Summers at the Ranch

When a dating relationship is ready for the next level, most girls bring their boyfriends home to meet their parents. I brought mine to summer camp. The year I met Rob and fell in love, I invited him to join me for the summer at my favorite place in all the world — Happy TContinue reading “Summers at the Ranch”

Suffering is Never for Nothing

In high school, I toured New England with an acting troupe that performed a reader’s theatre production called Bridge of Blood. The play told the story of five missionaries — Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Roger Youderian, Ed McCully, and Pete Fleming — who were martyred in the jungles of Ecuador in 1956. Their deaths madeContinue reading “Suffering is Never for Nothing”

On the Road to Jerusalem

Last night, the kids and I made pancakes for our Shrove Tuesday dinner. Since Rob died, life has lost much of its sweetness, so I decided to give up refined sugar for Lent. Always one to burn out rather than fade away, I figured we’d go big for dinner since I’d be leaving sweets behindContinue reading “On the Road to Jerusalem”

The Seven Month Altar

It struck me yesterday that we have lived the better part of the year without Rob now. The seven month mark was a tipping point. We are closer now to the year anniversary of Rob’s death than we are to his accident. Even when it has felt as though time has stopped, we continue toContinue reading “The Seven Month Altar”

The Soap He Left Behind

When our family road tripped, we traveled light. It was a spiritual exercise each summer to rediscover our values by paring down our life to the essentials. Every year, I packed the camper with the bare minimum. A small duffle bag of clothes for each person. A single pot, a single skillet for the kitchen.Continue reading “The Soap He Left Behind”

Love’s Last Words

When I was young, a woman I knew died unexpectedly in her sleep. She went to bed seemingly healthy and never woke up in the morning. For all of the years after, her death haunted me with its terrifying possibility. It was entirely plausible that I too could die without warning, that I could snuggleContinue reading “Love’s Last Words”

What No One Wants to Hear

“Hello, may I please speak to Robert Moll?” the woman on the phone asks.“I’m sorry. He is deceased. How can I help you?” I reply.  My line is practiced, and I can say it now without choking up on the phone. He is deceased. I’ve said those words to strangers over and over again theseContinue reading “What No One Wants to Hear”

When I Tell You

When I tell you my husband has died, please don’t … … Tell me you’ve recently lost a pet. Rob was a faithful companion, but he was no Golden Retriever.This makes my loss feel trivial. … Launch into a detailed discussion of your distant relative’s terminal illness. I’ve endured more graphic content about dying thanContinue reading “When I Tell You”