I Need the Pretty Dresses

The girls hard at work decorating for our family Easter gathering.

I’m not sure if it was the warm dampness he felt on his shirt or the sob that rose from my shoulders that gave me away. I didn’t want my husband to see me crying. My head was buried in his chest, my arms wrapped around his back, and we were standing on the steps to our newly-built garage. He’d brought me out there to showcase the garage door opener and lights he’d spent all day installing.

“Why are you crying? What’s the matter?”

I shook my head. I didn’t want to answer. I was embarrassed that these emotions spilled out so suddenly with little to no warning. Almost like an unexpected wave of nausea that sends you running to the bathroom, only you don’t make …

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Busted, Not Broken

“Thwack!!”

My heart skipped a beat at the unexpected sound. Had something hit the window? A bird, maybe? No, not a bird. A mirror. The driver’s side mirror to be exact. It had popped loose from its frame and had swung by its wire up to the window, giving it a loud smack. Thump. Thump. Thump. It bounced off the door as I rattled down the washboard road. I could hear my oldest daughter’s voice, although she wasn’t in the truck with me yet. “Mom, someone needs to fix this road!” They sure did. But it still served its purpose. Busted, not broken. Unlike the mirror, which hung like a eyeball from a socket, unable to see. But it wasn’t the bumpy road that caused the mirror to come loose. It was a …

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Letting the Imago Go

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
therefore I will hope in him.” Lamentations 22-24

The night air was surprisingly refreshing when I stepped barefoot onto my cold concrete porch. The light from the living room streamed through the closed storm door behind me, but I was drawn to a light beyond the overhang. Above. The moon. Brilliant and white, it pierced through the inky black sky. It was cool and calming. Clouds, narrow yet with clear definition, were drawn here and there, almost like quilt batting that’s been pulled thin. I let my toes hang off the edge of the porch, my hand on the 8-inch cedar post for …

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Bacon and Tears

My dad can’t be here to enjoy this snow. But we can. So we did.

After today, I can add “have a good cry over a piece of bacon” to my life experiences. I’ve been holding in my emotions for the past few days, willing myself to NOT make eye contact with the ghost of Christmas past. The smiling, always up to mischief face of my father, who took great delight in this time of year.

As I sat at the breakfast table with my husband, listening to the sound of some red dirt band and children’s feet running around upstairs, the dam broke. I bit into the perfectly-cooked piece of bacon, commented to my husband how it was the best from the batch yet, let the glare from the fresh fallen snow fall into my …

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The Hurt Place

John 11:35 – If the GIVER of hope wept at the loss of a loved, let us not be ashamed to do so as well.

This was written for those who’ve just been delivered the death blow. The knee-buckling news. I’m beyond this stage of grief at the moment, but my heart is heavy for those who are here, in the place where the only sensation is hurt.

Everything ventured
Nothing gained
Only darkness
Only pain

The hurt place is where
I’m all alone
I just can’t do this
On my own

I can’t be happy
I can’t be brave
Bury me with you
In the grave

My tears will flood
The earth and then
You’ll rise back up
And walk again

When morning comes
You’re still not here
I’ve never felt
This much …

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They flew so low, it was almost as if they were inviting us to reach up and touch their soft, feathery underbellies. (image from: mackerrow.zenfolio.com)

Three weeks ago today, I was sitting comfortably in my bed, deeply engrossed in a James Lee Burke novel. A bit unusual since I’d lost my normally voracious appetite for reading. My father had loaned me the book, one that I was initially eager to enjoy as we’d read nearly every one of his novels together. But for some reason, I kept picking at the book a few pages at a time, never completely diving in. Until that night. One particular passage touched me in a profound way, and I dog-eared the page to show my dad. That’s what we did, he and I. Our own little book club. But I …

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