• Grieving,  Lung Cancer,  Nature,  Poetry

    Harper

    for robyn I am grabbing at life today silhouettes of dogwood, white ash, and tulip poplar a delirious pleasure the light through the trees illuminates particles i know we are the dust of it all. harper can smell the fragments in green blades, smoke, and vermin miles away. her dark wet nose and keen mind will know up to forty feet what is buried below the ground only she knows what is stale in the rafts and scurf the biological richness of my human debris. isn’t the devastation and the trauma of grief tangled into the molecules the bits and seeds of me? we share the bed now and i…

  • Nature,  Poetry

    Eureka Lake Road

    September’s fields of tall, crisp stalks are like dry soldiers martyred by harvest— Their innards, tender and warm produce reveal robust kernels or rot— the industry of cutworms, beetles, borers. Tassels are fingered by hurried youth unloaded from yellow, sticky buses their bundled glands pumping sweat into drenched long sleeves and socks. At the lake, the basin is scorched, undressed by drought. Groups of family geese with black necks and white cheeks stagger across the cracks in the mud bed and huddle as they honk. Their chests and bellies protrude, hovering over the dried membranes of their feet. They will decide to go—take flight in their groups. Yet it is…

  • 2017,  Dearest Don Raine,  Family,  Flowers,  Grieving,  Holidays,  Hope,  JD,  JD,  Joy,  Love,  Memories,  Nate,  Nature,  New Years Day,  Oregon,  Parenting,  Raine,  Travel,  Values

    Dearest Don Raine – This Was 2017

    I regret that I didn’t write and share photos more in 2017 in this special space. The loss of Grandma Mary at the end of 2016 extinguished a spark in my heart. I worried that the spark could never return. I now know that her death changed me, Leah, as I know myself, evermore. It feels like I had to get used to this new version of me all year long. If you should lose a physical part of yourself–this is what I imagine it would feel like. How does one begin to live anew without want for what was lost? A leg, hands, sight, or hearing? I find my…

  • Dan,  Dearest Don Raine,  Nature,  Raine,  Special Events,  Washington

    Dearest Don Raine

    Dearest Don Raine, I’m not sure where to begin. I thought I could be one of those parents who blogged that could (well, blog reguarlarly for starters…) post letters to their children, but it turns out I am not and I haven’t even been doing a good job of trying. It has actually been two years since I wrote my first blog letter to you. I’m not going to apologize because there’s a delicate point to be made that perhaps all of my blog is for you. It is for me, to create and cope; it is for those who read it, to take what they will from it; and then…

  • Awesomeness,  Cards,  Dan,  Joy,  Leah,  Love Letters,  Memories,  Nature,  Photos

    Our First Date

    MEDICAL UPDATE: (After yesterday’s post) Dan’s heart showed improvement yesterday so the catheter was removed and he was moved out of CICU last night. Today cytology results came back and there were no cancer cells in the fluid. He was discharged today!   Top 10 Reasons Our First Date Was Weird But Awesome (Kind of like our journey being in love the past 12 years) Our first date was at a wedding. Thank you, Allie and Joel Birchler. The wedding was out-of-state in northern Indiana. It was a weekend-long date, because I had plans to go camping with our mutual friends, Hattie and Corey, while we were all there for the…

  • Cancer,  Dan,  Grieving,  Illness,  Journaling,  Leah,  Memories,  Nature,  Oregon,  Raine

    Three Deer

    At 11:00 p.m. Monday night I drove down our street away from our house, turning left at the stop sign onto 7th street. I slowed as a mule deer caught my attention; she stood in the middle of the street surrounded by a soft, hazy strip of white from a single streetlight above. She didn’t move. My hands, slightly trembling, fell from the steering wheel to my lap as I sat still, watching her, my foot held on the break, waiting. She inched forward a few times, her gait slow, wandering, and then she stepped into the grass. There, another deer stood with a fawn. I watched them as they stood together for a few…

  • Awesomeness,  Bipolar Disorder II,  Birthday,  Celebrate,  Chemotherapy,  Dan,  Depression,  Grateful,  Halloween,  Holidays,  Leah,  Lung Cancer,  Memories,  Nature,  NSCLC,  Photos,  Raine,  Rocco,  Scanxiety,  Vineyard

    My Birthday, Halloween, & Scan Results

      (This is a long overdue post that sat in my draft folder for over a month! Yikes!) For me, October was a blur of changing leaves and trying medications. I am really proud to say that I worked hard at getting healthier and by now, December, I am stable on some fantastic drugs (the disolve tab Lamichtal is pretty rad!) and feeling very stable, with a greater clarity of mind and ability to experience joy again. Just in time for the magical holiday season, so I truly could not feel more grateful. I am a busy worker bee with 4 jobs (more about that later!) and Raine continues to…