Columns

My father in the kitchen door

In February 1995, my father called. Caution threw up a hand. This wasn’t about my birthday. “Dad?” “You don’t know who this is?” he said in his belittling tone. “I didn’t expect you to call. You usually drop by. Are you okay?” “I need you to drive me to St. John’s...

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A reflection on hospitality

Sometimes, I will not have walked 10 yards before the next invitation into someone’s house. It has happened so often that the motions have sort of become joyfully repetitive. I remove my shoes and step through the colorful, low-hanging doorway, sit on the raised bed...

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Being called home to heaven

My mom called Heaven her home. “Have you ever felt like you don’t really belong, that this Earth really isn’t your home?” she had asked me just months before she died. “No, not really,” I replied. I didn’t know exactly what she meant. My mother was a bit eccentric...

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Illumination of the written word

Libraries call my name wherever I travel. Our forefathers speak their history and literature-what mattered most, why they invested their means and talents to build a house of books and letters for posterity. I recall the Library of Trinity College, Dublin. Weeks after...

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The beginning of the end

Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from Paula’s book, Signs of Life After Death: A True Story. This is part one of four. One of life’s great mysteries is what really happens when we die. No one has been able to give me a definitive answer. If it’s true that we...

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Three Golden Anniversaries

Three Golden Anniversaries

  Last December, my husband and I booked the April tour titled Country Roads of Scotland to celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary, January 24, 1970. I know what you’re thinking. Who in their right mind would plan and host a January wedding in Michigan? Two young...

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Celebrating here and now

It’s a typical Sunday afternoon in early January 2020. Four large, perfectly ripe pears lounge in a bowl on our kitchen counter. I’ve observed their incubation for three days, waiting for this succulent moment. We never know if the green fruit we carry home from the...

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Moving on to the next reality

January 7, 2020 marked 13 years since my mom has been gone from this world. That was also my Aunt Phyllis’s birthday, her youngest sister, who just passed last Thanksgiving. It’s truly sad that as we live, we slowly get our hearts broken with every loss of a loved...

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A testament to Father Gabriel Richard

Dad drove us by a tall, brick smokestack rising above a large, two-story building in Detroit. “There’s Gabriel Richard, girls, your new school,” Mom said to my sisters and me. Six years old, I feared smokestacks, a word fallen from whispers with concentration camp. We...

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The slipperiness of time

“You know, this day isn’t really important for Vietnamese people,” my friend said as we sat on the balcony overlooking the market. The morning sun lit up her face in crisp relief. There was a fair breeze in the air from the nearby river. I picked at my chocolate...

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