Parental Angst

“Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter or opportunity.”

The slogan by Euripides was splashed across the front of her daughter’s t-shirt. As per usual, the tee was two sizes too small. Not only did her heavy bosoms stretch the fabric to its limits, but they also created a sort of oblong divot in the ruffled panels stretching between the two points.  The effect emphasized the generous gift God had given.  The neckline was obscene, even by 1970’s standards, which was saying a lot.  She imagined the slits in the back of the shirt were made by dragging a bare razor blade across the fabric panel as it was stretched over the back of their outdated toilet.  She’d seen slash marks on the toilet seat cover the other day and wondered aloud, “What the what??” 

Whatever way those slits had gotten on that tee, they exposed a Victoria’s Secret bra underneath that was having a tough time holding up under the strain.  “What must that thing have cost her, fifty bucks? And where’d that money come from?” her mother wondered.  She hoped she’d purchased it, and not just walked out in a moment when the clerk was otherwise occupied.

The girl chewed her gum, cracking and popping it with each downward stroke of her jowly jaw.

“I’m telling you, he’s creepy,” she said.  “Every time I get near ‘im, he wants to give me a hug. Did you see him pet my head at the picnic? Like I’m some dog…  No crap, he was petting the back of my head!!! She shivered a little shiver.  “I swear, I can almost hear him lickin’ his lips as he moves in to take a squeeze. Ugh…Sleaze!”

The girl pulled at shorts that appeared painted onto her skin. Chubby legs labored under the pressure, as she squirmed out of the bench seat at her favorite eatery and tried to get comfortable with denim riding up her cheeks.

“This too shall pass,” her mother murmured to herself, “this, too, shall pass.” In the meantime, she’d keep her trap shut and her opinions to herself. Like the therapist always said, she needed to pick her battles wisely. An opportunity would come along, just like the t-shirt advertised, and then she’d speak her truth. Until then she’d be praying, a lot.



The tests were done. The biopsies, complete. The news, not good!

“I prayed it would be anything but this!” she wrote. In an email. Too cowardly to call.

Words were easier to convey when chosen carefully and printed on a page, she thought, even if it was an electronic page.

Her conscience immediately kicked in, over-anxious as always. You shouldn’t have sent that, it yelled. What were you thinking?

She wasn’t thinking.

She, like her friend, was numb.

The Waiting Room


waiting room

The busy sounds emanating from the waiting room were jarring. A game show playing on the large flat screen TV overhead. People working puzzles nearby. Hospital staff members laughing it up in their cubicled spaces behind thick glass. The constant sound of flushing as one person after another emptied bladders previously filled with coffee too strong to provide any pleasure from drinking.

“Why can’t they all just shut up!?” Sue sighed. She held her fingers over her ears once more, hoping to drown them all out.

“What is taking so long?” she asked his friend, sitting near enough to him to send a drop of spittle careening onto his jacket as she sputtered and fumed about the wait.

“These things take time,” he’d said. “You want them to be thorough, don’t you? Find everything? Not miss something vital?”

“Oh, my God!” Sue said, as she stormed out of the waiting room. She needed to be away from these people, away from this situation. Far away from the fear. Far enough that she couldn’t feel it any longer; didn’t have to struggle with it breathing down her neck. Didn’t have to fight so fiercely for that little shred of serenity she needed to keep her stable. Of course, she knew these things took time. Of course, she wanted them to find anything that might cause problems later if they didn’t find it. Of course, she wanted a good report at the end of all this.

“What a dolt!” she thought. She needed this to be done!

After a few minutes in the hallway and a smoke snuck outside, she headed back in to the too warm enclosure where they remained waiting patiently for news that might ruin their lives.

“I seriously don’t know how much longer I can sit here.” She said, to no one in particular. As she did so, she stuck her hand into the pocket of her ratty jeans and touched the serenity coin. She lifted her cell phone from the denim oubliette that held it and began dialing.

Again, she was on her feet. This time in search of someone who would understand. God, she wanted a drink!






Story by Lori H. Copyright reserved April 27, 2018


The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery.  There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, and the solution comes to you and you don’t know how or why.  –Albert Einstein

I’m not a big believer in happenstance or intuition, either one.

My insight comes from interacting with a Creator who guides my steps and on occasion, when I’m especially needy, without any effort on my part, grants me a solution.

I believe study and research can inform my consciousness, and I wouldn’t want to shut myself off from any useful bit of knowledge I might gain and could use to development wisdom, which is why I read as much as I can and spend time meditating on what I read.  In the end, though, I call upon all available resources to get me where I need to go–resources energized by faith.

Who do you call upon for insight or confirmation in this life?  When has insight helped you to leap frog over intellect?