My brother the doctor, extra missed today

Today is my big brother David's birthday. He would have turned 59, and would probably have been freaking out about being on the verge of 60, which I'm certain he would have considered O-L-D. Ironically, aging seems to be one of the only things he was afraid of. It's also Friday the 13th, and we're... Continue Reading →

Kookaburra

When I was growing up, we sang a lot. At home, in church, at school, wherever. One of our family’s favorites to sing together was a tune my mom says she learned in summer camp when she was 12, in Texas, where we all grew up. I'll remember it forever, she wrote me. Maybe because... Continue Reading →

Love like velcro

I wasn’t looking for another dog. We already had one, and he was damn near perfect. But when I saw Trixie’s black, white, and tan face, I was done for. A tiny color photo in an email was all it took. That was 12 years ago. Trixie came all the way from Arkansas in a... Continue Reading →

What makes this year unforgettable?

After thinking about a short piece for a long time, which I envisioned being called “10 Things 10 Years After Your Brother Dies,” over the summer I finally wrote it and Modern Loss — a platform I appreciate so much — published it. I loved working with Gabi Birkner, a compassionate, smart, and intuitive editor... Continue Reading →

I hope your Christmas is OK.

It’s Christmas Eve, a night during which I still think I should be prepping to go to my grandparents’ house, then church. It’s been more than two decades since both of my dad’s parents, whom I considered the absolute King and Queen of Christmas, have been gone, and almost as long since I attended Midnight... Continue Reading →

What Haunts

After my big brother David fell from a mountain peak in Colorado eleven years ago, I became consumed with the loss, with his life, and especially with extreme sports and outdoor adventure stuff because it was what consumed him — and what killed him. It haunted me. It haunts me still.

precious

I've always had an aversion to the word precious. It sounds fragile and cloying in my mouth, like the way it's used to talk about cute babies: “Isn't she presh-uss?” There is something nose-raisingly snobbish about the word when it describes jewelry: “Made with only precious stones...” But the adjective is defined by Merriam-Webster as... Continue Reading →

What does your bookshelf say about you?

It's almost my birthday, and my mother needs ideas for a present. She loves books and book-shopping, so I go straight to my Goodreads list, thinking, Easy! I'll just grab two or three titles and email them to her.  There are currently 98 books I've earmarked as “Want to Read” on my virtual bookshelf there.... Continue Reading →

Going Back to College

For many years, I had the recurring dream that I had to go back to college — specifically Hampshire College — where I met my future husband and countless, enduring friends. Each iteration of the dream was a little different: I had the same roommate, but we had to find beds in a giant open... Continue Reading →

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