Letting Dad Go


I wrote this a few days after Dad died. Died? It still seems strange to say he's "dead", in part because I don't feel like he is. It might be some sort of denial, or that I'm still processing his death, or that after watching him transition to his pure self, I will never think of death in the same way. 

Or maybe all the above.  Continue...


Stroke Survivor Part 3: The Day He Quit (& I didn't)


On Thursday, time suspended. The four hours Dad begged to die, to go to heaven, will be known as the worst day of my life. I can't think of anything that tops this. It will also be known as the day I learn about my strength, my purpose, and how much I appreciate the past three years of mindfulness and awareness practice.

Turns out? All those monks, self-help books, and scientific studies are right. Being present, and aware, can literally prevent suffering. Continue...


Stroke Survivor Part 2: I'm stupid and maybe a potato


Right now any call of urgency from my mother can wake me from a dead sleep to ready to run a marathon. This is explains how at 4am she called to me from the other room, "Leslie, I need help," and I went from whatever dream I was having to standing in front of my dad without knowing how I got there.

Dad, who has now several strokes that we know of to date*, was sitting on the bed confused. He didn't want to go to the bathroom like he said originally. Something else was wrong. Mom and I guessed and looked at each other with concern. These days we're on high alert for any changes or loss of awareness. We both thought this could be bad. Continue...


Stroke Survivor Part 1: Time


I grew up listening to the bedtime story of The Three Southern Bears. Have you heard the story? Something about Goldilocks being naughty and runnin' out on her mamma and daddy and endin' up in some bears' house. She ate the grits and it was too hot. She ate the grits and they were too cold. She ate those grits and they were just right.

Mamma bear always said "Whah Ah Spah Someone In Mah Beyed. Yayus." (Yes has two syllables, y'all. Yayus.) Continue...


On Growing Up A Little Bit Catholic


We usually sit in the pew in the back of the church. God doesn’t mind if you sit in the back as long as you show up for the part before communion. If you’re late, sit in the back on the right so as to not upset Father Tom. After communion you can take your wafer, genuflect to the God Box, and walk straight out the door because you got your weekly allocated God Nutrition Wafer.  That’s the bit God cares about the most because God is a strict foodie. No, seriously if you read the bible, a large portion of it is what you should or should not eat. (You have to thumb through the parts about the names of people who are related to other people. That was a wedding guest list. Your name isn’t on there. Mine isn’t either, I checked.)

We always leave just after communion. “It’s just the announcements,” Mom explains. Nothing important, nothing that is going to change what God said or how we’re supposed to live our lives. Plus it means we can beat the crowd out of the parking lot. Continue...


Becoming Unstuck


There’s a great quote about getting unstuck by Pema Chodron. “We don’t hear hear much about how painful it is to go from being completely stuck to becoming unstuck. The process of becoming unstuck requires tremendous bravery, because basically we are completely changing our way of perceiving reality, like changing your DNA."

Or, as Tracy Jordan once said on 30Rock, "Stop eating people's old French fries, pigeon. Have some self respect! Don't you know you can fly?” Continue...


Teethless in Seattle


(See what I did there? I mean, technically I *am* ‘teethless’ since I’m missing 1,2 and now 9, but this post is only about one tooth, number 9 specifically. The pun only fits with the plural, though, so I had to improvise. God what I’ll do for a pun.)

A few months ago I fell and bonked my front left tooth and it hurt. That’s the most boring blog post (or tweet for that matter) I could possibly think of. It was such a non-thing that I didn’t even think to care about it when it happened. I cared, in that I couldn’t eat with that tooth for a  while because it hurt a bit, but other than that, one gets pretty used to things and moves forward with life in general.  Continue...


Re-imagining history


“You walk very fast.” I hear the words at the same time a wet nose bumps my calves. I turn to find an older woman walking on the trail next to me. I had slowed down to text a friend briefly when she unexpectedly popped in to my path during my walk. She smiles, “I wasn’t able to catch you until now. It’s why I said something. Usually I’m way ahead of everyone but you walk as quickly as I do.”

We enjoy a nice chat as I pace along side her. I explain that I used to run but now walk because of my bad knees. She confesses she used to run marathons and was unsure about this walking business but really enjoys it. We both agree we can’t run to save our lives now and not ironically, that’s when she asks if I’ve seen the coyotes. We both agree perhaps we should carry pepper spray. Continue...