Janet's project 1 copyI know loss because growing up I attended the funerals of those who came before me. I touched their ice-cold hands, remembering how they felt to hold when warm. Women wept openly into their silk-thread hankies. Men stood close by to catch those faint of heart. And the true-life of the deceased became visible to each mourner that stood overlooking the coffin. “Pete, do you remember when she…” “Thelma, I remember him saying…”  “Did you know she raised those kids…” “He knew how to tell a joke, better than…” “She never said much, so quiet…” “He is in a better place…” “The little tot just didn’t have…”

Death Then—regardless of the reason—was a coming together to acknowledge a future devoid of the essence of our loved one.  

Death Today is shape-shifting to resentment and prejudice and religion and mistrust and illegal drugs and refugees and drunk drivers and ideologies and women’s rights and politics and greed and technology and all countries who kill their own and those who steal everything. 

Mother Earth has experienced centuries of wars in the names of religion and greed so maybe I should not be so saddened by the shape-shifting we SEE now. However, I am because this war is to kill humankind without any rules of engagement.

So I ask: “Who will be left to touch that ice-cold hand  

 of yesterday’s remembering?”




A Family gathers for their traditional Saturday night dinner: Grandparents, Parents, Teen and Child. Joining them, seated across from one another, are The Congressional Money Managers. The aroma of food and an underlying dread drift throughout the house.

Dinner goes well for the first half hour until the Father asks: “What will I do now that I’ve lost my job? I thought the education I earned, my work ethic and paying taxes qualified me to always be the breadwinner of my family?

“And, me?” The Mother asks. “Where will I find income that equals that of my husband? I fought for women’s rights and now, with the stroke of a pen, a woman who reached that proverbial Glass Ceiling took away my right to privacy if I want or must work. I thought it was implicit that when a woman/minority broke through the Glass Ceiling it was for a clearer vantage point to witness the plight of us all!”

“I can forgo college and get a job,” the Teen offers. The dream of his future now separated from what his reality had been. “I’ll try to work close to home, gas prices and all.”

The Child, in order to help, made a school lunch each day. “Mother, the man at school took my lunch and threw it away? Did he know I made it? He said you owe the school lunch money.”

“I think I’ve seen this before!” Grandfather adds…” Dreams of a better future guaranteed to the people. I just thought it would never be…”

Grandmother interrupts: “My family, you come and live with us since your house is in foreclosure. It is only way I know to help.” Then Grandmother turns her attention to The Money Managers and says: “I’m afraid of the healthcare laws since I don’t know what they are. Will I lose the doctor’s I trust? Will Medicare and Social Security fail and if so, when? I must plan!”

The Money Managers answer each question asked: in contradictory ways. Then say: “Be patient, we’ll take care of you.”

“We can’t afford your kind of patience!” the Grandfather, now angry, yells at them.

The Money Managers point their finger at one another for the plight of A Family. Angry, they push back from the table, stand and exit. One drives away to the left and the other to the right. In guardedness, A Family remains seated at the dinner table: hungry for the American Dream!