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Category: Milestones

This is Not a Story You’ll Tell at Parties: My Mom has Brain Cancer

I’ve realized recently that I don’t write about my mom very often, and when I do, it’s always sort of about her as a part of something else–my dad’s life, or my children’s. I’m not proud of this–mom is an integral part of my life, after all, and of our life as a family. Why don’t I discuss her? Why don’t I talk about her? I mean, we’ve gotten pretty tight, especially in these past ten years, and our relationship is–outside of a bumpy decade or so I’ll just call adolescence–for the most part, easy. So maybe that’s it: maybe the easy is why she hasn’t appeared on these pages so often. See, Mom is my constant. She’s as much a part of the framework of my life that to write about her sometimes feels like writing about what it’s like to breathe, or eat yogurt for breakfast, or put in a load of laundry for Clean Sheets Day. Mom is my constant: she…

The Mighty Shows Up: It’s Quinlan’s First Holy Communion

My youngest girl received her first holy communion this past Saturday. If you’re unfamiliar with Catholicism, all you need to know is that this is a Big Deal in Catholicland. It’s the beginning of a kiddo’s journey to adulthood, the first of many decisions she’ll make as a child growing up in a religion hoisted on her by her parents, and, frankly, one of the first times her parents look at her and can really glimpse what she’ll be like as an adult. Cue ALL THE TEARS. David and I drove ourselves nuts the week before the ceremony–since first communion always takes place in the springtime, you’re basically forced to do all of the usual spring cleaning and yard work in the space of a hot minute in order to make sure people don’t show up to your house and wonder if you’re working your way through a depression. We painted things and stained things and framed things and, well, all of the things. We ate a lot of pizza for dinner (“Pizza again? Didn’t we just have pizza…

Missing Dad: Ten Years

Yesterday marked the 10th anniversary of the day pancreatic cancer took my dad. It’s a marker I’ve thought about since the very beginning: where would we be at ten years? What would he have missed in that much time? What would we have missed? My dad is as real to me today as he was then. In all unembarrassed honesty, I miss him so much my chest aches. The death of a parent before anybody is ready creates this weird sort of outline where the person should be standing in your life. The outline of that lost person never goes away: it might fade, it might lose its edges a bit now and again, but it’s always there. Every dinner, every holiday, every milestone: the outline, standing there, empty where it should’ve been whole. I missed David’s dad’s anniversary a couple weeks ago (Yes, I just switched gears and mentioned David’s dad. April is a FUN month for our household). His was 9 years, and I hadn’t updated my calendar yet, and the day came and went until the evening, when David mentioned it…