East Of Eden

"A curious mix of the relevant and reverential"

I don't like Thanksgiving.


Not Thanksgiving, probably Easter 1985, from left to right: (a grumpy me), Bever-leigh, Stevie, Mom holding a carrier with a kicking-baby Jos, and a very goofy Joe.



At least not like I did as a kid.


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Forever 28. Three years old.

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Friday marked the third anniversary of my sister Joscelyne's death.


Around 8AM, I pulled the black and white photo of her, ensconced in a shiny, mirrored frame, off the bookshelf, and placed it in the center of the piano. I set out a couple of candles, and searched through a closet for the least tacky plastic flowers I could find. I wanted fresh lilies, but due to a sprained ankle I've been nursing for three weeks, that didn't happen.


I found some pink and purple ones, part of a bouquet that she had purchased in 2011 for our mom that wound up in my possession. They surrounded the candles, which I lit and watched flicker. Their light could barely be seen because it was bright in the living room. November 20th of 2015 was sunny, unlike the gloomy and overcast 20th of 2012.

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The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night.

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Z and one of the butterflies.


Before seven this morning, I sat down on my couch, flipped open my laptop and read. 


I heard the tiny fluttering wings of the butterflies I ordered for Zoe as a science project. There were five of them in an enclosed habitat, and at my movement, they started up, zig zagging against the white net that held them together. 

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Some Sunday Stuff: May 3rd.

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A rose in the vase at my table in a Cuban restaurant I visited on Wednesday.




What a week. 

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Congratulations, Aja & Paul!




Congratulations to my wonderful friends Aja and Paul Thorburn on the birth of baby number three, Isaac, who was born yesterday morning and weighed in at eight pounds, four ounces.


He is joining big brother Theo:

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Help Momma K Take a Vacay!

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From the GoFundMe page:



My stepmother, Kathy Parchia Flemming, was by my father's side as he took his last breath on March 21st. It had been ten months and two days since he suffered a massive stroke that left him debilitated, unable to even speak.

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Larry's Daughter.

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About twenty minutes after leaving the graveyard where we laid my father to rest, I stood in line at the nearby Starbucks. It's "my" Starbucks, the one I spent hours studying in during college, where I took part in Bible studies, discussed matters of importance and frivolity with Joscelyne, and of late, just go to get my order and split.


When it was my time to order, I got my usual- a venti soy white mocha- along with a frap for my nephew Justin and a chocolate milk for Zoe.  When the friendly barista asked my name, I said, "Larry's Daugter". She repeated it back to me with a slightly quizzical look on her face. 

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Lent- Day 31: Let it be to me.

Paolo de Matteis - The Annunciation

"Paolo de Matteis - The Annunciation" by Paolo de Matteis (Wiki Commons)




Today is the Feast of the Annunciation. For those unfamiliar, from Wikipedia:

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Lent- Day 30: For whom the bell tolls.

Clifton Campville Church Bells


(Wiki Commons)


So I am totally being lazy in the Soren Kierkegaard class I'm taking. Assigned to read Plato's "Euthyphro", I haven't been able to read more than a few pages before having my brain scream "Nope" and start daydreaming of how cute K would look in a pair of horn-rimmed glasses. 


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Lent- Day 29: Before one of them came to be.






Momma Kathy is busy, with the help of Monica, arranging Daddy's funeral.

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Lent- Days 27 & 28: We'll always love Big Poppa.

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My daddy passed away today a few minutes after one P.M. Defying expectations, he survived over two days off the respirator, which makes perfect sense knowing how big his heart was and how powerful those lungs, which powered a loud booming voice, were.


I want to thank everyone who's reached out to offer sympathy, prayers and condolences. It's truly appreciated. Please continue to keep us in your prayers.

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Lent- Day 26: Waiting.

We sat today, waiting. Waiting for my dad to die.


He was moved to hospice this week, and a little after 11 this morning, they shut off the respirator.


My grandmother, cousin Velvet, her husband Mike, cousin John, brother Joe, his wife Jenny, stepmom Kathy, her sister Monica, K, Z and I all sat vigil. Prayed, sang, talked and laughed. Streamed music through an iPad and sipped coffee and tea.


