An Initial Reflection: Son to College, Niece Wedding, and Memorial Anniversary

I knew that celebrating the 9th anniversary of my mother’s passing in the same week that my son moves out and my niece gets married would be intense, but I didn’t know it would look like this:

me, mike em by barn

and the night before like this:

me em rehearsal dinner

Because it used to be like this:

em 3 yo sunflower


Mom Jeannie drive way












Thank God I refound some of the words of Wendell Berry and Mary Oliver last week. We drove many miles and packed a variety of supercharged dynamics, memories, transitions, and situations into a brief few hours, over just a couple of days. A year ago – I would have crumbled…before, during, and particularly after these events and while returning to the complicated and messy day-to-day world that I’ve created of late.

And, somehow, the image of Berry’s “ancient faith” that I posted last week kept me from feeling alone. I kept either a buckeye from Ohio or a shell from my trip to the beach this summer in my pocket at all times. When I had to go with out a pocket on the day of the wedding, I let my mind stick like velcro to a mantra I made up. I needed something besides sugar and coffee to keep me from behaving poorly or thinking tragically.

I went with Mary Oliver:

You don’t have to be good

(with a mental emphasis on the word have)

and added:

but Kate, you have got to be patient.


And when I had the sense to exhale, I could try to trust Berry’s advise that

what we need is here.


So…easy the weekend wasn’t, but lovely beyond anything, anyone, who is here (as in woke up this morning), could ever dream or create.

And how incredibly funny is it to me that while I’m typing this..from her honey moon…that little sprite of a gal is lighting up my cell phone screen with texts along the line of: “Aunt Kate! It was like a dream! Everything was perfect! Thank You! I love You!”

I’m getting texts from the honeymoon suite..that is so outstandingly adorable and comforting.

I hope she always needs me, because I sure do need her…both of them. All three of us: Me, Mom and our girl Em.

I think it’s time to do the laundry now….






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