If today didn’t happen the way that it did in 1942, I wouldn’t be here. My mom was born today. She shares her birthday with Elvis Presley and David Bowie…
We check our watch when the cashier engages in conversation beyond the required, “Did you find everything that you were looking for today?” as if a trip to the grocery store is a treasure hunt.
“For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.” Ralph Waldo Emerson It’s Christmas. Emerson’s quote was spot on today. I started to write…
What does that mean? Do I hate Christmas?
“Ladies and gentlemen, please check your carts. If you are walking around with someone else’s cart, please kindly return it to the butcher where its lawful owner will reclaim it. Thank you.”
I am grateful for significant moments memorialized thanks to a picture. The featured picture was taken by my ex-husband. Our daughter, Bridget, and I were chewing ice cubes and talking…
It was three-plus hours of cardio, that made my heart pump and sing.
“Momma, momma, I think something bit me,” my daughter yelled. My inquiry was shushed as she pulled the sleeve of her sweatshirt back from her wrist, and exposed a large…
“Shush up,” she said. Looking down at her from the top of stairs, “Now that’s enough, go lay down.”
I also found a hummingbird this weekend at a family gathering, that I was lucky enough to capture on film. The discovery of which prompted a family member to tell me that the tiny bird’s presence represents my Grandma Burns, which I loved hearing. Both the conversation on the train and the hummingbird are reminders that when we look and listen for life’s gifts they are aplenty.
Little did I know negotiation, whether overt or complicit, would include paternity and likely murder.
Do you renounce Satan? I do, the other congregants and I said in unison.
“I’m rubber you’re glue, whatever you say, bounces off of me and sticks to you.”
The volume and details of memories that often flood my mind, will soon become absent in his life. Corey has been diagnosed with early, really early onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
I’m angry at myself because when I think of how people view me, this twice-divorced woman, I imagine they think I am an idiot but I’m not.
First I noticed the color where there should not have been any. I picked it up and the evidence was littered inside its belly. Flecks of dark red. Sulfites. They landed at its bottom. It was placed inside the box, hidden from my view, yet frozen in time.
At face value, when I read this step some months ago, I thought, yep, I did that. This week I remembered why and how and where I was when I took this step. And why the first step is always the hardest.
Reruns in life are our own fault. They are lessons that we have yet to learn. They replay over and over until we accept the truth about who we are.
I sat down at my desk this morning and committed to writing something with the cube’s contents, words whose adhesive still binds them together.
We are a people of dreamers, innovators, crusaders, and more. Our principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness embedded with equality are absent when those who dedicate their lives to serving and protecting their fellow citizens and the vulnerable and youngest of our citizens who pledge their allegiance to this country every school day are shot down and killed.
My father saw no ceilings for his daughters or sons. His wife who sat directly across the dinner table from him had a different trajectory. My mother’s choices post-highschool were limited to gender-specific roles: teacher, nun, nurse, secretary, or wife.
I told her I don’t want her to live in a world where her vagina is a liability. How can a person who is essential to bringing life into the world be treated so poorly? This is a country where her gender means she makes 28-cents less than her male equivalent. A country where “equality” is a hollow word filled with adjectives like homophobic, racist, misogynistic, supremacist, narcissistic, ugly, evil, and wrong.
The truth is other than shocking the people in the car at the thought they almost struck a blind person on a bicycle, I don’t remember much, other than the laughter.
Like a champ, yes, that is how I feel this morning. As if I ran a relay race in record time last night, with friends and family cheering my team and me on, all the way to the finish line. This morning’s quote about the absence of fear nailed this morning’s mood.
God didn’t abandon my Grandma when Ellen died. He surrounded Dorothy with the likes of her mother Ellen, strong women, kind women, determined women, who together made her the woman that she was.
On this last day of the year, I could focus on the worst parts of 2017, but that’s foolhardy. Who wants to look at life half empty, when it is so full of promise? Not I. For that reason, I’m going to say goodbye to this year with love and admiration for the friends and family who brought me so much joy, so that I could return it. As I look ahead to 2018, I know in my heart and mind there is nowhere to go but up.
My Aunt Karen called me last night. And did we have a gab! I am named after her, a point of pride for me, and at some point in the conversation, we talked about our shared name. I love my name! I love how both Karen and Craven are two syllables and how each start and end with the same consonant sound. Before I even came to appreciate those things, I first loved that I was named after my mom’s younger sister.
We are always told to “Put yourself in their shoes” or “Walk a mile in their shoes” or some other iteration. And I have tried over the years to do just that. I recall sitting in court at 26th and California, listening to the public defender plea with the judge or jury as a death penalty was considered and begging for forgiveness. Those moments almost always made me think about how we choose our paths, and ultimately how our environments contribute to our behavior.
WHEN A MARRIAGE FAILS
Out of the mud the bluest flowers
open in the sun
without anger or regret; neither more or less than what it is,
alive again and free.
I’ve always wondered without journalism where we would be? What if no one photographed Pearl Harbor, Vietnam, or September 11, no one documented the Civil Rights Movement or Women’s March, nothing to intricately connect our shared experiences like fine Irish lace? Outside of our those shared experiences, each family needs its own history keeper. Each family should know its own truths. Who knew that when my mother gave me a Christmas ornament 24-years ago that its meaning was not so much about the trajectory of my career, but more about my role in this family, its history keeper?
Yesterday morning I spoke with my sister and shared my blues about being alone Christmas Day. Bridget will be with her father today, and I am not making Christmas dinner, which we’ve always shared with my parents. I was dreading being alone. In spite of my little pep talk, about subtracting “no” and “can’t” from my vocabulary, I was falling right into the trap I desperately wanted to avoid: Self-pity.