One Year

The one year anniversary of my father dying is the end of the year of ‘first time without’ milestones. The veil between reality and memories is threadbare right now. This time last year, he was standing right here. This time last year, we were all watching a movie. This time last year, mom called me. […]

window into their souls

This is probably my favorite picture from the entire DC adventure. As I took it, I implored the two of them to stop leaning over the edge. My requests transformed them into Dickinson and Poe. They had a detailed, matter-of-fact conversation about falling and death that seemed perfectly appropriate in the gothic setting. It continued […]


The older he gets, the more familiar my father becomes with death. Last breaths at hospital bedsides, holding the hand of a neighbor internally hemorrhaging on the curb, waiting with a friend for professionals to remove their spouse from the home and endlessly facing his own mortality is my father’s life. Every time death happens, […]

just in case

“Sweetie, M and I have a pact that whichever of us survives the other will do a favor for the recently deceased. Since she lives in another state, she’ll probably send someone to the funeral to take care of that favor. If a stranger at my funeral says that they’re here for M, thank them […]

just another Saturday

The weekends are the only time that I can get out of the house, but Saturday mornings all the children are home so, Saturday mornings are spent at home, surrounded by family. Late Saturday afternoons, we head out for adventures. This adventure began in one of my favorite places, Hippie Holler. Although serious decluttering will […]

ripping off scabs

I’m not going to tell the story of where I was or what I was doing eleven years ago. I’ve told the story enough. It doesn’t matter to anyone but me what I was doing. Stop asking. If you need stories, re-read the stories from the people who lost loved ones, from the people who […]

Bumpy Day

Hump Day. Wednesdays are the middle of the work/school week. It’s the day that sends us sliding down the hill toward the weekend. Wednesday is a metaphorical bump in the road. Sometimes, Wednesday is less of a playground equipment ladder to climb and more of an obstacle course. It began with a ringing phone, except […]


The unofficial supervisors of our cove have always been the seniors who quietly monitored everything from the bug-free safety of their screen porch. They have been here longer than anyone and know decades of stories about the people and buildings in this wooded cul-de-sac. While his wife always sweetly charmed everyone, Buster stoically kept a […]


Rob. Chris. Dorothy. Henry. Not the end. Not the end. Ackermann PR is establishing a fund to assist Henry’s family. If you would like to join this effort, checks may be made out directly to Katie Granju and mailed to: Crystal Cardwell c/o Ackermann PR, 1111 Northshore Drive, Suite N-400, Knoxville, TN 37919. Chris’s family […]

bad day for the 70’s

Sarah is in Michigan this week and getting ready for a day at Cedar Point. This is the first time she has phoned me since she left. Sarah: “Guess what Mom?” Me: “What Sarah?” Sarah: “Michael Jackson just died.” Me: “Yes he did. Farrah Fawcett died this morning.” Sarah: “Who?”