We argued about the garlic in the guacamole. He stormed outside. I stood at the second-floor bathroom mirror; my shaking hand focused on my mascara. I heard the front door open. His is footsteps coming up the stairs. He opened the door, punched me in the stomach, and spoke calmly.  “Now you can tell your friends I…

First I was confused. Later I silently disagreed. Then I started to question. “You support a lot of people,” my friend said. The conversation moved quickly past my subtle bristle, but my recurring trait of wanting to be right itched like a prickly tag inside a sweater. My children are grown. My parents are dead….

“Either somebody who loves you did it or something mystical is going on,” Megan said, turning her head to the side as if to say, “You tell me.” My coworker had noticed what was happening in front of our office. “Either way, I’m glad,” I smiled. While doing repairs last fall, the utility company pummeled…

He gave up his hippie acreage with gardens to move into the middle of the city with me and mychildren. There he planted tulips and tomatoes anew. When the kids were grown and we movedfrom house to apartment, he grew kale in raised beds on the rooftop and raspberries andpumpkins in the country. He spent…

For months I knew it would arrive, and now it has. It would be special, sad, and I wasn’t sure what else. Now that September’s here, I escape my procrastination at looking.  It’s my month of many anniversaries. The major milestones and markers of my life’s journey make a list that includes:  Became a lawyer   Became a mother …

She reached for a second tissue. “Sorry about all the tears,” she said. Some people pour their morning joe for a pick me up. I go for my Megan. Our always steady and ready office manager Megan isn’t ruffled by a crashed computer or an overflowing toilet. Still, on this morning, she dabbed the tiny silver ring in her nose as the drops kept falling.  It was Lily’s first day at a…

Choosing to be alone for days is not an obvious extrovert choice. Yet for over a decade I’ve taken a solo annual retreat. I don’t go far, but I do go away from home where I am tempted by the dazzling distractions of unorganized drawers and the unfinished anything. My yearly ritual is usually in…

Maybe you have one. Your “Go-To Spirit Lifter.” Joyce is mine. When my mind was a mess, Joyce listened with the same compassion she’d give to a 7-year-old at the elementary school where she was a counselor. Her infectious laugh leaves you wondering why you ever thought you had something to cry about. Just before…

Sometime before the sunlight snuck around the sides of the bedroom shades a delicious sounding summer rain began to fall. The darkness told me I need not rush out from under the comfort of my cotton quilt.  I listened.  I fell back to sleep with the peace of knowing the purple clematis would get her daily drink without me. The back yard’s newly sewn grass seeds would be grateful, too.  At…

That June was the last time he left home. It was the start of the slowest of the slow summer seasons of my life.  Hospice was happening. It was his last time he went down the stairs until he went without his spirit in a black zippered bag.  That June was a decade ago. It had been 11 years since the delivery of the grim cancer…

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