I was having a horrible day — not “normal” horrible, not like everything-is-going-wrong kind of day (although those are bad enough). I was exhausted. My brain hurt. I couldn’t think straight, could barely think at all. I wasn’t suicidal, but the darkness of depression loomed over me like a cloud I couldn’t shake.
by Natalie AK Scott I sat in my chair on a cold winter morning, and as the black of night turned to the dark blue of dawn, I wrote in my journal: “I think what I’m feeling is a deep loneliness.” It wasn’t that I’d never felt it before, but it was the first time…
Everyone was getting married. Again. As I scrolled through my social media feed, I saw wedding pictures, engagement pictures, and relationship status changes. How many engagement/marriage waves had I been through now? How many weddings had I gone to as the token single woman? I didn’t really want to know the answer to either question. I felt left out, isolated, misunderstood, and forgotten.
I was eleven when my body first betrayed me, with a limp and sore legs. Doctors said I was overweight—another mark against my body—until one doctor finally x-rayed my legs and found that my hips were severely displaced, and one had a malformed socket. What words for a tender preteen to hear: malformed, displaced, disabled. “Use a cane if needed,” I was told. “Try and lose weight—you’ll be in less pain.”
Do you want to develop a close-knit family? Do you long to have close relationships with your extended family members, improve communication between parents and grandparents, and develop friendships with those who live far away?
Most of us want these things, but often we don’t know how to “get there.”
There is no perfect family. We are all a mess to some degree.
The early spring air felt crisp the morning I stepped off my front stoop and walked down our gravel drive for the last time until summer. On the last stretch of a short run, I slipped on a patch of mud and fell, fracturing my ankle. I called Nate in tears. He came, picked me up, put me in the car, and drove back to the house. My feet wouldn’t travel that same stretch of driveway again until August.
It was almost Christmas, I was five years old, and my class at school was preparing for the Nativity play. Our teacher, Mrs. Davies, allocated the parts while we waited with anticipation, all the girls hoping to be chosen to play Mary, or at least one of the angels. When my name was called, it…
Before my son passed away, I spent almost every night hunched over his medical bed, checking to make sure his feeding tube was working correctly, adjusting his body in the darkness, rolling him on his side so he wouldn’t choke on his saliva.
This was my nightly medical drill as the parent of a child with a rare disease. My son was dying and the weight of that reality meant I did everything to keep him alive while praying for a miracle.
But what happens when there is no miracle? No immediate healing? No answer in the long darkness?
I begin my broken-story narrative on February 10, 2014–the day my son, Titus, had a seizure. What followed was a massive and swift wave that rocked our lives hard between fear, anger, mystery and defeat.
April 7, 2015, Titus was diagnosed with a rare, genetic, and fatal disease. The doctor had no treatment he could prescribe, no cure in sigh. We were going to lose our boy. And worse yet, our youngest son, Ely, was also in danger of having the disease. We were encouraged to get him tested as well.
Diamonds draw me. Christmas lights mesmerize me. Anything spangled, sparkly, sequined, “who knows how,” anything glittered or glowing has an unmitigated effect on my soul. I’m always on a quest for that shine, as if it is somehow inexorably linked with the meaning of life.
When I read the words from the Gospel of John, “In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind,” I then understood that the meaning of life was not about me; it was for me. My life originated in the person of Jesus Christ, the creator, originator.
My four-year-old niece was spending the weekend with me. Whatever I did, she wanted to help. Including when I began loading several large tote bags into my car. She wrapped her arms around one tote in a bear hug and grunted loudly as she picked it up. She had to peer around the bag to see where she was going, and she huffed and puffed as she struggled to carry the load.
When I asked if she needed help, she gasped, “No, I do it myself.”
Growing up, I dreamed of being a part of a club where everyone enjoyed reading as much as I did. But I didn’t know how to find a book club to join. And I certainly never dreamed of starting one. Until I realized how easy it might be to start my own. I gathered a few acquaintances, my sister and so we began.
Have you ever been part of a book club? Or wanted to be part of a book club? Then I have some ideas for you on how to start!