Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Ralph D. Van Cleave, may he rest in peace. My dad died this afternoon. May our sweet Lord have mercy on his soul.....

Sunday, October 29, 2006


Halloween is nigh. Seized with a need to detach momentarily from impending family matters of gravity, I am sent down memory lane to wax nostalgic over Halloween costumes past. It's a twisted road for sure, as I'm sure yours is as well. But here are some of my Hallows Eve choices (all as an alleged adult):

Mundane choices:
Gypsy (clothed)
Dorothy from Wizard of Oz (with red high tops for shoes)
Princess Leia (with bagels for hair buns)
50's TV Mom

My favorites:
Minnie Mouse biker chick (with a tattoo of Mickey......when I worked at Disney)
Wearing a periwinkle unitard with kotex pinned all over, I went to a party as Picasso's blue period.

What have you dressed as for Halloween....???

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


I was going to go to yoga this morning. Was all dressed in my sweats, ready to do my 90 minutes of Bikram after dropping Ben off at school. I'd put if off for two days already. Just as we were about to leave, the phone rang. It was my mom.

"Your dad's probably not going to make it another couple days. Thought you would want to know". And yes, I would.

Ran to change. Dropped off Ben. Filled up with caffeine and gas and drove to my parents' place. My dad had indeed failed remarkably since I'd seen him a couple weeks ago. He's now lying in a hospital bed, no food for almost 8 weeks, a bare skeleton just covered with skin, can't take water any more, can't talk, yet he's aware of everything around him as far as we can tell.

The hospice nurse told us that he's never seen anything like this. Never seen anyone hang on so long, not eating. They had figured, in their weekly meeting a couple weeks ago, that he'd have been gone long before this.

That's my dad. My mom's exhausted and this is so hard for her. But we had a great visit today. Had one of those kind of talks that clears the air of old moldy cobwebby issues and makes the space between us so much sweeter. That is most definitely a gift from my dad. Probably wouldn't have happened if he had, indeed, passed a couple weeks ago.

God does work through him too, no doubt.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Awake again, to my surprise.
What's this? Another day?
In the same room, same body, same life
to while the hours away.

What should I do with this new gift?
Fill it, pass it, waste it, or create?
Perhaps a combination of those all
would sufficiently compensate.

I look back on my collection
of days, weeks, months and years
and see patterns, pockets, trends
of various paths with laughter and tears.

Here's the child so early broken
by others' cruelty and abuse.
Then simultaneously occurring
joyful play and friendships to amuse.

So many versions I can't count
or remember all so well.
Just that some lifted up to heaven
while others skirted boundaries of hell.

All remembered as my dad lies dying,
filled with useless, hurting shame
that he's not worth the gift of Jesus
and the grace given in His name.

Then I realize as I wake,
with another jolt of surprise
that I likely wonder to myself
if even I am worth that prize.

Yes I know, it's not about earning,
or working hard, as if grace is pay.
That it's a gift given at great cost
for us all, each and every day.

But like my dad, though I am closer,
I doubt sometimes that it's for me.
That the story of it's giftedness
is a cover up, you see.

And so my dad will pass so soon,
and I can't help him now.
And never could or never would
not that he'd listen anyhow.

But my prayer is this,
that Jesus himself will be there when he dies
and let him know he's welcome too,
then carry him up to heaven's skies.

And when it's time for my life's gift
to meet his own appointment with death
I hope my dad and I'll be there
to help him with his first eternal breath.

Saturday, October 14, 2006


With election time fast approaching, thought I would share with you what my polling place looks like. Perhaps it resembles yours as well.

Don't forget to vote in November. And bring your umbrella!