A sad commentary on my values
A bribe, because I have no pride.

My prayer for you

Yesterday morning I arrived late to drop the kids off at Monday school. As I was unstrapping Sophia from her car seat, the boys rushed to collect their backpacks from the back of the van. And then Tre pulled the back hatch shut and I heard it thunk as the corner of the door met Raphael's head. The sound of the blow was a tone that immediately made me think that is going to bleed.

And then Raphael was at my side, leaning in against me, screeching and rigid, wild with rage and pain. The first drops of blood trickled a pathway through his hair, the red roundness of them looking almost pearlescent against the mahogany brown. I put one hand on him, but my other hand had to stay on Sophia, still half-tangled in her straps. Above Raphael's head I saw Tre, his face squeezed shut as he berated himself. The wind blew into the van, so cold that Sophia gasped and I held onto her with one hand, stroked Raphael's back with the other, and tried to find Tre's eyes with my own. There is just too much potential for loss in this moment, I thought, and in the middle of a mundane Monday morning my heart cracked again.

Raphael was okay, as it turns out. He had a cut, little more than a quarter of an inch long, nestled in the wilds of his hair. It stopped bleeding quickly and he was able to join his first class already in progress. I grabbed Tre as he turned to leave, put an unauthorized arm around his shoulders in front of his friends and whispered in his ear, "It was an accident. Everyone knows you didn't mean to hurt him. I love you." He nodded a tiny, swift nod and stealth-hugged me back and walked away.

I thought of a day when I was a little younger than Tre and I threw a rock at my older brother, Josh. I don't know why exactly. I was bored? Angry? Wanted him to notice me? Was possessed by one of those random, bizarre, homicidal impulses that suddenly overtake otherwise normal children? I don't know, but I hit him squarely in the back of the head. He clapped his hand to his head and dropped to his knees. I looked away and when I looked back, the back of his shirt was soaked in blood and I thought I killed him.

Poets and drunks both are fond of saying things like "it is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all." I believe such nonsense can only be said by someone who is somehow distanced from that moment when you look at someone more dear to you than your own breath and can feel the wind sweep between you and the realization hits: I could lose you.

Tonight I am thinking about a baby, a tiny boy I long to meet someday. At twenty three weeks gestation every day is a fight for his life. His parents have slogged through hell to keep him alive this long and they are weary and heartsick and scared. It is not reasonable, all that they've been through. It is unimaginable that today they have no promise of tomorrow with him. It is just not okay.

But I am also thinking of some other parents I know. Their son, twenty-seven years old, recently found his way out of a lifetime of mental illness and addiction. He found the help and the right prescriptions and has climbed his way back into the light for the first time in years. I was at a party with his parents and whenever I walked by either one of them, I heard them talking about their son.
"He is living on his own," his dad said. "He was the one who found the clinic and set up the appointment. I didn't even KNOW about it until he asked me to drive him there," said his mom. They both repeated and repeated the signs of hope, ran them through their fingers like rosary beads, breathed them like they were the first air in their lungs for decades.

And there it is, the only reason any of us can bear to love at all: hope.

Once my prayer would have been for safety, for all of us to hold our babies and be able to keep them whole and well. But I've come to see that we have not been given to that kind of world. I don't know why, but the quest for safe passage seems to be a futile one.

Instead my prayer - for me, for you, for us all - is for hope. Whatever the wind brings you, may it also bring you the hope you need to see you through.



This is beautiful. Thank you for your prayer. We need it!


This IS beautiful and oh so very true. It becomes more apparent to me every day what a thin line the truly wonderful things in my life are balanced on.


Thanks Kira! That is beautiful!

Jan in Norman, OK

Amen to that, sister.


Right now, they are the bravest strongest people I know.


Amazing, Kira. I have long been trying to explain to my Best Fella how I can still find peace and faith even though bad things happen to good people. And that is it. Hope. We have been given hope. Thank you for those words!


This is just so beautiful. Thank you.




Thanks for that. I'm trying to get through the workday so I can head to a dear friend's brother's funeral. He wasn't so lucky on his path of mental illness...nor was my own brother about 4 years ago when he chose to end his battle. You're right - "I could lose you" is one of the most terrifying and beautiful thoughts all wrapped in to one. It makes you courageous and willing to fight for the love you do have and makes you weep when you inevitably lose love, no matter what the cause. Hope does mean an awful lot.

Peggy Spence

Hope is the most precious thing in the world. forget diamonds. forget gold. Hope. so easy to have. so very easy to lose. So vital to the human heart.

I discovered this during my husband's fight with cancer. He lost. It took a long time to ever hope again.

I am getting married next month. Hope is a wonderful, wonderful thing.

Peggy in Tulsa


Oops, there I go again. Forgot to breath, I was so immersed in your post. I just get drawn into your words. They are breathtakingly eloquent.

(multi-year lurker, first time poster.)



Sarah Y.

I always start comments to your posts, then end up deleting them because I'm only trying to agree with you, and you've already said it better than I ever could. (Holy run-on sentence, Batman!) There is no assurance that awful things will not happen to us. We have only the knowledge that they will not last.


thank you


I needed that today. Thank you.

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