children Posts

On the Jagged Edge of Life

Child

Gina remembers being hungry a lot as a youngster. It’s something that sticks with a person, that desperation, even years after the hunger has been satiated. Go hungry as a child and that’s what you’ll remember of your childhood, the way you had to scrape for food.

Lots of times the only food in the house was canned goods from the food pantry. God bless those food pantries and the people who contribute to them. Sometimes those bags of groceries are the only thing keeping a child hoping for a better life one day. Otherwise, they might just give up and stop breathing. read more

Other People’s Children

Dollies

She started coming around the house when she was an itty-bitty thing, knee-high to a water-bug or thereabouts. She’d come to play dollies with the girls in the “museum” room. That’s what everyone called the formal living room back in the day because nobody ever really used the room. When they grew tired of dressing dollies, she and the girls would explore the backyard, or sled the hill by her house. In other words, she’s been a part of our family nearly as long as her own family. She even calls me “Mama.” read more

Gold Star Families: Making a President Look More Presidential

Owens

There are these documents most every Gold Star family has stashed somewhere. The signatures on those documents change from era to era, but the White House seal, it stays the same. The ones I have are over 50 years old now. They belonged to my mother but she passed them on to me – the document keeper of the family.

There’s the Regret-to-Inform telegram confirming that Staff Sgt. David P. Spears was KIA on July 24, 1966. read more

A Fortunate Girl

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The roads are slick with snow and ice.

The sky is grey and foreboding.

Holed up here in my office, thinking of Karly Sheehan.

Today is her birthday.

Or the day that marks what is her 15th birthday, although Karly died at age 3.

Tortured, the jury declared, by a monster so much bigger than her that it’s inconceivable the wrongs he inflicted upon Karly.

I hear from people almost weekly, people around the world who have read or are reading Karly’s story. They always tell me that meeting Karly that way – through a story that chronicles her life and her death – makes them weep. They tell me stories of the abuses they, too, suffered, and how thankful they are to have survived child abuse. read more

That God and Gay Thingy

Orlando

Maybe it’s the Orlando shooting.

Maybe it’s the access to military-style weapons.

Maybe it’s 13 months of temperatures rising.

Maybe it’s Donald Trump.

I’ve been torn from pillar to post over one thing over another lately. I find myself discombobulated much of the time. You feeling that way, too? Maybe we need a collective day at the spa, or a night around the campfire roasting marshmallows? read more