December 16, 2019

God is in front of us like a boulder in the middle of the highway. Do I usually see and recognize His plan? No, I do not.

My husband and I try to schedule quarterly appointments with different doctors at the same hour in the same clinic.

First, we are escorted to a waiti...

December 2, 2019

Some of us do this thing when life is hard and there’s nothing we can do about it.

For whatever it’s worth, I, Pat Durmon and retired mental health counselor, give you permission to sigh.

It’s just another way of grieving.

And sometimes, there simply are no words to cover...

February 4, 2019

Beyond Me

(in memory of Karen Hayes)

Mindlessly scrolling,

a familiar photo pops up

with the death announcement

of the queen of

skinny poems.

Read it more than once.

This woman helped me

with a poem days ago.

How I want to share

with the world about

her sincerity, humility,

love of...

January 14, 2019

It’s late evening when I hear about a high school classmate’s death. I learn via an email. My reaction is Whaaaat? Thinking I’ve misread the email, I reread it. Then I read it aloud to my husband, hoping he’ll hear a misunderstanding of the message.

My brain is processi...

December 31, 2018

On my way to town, I drive past houses where smoke from chimneys curls upward. It’s comforting to watch the updraft. I suddenly recall the boxy houses with chimneys that I once drew with a pencil as a child, always a curl of smoke climbing.

What I like about the smoke,...

September 24, 2018

Jimmy, my husband, actually posed this question in the truck. I laughed and changed the topic. I could not deal with it at the time. Later, I wrote this letter. (I kept it private and did not share it with him for three weeks.)

Dear husband,

If I died first, what would I...

September 10, 2018

Hard to label it.

People are leaving. A friend’s son died, a friend’s husband died, a friend is moving away. It is the normal cycle, but it brings up strange feelings.

I try to hold people loosely. It gives me better perspective when I can do that. (As a counselor, it pr...

July 9, 2018

I am numb today, so I am up early and looking for my yard shoes. I’m not outside, because I want to beat the heat. Today it’s all about looking for a way to grieve my loss.

My poet friend died yesterday.

Right now, I’m aware that the people I love best do not mess around...

June 4, 2018

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 tr...

April 23, 2018

This one tree is symbolic for many people of the resurrection of the Christ. A cross is in the blossom. It usually blooms in early April, around Easter.

Admittedly, I heard the dogwood story as a child. It’s memorable.

When I was in my thirties, I noticed how the dogwood...

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