The Chorus: Silver Linings


This is a project that has been burning a hole in my heart. We all sing our pure and shaky and earnest songs, to ourselves, our kids, our pasts. We sing because we need to hear our voices out loud, because it gets lonely sometimes, because it hurts, because the joy cannot fit in our bodies. Mothers and fathers are always and never alone. I want to focus on the never part. I want to hear the voices together. I want to start a chorus.

– Amy Grace

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I remember sitting in a bath gone cold. Looking at my body like it wasn’t my own under slanted Spring window light, tired inertia following the war, gluing me safely, briefly in time, knowing my parents were watching my tiny girl downstairs, our lives changing at the speed of light and I couldn’t outrun it. The police had come the night before. I had called them, surprising myself, trusting the last bit of instinct that hadn’t worn away. Barricaded in a bedroom, knowing the feeling of someone wanting to love me to death, and wanting me dead if he couldn’t love me, I had to face the end of the maze and bring out the sledgehammer. Done, a complete sentence. Leaving the madhouse didn’t turn the world to technicolor, but everything sparkled a secret that matched the deep healing cuts’ hurt. I cannot call it happiness, but it was the closest thing to a new page after cramming tiny, shocking stories onto a sheet i folded and hid in my pocket. It was the state of the absence of pain, after a life like a migraine, when every molecule of air has some quiet gift it slips in each breath. Pulling back the curtain and showing everyone the lengths we go to to put on the show, is maybe better than any standing ovation. How young I was, to feel so old; at twenty eight, knowing the in betweens of life and death, love and hate, streaks of silver through my hair. How lucky and heavy and free.

So many of us have to teach our lungs deep breaths. My first hits of peace were relative to chaos, my stasis is longing and worry and playing zone defense against fate. Or is it anymore? The stories we tell ourselves about who we are are more like soap operas than poems – we are unpredictable, episodic, prone to suspend disbelief and leap into new plot lines. We are changelings, we try as we ponder our aging reflections, happy by surprise, by accident. I am terrified to grab it, terrified by how i fall in love with the world – covetous and hungry and running through open hearted, ready to lose it all. But I know I will fall in love with special parts of people, throw lines out to the promise of another human being as frail and wild as me, and in that I put all of my scarce stock. Quite a lot of our joy has taken place in messes, in limbo, waiting for the crash, in other people’s houses, rooms we share, never dressed for the part, on a canvas I am waiting to paint over, on terms for which I apologize to the forever Joneses…but always awake to each other. We fall into rhythms of breath as we live and sleep side by side, metronomes with heartbeats, being each other’s lesson. I am learning.

I used to obsess over the exact moment we would go back in time and plot our getaway, kept it like a secret wish on birthday candles, holding it in my tight, dark palm so that it might come true. The minute I found out I was having a baby and knew she was my girl before the doctor, wishing it was on my own, seven pregnancy tests with sharp lines pointing to the unknown – that was the time machine moment. The two of us should have run in the opposite direction, me the cocoon, her the perfect winged angel. Before her, I wanted to find my line, my vector but I was nothing but tangled string, too loose to stretch, swimming in a honey vague dream to a lost mooring. Or I raced against the ghost of myself, my legs too human and slow and bound. I was sinking and flailing my soul, my sentences missing a subject. Some people add to who we are, others subtract. With each brush, each exchange, we are less. Then some people hand you a palette of color and ask you to paint the way love feels. That is her. We have nicknames for streets, times of day, people we’ve just met. We speak in a shorthand of poetry, cryptic and fraught and ready to spill over with laughter, sometimes even “kythe” like in our favorite, “A Wrinkle In Time”, reading each other’s twin minds. We drape our soft and loose lasso over as much of the world that will let us imagine it, blurring the line between us and them with language and hope and days gone wrong that we call ‘adventures’. You take the truth and flip it until you find the shape that makes sense, that solves your puzzle. In the searching and waiting it out, holding our breath with crossed fingers at our backs, in the trying way too hard, we are sometimes found: lucky, impatient for purer air, happy, with dust clouds and thick heads and tiny sweaty hands in our own. My girl reminds me that “our best days can be someone’s worst. Our worst days can be someone’s best,” swimming in the same cloudy soup, becoming it as we dip in our toes and dissolve.

