Tag: grief

In Mississippi, We Pull Over

For all its fun and foolishness, TRACKING HAPPINESS: A SOUTHERN CHICKEN ADVENTURE is a story of a young woman coping with grief. Lucinda Mae’s dad died two years before the novel opens. Losing her dad threw Lucinda’s life off track, as it were, and the cross-country train trip hopefully will set it to rights. As I’ve shared...

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Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

I very much appreciate EAP:The Magazine publishing my essay “Grief: What’s the Best I Can Do?” I really like this magazine. Full of good writers, talking about interesting, important stuff. Mosey around and peruse some of the content when you click through to read my essay. 🙂 Grief: What’s the Best I Can Do?

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Grief: The Best I Can Do

My Daddy Joe was killed by a train when I was three years old. My older sister was four, and my mother was newly pregnant with my little sister. After the baby was born, my mother had what we would now call postpartum depression, complicated, of course, by the death. She thought to herself, Well, I’ve had this baby. The two older girls can take...

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Here’s the Kicker

A daughter orphaned from her dad at age three, I wrapped myself in all things Daddy Joe. Because he moved to the Rockies, I loved the snow, demanded a Frosty the Snowman cake every December birthday, cherished my red sled—in Mississippi, where it snowed once every seven years. I folded and unfolded the postcard he sent me of a Palomino until...

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Train of Thought

The train whistles in the distance. Slanting sunlight filters through the living room window—the train, which arrives and departs Memphis morning and night in the darkness, is late. Seated on the floor, I rub the dog’s belly and confide, “I love the train.” How I can love the instrument of my daddy’s death is beyond me....

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Angels on the Train

We were many. An overflowing, summer-stuffed, unpracticed group. Even those of us who weren’t novice train-goers were intimidated by the crowd, made nervous by the excess: would I really have a seat? He was kind, the conductor who did not view his job as an opportunity to inflict minor cruelty on those more ignorant—and dependent—than he....

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Not Feeling Smiling or Friendly

Exiting the Office Depot, I saw a sign: “Now Hiring Smiling, Friendly People.” I wondered if I would pass the “Smiling, Friendly” test. I debated this on my way to the car. Talking out loud, to myself. “You flunk!” my examiner shouted. “Smiling, friendly people don’t talk to themselves. They have...

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