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”

Wish You Were Here

We slide into the booth just before closing time. The vinyl bench seat squeaks softly against our legs. A couple of older locals chew the fat with the waitress behind the counter as she wipes down the coffee makers. The glass dessert case stands beside the counter, a colorful assortment of pies all topped inContinue reading “Wish You Were Here”

The Son Will Rise

I’ll never forget the Easter we stumbled into a church in Capitol Hill in Seattle. We jammed our family into a pew and heaved a sigh. Our hearts were carrying so much that was heavy. Family complexities. Health concerns. Life questions. We needed some hope. We sat, exhausted. Then, a single cellist broke the silence,Continue reading “The Son Will Rise”

A Place That I’ll Call Home

In 2016, Rob and I hit a tipping point. We’d been married almost 15 years, and the pace of our life felt like it was getting too fast. Work responsibilities were increasing, our children were growing, and activities and commitments were eliminating margin from our life. Nevertheless, we’d always been committed to a simple lifestyle.Continue reading “A Place That I’ll Call Home”

Tilting Toward the Sun

The kids and I traveled to the far northern edge of New Hampshire’s White Mountains for the Christmas holiday, a trip that coincided with the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. On a day that was -1 degrees Fahrenheit, the coming of the solstice brought little comfort. We may enjoy more daylight fromContinue reading “Tilting Toward the Sun”

You Love Me Best

I remember driving through an Ohio cornfield with Rob soon after we’d met back in 2001. An old white farmhouse with a broad front porch rested atop a hill in the distance, its red barn sagging on the lawn behind. “When I’m old, I want a front porch like that,” Rob told me, “with twoContinue reading “You Love Me Best”