Sometimes I think it hurts to remind you that it happened

My mother’s father was a short, stubborn Scotsman with eyes so icy-blue they’d make you think of glaciers, or perhaps maybe the moon. His name was James. To most, he was Jimmy. To me, he was Papa.

Whenever I reflect on my childhood–long, harrowing years of growing up in chaos, the daughter of two addicts–Papa is the only constant I can remember. He picked me up from school when my parents were late. … Read the rest

2016 (the year of plenty) in review

It should come as no surprise that 2016 was one heck of a year. From a tense election season to international conflicts, these 12 months have made headlines in so many ways. Personally, it was a big year for me and my little family as well. It was a year of changes and new beginnings, a year in which I did hard things, sacred things, beautiful things. And in the interest of living openly, … Read the rest

i am. [a post about heritage]

my first name, elena, means light, or the bright one.
it appears my parents knew from my birth that i was made to shine in the dark places.

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born to an italian father and a scottish mother, i was given two middle names, each to mark a distinct piece of my heritage.
teresa, from my father’s side; it means summer harvester.
ann, from my mother’s. ann means full of grace.

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i am … Read the rest

Heather’s story

today’s blog is a guest post from Heather, who found me online and contacted me to share her story. she is strong and courageous, and her story is an inspirational one. i feel honored to be able to share it with you today. she is a reminder that even in the midst of pain and suffering, there is beauty and light to be found.

Finding The Good In A Cancer Diagnosis
Everyone has a time Read the rest

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yesterday’s small group lesson was on family. i was a little worried about how it would go over with a group of orphaned teen & pre-teen girls…until our discussion at the end of class.

favor (age 11): you are white. i black. but we have the same heart. so we are family. ♥… Read the rest

thankful: seventeen


anyone who knows me well knows that my Papa (my maternal grandfather) is one of the most precious people in the entire world to me. much of my childhood was spent curled up beside him in an armchair, nestled in his arms. he was a safe haven. he was love. he was comforting.

in January 2010, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. the doctors gave him two months to live. fifteen months later, he is … Read the rest