Your Guide to Surviving Family Dysfunction over the Holidays

It’s almost Thanksgiving, which means tables filled with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, cranberries and pumpkin pie. Oh, and let’s not forget heaping sides of criticism, cattiness and unresolved conflict. Hail, hail; the dysfunctional gang’s all here!

I know what it is to be haunted by the Ghost of Holidays Past. I’ve washed down my Thanksgiving turkey with salty tears. I’ve (more…)

Why Bother?

We broken humans often get ourselves into a fix-it mentality. When our personal or professional lives are a mess, we try to find a quick fix that we can apply so we can move on. When those fixes fail, we come to find out that the problem is – gasp! – us, and there’s no quick fix for that. 

So then we (more…)

 

“I don’t have any parents.”
The words sounded cold and hard, like metal against bare skin on a winter day. I recognized the voice as my own, though it felt distant and strange.
I had responded to a simple question – “What about your parents?” – in the course of a conversation about my mother-in-law’s health. My answer was reflexive, like a sneeze (more…)

News Flash: Thanksgiving Is Not an Annual Event

Turkey with gravy. Stuffing. Mashed potatoes. Cranberry sauce. Sweet potato casserole. Pumpkin pie. Autumnal weather. Football. Family. The upcoming Christmas season. These are the things we love about Thanksgiving.

Family strife. Vacant seats at the table. A scarcity where there should be a bounty. The reminders of loneliness and need and grief that loom over the season like foreboding clouds. Black Friday. (more…)

Don’t Lose Your Muchness

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. – Luke 12:48

The late Robert Kennedy of the famed and privileged Kennedy clan often quoted that verse to his family. Given much, they demanded much of themselves. The family viewed public service as its way of (more…)