How could I forget you?

You say, “Don’t forget me.” It takes me by surprise. I suck in my breath and try to keep myself calm. The last thing you need is to comfort me. The truth is you don’t need anything. Your vision is tunneling so that you can only see your family, and they love you with ice... Read more »

Showing up is everything, but not the only thing

Showing up is everything, but not the only thing
Sometimes when I’m behind on my work and feeling bad about myself, I hide under the covers. Literally. Sometimes I read. On really bad days I watch Netflix for hours. In other words, I don’t show up. Not showing up means I get further behind on my work and feel even worse about myself. Yesterday... Read more »

The last ones standing: the price of life and love

Today, as I walk my dog through the neighborhood, I see the world through a lens of loss. The next door neighbor lost her husband about 9 months ago. The neighbor down the street lost her son a year ago December and then her husband the following January. It is only a bit below freezing... Read more »
ChicagoNow Video
Advertisement:

Let's take blood in the urine seriously

I love beets, but they have caused me some alarm over the past few years. When I eat them, I’m all in. I buy three or four, roast them and eat them for lunch and dinner, with goat cheese, in salads, just in their unadorned glory. After a day or so of eating my body... Read more »

Being a witness to one wild and precious life: in memory of Beth Caldwell

Being a witness to one wild and precious life: in memory of Beth Caldwell
My go to in times of grief is poetry. “Tell me,” Mary Oliver wrote, “what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life.” We get just this one life, this one here and now, this one body and this one mind. Sometimes what we planned to do with our lives... Read more »

Christmas 2017: the stories we told and the stories we heard

Christmas 2017: the stories we told and the stories we heard
My husband and I volunteered to wash dishes from Christmas dinner. My sister- and brother-in-law made an amazing meal for 12 people, two of whom are vegetarian. My daughter and I are used to eating the sides and not worrying about a substitute for stuffing or turkey and ham. My in-laws took a different approach... Read more »
Advertisement:

Eight gifts for people with cancer

Eight gifts for people with cancer
People with cancer, whether they’re in treatment, in remission, or in limbo are different now than before their diagnosis, both psychologically and physically. Some folks talk about cancer as a one-year experience from diagnosis through treatment and into remission. It’s “one and done.” Those folks have been lucky. Many are not so lucky because they struggle... Read more »

ChicagoNow is a space that will always ache in your absence, Jimmy

ChicagoNow is a space that will always ache in your absence, Jimmy
I published my first Cancer is Not a Gift post on February 2, 2013. I had been keeping an informal blog, which my friends and family could check in with to see the progress of my treatment. Truth is, I wrote those posts as much for myself as I did for anyone else. Writing about... Read more »

Make room in your heart for yourself: lessons in self-compassion

Make room in your heart for yourself: lessons in self-compassion
It’s been a crappy day, which I will not detail for you. (You’re welcome!) I’ll be the first to admit that I’m prone to pity parties. Woe is me. Life’s a bitch and then you die. Fill in your own favorite cliché As soon as the words are out of my mouth, I stop. I’m... Read more »
Advertisement:

It's our first Tuesday with our daughter living on her own

It's our first Tuesday with our daughter living on her own
When my daughter was about 10, I remarked to a friend that she was growing up too fast and I wished she would slow down. He said, “Have you considered keeping her in tupperware?” Well I didn’t keep her in tupperware and so she has grown up. She’s 19, working full time, and this weekend... Read more »