Ordinary words

What if they were like


That you could touch with your hands?

Wipe a counter or a brow with Love?

Or spread an ermine Mercy

Over the body

Of a sleeping child?

What if anger had a bifurcated



Either chaff


Home on fire

What word?

What ordinary word?

Would stop the fire

Speak peace to the wind

And rebuke

The dogs of loss

Meet Mrs. Whiskers

By the time M was two she had a fully realized world of people she had created. They were and are vibrant characters.  This past year she wrote a story peopled by punctuation marks.  Also quite interesting.

I say this because she is a beautiful survivor.  She was being abused by Charles when she created her first kingdom.  These people we still love.

But she is haunted as well  knowing that Charles continued to abuse her little sister for a long time after she asked him to stop abusing her.  She assumed he would not abuse her little sister.  She was seven.

I am haunted by the abuse as well. There is a wall in my life that signifies S’s solitary hurt.  One night this week I wrote on it, first a memorial, then a Bible verse, then a picture of a cross.  Then I got an idea.  I realized that my children’s vividness overcomes evil.  Jesus brings new life.  So I painted a chalkboard over my grief wall.

First we wrote each other love notes.  Then M drew Mr. and Mrs. Whiskers.  They are English cousins of Harvey and we love their accents.

When she tells me about the Whiskers, I just hug her really tight.  It is grace to see an ordinary resurrection of something as pedestrian as a wall.


Forgiveness is not the same as lying about the past

A friend asked me, do you put the kids to bed and at least get five minutes to yourself?  No, I say, not really but I like them all…

Hours later I realize how strange that must sound, how incomplete.  What I see in my head is thirteen years of eidetic episodes of unlikable events–bullying, tantrums,  swearing, violent protracted rages, physical assaults, homicidal imaginary friends, routine larceny, and lies, cursing of the most egregious kind.  Some stories so awful I do not want to write about the hurt.  And all of this before the years of C’s sexual felonies were dragged to light.

Most sane and normal people would have known better, right?  We believed if we did not give up on m and c they would be good, or at least better because of love.  Because of Love.

Jesus said, greater love has no man than he lays down his life for his friend.

Somethings are easier than others to lay down, I say beneath the shadow of the Cross.

Those 13 years took things that did not belong to me from the most precious people I know.  To say I like my children is an understatement.

They are my heroes.