She pads into our room at dark o’clock and tugs on my shirt.

“I had a bad dream, but I don’t want to talk about it,” Lala says blankly, reciting the script as if by memory.

Even in the middle of the night, I recognize the “storytelling.”

“Are you sure you had a bad dream, honey?” I ask. “Did you come in because you wanted to snuggle with Mama and Papa?”

No answer.


Lala climbs over me, finds a cozy spot in the middle and, within moments, is breathing deeply, alternating inhale-exhale with her father.

What seems like no time later, the radio clicks on with reports of the missing Malaysian airplane and a massive mudslide with people buried and lost just north of Seattle.

I lay in the dark, a light breeze blowing through the half-open window, and it makes no sense why I am here. Sharing a bed with these two loves while my two others sleep down the hall in the warm comfort of their bedroom. The girls’ lullaby music plays on repeat, and I breathe the familiar peace, while across the world and up the road others grapple and mourn and scream within the thick of their true nightmares.

No answers.

I know to do nothing but pray for the missing, the lost and all those broken hearts as I feel the aching love in my own — extending with each inhale and exhale.


Joining with Heather King of The Extraordinary Ordinary and Just Write — an exercise in free writing ordinary moments. 

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