For my kids, there is no serving up of the perfect that I chased blind my whole exhausted life. But love is practice for love, especially love for which you’ve fought. We find the luck in our situation or move the hell on, find courage or know where to find it. We swim through, inelegant and sincere, getting stronger by the stroke. And the further we get on, the story of love in our lives turns out to star our friends and family. If you are uncrossed stars lucky, then maybe not. But you are lucky either way, closing your eyes to watch the sun dance in its warm, fluid colors across your closed lids, just maybe having someone’s hand to hold. It’s all there, from the inside out; in that last second, I hope my words are ‘thank you’ and only that there is a person I love to hear them.

My four year old asked me about death a couple of weeks ago. The shock hit him hard and vast and lonely, eight thirty at night, sitting on the potty, his sister singing in the shower, the inside joke shorthand we use to talk about our days filling the small steamy room. “I am going to DIE? YOU are going to DIE, mommy?” I cried the invisible melting tears of a parent staring down a long day and dark eternity. No band aids, no promises, no solid answers, only love forever and ever. That’s how we fight it, I told him, and let’s fight it together, for anyone we can help. And our new plan, about which he reminds me on the daily: “we come back as ghosts together, and we haunt each other.”

We are never going to make it out of the world alive. Gulp. Exhale. The best of us, the most loved, the most hungry, we are all mortal, in all our raw disbelief. And there is the great tragedy and freedom we share, and have to turn into light, mouthing the words “I’ve made it.” It shocks me electric and deep when I can’t sleep, just like it does you. And I hope it stays with me, the poker at my back the next day.

Here now, worn down, wizened, and wiser, leaking tears and light, the silver lining is spilling out, tripping over itself comfort that can’t be contained in the zipped up, scripted, grown up day; the clear space sharpened, awake, stripped to the quick. It is showing up to the cocktail party and knowing you get to be exactly, frankly yourself. It is being honestly okay with any picture of myself because hey, it’s just my face, not my soul. It s a heavy thing with the strongest wings the world can build. It is that I am not going anywhere, no matter the strength of the itch, the buried over fifteen year old roar of longing, the mistake from which I want to be forever away, the darkness in me without my kids. The silver lining is that they know this, firm and vocal and sure as gravity, and fear for the person who gets between us. The silver lining is that we get to do this together, to be alive and broken in pieces and mended by the glue of time and sewn together grace. We get to choose our tribe and love it fiercely. As we clean up messes we forget ourselves and find ourselves too. From the rear view mirror everything is laced with silver, getting smaller, feeling bigger as we leave it.

– Amy Grace


This separation of father and son is not what I thought it was.

I am becoming someone new. And so is the boy who had to leave. He isn’t the same as when I held him. He isn’t how I remember him. He is so much bigger now.

The eyes in my head cannot see the ways in which we remain together. My turn to be held.

A vision. Given to anchor me in this time of frequent lifestorms. A foundation. A launching point. A hundred-thousand-milestone. Sung into my being, carried across the dome. Like the biggest rainbow, vibrant with the pulse of thunder. A vision, seen through the eyes of another, voiced in confidence and bewilderment.

Glimpses of beyond in our midst, as real to me as anything my hands have touched.

I am moving again in life, glancing back at this new milestone. Remembering. Supported. One step at a time. Move the smallest piece on the chess board, one space forward.

And trust.

– Jeremy Brown


It’s Cancer.

“Excuse me? Wait, what?!” (did he just say what i think he said?!!) I think that is the first thing I said, and thought, once they told me the news. Because even in the days before my diagnoses, when I was going back and forth to the doctor trying to figure out what was going on….never in a MILLION YEARS did I think they were going to tell me I actually had Cancer.

