Ordinary Days ?

Is it even possible to have ordinary days when you know your son is walking around with a tumor in his head ?

Yes, apparently, it is possible.  While there was a surreal quality at times, this past week was mostly solid, peaceful, even joyful.

We celebrated Sid’s birthday last Sunday, when we brought Sidney home from the hospital.  Dear friends came by with supper and pecan pie.


For me, the week developed a strange weightlessness.

Nothing was important.

Everything was important.

Sidney’s car not working and where college money would come from — Not important.

Bubbles – important.



Mom came over and ate supper.  She came bearing her birthday card, dependable as ever.



Half-finished interior painting?  Not important.

Lazy music.  Very important.


Memorial Day with friends –Yes!  Important!


Crazy girl – important.


Goofy boy – important.


Boy home from hospital – important.


Sid killed a snake in the basement.  This is a conundrum.

Not Important?  Important?

Imaginary Brave Tina shrugs nonchalantly and says cooly, “Sooooo not important.”

Real life Tina squealed and shuddered.  Repeatedly.  Her heart pounded out “Important.  Important.  Important.  Are there MORE snakes in the basement?  This is important, need-to-know information!”

My girls stared at me in bemusement, “Calm down, Mom.  It’s just a snake.” 

Rachel diligently researched the internet and we all argued about whether it was a copperhead.  It had fangs.  I shuddered as I typed that.  Rachel finally declared it a black rat snake.  That’s better than a copperhead.  But y’all . . .fangs !#!

On a less snaky note, there were interesting conversations around the house:

“That is the 10th time I’ve sneezed in 2 years!” -Prairie

“If I could run as fast as I sneeze, that would be awesome!  Because I heard how fast sneezing is . . . like 100 . . . miles or something.”  -Prairie

“Let me use this knife to cut my peach with my double vision.  I see 2 peaches.”  –Sidney

“Well, cutting it should be easy since you have 20 fingers.”  –Sid

“Dad, do you enjoy the long division of polynomials?”  — Sidney

Paying attention to our words — definitely important.



Mama turned 80

Mama is the feisty one on the left.  Prairie, 70 years younger, is squeezed into the chair beside her Maw-Maw.


Rachel honked her clarinet.  Lincoln plucked and bowed his cello.


Prairie played her violin, Sidney strummed his ukelele, and I watched my mama eat ice cream.

I discovered that this woman, whom I’ve known for almost 45 years, eats her ice cream with a butter knife.  How did I miss this little idiosyncrasy all these years?  Mama and I have eaten a lot of ice cream together.  I must have been totally absorbed in my own ice cream and not looking at her.

I tell you, just when you think you know somebody and know yourself — it breaks upon you that she eats ice cream oddly and that you were too self-absorbed  with your own to even notice.


She’s not a little girl any more.

Yet, Rachel will always be my daughter.  Even if her foot has been bigger than mine for over a year now.  Even if she gets taller than me.  Even when her hair begins to gray and her first wrinkles appear.


Aunt Jane and Maw-Maw Rachel came for our birthday celebration.


Sidney helped Rachel with her new watch.


Then Prairie helped her with her watch.


She requested something “flamingo-y.”


Sidney got a hug for those socks.


One of the best gifts . . . a camera discarded on a shelf, its first purpose fulfilled, finds a new purpose in the hands our girl.


The birthday girl gifted us with clarinet music.


Lincoln accompanied her on guitar.


Maw-Maw Rachel loved it when Prairie and Lincoln sang hymns.


Happy Birthday, my sweet Rachel, my daughter.

Time marches forward

relentlessly dragging us along with it.  And we are gifted with glimpses of joy to tuck in with our sorrow.

Lincoln’s 14th birthday was the day after Grandpa Louis’ burial.

It is hard not to smile at the Child of The Red Lips and Goofy Faces.


Lincoln with MawMaw Rachel (upper left)

Keegan (upper right)

Grandma Sandy, Sidney and Prairie watch Lincoln (lower left)

Aunt Bree (lower right)


Prairie and Rachel give Lincoln stuffed kittens for his birthday, which he accepts with charm and grace though he knows it is really a con.  The girls love it when their older brother, Lincoln plays stuffed animals with them.


Lincoln delights in standing next to me, showing off his latest height gains.