On Climbing Cardigan: October

They say if it’s not posted on social media, it didn’t happen, but it was pretty cold-ish the first day of October when The Princess, my brother, and I climbed Cardigan, and all of our collective phones froze on the way up. Froze-froze, as in got-so-Mars-cold they stopped working.

So pictures are few from the climb, much to my brother’s chagrin, as he wanted a summit photo to share with his fam. Perhaps it’s just as well – The Princess says I look at my phone(s) too much anyway, so we were all forced to enjoy each other’s company and be in the moment for most of the hike.


The morning broke glorious.


We did not let the mist hugging the campus deter, and were in the Jeep and at the trailhead by 8.

The day before, we had all attended the dedication of a granite bench at the school of my son-that’s-gone. His friends that commissioned it were there, along with many of his former teachers, coaches, and some families that knew him well.

It’s hard to imagine a less likely material than granite to represent the man that my son had started to become. Granite is rigid, unyielding, hard and cold.

My child was none of these things.


And yet – it was perfect.

I recently listened to a broadcast about Michelangelo’s David. I never knew that two other sculptors had rejected the enormous block of white marble from which the statue was hewn, citing its “imperfections,” before it was offered to Michelangelo. In fact, the marble had languished in a courtyard nearly as long as the young artist had been alive.



It is said that Michelangelo was so focused on his creative task that he slept in his boots and carved in the rain.


The life that he coaxed out of that uncompromising stone is a marvel.

Imperfections indeed!


I’d like to think that in some small way, my son’s bench, situated in a well-traveled corner of campus, a spot he used to love, will be a coaxer of lifeas well. Friends will gather, sit, linger, laugh.

Some may remember.

Life is short.

Though imperfections lie deep within our core, if we let the Master’s hand pluck and polish, we, too, can reflect His creative grace.

Climbing Cardigan that morning, the three of us were quiet, thinking of the day before.

While I am wont to blame the bench dedication for my brother’s get-up, the truth is he had not planned on staying with me overnight and was forced to improvise his hiking attire from what was in my apartment. The Princess found him some pants and off we went.


I’m grateful we didn’t have any Lederhosen lying around.


When I looked closer, trying not to laugh, I saw that the shorts bore the number of my son. His life sticks to everything, everywhere, until it is difficult to grieve him too hard, for where I am, there he always is.


His imperfections may have killed him.

But in many ways, they may have saved me, saved his diminished family. We are starting to come out the other side of this weight of grief, a nano at a time, and the Master is there, ever there, holding us up and spurring us on.

He is dependable, His love so unyielding, that He will not allow the imperfections in us to ultimately destroy.

But we have to yield.

Every day we carve with Him this bulk of life, never knowing when we will reach the edge of the stone. Perhaps someday, a David may appear, surprising and rugged, a beautiful wonder.


If pieces of flawed granite and marble can be transfigured into objects of beauty by chisel and blade in the hands of a mortal, imagine what life the Master can draw out of us.

He is the Michelangelo of the universe.


“For we are God’s masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).






On Climbing Cardigan: September

I’ve been thinking a lot about loneliness lately.


Maybe loneliness isn’t the exact word; it’s more like alone-ness, solitary-ness, the life I now live largely by myself.

This is not to say there are not others, for there are many of those. There are the friend-others (new and old), the adult children-others, the church family-others, the others in my classes and neighborhood and online.

But the fact is, none of these people actually abide with me full time, and even though I live where I work and work where I live, the place where I shut the door and rest my head is population one.

Perhaps I have been wrestling with this for some time now because it never used to be this way. There was always the husband, the kids, the couple-friends and their kids, the sports families and extended family; there were cook-outs and gatherings and meals and hockey road trips, and when these dear ones began to fall away, some for good and some just losing their constancy, I found myself in my own head far more than was comfortable.

At first, I suppose, it was the death of expectation that caught me wildly off guard. No one plans to live this way; even God declares that it is not good for us to be alone.

Gradually, though, with the subtlety of a tide, I am becoming okay with just me, because I’ve found in the steady silence of my only-me space a quiet and insistent voice that promises that no matter what, no matter where, no matter how, He will, They will, always, always, always be with me.

