Hard News

I sit on the airplane, wedged between Tim, my husband, and Reed, my younger son. Seth, my older son, sits just across the narrow aisle. The flight attendant moves down the aisle closing the overhead baggage compartments, signaling that boarding is over and our departure is at hand. I pull my AirPods out of my…

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Treading Water

Tread water, get pulled under, push to surface, gasp for air, tread water, get pulled under, push to surface, gasp for air. Slowly drowning has become my way of life. There is a rhythm to it, one that is familiar. A pattern that should probably feel scary or dangerous instead feels like home. So even…

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Release

I finger the three separate baggies in my hand. They contain the remains of my father (age 95; died February 16, 2019), my mother (age 96; died July 22, 2020), and my youngest brother, John (age 64; died February 19, 2022). My two older sisters and I gather on the Oregon coast to celebrate the…

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At Home with Myself

Ever since I was a little girl, I have been a sucker for artificial grass. (Clearly it didn’t take much to thrill me!) I was mesmerized by it—so green and life-like! I called it “inside-outside grass,” and I wanted it everywhere, both in and outside of my childhood home. Thankfully, my parents politely declined my…

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Childless

My tears remained hidden behind a set of cheap sunglasses as I strolled through Target, passing newborn moms relieved to be out of the house. Equipped with Ergos, bottles, and pacifiers, they strolled precious, wide-eyed babies in bright red grocery carts secured with cushioned cart covers. Several of my friends had recently announced they were…

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The Ache

It has been 40 years since my dad died and almost 25 years since my mom breathed her last. My in-laws have been gone close to two decades. As a young woman, I was already navigating life without any hope of a living presence of my parents.  During certain stages of life, this absence has…

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Finding My Way Home

I wandered the aisles at Barnes & Noble, looking for a captivating story—a much-needed break from dense clinical textbooks. Scanning the shelves, my eyes lit up as I noticed Kate DiCamillo’s new book, The Beatryce Prophecy. Kate’s stories always leave me feeling tearful and full of hope at the same time—my favorite kind of story.…

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Do You Like Me?

The door gently shut behind your back as you made your way into the bathroom. Placing your toes on the back of the opposite tennis shoe, you slipped each heel off and shoved them under the counter. They are dirty and torn, but they take you where you need to go. You patted each pocket…

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Feasting with Friends

The seven of us had spent a lovely day in picturesque Door County, Wisconsin, honoring one of the women in our fellowship. Now the sun was setting over Sturgeon Bay and our time of reflecting, naming, and blessing was drawing to an end too. We made our way from the rocky beach to the nearby…

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The Holy Rebel

“Safe? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the king, I tell you.” – Mr. Beaver* My favorite grocery store is five miles east of my home, down a two-lane highway in the middle of a forest preserve. Forest preserves are Illinois’s excuse for nature. No buildings are allowed…

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