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”

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”

The Day After Valentine’s

Valentine’s Day was never a special holiday in our marriage. Instead, it was the day after that held all the magic. The day the Whitman’s Sampler dropped to 50% off at the Walgreens down the street. That day, Rob ran out and grabbed me the biggest box of chocolates he could get under our self-imposedContinue reading “The Day After Valentine’s”

A Last Gift of Love

When Rob and I became engaged, we traveled from Illinois to our old college town in Ohio for makeshift premarital counseling. Mostly, Rob wanted to hang out with his old English professor, and I wanted to visit my sisters who were in school at the time. Over dinner with the professor and his wife, theContinue reading “A Last Gift of Love”

The Open-Handed Life

We give Thee but Thine own,whate’er the gift may be;All that we have is Thine alone,a trust, O Lord, from Thee. William Walsham How, 1858 When we lived in Chicago, Rob and I attended a church that read 1 Chronicles 29:14 each week before the morning offering was received. “For all things come of Thee,Continue reading “The Open-Handed Life”

Coffee’s Bitter Memory

Every Wednesday morning, I wake up with the same thought: We’re halfway to the weekend! I know I’m not alone in this sentiment; everybody’s working for the weekend. I feel this even more so now that Rob is gone. On Saturday mornings, I used to wake up to 90s grunge and the smell of coffeeContinue reading “Coffee’s Bitter Memory”

All The Materials

“He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.” Philippians 3:21, NLT “What is cremation?” My seven year old asked me as I tucked her into bed one night. She often wants pillow talk atContinue reading “All The Materials”