away, drink away…

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Two Types of Do-overs

A do-over, to me, represents the grace to try again. I recently received a one-time pandemic bonus question on a final exam. The professor’s comments on my response helped me craft what would have been a more high-quality answer, after I had managed to compromise the first attempt in one of my first paragraphs! Different,…

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