The magic of this moment couldn’t possibly be captured by camera. Still, I’m glad to have it.

I can still remember the way she looked on my chest. Wet from the womb, her eyes wild and her chin, strong and angular, jutted out at me as if in an immediate assertion of dominance. She’s always been strong. Strong minded, strong willed. So strong, in fact, that she left a large, deep bruise on my left breast after a faulty first latch, such a painful encounter was our first as mother and daughter. “Good luck feeding that barracuda,” the nurse joked. How right she was. I gave up nursing after three weeks. Cracked nipples and scorching thrush meant that each feeding session was excruciating. I’ve always felt guilty about giving up on her, and perhaps I …

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I see him as a whole, real person, with a whole, real family.

As I brought my car to a stop, pressing my foot down on the brake pad, I looked up to the opposite corner of the intersection, and my heart began to race. There stood what appeared to be a young man, in a flowing black cape with a hood over his head. My left turn signal indicator kept a steady rhythm while my mind raced with possibilities. What was he doing there? Promoting some local store? Just a pedestrian with a unique style? Something about his presence unnerved me, and I wasn’t immediately sure why.

With a swift motion, he began pacing back and forth, pivoting quickly to produce a Batman-like silhouette with his cape. Then, he crouched down and let the wind whip …

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You’ll find this shortly inside the entrance at the Bartlett Arboretum. Beautiful.

I looked at the clock on the stove in the kitchen. 3:05. I was unshowered, and still in my pj’s, taking a day’s rest to nurse my sinus headache and resulting malaise. While a small part of me wanted to stay in the comfort of my home and my leopard pajama bottoms, a bigger part of me, much bigger, spurred me into action. I had to get to the Arb. Year after year, I vow to check out Art at the Arb, a weekend of music and arts at the Bartlett Arboretum, just a short drive from my house. But something comes up every time. This year, though, my only excuse for not attending was…well..the whole needing to shower …

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Yes. Yes, I have felt this way before. (image from


My hands were shaking and my heart bulging from every artery when I saw what was on the screen. A picture of me. Well, half of me. From the waist down. Pants around my ankles. Sitting on the toilet. On Instagram.

Did it post? Did it post? I didn’t know. My phone was frozen. I clicked, nothing would work. I was unable to delete, rewind, go back. My life was ruined. Ruined.

“I take your picture Mommy! Yaaaaay! I did it! Yaaaay! You like it?” My round-faced toddler hovered at my feet, right near where my pants were not yet pulled up. “I take your picture Mommy! I did it! See?”

I had to move to Mexico. I have to delete the Internet. All …

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Two little girls in their jammies snack on raisins while sitting on their uncle’s grave. A simple, beautiful moment.

“He’s not really here, honey. It’s just his bones.” I spoke these words from my own mouth, but I wasn’t sure I believed them. Part of me desperately wanted to believe that his spirit somehow lingered in this place, where flesh becomes fodder for earth dwelling creatures. I parked on the gravel path right in front of his gravestone, as my preschooler pointed excitedly to the cross on the altar at the cemetery center.

“Look, mommy! That’s where Jesus died!” Our recent Easter lessons had paid off, and my young daughter was now intimately familiar with the story of Christ’s death and resurrection. “That’s right, sweetie. But remember, he’s not dead anymore, he’s alive.”

Sadly, I couldn’t say the same …

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