What’s in a Name?

Recently, I gave a presentation at my children’s school. Many students know that my two children who attend there lost their father last summer. They are aware that our family doesn’t look like theirs. It is always a relief to enter a group of people with whom I don’t need to explain the complexities ofContinue reading “What’s in a Name?”

What Doesn’t Kill You

In August 2001, three months after Rob and I met, we were mugged at gunpoint in an apartment complex parking lot in Dallas. We’d driven in that evening, the last leg of our trip moving me from New Hampshire to graduate school in Texas. Before we met my new roommates, Rob and I ran downContinue reading “What Doesn’t Kill You”

On St. Patrick’s Day

The first year Rob and I were married, his Irish relative flew across the pond to visit. She had connections in the States and arrived in Illinois just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. A gregarious woman, she determined that Rob and I needed a taste of a real Irish celebration, so we bundled intoContinue reading “On St. Patrick’s Day”

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”

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”