Unimaginable

We sat around the kitchen table after dinner last night — my son Henry, my husband Steve, and two of our dearest friends in the world, Lisa and Kerby.

I met Lisa eighteen years ago, when Henry visited her kindergarten classroom for the first time as a small, shy four-year-old. He already had an IEP from the public school system and a medical file that was two-inches thick. He’d been diagnosed with asthma at three months, sensory integration dysfunction and low muscle tone at two, and various other physical and developmental delays and concerns ever since. He saw an occupational therapist, a speech therapist, and a physical therapist every week – to learn how to do the things that other children his age could do without being taught, things like moving his tongue from side to side, skipping, or jumping up and down. To say we were worried about him would have been an understatement. We were first-time parents, and it seemed that every expert we talked to pointed out something else that was wrong with our son.

Lisa, quiet and gentle and observant, watched him in her classroom for two mornings. And then she did what no one else had ever done: she told us what was right with him — how carefully he listened, that he was clearly drawn to music, that he was emotionally aware, empathetic beyond his years, and kind.

She became Henry’s teacher and, soon, my friend. Our sensitive son thrived in Lisa’s rose-colored classroom. “I don’t know what you guys are doing,” said the occupational therapist after six months, “but it’s working. Henry doesn’t need to come anymore.” Soon, the others concurred. Meanwhile, Lisa and I clicked. We ran together, hiked, shared books, laughed and talked over countless cups of coffee. Steve and I met her future husband, and the four of us grew as close as two couples can be. In time, Lisa became Jack’s kindergarten teacher as well.

Our families spent time together, her three older boys much admired and emulated by our two younger ones. The memories piled up: New Years Eve feasts, camping out at their New Hampshire cottage, weekends in Maine, ferry rides to Monhegan and hikes around the island, wonderful meals cooked over campfires, long walks, and exhilarating swims. Years of affection and laughter and good times. When I turned forty, we celebrated at the cabin in the woods, watching the October sunset from a high hilltop, and then hiking down in the darkness to light a fire, share champagne and hot soup at the hearth, and then pile on hats and mittens for sleeping in the crisp fall air. It is still my favorite birthday ever.

Ten years ago next month, my friend’s older son was killed, just a few months shy of his college graduation. My own memory of that horrific day is still so fresh it’s hard to believe it’s been a decade. I remember Lisa asking, a few days after the funeral, “How will I live without him?” I remember not knowing how to answer her. I remember wondering, day after day and month after month, how I could help and what I could do. And I remember realizing there was no way to help and nothing anyone could do — except keep showing up.

Ten years ago, I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to lose a child. I still can’t (although being Lisa’s friend through these wrenching, difficult years has helped me to understand). But ten years ago, I couldn’t imagine a lot of things.

Back then, I couldn’t imagine how my friend would ever heal, or how her family would keep going, or even how the two of us could ever possibly laugh again over nothing, the way we always used to do. I couldn’t imagine my own sons all grown up; how would I ever release them to the world and all its dangers, or bear witness to their loss of innocence?

Maybe a certain lack of imagination is what saves us from being paralyzed with fear for our children as they make their way in the world. Certainly what seemed unimaginable when my own sons were nine and twelve, the year that Morgan died, has slowly, inevitably, become the reality I’ve learned to take in stride as the years rolled by.

Right under my eyes, my children have done the unimaginable: they’ve grown up. They drive cars and stay out late and have friends I don’t know and drink beer and pay bills and make choices both good and bad and hold down jobs and put money in the bank and learn things I can’t begin to understand and have lives that belong wholly to them, lives they live away from me.