I am never truly alone.

Father, Son, Spirit: the trinity is a model of the communion we are to enjoy with one another, whether we live in a noisy, crowded house or by ourself.

This was true as I climbed Mt. Cardigan this September.


New students and faculty, student leaders and various other mountain devotees all awoke at 4 AM, boarded buses clutching cups of coffee and nervous calculations, and drove to the trailhead parking lot to watch the sun rise.

It’s a wonderful school tradition, and the adults and boys soon spread out along the 1.5 mile trail-to-the-top, forming small clusters around the wise ones who came prepared with flashlight or headlamp. Towards the summit, I somehow found myself in the lead, a pack of athletic boys baying at my heals, until we reached a place where it was safe to let them sprint the final stretch.


The experience could not have have more different than my solo August assault. It takes a long time to get scores of boys in various shapes and shape up a mountain, and a small community began to form on the ridge as we waited for everyone to arrive. It was lively and communal as boys from different countries draped themselves in their native flags and waited for the show.



Boys who may have felt untethered and unsure at the bottom found their places in shifting circles until at last we all sat down to watch as a new day and a new school year were birthed in the red-balled dawn.


It’s nearly impossible to feel lonely when surrounded by such unabashed joy.


I think what it comes down to is that we have a choice. I have a choice.


I can shut my door and lock others out, or open my heart and invite them in.


There are so many-many to love.

The promise is for us all.

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:20).

On Climbing Cardigan: August

A dear friend gifted me a couple kayaks recently.

One was a large yellow ocean behemoth that requires two brawny handler-paddlers, so I left that one leaning against the shed and lifted up the sporty little red model.


Placing it on its two-wheeled axel-pulley-thingy, I felt bold and adventurous as I tugged it down my street to the lake.

The launch was sandy but uneventful, and soon I found myself in the middle of the water looking around at a totally different landscape.

The lake that I had been driving around, walking around, running, biking, praying around for the past year did not appear, from my kayak perch, to be even the same lake.

Houses that, from the road, seemed small and perhaps a bit dingy, looked inviting and friendly with their shorelines crowded with raft floats and deck chairs and fire pits.

The road hugging the lake seemed straight where I remembered it twisty and twisty where I imagined it straight. This optical illusion, I discovered, was caused mainly by the many rivulets and inlets that studded the lake that one could not see from the road-looking-out.

The more I nosed the elegant little vessel around, the more surprising the view became until I finally coasted into a sea of lily pads to think.

It was all about perspective.

I realized that sometimes we can look and look and look upon a thing, sometimes for years, and never really see it for what it is, or even in its entirety.

Perhaps this is a gift of another sort, a kindness God bestows, because if we were ever to see our lives – the blessings and trials, summits and sufferings – unveiled all at once, I don’t imagine any of us would be able to bear up under the force of it all.

The small peeks and partial gazes we get of harvest and famine help us to maintain our focus on the One who can sustain us, through all that messy plenty and drought.

Speaking of summits, I’ve had an experiment in my head the past few months that I thought might be able to teach me more about this idea of perspective.

I’ve decided to climb a nearby mountain, Mt. Cardigan, once a month for the next twelve months and try to see how and where and why my perspective might change each time I go.


At 3,155 feet, Mt. Cardigan is not particularly grand on the scale of, say, a Mt. Washington or even one of the lesser Presidentials, but it holds a place in my heart that is perhaps dearer than any other New Hampshire peak.

Cardigan is the namesake of the place I live and work, eat and dream, laugh with friends and daily attempt to instill stillness into always-active, mostly-mischievous middle school boys.

Cardigan is the namesake of the school that shaped my own three boys into someone’s quite nearly resembling men.

It is one of the few mountains my son, the one in heaven, agreed to climb on multiple occasions with his classmates and friends, a school tradition of new students watching the sun rise and soon-to-be-graduates, its set.



This was the same boy who, at the age of eight, standing with his mother and sibs on the flank of Mt. Monadnock with only a rock-scramble standing between him and the pinnacle, declared, “I’ll just sit here with the lunches until you guys get back, Mom.”


I laugh now, remembering.

