I am more tired than I realized.

I wake up early every day, around 3:30. Not intentionally; I just do. Instead of lying awake or drowsing for another couple of hours, I get up and write. It’s the perfect time, before my menfolk and canines begin to stir.

My early mornings are a logical reason to be tired.

And spring break is still a week away. The last mile is always the hardest . . . .

And I am twenty-five days into a thirty-one day writing streak, the Slice of Life Story Challenge, which requires an extreme level of thought-immersion and attention to the minutiae around me (everything is a writable moment). My receptors must be wide-open all the time. This, however, is a good kind of tired. Even though I am mentally composing while I’m sleeping.

And I am fighting an allergy or a cold; I feel it lurking around my edges. My boys, when they were small, used to say, “I am catching up to a cold.”

And it’s been a long winter. There may be a few snowflakes tonight. Spring hasn’t fully sprung. There’s still a lot of darkness.

And my family marks a year of losing loved ones, young and old, sudden and by inches with dementia. My husband, his sister, and I need to finish cleaning out their mother’s house.

The dogs, knowing I’m the mom of everything, trail my every step. Henry wriggles like a worm, with an insatiable need for pats, for attention, and even poor old Nikolaus, his eyes like clear marbles full of misty clouds, is still able to scamper behind me in hopes of a treat.

And so, I’m tired.

Yesterday, being Saturday, I did something I almost never do:

I finished my post and went back to bed.

My husband, who’s now been up for a short while, reading in the study, comes looking. “Oh, you’re back in bed?”

“Just for a little while,” I say.

“Okay.” He closes the door.

I pull the blankets up to my chin. So cozy. I drowse. I hear bits of blog posts echoing in my brain.

The door opens. Older son. Henry’s so-called “dad.”

“Are you sick, Mom?”

“No. Just resting.”

“Oh, okay.” He goes to fix his breakfast. He loves a big breakfast. His brother won’t eat until lunchtime.

Snuffling outside the door. Henry. He usually begins to grumble-half-whine to come in and snuggle to me, or to sleep on my bed if I am getting ready for work. Today he must sense something. He goes away. Unusual.

Distant clanking in the kitchen. Muffled voices. Footsteps in the hallway.

The door opens. Younger son, Cadillac Man.



“Are you okay?”

“Yes. Just resting.”

“Okay. Lowees.” This is how he first said ‘I love you’ when he was a baby. Lowees. It immediately became part of the family lexicon. We all say it to each other. His father reminds me again and again that Cadillac Baby said it to him first.

“Lowees,” I say.

I can’t stay here long. None of them will be able to take it. There’s too much to do, anyway. There are places to be.

But I pull the covers partway over my head, sinking into the warmth, the softness, savoring the moment, grateful for the web of words knitting itself from random scraps in my mind, for the abiding blanket of love wrapped over and around my life.

13 thoughts on “Blanket

  1. I can relate to so much within this piece. How sweet that every member of your family came to check on you. They need you and obviously care about you deeply. I hope that extra bit of rest was enough to recharge you, at least for a bit.

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  2. Damn girl, you are good. Love so many things about this: the marbles that are your beloved dog’s eyes, the funny endearments, the quiet (and not so quiet) respect your family affords you. Beautiful.

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  3. There are so many things to love in this post. So much I can relate to. You pick just the right details and memories to bring your world to vivid life for your reader and to reveal the heart of it all. Your final paragraph is simply beautiful.

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  4. Ah, so much love. I can feel that love which is not only the blanket that wraps around you, but also the core of your family. A wonderful slice. Beautifully crafted. So much resonates with me. Small detail: it’s been a long time since I heard someone refer to a room in the house as “the study.”

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  5. This slice is as a soft as the blanket that covered you. Love how you wove in your kids language – “lowees”, and “I’m catching up to a cold”. Your family sounds full of love and life. I hope this finds you feeling better and ready to tackle the last mile. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. This is beautiful. I am in awe of how even your fatigue becomes a litany of beauty, of how what is general to all of us is woven through with the personal which, in turn, makes it more relatable. I love how as you give in to the fatigue what began as a list becomes a story and the story gathers life. This post is redolent with love. Thank you.

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  7. How do you write so beautifully? Every day. Every post. Every line. Absolute beauty. I was blown away by your last line. You move from the physical comfort of your blanket to “the abiding blanket of love wrapped over and around my life.” A beautifully moving slice.

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    • Oh my goodness, Joy – I don’t know! I just write. I hadn’t even envisioned this post at all. I was too tired to write a new one. I thought, hey, I’ll write about being tired. That was its working title (“Tired”) until I got to the scene where my family is checking on me. Then I changed the title to “Blanket” and that’s when I realized what I was really writing about – the security and love of my family. And then I wrote the final paragraph. No one’s more astounded by the responses than I am! Thank you for your warm words here – I am grateful (and still amazed) to know it makes this kind of impact.

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  8. Oh Fran, I will echo the rest of the comments, beautiful and you were unaware of the effect these words would have on the reader. Amazing, every time you post. You certainly threw the family for a loop by returning to bed. I hope you rested and are ready to face this last week of slicing.

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