August 14, 2014

It’s 9:37am. I slept in, which is arguably the best gift I will receive today. Kari whisked the kiddos out of our bed at the headache time of 6:30am. The curtains were left shut, the fan was turned on high and the covers were pulled over my head. There is no better sleep than getting to sleep in, without consequence or guilt, after you become a parent.

Speaking of gifts, I received $30 from my parents, which feels like such a kind gesture when you’re halfway to seventy. I have been wearing socks with holes in them for a solid four months now. There are two pair in which my big toe just slides right out into the open. Another pair has the heel worn out. Some days I have opted to simply go without socks altogether, knowing the callouses that have emerged on the balls of my feet would get me by just fine. And I knew this day would come and I knew my parents would faithfully send me $30, so I waited until now and bought five pair of socks from REI. They are ready to be picked up at the store today. Shipping to my home would have blown out my budget.

Thanks to my sister, I will take Kari out for my birthday, on a proper date, which would actually win the argument for best gift. We will arrive to dinner and have two whole hours before the movie starts. We will converse and eat, at whatever pace suits us. I will dip my fries into a gourmet sauce slowly and defiantly, one at a time, and feel like everything in the world is going to be okay.


Happy days like today have a sadness about them now. Like the happiness you’re supposed to feel actually accentuates the sadness. As good as dinner and a movie sounds, and as sweet as the drawing is that Stella will no doubt give me, the truth is, I would equally like to skip out on the rest of the day and grab the framed picture of my missing daughter and hold it close and pull the blankets back over my head and cry until it’s no longer my birthday. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m super excited to pick up my socks. It’s just different now.


I feel so lucky to be alive. Thirty-five years is a long, long time to escape death. If there is one gift I could give myself today, I would beg and plead with the universe that my kids and Kari and I could stay alive for a good long while. That would be really nice.

August 6, 2014

What if I just kept a journal, somewhat, from time to time. Maybe that would liven this place up again. I don’t know.

There are birthdays gone missing. She turned five. M turned three. He turned two. There were parties and photos and cake and tears. All undocumented.

We bought a house. We are doing things to it, at least on the outside. There are gardens and chickens and a working furniture studio. My grandfathers garden tools hang on recycled redwood on the outside of the shop. It didn’t take long to make, but I like the way it looks.

Three camping excursions. A trip to Minnesota. A wedding. Eleven thousand cavities.

All of this is missing from the record that I like to keep here.

The funny thing about it is, at some point in the near future, I know I will actually go back through our photos and record some of these events. I will even time stamp them back to when they should have been posted. So in five years, or ten years, or whenever, it will be like they were never even missed.


Truth is, I haven’t had time.