In a church

1) Lying in the hospital bed with my mother when she was dying. The last time I was ever alone with her, the last time she held me.

2) Riding a bus through the hills north of Florence. Being able to see the whole city, loving the sunshine, enjoying my music, surveying that beautiful, old valley.

3) Having a particularly bad day.  Standing in line with a friend and leaning forward to rest my head between his shoulder-blades, him leaning his head back against mine.  Feeling all was right with the world and the promise it would continue to be.

4) Vacationing in California with my parents, driving through San Francisco.  A swirling white fog among the golden hills in the setting sun.

5) Reading Emerson for the first time in high school.  Baptized in some holy and joyful knowledge I’d never even heard of.  Feeling awake and renewed for the first time after my mother’s death.

6) Putting our dog Bexar to sleep.  Watching his spirit slowly leaving his ailing and sad body.  Crying for a very long time with some new understanding of what it is to live and to die and to love.

7) A dream about my mother that left me doubled over with pain in the shower the next morning.

8) My father telling me I was just jealous because he wasn’t spending all his time with me anymore when he began dating my future stepmother.  Feeling utterly defeated and unheard.


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