birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.


They died before I got to meet them, so our kids never met them. My husband is a Jr., named verbatim after his dad. His dad’s beloved was David’s mom, named after her great grandfather: Gere. The father of our daughters has Gere’s same gentle corners of the eyes and tiny frame. Our daughters have those tiny frames, too. I suppose there’s no use crying over spilled milk—they’re gone—but I’ve cried about them not being here many times, over many years. I’ve whispered aloud to their framed photos and written dictation of a few of their interests in the margins of the color copies of these photos for the Day of the Dead altars at our daughters’ preschool. That way Clara and Pearl could honor their other grandma and grandpa, daddy’s mommy and daddy, who loved tennis, barbecue, and spending time with their friends.

If I could write anyone a letter, it would be my husband’s parents. I would tell them how proud they would be of their wonderful son, who makes me and so many others feel secure, cherished. I would thank Gere for raising such a caring, communicative child, who is now raising caring, considerate children himself.

[To be continued…]

A Decent Proposal

Letters Through the Years