Thursday, July 08, 2010


I have always loved to read.

Always always always. I'm so happy when I have a good book in my hands.

When I was in the first grade, I read a book about a little girl who went shopping with her mom and got red shoes. That year I asked Santa to bring me red shoes for Christmas and he came through for me. From then on I've always had a pair of red shoes in my closet.

And my daughter got her first pair of red Mary Janes for her first Christmas pictures - at age eight months. And, even, if it's just red flip flops from Old Navy, she's always had red shoes in her closet too.

All because of a book.

My biggest weakness with books is that I buy them. I don't check them out from the library. I buy them; much to my husband's chagrin. Seriously, he can't stand that I spend money on books.

I can't help myself. I just want the book to be mine mine mine. I want to fold the pages down to mark my spot when I finally have to go to sleep at night. I want to mark the pages with a highlighter so I have poignant quotes at my finger tips. I want to carry the book to the softball bleachers and not worry if I smudge it with chocolate. If the book is part of a series, I want to collect the whole series and make it mine mine mine as well.

And I want to grab those books off my shelf and read them again. And again and again.

I have also realized I buy books for comfort.

And since my son is leaving (AGAIN) for boot camp in 11 days, I find myself seeking comfort in the shelves of the bookstores.

Which is where I found one of the best books I've read in a long time.

The Help. By Kathryn Stockett.

It's the story of African American domestic helpers (maids) in Mississippi in the 1960s. It's the story of their relationships with their White female employers.

Interestingly, the author (who has not written a novel before this) was raised in Mississippi with Black servants in her home.

This book is so poignant. So compelling. It's sad, humorous, heart wrenching, anger-inducing and worthy of a movie. It is most definitely worthy of a sequel, and I'm already predicting the plot of that sequel that may or may not be written.

The Help is one of those books whose ending I dreaded. I dreaded getting to that last page. And it's one of those books that I can't stop thinking about.

If you are a reader, go. Go now and find this book. You will be so glad you did.

And now I am reading Shanghai Girls by Lisa See.

I'll post a review on it when I'm finished.

Or maybe not.

Friday, July 02, 2010


The thing about being a mother is that our hearts scream at the infliction of pain on another mother's heart.

Because our hearts can feel it. Our hearts can imagine it. Our hearts plead '' on behalf of our fellow moms when their hearts are being ripped from their chests.

And so it is tonight as I sit paralyzed with sadness at the news that a classmate of Kayla's was killed in a car accident.

Sixteen years old, driving a mere couple of months. On his way to work.

And he is gone.

A mother's precious son is gone.

Her daughter's little brother is gone.

Her husband's boy is gone.

In the blink of an eye, her heart is laid bare to the worst pain a mother can imagine.

And we can feel it, can't we moms? We can feel that desperation to make it not true.

no no no no no....

How will she ever again lift her head off her pillow when she awakes each morning? How will she crawl out from under that weight of grief?

Do you feel it? Do you feel her pain? Is your heart breaking, simply because you know? You know what it means to love so fiercely that to lose that which you love is to have the air that you breathe sucked out of you forever?

If you are the praying sort, I beg of you to pray for this family. You don't need to know their name; God knows. God knows which mother will never be the same. God knows which family has just set out on that crippling journey of grief. God knows which parents have just been called to do that which no parents should ever be called to do....

This. This is beyond our comprehension. This is beyond what we think we can handle. This is a tragedy that will rip through our tiny school district like a hurricane blowing winds of grief, breaking hearts, devastating young lives. Because a precious boy is gone. A life is over far too soon. The foundation of our community has been shaken. And one family? Tonight one family in our midst now has a hole in its heart.

And so what we must do is fight the need to curl into a ball and hide from the pain. We must arm ourselves with the tools necessary to get our young people through this loss. We must show them how to minister to their friend's family. We must gather our strength from each other so that we can give it to our children.

There will be little sleep for me tonight. I daresay most of our community will by lying awake most of the night. As I pray for this grief stricken family I will also be praying that the rest of us can serve them, minister to them, lift them up, carry their burden, carry them.

And I hope you will join me.