Showing posts from 2017

Terry Barry

"Your name is TERRY BERRY?" I said to the boy in front of me. I think this was his 6th or 7th grade year. "Yeah," he said. "I don't have time for this," I replied irritated and assuming and started to walk away to help out in the kids after school program. I can't remember what Terry wanted, but I figured he was giving me a fake name for some reason and I wasn't going down like that. "Sarah, he's for real!" Marquis McCoy assured me. Terry looked sheepish and defeated with these wide eyes that gave me pause  and my steely exterior softened and I guess I decided I did have time for him. I can't remember the rest of that day, but that was how we met. And the last day I saw him, earlier this year at Poppie's funeral....his eyes were the same. That part hadn't changed. You could look into Terry's eyes and see him. Really see him.. if he let you. I was mad at him. So physically angry at him that I almost shook

Part 4: The Confederate Flag

Here it is, Part 4. If you are just jumping in now, I started a series of writings on the confederate flag directly after Memorial Day. This blog was birthed out of a deep sadness at the realization that there are people here in my current hometown of Winston Salem that think the confederate flag is not offensive. It all started when I posted in an online Mom's group asking about the potential for Confederate flags at a parade I wanted to take my son and husband to. Mj loves flags, and they have the largest regional parade not far from our house.  After 24 hours and a firestorm of comments, I deleted that post. Several women were outspoken in total surety about their stance that the flag WAS NOT offensive, that it represented heritage or a pride in being from the south, and many scoffed that anyone would still find that flag offensive and mentioned "getting over it" among other things that made me nervous and restless. For every woman that wanted to hold onto the confed

Crayons for Giants and Lush Green Grass

In retrospect, Im pretty mad at myself that I directed my  last post   about "special needs parenting" to Dear Special Needs mom instead of Dear special needs parent. Im sure there are special needs dads, or just dad of any kid who isn't perfect (get it? it's all of the kids. alllll the kids have extra special needs and things. yay!) that could have benefited from my encouraging open letter. Well, here is another post for parents. ***Im pretending that Im writing it to other parents, but really its a letter to my own weary, freaked out, thankful, sad, hopeful, crazy heart. Play along. Dear special needs/stressed out/scared/ PARENT, How's your day? Today a caring and intuitive friend texted me "How is your stress level?" I responded, "Well, I just found out that I need to drive an hour every week to a doctor for MJ because his spine is doing its own thing and ITS LIKE THE BIGGEST DEAL EVER TO ME and I might cry. And I swerved all over the ex

Part 3: The Confederate Flag

What was going to be a 3 part series, has turned into 4. Really, this post is the whole reason for the series. It is why I began assessing and processing through writing my own history and interactions with the Confederate flag. And how I hope to approach it in the future. Im a part of a mom's group online. Quite a few actually! They are a treasure trove of information. This particular mom's group was/is a life saver for a girl brand new to this city with a tiny baby in her arms. These moms know EVERYTHING about everywhere to go for fun, cheap joy with a baby and they have helped me immensely get to know my way around the town. Wait wait Wait..... I mean everywhere on this side of town. West of Route 52. That's the white/nonwhite dividing line in Winston Salem. So, to be clear- it's a predominately white and leaning-towards-economically-privileged group of moms, which is fine as long as you go in understanding that is the demographic of this particular online m

Part 2: The Confederate Flag

When we moved here, we moved to a neighborhood called Ardmore. It was wonderful and we had the most neighborly neighbors we have ever experienced in our life. They brought us food and cards to welcome us and then again to comfort us as MJ fell ill. They decorated our house with Christmas lights when we couldn't go back to Chicago for Christmas last year because of MJ's surgery, and others shared red wine with me when we got back from Duke. This neighborhood was a grace for our first year as it was around the corner from our church, down the street from the hospital (where we didn't yet know that we would be spending lots of time) and the houses were close together reminiscent of city life. It was close to downtown W-S and filled with tons of parks to walk in and play at. Our part of the neighborhood was incredibly hilly. It was all but unwalkable for me and my bad ankles/bad knees and recent post-baby body. The way the street planning worked out left us with a double lo

Part 1: The Confederate Flag

You know it's serious when I don't even have a sarcastic or fun, happy-clappy title for you. The first time I encountered the Confederate flag face to face I was a grown woman of 32 years old. I was welcoming a southern presbyterian college group from a state that could be classified as the "Deep South." Many of the participants in the program I helped facilitate were from a college ministry of the Presbyterian church and many of them hailed from the South. I loved experiencing a taste of southern culture through the students, interns and campus pastors. We had many groups from all over the country, but hands down my favorite teams were usually from this specific denomination and college ministry that was so prevalent in the southern part of our country. ** I clicked so well with leaders and students from this denomination, that when Mike and I relocated totally unexpectedly to the South from Chicago we had peace and joy about joining a church from that denominati

Mom's Standing Ovation

As my mother lay dying at the hospital she had previously worked at for years, I was intrigued to see who came to visit her. It wasn't the higher level executives that she had faithfully served for years, often times befriending them and attending their dinner parties and things.  No, the people that knocked on her door and stood somberly by her bedside were the cleaning crew, the former foreign exchange med students my mom had welcomed into her home and our family, the security guards, and techs from this hospital. They often stood there quietly, some with tears in their eyes, and told who ever was there that my mom was special. She was kind. She looked out for them and always gave them little "surprises." (my mom gave little tiny weirdo gifts of candy and trinkets to me all the time. It was the kind of thing you received in the mail or in person and were like WHAT? but its the kind of thing now I miss receiving. I guess I wasn't the only one she handed these ou