black friday & how cancer sucks
Black Friday has a different meaning this year. Today we lost a very strong woman who lived through struggles I’ll never understand. Rest peacefully, Lori Phillips Buckland.
I lost an “aunt” today. See, I wasn’t just raised by my parents. I was also raised by a group of close friends, mostly women, that have been an integral part of my upbringing. These women have shaped the kind of person I want to be. They are out spoken, courageous and excellent cooks. They reminisce about everyone working together at the Frederick News Post oh those many years ago. They complain only a little. They have been with me and my brother at every turn of our lives. They are role models of kindness, honesty and passion.
Lori quilted my baby blanket and made me jewelry for which that I still get compliments. Even in her roughest times she bore a smile. Lori loved her husband Arnold more than anything in the world, and you saw it every time they were together. If only the nasty cancer that took them both would leave this world forever. It crept up, so suddenly, taking a beautiful life before we would ever be ready.
This group of people, including my family, usually spent Easter together, sitting outside among the flowers, eating only the best dishes. This upcoming spring will be incomplete without Lori’s laughter and infectious smile, but if we’ve learned anything from her, it’s that we take what life gives us and we make the best. Thanks for being in my life, Aunt Lori. I’ll do my best to emulate your radiance at every additional turn.
I haven’t written much for myself in a while
I remember so clearly the day my freshman year when the then-dean of the journalism school talked to my Intro to Journalism class about the importance of writing. I think I maybe even quoted him here afterwards. He said we need to be writing about everything. We need to have a blog and we need to put our thoughts into words and our words available for others to read. I haven’t been doing that too much lately. Maybe that’s the empty space I’ve been feeling recently. I’ve had this feeling like there’s something I need to be doing.
Someone of religious authority told me recently that I have a gift for written words. Whether that is true or not is highly debatable. But every time I see him, he asks if I’ve been writing, and more and more often I reply no, nothing more than school papers and articles. It’s only just today that I realized those questions are not for him to scold me or judge me for not being a diligent writer, but for me to be honest with myself.
Writing is a very spiritual practice for me. My spoken prayers, aloud or (usually) silent, are often jumbled phrases and rambling sentences that make half the amount of sense that I’m trying to communicate. But when writing, the prayers flow so naturally. Like everything I’ve been trying to say just goes past the traffic jam in my mouth and straight to my fingertips. Straight to the pen and paper. No road bumps in between. It’s odd—I’m not sure why it happens, but maybe that’s why this man of God said I had a gift.
It’s time to reintroduce myself to the art and practice of writing for me—not just for an assignment.
When dogs get old, they feel just as much physical discomfort as humans, yet instead of complain, they continue to show unconditional love.
Every time I leave the house, I’m worried she’ll go when I’m not there. Hang in there, kid. We already lost one member of the pack, and I’m sure as hell not ready to lose another.
So what I’ve learned most from this trip is that I’m a bad blogger. I’ll start posting highlights of the trip with actual explanations soon instead of just instagram pictures.