The Glorious Muddle
glimpses of grace in the messiness of life

February 22, 2022

The Weight of Loss

All that remains of my father’s life is found in two cardboard boxes. Is that all his life is reduced to: two small boxes, one new, one weathered over time? Yesterday, I went to the funeral home to pick up his death certificate (cause: multiple system failure, dementia) and the second of the two boxes. I was surprised when I went to lift it.


January 27, 2022

Look! He’s Moving Now!

Wesley Gardiner Richardson, my dad, passed peacefully from this world to his eternal home today. He was born January 10, 1933 in Philadelphia. As a child, he lived across the street from Patti Patton (my Mom) in Prospect Park, PA.


December 19, 2021

Finding Our Way Home

One year after my Dad started his steep decline into dementia, Mom is now repeating what he used to say, almost word for word. “Where am I? I want to go home. This isn’t my home.” Early this morning, the maintenance guys at her complex called me. They found Mom scratching “anyone ever home?” on her car window*.  (*Don’t worry. We hold the keys to her car.)

The longing for home is innate within all of us. Our search for home can take our whole lives. This season of Christmas tends to intensify that longing, leaving many of us feeling empty. Whatever “home” is, we realize we don’t have it.


December 14, 2021

The Importance of Presence

Image thanks to Steven Su at Unsplash

A few weeks ago, my father spent nine days in ICU with underlying complications from a breakthrough case of Covid. When we placed him in his new home, my biggest fear was: What if he gets sick–all alone–and we can’t be present with him? Is Dad afraid?

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November 17, 2021

Happy First Birthday!


One year ago today, November 17, I proudly held my little bundle of joy in my arms and told her I’d love her forever . . .  Well, maybe I’m not really that crazy, but it was a proud moment for me when One Degree of Freedom was born. During the long months that preceded the birth, I had all the usual morning sickness and fears and feelings of being overwhelmed, until the contractions kicked in and ushered forth my baby to be shared with the world.

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