You’ll Be Just Fine

Staring at the senseless symbols cluttering my already cloudy understanding, I lowered my face onto the hardbound book and did what any highly hormonal, PMS-ing 16-year-old would do: I wailed hysterically.

“When in the hell will I ever use this stuff?” I blubbered, chucking the algebra book across the room.

Hearing his daughter fall apart down the hall, my dad came to the rescue with his math genius know-how.

“Honey, would you like some help?” he asked, tapping lightly on the door before entering my room.

With Maybelline […]

Once a Mother, Always a Mother

“Remember, drive slowly. There’re little kids living in the neighborhood.”


“Geez, Mom,” the moaning began, accompanied by that well-recalled look, “you’re bugging me!” But knowing my concerns were only out of love, my son wrapped his 27-year-old arms around his mother and proudly declared: “I’m a man now. I know how to drive.”


Four years ago, Tim, the baby of the Haugh dynasty, decided to impersonate Gilligan and took a three-hour tour to Europe only to become shipwrecked in Barcelona, Spain. During those years, he traveled […]

Dance with my father

Standing at the window ready to perform in my white tutu and pink satin sash, I peered into the gray stillness of the day’s fading light, tapping my ballet slipper impatiently. Siegfried, the handsome prince in our version of “Swan Lake, ” was now an hour late.

“Where is he?” I mumbled anxiously, nearing the tipping point for an explosive outburst. Waiting to dance was never good for my five-year-old persona. But just as I was about to burst into tears, his shiny silver Oldsmobile […]

Coping with an Addiction

Preparing to confront my lifelong addiction for the first time, I stood in front of the mirror ready confess the shame I’d been hiding. The first step to healing, I reminded myself, is admitting something is wrong.

“My name is Jackie, and I’m a gum-a-holic.”

Since I was five-years-old, chewing gum as been a vice of mine with the first piece of Bazooka Bubble gum innocently placed in my mouth by my father.

Chomping on the sugary substance with a mouth full of baby teeth, I laboriously […]

A Mother’s Love for her Children

Looking more like an overstuffed mushroom than a petite 17-year-old girl, blubber oozed over the sides of my Montgomery Ward bell bottom jeans. This new style of the 1960’s was supposed to have a slimming effect, but at 5’5” and 170 lbs, modelesque I was not.

“What do you think?” I asked my mom as she gazed lovingly at me.

“Oh, honey. You look beautiful.”

Several years later, I realized my mother was a liar.

Pouring through old family photos, I was horrified to see that during those […]

My Inheritance

On the rocky beach of the Russian River in 1987, my four-year-old, Jenni tip-toed over hot, sun-drenched pebbles and darted towards me. Freckles intensified in the brilliant afternoon rays, her moon-shaped face beamed with childish excitement.

“Mommy,” she began, breathlessly. “When you die, can I have that bathing suit?”

Stunned, I studied my second child while tanning my body in a lime green bikini.

How could she be thinking of such things? I wondered. At thirty-four, do I look like I’m close to death?

But peering into her […]