I can see Cardigan’s granite crest from most places on campus, can watch the trees that skirt the ridge color and fall, glimpse the first white crown descend like a halo when the snow spills.

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It’s a peak that requires very little in the way of athleticism or ability to reach the fire tower on its bare summit slabs; I’ve seen toddlers in flip-flops, out-of-shape middle-agers in blue jeans, puppies, and scores of other unlikely hikers all happily pulling themselves up Cardigan’s pitch. Resolve is really all it takes to walk the 1.5 miles from trailhead to top.

Sometimes the climb up a mountain is an embrace, but time was short the summer-waning day I chose to look afresh at the mountain I loved, so August’s inaugural ascent was more of an assault.


The parking lot was full and woods busily traffic’d as I trotted up the trail, making the summit in a respectable 38 minutes, stopping only to take photos of the one waterfall en route, barely flowing, and the many people crawling around above treeline.



It was windy at the top.



I snapped a photo of the bracelet I wear as a reminder that my son was loved, that I can carry him with me until we see each other again.


On the car ride up to the trailhead, I had been sad and burdened by many things, but as I looked below to where Cardigan School sat spooning in the valley, I could only see myself as highly blessed: I am employed, I live in a wildly beautiful place, and my feet still take me where I want to go.

The apostle Paul once wrote a letter to the church at Corinth cataloguing the many brutalities he had suffered for the simple crime of telling people about Jesus. His perspective is one which leaves little room for capitulation:

For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)

I suppose if Paul can call being stoned, ship-wrecked, and beaten with rods small, then we can continue to find the strength to fight through our own present troubles.

I sometimes wish I had known in advance that my son was going to die, or my marriage. How this knowledge might have changed the way I lived, loved, only God knows.

Sometimes I’m mad that He didn’t intervene.

What I do know, however, is that one day, as we continue to gaze upon things eternal, our perspective of everything we can see now will be a glory so vast it will take our collective breaths away.


I paused for a moment away from the crowds, then jogged back down the way I had come. The whole enterprise took an hour and eleven minutes.


I wonder what I’ll see in September?

On Going Ultralight

I heard a commercial on Pandora recently while biking on the rail trail near my house.

Can I first describe how a rail trail is the perfect complement to an aging hip-and-knee’d athlete, for whom running, once an activity that held all the sweet answers to body and soul, has become like medieval torture?

Even I – even now – can fat-tire bike on a flatly graded, always shady, rarely rocky rail trail and can even, at times, illicit a comment from a small boy leaning upon handlebars who calls out as I fly past, “Wow, you like to go FAST!” while his sister, nearby, thoughtfully picks a bug out of her nose. It’s AARP thrilling.


Without cars to contend with, I generally feel safe riding with my earbuds in, which is why I was listening to Crowder when this commercial came on.

A woman’s voice spoke of California Closets, describing how she asked her “closet consultant” if she could have a drawer devoted entirely to her sunglasses.

An entire drawer? Closet consultant?

I cannot tell you how much this disturbed me, having recently returned from a backpacking trip where I was trying ultralight for the first time.

For many trips, including Appalachian and Long Trail thru-hikes in 2010 and 2013, I used a standard weight backpack, full tent with fly, and carried not only changes of clothes and camp Crocs but also a stove, fuel, full-length sleeping pad and down bag.


While there is nothing wrong with any of these items, I felt they were hindering my ability to walk longer days with speedier recovery times.

Lighter pack, happier feet.

This summer, I decided to ruthlessly evaluate the worth of each item I had been carrying and eliminate anything I deemed unnecessary, anything that I felt I could live without.

Camp Crocs? Nope. Longer days meant shorter times in camp, much of which would be spent in my sleeping bag, barefoot.

Camp stove? Yes, yes, 1,000 times yes! Coffee. Enough said.

Tent? How about a small tarp-and-Tyvek combo instead?

iPhone? Haha. Stop it. I may not be a digital native, but camera, iTunes, Audible, and emergency exit strategies are not optional.

Backpack? This was the tough one. Obviously, I needed a vessel to transport what gear made my cut, but my old Osprey was not only heavy, but also not waterproof. Don’t gear manufacturers think we will use their products outdoors? Where it rains? 


