The truth sets us free – really

One of the great, sad tragedies of my mom's life was the story of how her adoption was hidden from her until weeks before her wedding. Her mother had died shortly after giving birth to my mom, and my mom's distraught dad couldn't figure out how he could work and care for a newborn as well as his other child, a 9 y/o son. A distant cousin, unable to bear children of her own, stepped forward, offering to adopt the baby with the proviso that no one tell the little girl until she was 16. My mom's … [Read more...]

Click your heels together

If only it were this easy. I won't be able to click my heels together, Dorothy-style, and go home. Instead, I'll be driving a 99 Toyota Corolla from Ft. Lauderdale to Chicago... ...soon. Home. … [Read more...]

The end and the beginning

My sister Jodi returned here to south Florida on Saturday, September 22. She was going to stay with my mom, and I was planning to return home for a bit before coming back here to take another turn hanging out with my mom. Within a short time after Jodi came into the house, my mom lapsed into a final coma, and died at 2:10 p.m. (Here's the link to her obit.)Those last hours were remarkable. After the reality of what was happening to my mom set in with my sister and I, I began reading Scripture … [Read more...]

Phone call from death, line 1

I’ve had a front-row seat over the last three and a half weeks as I’ve watched my mom decline toward her death. Though she was very intentional about not seeking treatment for her cancer, now that she’s facing death, she dances toward the grave and then, in a panic, tries to pull back from its gravity. Between some God-appointed, Spirit-anointed hospice nurses and myself, I am more confident now than I was 3-1/2 weeks ago that my mom is hearing the essence of the gospel, and that God is … [Read more...]

The view from So FL

First, the update: My mom continues to fade – she’s now asking for pain and anxiety meds round the clock – a big change from a week ago. She has only short periods of relative alertness, and her waking/sleeping are nearly indistinguishable to the naked eye. She’s eaten or drunk very little the last few days, and her breathing is painful to hear and watch. She sleeps in fits and starts, mostly in an upright position, and needs someone with her round-the-clock. Hospice has pulled their … [Read more...]

A note from the cancer rollercoaster

Writing from a Starbucks in Tamarac, FL:We learned last week that my mom knew she had breast cancer for at least 2 years, and hid it from everyone in her life: she continued to work at a doctor's office and volunteer at the hospital, and never sought treatment for herself, even as she watched it grow and spread.It has metasisized into her bones and lungs. She's on oxygen, and signed herself up for hospice care 4 days ago. She's deteriorated every day, and is bed-bound and unable to communicate … [Read more...]

Strapped onto the cancer rollercoaster

I got a phone call 11 years ago to tell me that my dad had just been diagnosed with leukemia. I remember thinking that I'd just been put onto a roller coaster I didn't actually want to ride. And I couldn't get off. Not until after the funeral. I just learned that my mom has cancer. She's been "ignoring" the symptoms, until they got so severe yesterday that she wound up in the ER. She's on oxygen, and they're doing tests today to figure out how far its progressed. They know that it's … [Read more...]

Down the rabbit hole and into a writer’s life

I wasn't paying attention to some big things God was doing in my life 30 years ago, but I had an opportunity to do a little bit of time travel yesterday. Birthday boy Bill and I went to see "Love's Labour's Lost" in Bloomington at the Illinois Shakespere Festival. (2-1/2 hours from Chicago, this is far more than Shakespere in a corn field. Great, professional performances across the board in a beautiful setting.) I'd had an opportunity this past winter to return to Bloomington-Normal for the … [Read more...]

And what does the Lord require of you?

I had lunch on Friday with my friend Pam. We've been friends since 8th grade, and together came to faith in Christ just as the Jesus Movement wave crested and began to recede. Our oldest children were born just a week apart. Our now-antique cats, Mike and Phyllis, came from a couple of litters of kittens born at Pam's house. Pam has been an educator for all of her adult life, and I've always admired the sandpaper way she would put her hands on her hips and ask her administrators why they were … [Read more...]

Eatin’ good in the neighborhood

I just returned from the Wednesday afternoon farmer's market with:Dead ripe tomatoes (my addiction)Bi-color sweet cornImperfectly shaped green peppersPeaches so ripe they exploded out of their skin when I bit into oneHomemade pastaAsiago breadsticksMixed olives in anise olive oilLocally bottled white SangriaGarlic-dill jack cheese made by a small WI dairyI am very aware that this is what blessing tastes like. And I'm grateful...* * * * * * *Thought-provoking post of the day: Shawn Blanc's Fight … [Read more...]