And then I cried…I cried more than i think i have ever cried before. I cried for my kids, for my husband, for our little life that I love so much….because life as we knew it was now over, or so I thought in that moment…..and it was for a while. The truth is when people say Cancer sucks, they are right. Treatment is awful. Recovery is awful. Those are the hard truths. But, with all of that awfulness laid out in front of me there was an amazing feeling of comfort that all would be okay in the end if I just pushed through.

And in the days that follow I watched as my girlfriends come to my house each morning to gather my kids and take them on an adventure for the day….so that while I was having a “bummer summer” they were playing and laughing with their friends, distracted from what was going on at home. I watched as people near and far brought my family dinner each night for months…people, some I have never met in person, made sure all of our basic needs were taken care of so that all I had to do was make sure I got to my doctor appointments each day. And so even though I was deep in it all I could think was WOW….HOW LUCKY AM I to be surrounded by so much goodness and love?!

Things are not always good but the truth is there is always always something worse. There is a time to wallow and scream and yell and feel sorry for yourself. But life is short and really what good is it going to do you…feeling sorry for yourself will not make your situation different. Thinking postiviely may not make your situation different either but it’s a hell of a better way to be.

So my only choice was to pushed through the dark clouds…and though retesting is not done until November…when the doctors told me I could resume normal life, 4 weeks after my treatment was over, I picked up right where I left off…like I had just woken from a nightmare…the sun was shining, it was a new day and I awoke on the other side with more perspective, more love, more gratitude for my friends, family and the normalcy of of life!!

– Tory O’Leary


When I was younger I thought, “if I just get to this point in my life, I will truly be happy.” Or, “When I’m married with a few kids, a home and a dog, I will be set. I will have everything.” I never expected some of my loneliest days to have been as a wife. Some of my most selfish moments to have been as a mother. I didn’t expect to still be figuring myself out at 30 years old. I didn’t expect to, some days, not really like the person I am at 30 years old. I also didn’t expect to love her as much as I do.

Life is good. Life is heartbreaking. Life is a crying while watching The Notebook for the millionth time. Life is the goosebumps you get when you lover gives you that smile that made you fall in love with them. Life is that lump in your throat when you see strangers help each other. Life is death of loved ones. Life is betrayel. Life is not having expectations of how life should be but seeing the silver lining in the moments that make you feel alone or misunderstood. Life is always going to give you beautiful days. Life is all about the journey.

– Becky Earl


how does that quote go? the one about becoming stronger. oh yeah. “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” that one. i call bullshit. sometimes life gets to be so much that you cave. and some people never get back up. depressing i know. but here comes the feel good part. it doesn’t matter how weak i feel. no matter how lost i get, you never stop searching for me. life keeps on getting messier, crazier, deeper, fuller. but through it all you find me and i find you.

– Heather Robinson


I listen as my mom explains to my grandmother for about the eighth time in two hours that my grandfather died over a year ago. My grandmother is already in high amount of distress because my grandfather “isn’t home from work yet.” He spent their marriage as a NYPD Detective. It was dangerous work. When he didn’t come home on time, she would fret. On this particular day in Maine in October 2014, she is reliving that distress. On top of that, she can’t find a phone to call him at the office, and no one there will give her the phone number for the police department (she can’t remember it). She also can’t figure out why her mother (my great-grandmother) hasn’t stopped by yet because she promised to be there, and in fact, hasn’t been there in days and no one will tell her where “Mama” is (my great-grandmother has been deceased for 21 years).

As she hears my mother say, “Mom, remember, Dad died last year,” my grandmother caves in on herself in pain, reliving the loss of her husband of 70 years all over again. “Why didn’t anyone TELL ME?” she cries. “Mom, we did tell you. You were there. You said goodbye. We had the service at the church and lots of people were there…” And fifteen minutes later, the same conversation is repeated anew. As if it had never occurred at all one thousand times since my grandfather’s death in April 2013. Sometimes it’s easier to answer that dad is at work. He’ll be home later. He called, everything is okay. He loves you and will see you later.

I suppose the silver lining is that she doesn’t remember this conversation each time it occurs. To her, it is only one conversation. But to be in that deep anguish over and over again throughout the day, day after day, and to be a witness to that pain, well, sometimes it’s more than one can bear.

