Can I Handle the Seasons of My Life?

By Megan Wilcox Goates

This is the first May in fourteen years that I haven’t been sick with dread at the approach of summer. It seems backward, I know. Everyone loves summer—yearns for it, except for (NEWS FLASH) the special-needs parent. The autism moms, the rare syndrome moms, the developmental disabilities moms (and dads) are a different breed. We …

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This is the Tale of Two Parkers.

By Melissa Dalton-Bradford

This is also, by extension, the tale of two friends, Renée and Melissa, and of two families, the Halls and the Bradfords, and of two freak events that yanked all of the above onto two different but similar, unforeseen and shadowy trajectories. The tale tells how such yanking might dislocate some joints, but how it can also make a tongue-and-groove tightness which locks parents to children, friends to friends, and families to families. Mostly, it’s a tale about how the invisible and visible realms—we’ll call them heaven and earth—are sealed to each other. Indeed, the two are one.


Let me first introduce Big Parker. He is mine. He is the handsome boy with eyes the color of the water he’s dogpaddling in. On July 20th , 2007 he was eighteen years and five months old to the day. He was also lying in a coma in an Idaho Medical Center with the French name, Port Neuf. He’d been trying repeatedly to free a college classmate from a hidden whirlpool in a rural irrigation canal, and in the end he wasn’t able to get out himself.  The next morning there was no remaining brain activity.  He was removed from life-support.  A week from the very hour of his death, we buried his Big Parker body in a dark, narrow groove of earth.


Little Parker, (or Petit Parker or “P.J.” for Parker John), is Renée’s.  He is the cherub on the red velvet throne.  He and his twin sister, Penelope, were conceived a few short months after Big Parker’s funeral, which Renée attended.  She’d flown to Utah from her home in Paris, which is where we Halls and Bradfords lived and loved each other and where strapping Big Parker had been the Hall’s enthusiastic home teacher with his dad-partner, Randall. For their visits, the two always rode across town together on Randall’s Vespa, and the Halls always gave Parker love-in-a-can: real, chilled, imported Dr. Pepper.

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A God of Details, Embracing Smallness

By Leslie Graff

rbiiwebsize“So what does that painting mean? I don’t mean that it is bad or anything, but does it have any purpose or significance or is a just a design?,” one of my friends asked.

The rest of the party conversations in the room halted. People turned to me, and to the painting to see how I would respond. A large abstract painting that hangs over my fireplace, black-brown branches trailing down from the top of the bold red canvas. Gold leaf circles almost berry-like clustering around the branches. The in between spaces are filled with contrasting varied colored squares and rectangles.

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