What I Brought to The Wedding

table flowers

WHEN I WROTE TO MY FRIEND and told her I’d worn
a dress I felt good in rather than something I’m “supposed” to wear,
a ring found among my mother’s things, and
the chin my father taught me to keep up
(though I didn’t need the reminder on this day,
a day of joy) – she wrote back

“You forgot to mention love and faith.”

Did she say faith? Only she can testify to that.
I was too in the middle of it.
Too aware of moments faith ran out.

AN EMAIL in my inbox the other day,
a cry for help from a mother,
“I need some hope that some day we will have a life again.”

That sentence really got me.
It’s the bottom line, isn’t it?
We just want a little hope.

I was given some words.
They were helpful, she said.
And, who knows, but maybe that’s what I have to offer the world now,
some experience navigating rough waters.
And faith that occasionally seems to go missing,
but, turns out,
it’s just temporary blindness on my part.


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Searching So Long, I Felt I Knew Him

1895 passenger list

I SUFFERED a BIT OF A SHOCK Saturday evening when I discovered a great-grandfather I’ve been researching never made the crossing, but died while in England. His wife and children traveled on. It hit me hard. I guess I’ve typed his name into search boxes for so long I felt I knew him.

I found his name on his children’s marriage records under “groom’s father’s name” or “bride’s father’s name.” Beyond that, I could find nothing. No census data. No military service records. No mention on any incoming passenger lists. No wonder.

It was the strangest sense of loss, though, like a character in a story I’ve been following a long, long time.

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Clinical Trial Week #10 – A Project and A Postponement


I’ve been working on a project these past 10 weeks, figuring out the ancestry, locating the roots. It wasn’t in my plans, but a mystery 2nd cousin popped up around the same time the clinical trial started. After we figured out our connection, I decided to continue on, tracing the various family lines. I made it my project for the length of the clinical trial.

I like having a project.
I like having parameters, too. Deadlines.
I allocated an hour per day. I usually ran over, except for the days I skipped altogether. It’s addictive.

I must say…..My head, after 10 weeks of working on the family tree, is a lot like my head after returning home from a writers’ conference. Sooooo many stories swirling! I need to process.

NJ History

YESTERDAY was supposed to be the LAST of the 10 weekly trips to Columbus, but the celebration is on hold. We hit a little snag, the details of which I am reluctant to share because they reflect poorly on the hospital, which has, up until now, never failed in its efficiency. Wally is fine (that’s key, so I’m putting it in boldface), but he’ll be returning to Columbus on Friday to receive the treatment he was scheduled to receive yesterday. All to say, our celebration has been postponed.

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