My grandmother tells me she’s not happy. “It’s too much. Everyone is leaving me.” She moves in and out of reality. She wants her wedding photo removed from the nightstand — she recognizes her husband of 70 years ago, but isn’t sure who is standing with him. “Why did he give me this photo?” “He’s married someone else in this picture and no one will tell me who she is.”

Yes, my grandmother is still with us.

But then again, she isn’t.

When the literal silver linings of her brain, her gray matter, began disappearing taking my grandmother with it, the metaphorical silver lining disappeared as well. There are three remaining photographs on her nightstand — one of her which I took only 4 years ago, she is alive and vibrant, fully herself and only occasionally forgetful; one of my aunt, only 59, who recently passed away in May, six months after receiving a lung cancer diagnosis; and one of my grandfather who I photographed 4 years ago, one of the last portraits of him when he too was fully himself.

I suppose the silver lining is we had that time four years ago. Because that is the time I want to remember.

– Aileen Reilly


I am not one to see the silver linings.

Catastrophe and missing pieces I’m quick to spot. The world comes crashing in every moment, cars smash and doctors call, homes are lost, children walk away. It’s always been hard for me to see through all this mess to the joy running like a thread through it all.

But here he stands, five years after his older brother slipped quiet into my arms. Five years since I handed his brother’s cold body to the nurse – nine months growing, hours birthing and then my baby was gone. Five years and here stands the one who grew inside me two months after I scattered his brother’s ashes in the sea.

He stands like he has conquered the world for me, and he has. Spiderman mask, and sometimes I think that could be his brother’s face behind it. But as he grows tall, speaking his own words, holding me when he’s scared… The more I know he never could have been Joshua, and Joshua could not be this blond boy I hold now.

My baby born five years ago is gone, and this child I hold is my silver lining. He was always ever, only him – Jeremiah, sent to rescue me.

– Sharon McKeeman


​I had a conversation with an old friend over a few beers this weekend. We haven’t seen one another since our grad school days. Since then, our paths have led us different directions and as much as I wanted to hear about all of her latest endeavors (which were no doubt more exciting than mine),  she was the one overflowing with questions for me.  “Tell me everything about being a mother to  your sweet daughters, your ‘baby birds’,” she said.  She wanted to know what it was like, how it was done. Oh , how disappointed she must have been when she realized I didn’t have the answers for her. I wonder as much as she does about all of the other sweet baby birds of the world and how they’re  being cared for. I wonder about the ones caring for them and what it is  that holds them together. “I don’t know if I could be a mother,” she went on to say, “it would be hard for me to  bring life into such a broken world.” I paused. The truth is, I am a doubter too, a grasper of the glimmers, a weary soul that needs rest. Sometimes, I feel as if there’s a veil right in front of my eyes that I long to have removed so I can see clearly- to  breathe peace in and out. But, just before this doubt consumes me, I remember that there is such a beautiful silver lining  to living in this world full of veils. It’s not one that we have to create ourselves or conjure up through our own merits but one that is powerful and speaks of a real, freeing hope. I told my friend to take heart, I told her that there’s a  silver lining that breaks through this broken world and that while it can be hard to see, it’s real and worth seeking and if a doubter like myself could find it in my daughter’s eyes then who knows where she’ll find hers.

– Elizabeth Koehler


I spotted a penny on the ground this week but I didn’t pick it up. I just left it there.   “Tails you lose.”  Yet as easily as I discarded that penny, I spent a dollar on the office lottery pool.  The “sure” bet remaining on the ground.

As long as I can remember I’ve always stopped to make wishes when I spot a dandelion.  Just something about closing your eyes and embracing “possibilities”, each one waiting to be given life with just one breath.

I realize that often in my constant praying and hoping for some things to get better I forget to live in the present.  I forget the right here, the right now. ..the small stuff , the real stuff.  So busy reaching with both arms stretched out wide grasping high for better, it blinds me of the very silver linings gently poking at me right now.

