Category: Parenting

Too Much to Carry

Too Much to Carry
It has been a long few months. Those of you who follow me on Instagram are probably a little familiar with my ongoing struggle to internalize my grief. It’s hard to explain what has been so hard about this, so I’ve attempted to visualize it… poorly, but still. When Mike was originally diagnosed, it was... Read more »

After the Exit, A Scattered Road Trip

After the Exit, A Scattered Road Trip
The first time Mike and I talked about his remains, we were not talking about his remains. It was 2007. He was having a terrible time with some of the side effects from his arsenic trial, and it was the first time I had really considered what those side effects might do to him. We... Read more »

The Weight of the Sky

The Weight of the Sky
There’s a heaviness in the air. Storms blow through, and in between the sky is steely and dense, and the humidity is so high you have to chew each breath to swallow it down. I feel as though the air is crushing me, pressing on my chest, blinding me. But everything is fine, I say,... Read more »
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Somehow the Same Old New Things

Somehow the Same Old New Things
Normally, I’m pretty unfiltered, but I filter a lot these days. I don’t know what parts of my newly widowed life people can handle and what parts they can’t. I’m so used to compartmentalizing that it comes easily, but the fact is, my life is complicated and I’m a little frayed around the edges. It... Read more »

On Grief and Vertigo

On Grief and Vertigo
For the last six weeks, I’ve had vertigo. There are reasons for it, some self-inflicted, some accidental. Vaccine reactions. Ear surgery. New and increased prescriptions in my glasses. Migraines. More vaccine reactions. Swelling from having the stitches removed from my ears. Medication side effects. It’s not typically a mystery. Regardless of the cause, each step... Read more »

On Mike Ending Treatment

On Mike Ending Treatment
This letter took me weeks of drafting, rewriting, waiting on changes from Mike, waiting on any kind of confirmation from appointments and scans… This is the most difficult thing I have ever written, and the thing I may be proudest of having gotten right. I am sharing it here because I think there is something... Read more »
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When All You Have Is Time

When All You Have Is Time
Imagine a wave… I am twenty, and a behemoth of a man has entered my apartment. He is tentative, awkward. Not at all smooth, not suave, not confident, but smiling bravely. I can see I terrify him, although he outweighs me by a hundred pounds, although he’s a foot taller. He tries not to offend... Read more »

The Inevitability of Hope and Change

The Inevitability of Hope and Change
I am standing beside my daughter’s bed, having a serious talk about school. She has no idea what her math homework is. She has no idea where her math homework is. She doesn’t pay attention in class, instead, she watches the students’ chats go by, which are silly and confusing. “One of the boys just... Read more »

Truth, Lies, and Selfies

Truth, Lies, and Selfies
Over the last three months, I’ve spent a lot of time on Snapchat. I know, right, what is it, 2012? But I have. And on my public Snapchat, Mike and kids rarely appear. On Snapchat, my life looks… kind of good. Lots of selfies (my hair has been AMAZING in quarantine, and between my eating restrictions from... Read more »
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100 Ways to Die, or, Kids and Glioblastoma in the Age of Coronavirus

100 Ways to Die, or, Kids and Glioblastoma in the Age of Coronavirus
When the twins were babies, there was a tornado outbreak across Illinois, Iowa, and Indiana. For weeks the local news cycled back to it, and I remember vividly a story about the children of demolished towns playing “tornado” with their toys, making sense of a world full of chaos and destruction by turning it into a... Read more »