Next Stop Kurdistan

We head to the airport in Doha Qatar early in the morning. Already the air is heavy with heat. Humidity is high and my husband’s glasses fog up as soon as he steps outside. The majority of Qatar is not Qataris but those in Qatar for work or travel. It feels like a fascinating and … Continue reading Next Stop Kurdistan

“Mawage is Wot Bwings us Togeder” Thoughts on 34 Years of Mawage

  "Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam... And wuv, tru wuv, will fowow you foweva... So tweasure your wuv." In the beloved classic Princess Bride, there is a wedding scene where the villain, Prince Humperdinck, is attempting to rush his marriage to Princess Buttercup. … Continue reading “Mawage is Wot Bwings us Togeder” Thoughts on 34 Years of Mawage

Dear Dad, I think you would have loved Mom’s birthday….

Dear Dad, Soon after you died, I began planning Mom's 90th Birthday. As I planned, I would periodically panic - something seemed to be missing. Now I know that something was a someone. It was you. Normally I would have talked to you about it, talked to you about what you would want to add, … Continue reading Dear Dad, I think you would have loved Mom’s birthday….

The Last Week – A Graduation Story for the TCK

It is the last week of June and graduation season for this year will soon be behind us.  In any culture, graduations are milestones and rites of passage. They are filled with excitement and butterfly stomachs, a clear sense of accomplishment and an expectation for what might lie ahead. But for the third culture kid, … Continue reading The Last Week – A Graduation Story for the TCK

Losing My Umbrella – Some Thoughts on a Father’s Death

I am looking through old pictures when my eyes begin to blur with salty tears. So many of the pictures I've been looking through are pictures of my father. Whether summer or winter, there he is - his familiar face with his ready smile. My dad smiled from his bones. It was never fake, never … Continue reading Losing My Umbrella – Some Thoughts on a Father’s Death

#FamiliesBelongTogether

Updated - June 15,2018 - A doctor observing says she has never seen anything like it - a toddler pounding her fists on the ground, inconsolable with longing for a mom from who she was separated. Breastfeeding infants, screaming in emotional and physical pain. God have mercy on the souls of those who sanctioned this; … Continue reading #FamiliesBelongTogether

Memories of Home

Murree Christian School P.O. Jhika Gali, Murree Hills, Pakistan I can picture the scene as if it was yesterday.  I am lying on the top bunk in my dormitory. The louvered windows allow a mountain breeze to come through and the sun shines brightly through pine trees.  It is springtime in Murree and I am … Continue reading Memories of Home

Home is Not an Answer to a Question

"Home is not an answer to a question. It is my grandmother’s front porch where I first saw how dark the night was supposed to be. It is the swimming pool in our first apartment complex in Portland where I learned to see without looking, underwater with my eyes closed like the mermaid I knew … Continue reading Home is Not an Answer to a Question

I Hate Saying Goodbye

It’s a sunny day in Thessaloniki. The sky is indescribably blue and Mount Olympus is in full view, the snow capping its peak like marshmallow fluff. From far away snow is so pretty! I got up early, knowing that I didn’t want to be rushed, instead opting for a leisurely coffee and pastries. We came … Continue reading I Hate Saying Goodbye

An Old Love

Every night before they went to sleep, my dad would kiss my mom. Even during his final month of life, when he was feeling weaker by the day, the last thing my dad did before he fell asleep was kiss my mom goodnight. They would pray and then he would kiss her. He knew that … Continue reading An Old Love

The Holy Work of Grieving

"Why must holy places be dark places?"* Two days ago, my friend's dad died. In twenty first century vernacular - she "lost" her dad. "Lost" is such a silly thing to say - like she needs to just go searching for him and she will find him; like it's a child's game of hide 'n … Continue reading The Holy Work of Grieving

Christmas on Beacon Hill

Just a short walk from my workplace is Beacon Hill, a historic Boston neighborhood with narrow brick streets, antique gas-lit lamps, and row houses. Beacon Hill is beautiful and quintessentially Boston. Visitors from around the world walk through the streets, finally making their way back to the red-bricked Freedom Trail that winds through the city … Continue reading Christmas on Beacon Hill

Advent Reflection – To Love is to Hurt

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up … Continue reading Advent Reflection – To Love is to Hurt

The Season for Candle Time

This is the time of year where morning comes slowly and evening quickly. I feel melancholy as I wake up far before the sun rises over the Atlantic ocean, just a few miles to the east of us. As much as I want to embrace these days and all they hold, I am a woman who … Continue reading The Season for Candle Time

Thanksgiving for the Broken-hearted

Robynn and I were recently texting about Thanksgiving. This year both of us will fill our houses and hearts with people who are hurting. These will be the tables of the broken-hearted, chairs of the grieving, glasses of the bewildered, and dessert plates of the deserted. What do we do when our tables are filled … Continue reading Thanksgiving for the Broken-hearted

The Funeral Cocoon

November has come and the golden-red hope of Autumn is rapidly turning to bare trees and chilly winds. It is a cold time to lay a coffin in the ground. We sat in a small chapel at the Massachusetts Veteran’s Cemetery in Winchendon, Massachusetts.  Winchendon is the town where I was born, where I took … Continue reading The Funeral Cocoon

In Memory:Ralph Edward Brown, June 7,1926 – October 24,2017

On June 7th, in 1926, a baby boy was born to a family in the city of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He was fourth in the family, joining three sisters, a mom and a dad. Two years later his youngest sister was born and the family was complete. He was named Ralph Edward Brown and he is … Continue reading In Memory:Ralph Edward Brown, June 7,1926 – October 24,2017