Better has to be today…despite how unclear today may seem.

As I sit here writing this I realize that on my saddest  days there have been silver linings present everywhere.  Little bits of promise peeking their heads whispering “hey you  …look over here.”

Silver linings disguised in the smell of my daughters hair brushing up against my nose at night  as I wrap her up in just  one more hug before she goes to bed.  They manifest themselves in her piercing uninhibited laughter down the hallway, Husky in tow when all I want is just one quiet moment to think.  It was there the very day I miscarried again as two small squishy hands held out a board book waiting to be read appropriately named “Dónde Está el Bebé?” ..”Where’s the baby?”

They constantly come in the form of reminders … they’re constantly disguised as her.

Seven years ago I arrived at the hospital a few hours too late.  My father had died. I was completely out of breath from the shock of the news and the race to get to him.  My train broke down and I never made it to his room before he had to be “moved.”  The last place where we would have our final one on one was the hospital’s basement morgue. There I found him peaceful with a crimson kiss mark on his forehead. It was my mother’s shade.

It was a gentle reminder that she was still with me and that I needed to be there for her. Although I still carry the open wound of someone who has lost a parent I know how very blessed I am to have had the father I did..and the mother I still have.

Silver linings manifest themselves into the people that I love but just as often in the kindness of strangers I meet.   They are the true hope.  They never make promises of a storybook ending. They don’t make promises at all.  They just make me take notice and realize that it’s time to start living life right now just as it is.  Penny in hand.

– Ingrid Rivera


Their shoot was supposed to take place at a giant waterfall. Majestic and wild. Instead I got sick and couldn’t stop throwing up. So they came to me and we made magic in my backyard. Sometimes the silver lining isn’t poetic or grand. Sometimes it’s just enough. And that’s enough.

– Michelle Gardella


It’s all in their hands. The one whose caresses I’ve felt when my skin glowed with youthful promise and as my hips stretched with the weight of our unborn son. Those hands that I hope will trace the years on my face, lines traveling through the joys and sorrows of a life well lived. It’s in the growing hand wrapped around my finger squeezing helplessly just a few hours in this world and now leading me to the places he wants to go. Those hands that discover and grow. Those hands that made me a mom.

It’s in hands long gone, those of my grandmother wrinkled and beautiful who thumbs traced circles on my wrist when she held them. It’s in hands still here oozing with my mother’s strength. A strength I’ve relied on all my life. In my dad’s hands callused with work and sprinkled with saw dust. It’s in the hands of my sister that have held mine for as long as I can remember.

My silver lining is in these hands that have held me from my birth to the birth of the only legacy worth leaving behind. They are lined with hope and promise, connected by love.

– Elaine Palladino


Going to fast for myself I missed
more than I think I can remember
almost everything it seems sometimes
and yet there are chances that come back
that I did not notice when they stood
where I could have reached out and touched them
this morning the black shepherd dog
still young looking up and saying
‘are you ready this time’

W.S. Merwin

When my brother passed he left behind a poloroid of himself with his handwriting
scribed that read ‘the time is now’, it hit me like a ton of bricks.

Nothing good came from his death,
grief was the darkest hallway I’ve ever resided,
I took up a long twelve month residency there.
My only peace was that he no longer suffered
from addiction.
I searched for signs everyday and when I found that photo
I knew it was for me.

There is a silver lining in second chances.
His death allowed me to slow down and to take them,
his message forced me to pay attention, and
putting fear of not being good enough aside with not just photography
but everything else I wanted in life and going for it.
The time was now.
We are all terminal.

This silver lining came to me again during
my breast cancer diagnosis this summer and surgery.
Getting cancer in your 30s is not something you ever see
coming. There is nothing more frightening with four
children who love their momma but you can’t show your fear.
I can’t control my cancer, but I can fight it. I can’t control how many years
I have left earth bound, but I hope its many. I can’t control my fate but I can control my destiny.
I’ve never before in my life hoped to reach 75, because I always just assumed it
would be so.  As scared as I am with my health, I continue
to be fearless in all other endeavors, in my creativity and art,
my spoken words, my thoughts and dreams. Fearless is my new thing,
and I hope to make things happen on the first chance because I’m
going SLOW enough, that I won’t need that second. Unless it comes
in the form of recurrence.