After visiting some local stores, reading various hiking blogs, and searching the internet, I settled on a Hyperlite pack with a few external pockets and smaller cubic capacity, which would force me to leave everything but the essentials behind. It weighed less than a loaf of bread.


Armed with all this lightness, the Princess and son-in-law dropped me off in the Catskills for a week-long shake-down.


One of the first benefits I discovered with my Hyperlite were two small hip belt pockets. These were the perfect size for snack and phone in the right and map and chapstick in the left, thus negating frequent stops with the takings-off of pack.

Two easily accessible water bottle pockets also allowed me to drink and walk without the awkward twisting required of my old pack, which kept the feet moving.

While pleased with my new kit, there is always an exchange.

Because I didn’t carry a tent with bug netting, I had to douse in DEET and camp at altitude – where wind could drive the pests away – making for long climbs on all-day tired legs.

Some nights were colder, and without the puffy coat I left behind, I had to crawl into my sleeping bag earlier than I might have previously, but, with judicious placement, I could still catch all the glowy rises and sets.



There were other adjustments I had to make, but it felt good to go light.

I know I will continue to trade out and weigh, what is worthy and what is not, but in this season of my life, I feel it is time to let go of some sizable things that I was never meant to carry alone.

Fear of the future.

Unrealistic expectations.



Actually, I think that last one might be with me a while longer, perhaps even forever. The excessiveness of it has shifted, though, and I know that I have a burden-bearer who lightens it day by day. He once said to the multitudes:

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)

I really don’t ever want to get to a point in my life where I need a bigger closet to store the distracting weights that drag me away from the walk my Creator has mapped out for me, no matter the obstacles in the way.




I want to yoke myself to Christ’s ample shoulders and let Him pull.


The other day, The Princess called me a hoarder, and it stung.

I know she was talking about my propensity for stuff, which I am working on, truly; but sometimes we get so distracted by the challenges we face in this life that we forget the only thing of value that we can take into the next life IS life.


So, be ruthless.

Why not start trying to live ultralight now?

We the Sheep

It is no small thing to be touched by the love of Jesus.

There are always things in our past (or present), big uglies, that we somehow feel can never be forgiven us.

It is, however, miraculous to see the seed of of earnest prayer finally fruit as we began to see ourselves or our loved ones as sheep of the Good Shepherd.

Wholly, recklessly, perfectly loved.

Washed clean.

New men.


As His sheep, we are buoyed by this promise:

The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice  (John 10: 2-4).

They know His voice.

I had the opportunity the other day to visit some friends who had just bought a farm.

Corralled in a back pasture were 80 or so sheep, lazing under the shade of some distant trees. My farmer-friend, wanting to both check on their welfare and show us the animals up close, knew the way into the pen was by stepping over the electric fence, and this is what he did.


Curious, the sheep turned their soft eyes toward him.

Kindly, he called to them, “Hey sheep,” and, one by wooly one, they stood up and began to munch their way over to him.


They came to him with such trust and unworried-hurried expectation it broke my heart.

They knew his voice.

I want to be like that.


As we watched, my farmer-friend petted and fussed over each one, calling them by name and telling us of all their needs.

Little lambs that needed to be weaned, to have their childish ways put behind them.

Exhausted ewes that needed rest and nourishment.

Bossy rams that needed to learn some manners.

The sheep trust my friend with a relaxing ease. He, in turn, is forever vigilant, scanning their pasture for nettles, filling their water trough, trimming their coats, checking for parasites, chasing the coyotes away.


They delight in him, as he delights in them. They can rest in his presence, because he is trust-worthy.

Trust rests .

Sadly, there is a villain to every story, and the one in this tale is called the enemy of our souls. Jesus calls him a thief.

Once Jesus was teaching, and he told the Pharisees, “Very truly I say to you, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber… The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;  [but] I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:1,10).


So often, we allow the thief to rob us of all that the Shepherd came to protect us from. We take our eyes off of Him and think somehow that the grass over there is somehow better – tastier, sweeter, richer than the grass we have been given. We even think that the Shepherd Himself is responsible for withholding that good good grass from us.

But that currented fence in between is not so much a barrier to keep us in, but a fortified wall to keep the evil out.

