It’s Not Personal

I could see the numbers climbing and feel my anxiety pulse like someone was taking my blood pressure. Two hundred and seventy-five developmentally disabled people and their hundred plus caregivers are a lot of folks to be responsible for.  What if someone has a seizure on the dance floor or trips the fire alarm?  Or far worse–what if someone intent on doing something horrible shows up? The list of what-if’s is as long as the guest list for Prom. I know I wouldn’t be doing my job well if I […]

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20/80

The appointment card sat on my desk for three months. Over those months various penny finds would sit next to it.  Each one had a story I kept meaning to write but couldn’t take past the idea stage.  I’d jot some notes but the page would stare back at me just like that card.  Fatigue is to blame for the writer’s block.  The demands of carrying for my aging mother while helping my kid’s transition into adult life are taking their toll. I could have moved the card. Put it […]

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Communion

“Park right there,” she said pointing to a vacant spot between two large vehicles. “Sharon parks over there and I park here.” “Are your names on the spaces?” I asked. “Not officially.” “What about your pew?” “They should be,” she said not missing a beat. It was nice to start the morning with a few laughs after a rough couple weeks. My sweet Mama was in a car accident just before Christmas that totaled her car.  After 65 years of driving with a spotless record it was time to hand […]

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Prime of My Life

When the caller ID showed it was my friend Sandy I grabbed a tissue. I knew why she was calling so I expected to get a little weepy. I’d texted her the night before to ask for prayer. At one point in the conversation I heard myself say, “I’ve gotten to the point I dread my birthday. Some big meltdown always happens.” While that sounds like an overly dramatic fatigue fueled statement I could make a list of the eventful things that have happened in the last ten Octobers to […]

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Axis Mundi

Two days before Luke was to be baptized the pastor doing the honors told me about a dream she’d had. We worked together and I trusted God spoke to her this way so it didn’t feel weird. I say this because up to that point in my parenting journey I’d had plenty of people tell me they had a “word” about my kids. This really amounted to a way to “fix them”—as if they’re broken. That’s part of the ride when you have kids with special needs. Pastor Marilyn’s message […]

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Spin Cycle

At the intersection of Clark and Atherton there was a gas station, 7-Eleven, and Laundromat. A five acre dirt field separated our house from this strip mall. It was filled with gopher holes so it wasn’t smart to run across it for a Slurpee. With laundry you’d have to drive the long way around. We didn’t have a garage so we had to load and unload our car parked on the street. My job was to help with this—and clean out the dryer vents. I thought this was the best […]

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Killin’ It

Coffee in hand I gingerly lowered myself down on the couch and covered up with a blanket. The sun had just come up but I’d been awake for five hours already lying flat as a pancake. The pain radiating through my back couldn’t be silenced. My sweetie asked, “Are you okay.” “No.” “What do you think is wrong?” “It feels like someone hit me in the back with a sledgehammer.” “Have you tried stretching?” “Yes.” “I’m sorry,” he said. “Maybe you need to call the doctor. You’ve had so much […]

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Bunny Mamas

I was headed home after golf when my friend Bubba stopped me to say hello. Bubba, as his name would suggest, is one of the most gregarious men I know. He could have a funny or heartfelt conversation with a total stranger at a funeral home. His humor and kindness stretch that far. “How are the boys?” he asks. “Oh they’re fine.  Finishing up second semester,” I say with a sigh. “Was it a tough one?” “Oh yeah.” “What you’ve done with those boys is amazing Kären.” “I don’t know […]

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I Feel Pretty

I found my dress. Four words every woman, on the planet, understands the significance of.  Between formals, galas, weddings, and cocktail parties it’s the equivalent of searching for gold. In your head you know what it looks like, but you can’t describe it until you’ve found it and then Eureka! Dress perfection you know is going to rock your fashion world.  This, dare I say, is a universal experience for women the origins of which would take too many pages to describe. Fairy tales with princess stories probably have something […]

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Do You Want to Be Well?

It’s become a mantra between us and when my oldest came home from working out at the crack of dawn I knew before I said it what his response would be.  Still, I went ahead and gave him his props. “Good for you for working-out before class bud.” “Well you know, you got to do what you got to do,” he said.                                                                     I laughed, like I always do, at his now standard response to a motherly dose of affirmation. I was standing in the kitchen staring at the shot […]

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