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And So, I Don’t Have to Hurry...

I look across the hayfield and see nothing but Queen Anne’s Lace, a field of wildflowers. Something is wrong here. Instead of hay, we have white wildness. It’s as if the flowers took the field by squatters’ rights. I see some whiteness every year, but not here and certainly not in such force. In the hierarchy of flowers, the wild ones rise quickly. Some call Queen Anne’s Lace a weed, but I recall days when these flowers were picked and handed to me with such sweet love. Beautiful like full moons on stems, but something is not right. I look back at the field. Such fierceness. So unruly. Nothing happening in an orderly way. The wildflowers are in charge of this man’s land. They are greedy and

The House Is Quiet

I am sick. It changes the routine of everyone. Grandboys upstairs with games, husband rests on the sofa, grandgirl naps in a bedroom, me quiet in a recliner, dogs snooze on the floor. Nothing is normal. Any celebration for my husband’s birthday is postponed. And Father’s Day is coming. This is Saturday and no mowing sounds. Plain weird. All witty remarks and jokes, on hold and waiting. Just how it is. Family, meeting the needs of the sick one, the one feeling broken. I am as empty as a jar waiting to be filled. I have little to offer when I have the Crud, which involves throat and sinuses. Never will the doctor diagnose it as the Crud, but that’s what we call it. Energy, low and slow. My lig

While I Was Waiting...

Sister, you have been sick for weeks. Sicker than I’ve ever known you to be. I keep looking back over my shoulder, remembering our youth and joy, what it was like for you and me. Now, you’ve been my sister for seven decades. I wonder if I valued you then as much as I value you now. Probably not. I swivel my head to the left, then to the right, like an owl trying to turn almost full circle. If I’m not deceiving myself, our childhood was made up of ordinary things, ordinary people, ordinary goodness, ordinary sadness. I’m a big picture person, and you are into the details. Our realities may not be a close match. I’m the older girl, always two grades ahead and wanting to just get things right w

The Death of a Parent

I remember when working toward becoming a mental health counselor, I heard a professor say, “You can only go as deep with a client as you have been yourself. Be grateful for your wounds....” At the time, of course, I’m never grateful. Grateful comes later when I’m not trying to understand and survive the loss. Turns out that professor was right. I still have many opportunities to go deep with others. Retired now, and it remains true. My husband says, “Do you know how old I am today?” I know more is coming. I look at him, smile, and wait for it. “I’m 74 years, 11 months and 15 days old, the exact age as my dad when he died.” “Oh.” I have no ready answer for that one. “How does that feel?” I a

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