Saturday, March 24, 2007


Had a temporary derailment this week.
Last Friday I got called in to work at 2:30 in the morning.
Got up, shook the fog off my brain, drove through the rain
to attempt to offer comfort to the parents
of a seven month old baby
who had died in our hospice inpatient unit.
Stayed at hospice until a priest came
and offered comfort from the family's own tradition
and drove back home in the rain.
No surprise, I couldn't go back to sleep.

In my four years of hospice work
and my fifteen plus years of ministry
I've mostly made my peace with death...
but it is different when the deceased is an infant
(and a beautiful one, at that).

I've talked a lot to coworkers
and friends...
looked into different vocations
just in case I can't do this for the next twenty five years...
and gradually settled back into myself.

I found some comfort in remembering
that my smart ass cousin,
the funeral director,
told me one time that he cries
every time he works with a child or baby.


Continuing to grow
and struggle.

Today I'll plant my spring vegetables
and focus on the earth
and the hope of new life.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


On Thursday I moseyed by the Humane Society
to say hello to the kitties there.
I had in mind a young female cat,
to fill out the household
and keep Daisy the Destroyer company.
Things don't always turn out the way we plan.
The girl kitties were there in abundance,
sleeping off a hard night in the back of their cages.
This little man was wide awake,
greeting us as we entered,
talking to us throughout our visit.
After holding a pleasant
but largely unconscious little girl named Lucy,
I caved in to the flirting pressure
exuded by this boy named, for the moment, B.C.
B.C. snuggled into my arms
and purred mightily.
Sighing, I turned to the staff person.
"Wrap him up. I'll take him."
It took B.C. a few hours to tell us his real name,
but after reading the names of authors
off every book in the house,
Walter Wink rose to the top and stuck.
When asked, "is your name Walter?"
he climbed up in my lap and rubbed against my face.
Daisy is discombobulated by the new addition.
She growls, she lurks, she hides, she hisses.
She watches Walter very carefully,
and avoids him when she can.
These things take time.
Pictures fall short of the full effect of the loud growls issuing forth at the time of this photo.