No One But a Mother…

Fall 2007 006

Throughout the years we've been friends, Pedge has groaned through each of her pregnancies claiming she'd have her tubes tied after delivery, but she didn't, and after each of her babies was born she said, "What would our family ever have done without this baby?"Still, pregnancies are challenging, and one day she said, "If I am going to make peace with God's plan for me not to mutilate my body and get sterilized, it's going to be with the help of the Blessed Mother." So she invited me to … [Read more...]

Lives Lived Before Sunrise

In Chicago we did a lot of walking, a lot of eating and browsing, and a lot of Churching. Saturday night during the Festival of Lights when thousands of people roamed the closed-off streets and shops, trying to catch sight of a Mickey Mouse Float on parade, my husband and I dodged into Holy Name Cathedral for Confession—to see holiness more clearly, in one another, in all of these people around us.The stores and all the walking can gradually suck a little something out of your soul, if not f … [Read more...]

If This is a Sin, I Don’t Want to Know About It

Ever since I was a little girl, I could get chills from listening to certain librarians and sales people when they spoke in quiet voices, while smoothing a page in front of them with a dry palm. If they sucked their teeth or swallowed frequently, so much the better. Without being touched, I felt like I was receiving a scalp massage from their palmy, tactile, dry-mouthed way of talking.Gently lift the book to read. Turn the pictures toward the listeners and oscillate from right to left. Flip … [Read more...]

When the Womb is Empty

I went to Mass this morning, and stuck around afterwards for the Rosary. There’s a group of old ladies who pray it together, and they add about a thousand additional prayers onto the end of each decade which takes forever, so I decided to say it on my own on the other side of the Sanctuary. The last time I did say it with the ladies, however, I was pregnant, and one of the ladies, who had just returned from a pilgrimage to the Holy Lands, brought some Nard to Mass and offered to anoint anyone w … [Read more...]

The Mom Who Cares

The whole family's in the car trying to head home from my parents' after three days of parties. It is late, and we are tired.One child does not like where he's sitting in the car. He creates obstacles to our leaving, like he thinks he dropped his airsoft gun in the driveway. He wants to go back and look, but we're not doing that because we're already gone. He begins a campaign to call my parents so they can look outside in the dark for his gun."Dad, can I use your phone to call … [Read more...]

Pope Makes Time for Autism, Can We?

When one of our children was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum disorder shortly after kindergarten at our Parochial School, we were told, "Of course your child is welcome to continue schooling here, but in the interest of full disclosure, he will have better access to services in the public system."Representatives from the public school system seconded the opinion, listing among their offerings full-time staff on sight to help enact a child's individual education program (or IEP), occupational … [Read more...]

The Cross of Blindness


I'm writing to remind myself that there is no other holiness than the holiness now, and there is no other Cross than the Cross right now. I want to live in the reality of them both, both the holiness and the Cross of exactly what I'm doing, even as I mourn just a little bit the things I'm not doing. If what-I'm-not-doing is the only Cross I've endured lately, things indeed go well with me.Saturday night, what I wasn't doing was partying in the basement of the Church with all the fun people … [Read more...]