Maternal instinct.

[From December 5, 2018: This was written the last time we were in Tulsa, four years and a day ago, before such travel decisions would become all the more complicated by the pandemic. Chelli hadn’t been traveling in a couple years at that point, but her mother’s swift decline into dementia had become severe enough […]

Grandfather, caregiver.

[From April 16, 2018: Lessons from one of the humans I have loved most in this world.] During the last years of my paternal grandmother’s life, her mind ravaged by the cruel joke of Alzheimer’s, my grandfather served as her primary caregiver. He would have it no other way, he always made clear, because he’d […]

Toothpaste.

[From February 7, 2016: Because sometimes the little things… aren’t.] I know it wasn’t really about toothpaste. Standing there in the middle of Target late on a Sunday evening a couple weeks ago, though, it felt like a personal assault, like the final insult in a string of ridiculous injustices being thrust upon us. And […]

Complete healing.

[From January 19, 2016: Here’s another from some of the earliest days of The Shitshow, when every day felt like a new indignity, a new diagnosis, and a new reality.] When a tornado rips through a small town in the Midwest, leveling a trailer park or maybe an elementary school, invariably there will be someone […]

Love is weird.

[From February 20, 2016: This entry was written on a quick 36-hour “mental health getaway” to Los Angeles, something I used to do a lot in the days before the shit storm. It’s weird to think that I haven’t been back to LA since.] Sometimes I worry that I’ve given you the wrong impression. I […]

20.

I’d already known the woman who is now my wife for a couple of years — casually, a sort of friend-of-a-friend situation — when we ran into each other during my visit to Tulsa the summer before our junior year of college. When I returned home a couple days later, a good friend picked me […]

The constant.

In the midst of life’s inevitable ups and downs, through nearly two decades of our married life, we’ve had a canine constant. I will start by saying that when we first brought that fluffy, white puppy home almost nineteen years ago — an American Eskimo mix of some sort, we would later learn — and […]

Graduation.

She was just one of several dozen to walk across that stage tonight, a path punctuated by hugs from proud instructors and then, at the end, a diploma in a pristine blue envelope. For each graduate, the night had a different meaning, I’m sure. Some, who still looked too young to drive, will now be […]

Penmanship.

For reasons that I still don’t entirely understand — maybe it was just because I needed a summer job or maybe it was because she recognized the same perfectionist gene in me that had been her hallmark — my grandmother decided to teach me the ins and outs of accounting (she called it “bookkeeping”) when […]

Skin.

When you hear a story about someone dealing with a cancer diagnosis, there is often the inevitable (and somewhat cliché) mention of the importance of “catching it early.” I’m here to tell you that certain things become a cliché for a reason. This past summer, my wife was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in a small area […]