“I said I love you Momma and now he’s gone”, the words choked out between the sobs.

“I shouldn’t have loved him if it wasn’t going to be forever”, the ache in her heart a reflection of the joy his presence brought.

“Baby girl but isn’t that how Jesus taught us?” My words offered in the moment through God’s grace.

“We are to love without expectation”, I reminded her and I.

“You felt it and you gave it freely. Don’t ever feel badly about giving your love”.

“You are my brave girl”.



Talent Show

She caught me as I walked in the door.

Waving the green paper in her hand, telling me she was going to do the school talent show. All she needed was my signature.

What if she froze on stage?

What if kids laughed?

What if she looked at the others; the gymnast flipping, the ballerina leaping and the boy and his violin concerto, and somehow she felt less then?

How could I place her in the path of those possibilities?

Wasn’t my job to protect? Yet there she stood asking me to be a willing accomplice.

I was worn down in the moment. The paper signed, off she went.

For weeks she practiced with her friend and talked excitedly about the show.

Even after the preparation, I worried.

The evening arrived.

Glowing faces, happy smiles as parents and grandparents lined the aisles.

I sat glued to the hard, metal, folding chair wishing the night away, placing my own elementary school fears squarely on the shoulders of my ten year old.

Fears of rejection and failure from a recovering perfectionist, no wonder the air felt heavy.

But, as it always happens, she took the chance to teach me.

She sang.

Her face flushed with excitement, voice beginning softly then growing in confidence. The two friends side by side supporting one another.

Two minutes gone in the blink of an eye and it was over.

The exhale was for me alone. She had not needed it.

My story was not hers.

She wrote her own that night.







A rough night at gymnastics.

A cut, a fall, more tumbles when tumbling was not supposed to happen.

A quick trip for frozen yogurt and a smile returns.


Just as the sun sinks into the sky, while she licks the last remnants of treat from the spoon, her small voice catches me off guard.

“What can I pray for you for Momma?”

I cannot claim credit for teaching her to ask the question.

After weeks of watching us start each Sunday mass with that question to the person in the pew beside us, she has learned this is a way she can engage.

Her church community has nurtured in her the desire to connect in this manner.

I paused not sure how to answer.

There is a line I’ve often felt when revealing ones prayers that are closest to the heart.

“Will you pray for guidance and for wisdom for Momma?”

With the heart of a six year old her response makes me pause one more time.

“Can we pray now Momma? I want to pray for you and for some others I’ve been thinking about.”

Grateful for our church.

Grateful for this journey of mothering where I receive more then I give.