Monday, March 21, 2016

Not quite ready to let go - #SOL March 21

It's March and time for the Slice of Life Challenge! Thanks so much to the entire crew at Two Writing Teachers for organizing and hosting this massive event! 

I'm excited to be part of the Challenge again this year. As I continue to tap into "joy" as the motivation for my writing, I am also tracking the territories about which I tend to write (and sometimes intertwine). Current writing territories are teaching, family, friends, travel, working with a personal trainer, the quirks of being me.

Today’s slice has been bouncing around in my mind for awhile, but after reading Karen’s beautiful slice about her mother’s hands and Clare’s series of slices about losing her mother in so many ways, the shape of what I wanted to say came to life. Thank you to these mentors for helping me tap into something I needed to write.

Caught off-guard
Amazing Grace sung at Mass last week
Tears streamed down my face
The words catapulted me back to the hospital room
Mom’s last hours
Family gathered around her
Saying goodbye
While playing Amazing Grace, her favorite song
As she passed from this world to the next
I'm still not quite ready to let go 

Caught off-guard
Relaxing on the couch one evening
Hear sniffling beside me
Tears streaming down daughter’s face
She shows me story gone viral:
A grandfather cooking hamburgers
And only one of his grandchildren showed up
Picks at the scab of our double loss last year
Regrets about time not spent
We’re both not quite ready to let go

Caught off-guard
Looking through my camera roll
Tears streaming down my face
Pictures of my parent’s house
Taken as we drove away for last time
It belongs to someone else now
But my memories live there
Dad’s garden and manicured lawn
The glassed patio Mom loved so much
I'm still not quite ready to let go


  1. This is beautiful Karen.. I love the repetition of the line - Caught off-guard It needs to be repeated because it happens again and again without notice. Thank you for sharing your heart and being a mentor to me personally at a time I needed it most.

  2. Karen,
    This is such a beautiful piece about your mom, and the tremendous amount of loss your family has suffered in such a short time. I'm not sure we are ever ready to lose those we hold closest to our hearts. It seems way be always caught a little off guard (and like Clare, I love that repetitive line). I also love the last stanza about your house, the spaces your parents loved, the memories you will treasure. You've captured a beautiful life and much love right here in your poem.


  3. Beautifully and powerfully written. Thank you for this.

    I try to convince myself that home is where mom is now, but I know it's going to be heart-wrenching to put the house where I grew up on the market this summer. I'm also "not quite ready to let go."

  4. Karen,
    This is beautiful. I felt the emotions of your still heavy heart. The repetition of your emotion was genius!

  5. Beautiful. Caught off guard - true of so much of life.

  6. Karen,
    This is so beautifully written. Your words spoke to me as if they were my own feelings on the page. Thank you for sharing what so many of us feel and cannot so eloquently express.

  7. Karen,
    This is so beautifully written. The words spoke to me as if they were my own feelings on the page. Thank you for so eloquently saying what many of us feel.

  8. Karen, that was beautiful. That brought allot of memories of your parents. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Beautiful. Though it is your unique experience, it echoes mine, and probably many others. It is hard to let we just need to keep the memories and the love. It's so hard to drive away from that house, though. And it is hard at times to keep regret from stealing joy from the memories...that's when we really must hold tight to the love.

  10. Thanks for sharing this my friend. It's beautiful. just like your soul.

  11. How wonderful that you finally felt good sharing, Karen. As Clare wrote, caught off-guard is the truth sometimes more than once a day. I remember when we all said goodbye to my husband's home all his life after sharing a good week together and cleaning out. It was so hard to close that door. Hugs to you for this hard time.

  12. Bravo, Karen. Clearly, you needed to write this and you did, beautifully.

  13. Karen- This is beautiful. It made me cry. Thanks for this gift of words.

  14. Karen, your post reached right into my heart. Your carefully chosen words about the loss of your mother were simply beautiful. The pain of losing our mothers doesn't go away. I don't think we are ever ready to let go. Your post reminded me of my own special memories. Thank you for sharing such an honest and beautiful post.

  15. Dear Karen, This post is beautifully written. I love the repetition of "caught off guard" throughout the piece. Your words tugged at my heart. I am so glad you wrote this.

  16. A lovely reminder that all things pass and we must remember to appreciate all the beauty in our lives everyday. Thank you :)