I couldn’t imagine any of this, and now I am living it. And, you know what? It’s okay. In fact, it is unimaginably good. In four months, I will be the mother of a college graduate myself. The boy who had to be taught how to send a message from his brain to his tongue is an accomplished pianist, an A student, a young man whose talents far exceed anything I could have imagined on that day when I crossed my fingers and prayed that he could hold his own for a morning of kindergarten. The other day, as we sat during intermission at the Boston Symphony, he patiently explained to me the mathematical theory behind post-tonal music. At this moment, Jack is in Montreal for winter break with thirty friends from his senior class and no adults. Even a year ago, I couldn’t have imagined granting permission for an unchaperoned road trip to a city five hours away where the drinking age is basically moot. And yet, after many conversations and agreements about how often he needed to check in with us, my husband and I found ourselves on the same page about this: ready to say “yes.”

There comes a time when our job is no longer to keep our children protected under our care but to entrust them to themselves. They are going to leave us anyway. But I think perhaps we give them a special gift if we can summon the courage to let them go with our blessings and our faith.

“Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable,” writes Mary Oliver. This strikes me as profound parenting advice, a reminder that there is so much more to this life than we can possibly see or touch or understand at any given moment. Our children’s paths are revealed slowly and in time, their true gifts perhaps obscured; their destinies not ours to write. We will love them no matter what. But we can’t keep them safe. And somehow, we must make our fragile peace with both of these truths. Keeping some room in my heart for the unimaginable makes it a little easier. For what can any of us do, but work our way toward surrender, surrender to reality in all its beauty and mystery?

A lot happens in ten years. What I’ve learned from sharing my friend’s journey is that grief doesn’t go away, but, like everything, it changes over time. The empty place in your heart is never filled up, but it changes, too. You get a little more used to the hole being there, and you learn to feel your way around it. Your sadness slowly becomes a bit more bearable for being familiar. You begin to realize that the world is full of people with broken hearts, and that what you thought was unique and singular to you is in fact part of being human. You are surprised when, for the very first time, you laugh again. And then you discover that, even in the midst of unimaginable sorrow, there are also moments shot through with grace and, yes, happiness.

Which brings me back to last night, and our dinner table. We lit the candles and ate chili and cornbread. We talked about the ten-year anniversary of Morgan’s death, a few weeks away, and how the girl he had planned to marry is a mother now herself, expecting her second child. She and Lisa stay in touch, bound still by their love for a young man who died too soon. After dinner, Henry gave Kerby a piano lesson, and helped him work through a song while the rest of us did dishes. Then we all sat around the table and played Balderdash. Before we knew it, it was 11:00 and we’d been laughing for hours. Eighteen years ago, when a kindly kindergarten teacher put her hand on my son’s small, vulnerable head and said, “I think he’ll be fine,” I couldn’t have possibly imagined a day when that boy would be a man, sitting at a piano teaching a complicated jazz riff to that teacher’s husband. Ten years ago, as my friend tried to get used to the world without her oldest son in it, I felt as if I’d lost her, too. I couldn’t imagine a future lit by her laughter. But here we are.

Wholeheartedness Playlist

As promised, Henry helped me pull together the Wholeheartedness playlist before heading back to Minnesota this afternoon. Here are the songs that inspire you — us! — to dance as though no one is watching, love as though you’ve never been hurt before, sing as though no one can hear you, and live as though heaven is on earth. Thanks so much for all your great suggestions. I listened to the whole list as I cleaned house yesterday — loved it, and am pretty sure it’s the first time Beethoven, the Muppets, and Louis Armstrong have ever shared a playlist. The list is below, and available for listening on the widget at the left.

