Ever Have Trouble Accepting Something Growing Up?

For me, it was that time is a most precious commodity. As a kid, I fought time. I’d say I don’t want to practice keyboard and drums for a half hour each day! Do I have to practice my gymnastics for a whole hour every single day? How long until we get there? When can I go out and play? Do I have to go to bed right now? and on and on. Then a huge shift happened. When I was 14, my last living grandparent was ill. She was in her 80s and not well in the hospital. We visited often making long three hour treks each way to keep her company. It was a lot of time spent in a car and I was tired of it. Then one day we visited and she wasn’t talking as much. In fact, while we were there she lost her ability to speak. She looked especially weak, but we could tell she could see and hear us as we talked to her. That day, my sister and I said our good-byes, hugged and kissed her and told her we’d see...

Most Amazing Experience

My daughter and my son were rushed to the hospital with entirely unrelated life threatening emergencies six weeks apart and both survived. At age four, my daughter was lifeflighted across the state for an emergency middle of the night surgery of an intussusception (basically a telescoping intestine). Six weeks later, her five-month-old brother was rushed to our closest trauma hospital for an entirely unrelated series of ailments his doctor and his hospital team feared was bacterial meningitis. After a spinal tap, the most powerful medicine they could give him without killing him they told us, a hospital quarantine, and a CDC doctor interview thinking it might be H1N1 instead, they eventually figured out his 10 symptoms added up to – two viruses and two staph infections all at once – a fluke. What’s amazing? They are. Lucy is 13 and Liam is 9 now. They are healthy and happy...

Something I Wish I Could Still Do

I used to LOVE LOVE LOVE it from age 2 to about age 7 or 8 when my older brothers, sisters, and parents would walk on each side of me, grab my swinging hands saying 1, 2, 3, lift me in the air like a swing, set me down, and do it all over again…and again…and again… I’ve thought so many times since how I wish I could still do that. I would laugh so much. It was simple and such fun.

Can’t Ever Thank Mom Enough For…

Setting a remarkable example of profound resilience and admirable simplicity. My mom had six kids and has always had a bright cheery nature weathering plenty along the way – not the least of which was losing her own mother during The Depression – tremendously difficult in and of itself. Her mother tripped and fell down the stairs in the night holding an oil lamp (1930’s). My grandma, Mabel Marie Wood Walsh, was about 40 when she fell to the bottom of the stairs. The lamp ignited a carpet underneath her and she was terribly burned. My grandfather found her, rolled her body in the carpet, and took her to the hospital that way. My mother at eight-years-old and as one of eight children in her rural Illinois farm family – was told at the hospital she could kneel and say a prayer next to her mother shortly before she passed away. She did and next thing she knew her mom was...

Mortality In The Air

I was with my dad years ago getting mail at our small town post office. As we left, he caught a reflection in the long glass window to his left side and couldn’t look away. He was visibly taken aback for a couple seconds, but ultimately kept walking and I followed quietly. Once in the car, he told me he casually glanced at the reflection noting the man’s gait, silhouette, and how he held his head – certain he was looking at his maternal grandfather as an old man – a man who meant a lot to my dad and died decades before I was born. He realized he was actually looking at himself – looking like a much older man than how he viewed himself. Time does pass and he found himself facing that moment with me along for the ride. He was lost in thought a while when we got home. It was meaningful to see my dad’s thoughtfulness and sensitivity that day. What did I learn that day?...

Horrifying Moments That End OK

One of my most horrifying memories was when I opened the door of my 1 1/2 year old son’s bedroom after hearing the smoke alarm and saw a room full of smoke. In the thick haze, I could barely see my whimpering son, Liam, standing in his crib a couple feet from the flames on the other side of the room from where I was standing. An oscillating floor fan caught fire and the blaze was 2–3 feet wide, 3–4 foot high, and growing fast. I yelled, “House on fire – get everybody out!” …and ran into the room feeling my way to grab my little boy. I often think of how precious the seconds were that kept him safe that night. I don’t even like to think about what would have happened if I had been even one minute later. The room was damaged as you can imagine, but no big deal there. He was safe. He clung to me for three days after that and then he started to relax and trust his surroundings...