Tuesday, September 12, 2023


I was thrilled when I realized I didn't have to race off anywhere this morning. I got the kids up and off to school and then had one early call. I then showered and changed and called my best friend as we had scheduled a time to talk this morning. I enjoyed our time together catching up on each other's lives and praying for each other. 

When we finished talking, I packed up my purse and filled a water bottle and headed out the door to run a few errands.  My first errand at the Dollar Tree found me conversing with a 50ish man and 60ish woman about inter ocular lenses and the lack of depth perception. I made a mental note not to listen in on other people's conversations and not to pipe in even when my 10+ year experience was something that could assist in their original conversation. 

When I got to the grocery store, I quickly located my quarter for my cart and my shopping bags and headed towards the store. Minnesota weather is absolutely beautiful this week. I say "this week" because let's be real. It is Minnesota. It might be September but the weather can change at any time. I stood outside my car once I had righted myself and closed my eyes. The sun was shining and breeze had picked up. I knew my son would love the weather today as he loves bright hot sun with a breeze and cooler temps. 

As I approached the store, I saw a woman maybe 20+ years my senior locating her cart of choice in the outdoor storage area.  I rounded the corner and saw her struggling a bit to insert her quarter, so I waited my turn and swung my purse over my shoulder. As I did so, I dropped all of my canvas shopping bags on the ground. I bent to pick them up and apologized as I was now blocking her exit from the cart storage area. She didn't make eye contact with me or say anything. She charged past me the moment I stood upright. I thought it was strange, but as my mother used to say- maybe she has places to go and people to see. 

I knew I needed quite a few things today but also that my focus would be on fresh produce and dairy items. I quickly filled my cart full of fruits and vegetables and headed towards the bread and bakery items.  I selected a bag of honey wheat bread for my family and proceeded towards the hamburger and hot dog buns. As I bend to select a bag of buns and pick it up, I also dropped them on the floor. I noticed the older woman watching me close by.

Scoffing, I bent over and laughed and said, "Goodness. Today I am dropping all of the bags."

The woman looked at me with utter disdain. As if she couldn't believe that I dropped the buns on the floor. I was so confused. All I did was make a little joke. She didn't say a word but her facial expression made me believe she was very upset that this even happened near her or that I said anything at all. I placed them in my cart and continued walking. As I walked down the aisle, I kept thinking about the fact that I had now spoken to this woman twice and she didn't feel the need to acknowledge my existence. I started thinking about all the reasons why she could have seemed so upset. I covered her with a whole lot of grace because maybe she had hearing loss like my husband. Maybe she didn't even know that I had been speaking to her and offering words of apology. Maybe her facial expressions had nothing to do with me. 

I have found myself, especially since Covid lock downs, being even more intentional than I normally am. Human touch points and interactions have become essential. I am very aware of many lonely people going through the motions and attempting to function in daily life, all while barely holding it together on the inside. So I continue being awkward yet intentional. Smiling longer than necessary, greeting others on the sidewalk, offering help when help hasn't been solicited, inserting myself where my presence hasn't been requested. 

This seemingly unhappy woman may have been fighting an uphill battle since her feet hit the floor this morning. While her apparent response to me wasn't ideal, it also says more about her than it ever will about me. She just needed my kindness to be displayed by walking away. I needed to re-frame my thoughts on kindness being displayed when it isn't acknowledged or even needed. 

I will probably drop more bags of buns and even my shopping bags in the future. I am a klutz at best, so it is more of a given than a probably. I will probably utter some ridiculous involuntary observation or platitude before I even realize that the words are leaving my lips. But I won't censor myself. Because those human touch points and weird connections at places such as the grocery are needed, are necessary and sometimes essential for others to keep going. 

Today I dropped bags. Tomorrow, I may trip on a curb. All I know is- it will be weird. Bring it on. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

I Was There To Hold His Hand


Our dad is dying. He is in his final days. My sister Angela is doing an amazing job caring for him in her home. She is overseeing care, administering medications and pain meds to keep him comfortable. She is meeting with social workers and hospice nurses and chaplains. And while she is exhausted and it has taken a toll mentally and physically, she is doing it all with grace, kindness and love. 

    Today, I had one task that I wished to accomplish. I took the day off of work, made sure I timed my long drive appropriately and made the trek north to my sister's home. I was there to hold his hand. That is all I planned on doing, and what a joy it was. 

    While he laid with his eyes closed, I told him I was there and touched his chest. 

    "Hi, dad. It's Kelli. I am here to see you. I love you." 

    I took his hand from where it rested on his stomach and held it until my fingers cramped. I do not know if he knew I was there. I do not know if he could understand everything I said to him today. But I do know that he could hear, and he heard what was important. 

    I told my dad that I loved him and I thanked him for being a great dad to me when I was a kid. I told him Angela and I will be okay. That we will miss him, but we will be fine. I told him my kids will be forever grateful that they got to see him last week and smile together. I acknowledge that he is in pain and it must be so hard to feel that way and not be able to communicate. I told him he doesn't need to fight any longer and that it is okay to go. That it is okay to just rest now. I gave him permission to not feel the need to hold on for us. Because it is his time. 

    My dad may live a few more days, maybe not even last the night. I am so thankful for the time I had with him today. I am so thankful I was there to hold his hand. 

Monday, February 27, 2023

Ten Years- 2/27/23

Ten Years


    Ten years time in theory is quite a long time. 3,650 days. 87,600 hours. 5,256,000

minutes. To me, it is a very long time to be without someone you love. Our mom passed

away ten years ago today. Ten years. And while ten years seems like an awful long time,

this time has passed by in a flash. 

    I remember her laugh.

    Her love of hard candy and ice. 

    How she read books to her grand kids and only stopped when they were done


    Watching movies together and listening to all of her questions. 

    Explaining the why and how something occurred because she never thought about

it that way before. 

    I remember her ability to make a new friend everywhere she went.

    How she loved deeply and often until it sometimes hurt her. 

    Mom served others selflessly and wondered why others didn’t always do the same. 

 I remember her cooling off in the small blue plastic pool. 

I still set books aside for mom realizing it isn’t necessary. The last one, was a book of

poetry and I wrote in the inside cover before I donated it- 


I love you. I know you are not here, but I found myself setting this book aside for

you because I knew you would like it. You are loved and you are missed. Thank you for

teaching me to love the written word just like you did. 

Love Always, 


    I prayed today and asked God to help me do a better job loving my kids when things

get hard. She loved Angela and I well, even when things seemed impossible. We always

knew she was our safe haven. 

Today, I remember her and I miss her fiercely. I look forward to sharing memories with

the kids at dinner tonight. Something we always do to honor her each year as we remember

the day she went Home to be with her Savior. 

    Will the next ten years pass just as quickly? Possibly. I will continue doing the same

things. I will remember how well she loved others, how well she served others and I will

continue sharing my stories about her.

     What an honor it is to remember you today, Mom.

I Know What That Means- By: Kelli J Gavin for Writers Unite!

I Know What That Means By: Kelli J Gavin After my family moved to Minneapolis three years ago, my parents refused to visit us in our ne...