Rhiannon’s Vigil and Funeral

Partners in Crime

On Thursday, September 11, a vigil for Rhiannon Gladelle Wilburn took place at Wages and Sons Funeral Home in Stone Mountain, GA. The family received guests from 7 to 8 PM and at 8 PM a brief prayer vigil was presided over by Father John Molyneaux, CMF. People told stories — mostly humorous — and Rhiannon's dear friend Cindy Lou Harrington sang two of Rhiannon's favorite songs: her own "Let Me Win" and Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon" (with lyrics specially rewritten for "our" Rhiannon).Here's a vi … [Read more...]

Two Big Smiles

This past Saturday evening Fran and I took Rhiannon to see her favorite musician, Cindy Lou Harrington, in concert at a wonderful little pizza place called Shorty's in Tucker, GA (unlike most pizzerias, Shorty's has several vegan options on their menu). Before the show began, Cindy Lou stopped by our table and posed for a picture with her number 1 fan. Gotta love those smiles!You never would have thought Rhiannon is fighting against both liver and kidney disease if you had been there Saturday … [Read more...]

A Sneak Peek at our New Family Photos

Last night Rhiannon, Fran and I had family photos taken, our first formal photography since 2001. My, how things have changed! Back then you still had to go back to the studio at a later date to view proofs — but this time, as soon as the shoot was done, the photographer parked us in front of a computer where we could crop, zoom, and enhance our digital images to our heart's content.The photographer, Montoya Williams, was wonderful — she was patient with not only Rhiannon, but mom and dad as we … [Read more...]

Forty-Two Inches

Gareth Higgins (the man who is bringing us the Wild Goose Festival) stayed at our  house earlier this week. He was in town for the the 2010 Emergent Village Theological Conversation. Yesterday morning before leaving, he teased me a bit. Noting that we have in our otherwise rather modestly appointed home a 42" flat screen television, he asked me how a "hippie Christian" like me could have such a blatantly materialistic object.Without thinking, I became defensive, and I'm afraid to say, rather … [Read more...]

How is she doing?

I had the occasion to speak with a friend yesterday with whom I haven't spoken in over a year. We did the obligatory "how's it going?" conversation, and of course, that led to the hardest question of all: "How's Rhiannon?"For readers who do not know the story of my stepdaughter, she was born in 1985 with polycystic kidney disease, which is, according to Wikipedia, "the most common genetic, life threatening disease affecting an estimated 12.5 million people worldwide." Her enlarged kidneys at … [Read more...]

Flawed Love

Part of what has surprised me about the loss of China has been how much my sense of grieving has been shaped by feeling guilty. Of course there's the what-if's surrounding her final illness: "I waited too long to take her to the vet," "My inaction made her suffer," "I waited too long to put her to sleep," "I put her to sleep too soon" (ah, contradictory self-accusations! That right there should be a clue that what's going on has more to do with me and my internal process than anything … [Read more...]


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