Beethoven 7 (2nd movement)
What A Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong)
Moments Like These (Selah)
Free to Be Me, I’m Letting Go, This is the Stuff (Francesca Battistelli)
Celebrate Me Home (Kenny Loggins)
Blessed Be The Name of the Lord
Full Force Gale (Van Morrison)
What’s Light (Wilco)
Wind Beneath My Wings (Bette Midler)
Santana Europa (Earth’s Cry/Heaven’s Smile)
How You Live (Point of Grace)
Blackbird (Sarah Vaughan)
Beautiful (Carol King)
Morning Has Broken (Cat Stevens)
Holy Now (Peter Mayer)
The Prayer (Andrea Bocelli and Celine)
Dance Me To The End of Love (Leonard Cohen)
A Living Prayer (Allison Krauss)
Rainbow Connection (The Muppets)
The Dance (Garth Brooks)
Forever Young (Rod Stewart)
Go Where Love Goes (Andrea Bocelli)
Desperado (The Eagles)
The Most (Lori McKenna)
Joy (George Winston)
Chant (Peter Bradley Adams)
By Thy Grace (Snatam Kaur)
Birds (Emiliana Torrini)
Diamonds (Girish)
Over The Rainbow (Israel Kamakawiwo’ole)
I Hope You Dance (Lee Ann Womack)
Mr. Blue Sky (ELO)
The Slender Thread That Binds Us Here (Kathy Mattea)

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for my reflections & inspiration

your comments

  1. “For what can any of us do, but work our way toward surrender, surrender to reality in all its beauty and mystery?”
    I don’t know. I don’t think anything. And your words here, week after week, and in your books, help me move towards that surrender, largely because they touch something deep inside me that helps me see all of that beauty and mystery. I’m sitting here with tears rolling down my face (as usual when I come here), nodding because I utterly agree with what you say about parenting, about how we move through stunning pain, about the unimaginable that we all, eventually, learn to embrace as the familiar. As usual, thank you, thank you, thank you. xox

  2. With tears rolling down my eyes I see the truth in what you write as a mother and as a friend. Your words are beautiful and bring much joy to the heart.
    I am a mother with grown kids and have travelled the journey you are traveling now. Even still I have a difficult time letting go…

  3. Judy Wachler says:

    Thank you, thank you for these words Katrina. My cousin lost her 21 year old son last week and I’ve just returned from the funeral in Michigan. I’ve been feeling her agony and wondering how she will survive. And also, feeling the closeness of that edge for all of us. It’s good to remember that it is part of being human and part of loving deeply.

    Judy

  4. Thank you, Katrina.

    Thank you for always sharing what is difficult to share. You share it so beautifully. You help your readers to let go and let live. My middle son just turned 16. He’s had epilepsy since he was 10 years old. While his friends are now driving, my son waits patiently and hopes that one day, he’ll have better control of his seizures and learn to drive. But, this is also the same 16 year old who has danced ballet since he was four. It’s my son who lived away last summer for 5 weeks at a ballet intensive. It’s my son who looks forward to college and to study physics with a minor in dance. Not a day goes by that I don’t worry (really worry) about a seizure he won’t come out of. And I’m continually amazed at how he can just go and move on without worry. He takes ballet classes 6 hours a week, he never hesitates to go to school, or get out on stage.

    I hold in my heart room for the unimaginable as he takes on his life’s decisions. While I worry about him not driving, remembering to take his medication twice a day, having a seizure when he’s alone… your writing helps me remember that this young man already is on his way, despite all my worries, reminders, and planning. It’s me who needs to remember that I can’t see everything and to leave room for the mystery.

    Thank you again and again.
    Sandy

  5. My mother died 10 years ago, too, and while losing a child is different than losing a parent, how you write about grief and loss is universal. I can remember saying the words your friend uttered: “I don’t know how to live without my mother.” And I can remember thinking about all the years left before me to live without her — thinking I would live twice as much life without her than with her — and it overwhelmed me. But, as you say, the hole never goes away; it just becomes a familiar part of life that you find your way around, eventually.

    And what you say about letting go and the unimaginable…I have a friend whose 5-year-old has a congenital heart problem that is being operated on in a few months. She is rightly terrified, this dawning awareness that his life is not wholly in her hands. You capture that feeling so well here.

    Beautiful, as always!

  6. I have nothing to say except, “WOW.”

  7. Beautiful and moving. As always. Blessings to you and yours.

  8. wholehearted opening to the unimaginable…yes. thank you, katrina, for soothing my anxieties with your wisdom and inviting companionship on the journey of mothering/life. always grateful for your generous artistry.

