• Cancer,  death,  Grief,  Life,  Love

    On Time and Presence

    “If you’re still listening, if this still means anything, please, help me to be present.” I sat on my bed, suitcase flayed open beside me as a familiar harbinger. We’d just seen the scan that showed a new and inoperable growth. Mom’s brain cancer was spreading. The clock ticked loud and cruel. I wanted to squeeze time like a lemon to get all the juice out. I wanted to stretch it into eternity like taffy, keep rolling it and rolling it to make more because she was running out and I had barely found my stride. And here I was, stumbling, racing toward the edge of a cliff after the…

  • 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…