I believe in life after loss, be it a brother or breast(or two).
I believe in love.
I believe in second chances.
I believe in slowing down.
I believe in soul bodies.
I believe there are no accidents or coincidences.
I believe in silver linings.
I believe in hope.

– Holly Donovan


I used to feel alone–for the longest time and for as long as I can remember.  I vacillated between the desire to hide and yet the desire to be seen.  To be acknowledged, fully known, accepted, and loved, these were some of the deepest longings of my tiny and fragile heart. Even as a young girl I felt as if people knew me, really knew me, there would be nothing to love, nothing to esteem.  And yet the need was still there, so I did the only thing I could think of and that was to become excellent.  I felt as if becoming excellent (at everything) would at least earn those deep-seeded desires.  Striving for love and acceptance though is a tricky black hole.  One step forward, ten steps back and the ever present feeling of hiding as an impostor.  The same deceptive voice that told me I could work for love also told me that I wasn’t that smart and I wasn’t that talented; people would surely find me out.

Through it the identity of deceiver became my own with the constant thoughts, “If they knew.. if people knew… if anyone knew… If they knew who you really were… if people knew where you really came from.  If anyone knew…”  I just want to scream at the ridiculousness of it all!  The exhaustion, the vicious cycle.  The irony is that I felt so alone.  Yet as I’ve gotten older, wiser, more life-experienced, I’ve learned that so many people, women especially, feel this way.  Our stories and circumstances may be entirely different, but that mocking, deceitful voice tortures so many of us into hiding and striving, into a black hole that leads to internal death.

The silver lining in all this and every other one that remains present in my life stems from the realization of Truth.  Redemption.  Grace.  Realizing that love should resemble freedom and not a prison, a reflection of the love that abounds from my Creator.  Being acknowledged, fully-known, accepted, and loved… truly loved, the longings of my heart that were already mine for the having.  The birth of my daughter provided the right lens to see it and opened me up to feel it.  No need for hiding, no need for striving.  Love that flows endlessly, without condition; a beautiful promise that swells our hearts upon the first breath like unadulterated worship.  Really, I could not think of a more beautiful privilege of living.

Sometimes I still hear that old voice and often it’s easy to recognize and ignore.  Other times I have to realize that I’ve stepped back onto its train.  It’s the one that says I’m not enough, I don’t deserve, I don’t belong, I won’t make it.  It still tries to make me feel ashamed of where I come from, still tries to allure me back into hiding.  Fortunately the fix is as easy as stepping off the train.  Choice.  Freedom.  Empowerment.  Refocus.  I pray, delight, love, and find rest in all the blessings.  I think of them fondly:  my sweet daughter who broke the barriers and burst open my broken heart; my incredible husband who sees and wants all of me, who loves me so well; my amazing friends who have shown me what true family is, who know my story and are encouraged through it; and my Heavenly Father who called me out of hiding, who redeemed my brokenness, who believes in me above all others, who is my biggest fan.  Yes, they are the silver linings.

– Marla Cyree

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I wake up each morning with all of the bright and shiny hope of a fresh start. I move through my days, navigating all of the hills and valleys and twists and turns and tangles that come my way. And at the end of the day, as I rest my head on my pillow I work to let the tension of the day go, and the silver lining is that I get to wake up in the morning full of hope once again.

– Jen Downer


You came to me in the space between child and adult, much closer to the child side. I remember when you were a baby—Nana was with me, teaching me to be a mom—and, as newborns do, you began to cry. I heard you, but the child I was knew my mom was there, that she’d respond because that’s what mothers do. But then she hollered to me from the other room, calling Mommy! Mommy! as though she were you. Whether she knew it or not, she was passing the baton to me. I was 21, and two weeks shy of graduating college. And in that moment I became Mother.

