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Honoring My Mom

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By Jennifer Chauhan

Since my mom passed away in September 2007, I’ve been documenting my grief in short essays written every few years around Mother’s Day. It started with “Missing My Mom” and then “Remembering My Mom.” This year I’d like to write about honoring her.

There is tremendous healing that comes from writing and sharing our life stories―especially the painful ones, those born of loss, separation, heartache, disappointment. I’ve witnessed this curative transformation in others for the past year and a half in my memoir classes.The outpouring and sifting through memories. The splitting open (as Natalie Goldberg proscribes) to speak from a point of truth. The release, often with tears, as stories are shared and held by others.

When my mom died my grief was so raw, so excruciating all I could do was scribble my pain―flashes of memory of hospice, questions about why she had to go, why now, when I wasn’t ready―into the pages of a notebook I kept tucked in the console of my car. I would pull it out during the few quiet moments I had before picking up kids from school, soccer, dance. Yet in those pages, my healing began. Read more

Voices of the In-Between

Lisa continues the practice of creating art and decorating the walls of her home.

Lisa continues the practice of creating art and decorating the walls of her home.

By Lisa Hartsgrove

I remember being 13 like it was just yesterday. It was the hardest year of my life. Hormones at their highest. Starting a new school. Constantly judging my self-worth against others. My parents not listening to me, or at least feeling that way. Not quite an adult; not quite a kid. Like many 13-year-olds, I thought I was lost. I thought I was alone.
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Why I’m Signing My Children Up for Summer Writing Camps

By Allison Tevald

My son has never liked sitting quietly and coloring or painting. The closest he came to working his fine-motor skills―which his pre-K teachers said were lacking―was making his toy trains and cars go vrooom. I wasn’t concerned. He’s clearly bright. He notices periphery details even while engrossed in pretend play of crash-burning airplanes. He articulates his feelings well, and has an insane memory.

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The Power of Poetry

By Jennifer Chauhan

For the past few months, I’ve started my day reading poetry. Each morning I awake to find a “Poem of the Day” in my inbox, sent from the Academy of American Poets or Rattle. It’s become my own form of morning meditation. Words in, breathe out. Words in, breathe out.
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