Five Minute Friday: Give

Give.  Reading Kate Motaung’s post with the prompt, Give, really leaves a reader a lot to ponder.  To appreciate the good, there is hardship, struggle, unrest, etc.  This is a tough concept to accept.  In the last week, my grandfather-in-law passed from cancer, my husband’s co-worker was killed by a driver under the influence, a friend’s mother passed, my mother was diagnosed with dementia, a dear friend told me her Thanksgiving was spent arguing with her husband, another friend spent the holiday nursing her two kiddos and husband back to health after suffering Type A flu, a loved one in debt, and on and on and on.  With all of this take, the idea of give seems exhausting.

In a sermon last week, Pastor Dennis touched on this same topic in finding the joy in the every day, if even just a smidgen.  Over time these small observances will accumulate into a large acknowledgement of joy.  Thus, he ended his sermon with, “I wish you enough.”

So, this week I plan to trudge on and search for opportunities to give to others so that they, too, may have enough and discover their own inkling of joy.

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.   -Luke 6:38

Letters to Grief

Kate Motaung’s e-book Letters to Grief accurately personifies Grief, with all its uncertain disruptions, through the written mode of letters comprised of poetic language.  Consisting of only nine chapters, Letters to Grief may be brief in words, but limitless in meaning not only for those who mourn due to physical death, but also for those who mourn the living due to separation of any form:  distance, dysfunction, etc.

Beginning with an exploration of the notion of addressing Grief as “Dear,” Motaung quickly argues her position with the use of visual imagery and active verb choices, “You are my rising star, my setting sun, and everything in between.  You dwell with me- in me- but you are not my master.  You roam on a leash, tethered by the One who owns you”  (Motaung 5).

The One here is referring to the “Alpha and Omega” (Motaung 5).  Thus, Motaung, with her ability to empathize with readers at whichever stage of Grief they may be suffering, concludes each correspondence with Biblical references in an effort to promote hope of the inevitable Everlasting which will eventually overcome.

Having lost my father and my breasts at the hands of cancer, I felt a steady stream of silent tears slide down my cheeks as I read, ” . . . [Grief leaves] a unique mark and lasting impression on each person . . .”  (Motaung 19).  Thus, an exemplification of Motaung’s understanding we do not all heal and endure the same.

As stated earlier, my inner English teacher swooned at the careful selection of descriptive prose.  My one metaphorical red mark would be given to the pronoun reference error found in the author’s letter to the reader, ” . . . everyone endures loss in their own, individual way”  (Motaung 3).  Thus, a simple replacement of “his/her” for “their” would be a welcome revision.

Kate Motaung’s Letters to Grief, with an anticipated release date of December 1, 2014, on Amazon would be an ideal gift for anyone who has ever suffered loss.

Writing Workshop Wednesdays (15)

In classical mythology (who doesn’t love mythology?), the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne are referred to as the nine muses, each responsible for protecting an art or science:  Calliope (epic poetry), Clio (history), Erato (lyric poetry), Euterpe (music), Melpomene (tragedy), Polyhymnia (religious music), Terpsichore (dance), Thalia (comedy), and Urania (astronomy).  Personally, my muses are my two daughters.  Initially motivated by a diagnosis of cancer, I wanted to have some sort of record of my love of reading for my girls.  Thus, the conception of which has evolved into

In an effort to convince my English 111 students of the validity of being referred to as authors (aren’t we all authors of our own story?) and after reading their memoirs, I assigned them the task of completing my author interview, Ten Questions.  As responses are trickling in, I, once again, am amazed at my students’ creativity, honesty, and sense of humor.  Mr. Carter writes in response to, “Who or what is your muse?”

“My muse would be the fact that if I don’t write I will receive a bad grade. I think that’s enough motivation for anyone to sit down and write something amazing.”

So, for this week’s Writing Workshop Wednesdays, who or what is your muse?

Five Minute Friday: Tell

Tell.  My uncle, sixty-three years young, died yesterday morning at the gruesome hands of cancer.  He was the funniest man I ever knew without a doubt.  His laughter and sense of humor was contagious.  I spent a lot of time at his home in my later single-digit years and early double-digit years.  He liked Winston Churchill and W.C. Fields as there was, to me at the time, a scary profile picture of the latter wearing a hat hanging on his wall.


He first introduced me to biscuits and gravy much to my horror.  I remember looking at my plate with all of this speckled goo covering perfectly fine biscuits not sure what to do about it as I knew it wasn’t polite to tell someone you didn’t like what he was serving.  I moved the food around on my plate to make it look as if I had eaten, but ended up going home hungry.  Today I would be on my seconds by now hoping there were thirds and fourths.

One time when I stayed at his house for the weekend, I ended up flooding his bathroom as I didn’t know shower curtains went on the inside of the tub (my dad had glass shower doors).  When I stepped out of the tub onto the rug, there was this odd squishing sound.  I then tried to soak up as much of the water as I could with what towels I could find in the bathroom, but this hardly made a dent in my destruction.  I thought the best course of action was to say nothing, so I left when my mother picked me up hoping no one would use the bathroom while I was still present.  Now, I would have loved to have seen his reaction when his feet became soaked upon entering his bathroom, and he discovered a pile of wet towels in the bathtub.

As an adult, I didn’t see my uncle much.  At Christmas, though, I remember him doing a theatrical reading of Walter the Farting Dog which did not leave a single dry eye in the house.

I would like to think my uncle knew I loved him because I did.  I’d always squeeze on him before he left and say, “I love you, Grub!” (a term of endearment created by his nieces and nephews), and he would usually say, “Okay,” or something along those lines in return, but I know he loved me, too.

I imagine he’s now Upstairs with the Big Guy, his mom and dad, and my dad, whom he sought out in order to tell him some jokes.

I love you, Grub.