Dear Mom, thanks for the ceramic lessons. A full Circle experience.


There is nothing like family.  In dark times families get closer.  I have been at my brothers home 8 days.  I am so sad that my sister-in-law is sick, but we are rallying around her.  I decided to contribute to her health and recovery by providing love and care for the kids.  I came to stay with every intention of helping them.  It turns out in many ways my life is getting richer and deeper.

I am a do-er.  I do things.  I get things done.  I run a non-profit in real life.  In my recent “sister life” I have been doing things like changing diapers, running kids to preschool, going to parks, reading bed time stories.  My need to do had me organizing and rearranging cupboards at the Miner house in Colorado.  I even got to the junk drawer.

That’s where I found a long forgotten childhood relic.  A ceramic cracker holder dog.  Just that concept strung together, cracker holder dog should have rung a bell.  For some reason when I saw it, it didn’t quite click.  I asked my brother where he got it.  He said “oh one of the kids made it”.  Something told me different.  I turned it over.  Initials on the bottom “KM” and then “80′ “. 

Thirty years ago I made that dog.  I was 12 in 1980.   How often do you get to find something like this?  I thought about my life back then.  I remember that Mom wanted us to do something special just the two of us.  I remember that we went on Tuesdays.  I remember that we didn’t always say much.  The lady that ran the ceramic shop was really into her work.  It was an artistic and creative atmosphere.  I wonder how many other people from Gregory painted things there.  I don’t know then if I really “got” it.  But as I thought about it the other night, looking at that dog.  i realized how much that special time really did mean to me.  I remembered we would leave things one week, come back the next for the next layer of glaze or to see how items turned out after being fired.   It was probably good I learned SOME patience as a child.  It made me feel really good to think about my Mother and I doing ceramics together.  It  filled a little place in my heart to remember the girl at 12 who painted this silly dog, cracker holder.  My Mom has been gone for 22 years.  I was holding a treasure from a time we did something together.  I was holding onto something that was in the time and space of time and space that my Mother and I shared. 

Not only is it amazing that cracker dog, Mom and I were together, but this happened before my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, she was diagnosed on February 14 when I was 13.  She died when I was 20, I am now 42.

That dog made me realize how important my job here is.  It made me realize that I can help my brothers kids with their Mom’s illness.  I am sooo thankful that the evolution of cancer treatment has come so far in 20 years.  I am so grateful that my sister-in-law is going to beat this leukemia thing.

I’m so grateful that my Mom took me to ceramics. 

What are you doing today, that you will be thanked for 30 years later and 22 years after you have passed away?

If you live in good relationship values, and that is the theory of restorative justice, you just might find something as odd as a cracker holder dog having lots of lessons for life.