Mom: This Year, You’re Not Getting a Card

My soul curls up in the corners when I buy greeting cards.

Something in me balks at the convention, the grocery store rack of suggested sentiments, the playing GO FISH. Pluck one out. Crack it open. Scan, shake my head, set it back. Over and over until I find a match. A skeleton key. A few lines that unlock, sort of, the fuzzy things tucked low in the heart.

I hate the pressure, on a prescribed day of the year, to rouse all the right feelings. To re-visit everything that’s been implied (hopefully), and verbalized (hopefully), and (most importantly, most hopefully) shown on the other 364.

Worst: the scalping. $4.49 for that pinch of poetry?


I’m exaggerating only slightly. Maybe it’s because I’m a writer and feel a certain dominion over words, a pride in telling them how to march, Forward! Maybe it’s because it feels non-intimate, having to bridge hearts with heavy cardstock. Maybe it’s because there are only ever two flavors: Silly-sarcastic and saccharine-sweet.

Would you prefer a good giggle, or to avail yourself of a pocket-pack Kleenex?

Mother’s Day: Funny

Mother’s Day: Sentimental

I need to find Mom a Mother’s Day card, but where is it?Continue Reading

How to Love Someone Who’s Gone


Can I tell you a quick story? Last summer, shortly after the book was contracted, I spent the weekend at our family’s little lake cottage, just an hour south of Rochester. I remember sitting at the kitchen table with my mom that afternoon. We’d just finished lunch, and our plates were stacked into a neat tower within the sink. The banana peppers were back in the […]

Continue reading...

And This: God Gives to The Naughty List


It’s 7 a.m. and I tell Patrick to get my slippers. I poke my feet out from the sheet at the side of the bed, wiggle my toes, shiver-saying, Brr, they’re cold. He pans the floor, finds the pair, stands up, slippers me, but backward. “Other way, Doodle.” I shake one back down to the floor. […]

Continue reading...

The Bravest Prayer


I put a premium on honesty, and on your time, so this year’s turkey missive will be mercifully bare and brief: Does your heart feel a bit fuzzy, like it’s swaddled in too much cloud cover, like you can’t bring it close enough to the surface? Like it’s thick, like it’s feeling full-time, so sore for friends […]

Continue reading...

Dad’s Chair on the Cover

Broken For Good COVER FINAL

When I worked full-time in public relations, I grew pretty handy at pre-fabbing quotes and assigning them to other people. I’m not sure my husband agrees that this is an enviable life skill–this conversational jockeying, this proclivity for sometimes talking over and through people–but it is a totally normal and even advantageous talent in PR-land. Often, these were […]

Continue reading...