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 continuous c … [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...]


Make it stop. When stuff in our lives goes through a radical rearrangement - meaning, we're forced into some sort of change - more than anything, we want the discombobulation to stop. We want the old normal. Or the new normal. Anything but this horrible confusion that leaves us feeling like we're bobbing around in the middle of a stormy ocean wearing only a Looney Toons inflatable swim ring. Make it stop. One of the most helpful books I ever read on the subject of transition was placed in my … [Read more...]