Mother Tongue

Just now, ten minutes ago, I encountered my mother who died two and a half years ago. It wasn’t a Halloween-inspired ghostly sighting (though the skeletons climbing out of everyone’s front yard soil this week do make me glad she was cremated). It was something I said that evoked her so completely. Something very trivial. […]

It’s the day we buried you …

… and on its second anniversary, here’s a poem the boys and I have read and love in Cynthia Rylant’s book God got a dog. God Went to India To see the elephants. God adores elephants. He thinks they are the best thing He ever made. They do everything He hoped for: They love their […]

The bliss of forgetting or Fuhgeddaboudit!

Today I woke up comforted and, at first, had only that good, safe, content feeling. I asked myself where it came from and remembered: Mama, who died 864 days ago (if I trust my math), visited my dreams. It was a good visit, a great one, in fact. She was laughing a big free laugh […]

Miracles

Yesterday a good friend took Micah and Lysle to the park. They were gone for a few hours and eventually stepped back into the long hallway of our apartment bringing a flurry of excitement. Lysle was gingerly carrying something in his hands. With a big smile he lifted the upper hand and revealed it to […]

On examining deaths, stealing souls & creating ghosts

Today five years ago, Michael Jackson had made his transition from a living man to a dead man. He’d died. He’d passed. He’d finished his business on earth. He’d not finished seeing his children into adulthood. If he was aware of dying, I’m quite sure leaving them hurt him the most. Business was enough of […]

Words don’t fail me now!

What do you do — with a kangaroo? No, not with a kangaroo — though we’ve loved that story of accommodating trespassing beasts. My real question is: What do you do with your intense need to talk to someone who is no longer around? In the early days after Mama’s death I used to do […]

Brother’s Day

A week ago Micah and I flew to London. The occasion was the premiere of a choral piece my brother had composed. It was commissioned to be about the four seasons, and my brother wrote it in the year after our mother’s death, which was also the second year of his son’s life. What better […]