Three Days

After that first, warm, early spring-like day—that last family therapy session on our little patio—when Olivia announced she wanted to finish the 11th grade in the coming eight weeks then move to her father’s a state away and drop out of high school, I walked around in a trance for three days. I washed dishes, drove, taught class, shopped for groceries, and finished cleaning the bathroom sink just in time to greet the therapist when she arrived for her last session alone with Olivia....more

The Agreement

That day on the front porch, the rocking chair still rocked as Olivia reclined as far back as she could and then slid her sunglasses down over her eyes to look at me. It was the end of April. She was so beautiful—that young woman who hated me. My gaze lingered on the spark of silver hoops like moons dangling beneath her ears. Then I studied her short square toes. She stretched her left foot and there was her father’s Baryshnikov arch. That day on the front porch, the rocking chair still rocked as Olivia reclined as far back as she could and then slid her sunglasses down over her eyes to look at me. It was the end of April. She was so beautiful—that young woman who hated me. My gaze lingered on the spark of silver hoops like moons dangling beneath her ears. Then I studied her short square toes. She stretched her left foot and there was her father’s Baryshnikov arch. ...more

Under the Cornflower Blue Hills

I dread packing her room. Spend days avoiding it. Sometimes I can only pack one box. But Olivia has finally emailed a list, wants her things now, and I want her to have what she needs as much as I cannot bear to fill those boxes. I dread packing her room. Spend days avoiding it. Sometimes I can only pack one box. But Olivia has finally emailed a list, wants her things now, and I want her to have what she needs as much as I cannot bear to fill those boxes. I dread packing her room. Spend days avoiding it. Sometimes I can only pack one box....more

There Are All Kinds of Ways to Lose a Child

It is enough to gaze into trees climbing the hill above us. It is almost time to leave but I cannot turn the radio off. I stand there, losing precious moments in a busy day, savoring the gentle voice of a stranger -- a man whose son killed himself. He says, “there are all kinds of ways to lose a child.” How do you tell someone your 17 ½ year old daughter is gone -- alive, but gone....more
Shannon LC Cate Seven months later, I just stumbled back to this post & saw your comment for the ...more