Hello, Emily Ruth

National Down’s syndrome month is yet another opportunity for us to celebrate our girl. She is in a word, JOY. Emily is larger than life. Her extra chromosome is anything but an accident. She is the most whole person I know!

Love My Messy Life

emily ruth

I stared at the face of our third baby girl, propped up on my knees as I sat in the hospital bed. We were face to face, and all I could see in that little face were the droopy ears, almond-shaped eyes, tiny nose, and the tongue that wouldn’t quite stay in her tiny mouth. She looked like a baby Yoda, and I couldn’t seem to see past that. I just saw Downs syndrome. “Lord, give me love for her. I need to be her mom. Let me see her,” was my tearful plea.

After we were settled in Fargo, I had connected with the doctor who had been our family doctor when I lived in the area as a little girl. Dr. Esh was kind and considerate, with a quiet gentle bedside manner. Now I was a twenty-two year old expectant mother with something on my mind, “I never…

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Sisters in Cahoots

My daughter, Serrah is 30 years old today!

Love My Messy Life

I stopped dead in my tracks, eyes wide, as I took in the sight of my four-year-old daughter, hair hacked off just below her jaw line with stray remnants of her beautiful long golden brown locks hanging as strings that she had missed with the scissors.  “Oh, Maggie, your hair!” I wanted to cry.  “Sorry, Mama,” was all she said.  Hazel eyes looked into mine.  I read them clearly, expectation, a hint of fear, and a challenge.  Would I bring her along on Serrah’s  third birthday outing to the hair dresser and out for ice cream?  I had no choice.  “I wanted a haircut too,” Maggie’s usually boisterous voice was lowered to a hoarse whisper.  “I can see that.  What am I going to do with you?  Maggie Ann, you know better.”  It would seem her dubious plan was hatched.  I shook my head in disbelief, “Alright, girls, get your…

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Millennial Brady Bunch

Love My Messy Life

I’ve been unable to write for a very long time, fixated on one thing… the divorce. How can I write about something so monumental, and do it right? I will say what is lovely and good and sad and right. We married young, we had five kids within five years, we weren’t college educated. We were an after school special. We didn’t stand a chance, yet we managed to keep it together for thirteen years, doing the best we could while flying blind with no safety net underneath. We simply fell apart, that last thread eventually breaking. We were so busy trying to keep ourselves together and fighting to stay together, that there was little left to devote to kids who deserved more. We were determined that we would never become a statistic. When, in fact, we beat the odds of many statistics that demanded we fail. We beat them…

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