When my mother was very sick with ovarian cancer, and maybe wondering about her legacy or her impact or what our lives would be like without her, I told her about the rooms in my house. I told my Mom that if I stood in the center of any one of those rooms and turned... Continue Reading →


A deacon friend of mine asked me a question after mass, very much out of the blue. He asked, if I could choose one word by which I hoped people would describe me, would I want to be known as ‘holy’ or ‘good’? As a person who thinks frequently about legacy, the question intrigued me,... Continue Reading →


When I heard the news that my first music teacher had died, I thought what most of her thousands of students probably did: Ta ta ti ti ta    ti ti ti ti ta ta It was a sweet way to teach basic sight-reading. On a huge, poster size flip board were illustrations and simple syllables... Continue Reading →


A few nights back, my daughter, Maura, and a friend saw what appeared to them to be a supernova, a star that grew bigger and brighter and then was gone from the sky. Both she and my son were fascinated by the idea that if it actually was a dying sun that they saw that... Continue Reading →


My Dad has been cleaning out his attic and today brought me a trash bag full of treasures from my early life that my mother had saved over the years. Going through old cards I had given to her was a little window into the person I was when I lived under their roof, most... Continue Reading →


I’ve read lots of accounts attempting to explain the reach and appeal of Hamilton, a Broadway show that has taken the world by storm. Some who have written about it are immigrants, or have close relatives who were, and they identify with Alexander Hamilton’s trials, determination, and hard fought success. Some are fathers, and they... Continue Reading →


My son begs me to stop telling the stories of when I did everything wrong. When I speak from the catalog of my most embarrassing moments, he becomes physically uncomfortable, desperate to climb into a time machine and rescue me from myself. But there are lessons to be learned in all of that muck, lessons... Continue Reading →


When my youngest sister was five, and I was thirteen, I taught her to speak a couple of French phrases one Fall afternoon. I distinctly remember it because it was such a cozy scene, she and I cuddled in her little bed and hearing her say, “Ma crayon est rouge,” in the sweetest little-kid accent.... Continue Reading →

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