Nearly a year since I’ve put words to paper.

One year that battered and bullied, unrelenting.

Isolation insulated grief and loss as the contagion seeded fear. Those first six weeks without human touch of any sort, so terribly alone and lonely. When merely moments before breathing at last without daily tears… those weeks ravaged a fragile one. The tears returned daily. The fears were not just of the contagion.

And so, I was silent. The emotions too overwhelming for words, too revealing for others, too terrifying.

Nearly a year. Time to break the silence.


almost a year.

here, across the creek, the daffodils are peeking through winter’s detritus.

at your house, the golden child nurtures all that you planted, while making it his own.

your friends planned a gathering for the day, and my love has arranged things so i won’t be alone.

i miss you.

driving back and forth to chincoteague, my heart hurt. you and i never got to take trips together like we dreamed – no quick trips to the ocean, up north, anywhere. you would have enjoyed that trip with us – walking the trails, time at the beach, a new ice cream place, and the surprising timing of the rocket launch.

your damn dog misses you too. he does better when i remember to talk to him; i think he barks “not the mama!” daily.

i should probably call aunt mary more often, but it’s hard to talk to her sometimes. she misses you terribly, far more than you ever expected.

still have moments when i think i should call to tell you something, and realize i can’t. they aren’t as frequent, but equally devastating.

these are the times that i long to have faith – that there’s something more, that somehow you know you are loved and missed, that somehow things will be okay.

i miss you, still.

almost a year.

Emerging from the fog?

So long silent. Wrapped in detritus of life – bills, must-dos, chores (largely undone), demands here, disappointments there, and death. Death of dear ones recent, and long ago.

Surrendered to the noise. Entombed. Buried by everyday clutter.

Life forfeited to others’ dramas, advertisements, and news.

Wasted time. Wallowing in self-pity, mourning aborted dreams. Waiting for hopelessness to clear, as if waiting changes things.

I struggle to understand how the world was suddenly turned upside down, or maybe it was a gradual erosion that escaped attention.

Searching for a switch that powers back joy, laughter, and love.

Shut off the box, the stream, the noise.

Stand up. Move. Be.




Still. Here.

There are moments some days. Quiet. Laughter. Comfort.

“What you seek, you will find” admonish life coaches and Positive People.

Lock away anger, hurt, disappointment, fear, rage, exhaustion into a box. Seal it shut; permit no seepage into the Positive World.

Positive People ask, “What are you thinking? What are you feeling?”

Remember: those are rhetorical questions; Positive People don’t really want to know. Make them laugh, share a quip, tell a joke (preferably self-deprecating), or invoke the time-honored approach of honesty through omission. “It’s a sunny day, so everything must be great!” Flash a smile, and keep rolling. Nice people do that.

Everything else keep to yourself.

Exhausted trying to be there for all of those who “don’t ask for much”? Thinking that “much” is relative term? Keep it to yourself. Frustrated with aging parents whose health is failing? Angry that they’re using you as a whipping boy for their loss of independence, and continued family disharmony? How could you be impatient with such a wonderful person?  Keep it to yourself.  Tired of hearing about how easy things have been all of your life? Biting your tongue about the price paid for all the “easy things”? Keep it to yourself.

Positive People smile and nod about the sunny day. But, tell them your truth and they quiver with fear and/or disgust, furtively searching for an exit. Question their assumptions and privilege, brace for an endless battle. State an opinion, it’s mean. Keep one’s counsel, you’re cold and selfish.

Mom is dying, angry, and bitter. Given a new audience, she smiles and charms.

Here? Ready to sell everything and start over again elsewhere. Neither love nor passion tether me to this place. Those dreams shattered – a lifetime ago. But, as usual the practical outweighs the impulsive. Simply damn imprudent to move at this point career-wise.

And people? Well, I’ve heard all sorts of things – good and bad. At least dogs usually bark before they attack.

Yeah. Still. Here.

(Here, but hidden. Initial draft early 2019.)

Two Years: Message to My Father

It could’ve been just hours ago. Sitting vigil, waiting with you so you need not die alone. Your time.

The brother and I wished you peace. 

That little girl who lost her daddy so many years ago, she leaned in whispering wishes of joy wherever you travel.

Now? Struggling. Striving. And sometimes surrendering  – to the anger, mistrust, loneliness, hurt, and sorrow. Self-reflection painful and disheartening: your child most certainly.

I want to be free of the fears infecting these scars. No thank you, I do not want to “sit with” the pain. It has been fifty years of never being enough. No, I can’t take care of my mother and brother I like you made me promise decades ago. Can’t repair their roads, or mine, though have tried. They neither seek nor heed my counsel. My value appears to exist only in usefulness to their needs. A painful, oft silenced truth. Always the pragmatic clan.

Here. Never enough, never worthy. Lesson learned: unconditional love is not.

Two years, it could’ve been tonight.

Sneaky Knave

Grief is a sneaky, nefarious knave. Insinuating himself as nostalgia then assaulting full-force as one’s protective garb rattles to the ground.

Evicted after a vicious, exhausting battle, he retreated into the morning’s sunlight.

Must fortify protections, plan well, and deter future attacks. Unspoken mourning alerts him to vulnerability. Words shared and actions taken mitigate the risks. Unconscious tears call for him; awareness repels his attack. 

Mourning for what was and wasn’t on another Hallmark holiday. Aching, but aware and moving. No longer battered by Grief, for now.


“Are you ok?” worry infusing each word.

Perplexed, “I’m fine”.

“Well, I read your blog.”

Mind racing, screaming silently, “What alarm was triggered?”

“Oh, that was just….” and I provided context – the trickling, incessant daily minutia eroding joy, its rubble blocking light and air.

For years, scribblings have been furtive – stashed in drawers, boxes, guarded, inaccessible. Judged inadequate, self-indulgent, and valueless by author and reader wrapped into one.

And now, this.

Exposed  (published !?) on the web.

Outing myself as wannabe writer.

Trusting that this part of me – only recently witnessed by my one love, friends, and strangers – will not wither in the light.

Fearing that my judgments of inadequacy are accurate.

Praying that such damnation is wrong.

Scribbling furtively and furiously, still.

No worries, I won’t quit my day job.

© CMD 2015