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The elderly women of the Church

The elderly women of the Church It had been a year, and so we gathered to pray and remember a life well lived. The four of us sat at the kitchen table, which was filled with pastries and fruit and white votive candles. The widow was quiet as we began our prayer service. We started by remembering her husband, his life and his goo...
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Thursday, July 20, 2017

I'll never get over it

I'll never get over it I think I’ve been doing it all wrong. Have you ever had someone tell you a horrible story about betrayal or abandonment? Have you had someone share a memory about duplicity or treachery or disloyalty? Have they talked about severe abuse or neglect? And at the end did they say “I’l...
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Thursday, June 29, 2017

The name Mary

The name Mary When I was a small girl, it was a burden to have the name Mary Ann. I was named after my paternal grandmother and my maternal great-grandmother, and I struggled under the weight of such an adult name. I preferred the nickname “Mamie” which my dad used or “Mamie Ann” which my...
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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Painting and Patience

Painting and Patience About six months ago, when I was attending a birthday party for my grandson, I started talking to a young woman who is quite an accomplished artist. I was asking her questions about her work when my son Michael walked up, put his arm around my shoulder, and said, “My mom does watercolors.R...
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Thursday, April 20, 2017

The family language

The family language She’s a lovely young woman teaching kindergartners now, but 25 years ago she was a delightful toddler sitting in the back seat of the family sedan. When she was asked where she would like to go for dinner, she answered in her precious little voice, “Let’s just see where the car ta...
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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

His favorite

His favorite Years ago, Erma Bombeck wrote a column explaining to her three children why each one of them was her favorite. She told her oldest child that “I’ve always love you best” because “you were the first miracle . . .  the fulfillment of young love, the promise of our infinit...
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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Let's purge!

Let's purge! One day early every December, I have headed to the closet under my basement stairs. There, packed in as tightly as possible, were boxes filled with Christmas decorations. My visit was always the same. I pulled out the boxes, looked inside, and then decided “yes” or “no.” Yes...
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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Courage

Courage What is courage? Who is courageous?   We honor the brave men who traveled across the English Channel one stormy June day and then ran onto sandy beaches trying to elude enemy fire.   Tears still flow at the memory of the firefighters who ran into buildings while people were fleeing from t...
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Thursday, December 15, 2016

November days

November days I was 17 years old the day that my dad died from a sudden and massive heart attack. All 36 students in my senior high school class came to the funeral home, as did many of the faculty members. The art teacher gave me the longest and strongest hug that I had ever received. Later I wondered if she ha...
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Thursday, November 10, 2016

The summer of 1963

The summer of 1963 When I was 12, things weren’t going so well in my home. That summer, I found myself on a train traveling to northern Wisconsin with my mother. Our trip ended in a very small town near Green Bay, and it began my wonderful Norman Rockwell summer. We stayed in my grandparents’ home; and fr...
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Thursday, October 20, 2016