Who presents this bride?

Personal Narrative
Today makes eight. For years I went to bed early. As an elementary school teacher, I had an extensive morning routine involving exercise, prayer, and a 30-minute commute. I arrived at work by 7 a.m. – well before the kiddos who often wanted to share household news as soon as they said good morning.
Because I require 7-8 hours of sleep to function well, I observed a strict bedtime of 9 p.m. My friends knew this and generally avoided calling past 8 or 8:30. From time to time an acquaintance would call too late, so I turned off my ringer at night just to play it safe. That is, until Daddy admitted his health was fading. It was shortly after Mama died. His prostate cancer wasn't a secret, yet he seemed to be…
Read More

On ironing and grief. #NaBloPoMo #amwriting.

30 Day Blog Challenge, Personal Narrative
I remember when I stopped ironing. As a young girl, I ironed all the time. And to some degree, ironing suited me. I'd iron shirt after shirt, and soon enough I'd be in a mindless rhythm. My thoughts were free to imagine new scenes for my current short story, or remember favorite scenes from a Judy Blume in progress. Usually I'd iron in the den on weekends. Daddy stretched out in his easy chair watching sports of some sort, momma half-watching, half-devouring a novel. It was easy, ironing was. As I grew older, I continued ironing as needed. Didn't think much of it. Maybe I no longer ironed clothes on weekends. Maybe I simply ironed the night before, as I laid out clothes for school. In college, ironing happened decidedly…
Read More

On Framing Death

30 Day Blog Challenge, Spirituality
Although born with breath in our bodies, at some point we exhaust our share. Our supply runs out. We draw the last one. When that fateful day happens, we die. Whether we merge into the cosmic consciousness and become one with the essence of all there is, take a mystical trip upward or downward, come to inhabit another body, or simply cease to exist, is another matter entirely. I stake no claim on knowing. But we can say with conviction: no one continues in their current form forever. Death is something no one can escape from. It follows life as surely as night follows day, winter follows autumn or old age follows youth. ~Ikeda Since we arrive with the guarantee that we will also depart, I always wonder why some…
Read More

I Am Love

Love, Personal Narrative
The official record states May 25, 2003 as the date of death, but I know the truth. My mother took her last breath on May 24th after a heart attack earlier in the day. They thought she would make a full recovery. Doctors admitted her for a couple of days, you know, just for observation. I sat by her bedside that evening as she was supposedly sleeping, but even then I believed she had already slipped into a coma. I chanted nam-myoho-renge-kyo softly. A nurse overheard me and peeped in the room to ask what I was doing. “I’ve heard of that,” she said. “Tell me more about it.” Just then, my mother sighed, her eyes opened, and the machine monitoring her vitals went haywire with falling digits. The nurse,…
Read More

Memories of Stuff

Personal Narrative
My dad was easygoing. He was one of those people who always said, "Don't give me gifts! Just be a good girl!" or "Just be happy." And he actually meant that. Stuff was cool, but peace was better. My mom on the other hand? She wanted STUFF. Flowers, jewelry, gadgets, whatever. Just make sure you got her STUFF. Preferably, wrapped goodies she could shake and pinch and guess about, then unwrap, ooh and ahh about.  Me being the (sometimes) good daughter, I'd shop, and wrap and give her stuff for Mother's Day. We'd also go have brunch somewhere that required reservations and stockings. Such was our tradition leading up to 2003. But that year, I wasn't feeling it. I called her up and suggested a movie instead, fully prepared for her…
Read More