blue and grey feather background, circles and text on circle reads August 13

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On this day, 4 years ago.

You can hear me read this by clicking below, or subscribing to the podcast at the end of this post.

You can hear me read this by clicking below, or subscribing to the podcast at the end of this post.


I don’t have such a memory for this day, 4 years ago. I didn’t post anything on social media on this day, 4 years ago.

My dear friend Helena and her husband and daughter and my kids and I had circled back to the Lost Coast after a fun little road trip to Portland, Oregon and the Pacific coast together. We had finished dinner in our yurt, we were laughing and talking, I know I was enjoying myself tremendously. I always do with Helena, one of my favorite people in the world. 

My husband Mikey left the table, then came back and said he needed to speak with me. That was extremely unusual. We went outside.

He told me that my brother Dana had been shot, that he had been flown to Redding, that his condition was stable. I could tell that Mikey was expecting a reaction from me by the way he was scanning my face.

I had no reaction though. 

I mean, I had watched enough movies to know that the hero always walks away. I had consumed enough modern-day stories of gunshots and violence to know that lots of people get shot, it’s not really a big deal, is it?

I also knew in my bones that nothing could happen to Dana. Dana was our hero, he was the Golden Boy, sun shined so bright off of him, he even nicknamed his truck “Sunshine.” I was not worried. I think I smiled at Mikey and told him it would be okay.

I went back inside to my friends and told them what had happened: Dana had been shot. He was in Redding. His condition was stable. 

Redding was at least 5 hours away from the Lost Coast, and with his condition being stable with the kids to care for and my friends there, I felt that I should go when things were calmer. The reasons are tangled, but at the heart of them all lies this: I felt that my going to Redding would not make a difference, and that I would very likely be in the way. I didn’t value myself or my connection with Dana enough to think that my presence might be necessary in some way.

And so I waited.

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