  9. Thank you for this. As a mom of a boy, now in high school, who has a learning disability, I can relate to the important role teachers like your friend play in the lives of our kids. At one of my son’s IEP meetings, I listened to a litany of his weaknesses. Then they asked me what my goal is for him, and I said, “to find out what his strengths are, and foster them.” The person running the meeting actually said, “No parent ever says that.” And I said, “Well, they should. And so should you.”

    • I too have been in your place at (many) IEP meetings. I was always amazed that teachers thanked us for helping our son succeed. After all, is that not our job? Well, he is living away from from home, in his fourth year of college, and succeeding still. All because someone believed in him and in turn he believed in himself.

  10. Thank you! Having lost a daughter recently, your universal words about grieving touched my heart…it will be a year that she has been gone in one month. I am finding it a tiny bit easier to move around the hole in my heart. It was a huge black abyss…it is shrinking very slowly. I loved the music playlist! A lot of my favorite songs…very comforting. I am a fan. Blessings.

  11. Your words are like a beautiful melody, so well thought out and always brings such raw emotion from the reader. Thank you for always reminding me to focus on my blessings instead of what is missing. Each day is a gift. I cant wait to load this playlist. And once again thank you for sharing!

  12. What a beautiful post and a wonderful tribute to your courageous friends.

    This post was just what I needed today, in fact. I had a difficult weekend, missing my dad deeply. A good friend offered the wisdom given to her a few years ago when her dad died of cancer too young, “we can feel sad and still go ice skating.” Not literally of course, although you could feel despondent and take to the ice. :)

    So, I tried this weekend to carry my sadness as I also enjoyed my children. And it worked. I glided despite the sadness or maybe even perfectly balanced with the sadness.

    The death of a child is unimaginable, but grief is certainly well understood by me. Yesterday, as I cheered my daughter on at her gymnastics’ competition, another team mom and I chatted on the sideline; we share a similar story of grief, both losing a parent to cancer too young and literally in our arms. She is 3+ years into the grief process and I am just 9 months along. I asked, “Does it get better?” She replied, “Yes, it’s always sad, but it’s not as raw, it changes.” Makes sense.

    And last night as I went to sleep, I thought about her words and hoped I would feel the same way she does in a few years. And guess what? Last night I dreamed of my dad, which in and of itself is nothing new, but for the first time since his death, in my dream, he was not sick; he was strong and sporting a full head of hair. In the dream, I said, “Oh my God, you are not dead.” And he smiled and hugged me and said, “Nope, I am great.” I woke up savoring this dream. It seems like I am moving forward, albeit slowly. Thank you for this post, a reminder of so much, including how grief changes over time.

    XO
    Meredith

  13. Catherine says:

    I’m so glad I found this blog because I am able to continue to join you in this journey of life. I have two children who are both close in age to yours. My oldest child graduates from college this year and my youngest is a sophomore in college. I discovered your book, The Gift of an Ordinary Day, the year my youngest was leaving for college and I would truly be empty nesting. Your writing gives me such a sense of calmness. Your reasonability provides such sound guidance. Your honesty is endearing and makes you so “real”. I read your book again this year as my son started his senior year of college. It helped me as much this time as the first time I read it. Last year I read Mitten Strings for God and now give it as a baby gift to new parents.
    This blog will help a friend of mine who has a young son with development delays and sensory issues. She is feeling right now that all she hears is what is wrong with him. She needs to hear, as you did, what is right with him.
    Life brings us so much – the joys and the sorrows. Thank you for your gift of writing. Thank you for your ability to remind us in a beautiful way that we can face all of it through patience, quiet reflection, and love.
    Your friend, Lisa, sounds like a wonderful person. She reached out to your son. She has dealt admirably with a pain that none of us ever want to experience. Thank you for sharing her story.