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Lent- Day 25: Sorry Ms. Jackson.



I was visited again today by Friend 2 from last week. Repeatedly throughout her visit, the conversation veered into some of the more difficult areas of life- illness, breakups and death. I kept responding to her frustrated statements with, "But I can't control that" and "I cannot make people do what they do not want to do".  She would agree, only to turn right around and then go into complaints. Exasperated (and my voice going screechily high pitched), I finally declared, "Don't you get it? We aren't really in control of many things in life!"


I said control so many times I started to hear the Janet Jackson classic in my head.


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Lent- Day 24: Euphoria in aporia.

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A drawing of Soren Kierkegaard I did yesterday.



I haven't been sleeping well the last few nights. My thoughts, during the day and night, are on my daddy, who's been on life support since last week. We- the family- know, but are still grappling with the reality that we are nearing the end.


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Lent- Day 23: The Jinx is brought to light.

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Have you heard about Robert Durst? There's a lot- and that's an understatement- to tell about the stranger-than-fiction-yet-very-real man at the center of multiple murders. From The New York Times:


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Lent- Day 22: Wading in the nihil.


Jay-Z in "On the Run" (Radio Lab)


It's been a long, long day. Rainy, gray and layered thickly with foreboding. A real walking in "the valley of the shadow of death". I'm not being dramatic, it's just really been that kind of day.


This morning I began "Søren Kierkegaard - Subjectivity, Irony and the Crisis of Modernity", an online University of Copenhagen class offered through Coursera. It's totally free, so if you're a nerd, and cheap, like me, you can still register if you like. In the "About" descriptor:

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Lent- Day 21: Silence is golden.

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Me in 2012 enjoying some early morning quiet.

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Lent- Day 20: Before Christ, no one is anonymous.





Today's hotest video features Kanye West, but it's most definitely not Yeezus approved. Before I continue, if you're sick of me mentioning Mr. West so much during these Lenten posts, my apologies. He keeps popping up here because, dagnabit, these dude is making headlines like Lindsey Lohan circa 2007. It's kind of hard not to talk about him. Still, if you've had enough, come back tomorrow, kay?


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Lent- Day 19: What happens to hope deferred?

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What a day. In between a trip to the bank and my weekly IVIG session, I hung out with a couple of friends discussing life, love and having babies. One friend is pregnant; the other would like to be. This is the first kid for friend one, while friend two has no kids. In the midst of all this blabbing, Zoe sat oblivious, typing away on a mini-laptop that K got for her with a ton of educational games.


My pregnant friend and I had got together first and she spoke to me for over an hour about getting her first sonogram, and seeing her little one hide from the ultrasound wand. She had broke into tears at seeing her shy baby, while her husband beamed with pride. I shared with her about my experiences with seeing Z via ultrasound. Just discussing all these new life made me cry (I am a crier, but true story, I did not cry when I first held Zoe. As I explained to my friend, I was so overwhelmed, I just stared at her in amazement).  


By the time friend number two arrived, I was feeling a little giddy. It was excitement, expectant happiness. I was full of hope. Friend one quickly cued two in on her big news. My heart hurt a bit for friend two. 

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Lent- Day 18: The sea of forgetfulness is better than the valley of the dolls.

key art dollhouse



Over the weekend I started watching the cancelled Fox show "Dollhouse", available for streaming on Netflix. It came highly recommended by my brother Joe, who didn't even have to "Sherlock" me into watching it. If you're unfamiliar with it, here's a quick primer from Wikipedia:


The show revolves around a corporation running numerous underground establishments (known as "Dollhouses") around the globe which program individuals referred to as Actives (or Dolls) with temporary personalities and skills. Wealthy clients hire Actives from Dollhouses at great expense for various purposes. The series primarily follows the Active known as Echo, played by Eliza Dushku, on her journey towards self-awareness...

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"... the awesomely gifted Alisha DeFreitas... tells her story of  her brush with the Culture of Death and her refusal to play the world’s game. I love that she gives two well-aimed upraised middle fingers: one to the abortion culture of the Left, and one to the Randian Makers vs. Takers class warriors of the Right. She’s one of my heros."

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Joscelyne, my sister

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