If He Could Talk to You Today

A year ago today, my little brother J.R. passed away. It was a long, sad, heart wrenching descent into the grips of alcoholism. I know, upbeat topic for today, right? But this week, this week alone, I have had two people who I love very much tell me about their family's heartaches because of addiction. One friend told me her son is in trouble with cocaine. He is a father, with three kids. Another friend was recounting the sadness and horror of losing her nephew to a … [Read more...]

Same Little Legs Still Carry You

The little girl in the bright yellow tee-shirt caught my attention. Must have been nine, maybe ten. It was rainy, not a downpour, rather one of those spongy May mornings. Stationary raindrops clung where they landed, glistening spheres on feathery iris, pale and pearly white. The landscape was awash in purples, pinks, grey and green. Many shades of green. I noticed her because she was alone. This is a rare sight on a busy street during the morning rush and the little … [Read more...]

Zen Dentistry and Other Acts of Courage

  So, I was talking to my shrink yesterday. We determined that I had not seen him since 2009, as he was in his former location, not as fancy as his new place. Must be a high demand for therapists these days. I understand from whence this comes, being a card carrying member of the Highly-Functioning Merely Neurotic Club. Even we need an occasional tune-up on the couch. I did not lay down. I did lay out what I called the churn. The dreaded … [Read more...]

Three Little Words

He had no idea the maelstrom of emotion that would blow in behind one short, declarative sentence.  On a day when I was supposed to get a make over at the Clinique counter, with a particular interest in the “Dark Circle Corrector” and a new, natural look, which for me is code for “get out of the 80s”, but I cancelled due to too many competing demands for my squeezed-into-two-precious-days life now, I went to the gym instead. The gym was just one entry on my unrealistic … [Read more...]

Holes in Our Hearts and Maybe My Head

**Originally posted, July 2011, Revised July 2013** The sign in front of the Standard Artificial Limbs store always makes me think of my step father.  On the day he died at the VA hospital in Albuquerque, after my mother and I summoned the rest of the family to tell them he’d passed, once everybody took turns patting him on his rapid cooling forehead, we all walked out into the broiling parking lot, the blacktop almost spongy under the August dessert sun, with my … [Read more...]

Fear and High Water…

I  want to talk to you about fear -- fear over this impending journey. It rises and falls like the water in my basement last night. I have an 82-year-old house. We had torrential rain. Sometimes the storm sewers swell beyond capacity, and the water runs backwards, up through the floor drains in old basements like mine. I know I should have installed a sump pump, but college, cars, and emergency appendectomies were more important. So we bail, we mop. We cast a wary eye … [Read more...]

Holes in Our Hearts and Maybe My Head

The sign in front of the Standard Artificial Limbs store always makes me think of my step father.  On the day he died at the VA hospital in Albuquerque, after my mother and I summoned the rest of the family to tell them he’d passed, once everybody took turns patting him on his rapid cooling forehead, we all walked out into the broiling parking lot, the blacktop almost spongy under the August dessert sun, with my husband carrying Mike’s legs in a grocery sack. One was … [Read more...]