How many times do we open the gate ourselves, invite the destroyer in, through our own stubbornness, pride, or dissatisfaction? Too late, we discover that the enemy is not our friend at all, but a vicious wolf in sheep’s clothing.


Sometimes, we are unrecognizable as the sheep we are. I am saddened by this, but forever hopeful, as well.

Watching the farmer interact with his sheep, I was encouraged by Jesus’s promise to lay down His life for the sheep (v.15). 

We should not worry, because He declares that His sheep will follow Him, that He gives them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of His hand (v. 28). 

He is the Shepherd who will leave the 99 to go after the one. Matthew 18

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I want to delight, to be a good sheep, to think contented fuzzy-sheep thoughts, graze good grass, and follow the Shepherd wherever He leads. To restfully trust and trustfully rest. To have life to the full. 


I confess that this is a daily fail.

There are many wolves out there.

Our side of the fence is sometimes desperately hard, but it’s a pasture safe.

We are only truly free if we remain inside.

On the Legal Limit

A sheriff came to my door the other day.

I watched, dust cloth in hand, as he casually pulled down the narrow street, slowed, and maneuvered his vehicle into my crowded driveway.

In those halting moments I watched, incredulous, while my heart took inventory of where my children were.

One, on the train to a Red Sox game.

The second, visiting relatives in another state.

The third, getting hours for drivers ed.




I watched, frozen, as he got out of the cruiser and adjusted his sunglasses, prayingprayingpraying Jesus let them be okay, let them be okay, let them be okay.

By the time I forced my feet to the front door, my eyes had filled and I stood trembling, waiting to hear if (again) the future I thought I knew would be exchanged for one that I had never asked for, never expected, never wanted.

The trooper’s puzzled expression softened as I blurted out the explanation, that last time, a year and an eternity ago, when police showed up at my door.

What is the legal limit on grief?

How much is too much, how long too long, how deep too deep?

Because the thing about grief is you never know what might trigger. When opening the wrong drawer can cause collapse or a credit card offer addressed to your lost boy, despair.

How do you not frighten the youngest when he finally arrives home, whole, and you rush to embrace him, sobbing?

I was just driving, Mom, forthelove.

No. Such. Thing.

Because he was there, that other day, mowing the lawn when the police came and everything changed forever.

He knows.

Sometimes – most of the time – always – all you can do is grab hold of the hem of Jesus’s robe and whisper truth over yourself.


He is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. 

Be strong and very courageous for I am with you.

Be still and know that I am God.

Let us approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.


These promises fortify when our collective hearts hurt and give us strength for the moments that catch us off guard.

Because the thing is – and here is something I can barely admit – it could have been – the accident – it could have been so much worse.

You see, when my son crashed his car into a tree, he was beyond the legal limit.

There is nothing I can say that will change this sad truth, but not saying it when maybe, just maybe, it might keep you or your son or your friend or your brother from similar tragedy seems the height of irresponsibility.

How I wish I could go back to that day and remind him of all the times I told him Iwillcomegetyounoquestionsasked just pleasepleasepleaseplease don’t get behind the wheel when you’ve had too much to drink.

When the police came to the house to tell me there had been an accident, they weren’t sure at first who the driver was, and for a fleeting moment I thought, perhaps, it wasn’t him.

Imagine, though (speaking of wishes) wanting the dead driver to be somebody else’s son.

How could I – ?

I could not. I can not.

Instead, the one miraculous thing about that day is that even when it turns out he had driven close to 40 miles at speeds too terrible to contemplate, not one other person was harmed. He had been alone in his folly, and God protected the other motorists from his reckless choice.

I am thankful for that.

What my son did is irrevocable. I cannot change it, though it forever changed me.

We cannot control how other people hurt themselves, or us, or those that we love.

As I struggle to find the grace to live within these new boundaries that God has placed around me, I wonder how many people I have hurt with my own carelessness or intent.

All I can do, all any of us can do, is approach His throne, sometimes running, sometimes just barely crawling, confident that there is mercy and grace there for all of this messy broken, these jagged edges.


My son did not wake up that fateful day and think today I am going to die. 

But because he knew Jesus, because, from a young age, he had grabbed hold of that merciful hem, those of us left behind can be free from the kind of crushing grief that is, in itself, a kind of living death.

