Time Served

He died without ever paying his debt. Others in our family speak fondly of him even naming their children after him. I have a totally different memory of the man. I was always afraid of him. He was a big, gruff, crude, loud bully who shoved his weight around in every environment he was ever…

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What If I Don’t Understand

Growing up, our family of four did life with many other families of four. Each relationship held unique traits, and yet a few core identifiers overlapped. There was a dad, a mom, a daughter, and a son. One family in particular stood outside of the predictable family dynamic: they had a son with a genetic…

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Awards Day

The hand of a distinguished celebrity judge moves through the air in slow motion. The contestant’s eyes widen and mouth drops open in disbelief, in hope. Contact is made with a large round button, rocketing golden confetti up. It gently rains back down in real time, showering the chosen one in worth and honor. Often…

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Naming The Wild Things

Ask a mom of littles what her day looks like, and she will probably laugh in your face. The day, in large part, is what it is. However, since entering the parenting trenches three-and-a-half years ago, I have begun to take hold of the unexpected practice of peacemaking through planning. What used to read “prison”…

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This Ordinary Life

It’s mid-December, and the children have left in a flurry for the bus stop. I stand in the kitchen, refill my coffee cup, and survey the damage before I get ready for work. The counter is covered with almost every condiment from the fridge and pantry—every base of breakfast and lunch prep covered. There are…

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Relative Age

Dusk was falling on another Saturday night in the Chicago suburbs. My siblings and I, all under the age of ten, had been entertaining ourselves during a long, lazy day at home. It was just before dinner and we’d pulled a gigantic floor pillow in front of the couch, jumping like acrobats from the couch…

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Live the Questions

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue.” – Rainer Maria Rilke A few weeks ago, as I drove my son to camp, he asked, “Mommy, how much did I cost?”…

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You Don’t Know How It Feels To Be Me

There is a pocket resting deep within my chest wall, adjacent to my heart. I’m certain it has always been a part of me. Years ago, I became more aware of its presence in my body as the weight became more than I could bear. It seems as if there is a fistula connecting my…

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Handprint

The radio filled the silent spaces in our minds and in our van late Friday afternoon. It was the end of a long and trying week and a behavioral health center was the last place my son wanted to be visiting.

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Waiting For Him In The Thin Places

Once a year my body succumbs to illness. I shouldn’t complain; I have a strong immune system. I am grateful. But the timing is always off.

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