Mary Joanna Lee

Mary was born on January 1, 1993. She was born to ________ and _______and is survived by _____________________________________. She had kids with__________, who preceded her in death by a handful of months, days, minutes, hours.

Her children are bright little lights, and I want to gather all of them to me, sing with them, raise them onto strong shoulders, proceed with them in a march more wedding than funeral, acknowledge that no life is actually just a handful of years, months, days, hours, minutes, things smaller than that, things that can only be measured by Hands torn for

For her, for me

He precedes us in life, in death, in life again

Walk out of that grave, girl, walk into life

All because of Him

How do I thank her?

Last week I flew to Pittsburgh, got a rental car to Ohio, picked up my adopted granddaughters, and flew home.

Overall they both did remarkably well traveling cross-country with a stranger, but in the Nashville airport Em lost it. She just did not want to go from gate C whatever to gate A whatever, so she wailed and squirmed as I carried her.

By the time we got to A whatever I was reddened and drenched with sweat, utterly convinced that cardio-resistance workouts do not “go with” masking

And she remained in high dudgeon, as Jane Austen would say.

I was genuinely concerned she would not calm down and I would not be allowed to board a plane with a screaming, squirming child and I would be stranded, far from home, with an inconsolable child.

An amazing woman came to my rescue. She bought the girls coloring books, a bottle of water, tic tacs, She talked us through, back to normal and calm enough to board a plane.

I did not ask her name or get her address, but I wish I had

Knowing, as I do, that I could never thank her enough.

When the heartbeat in question means the whole world

I don’t have time to write this blog. My house is chaos, I am behind in my “day job,” and my adopted granddaughters live with us now.

Both girls have been through fires, literally and figuratively.

As I see headlines about the Texas heartbeat law, I cannot stop thinking about what an appalling loss to me and the world entire it would be if they were not here.

They, like all my kids, light up my world. If one were missing, the loss would be unbearable.

That is what the rhetoric hides–each child saved from abortion is a

Little girl twirling in a princess dress

A little boy looking for spiny lizards

A child who knows grownup words long before they should

An irreplaceable light in the darkness.

What Angels Do

Daniel 10:12-14 KJV

[12] Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. [13] But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. [14] Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.

We have so misunderstood and utterly misrepresented

What angels do

Who they are

Or how they might appear

(While surely they might be anyone–

Women, children, the dispossessed)

They stand their ground

Fight for us

Maybe when it would seem

We are otherwise entirely

Abandoned

Songs from the Nerdy Guy

I have friend who is an aficionado of romance. I am too old for that stuff myself, but I tell her that

Jesus is like the nerdy guy who likes you at the lunchroom table you should sit at but what will the cool kids think?

Yep. I am way past cool kids and would argue that if that were a thing, the guy who pays it all for us would have to be the coolest one of us all

But he is ok being

The nerdy guy who

Sends us love songs

All the time

Paper Bag Analogies

It is scary not being able to breath properly. It looks like you have Covid lung the doctor said, congestive heart failure…

My husband told my daughters what pills to give me and when, bypassing me entirely because the lack of oxygen meant fatigue and fuzzy thinking

I had put my soul at the center of this. Dying was just a space in my peripheral vision, something that was going to be inevitable at the rate I was going.

I tried to sing these songs. Eventually I had to just sit in their presence while others sang.

I talked to Jesus about the pain and paper sack lungs. He told me he took the true agony of a pair of dying lungs so that I could be given

More time, heaven after

When I began to think I would actually live a little longer, I was still afraid to take it for granted

I had to talk myself into the river. Tell myself I could ease in, keep your head above water

When I could go under

Hold my breath

Swim again

I told Jesus I would never tell the story without full acknowledgement

He healed me. He gave me back my life at his own deep expense

His lungs for mine

Now I can sing

Test of the “I Was”-es (Part 1)

Matthew 25:35-39 KJV

[35] For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: [36] Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. [37] Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee ? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? [38] When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee ? [39] Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

The test of the I-was-es:

Seeing Jesus in all our weakness and need

Jerichos

Long before her son’s whirling and untimely demise, my paternal grandmother believed in her traction with elected officials. I remembered this belief upon my first campaign, which was, parenthetically, about the loss of a single child and an unjust judge.

Who save me

would draw a line between Mamaw and the rise and fall of Hasmonean kings?

Amidst all this talk of unjust judges and rising kings

I tell myself there must be

sycamores in Jerichos still

Awaiting His return