Saturday, November 25, 2006


Thanksgiving has come and gone.

turkey carcasses slumbering at the bottom of trash cans awaiting the garbage truck.
sweet potato peelings making healthy headway toward being compost.
The silver snuggly wrapped in their special places until the next occasion.
Aunt Jenny and Uncle Bob
headed back to anywhereville
adorned with their Christmas sweatshirts and left over fixins for the road.

Thanksgiving makes me think.

We gather, in whatever way we do, to give thanks.
For whatever it is we do.
Our newest toy.
The recent boyfriend.
The kids.
The ability to visit parents in their fancy schmancy house in Scottsdale.

Then there are others.
Maybe those who dined over a card board box
on a donated turkey and box stuffing.
Yet they give thanks. don't they.
For the love they share.
The hope they have.
The possibilities.
The gifts that they do have.

Then there are others.
Who don't.

Does everyone have something to be thankful for?
The homeless man living under the Wacker Avenue Bridge?
The woman afraid to go home to the drunk, flailing fists of her husband?
The teenager unable to process the pain of growing up?

Who am I to say that they don't have something to be thankful for? Isn't that what I believe? That we all can? That maybe that's the point?

Yet, I want to be cautious when I give thanks.
To remember, that maybe it isn't the things or the specifics that I should be thankful for, but for the fact that we all can.
No matter what.

To remember that the family still living in a trailer in New Orleans are rich with the intimacy that love and tragedy can bring.
To know that the homeless man may have had the most magic interaction with another person when a hand was reached
a meal offered
a smile shared.

Maybe those people
have more to be thankful for

than me.

Friday, November 10, 2006


I just got back from a visitation.
The kind you go to when someone you know has died.

I didn't know this guy.
I mildly know his wife. Amy.
She's a light-filled being that I admire.
They have a one year old daughter. Sadie Grace.
Her husband had a heart attack 2 years ago.
He committed himself to health.
Changed the way he ate.
Started working out.
Riding his bike.
Rode in fund-raisers and competitions.
A 180.

Monday night he went out to ride.
Training for a 100 mile ride to raise funds for Childhood Leukemia.
He didn't come home.
Amy didn't think much. He rode long distances.
She got a call.
We couldn't rescesitate him.

No more bedtime stories from Daddy.
No more walks at dusk.
No more daily love texts.
No more kisses good morning.
No more dutch ovens under the covers.
No more of him.
In an instant.

Life changes.
Life changed for her.
In the shadow of a benign evening at home.
Life changed.

The whole thing has cast a shadow on me.
Challenging me.
I believe this isn't the end.
I believe we can make it through anything set before us.
I believe that dying is like birth to another experience.


Why do I want to hold Eric close and gasp with gratitude for every extra day I have with him?
Why do I wonder if the next moment will take me?
Take him?
Take someone I love?

My mind and heart are full of tumult.
Not questioning.
Not even truly fearful.
Yet, on some level, I sit alone in a corner, covered by a blanket, my knees pulled tight.

Don't change my world.

It's the condition of life, change.
It will.
It is.
My world changes in every blink of every moment.
Even if it's not within the walls of my house today.
It changes.
It changes for someone.

Monday night.
It changed for Amy.