IMG_0253Yes, we had a cat then, guess her name was Calico;
she intrigued toddler Jean.
But ways to make money engrossed me:
had to be home-based, no more 9-5;
we sold Successful Living books, then Amway
(anathema to my soul but got me out talking with people);
I preferred kitchen table survey or data edit jobs.
My evening haven became a Scripture-based prayer journal:
each week that year one word sung in six different verses
held, soothed, rocked my spirit into calm sleep.

Sister Joyce (wearing Mom's gown) married Dave Campbell at DCCRC:
Nancy and I were bridesmaids; what a joyous family time!


SuperLove supplied Duffy and Rhonda with joyous care:
neighbor Mrs. Milich was always there with a yard full of kids;
Cousin Chris Cramer from Michigan nannied one summer month;
Aunts Nancy and Joyce lived in the metro area; 
room & boarders like George Cooper and Dave Campbell helped out;
best of all were overnights with church softball team families.

Holy Joy bore me through another long Sunday of labor,
this time with Lamaze breaths, two trips to Baltimore
and a walk with Ted by the harbor between cervical exams.
At 12:10 a.m. on my thirty-first birthday 
in the University of Maryland hospital lobby
an administrative nurse delivered our daughter Jean.


Flurries of visual arts and writings overflowed the six weeks
I took off work, including a five page account "My Birth Day".
Jesus' Peace Power kept us confident we could support
our growing family of five and I still
dreamed we'd adopt a son.


IMG_0234Goodnight everybody. I love you.
No one is here. I'm in my house alone
but the psychologist says you're inside me and I know
you're with me because you were in my thoughts today
and in my own way I was trying to love you.
Goodnight God. You are here. You're the one that keeps me 
trying to love, so I love You even though I've never seen You.
Goodnight husband and mother and father. 
Your love has overwhelmed me. I'd be ungrateful not to show 
at least some semblance of patient, faithful love.
Goodnight Aunt. You have loved without demands and I love you
for bearing the burdens you have and living the life you do.
Goodnight friends at church. You have the potential of being
a great support and for this vision I love you
though the tie that binds stretches thin across miles and days.
Goodnight everyone in the world who has a sad life, 
lacking food, being in war zones, lonely, needy.
Although we share this planet we have not learned to share.
My love goes reaching out toward you but doesn't reach you.
Tomorrow I will try to love you again.
Goodnight my daughter. You are my adopted child, 
bright, beautiful, black, precious little growing girl 
who needs so much love. I'm with you. I'm your mother.
I pray for strength to keep your home full of happiness and love.
Goodnight my son. You were born from me. I'm so proud of your 
creative energy, your strong sports-loving body and quick mind.
I'm with you in your emotional vulnerability. I'm your mother.
I pray for strength to keep your home stable and secure.
Goodnight everybody, see you tomorrow.

This was the prayer I wrote after a period of death-wish
depression and before my second pregnancy.


At my first and only corporate job interview 
the boss asked if I knew the company's purpose.
Uh... collecting information to improve the railroad system?
No, our purpose is to make money, he said.
Once in Michigan I'd worked a month of night shifts
inserting U-bolts on an assembly line and vowed
never to work only or even primarily for money again.
But now we needed money so I was relieved to get this
data entry job with Price Williams in Silver Spring.
Accurate coding was a mind game, dependable as regular paychecks.
Lunch hours, evenings, weekends, holidays real life played out
with family and friends on picnics and camping trips,
at parties in homes, yards, parks, schools and churches.