It’s the kind of freedom that covers and enables and empowers us – to forgive and ask for forgiveness, to live focused on the next world while still having stumbly feet in this one, to have the kind of longsuffering love that is forgetful and patient and kind.

To caution others, for the time is always shorter than we think, but it’s never too late to celebrate your independence day.


Luckily, the sheriff that came to my door this past week was simply looking for the previous owner, some other legal matter.

There is the robe. 

Hang on.


On a Double Portion


T.S. Eliot once scribed that April is the cruelest month, but for me, now, it seems to be the month of May.

It wasn’t always that way.

Once, May held nothing but happiness and celebration: my wedding anniversary, my mother’s birthday and my husband’s, summer’s arrival with pansies and parties and Memorial Day parades, and, of course, Mother’s Day.


Why God chose to allow May to become a mockery of all that once-was for me, I do not know.

When my youngest and I were hiking the Appalachian Trail back in 2010, we heard of another young boy and his father. They, too, were thru-hikers, and because little boy thru-hikers were a rare commodity, the father and I became Facebook friends, sharing intel and hatching a plan for the boys to meet somewhere along the 2,179-mile corridor.

One day, the stars aligned, and we all had lunch together at a shelter in a back hollow of Virginia. While the two boys shyly sparred with twigs and skated across the smooth floor of the shelter in their ragg wool socks, Tecolote (wise owl, he) and I discussed depleting fisheries, trail food, Lyme ticks, and homeschooling.

Eventually, we called the boys back, and Tecolote asked the boy Venado (wee dancing deer, he) to “recite the litany.”

Starting from their first day on the trail, 8-year-old Venado listed, in order, every place he and his father had ever spent the night on the trail.

Thistle Hill Shelter, stealth camp, stealth camp, Velvet Rocks, Moose Mountain Shelter, stealth camp, Imp Shelter, stealth camp, and on and on and on, until he reached the spot they had tented the night before.

Owen and I spent 158 nights on the trail; Venado and Tecolote, even more.

It was quite the list.

A long litany.

Sometimes, I am tempted to catalogue the catastrophes that have struck my life, in May and beyond. My own personal litany of loss.

Disease, drifting, divorce, death.

It might be tempting to linger there, reciting wrongs ad nauseam, but to what end?

Better to think in different terms, because God doesn’t do math the way we do.

His equations are unbalanced and unfair.

More for less.

Freedom for captivity.

Light for darkness.

Joy for mourning.

Life for death.

In fact, the prophet Isaiah assures us that God will provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty for ashes…Instead of your shame, you will receive a double portion.” Isaiah 61:3, 5

It’s Mother’s Day, and I think of my son, the lost one. Ashes now.

What does a double portion look like in the face of such loss?

How do you ever replace one precious son?

His brothers and sister pull in close, and we form a circle, tight and strong. There’s healing there, a crown of beauty.

It is then that I look around, and wonder…

There are middle school boys everywhere. I’m surrounded.


One is cruising along on a bike. Another is trotting faithfully alongside, huffing a conversation. One is cradling a lacrosse stick, another hitting him good-naturedly with a towel. One is throwing his backpack up in the air while still another repeatedly attempts to pelt it with any available object: ball, rock, hat, shoe.

Later, during room inspection, I watch an 8th grader dust his desk with a lint roller, another seek to conceal his dirty socks under a beanbag chair. There is wrestling.

I look upon this endless stream of boys, son upon upon upon son, stretching on forever, as far ahead as I can look. Mine once lived here.

Could that be it, my double portion?

Could I have been the mother to these boys had I not lost my own son?

It was not a choice that was mine to make.  Only God knows, and this is the hand he has allowed me to draw.

Pato and Tim and Briggs and Kin Wing…are these my boys now? An infinity of boys for my lost son? They are not replacements, because no one can. But they are here, while he is not.

God’s math.

His one Son, for the sons of man.

When my mind wants to rehearse my litany of losses, I will remember instead God’s promises in Isaiah.

A garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

The year of the Lord’s favor.

Mays will come and Mays will go.

I will always be a mother.

Everlasting  joy.

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