• Cancer,  death,  Grief,  Life

    Open Handed Hope

    No alarm told me to creep downstairs while everyone slept and beat the Easter morning candy rush. But my dog was on my mind and I needed to get eyes on him. If he’d died, I thought, I would want to get him outside before the kids came down. I’d want to wait until after they had their morning fun before I told them. I’d want a minute to cry with him before sharing the grief with my children. I rehearsed it, just in case (which I do a lot, but the cases rarely unfold according to my script). He’d been sick the night before. The kind of sick I’ve…

  • Cancer,  Faith,  God,  Grief,  hope,  Love,  Motherhood

    Love Notes

    “Maybe Jesus knew you’d read the word ‘beagle’ today!” I say to her after sounding it out and our remembering that those two matching beagles just walked by the house this morning so she got to hear this strange word. “Or maybe the owner just wanted to walk his dogs…” she says, empirically, with all the rational exposition 300 years of Enlightenment Thinking can produce in its youngest prodigies. I laugh and nod, “Both things can be true, you know.” Because the question I am convinced is built into the factory settings, is Are you there and do you care? That is, is there a “you” to care at all…

  • Beauty,  Faith,  Family,  God,  Grief,  Life,  Love,  Motherhood,  Poems,  Poetry,  Worship

    Beam Hallelujah

    The beams reach high—to you As if you are not here, in the pew But you don’t mind it You come how we’re able Hallelujah The cross up there reminds me of the ones you put all over Torture as a decoration, hallelujah Like the one you pained for me at that pottery shop When I got myself baptized And Grandma Betty thought it was a waste You were my sanctuary—are? Do I still get to say that? While I learn to stand on the legs you knit for me in your womb? Which sort of makes them yours, I guess And I like that thought, hallelujah And I hope…

  • Cancer,  death,  Faith,  Family,  God,  Grief,  Life

    Red Suitcase

    Five years ago I was living from a giant red suitcase, sleeping with my babies in the bedroom that shared a hall with her, only not anymore. Five years ago today she wasn’t there by hours and among other things, my attention was beginning to turn to packing up the suitcase to go home after the long and hellish trip to say goodbye to the home I always had in her. It was weird. Today I am piling clothes to fold and put into the big red suitcase for a trip to see the same people I was with five years ago, only now we’re gathering for the fun of…