Present in the present

I see the pain in my son’s face over the pain he has caused someone else. He wishes he could take what he has said and done back, but instead he covers his regret with bravado. And me? I try very hard not to go old-school on him and lecture. Because some things cannot be…

One-sided conversations in the kitchen

When all else fails, I make my mother’s spaghetti. When weeks are hard and binging on the Gilmore Girls on Netflix does not bring sufficient comfort, a girl has to step it up a bit. I even tried Baileys and coffee in front of the fire, but alas, my mother’s spaghetti it is not. I…

Witness

Originally posted on A Holistic Journey:
I was chopping vegetables for dinner, silent tears running down my face. I had just gotten off the phone with my sister. It was cancer. She was terrified and feeling alone, despite the love I tried to pour through the phone. All I could do was listen and witness…

As I watch

I’m watching, Mom. I’m watching your grandbabies get married. Not my kids, of course, but the older ones. Your other children’s children. I feel your presence at these weddings, almost physically. I see the joy in these faces and I know yours would at least match it, if not outshine it. Because nothing made you…

Smoke signals

Out of the corner of my eye, I caught sight of a wet toothbrush on the bathroom counter. Zoom. Within milliseconds, I was transported to two years ago. My dad’s toothbrush was still wet. He was in hospice, failing. He was no longer in his own home. No longer surrounded by the flowers he’d planted…

Do you find me changed?

I saw the look on your face, the one that told me my response to you was oh so inconvenient and not at all what you had planned. It said, without words, “You’ve changed.” Have I? How very observant of you. I understand why you are still expecting the reactions and compliance you used to…

A chip off the old block

An old friend and I had lunch today. That in itself is unremarkable. As was our marking of Father’s Day here in the States. Our fathers passed within a few years of each other, as did our mothers. And her only sibling passed away around the time my sister was diagnosed with cancer. We became…

On soup and sanity

They would not stop talking about the soup. When my mother went into hospice, I had to leave for my home hundreds of miles away that very same night. So, for the first week or two of her stay, I was not able to visit her. Oddly enough, a few of my older sisters seemed…

Let’s be still

I was probably all of six years old, crying, as my mother packed her suitcase. She was going to her uncle’s funeral and leaving me home for a few days. I cried and begged to go, not so much because the funeral interested me but because I wanted my mother. I wanted permanence. Her presence,…

It ends here

When my mother cried, it was terrifying. No child likes to see her mother cry but my mom was so stoic that when she did, it was a tidal wave of emotion. A keening unlike anything I’d ever heard. Years of repressed emotion seemed to come out in one fell swoop. I heard her cry…

Anne the Adventurer

I was in the middle of a river, walking in water up to my knees, mud squishing between my toes. Thanks to my sister Anne. If you know Anne, you know that this is not unusual. At any given moment, you might find her wading down a river, striking a kung fu pose in a…

These aren’t the presents I asked for

My son told me I should ask for a certain something for Christmas. That’s when it hit me. No one asks me what I want for Christmas anymore. When I was little, my parents did. When married, my husband did. Now, middle aged and divorced with deceased parents and young kids—no one asks. While I’d…