Joy Chest:

Treasures for the Journey Ahead

Have you ever thought about what might bring you joy as years go by? My work with the elderly through hospice and my relationships with older friends and relatives have affirmed for me that joyfulness comes from a place within us and can be triggered if we just look around.
        If you were to select a few possessions - no matter how small - that fill you with joy, what would you choose, and why are these things meaningful to you? In Joy Chest, published in 2018, everyday people share stories of personal keepsakes that make their hearts sing. I hope you'll be inspired, as I was, by their stories and consider the possibility of curating a Joy Chest of your own.

Artichokes & City Chicken:

Reflections on Faith, Grief, and My Mother's Italian Cooking

For a variety of reasons, my mother and I had always struggled to communicate. Finally, years after her death, a silence imposed by writer's block brought the two of us face to face again. The result was an endeavor in listening with the heart and dealing with unresolved grief, recounted in Artichokes & City Chicken: Reflections on Faith, Grief, and My Mother's Italian Cooking, out in 2015 from River Grove Books. If you have ever yearned to belong, to feel understood, to find harmony or wholeness or peace, this book is for you.

As We Grieve:

Discoveries of Grace in Sorrow

Anyone who has felt the profound absence of a loved one knows what it is to grieve. After the loss of two sisters, a best friend, my father, and then my mother, I became aware of a new understanding, as well-that of God's healing presence during times of deepest sorrow. This awareness led me to ask other mourners if they had experienced similar moments of grace in their grief, and they had! Based on their poignant stories, my book As We Grieve: Discoveries of Grace in Sorrow was released in partnership with Emerald Book Company in 2010. As though the writing and publishing of the book weren't gifts enough, As We Grieve garnered a 2010 Living Now Book Award and a 2010 Foreword Book of the Year Award. Talk about grace!

Riding the Dog:

My Father's Journey Home

I started writing my first book not long after my father died. He was the center of our family, the wind beneath my wings. “You can do anything you put your mind to" was his constant refrain. Perhaps this book was a case in point.
        When I began to recount the tumultuous ride of our last summer with Dad, I believed I was writing an essay, but a higher power had other ideas, and soon the piece had chapters, offering hope and a kindred heart to anyone facing or coping with loss. Riding the Dog: My Father's Journey Home was released in 2004 from FaithWalk Publishing. I like to think that Dad was up there pulling strings.