Blissful Childhood Memories

(Guest blogger, Mary Gaston, shares vignettes from her childhood.)

By Mary Gaston 

I swung on the swing set, my feet kissing the baby blue sky. Toes painted a pastel pink, reminding me of cotton candy. swing

I dipped the stale dough ball into the water, creating a moldable piece of bait. I slid it onto the copper rusty hook and tossed it into the murky water. Within moments, the ball of dough found itself in the mouth of a bass.  Continue reading “Blissful Childhood Memories”

From Behind the Mask

(Guest blogger, Mary Gaston, shares a glimpse of what depression looks like in the mind of a teen-ager. She wrote this piece four years ago.)

By Mary Gaston

The grotesque, false face bears a forced smile, disguising the perpetual façade of sadness that lies beneath. A permanent crease rests between my brows and tears threaten to spill and stain my face. I tighten the mask.mask

“I’m fine.” Those two words hold such falsity. My voice is deprived of sound. I sit in silence and tighten the mask.

Night time is such a cunning villain. I am unable to silence the thoughts that flood my fatigued mind. I so desperately desire to find tranquility, but darkness tightens its grip like spindly fingers around my body. I tighten the mask. Continue reading “From Behind the Mask”

A Memory Bank Depleted by Dementia

It was a day for banking memories.

We shopped, dined out, laughed and cried. We chatted about missing Chris, her son; my brother, who passed away last July. At the end of the day, mom remembered none of what we’d done or where we’d been.

DementiaWhen I tried to help her recall, she said sadly, “What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I remember?”

“Mom, it’s OK. I’ll remember for you,” I told her as we sat on her front-porch steps under the apple tree, me fighting back tears.

“Sometimes I think it’s better when you can’t remember some things,’’ she said. Continue reading “A Memory Bank Depleted by Dementia”

Growing Old Is a Blessing

terrain mapWhen I turned 40, I remember looking in the mirror and grimacing at the few gray hairs that I could thankfully stay ahead of with a pair of tweezers and a box of Clairol.

Then, when I turned 50, I noted the additional aches and pains as well as the loosening neck skin, thinning mix of gray and brown hair, and deepening crevices on my forehead and around my eyes. The brown-eyed girl in the mirror stuck out her tongue at me and chortled: ‘Girl, there’s no way to turn back time! You’re stuck with this face that’s beginning to look more like a Google map in terrain mode than the sleek, smooth surface of a well-maintained interstate.  Continue reading “Growing Old Is a Blessing”

In His Silence, He Spoke Volumes

Chris and I
Count it all joy even when life is hard or unfair. That’s what we are encouraged to do throughout Scripture.

It’s not easy, but I find when you try to focus on the simple things that bring you joy, life is much more bearable and tolerable. But can there be joy while you keep vigil for days while a loved one clings to life and ultimately passes from this life into eternity? Continue reading “In His Silence, He Spoke Volumes”