  14. This post came at the perfect time.

    Today Susan Niebur passed away after five years of living with inflammatory breast cancer, a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer that presents without a lump.

    I met Susan briefly at BlogHer in 2010 after her incredible Keynote and I’ve followed her blog closely ever since.

    She left behind two small boys. I hated thinking of what their lives would be like without her. But after reading your post I *can* imagine that they *will* live, love, laugh, and thrive after all.

  15. Katrina
    Thank you for your beautiful essay. I am always amazed that the human spirit can overcome unimaginable grief. Thank you also for the great playlist. I’m enjoying it right now! Awesome!

  16. Mary Beth Williams says:

    These words are poetic and beautiful. Thank you for sharing them. They capture perfectly how I’ve navigated the past 15 years after losing my first child, a son named Chip. I was 40 when I had him and never dreamed I would face losing a child…..we had a daughter a year later….that helped me actually survive the loss, without her I am not sure I would have made it quite honestly. He would have been 16 years old this Valentine’s Day – he was born on his due date, how cute is that?

  17. “The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers and cities; but to know someone who thinks and feels with us, and who, though distant, is close to us in spirit, this makes the earth for us an inhabited garden.”
    ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    THANK YOU Katrina for inhabiting our gardens!! THANK YOU Henry for putting together the playlist…♪♫♪♫♪♫

  18. When our younger daughter graduated high school in 2001 her quote was from the song “Forever Young”. Thank you for the play list and your post. I have not lost my daughter to death but grieve none the less. She is a beautiful bright 28 yr. old girl/woman who has just resigned her special education teaching job after being almost forced over the last year to give up, give in and leave. The admin. treatment of her has been at the very least unprofessional and that is putting it kindly. Our sweet girl was severely bullied in jr. high, hated high school, but began to blossom in college with some wonderful teachers and friends. She was forced to leave the state to find a teaching job when she graduated college in 2006 because the field of teaching is so saturated here. She did what was very courageous- going to another state, alone, knowing not a soul to begin her career. She is a good teacher. Everyone loved her, she was promoted but after 4 yrs. the job was her only life, there were many changes at work and the mental illness that we believe was always there began to flourish. She took a leave of absence, sought help through counseling and medication- which is ongoing. However no one could accept that someone like my sweet daughter who is loving, sensitive, caring beyond what most could imagine could still do her job. She tried so hard but finally couldn’t take the school’s form of bullying her anymore. Today is her first day without a job. I just want to hold her in my arms and have her come home….but that is not for me to decide. After all she is a 28 yr. old woman, although one who has never had a boyfriend or much of a life other than the golden years at college and the love for her students. What will she do? What will happen in her future? I have to trust that God is looking out for her and has a plan. Meanwhile her father and I have been half-broken for years worrying about and loving her. I’m sorry this is so long but your post resonated with me so strongly I had to get this out even though it is one continous disjointed flow-sorry. There are so many of us walking around with half broke hearts. I wish we could all just love and hug each other as I wish someone would do for our daughter who is many hrs. away. We love her but we can’t tell her what to do or how to live her life and it is so very very hard to let go and trust in God.
    When will people become educated about mental illness? So many walk around functioning normally with it but if a whisper gets out they are pariahs. People fear what they do not understand. Our daughter wrote a letter to the whole staff the day before she left which outlined her illness, treatment, feelings, etc. etc. She did this and stated it so that if her letter helped even one teacher, parent, student to see something in themselves or another maybe her telling and leaving would make a difference. I am not telling this right but you get the idea. She is quite a girl. We love her. We fear for her. We grieve with and for her. We hope for her to have a bright tomorrow.

