Skip to main content


Of Jessie Trees and Dreams

Have you ever come away from a situation and questioned what you're doing in life? Not in the negative way we're used to, where you lay out the list of comparisons and see nothing but failure. But questioning in a way that is actually helpful. Like asking yourself "Hey, you once had dreams right? What were they and what stopped you from going after them?" Or when you realize that the sounds of children running around and being silly was a different (and absolutely preferable) kind of loud compared to the tv blaring Hallmark movies and old westerns all day.

Last night, I spent the evening with people I'd never met in real life (though Twitter is another story entirely). We shared a meal around the table, laughed as the boys performed skits between slices of pizza, had my first experience with a Jessie tree, and heard myself saying "THIS (the family moments) is what I look forward to the most."

I drove home thinking about the different ways in which hope an…
Recent posts

The Stories We Tell

In a chat about DNA tests and family, I started thinking about what we know about those who've gone before us and how those tales affect us. For years, I didn't know much about my family. I knew that my parents weren't married, that I was given a name separate from theirs, that my grandmother was the first person to hold me, and a few scattered memories that remained confusing until I was an adult and able to ask questions. Later, there would be stories only told at funerals: The grandmother who chased her grown grandsons past the fire department, brandishing a bb gun; the estranged alcoholic who showed up as his ex's home after the bar closed, demanding to search the house while verbally berating the mother of his children; The cousin of a relative who was put on disability for being racist. However, the stories that took their toll on me were the ones from my time in the Midwest. Slow, quiet threads woven in the fabric of our day-to-day which ended the same every tim…

Greet Them With an Ax

I spotted a bearded ax at the renaissance fair one year and joked that with it, I could finally stand up to rude and unruly family by merely greeting them at the door with the dragon-etched tool. It drew a laugh from my grandma and the next day, that ax hung on my wall.

I shared the story with our bible study group last night when the subject had somehow turned toward toxic relationships. You see, I never actually wielded that ax while opening the front door to dubious family members, but the idea took on a life of it's own. Whenever family pushed Grandma to the point where her health or safety was affected, I would ask "do you need me to greet them with an ax?" With a simple yes, I would step in and be the muscle that she needed. I would announce the unpleasant news or dispense the medicine of action needed to steer Grandma back to health.

The idea of the ax was like an extra backbone, someone to step in when boundaries were ignored, or be a source of strength when someo…

'Tis the Season

The question came up today: What do you want for Christmas? Now, you might be thinking "Isn't November a little early to jump into Christmas?!" but stay with me on this...

For the last decade, Christmas has been bittersweet. It's the time of year when my grandma swears she's dying and that this is her last Christmas with us. We deck the halls and binge on Christmas movies until we're convinced that love is just one kiss under the mistletoe away. Christmas isn't a day, but months of fighting with darkness.

Three years ago, just after quitting my job to be a full-time caregiver, we found ourselves sitting vigil at Grandma's bedside in the hospital. For two weeks, we wondered what would become of us if she didn't recover from whatever mystery that had left her unable to communicate and unaware of her surroundings. Since then, each week (sometimes, each hour) has been lived in a kind of triage as we try managing the pain and heartache that comes with …

A Quite Return

Dear reader,

It's a truth universally acknowledged that a writer never ceases to write, but merely stores up the words they long to share until they can no longer be contained. With that sentiment that I say "I never stopped blogging. I simply took a very long break after gutting my blog."

I think it has been four years since deleting my entries and walking away from chronicling my ongoing conversion to Catholicism, the years as a part-time at-home caregiver, and my interest in swing dance. The time since then has been...rough. In just the last few years, we've made it through multiple surgeries, another battle with anemia, heartbreak, reunions, weddings and deaths.

I've said before that to write is to exercise one's demons.

I feel that at last, it's time to pick up my pen and return to battle.

Summer of Poetry: Bells

I saw a show about Mission bells where a priest said “Silver makes them sing” so swiftly there I bring my sorrow and begged the bells a song to borrow. My voice, long gone ‘came mended by the metal and the sweetness of its singing ringing bringing out the shouts of joy now piercing through the sky as I cry “thanks be to God!” hopeful hallelujah