Posted in Uncategorized

let your heart be light…

My heart takes me from this bed, in this home, filled with family, into the future–alone, an old woman, in a wheel chair, celebrating Christmas without gifts, or a tree, or a meal to prepare, or obligations to fulfill…

Kelly & Lila

Mary & the Angel Gabriel, from Julie Vivas, the Nativity Heart to Heart, Mary & the Angel Gabriel, The Nativity, Julie Vivas

I wake in the wee hours of the morning on Christmas Eve day, too early to get up, but too late to fall back to sleep because my heart has something to say.

It is ready to release the heaviness it carries at Christmas.

Christmas Past…

My heart shares the weight of all those years shuffling between houses after the divorce. The heaviness of leaving a parent behind. The longing to fill the void between those whose love once created life.

It talks to me about my mother’s drinking, her loneliness, her pain, her efforts. How it carried that weight too.

It shows me my first Christmas apart. In the Rockies. The emptiness. The space. The breath.

It moves to my first Christmas in my own apartment. The joy. The simplicity. The light.

Christmas Future…

My heart takes…

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Posted in Uncategorized

Happy Christmas Grieving Day!

Next year:
Happy Christmas Eve eve.
What grieves you?

Kelly & Lila

I wake heavy and slow. I pull on a long skirt and grab the men’s flannel shirt that I picked up at the second hand store.

I check the fire. I light candles. I put on Christmas music. I consider my to do list. (The one I had been eager to address.)

I fill a bowl of kitchari. I sit on the couch. I open the computer. I read.

I realize I’m sad.

I google: Christmas Date with Mom; and then add: Kelly Salasin.

I find my post from 2009. I critique my writing. I begin editing. Line by line tears fill my eyes. I close the computer. I finish chewing. I sob.

I worry someone might hear me. I hold my heart. I say, Ow, ow, ow.

I read more of my Christmas writing from years past. I feel soothed. And tired. I realize that I always write in…

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Posted in My Bonnie

for Bonnie’s Birthday

Our mother on her Christmas Birthday. (Michelle, the third oldest, directly in front of our father.)

My sister Michelle has our mother’s quiet, introspective nature, and her propensity for mothering a large family.

They both have big hearts too. Michelle took hers abroad, to Cambodia, where she has been living and working with her husband and their four youngest children for a year and counting.

This Christmas (aka. our mother’s birthday), Michelle longs to be reunited with her college-age children. Her oldest, Rebekah, who is a writer like her aunt, created a Go Fund Me campaign to help with the cost of the flight for her and her brother Andrew. This will be their first trip abroad.

Michelle's youngest in Cambodia ready to be embraced.
Michelle’s youngest in Cambodia waiting for her big sister.

It brings me great joy to imagine these siblings and parents reunited.
If it does you too, consider contributing.
We only could afford a little, but things like hope and love grow little by little, and sometimes in big leaps.

Click here to find out more.


Posted in Uncategorized


What’s in a number…

Kelly Salasin

my mom’s phone was disconnected today
and although she’s been dead for three years
it felt like the umbilical cord had been ripped between us

my stepfather had finally dropped her outgoing message a few months back
until then we could call
and hear her voice
the one before she got sick
before she herself had an umbilical cord
to an oxygen machine
in her living room

Just a simple 609-522-1556
and I could call
and leave her a message.
“Hi Mom, how are you?  Aidan is three now.”
“Hi Mom, Lloyd has the lead in his school play.”
“Hi Mom, Merry Christmas,  You’d be 60 today.  You’d hate that.”

609 522 1556
“That’s my mother’s number,  Isn’t it honey?
It says it’s disconnected.
How could that be?”

Later I find that my stepfather is changing the phone into his name
and somehow they disconnected the line.
What if he’s…

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Well-played, September

That time of year thou mayst in me behold…

This Vermont Life


the dappled light on the hill makes bouquets of yellow blossoms where the grass has already faded with the coming fall

this shrinking arc of day makes the jeweled promise of the morning last longer, sparkling through the leaves, instead of trumpeting overhead–insisting, demanding, expecting

the sun’s retreat also lends warmth to the outdoor shower, heating the stones under foot, once cool in the deep shade of the canopy,

a tiny, non-threatening, almost adorable, miniature-maple-leaf greets me on the path; the color red softened by the fading heart at its center

well played, September

today is the anniversary of my mother’s sobriety, and the beginning of our last week beside her, 15 years ago

i’ve just learned of wayne dyer’s passing, a teacher whose work she introduced me to at her diningroom table where she imparted a (shortened) lifetime of hard-earned wisdom with the soft light and gentle hue of…

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the Circle of Life

“We were engaged in a parallel dance–one spinning toward death, the other toward life–both facing an ending and a beginning–coming to a threshold of no return.”

Kelly Salasin

Aidan & Mom Photo: Robin Salasin Aidan & Mom
Photo: Robin Salasin, 2000

One of our family traditions is displaying the cards we receive for special occasions. My husband’s birthday was our most recent so the window sill in our kitchen holds the few that arrived in the mail. (When he complains about this dwindling enthusiasm, I remind him that we’re the grownups now.)

This year, however, the window is crowded. Greeting cards fill the sill, while others hang from the wooden mullions that lend our Vermont farmhouse that window-paned look.

The fullness is a result of a case of synchronicity: the birth of our son–just a month before his father’s birthday.

Cards for the baby continue to trickle in–with moons and lambs and jumping cows–seeming out of place with the cards poking fun of Casey’s age. But, they’re kept together for tradition’s sake.

It’s the ones added most recently that make me question the whole…

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Like a fingerprint, each snow leaves behind its own impression.

This one seems poured from the sky like a heavenly cream
filling the bowl of our land to the brim of the stone wall.

But it arrived, not like milk at all.

It was fine and soft and swift and swirly.

The air made the difference.

Bitter. Cruel.

Just like life