  19. WOW, just wow. I have no other words for such a well written, from the heart piece!

  20. Your words have stayed with me since I read them earlier today. I am in that early place, where the thought of my 4.5 year old being a grown up is unimaginable. I also know, as so many of us do, the shades of gray that grief casts over a life.
    This past summer I met neighbors who spend only part of the year on our beachfront lane. In conversation I mentioned my son, who was stillborn in 2010. They told me of their first born, who died suddenly at age 18 over 20 years ago. His father’s eyes welled with tears. Grief never goes away. Another neighbor is in the early days. His 18 year old daughter and only child was just killed in a car accident blocks from home. She lived with her grandparents too, who buried another grandchild years ago. We don’t know them well, but we took them soup and stayed to talk about life and children and death. I know first hand the relief that comes when people aren’t afraid to be present with grief. Friendships are made and destroyed by events like these. It is a testament to both you and your friend that yours has stayed strong.
    After my son died, I would lie awake at night, my hand on my daughter’s belly, making sure she was breathing, her heart was beating. As the daily intensity of grief fades and my fear abates, I look at her and hope, with all my heart, that she will outlive me. That our unimaginable time will become a welcome reality, just as yours has.
    Thank you for seeing life so clearly and writing it so beautifully.

  21. As always when I read your posts with tears streaming down my face; I’m 100% sure u are speaking directly to me, actually I’m pretty sure u are me … Just a more eloquent, wiser version of me. I always feel like I’m right behind u, that what your experiencing is just around the corner and your posts pave the way for me to start letting go, accepting which is ultimately really just loving. My own 2 boys are 16 and 14… One will get his license next week (he hopes) which I’m sure u can remember the mixed emotions of that turning point. I would also imagine that when u hear 14 and 16 a part of u would give anything to be there again and a part of u knows better than I how quickly time will pass and I’ll be right where u are. It breaks my heart that this time will end soon, and then I feel terrible for feeling that way when I read what real heartbreak is and im grieving without reason. Does every mother fear the unthinkable, the unimaginable? I do, and truthfully your words many times are what allows me to not be paralyzed by it and instead to trust and let my boys live. I’ve mentioned here before that I’m a child photographer and I swear my need to document not just for myself but for others is based on my having such a hard time letting go, it’s my way of freezing time even though I know I can’t really do that.

  22. I know we have a shared fascination with Our Town and I kept thinking about “The Mind of God” as I read this, not in any religious sense but in the sense that perhaps we are imagined by the unimaginable source of being and love.

    You dare to speak to our most awesome dread, and you do it with such love and compassion that I wonder if it’s not “there but for the grace of God go any one of us,” but rather “there by the grace of the mind of God go every one of us in our blessings and our blows… maybe, just maybe, working our way to some transcendent and healing unity.”

    Love the wholehearted playlist… but now it seems to also need John Lennon’s “Imagine.”

  23. Beautiful words and thoughts, Katrina, as you can tell from all the comments you’ve received.

    I lost my brother at age 20 im a car accident. At 21, I couldn’t imagine going on without him, especially at a time of life when those around me were embracing the potential of their lives. I was having to navgate an “unimaginable” tragedy, and one that sent our family into a tailsin I don’t think we ever recovered from.

    What I never considered is how this would affect me when my own two boys neared that same age. I have “weathered” the oldest who is now 23, but my younger is 19. As others have expressed here, I have such trepidation when they drive, take long trips, and basically embrace their own lives, worrying for their safety. I know exactly what losing a young man feels like, and I am often caught in this bizarre ritual of giving my fear reign and then silencing the voices to honor my sons’ rightful quests of finding their places in the world.

    We live such private internal lives, don’t we? Yet we have so much in common. Thank you, Katrina, for giving voice to those unsaid common thoughts.

    I’d like to share a short poem I wrote about my brother more than a decade ago – the only poem I’ve been able to write about him.

    In Late August

    Who can know
    my private anguish
    when blackbirds gather
    in tight squawking fists
    only to scatter in the wind

    and I wonder
    if your soul
    loosed from twisted steel
    and earthly tethers
    found its way
    that moonless night
    to the other wingéd spirits
    on their way home.

    – C 2012, Joy Underhill

  24. Thank you for once again speaking to my heart and causing me to weep at my kitchen table. My small gift back to you is one of my favorite Buechner quotes: “Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.”

