Day 30 (Giving thanks)

My brother, John, wrote this shopping list for my mom.

At first I tried to figure out why olives are at the very top because who needs olives for Thanksgiving? People kept talking about it all day, and I couldn’t figure out why, and they told me it was just because people like…olives. People that are not me. But I’m glad they’ll make somebody happy.

And I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what MS meant. MS? The disease. What?

“Maple Syrup,” John said matter-of-factly.

Maple Syrup will forever in my heart be called MS. Forever.

And as I admired the interesting doodles that accompanied ‘the list,’ and I listened to the Christmas music my dad holds off from playing until November (Oh, Nate King Cole. I will be yours truly, always), and made pie, and found myself in the middle of a mini LaBrasseur Family Reunion, losing to my 8 year old brother at chess, winning against my 18 year old brother at Peggle, laughing hard with my sister (who’s one of the only people that gets me), and welcoming said sister’s fiance into the huddle as I challenged him to eat three mandarins simultaneously, which he accomplished with aplomb (not), and at fudge and ice cream, and played backgammon with my old man, prayed with my mom…

What is there to be said when words cannot suffice? How do I articulate such intangible things as receiving a hug from your big brother, or pressing out pie crusts with your dad, and being happy? Life hasn’t been easy this past year. I could fill tomes with my words, but they need not be said. No one needs to read those; they need to know that God is good, and that he loves us– that I’m waiting to go home. To enter the gates of Glory where God will catch all my tears in palms that could contain all the oceans, call me by name with a voice that birthed the stars in the heavens, and come home.

But, for today, I can wait.

We will shop for olives and Maple Syrup, play endless games of Apples to Apples, and we will wait. And today I will find joy in the gift of a thankful heart.

Day 29 (An incomplete list of small pleasures)


  1. Being the first in line at the stop light
  2. That time I used the bathroom at a restaurant, and they had 20 different kinds of soap at the sink
  3. The moment you wake up to a bed that’s the perfect temperature
  4. Finding recognizing a star constellation
  5. The action of my fingers sinking into the keys of a grand piano.
  6. Letting balloons go
  7. Old school licking a stamp and sticking it to your letter
  8. Little baby rabbits with ears that drag, and fly up into the air when they hop.
  9. Laughing about the sound straws make in their lids with your little brothers in McDonalds. We totally lost it.
  10. Meeting little girls named Lucy.
  11. Grilled cheese sandwiches
  12. Taking a nap. A long one.
  13. Surprise company.
  14. 12 oz. Chai tea latte with 2 pumps hazelnut
  15. Buttoning buttons
  16. Dealing the perfect amount of cards during a game
  17. Cherry hardwood floors
  18. A man in a good suit
  19. Finishing a book
  20. Reading words in another language
  21. Reading music
  22. Shooting a rifle.
  23. Picking berries in the hottest weather
  24. Hiking for miles and being greeted by the ocean at the end
  25. When a strange dog is happy to see you
  26. Facebook notifications
  27. When your driving is complimented
  28. Keeping a plant alive
  29. Tiny spiders
  30. Winning at Monopoly



Day 27 (Tribute to Shell Silverstein)

I wonder what happened

To the boy in the hat

After he sprouted those wings

And flew up in the sky

And flashed a bright smile

As he waved a goodbye

And his mother shrieked loudly

It sure hurt my ears

And she ran down the street

In those heels

Drenched in tears

As her dear baby boy

Decided to fly

And just left



What is there to say

When she pinches your cheeks

And corrects your bad grammar

Dresses you up

And forbids you to play?

So Mikey took off

Never did see him again

And us other kids wondered

and pondered

And dreamed

Of growing some wings of our own

And fly, freed.

Day 26

Before the sun rises

My dear one

My darling

Before the sun welcomes the blue back to the sky

Before the the dove coos

From it’s nest in the rafters

Before you open your eyes

Limned with laughter

My prize

Before the dew gathers

While the wind travels north

Before the sea wakes the gulls with it’s churning

And tendrils of seedlings are dazzled by morning

Let me whisper a secret

Let me invoke the last rite

My dear one

My darling

My ends of the earth

Love without scruple

Let me bid you goodnight.

Day 18 (I’m tried and I know it)

I’m so tired right now.

I worked a catering shift, which means pushing your body around for a solid 7 hours until they let you off early. 10pm. It was some sort of convention for the Latino community. There was a live mariachi band, and salsa dancing. Wine. Lots and lots of wine because it was an auction so us servers were instructed to let it flow.

Something else happened tonight that made me feel weird. No, not weird….just different. A tall, handsome man told me that I had captivated his attention tonight, among other things. Usually I don’t take events like that too seriously, but the look in his eyes denied triteness, and he gave me a number on one of his business card. I might have blushed, I don’t know, because I’m shy like that.

Do you love Christ with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind? That is how you will win my heart.

But I didn’t say that. I just slipped the card in my pocket and continued serving. Shame on me.

So the night ended well with me not screwing up and everything going smoothly, and I came home and spilled my Arnold Palmer all over the floor, but that’s okay because I still had my Indian curry that I made a few nights back. My mother gave me her favorite recipe and now I am queen of the curry realm.

And I’m sitting here, exhausted. And all I want to do is bury my face in my palms because I want to mold something beautiful out of words, something that sings and glows. I don’t want to want to write beautifully; I want to write about beautiful things. I want my words to provoke minds to see beauty. There’s a difference. Too many have proved that raw talent is not enough. It is, but not for what I desire.

And you see what happens when I sit down to write?

When I scribe thoughts of impossible things and dreams without waking,

diminished in shadows,

born yearning for morning,

craving the light.

So you see. Words catch in my throat and make them ache, but so many times I am caught rendered speechless. My tongue refuses to cooperate when I am asked a question, or when I desire to speak now, not tonight or the next when I’m awake in my bed, trying to sleep. I have this irritating tendency of stuttering when I’m at work, and I feel like an idiot. It’s not like I spend hours meticulously fine combing my writing. I just…let my fingers type. So why is talking to difficult? I don’t even know where half this stuff come from. Maybe all those Patricia Mckillip books I read growing up. They captivated me, I remember. Heart and soul.

So sweet dreams. Goodnight night. We have another morning to face, or to glory in. Take your pick.