November 3, 2019

My phone rang at 2 a.m., jarring me awake. I had been asleep for two hours in my hotel room, 1,000 miles from home. Not again, I thought. Which will this be—hospital or jail? It was jail. My son was calling to tell me it was all a mistake; he shouldn’t have been taken to jail and could I help him with bail. And so I faced one more event in a long and challenging journey of grace and gratitude for an… Read more

October 29, 2019

This week, the inside of my church is a shanty town. The narthex is a patchwork of donated refrigerator and Amazon cardboard boxes; leaning, lopsided, and beautiful. “It’s a castle!” I grinned, locking eyes with the kindergartner kneeling next to her creation. She returned my smile with one highlighted with chocolate frosting stains from her recently devoured cupcake. “It’s not a castle,” she beamed, “it’s our mansion!” With that, she grabbed her friend’s hand and giggled as they disappeared inside…. Read more

October 24, 2019

Materialistic? Not me, but downsizing taught me this about my attachments: letting go hurts. Turning loose of my baggage felt like ripping off a limb. It was also an opportunity for growth. I discovered that the stuff I was letting go included memories of a life lived and shared in time and a very particular space. Downsizing made me grateful. About a year after my husband Jerry died, I decided to sell the home we’d shared for nearly 30 years. I’d… Read more

October 21, 2019

I had not seen a photo of my grandmother, Mary Coston Wise until last week when her graduation photo was discovered tucked away in an old shoebox. It was 1935 and planting season in Accomack County, Virginia. While farmers tilled soil and sowed their seed Mary Coston’s hands knew no calluses. She was a student who excelled academically and completed high school early. Mary married her beloved Robert Wise and gave birth to three sons, Robert Jr., Edward, and Curtis. Soon… Read more

October 17, 2019

My piano teacher slid onto the piano bench beside me, but neither of us touched the keys. The studio was unnaturally quiet. My weekly lessons were usually filled with simple sonatas and easy etudes as Hallee encouraged me, an adult beginner, to relax my hands and lean into the music. But that fall afternoon in 2015, we sat side by side on the piano bench and consoled each other in hushed voices. We drew strength from each other and from… Read more

September 17, 2019

A lovely young woman sits across from me in my small therapy office, buttoned up so tight it looks like she’s hardly even breathing.  Her lips are pressed together as she carefully folds, then refolds, the Kleenex on her lap. Then she stops, looks up at me, and says, “If I tell you what happened, it will incinerate this room. It’ll melt the paint right off the walls. It’s too much. It’ll be too much for you to hear.” I… Read more

September 10, 2019

The first time I heard the term helpmeet was during a career development conversation with the vice-president of my department at my corporate job. After college, my husband and I had worked hard to establish careers and our family. My performance was stellar, and I was good at my job. I was expressing to my vice-president how I knew I could do more for the company, contribute in a bigger way than my current role asked or expected of me…. Read more

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