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What It’s Like to Be the Child of a Hoarder

What it's like to be the child of a hoarder

Imagine living in an ant hill, walking through trails barely wide enough to pass and finding a little pocket of space here and an empty chair there. If you were an ant, you might not mind, but if you’re a human being, it’s no fun. It impacts your mental health and well-being. My mother was a compulsive hoarder. She was the kind of hoarder you’ve seen on tv, where there are paths through the house and the stuff is piled up to your chest in every room. She’s been gone for almost six years, but I feel ashamed even now … Read more

On Grief, Moving On, and the Movie that Made Me Cry Myself to Sleep

Moving on when you're stuck in grief - Grieving is so hard and sad, but it is so true that the only way through it is through it. Words and truths from my life when I lost my mom and watched a movie called Hachi about a dog who waited his entire life for his owner to come home. The feelings of the heart are real, and saying I miss you is natural, but letting go is beautiful and natural and essential.

It has been a very long time since a movie wrecked me and made me cry myself to sleep. It’s happened maybe never before, but it happened yesterday. Grace and I wanted to watch a movie together, and I picked Hachi over her objection. The premise is that a man (Richard Gere {swoon}) finds a puppy at the train station, raises him, and then dies, leaving the devoted puppy to wait for him at the train station for the rest of its life – nine long years. I have no idea what made me think watching this movie was a … Read more

Cute Popsicle Stick Easter Bunny Craft

When I was a little girl, my mom made this adorable bunny out of popsicle sticks and gave them as gifts to everyone she knew. I know she kept one for herself because my sister found it in her things, and I know she gave one to Old Grandma because she still has hers, too. I imagine that she gave them to my Granny and who knows who else. She was a very generous person. The Easter bunny’s face was attached to a baby food jar, and she kept paper clips and push pins and other small things in hers. … Read more

Childhood Anxiety, Drugs, and Faith

Grace has a diagnosed anxiety disorder. Someone told me recently, “Don’t we all?” and that made me bristle. No, we don’t all have what Grace has. I hesitated to write and publish this post because of Grace’s privacy. I don’t want her someday to be upset that I shared her personal struggle. On the other hand, childhood anxiety disorders are not something that we talk about, and I think talking about them is important. I noticed that there was something different about her after our car crash in 2009, but I went along with the pediatrician, who said that treatment … Read more

My Mother’s Legacy

What's your mother's legacy?

I thought I was going to write this post about the legacy I’m leaving for my daughters, a legacy of warm hugs and playing together and lifelong learning and I love you frequently spoken. Then I was talking to my sister about essential oils of all things, and I realized that our legacies are directly related to our mom’s legacy. I can’t write about mine without writing about hers. If you’re a new reader, my mom passed away in July 2013 after a fierce nine-month battle with pancreatic cancer. She fought hard until the last hour on the last day. I grieved … Read more

A Valentine for Grandma

Allie wrote with a pen on the front of her homemade Valentine card. Me: “Allie, who is this Valentine for?” Allie: “It’s for Grandma.” Me: “Old Grandma?” Allie: “No, my other Grandma.” {cue my tears} Me: “You want to make a Valentine for Plain Grandma?” Allie: “Yes. I write her a letter. See, right here?” Me: “I see.” So she wrote her letter and glued on her hearts, front, back and inside. And then she glued the whole thing shut which seemed oh so appropriate for a card with nowhere to go. Allie: “Mommy, you crying?” Me: “Yeah. Mommy’s crying … Read more