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A Lesson from My Dog

A Lesson from My Dog

Thunderstorms undo our dog Gracie. Her acute hearing detects them long before our ears get the first clue. She’s like our canary in the coal mine. When she starts shaking, we look for clouds on the horizon and check the Weather Channel app. In the predawn gloom of a...
What Happens When You Die?

What Happens When You Die?

Sometimes I feel my mother’s presence. Trudy died in 1995. So I’ll understand if you write this off to nostalgia or attribute it to my imagination or explain it as the byproduct of a memory triggered by some melancholic tune on my playlist. My thoughts, however, run...
What Keeps You Going?

What Keeps You Going?

When we returned to the room, Meredith was sitting up in bed. Puffy—her lovingly battered stuffed rabbit—was tucked under one arm. She was sipping apple juice from a straw. A Barney video was playing on the TV. And every nurse on duty in the Pediatric Cardiac ICU...
What Makes You Who You Are?

What Makes You Who You Are?

Gracie was around ten weeks old when we adopted her. We had gone looking for an older dog, not a puppy. An abandoned or discarded former pet less likely to be welcomed into someone else’s home. But that’s not how things worked out. Gracie did not jostle with the rest...
How Certainty Damages Faith

How Certainty Damages Faith

The disciples made a perfectly reasonable request. “Increase our faith.” They didn’t just say this out of the blue. You know, like sitting around talking about the weather or fishing or how lousy Mary Magdalene’s matzo ball soup is and then suddenly blurting out,...
What Does Your Love Look Like?

What Does Your Love Look Like?

My maternal grandparents Joseph and Marie were joined at the hip. My mother and I spent a segment of my childhood and all of my teen years under their roof. They continued to speak German to each other and to my mother. They used broken English with me. Nevertheless,...