The Journey Back to Joy

 

There were smiling faces gathered on the front porch of that house on the corner as I drove by that day. The house long neglected, with peeling yellow paint, a missing screen door and the worn couch that…

Robbing Others of the Gift

 

We sat on the front porch of the house as the quiet hours of morning made their transition into midday, when the heat begins to rise, and you have to swat the mosquitoes away. I followed my son…

Ten Cakes for Monte

 

I looked over my left shoulder to watch my daughter as she clapped with exaggerated excitement from the backseat. Her smile reached both sides of her face at the level of joy that she felt, and I felt…

SOS: Lessons From Open Water

 

When we set sail from shore, we had no idea how long our course would be. It was not a calculated risk. We saw the need in the margins and felt the weight of their despair as if…

The Small and Sacred

 

“Everything is important,” he kept saying as he folded and unfolded the tissue with repetition and laser focus like it was the most important task at hand. Dementia set in a few years before, first revealing itself…

The Courage to Stand Up Again

 

It wasn’t that I didn’t have anything to say. In fact, quite the opposite. I had a lot to say. It’s just that my words got stuck somewhere between my heart and my throat as the memory…

Where the Daffodils Still Bloom

 

Once upon a time, the street was lined with newly constructed homes and manicured lawns and perennials that came back every year. With neighbors that greeted each other as they walked from their cars and up the…

Shedding Your Skin

 

I learned more about reptiles than I ever wanted to when my middle son decided to purchase a Bearded Dragon with the money he earned one summer. I found myself immersed in routines of turning on a heated…

Young and Wild and Free

 

I dusted off the box before I carried it up from the basement and unearthed its contents onto the dining room table. It was an attempt to organize the boxes we would soon stack into a U-haul as…

A Conversation With Lamar

 

Lamar was my Lyft driver on a sunny afternoon at the end of my workday. My request popped up in his cue of requested rides as he began his shift that Wednesday afternoon. Seven minutes later, he pulled…

Music and All the Things She Loves

For Amber

 

My eyes caught a glimpse of her in the doorway and it took my heart a moment to register her presence in that place. Kind of like that moment when someone you’ve waited a long…

On Slow Walks and Being Out of Place

 

I walked everywhere I went during my incarceration experience. Even after rolling off my top bunk and fracturing my ankle in the middle of the night, my walk becoming a limp for the longest time. We looked like…