Checking In

“Mamá?” Laura’s voice quavered slightly when she answered the phone. “I hope you’re not mad, but the police came by the house today and –“ “What?! The police? What for?” Shock and outrage flew through the line. I tried to modulate my voice by the second question. “At first I… Read more“Checking In”


Today I’m linking up with Kirsten Oliphant’s group that meets each week to tell their Not So (Small) Stories. In this fifth edition, the prompt is ‘Word. Speech. Language’ and the goal is to develop our voice. If you’d like to join us, the link is here (the link up… Read more“Words”

Tub Thumping (Theme Songs in the Cancer Ward)

“I get knocked down, but I get up again!” Chumbawamba’s lyrics pounded out of the tinny CD speakers as the doctor came by on rounds. Pedro played the song after every round of ravaging chemo as a litmus test for hospital personnel. If they smiled, they were the good kind… Read more“Tub Thumping (Theme Songs in the Cancer Ward)”

Hopeful Anesthetic

Follow our blog with Bloglovin The anesthesiologist let us know, in subtle ways, that he didn’t really appreciate having this emergency procedure to squeeze in amongst all the other operations scheduled for the day. He seemed a little impatient, a little harried, and just a little unsettled that we parents… Read more“Hopeful Anesthetic”

A Tree, A Friend, A Prayer

The first non-family member I called when Pedro received his cancer diagnosis was my college roommate, Carolyn Sturges. She’s the kind of friend that I only see every couple of years, but our conversations pick up where they left off the last time—whether it was a phone call six months… Read more“A Tree, A Friend, A Prayer”

What Lies Beneath

She drives me crazy. Most days, she enters my classroom vibrating—a steady stream of energy crackling out in the form of zingers and shallow repartee with her classmates. I gently chide her; remind her that her words break our classroom rules. “Which one?” she asks. Her bewilderment looks genuine. “Respecting… Read more“What Lies Beneath”

What’s Love Got to Do With It?

Well, okay, maybe my children aren’t perfect. Maybe they fight and argue, and maybe when Karina confessed to pinching Andrew when asked why he had those bruises, I believed her! Poor thing, we didn’t know the bruises were actually from cancer. Both girls were there when Andrew cried bloody tears,… Read more“What’s Love Got to Do With It?”

Last-Minute Vegetarian Meatballs: A Story about Spontaneous Spaghetti Dinners

It’s 9:20 on a blustery Saturday morning, and we’ve had a desultory debate for three hours about what we should do today. We wanted to find some place beautiful and warm and relax away from school (we live on campus at a boarding school), even if it meant missing church…. Read more“Last-Minute Vegetarian Meatballs: A Story about Spontaneous Spaghetti Dinners”