I remember our little one-bedroom bungalow with the cardboard walls in the hallway connecting the hollow-walled bedroom and living room… trying to hang pictures, but the nails just pounding into nothing. And that desolation paired with our spotless, white rug and perfectly fluffed pillows, our ceiling high Christmas tree, your sparkling nutcracker and your face on Christmas morning. And that hominess paired with the nights I may have skipped dinner so you wouldn’t. And that paired with the perfection of you sleeping each night in the crook of my arm.

I remember the first time someone mistook us for brother and sister. We were boarding a flight in Burbank and stopped to buy concessions. It was her, the lady at the cash. I kept waiting for her to laugh at her joke, but it never came. You tipped your chin up a little and gave me a nudge; you were nine. I felt a little bottomed out; it was the first time I felt our age gap narrow.

I remember your quivering lip, how you stopped cold and cried when you walked into the room and saw your sister for the first time, quickly batting your tears and wiping your eyes before gathering her in your arms in a weirdly natural way, and smothering her in kisses. She was 17 hours old and you were 10. You’d always been my sensitive one. . . but this?

I remember last week when the stick you brandished on our hike—which I’d thought was a walking stick—turned out to be your means of fending off mountain lions. How you lead the way, scanning left and right as your sister and I bounded down the trail behind you, stopping only if you heard something up ahead or to pull her onto your shoulders when she became too tired to walk.

That hour before sunset on a regular Friday night bore the moment I saw you trying to be my protector, not a child-explorer. You are 14, Francesca was three, I’m 36. My son, that May day you came to me all those years ago, you didn’t complete my world. You built it. You’ve shaped the child I was into the adult I am today. You are Me as much as I’m me. You are my silver lining.

– Kelly Sweda


Silver linings, making lemonade, looking at the bright side. Sometimes lemons come fiercely raining and lemonade is abundant. Others the lemons are wasting away in compost bins. Last week I took all the silver linings out of my marriage and sat to discuss the business of divorce. How do you put a price on marriage, motherhood, giving up a career, a dream, my life? I spent the night prior reading letters written by my former love. Reminiscing on tender moments and wondering if i was making the right decision. Wondering if knowing the pain I was causing my son was worth it? The heartbreaking transitions from one house to another, the drawings from school every day of the three of us together in the same house, EVERY DAY. The undoubted knowledge of the love he has for both of us. I’ve spent the last 7 years protecting my son, shielding him from pain, and yet, I’m the cause of his greatest. Did I do all I could, should I have stayed for my son, was I to blame for all of this? The honest answer is, I don’t know. These are questions I will someday have answers to, but until then, I hold my sliver lining. His name is Lucca. He is 6, and tender and wild and loving and crazy. He is the best parts of me. I have protected him for 7 years and he is my reason to all of these questions.

– Heather Perrera

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The world is a mess in so many ways. It scares me and keeps me awake at night.  Worry, worry for my sons future. Poverty, hunger, lack of drinking water, climate change, hate, infectious disease, terrorism, population explosion, war and on and on and on. I feel we are failing our children and our parents generation has failed us.  Yes, I sound like such a pessimist, and I’m truly not.  I’m more of a realist I suppose, however I want to be an optimist! I refuse to believe that together, we can’t fix this broken world we’ve made. And if time gets away from us and our generation doesn’t succeed?  The silver lining is this kid right here. He and others like him.  My kid together with your kid and your kid and your kid.  They will not fail.  I have to believe that. Raised with love, that’s all that can happen right?  They will succeed where we have failed.

– Tytia Habing

  • Annie Otzen - So so so much beauty once again!! Thank you to everyone who shared a bit of their souls here!ReplyCancel

  • Carrie Geddie - So beautiful, again, and always much needed things to hear… xoReplyCancel

  • Breanna - so grateful to see this back this week, always so deeply personal, and so incredibly beautiful. thank you for sharing your heart with us Amy, and inspiring others to do the same. xo.ReplyCancel

  • Elise Hanna - Heart and soul laid out upon the table again this week. Beautiful in the darkest and brightest of ways.ReplyCancel

  • leah - lovely. always. xReplyCancel

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