Day 14: An Item That Gives You Confidence

Let’s go way back. I mean WAY back. My first Christmas. It was 1981 and I lived in Boise Idaho. Understandably, I had no conceivable idea what was going on. To be frank, I do not remember this day. However, there is one thing from this day that I still have. Rather, it belongs to someone who needs it more, but we will get to that in a moment.


For 35 years this beloved stuffed dog has been by my side. Almost every trip to the hospital (usually for stitches) she was my bedfellow. Every illness, from the sniffles to croup, she was my comfort. Even as I grew up, she was always there. In fact, much to my own amusement, she deployed with me, every time. Countless hours have been spent talking through problems, dealing with heartbreak, and being my silent journal. The secrets I have spoken to her, will never be told.

But, she is no longer mine. When my daughter went in for her first Cranio surgery, Buffy and I had a long talk. I told her that she had gotten me this far, and needed to trust I could carry myself from here. The night before we went to the hospital, I was sitting next to Zoey’s crib, tears running down my face. I knew that Buffy did such an awesome job keeping me alive, and being there for me, and that my daughter needed her more. I left Buffy in her crib that night. All of my love, tears, joy, fears, my heart is embodied by this raggedy stuffed dog.

Buffy was no longer mine.


The next morning, Zoey had Buffy in her arms. When she was taken back to surgery, Buffy was in her arms. While I was writing This Room, feeling empty and void of joy, Buffy was right next to my daughter, because I could not be. Since that day, the bond between Zoey and Buffy regales the one we shared. Every trip to the hospital, Buffy is there. When Zoey is recovering from surgery, or sick and hating the world, Buffy is there.

It is my hope that long after I am gone, and Zoey has become the amazing and beautiful woman she is destined to become, that when she misses me, Buffy will still be there.


Live big, love bigger, and be kind, always.

Labor of Love by Point of Grace

This song really resonated with me when I first heard it, which was back during our first Christmas with Zoey. As someone who was raised in the church, it is easy for me to hyper-spiritualize the story of the night Jesus was born. But perhaps the biggest point of the Christian celebration of Christmas is that Christ became human. The Almighty, a supernatural being, and his human mother, a young Jewish teen named Mary, both submitted themselves to the realities of an unassisted human labor and delivery in a barn. That means a lot more to me now as a mom. I can’t imagine that Mary’s birth plan matched her birth story either. For that matter, she probably had to throw quite a few parenting magazines and opinions out the window as she, her carpenter newlywed named Joseph, and their Savior/son Jesus were each daily confronted with the limitations of a dysfunctional human family. Somehow this is an incredibly encouraging thought for me. God is with us. He designed us, he fully understands our frustrations, and he continues to love us unconditionally.
Labor of Love by Point of Grace