Today Sucks

It’s Monday but it’s Monday-ier than most. Thick and heavy like a London fog. Thick with loss. Heavy with chaos.

Three years ago today began about as normal as a day could. So normal that but for the events that transpired later in the day, I wouldn’t be able to detail a single thing about that day. The events later in the day, however, have forever seared this date into my consciousness. It’s the day that a reckless driver stole my daughter, Brooke, from us. Thick with loss.

To make matters more Monday-ier, SARS-C0V-2/Covid-19 (“Coronavirus”) has the entire world in turmoil. The state of world affairs is literally changing at a pace not before seen in my lifetime. These Coronavirus flood waters are still rising so it is yet to be seen where it will leave its final mark. Heavy with chaos.

Yet, even in the middle of this sucky, thick, heavy day – I have to remind myself that loss and chaos DO NOT reign. Loss and chaos DO NOT get the final word.

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1,000 Days

Today marks 1,000 days since a reckless driver stole Brooke from us. Some of those days have been the darkest of my entire life. Some of those days have surprised me when moments of joy streaked across the horizon beckoning me forward. Mostly, 1,000 days have marched on despite the incomprehensible reality that Brooke isn’t here.

Though Brooke is not physically present, the love we shared didn’t die. We cheat death in a thousand ways when recall memories of our loved ones. Love dances beyond the fingertips of death. There are a thousand memories that death can’t touch:

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Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That

Many parts of the country have been experiencing higher than average rainfall totals. However, when I arrived back home to Louisiana earlier this week, I wasn’t prepared for the deluge that engulfed me. Not actual raindrops. Worse. I found myself twisting about in one of life’s “perfect storms.”

A leaky pipe approached from the East. We saw that one coming, and I had planned to address this issue during this trip home. Scheduling weeks in advance, I had one day – and only one day – carefully devoted to the leaky pipe. What I hadn’t seen were the squirrels approaching from the South. Apparently, a gang of squirrels that had made themselves quite comfy in the laundry room over the winter. There’s more. A dead car battery barreled in from the North. The old Jeep wouldn’t crank. I was on foot and at the mercy of friends until I could get it running.  These three events collided on my radar to form a Perfect Storm.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

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Season 3

On March 16th, just two short days away, it will be the second anniversary of Brooke’s accident. With wedding anniversaries, there are time-honored understandings about what to do. Paper, cotton, leather, flowers, wood cover the first five years. Tin, crystal, china, silver, gold, diamond as time drags on. Even though you wouldn’t expect anniversary gifts to be “one size fits all,” society has tried-and-true suggestions for how to tick off each passing year. 

Not so much with death. Like marriages, no two grieving families are the same. Yet, we don’t even try when it comes to death anniversaries.

There is no script.

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How to Fill the Empty Seat at the Thanksgiving Table

When tragedy strikes, it becomes a line of demarcation. Like the rings in the trunk of a tree, each misfortune leaves a permanent mark on our souls. There is “before” and “after.” Time marches to a different cadence in the Land of After. The calendar ticks off “should have beens,” “could have beens,” and “would have beens.” The calendar in the Land of After chronicles time with “milestones” and “firsts” nonexistent in the Land of Before. Read more

If we could peek into the heart of God, what would we find?

Does life sometimes come at you all at once? Have you experienced life at that breakneck pace that steals your focus? Where you are mesmerized by the dizzying spin of life’s compass?

Not even two months after we had lost our seventeen-year-old daughter, Brooke,  life was happening at a rapid-fire pace. Read more