Her dark hair hung over her face as she furiously took notes. She barely spoke the entire semester. But she heard my “Me too.” My lecture that week in my Women and the Law course was on domestic violence. I wanted these future lawyers to have an understanding beyond the legal definition of “credible threat”…

I always note the day. Each year on the first Monday of October the United States Supreme Court begins its session. A wave of anxiety annually washes over me as I think of how lives and futures of countless Americans will be changed by decisions placed in the hands of nine people. I have fretted…

I was sitting in the hospital waiting room. My friend was getting a new hip and I was happy to await the news of a successful surgery. I’d been doing my best to ignore the latest daily bad news of our country running nonstop on the big screen television when my phone alert popped up….

“My name is Peggy. May I help you?”  “Peggy,” I said, pausing for the surprise little lump in my throat  “I really hope you can.” I was embarrassed by my emotion. Years ago I placed countless calls to cancel my husband’s name on accounts and remove it from many charity mailing lists. That was an…

I’d had a lot of conversations with Doug over the years. At times understanding his speech was a challenge for me. After a second ask that he repeat himself, I turned to Dave for interpretation. Dave and Kenny, who have been a committed couple for 40 years, are Doug’s home teachers. Doug has Down syndrome. …

“You wait here,” he said. I’m going to go get her.” Jack took off running. I sat on the concrete stoop of the veterinarian’s office, taking in the scenes of life in a small town just outside of Guadalajara. My son had flown from California and I from Nebraska to savor three precious days enjoying…

I knelt on the floor at his feet. He sat in his arm chair, a red pack of Pall Malls and brown quart of beer nearby. We didn’t speak. I tugged away, loosening the leather strings of his heavy work boots, using a fork on the most stubborn knots.  I pulled with all my might,…

“Can you stay after school?” she asked. As a second grader, home wasn’t an especially happy place to hurry to. Dad’s drinking had worsened over the years and Mom had bigger worries than after school milk and cookies. “We’ll wait until the others are gone,” Sister Leodegard said. I was the teacher’s pet, so I…

I was about to cut off her head when I stopped. The faded flower’s bloom had enough life left to share some wisdom before she landed in the compost pile. “Pay attention!” I had substituted my morning meditation with time attending to my flowers. I set my intention to focus only on what was directly…

She gave a short cry of shock. I turned around to see her mouth open in amazed confusion and her arms outstretched, a cup in one hand. When she selected a cup from the shelf for her morning tea, she did not expect it to shower her with coffee. Her coral shirt that looked beautiful…