    L’Chayim!

  25. Joni Bouchard says:

    I am like that mom Katrina talks about, only my name is not Lisa. Only difference is that I am 8 months into the unimaginable of losing a child – my youngest son; the most beautiful blue-eyed boy in my world. The journey of grief is unbearable at times and I do believe that it never really goes away. How could that much love a mother has for her children no matter how old they are ever just go away or be forgotten? Katrina sent me a quote that resonated with me and has helped me focus on what I can (and will) do. In my own words it says that even though I will always have a limp, I can still dance. It’s the same message I just read from one of your readers (Meredith) that commented yesterday saying, “we can feel sad and still go ice skating.” Thank you, Katrina. And thank you, Katrina’s readers, for sharing. Support comes in many places and in many faces and as I sit here in my quiet place at home enjoying a cup of “awesome” (my word for coffee!) somehow it feels like I am having coffee with all of you.

    • you are Joni, you are. I know nothing we can say can even make the slightest dent in your heart but as a fellow mother (no matter what the circumstances) my heart is hugging you.

  26. Katrina, thank you for this lovely post and tribute. My friends lost their 21-year-old son last month, and I feel so deeply sad for them. I will send this link.

    Here is my tribute to my friends’ son, Benjamin. http://motherhoodandwords.com/2012/01/benjamin/

  27. Julie Sochacki says:

    Katrina, your soul speaks directly to mine, and I know so many others who feel the same about your writing. You are a blessing!

  28. After reading your beautiful post I believe that God brought you two together. Thank you.

  29. Thank you for sharing your heart. Thank you for letting us remember to savor life’s ” little moments”. I have been playing your play list at my son-in-laws birthday party, in the kitchen as my 4 year old grand daughter dries the dishes. Today it will be played as I dye a rug. What a gift we are all given…TODAY! :) Thank You!

  30. As usual, your words mean so much to me. I often send them on to our daughter, my sisters, and friends, so that they can share my blessings, from your words. Thank you.

  31. Love the post, love the playlist :)

  32. Dear Katrina,
    Your stories about your son Henry and his experiences at a Waldorf school have made a big impression on me.

    I just posted a piece on my own blog where I quote your story (and credited your blog) about your friend Lisa seeing Henry’s strengths and use that as an example of issues weighing heavily on me.

    Here’s the link to “How, When, and Should We Intervene?”:

    http://www.joyoflearningnow.com/?page_id=24

    Thank you.

  33. Oh my. I’m at once speechless, and compelled to write you a long long note..
    I have five children, 13 thru 23. The oldest just had a brush with the unimaginable and I shared a bit on my blog just today in fact. It is nothing we can be prepared for . at all.

    And Lisa sounds like someone I’d like to be when I grow up.

  34. Our dear friends lost their four year old little princess in the blink of an eye just a few months ago. The pain is unimaginable, as you say…they did read your post and really loved it. There are not many words to express such tragic grief…but i think your heart speaks through your words…you have a special gift.

    • Katrina Kenison says:

      So glad you were able to offer some solace and support. Thank you for being here, and for creating a bridge for your dear friends.

  35. Belinda Morrow-King says:

    You are entering the laignappe years.
    A Cajun word for a little more.
    Years of calls, a few visits and longing for those hectic “Mom, where are my tennis shoes?” years.
    But I have news. Don’t get too comfortable. Savor the days of renewed oneness with your husband. But it won’t be for long. Another time is coming and it will come sooner than you think, but not as soon as you might hope.
    Grandparenting Days. The sweetest gift God has saved for you. A tiny little baby, kisses behind tiny ears. And so soon, “Grandma, I love you so much.” New gifts of learning to share. Colors renewed in the mind’s eye-red, blue, yellow and diamonds and blue skies. Oh, what a sweet treat God has coming your way.
    Blessed indeed, are we among women.

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