Moments of Clarity

Moments of Clarity

We have been home from our 30th anniversary trip to the UK for nearly a month, which, as I type those words, seems impossible. Every day of our trip was rich, beautiful, sometimes exhausting, and often surprising. I retraced those first footsteps that I took in Hyde Park some 30+ years ago, and, as promised, I whispered to my husband, “This is where it all began.”

In London I got to revel in my youth—club hopping, pub hopping, Tube hopping—innocent days, really. Everything is as it was, and yet it wasn’t.

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The Wonder of Wonder

The Wonder of Wonder

There was a time when my days were filled with wonder. As an only child, I spent many a summer afternoon lying on my back, the heat of the sidewalk warming my body. I’d stare up into the sky, watch the fog burn off, or witness the clouds change shape.

I wondered what it would be like to sit upon a cloud, suspended above the Earth; maybe it would feel like sitting on a mound of cotton candy. I knew little about science; that a cloud could not support me. My childhood mind, still fresh with wonder, did not need this information…I allowed myself to wonder.

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Operation Babylift: Reflections & Interview with Aryn Lockhart

Operation Babylift: Reflections & Interview with Aryn Lockhart

As the fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War loomed, thousands of Vietnamese babies and toddlers remained in South Vietnamese orphanages. As the Viet Cong seized control of the South, these young souls were at risk of injury or death. President Ford, along with leaders in Canada, Australia, and France, coordinated an effort known as Operation Babylift to evacuate thousands of orphans. On April 4, 1975, a C-5 cargo plane that carried over 300 people aboard—including military and medical personnel, employees from the Defense Attaché Office of Saigon, and escorts and nuns who cared for the babies and toddlers—crashed shortly after takeoff. 135 people perished…178 survived. Aryn Lockhart is one of those survivors.

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Places I Remember

Places I Remember

The lyrics to the Beatles’ song “In My Life” paint an accurate picture of so many people and places that I recall; that shaped me; places and people that I loved and still love.

I grew up in Santa Cruz, California, a sleepy/hippy beach town in the 70s and 80s. People will ask, “So, where did you go to high school?”

My answer is often long and involved and begins with, “You know that elementary school behind St. Joseph’s Shrine off of West Cliff Drive? That used to be a high school…” and so the conversation begins.

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That bench

That bench

You know the proverbial saying, “If walls could talk…”

On a breezy spring day last week, I walked along East Cliff Drive, another gorgeous stretch along the Pacific Coast. I marveled at the number of surfers catching wave after wave. The poppies dotting the cliffs burst through the aged wooden fence, their orange blossoms like tiny flames. People waved, smiled, and greeted one another. “What a day!” Indeed, what a day.

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Author Dr. Virginia A. Simpson's memoir The Space Between: A Memoir of Mother Daughter Love At the End of Life

Author Dr. Virginia A. Simpson's memoir The Space Between: A Memoir of Mother Daughter Love At the End of Life

The Space Between: A Memoir of Mother Daughter Love At the End of Life is a touching, honest, raw, and moving memoir by Dr. Virginia A. Simpson. In it she shares not only the time in which she cared for her mother as she passed from life to death, but also how the past was brought to the present during this process. Fellow bereavement colleague and friend, Barbara Rubel, introduced Virginia to me via email. We discovered that we live less than 15 miles away from one another. Since that time, Virginia and I have had an opportunity to visit, share, and support one another’s recent books. The following is a snippet of one of our times together. Virginia, did you always dream of writing?

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